Saturday, September 10, 2005LiveBlogging The Evening Games...
-- (SC 0, UGA 0) BTW this is a major revenge game for the Dawgs. Spurrier has only played in Sanford Stadium once and he ran up the score when he did because no visiting team had ever scored 50.
-- (SC 0, UGA 0) I don't expect Blake Mitchell to go 18-for-23 for 3oo+ yards today. Just call it a hunch.
-- (SC 0, UGA 0) One thing that'll make the ol' ball coach steam -- turnovers.
-- (SC 0, UGA 0) I hope Mark Richt doesn't go soft in this game because he's intimidated by Spurrier. Georgia is a much better team and should lay the smack down.
-- (SC 0, UGA 0) The Gamecocks have moved the ball with a little success, meanwhile Iowa State is beating Iowa!. Amazing...I'm impressed.
-- (UGA 6, SC 0) HOLY SHOCKLEY!!!
-- (UGA 7, SC 0) South Carolina's offense is in the tank right now as the offensive line can't handle Georgia's pressure.
-- (UGA 7, SC 0) Shockley is tipped and intercepted...Could be a pick six...It is, nice effort.
-- (UGA 7, SC 6) Shockley really looks comfortable running the offense out of the shotgun, it fits all of his strengths.
-- (GT 26, UNC 14) A quick switch as Reggie Ball calls his own number on a score. The Wreck are going to open 2-0 and they look quite strong. Watch out Miami and Virginia Tech.
-- (UGA 7, SC
-- (SC 9, UGA 7) The Cocks settle for a field goal instead. Hmmm.
-- (SC 9, UGA 7) Turnovers turnovers turnovers. Shockley is definitely not throwing the ball well.
-- (NU 38, NIU 31) A fun little game I've switched too, and the Huskies tie the game with under 15 seconds remaining!!!
-- (GT 27, UNC 21) Matt Baker threw another interception and Georgia Tech wins!
-- (NU 38, NIU 37) N. Illinois is going for two...NO Good!!....Damn I had money on them to win straight up! @^%@%!.
-- (SC 9, UGA 7) Back to the original game as a wince from a lost bet. Georgia gets an interception and is driving.
-- (UGA 10, SC 9) Field goal is up and good.
-- (UGA 10, SC 9) Mitchell so far: 9-of-16 with two interceptions.
-- (UGA 10, SC 9) Big third down for the Cocks goes wrong as Mitchell gets obliterated by the Georgia pass rush.
-- (UGA 10, SC 9) Hmm live score, The Citadel 10, Florida St. 3....Hmmm
-- (UGA 10, SC 9) Georgia has an obvious advantage at the line of scrimmage but it isn't turning into points.
-- (UGA 17, SC 9) Brown shakes, shimmies and shuffles into the end zone.
-- (Tex 0, OSU 0) Vincent Young is a man-child.
-- (UGA 17, SC 9) Two big plays for the Cocks puts them first and goal.
-- (UGA 17, SC 15) Cocks get in the end zone and will have to go for two.
-- (UGA 17, SC 15) Conversion fails...Anyone think of going for QB draws or something these days.
-- (UGA 17, SC 15) Sorry I'm distracted with this FSU game, but the Cocks failed to convert on 4th ands 19 and the Dawgs will win a very tough game.
-- (Tex 10, OSU 0) The Buckeyes believe they can with win Troy Smith...Hmmm I believe they can win with a good running game.
-- (Tex 10, OSU 3) All this passing doesn't seem to fit Ohio State correctly. Smith isn't that good a passer.
-- (Tex 10, OSU 3) And when I say that the Buckeyes break off a nice running play.
-- (Tex 10, OSU 10) See and I said the Buckeyes can't win with the pass. I'm not that smart...really :)
-- (OSU 22, Tex 16) Work has reared its ugly head again, but I've seen enough of this game to be glad that I TiVo'd it.
-- (ASU 10, LSU 7) Meanwhile this one should also go down to the wire.
-- (OSU 22, Tex 16) A field-goal from 50 to clinch a win goes wide. Five minutes remaining and Vince Young has the ball. That's scary.
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) Scary indeed! What a pitch and catch.
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) The Buckeyes have plenty of time to recover..
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) FUMBLE!!! FUMBLE!! They won't get saved by replay this time. However, a Texas touchdown still can't shut them out.
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) Fourth down. The Longhorns have to go for it! The don't get it??? Baloney!
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) I swear the Luckeyes have the refs in their pocket...Smith has a long way to go.
-- (Tex 23, OSU 22) Maybe it would be wise to take....a sack....yeah and onside it.
-- (Tex 25, OSU 22) Horns recover...Mack Brown OWNS the Big Ten baby! :)
The Game: Florida State’s post-Miami, pre-Boston College cupcake is rare. As a matter of fact this is the first time since 1995 that FSU has played a 1-AA team (the last being Central Florida in their second to last year as a 1-AA). This was originally supposed to be the start of an FSU-Texas A&M series but both teams backed up due to scheduling conflicts.
