Saturday, September 17, 2005LiveBlogging (Whip Around Coverage)
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) As expected the Spartans speed has definitely caught Notre Dame off guard. It's safe to say that in comparison, Michigan and Pitt are much slower teams.
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) Good lord this new Orbitz game (Island Hop) is addictive as hell.
-- (Mia 3, Clem 0) Whitehurst GOES OFF on the option keeper. Damn that was one of the best shotgun option keeper I've ever seen!
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) Has Brady Quinn thrown a pass over 15 yards yet this season?
-- (Clem 6, Mia 3) The Tigers flood the field with tight ends and score a touchdown to take the lead!
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) Hmm that trick play was called at the right time and it would've worked had the execution been there.
-- (Clem 7, Mia 3) The Hurricanes look flat as a pancake, they are not a confident team anymore. There's no swagger.
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) The Irish get a much needed turnover to stop the MSU mojo, I think a two-score deficit would have been crippling.
-- (MSU 14, ND 7) Nice pitch and catch from Quinn to Stovall.
-- (MSU 14, ND 10) The turnover leads to three points.
-- (Clem 7, Mia 3) Whitehurst and Baham hook up for a big play. Miami's safeties are struggling with pass coverage. Excellent extension by Baham. The spread option is giving the Hurricanes some problems on defense.
-- (Clem 7, Mia 3) I'm starting to wonder if Clemson can get a 14-3 lead if Miami can comeback on the road. Larry Coker's noose gets tighter by the second.
-- (MSU 14, ND 10) I must've missed a turnover because the Irish have the ball again but I caught the old-school flea flicker. One of my all-time faves.
-- (ND 16, MSU 14) Touchdown city for the Irish as...the guy who wears #83 rambles 20 yards after catching a quick out. Praise Je-Sus!
-- (Clem 7, Mia 3) Jad Dean (No relation to surf rock group Jan and Dean) attempts a field goal but Devin Hester was too quick on the draw...Those Hurricanes, always trying to cheat.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 3) I guess the penalty didn't matter, the Tigers took the points.
-- (ND 17, MSU 14) MSU gets a run from Stanton and an extra 15 yards on a late hit.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 3) Teams are shying away from Devin Hester...As a matter of fact they are purposely kicking to him just to be able to take a free shot. I know Deion and Hester is no Deion.
-- (ND 17, MSU 14) Stanton connects a with a huge pass that puts Michigan inside the 15. I think Notre Dame was in a Cover Zero on that play.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 3) Miami brings in Kirby Freeman on the play! He runs a little option keeper, not very well done I might add.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) We're tied in South Bend.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Miami executes their second field goal in the game. Wow it can be done.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) Quinn shuts me up by throwing a perfect beautiful strike to Stovall but there is offensive interference on the play. Ha I knew there was a glitch.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Oof, nasty fall, please let him not be motionless..
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) A nice return gets the Spartans knocking on the door again.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Did I mention this Miami team can't tackle either.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Heads up play by the upman to take the block and get a first down with it. Of course I don't know how one gets a punt block when protected by three upmen, but who am I.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Aaron Taylor remind me of Johnny Bravo.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) Irish are driving with a few minutes to go before the half.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) Quinn shouldn't be dancing around the pocket much, he's got to go through his progressions and get rid of the ball if no one's open.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) Field goal misses, and Michigan State should have a bit of time to work with if they want to use it.
-- (MSU 17, ND 17) Deep slant goes for big yardage and the Spartans have a first and goal inside the five. I'd do some run/pass option with Stanton.
-- (MSU 23, ND 17) I = offensive genius! Stanton is a tough runner.
-- (MSU 24, ND 17) The Irish will go to a hurry up to try to get a field goal and trim the lead before the half.
-- (MSU 24, ND 17) Quinn's numbers are nice so far (13-of-25, 192 yards and two touchdowns).