The Players: I’m looking at three freshmen today for FSU. Quarterback Xavier Lee, running back Antone Smith and receiver Fred Rouse. Three freshman all of whom were the top-rated recruits at their position. FSU has several players with nagging injuries who will sit out the game.
The Numbers: 25 and 500. FSU’s goal is to get both quarterbacks at least 25 passes and for the offense to gain over 500 yards.
The Line: Silly rabbit, lines weren’t made for 1-AA games.
The Forecast: Pain.
The Pick: FSU 59, The Citadel 0.
-- (ND 0, MICH 0): Ok, 77 degrees is not hot, it's beautiful. 97 degrees is hot.
-- (ND 0, MICH 0): The Wolverines a little banged up along the front, another sign to bet on Notre Dame.
-- (ND 0, MICH 0): So far ND is running, three plays in a row and two first downs.
-- (ND 0, MICH 0): Wow, Quinn just overshot his receiver...Yikes that was a 40-yard completion. Next play Quinn's on point, right now it's safe to say that Michigan's defense is struggling big time.
-- (ND 0, MICH 0): Quinn is on fire in the early part of this game and the Irish have a first and goal at the Michigan 5.
-- (ND 6, MICH 0): Quinn hits McKnight for the touchdown, that was almost too easy. Yes, Michigan's defense has some considerable problems.
-- (ND 7, MICH 0): Quinn was 5-of-6 for 44 yards on that drive. Michigan will need to get some first downs and establish a little clock on their drive because the defense needs to stay off the field as much as possible.
-- (ND 7, MICH 0): Henne with a nice third down conversion. When he has time he can make a secondary look silly.
-- (ND 7, MICH 0): I think the best way for Hart to get involved in the game early would be through short passing.
-- (ND 7, MICH 0): That was a huge stop for Michigan's defense, they started pressuring Quinn too.
-- (ND 7, MICH 0): BTW, my plays for the morning are: Marshall +9.5, Va. Tech -20.5, Cincinnati +17.5 and that's it I think.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): A nice end around leads to a field goal. Apparently Mike Hart is a bit shaken up. Meanwhile both quarterbacks have cooled considerably.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): Both teams yield their first sacks of the season. Quinn's sack leads to a third and long.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): And Quinn, in a reversal of fortunes, had enough time to milk a cow and convert the third down, ruining Michigan's defensive uprising.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): Seven minutes remaining in the second and there isn't much to say, both defenses have adjusted well and both offenses are struggling. Notre Dame seems to be struggling a little less.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): And just like that the Domers have a first down inside the 40.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): McKnight tore the hell out of something in his lower body on that play. Ouch. Ouch.
-- (ND 7, MICH 3): Walker has two big runs to give the Domers another first and goal and 112K people are quiet.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): The offensive tip drill works again for the Irish. Michigan needs to get going on offense.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Sorry, I took a break to watch the end of the Marshall-Kansas St. game and possibly the stupidest end of game call in history. If this doesn't make the MGOBLOG "you're fired" list nothing will.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): So where were we. Yes, Michigan needs to drive and score and they are putting together a nice little run here with a first down inside the ND 15.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Heartbreaking interception at the goal line for Michigan. Not sure exactly what Henne was looking at on that play, but it wasn't the right read.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Another great defensive stand for the Wolverines leads to another three and out. The funny thing is, since the Michigan defensive coordinator is under the gun here, they will probably blame him for the 14 points he gave up.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): How surreal is that moment when you're interviewing a parent the minute their son gets injured on the field. However credit Darius Walker's parents for carrying the interview.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): And another great defensive stand for Michigan. Damn that coordinator!
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): 93 yards to go, it's time for Henne to get on track with his receivers. The running game hasn't been there.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Deep ball to Breaston goes right through his hands. Breaston is having a horrible day.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Three and out from their end zone. Griese is still convinced he overthrew Breaston when the replays clearly show he didn't.
-- (ND 14, MICH 3): Notre Dame gets good field position but fails to get a first down. Man that defensive coordinator sucks!
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): A nice little hook in by the Domer's kicker. I need get him to help me with my short game.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Live score update -- Tulsa 9, Oklahoma 7.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Notre Dame has 28 second half total yards. FUMBLE!!! Michigan recovers in the red zone.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Three straight rushes for Michigan puts them at second and goal at the five. Nice area for some play action.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Grady fumbles...Whew he recovered, that would've been a backbreaker. Meanwhile Griese agrees wiht me that second down playaction would've been nice.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Incomplete pass, fourth down...
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Weis will take a breather. And the fourth down pass is horrible. What a waste.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Michigan can't afford to give up too many first downs. Get the Notre Dame offense off the field immediately.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Another great defensive stand for Michigan and another flat offensive series leads to a fourth down.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Well they are going to go for it...BIG PLAY to Avant, that's what I'm talking about guys, show some damn heart for a chance.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Two quarterback sneaks...No gain.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Ummm, that's a fumble gentleman. Henne never had control of it. I doubt it'll get overturned though because it's not conclusive.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Now they overturned the call, which was the right call. But Carr had a point, Henne scored on that first sneak.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Great defensive play by Woodley, doesn't look like a fumble. They called a fumble. It's not a fumble.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): They will review this. It's not a fumble.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Another good call by the officiating crew. And Michigan fans respond with more trash on the field. They should throw the trash at their own offense.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Michigan's defense does the job again, can the offense do anything?
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): Henne faces another third and long.
-- (ND 17, MICH 3): On fourth down Henne got a man. TOUCHDOWN!! Now we've got a game.
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): A few more live scores: Purdue 28, Akron 14 and threatening. Oklahoma 17, Tulsa 15. Looks like some emperors are being seen with their clothes off.
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): Third and six and the Michigan defense HOLDS again.
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): Third and 10 for the Michigan offense, it's obviously two-down territory.
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): Fourth down and the game for Michigan...make that fourth and 15.
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): And here it goes..and...what the @^#^ what that??
-- (ND 17, MICH 10): A couple of knees and a great job for the Domers....2-0. As for Michigan, time to place that blame from the defense to somewhere else. We're going to close the book on this one.
The Game: One final warmup for the Gators before their showdown with Tennessee (the Vols have the week off). I expect a lot of young guys to play and Chris Leak to improve his running in Meyer's spread option. Wouldn't hurt to kick more extra points too.
The Players: Well Louisiana Tech's players are just looking for something to do other than talk about the hurricane. They will play their hearts out in a game where they are grossly overmatched. As for Florida, I expect backup quarterback Josh Portis to get more time and many of the younger guys (Nyan Boateng, etc.) to play.
The Numbers: Florida is in the second of their annual "twinkie doubleheader" before Tennessee. Last week Leak set a school record with 17 straight completions.
The Line: Florida by 29.5, hasn't changed since it opened.
The Forecast: A substanial Gator win.
The Pick: Florida 48, La. Tech 21
Friday, September 09, 2005Around the ACC/State
Virginia Tech (1-0) at Duke (0-1): Go figure the one sport Virginia Tech can actually beat Duke at would be football. Although didn't they upset them in basketball last season? Maybe. Nonetheless this is the week we get to see Marcus Vick unleashed. Virginia Tech 41-7.
Clemson (1-0) at Maryland (1-0): I always worry about Maryland at home, they are tough at home. Clemson is usually weak on the road and they tend to underachieve a week after they overachieve. I know you see what I'm getting at. Maryland 28-24.
Army (0-0) at Boston College (1-0): The Eagles get a breather a week before FSU comes to town. Good chance to get everyone healthy. Boston College 35-3.
North Carolina (0-0) at Georgia Tech (1-0): I had a good feeling about the Wramblin' Wreck last week and I expect a little bit of a downer this week but not enough to lose. Meanwhile North Carolina tends to peak around Week 7. Georgia Tech 21-9.
Wake Forest (0-1) at Nebraska (1-0): I'm actually feeling the upset bug here but I'm going to hold off. The Deacons are certainly capable of keeping up with the Cornhuskers on offense, but their defense concerns me. Nebraska 35-27.
Other State Games
Oklahoma St. (1-0) at Florida Atlantic (0-1): Again the Owls are capable of pulling the upset but they are so undisciplined. I expect them to have a bunch of ill-advised penalties and turn the ball over four times in a loss. Oklahoma State 23-3.
Florida Int'l (0-1) at Texas Tech (0-0): As long as the over/under is around 70, I'm taking it. Texas Tech 62-21.
Florida A&M at South Florida: Perfect tuneup for the Bulls as they head into next week's game against Central Florida. USF 48-3.
Smart ass comment from Mr. Michigan aside, I did actually sit through the second half of this snore fest even if my network couldn't handle it.
I actually liked what FAU was doing early, rolling Danny Embick out, trying to find space for him to work within OSU's soft zone. But the turnovers really frazzled the team and took them out of their gameplan despite the game not being out of reach until the later half of the fourth quarter.
I still have high optismism for Schellenberger and his not-ready-for-primetime players because his defense is flying. They will always be a little soft in the middle because HS doesn't recruit players over a certain weight but the speed advantage they will have over most of the Sun Belt should be addressed.
Offensively, they were just shellshocked. This was a little unfair because Oklahoma State had struggled against Montana State last week and was particularly focused and fired up this week.
Thursday, September 08, 2005Liveblogging FAU-OSU
-- (FAU 0, OSU 0) The Owls stop the Cowboys on third down only to screw it up on fourth down. Ugggh.
-- (FAU 0, OSU 0) This is a huge game for Oklahoma State and the Big XII especially after last week. Right now it's safe to say the Big XII isn't grading out highly on any scale.
-- (FAU 0, OSU 0) If you want to know why Schnellenberger will remain somewhat successful with the Owls it's because he understands speed and conditioning. He does not recruit 300-pound lineman (or big bellies as he calls them) and his pre-season conditioning drills are definitely on par with a Marines boot camp. So the kids won't get tired.