-- (MSU 24, ND 17) Nice play over the middle but the clock will get to zero and both games are in the half. Thank goodness.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) No penalties for Clemson so far. If there's one unit that was VASTLY overrated going into the season, it's Miami's offensive line.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Big play by Ryan Moore nullified due to holding call. That takes away a first down inside the Clemson 25.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Reverse to Hester and hilarity ensues...Hmmm he looks trap so he decides to throw...and it's complete!! and there's no way there's not an ineligible man downfield!! Of course there is!! Nice block by Wright though.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) Big third down here for Miami and Wright's pass is complete for a rare third down conversion. I think Miami was 3-of-28 before that conversion.
-- (Clem 10, Mia 6) The Hurricanes are driving again, a long drive in this case, a strong drive featuring the running of Tyrone Moss.
-- (Mia 12, Clem 10) When in doubt Miami goes to Quantran Hill at the goal line and scores! But make no mistake, that was Tyrone Moss' drive.
-- (MSU 31, ND 17) The Spartans special teams don't play they...take it to the house.
-- (MSU 31, ND 17) Maurice Stovall is a stud, plain and simple.
-- (Mia 13, Clem 10) Miami forces and punt and roughs the kicker. Not real bright if I must say. That's seven penalties for 62 yards while Clemson has none.
-- (Mia 13, Clem 10) The Hurricanes force a 50-yard field goal that doesn't have a prayer. Great multiple defensive stands.
-- (MSU 31, ND 17) Drive stalls at the Irish lose a fumble at the goal line. And these...are the Dames of our lives.
-- (Mia 13, Clem 10) Big play gets the Hurricanes to a first and goal as the third quarter ends. What a great second half for Miami. They have completely shut down Clemson's offense and are in the process of a second long scoring drive.
-- (Mia 19, Clem 10) Moss gets two more carries and well-earned touchdown. Somebody buy that man a protein shake after the game.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 10) Clemson is driving, but it doesn't seem like they are actually going anywhere.
-- (MSU 37, ND 17) Meanwhile Michigan State is going wherever they want. Going to the 10th floor anf dropping ND off at the 6th if you will. Sorry Domers, you're still SLOW.
-- (MSU 38, ND 24) The Irish still have plenty of time but they haven't come close to stopping the speedy Spartans.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 10) Meanwhile Miami is in a prime position as Moss breaks off continuous power runs and wears down this Clemson line.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Clemson gets a HUGE sack. 1:27 left and they will get the ball.
-- (MSU 38, ND 31) Stovall catches another score and ND keeps climbing this tree.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) The Tigers will take over at their 44 with under 1:20 remaining.
-- (MSU 38, ND 31) Terrible (rotten, bad) punt gives the Irish great field position with over 10 minutes remaining.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Tigers get a first down on a slant pattern, gotta hurry. A second first down puts the Tigers at the Miami 30!
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Clemson tried to work the middle again and this time the pass is swatted down.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) What a pass! Whitehurst threads the needle between two defenders and Clemson has a first down at the Mia 10.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Miami sends the house and forces and incomplete. 26 seconds left.
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Blitz...WIDE OPEN receiver and he MISSES HIM!!!
-- (Mia 20, Clem 17) Jad Dean for the tie! YES!
-- (MSU 38, ND 31) MSU makes a huge stand and takes over still nursing their lead.
-- (Mia 27, Clem 20) Miami scored a touchdown and I don't know how because people keep bothering me.
-- (MSU 38, ND 31?) I have no clue because my jackass co-worker turned the channel..
-- (USF 7, UCF 0) The Bulls ride Andre Hall to the first touchdown in the battle of I-4.
-- (Mia 27, Clem 20) How Miami got away with that pass interference is beyond me.
-- (Mia 27, Clem 20) Fourth down for the Tigers! And they score!!! How...I don't know because I got a phone call..
-- (ND 38, MSU 38) Apparently ND scored, I don't know how though.