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) No first down for the Cowboys, but they got something out of the turnover.
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) Hmm, not a good start for the Owls...
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) But another three and out for Florida Atlantic so the defense is hanging tough.
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) And a roughing the kicker call...Discipline really isn't Florida Atlantic's strong suit I see.
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) Scratch that...it's an offsides.
-- (OSU 3, FAU 0) You would think that Oklahoma State would learn that running lateral on the Owls isn't smart, especially when they are so soft up the middle.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 0) Another three and out, another field goal.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 0) I like Embick as a QB, he runs the pro-set offense pretty well. If FAU can cash in on their drives, this could be a nice little contest.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 0) Another nice roll out and pass from Embick. Guys remember this program is five years old on national television against a BCS conference team.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 0) Great open field tackle stops FAU in the red zone.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 3) The fighting Owls get on the board. Seems like both offenses could do a little damage.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 3) Despite a nice return the Cowboys are stifled for another three and out. This #92 for FAU is having a monster game already. The Oklahoma State offensive line has yet to reach mediocre status.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 3) Oof another bad turnover. Looks like Embick's arm was moving forward but there's no replay here so we move on.
-- (OSU 6, FAU 3) After three tries, the Cowboys finally bull in for the score.
-- (OSU 13, FAU 3) The Owls have to score on their next drive because the defense is getting very tired .
-- (OSU 13, FAU 3) First half ended. Seems like OSU should be up 31-3, but credit FAU's defense for hanging in there.
-- (OSU 13, FAU 3) Didn't OSU receive the kick in the first half too? This is odd.
Bowden Wants Deep Passes, More Lee..
The coaches finally had a chance to review the film and it seems like Drew Weatherford played worst than originally expected as Jeff Bowden said the quarterback "had receivers open everywhere". In the end he wishes he would've called more deep passes since the play was there.
"I wish I had more deep balls," Jeff Bowden said. "We had some formations in that I didn't have the ability to go deep in. I could have shot myself for that.
"So much of their (defensive) scheme ended up not being what it had been the last four years. You had to get in special formations to get them to give you the one-on-one (matchups)."
The other big issue was the blown opportunity to score from the first and goal at the 1 opportunity after Jae Thaxton blocked a punt. Those not in the know continue to blame Jeff Bowden for this ineptitude, but most of us knew that the head man was responsible for these calls and later that was confirmed.
For the record Jeff Bowden did have a play-action pass called for second down that was overruled for another ill-timed run.
"He told us he shouldn't (have called it)," Jeff Bowden said. "We had the call (a toss sweep) we wanted. We all kind of felt like coach Bowden wanted the belly and he did. But we knew that wasn't what we had for that situation. I should have just said, 'No, coach. That's wrong.'"
Meanwhile everyone's interested in seeing more of the young FSU receivers like Fred Rouse and Richard Goodman and the backup quarterback Xavier Lee, that includes the coaching staff as well.
"I said, 'Jeffrey we got to start rotating these young guys' ... we got to get more big-play people in there," head coach Bobby Bowden said. "(Fred) Rouse kind of sprained his ankle today. I hope it's not bad. He's a guy we would like to see a lot more of."
And of course that's good news for the other freshman quarterback who just had five plays against Miami.
That's definitely good news," Lee said. "I just want to get out there and get more used to the game."
Wednesday, September 07, 2005This Week's Blogpoll Ballot...
1. Southern Cal: (No Change) The Trojans will remain #1 until someone beats them. So good luck in 2006.
2. Louisiana State: (No Change) Soon enough the Tigers will prove me right.
3. Texas: (+3) Will face Ohio State for rights for this spot. The flagbearer for a suddenly weak Big XII.
4. Ohio State: (+1) Will face Texas for rights to the #3 slot.
5. Georgia: (+6) The big bounce on the poll this week, D.J. Shockley gives the Bulldogs a dimension on offense they haven't had.
6. Michigan: (-2) No biggie, beat ND and they will move up again.
7. Virginia Tech: (+2) I bumped them up a bit, early-season road victories like that do impress mem a little.
8. Louisville: (-5) I put a lot of pressure on the Cardinals, they didn't deliver.
9. Florida State: (+4) The offense will be much better. I wish someone would give Miami's defense a little credit. It's not like freshmen quarterbacks consistently throw for 300 on them.
10. Tennessee: (-2) Phil Fulmer rights a major wrong next week. Ainge was beaten in the spring by Clausen and had no business starting in the first place.
11. Iowa: (+1) They will crack the Top 10 soon.
12. Florida: (+2) If they can't run against Wyoming, what are they going to do against Tennessee?
13. Miami (Florida): (-3) Small slide because they did outplay the Noles in several areas (special teams not being one of them)
14. Georgia Tech: (NR) High debut? Sure what they did at Auburn was extremely impressive and they capped off a great weekend for the ACC.
15. Alabama: (+1) Southern Miss game leads into brutal conference stretch.
16. Cal: (-1) Everyone struggles in opening week, but I think the Bears get one more chance.
17. Notre Dame: (NR) A strong showing against Michigan will solidify their inclusion.
18. Purdue: (NR) Omission from last week.
19. Fresno State: (+1) Strong week of practice for Pat Hill's gang.
20. TCU: (NR) That's the way to make a debut.
21. North Carolina State: (-4) The Wolfpackk's defensive line is as good as you'll see, now they must cut down on penalties.
22. UCLA: (NR) With Marcedes Lewis, Ben Olson and Maurice Drew, there's a nice foundation to build on.
23. Arizona State: (+2) It's hard work to make Temple look that bad.
24. Oklahoma: (-17) Sooners get dropped like its hot.
25. Texas A&M: (-7) Ok, McNeal you get one more chance.
Tuesday, September 06, 2005Blogpoll Review...
1. Southern Cal: Easily defeated Hawaii and they really look the most professional of the teams out there. Given their schedule they will be tough to beat. Forecast: Stable
2. Louisiana State: DNP due to Katrina. Moving the ASU game to Tempe made a difficult schedule even moreso, but if anyone can handle it, it's the Bayou Bengals. Forecast: Stable
3. Louisville: Kentucky proved to be more fiesty at home than many people (myself included) expected. The Cardinals will rebound from a lackluster second half. Forecast: Sliding
4. Michigan: NIU is a perfectly acceptable tough opponent so winning by 16 isn't anything to be ashamed of. Defensively this team is mediocre at best. Forecast: Small slide
5. Ohio State: Typical OSU opener. This week is the real deal. Forecast: Stable.
6. Texas: See OSU. Forecast: Stable.
7. Oklahoma: Time to hit the panic button? Maybe not, but that hasn't stopped Bob Stoops from making a major change already. Forecast: Free fall.
8. Tennessee: Struggling with UAB isn't a total shocker, the Blazers are a tough team on SEC competition. That being said, Fulmer will right his wrong and start Clausen against Florida [Wire]. Forecast: Small slide.
9. Virginia Tech: Big opening weekend victory at N.C. State was as tough as I expected. They will improve offensively as the season goes alone. Forecast: Stable/Small Rise.
10. Miami (Florida): They got a quarterback, they got a defense. They need better luck and they were due to lose a game like that. Forecast: Small Slide
11. Georgia: Holy Shockley! Boise State wasn't ready for the way they play football in the dirty south. The Richt offense will meet its maximum potential now. Forecast: Up Up & Away.
12. Iowa: Would've beaten Ball State badly with or without the suspended players. Forecast: Stable/Small Rise.
13. Florida State: Offense will get better. Defense is as good as I thought. Road game against B.C. looms. Forecast: Top 10.
14. Florida: I told co-workers that I don't know how Florida can establish a running game and who was the Gators' leading rusher? Backup QB Josh Portis. Who will be running Urban's offense in 2006? Backup QB Josh Portis. Forecast: Stable/Small Rise.
15. Cal: Joe Ayoob will start again, the question is will he finish. Forecast: Stable.
16. Alabama: Brodie Croyle making through the first game is a start. I think the Tide can surprise people this season. Forecast: Stable.
17. North Carolina State: The loss will drop the Wolfpack a few slots, but the defensive line is better than advertised. They won't be down for long. Forecast: Small Slide.
18. Texas A&M: Coaching blunders contributed to an opening-week loss, but not as much as a poor defensive performance. Forecast: Fringe Top 25.
19. Auburn: Replacing a first-round backfield is harder than it looks. Doing it against a motivated Georgia Tech team was impossible. Forecast: Receiving votes...from someone else.
20. Fresno State: DNP. Forecast: Stable.
21. Boise State: Losing big at Georgia is nothing to be ashamed of...Unless your Jared Zabransky. Forecast: Gone.
22. Pittsburgh: Are you sure Walt Harris wasn't worth an extension? What a pathetic performance. Forecast: Gone.
23. Virginia: Not impressed at all. Al Groh said for anyone not impressed they can see how Oklahoma feels. Well on my poll you can look up to the Sooners. Forecast: Fringe Top 25.
24. Nebraska: Not a real inspiring performance. Bill Callahan has done some good things, but this team doesn't look like they can do much in a weaker Big XII. Forecast: Gone.
25. Arizona State: Did what they were supposed to do. Forecast: Small Rise.
Likely replacements in Top 25: Purdue, Notre Dame, Georgia Tech, Clemson, UCLA, TCU.