-- (Mia 27, Clem 27) Tigers ball with a third down and they have expunged their timeouts for the game. Bonecrushing sack....or did Whitehurst get rid of it? Woof, that's close but the refs give him the benefit of the doubt.
-- (Mia 27, Clem 27) Meanwhile Jan Dean (no relation) nails a 40-yarder. That kids got nads of stone.
-- (MSU 38, ND 38) Heading to overtime, what a game!
-- (Clem 30, Mia 27) Big pass puts Miami inside the 15 and driving towards a winning score.
-- (Clem 30, Mia 27) 3rd and 1, sweep to Moss loses a half yard!!
-- (Clem 30, Mia 27) 4th and 1 and Miami is going for the field goal...It's good, weak call..
-- (Mia 30, Clem 30) OT Number three.
-- (MSU 38, ND 38) 3rd down for ND at the 25 and Quinn misses the bomb to Stovall.
-- (ND 41, MSU 38) 42-yard field goal is good!
-- (ND 41, MSU 38) Stanton goes for 11 on a first down keeper....Meanwhile the ND announcers are raving at how smart Charlie Weis is...Yeah way to stay on task.
-- (Mia 36, Clem 30) 25-yard touchdown Tyrone Moss. Two-point conversion fails!
-- (MSU 44, ND 41) TOUCHDOWN SPARTANS!!! Option pitch wins it...Meanwhile ND announcers were in the middle of a Gerry Faust reflection rant...
-- (Mia 36, Clem 30) Whitehurst scramble and tosses...INTERCEPTION!! Game set and match!
The Game: "Well we're comin' to yo cit-aaaaay" God that song has gotten so annoying. Anyway this game is possibly bigger than FSU-Miami because these two teams are in the same division and the winner has the inside track to the ACC title game in Jacksonville. This is FSU's first road trip of the season and Boston College's first ACC game in history.
The Players: They don't get much bigger than Mathias Kiwaunka. He's the master pass rusher for Boston College and I expect he'll have his eye on FSU rookie quarterback Drew Weatherford. Florida State has a defense too and their pass rush is led by Kamerion Wimbley and Andre Fluellen.
The Numbers: FSU is 8-1 against teams they are playing in conference for the first time. FSU quarterbacks were horrendous on the road last year, as was FSU's offense in general. Boston College has not allowed a sack this season.
The Line: Opened with BC a 1-point favorite, now it's at FSU -1.5
The Forecast: Possibly a little rain, probably a lot of speed. FSU has too many athletes for Boston College, but it will be a dogfight.
The Pick: FSU 17, Boston College 13
The Game: Well for many years this has decided the SEC East, these days Georgia is part of the disucssion, but the loser is definitely on the outs. It's a great rivalry, one of the first big conference games of the year and it usually delivers the goods. Last year Tennessee won a classic, but a controversial one at that. This is the biggest game in Urban Meyer's career, he's never beaten an opponent ranked higher than 19th.
The Players: Chris Leak gets all the attention at Florida, but for what exactly? It is his 12-8 record as a starter or his status as a high school legend. Either way the junior quarterback has forever ruffled the Volunteers to the point of where they consider a battle against him personal. For Tennessee is it Rick Clausen or Erik Ainge. The players want Clausen, the coaches want Ainge.
The Numbers: The Volunteers have won three of the last four and two in a row at the Swamp. They have been able to pound the Gators with their bruising running game that will include Gerald Riggs Jr. this year.
The Line: Opened at Florida by 6.5 and has stayed stable.
The Forecast: Hard game to call here. Florida will have the luxury of a great coach and an inspiring coach with all kinds of momentum. But this Tennessee team is confident they can beat the Gators and Phil Fulmer didn't become one of the best in the SEC by making good speeches.