Report Card: Defense
Defensive Ends: Kamerion Wimbley was a one-man wrecking crew, he took Mr. Top Ten Draft choice Eric Winston to school over and over again. Darrell Burston's name wasn't called as much but he contained. Willie Jones and D.J. Norris were fine on the pass rush and the true freshman Neefy Moffett got the biggest sack of the game. Grade: A
Defensive Tackles: Andre Fluellen had a monster game in both the 4-3 and 3-4 formations. Brodrick Bunkley was almost as good. Emmanuel Dunbar was able to provide a little help and got in on a sack. But this was a two-man show and they delivers. Grade: A-
Linebackers: Ernie Sims' interception was a play that only a few can make. Marcello Church found his niche as a blitzing linebacker. Sam McGrew came in with a big sack. I didn't like how Greg Olson kept finding soft spots between the group, but I credit Olsen for being as good as he is. Grade: A-
Corners: Gerard Ross had two pass interference penalties and knocked Kyler Hall out of the way of a second interception that led to a touchdown. His reaction time is terrible and there's no way he'll be a starter by the end of the month. Tony Carter was amazing, a 5'9, 160 pound freshman had seven tackles and played almost perfect coverage. As for the reserves, J.R. Bryant had another pass interference call, but Trevor Ford played well. Grade: B- (Carter gets an 'A')
Safeties: Kyler Hall had an interception and could've had two more, he also delivered a punishing blow on Kyle Wright during a scramble. Pat Watkins was his usual study self. Backup Roger Williams provided nice support. If Hall plays this well every well this should be a strong group. Grade: A-
Punting: Chris Hall deserves a game ball. His punts were angled well and unreturnable. He even got one inside the five. Just a money performance on his part. Grade: A
Report Card: Offense
Quarterbacks: Well Drew Weatherford struggled even more than I expected, completing just seven of 24 passes for 67 yards. He also threw and interception and had at least two others dropped. While he did have to deal with a difficult pass rush at times, Weatherford made poor reads and poor throws even when he did have time. Xavier Lee got a series and a muffed a shotgun snap, but also completed a pass and got a first down on his first play. Lee will get much more time this week. Grade: D-
Running Backs: Lorenzo Booker made plays out of nothing and his big plays led to the 10 points scored. Leon Washington also made strong contributions and his nine-yard run led to the first down that clinched the game. Fullback James Coleman scored the touchdown. Grade: B
Wide Receivers: Only three catches all night, only one for any considerable yards. They suffered due to inexperienced quarterbacks and an air tight Miami defense. The downfield blocking was good when it was necessary. Grade: D
Tight Ends: Huge game, over 100 yards recei....oh yeah that was Miami's tight end. Grade: I
Offensive Line: Decent for the most part, but Miami stacked 9-10 in the box and there isn't much five (six counting the tight end) can do against ten. But when they needed one first down, they got it. The zone blocking schemes look like they will be a good addition. Grade: B-
Kicking: Kickoffs were fine and deep. Gary Cismescia kicked his first field goal, which turned out to be the difference, he missed a 22-yarder and that's inexcusable. Grade: C-
The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
More Good: Tony Carter was terrific, definitely proved his worth. Kyler Hall has had his three best career games against Miami and he finally delivered the hit that I've been waiting four years to see. Fred Rouse was a special teams demon and Lawrence Timmons continues to be one.
The Bad: I didn't like the way the QB situation was handled. It seemed like Drew was hung out to dry during that third quarter. He was struggling, he wasn't making reads and once he threw that designed rollout right into a Miami player's hands, he had to go. I understand loyalty to a starter but it's not cool to watch a guy implode in his first game. Rix imploded against Miami as a freshmen and never recovered. Both of these guys need the confidence that the Citadel will bring.
The Ugly: It was an ugly offensive game. We need to drop a 70 spot on Citadel. The receivers didn't get involved, once up 10-0 it was like they went to a shut down offense. The coaches showed their faith in Drew on the 1st and goal series after the blocked punt by not calling a playaction pass or anything. You gotta try something different. The kicking game is still a major question mark.
Other Notes: One thing I saw on TV as XL was warming up, Drew came over and tapped him on the helmet. It was a nice gesture, much like their post-game celebration.
-- Ross improved as the game went on, but I really can't see him holding on to his spot for the full season.
-- It's crucial to get the receivers involved next week. It had to be a frustrating night for them with the Canes daring FSU to pass.
-- I'd like to see Chase Goggans as the short field goal kicker. Much like having two QBs, it's ok to have two kickers or three kickers or as many as necessary to make sure 85% of our field goals are made this season.
Was it an ugly game? Probably worst than even I expected. Did the quarterbacks struggle? Absolutely. Did the offense go into a shut down mode? Absolutely.
But was it worth it for a win? Believe it.
FSU Still Has Many Questions [The Ledger]
Bowden Turns Back to Clock [Orlando Sentinel]
Streak Busters [Tallahassee Democrat]
Fear Factor Too Much for UM [Miami Herald]
Still Coming: The Good, The Bad, The Ugly
This Week's Blogpoll
Monday, September 05, 20051st Half Thoughts
-- Ernie Sims' interception is a play that only the greats make.
-- Miami's speed in the secondary is NFL quality, very few teams can boast a secondary like that.
-- Miami doesn't respect the passing game of FSU, they are getting lucky on screens but that's it.