The Pick: Tennessee 27, Florida 23
The Game: Or the game within the game. After a heartbreaking loss to Florida State, Miami has had to wait an agonizing 13 days for another game and it's a big one. A loss to Clemson will put the Hurricanes at 0-2 and eliminate them from any national consideration and make the chances of winning the ACC very tough. Clemson is riding high after two close victories. The Tigers beat Miami in the Orange Bowl last year and they have a lotof confidence agaist this team.
The Players: Well I think Miami has a QB in Kyle Wright, however there's a good chance he could start his career 0-2 and it's not really his fault that the line is overrated the special teams has been horrible. Greg Olson will probably be guarded better than he was against the Seminoles. Meanwhile Clemson has found balance for Charlie Whitehurst and the best way to beat Miami is to run on them.
The Numbers: Miami is only 5-4 in ACC play, but the Canes are around 92% in winning games after losses over the last 20 years. A 2-0 conference record will give Clemson the inside track for the division.
The Line: Opened at Miami by 7.5, now stands at 7.
The Forecast: Miami will rebound on offense and keep Clemson's offense at bay with their tremendous defense.
The Pick: Miami 27, Clemson 17
The Game: This is actually quite a long-awaited first-time matchup for followers of both teams. Of course the big problem is that instead of choosing a noon matchup that would've drawn a much larger crowd to Raymond James stadium, the game will compete with Florida State at 7:45 and the big Florida-Tennessee matchup at 8 p.m. Poor decision for the USF administration and let's hope the UCF group is smarter with their game next year. UCF, a program that has faltered since Daunte Culpepper left needs this game and is lobbying for a 10-year contract. USF, on the other hand, has went from Division 1-AA to BCS conference in eight years and would rather consider themselves a rival to Florida's "Big Three" and is apprehensive about an extension. In other to justify USF's thinking, this is a must-win game.
The Records: UCF 0-1, USF 1-1.
The Players: Both Steven Moffett (UCF) and Pat Julmiste (USF) look like they've turned the corner as reliable QBs. USF has good receivers with bad hands so don't be surprised if QB/Athlete Courtney Denson lines up in the slot. Both defenses are a little reckless and undisciplined but pretty fast. The difference will be the running backs and USF's Andre Hall is probably the best running back in the state.
The Numbers: This is the first matchup between two schools that are separated by less than 100 miles. UCF has a 16-game losing streak, which is the nation's longest. USF has lost its last four games against Division 1-A opponents.
The Line: Opened at USF by 8, has moved to USF by 7.5
The Forecast: In a game like this you tend to lean towards the best player on the field, that player is Andre Hall. I expect this to be a very fun, spirited matchup.
The Pick: USF 27, UCF 20.
Around the ACC/State..
I'll take a closer look at FSU-BC and Miami-Clemson a little later.
Virginia (1-0) at Syracuse (1-1): The Cavaliers are going to be one of those tough teams to figure out. They've obviously got the talent to compete, but do they have the moxie to actually win the games that count. If so they have to beat teams like Syracuse on the road in early-season games. Virginia 24-17.
West Virginia (2-0) at Maryland (1-1): Even in a loss to Clemson, the Terrapins proved that they will not be an easy out for anyone on their schedule. Both teams have lots of new talent but Maryland is home and they've got the Fridge. Maryland 23-20.
VMI (1-1) at Duke (0-2): I guess this is as good a chance as Duke will get to post a 'W' this season. Duke 31-13.
Ohio (1-1) at Virginia Tech (2-0): I give Frank Solich credit, he's not going to make rebuilding the Bobcats an easy job. And I'm sorry Frank Beamer is no Dave Wannstedt. Virginia Tech 38-7.
E. Kentucky (0-2) at N.C. State (0-1): Another annual cupcake for the Wolfpack. N.C. State 48-0.
East Carolina (1-0) at Wake Forest (0-2): The normally-tough Deacons have had a difficult time bouncing back from the OT loss to Vanderbilt a couple of weeks ago. This might be one of the last times ECU is considered a gimme. Wake Forest 24-13.
UConn (2-0) at Georgia Tech (2-0): The Wreck have a decisive experience and talent edge, but the Huskies are very well coached and will not back down on the road. The maturation of Reggie Ball continues as a showdown with Virginia Tech looms. Georgia Tech 28-17.
Wisconsin (2-0) at North Carolina (0-1): My co-worker (and Wisconsin grad) Patrick says that the only way the Badgers can be beaten is to pass on them...Fair enough, but the Tar Heels will also have to get more out of their running game than the 61 yards they got last week. BTW Wisconsin has scored 121 points in two games this year, it took them seven games to reach that total last year. North Carolina 30-27.
And since I'll be looking at Florida-Tennessee and USF-UCF a little later, I'll add in the only other Division 1-A state game being played today.
Florida Atlantic (0-2) at Minnesota (2-0): The Owls dropped an offensive bomb on national TV last week, but they did show a lot of speed on defense which should help them cover the 31-point spread and keep Laurence Maroney from gaining 300 yards. Eventually Schnellenberger's team will win these games, but they are too young right now. Minnesota 49-21.
Friday, September 16, 2005Discussing FSU-BC (Part 2)
That is what I like to hear. The Maryland game sounds most appealing. Our staff will give the underneath stuff too. In fact our MLB Ray Henderson is great in coverage. Tackling a RB full of steam? Not so much.
I know he has looked awful but I am worried about Lee more than Weatherford. BC has been able to contain pocket passers. It's the guys who can move who have given our defense fits.
Our QB is a big question mark too. Earlier in the week, I said I wasn't worried about his performance, but now that he has shot his mouth off in the papers doubt is starting to return. Quinton Porter has got all the tools, but in seasons past displayed Rix-like qualities. Maybe not as careless, but certainly getting over anxious under pressure. Where Rix might have thrown a bad pass. Porter often tried to run for the first down...when we needed 20. Is this season's patience and presence here to stay?
Hey, we are pretty far into this exchange and I haven't mentioned our running game. It used to be our bread and butter, but the guys who share the carries now have been unimpressive. They don't have the raw skill to make something out of nothing and often have trouble reading blocks and staying on their feet. I'd be surprised if we get more than 100 yards on the ground.
Everyone's worried about Lee. It's like the coaches purposely dangle Lee in the fan's faces and then go with the underwhelming guy. Now it looks like Lee won't even get in on a rotation. I really don't understand what they are doing with the quarterback situation. Eventually Lee will have to start because eventually FSU will have to go to a spread attack that favors Lee over the more traditional-drop back passer that Weatherford is.
I don't think anyone could be as careless as Rix. I mean it was impossible to do the stupid things he did. Didn't Porter redshirt last season, I tell you after a while you swear the light will just go off in these QBs heads, but it doesn't happen.
If BC isn't running, what exactly are they doing on offense? Going back to Flutie ball?
Porter did redshirt last year. And he has big shoes to fill as Paul Peterson went 11-2 as a starter, was gutty and a crowd favorite.
I hope the light is on and not just flickering. Carson Palmer gives every fan hopes for a QB coming together in his senior year.
I don't see running and don't see long ball Saturday. Buckle up for a lot of short passes and screens. In fact, I think BC will emulate Miami and throw to our Tight End Chris Miller. He doesn't have Olson's (sp? is it Olson or Olsen) speed, but he has reliable hands and will get open. Can a Tight End and some screens be enough? I think so. I like the under (38 points) in this game.
This statement of course leads to the question of why FSU cannot cover the tight end, which is usually followed by why doesn't FSU throw to the tight end. I'm not sure if the coaches realize it is an eligible receiver whether the position is used or not.
I'd say that's a good plan. Right now I'd predict that Miller will have a career game win or lose if they choose to use him. Miami tight ends are in another world. Sheesh, Shockey, Winslow, now Olsen...Damn.