-- Kyle Wright is warming up. You could see that the play action and the pump fake were his best allies.
-- Surprisingly the Seminoles have won the battle of special teams.
-- Kameron Wimbley (#95) is an absolute terror, he has thoroughly abused Eric Winston in the first half. Andre Fluellen (#96) is also having an excellent game.
The Game: Well it's Miami-FSU. Followers of this rivalry have their own favorites whether it's the '1987 Future Stars battle, 1989 Lights Out, the 1991 Wide Right, 1992 Wide Right II, 1993 Charlie's Revenge, 1997 Miami's Lowest Moment, 2000 Wide Right III, 2002 Wide Left, etc. etc. Always a memorable battle and made even more important when you consider it's now a conference game.
The Players: Both teams are using first-time starters at QB. Drew Weatherford has taken one snap as a Seminole and he injured his ankle on the play. Kyle Wright has a little more experience for the Canes, but he wasn't overly impressive in his garbage time either. Miami has about 10 starters returning on defense, FSU has a little less experience but the talent levels are almost equal. If it comes to a running game, the Seminoles have a depth edge but the offensive line is a question.
The Numbers: Miami has won six straight games in the series and generated 25 turnovers in those victories. Most of those are attributed to outgoing quarterback Chris Rix. Miami has outgained FSU in the last five contests and outrushed them in the last three. The Seminoles will be looking to improve on the one of the worst offenses in the school's history. Miami will look to shore a rushing defense that was downright awful in the second half of last season.
The Line: Miami by 3 and it's moved to Miami by 3.5 in the last few hours, My play is Under 38 total points.
The Forecast: There's going to be a lot of hitting tonight. Both teams have new quarterbacks so don't expect much scoring in the first half or many first downs. The special teams battle is going to be crucial and it's a battle that Miami almost always wins. It'll be a fourth quarter nailbiter and a brutally physical game throughout.
The Pick: FSU 16, Miami 13
Sunday, September 04, 2005Distractions Distractions (VT/NCSU)
Andre Woodson has great potential and Kentucky might be able to come out of the woodwork and give a couple of teams a scare, but overall they don't have much on defense to be taken seriously as a competitor.
Louisville needs to shore up its pass defense and defense in general. Offensively they are terrific, but defensively they got lazy and it showed.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) Marcus Vick is a better passer than his brother. If Mike Vick had Marcus' passing ability, he'd be the perfect QB in today's NFL.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) This N.C. State defensive line is as good as advertised. They are big and fast.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) RE: Marcus' passing skills. I would like to see the Hokies call more plays that allow him to pass over the middle of the field.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) Vick finally shows those ridiculous family skills on a crucial third and 10, he was trapped and somehow gained 20 yards.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) Fourth and inches at the 11. I am guessing Tech will go and left Vick keep it.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) I'm right again! Easy first down pick up.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 10) The Wolfpack defense strikes again, HUGE sack on 2nd and goal. And on 3rd and goal the QB draw nets short yardage.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) We're even again. This is too good for an early season matchup.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) Ummm Blackman, moves like that will get you a permanent spot on the bench.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) Second and 10 from the half-yard line and a sneak gets a few more inches. No clue what I'd call here.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) Mike Imoh's major is apparel....Eh?
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) Ooooo, Blackman REALLY blew it...His mistake will cost three points AT least.
-- (NCSU 13, VT 13) Vick shows the touch and throws a floater to Clowney for a touchdown on a third and long. Great patience in the face of the blitz.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) And the momentum has switched. Meanwhile my best friend and I are thinking of new majors for Imoh. So far we have 'Crafts', 'Pamphlets', and 'Piping'
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) More Imoh Majors: Lateral Landscaping, Fertilizing, Internet Search Engines (ISE) and Food Digestion.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) That doesn't look like a fumble to me. I believe replay will prove its worth again.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) And replay works again.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) The Wolfpack need a nice punt here and a strong, quick defensive stand.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) GREAT CALL!!! What a fake!
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) There's something about the Wolfpack offense I don't like...I guess I think they should let Davis go downfield a little more.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 13) Fourth and a little over one. I'd take the field goal. And they did.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) I don't expect an onside kick.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) I'm convinced every team has one dominating run-oriented drive in them a game, is this going be Virginia Tech's?
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Wolfpack has 11 penalties for 100 yards...Oof.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) This is a bad spot. Imoh got the first down. It'll be 4th and very short. Not field goal range. I believe he'll go with Vick.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) He does and it was too easy. The QB sneak is almost indefensible.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) With three minutes left, N.C. State needs to think about using their timeouts soon.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Big stop by the Wolfpack and a long field goal at about 45 yards.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Oh no, the Wolfpack are going to get hosed on this call here.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Long field goal with 46 seconds...Tick tock tick tock, they are going to punt instead of the field goal. Very smart move.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) N.C. State needs to something to get to midfield for a hail mary.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) 31-yarder to Tremaine Hall...That'll work and a great job by Hall to get out of bounds.