I think the final score will be 17-13, so I'm going with the under too, it seems too risky to think otherwise. I expect FSU to run quite a bit with Leon Washington and Lorenzo Booker, probably run to the corners and if they get an early lead, it'll be three yards and a cloud of dust.
I think it will be an ugly game. (Of course Musberger would call it a classic.) I see a lot of field goals. My guess, BC wins 20-13.
Thursday, September 15, 2005Discussing BC-FSU (Part 1)
Here's Part 1 the transcript.
What's up Bill,
So what do YOU think of the game. Seems like most of my Seminole brethren expect an easy win, a few of us (myself included) think it's going to be a dogfight, especially if it's raining. Most of my people seem to think FSU's speed on turf will be too much, but I think the turf actually neutralizes a lot of the speed because BC is going to benefit as well. So what do you feel about this game?
There is a strong streak of pessimism in every BC fans heart. We’ve been letdown too many times before (I have hotel reservations for last year’s Fiesta Bowl to prove it) to every think this will be easy. This game is going one of two ways: dogfight or FSU is going to kill us. I am not so much worried about the speed. BC can hold their own and scheme around it. I am much more worried about the inevitable big play. Can this team stay composed if FSU blocks a punt or picks off an early pass? That is what scares me.
My hope really lies in Jeff Bowden. Is he as bad as his rep? Will he over think this and try to pass against BC? If I were Jeff, I would do what Syracuse did last year. Run. Run. And then run some more.
Hard to really say with Jeff. The problem with Jeff is that the final call goes to Bobby and sometimes (hell a lot of the time) the coach is stubborn in his ways. Look at the Miami game when FSU had 1st and goal at the 1. Miami is putting 11 in the box, Jeff calls for a playaction on second down and Bobby overrules him with another run that, of course, nets -2 yards.
I've always wondered what would happen if Jeff was allowed to call a full game. He won't be allowed this week and I believe FSU will have a real conservative gameplan. There doesn't seem to be a reason to pass against BC, especially if it's raining. The fact that Weatherford is starting is alone the result of an overly conservative gameplan.
Don't worry about the rain. If anything it will take the crowd out of it. BC fans enjoy tailgating more than they enjoy getting wet. And no one goes overly conservative like Mr. Marine, Tom O'Brien. It amazes me sometimes that he was the one calling the plays when UVA handed FSU their first ACC loss.
Give me some hope. The last few seasons the 'Noles have lost games at Clemson, at Maryland and at North Carolina. I also remember close calls at Syracuse and Wake. What did these games have in common? What do they do differently on the road that keeps these games closer than they would be at Doak?
Well each game has it's own issues and most of them deal with Chris Rix being Rix and Bobby Bowden afraid to yank him.
at UNC (2001): Hmm I vaguely remember that game. It was the second Saturday after 9/11, remember college was basically canceled the week before. It was tied 7-7 at the half and Rix just imploded in the second half. Three or four turnovers, most of them stupid and a horrible penalty took away a touchdown pass to Javon Walker that would've tied the game at 17. In the end FSU lost 41-9 because they couldn't hold on to the ball.
at Clemson (2003): Was another Rix beauty, three turnovers, all horrible, and Bowden didn't yank him until it was too late. The weird thing was that Fabian Walker came into the game and threw for almost 200 yards and two touchdowns (one of which was called back) in the fourth quarter! Have Bowden yanked Rix at the end of the first half, he might've won the game.
at Maryland (2004): Well Wyatt Sexton was playing at this point so the blame goes squarely on a poor offensive gameplan that was either dive running plays or 50/50 deep balls. Maryland was giving them the underneath stuff, but the staff wasn't taking.
And the other close games are the same. You've got either an abnormal amount of turnovers or poor play calling/execution or both. You want hope? How about the fact that Weatherford committed three turnovers last week against the Citadel.