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Double hook and ladder...Cute
-- (VT 20, NCSU 16) Davis floats one to the goal line and it's intercepted...Great game and great victory for Virginia Tech.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) No money on this game, no plays yet actually. I think Louisville absolutely rolls the Wildcats today.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) Michael Bush weighs more than anyone in the Kentucky back seven. These guys are going to be gasping by the third quarter.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) Brohm already looks like he's been doing this for the last twenty years. He and Chad Henne will have a good Heisman race next year.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) At this rate Rich Brooks will be fired by Thursday. Someone will have to explain to Kentucky football program to me one day. You're in the SEC, you're in a talent-rich area of the country with a great fan base and all the administration does is make poor decision to hamstring everyone. Rich Brooks? You've got to be kidding me.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) Brohm is 5-5, 46 yards so far.
-- (UL 0, UK 0) After two unsuccessful tries, Brohm takes it in himself from the one-inch line. That looked too easy.
-- (UL 7, UK 0) Already I like what Kentucky is doing, throwing downfield and going right after Louisville's secondary.
-- (UL 7, UK 7) And Kentucky responds with incredible ease, not the best way to answer questions about that defense Louisville.
-- (UL 7, UK 7) Tinch is the equivalent of a tight end safety value in this offense, he goes across the middle and finds the seams.
-- (UL 7, UK 7) I just get the feeling that Louisville isn't concerned at all on offense. They know that Kentucky can't stop them at all.
-- (UL 14, UK 7) Woodson is starting to look more like a sophomore, big plays and big errors. Meanwhile Brohm is just a freak.
-- (UL 14, UK 7) A chink in Brohm's armor is the delayed blitz.
-- (UL 14, UK 7) Louisville is getting free shots on Woodson right now, the last of which set up the turnover.
-- (UL 20, UK 7) Bruising run after bruising run sets up Michael Bush's first score of the year. This is fine power football.
-- (UL 21, UK 7) Proper call should be Louisville's ball on the fumble at the yard line where the defender recovered the ball.
-- (UL 21, UK 7) Do they get it right? Yes they do, good job Big Ten officials.
--(UL 28, UK 7) Halftime adjustments: For Kentucky...don't turn the ball over...try to run the ball...keep taking chances on defense....For Louisville...ride the back of Bush and wear this team down....protect Brohm....keep pressuring Woodsoon.
-- (UL 28, UK 7) A first-down run for Kentucky puts their game total at around minus-8.
-- (UL 28, UK 7) Going with the no-huddle isn't a bad idea here, Woodson can get a better look at the defense like this.
-- (UL 28, UK 7) When Louisville isn't rushing the quarterback, its pass defense is really exposed. There's no excuse to give up a big play like that in a cover 3.
-- (UL 28, UK 7) Ring up #5 for Dumervil.
-- (UL 28, UK 10) Any points are a moral victory for Kentucky, now they have to play a little defense.
Auburn Gets Served...
...And Georgia Tech puts notice out to the rest of the ACC. John Tenuta's defense is flying and Reggie Ball looked more mature and in command of the offense. The emergence of Georgia Tech could make an already tough ACC into one of the top three conferences in the nation. As for Auburn, it's going to be hard work to replace a first-round backfield.
Tech-nical Difficulties [Huntsville Times]
Daniels Gets It Done Again [AJC]
No Passing Grade for Tigers [Mobile Register]
The scary thing is, I don't know what's more embarassing for the Oklahoma program. The way they ended last season or started this season. The bottom line is simple: things need to get better quick. Adrian Peterson might not be healthy and I don't know what kind of depth is behind him. The quarterbacks were atrocious. For a program of this stature to lack the offensive depth and talent necessary to compete is troubling. Where do I rank them in the blogpoll? Right now I'd say 23.
This Was No Cockroach Win [Star-Telegram]
Mandel: An Early Egg [CNN/SI]
OU Quarterbacks Fumble Opportunity [DMN]
Horned Frogs Rise Up [KRT Wire]
It's My Time
After three years of waiting, it's time for D.J. Shockley to shine. Since 2003 I've said that Shockley is the best QB on the team, unfortunately he was stuck trying to learn on offense designed for a statue like David Greene. Finally he spends a summer with the ball and Mark Richt designs a spread option that works to his strengths. Mark my words: If Shockley stays healthy, Georgis is a lock to win the SEC East.
Shockley, Secondary Leads to Rout of Boise [AJC]
Bulldogs Have New QB, Old Winnng Formula [Macon Telegraph]
Is this the start of something new or was Charlie Weis picking on a guy that he has owned in the NFL for the last five years? Either way it was a promising debut for a program that you either love or love to hate. As for Pitt....paging Walt Harris...paging Walt Harris. And Domers remember this: Ty Willingham started 8-0.
Irish Romp a Real Beauty [Chicago Tribune]
Quinn Powers Irish Past Pitt [Boston Globe]
Dodd: Let's Not Jump to Conclusions [Sportsline]
Weis Gets His Irish Up [NYT]