The official blogpoll and here's my individual ballot.
And a quick rundown of why each team went where they did.
1. Southern Cal: (No move) Who's better?
2. Louisiana State: (no move) Great character victory in a "home" game with a hostile environment.
3. Texas: (no move) They successfully defended their spot.
4. Georgia: (+1) Give South Carolina credit for being a tough opponent.
5. Virginia Tech: (+2) Another easy OOC fror the Hokies (Ohio U).
6. Notre Dame: (+11) Big bounce? Sure, but the Irish deserve it.
7. Louisville: (+1) I think the Cards will look strong this week.
8. Florida State: (+1) Tough match against BC upcoming.
9. Tennessee: (+1) If the Vols beat Florida and LSU back to back (both of the road) where do I rank them?
10. Florida: (+2) Urban Meyer finally gets a chance to prove himself as a coach.
11. Miami (Florida): (+2) Will be looking for revenge on Clemson for 2004 loss.
12. Ohio State: (-8) Good game, but you lost. Starting Troy Smith is a smart move.
13. Georgia Tech: (+1) Reggie Ball just continues to get better, they've got a big road game at Miami coming up soon.
14. Michigan: (-8) No quality wins, a terrible home loss, they should be lucky they are ranked so high.
15. Alabama: (no change) Brutal conference schedule begins soon.
16. Cal: (no change) Should've beaten Washington badly.
17. Fresno State: (+2) Big game at Oregon this week
18. UCLA: (+4) This week could be Karl Dorrell's finest moment.
19. Boston College: (NR) I should have ranked them last week
20. Arizona State: (NR) Actually I had them 23 last week but accidentally typed Arizona. They loss, but they won (if that makes sense)
21. North Carolina State: (NR) Doesn't seem like these guys have played in months.
22. Purdue: (-4) Tough time with Akron?
23. Vanderbilt: (NR) Started the season with two road wins.
24. Clemson: (NR) Short-lived ranking? We'll see on Saturday.
25. Texas A&M: (no change): Aggies should handle SMU easily.
Tuesday, September 13, 2005Report Card: Defense
Defensive Ends: Darrell Burston got his name called a little more this week as Kamerion Wimbley played sparingly. Everyone from Neefy Moffett to Anthony Kelly got considerable time and spent all day pressuring the QB. Grade: A-
Defensive Tackles: With Andre Fluellen taking the week off, true freshmen LeTroy Guion took the start and did so well that the other true freshmen, Kendrick Stewart, has decided to take a redshirt. Brodrick Bunkley had three more tackles for losses. Emmanuel Dunbar and Aaron Jones also looked great. The team gave up nothing on the ground. Grade: A-
Linebackers: Kevin Steele rotated nine of them early and often and the quality of play never dropped. On glance A.J. Nicholson made the biggest plays of the starters. Lawrence Timmons and Rodney Gallon were freaks with the reserves. Grade: A-
Cornerbacks: Didn't really get tested. Tony Carter had another terrific game. The Citadel's QB didn't have time to throw the ball very far. Grade: B+
Safeties: Pat Watkins started the second half with an interception and a touchdown followed two plays later to get the rout started. Little used reserve Michael Kornegay showed off with his extended PT. Grade: A-
Punting: Chris Hall continued his strong kicking in the first half and wasn't needed in the second. Grade: A
Report Card: Offense
Quarterbacks: Drew Weatherford was named ACC Rookie of the Week for his 342-yard two touchdown performance on Saturday. Unfortunately he also had three turnovers, one of which was returned for a touchdown, in a rough first half. Xavier Lee also had a turnover in the first half but returned and went 5-of-8 for over 140 yards and a touchdown in a little more than a quarter's worth of work. Lee also scrambled for a 24-yard score. Grade: B-
Running Backs: Leon Washington scored and I believe Lorenzo Booker did as well, but both played sparingly. True freshman Antone Smith showed nice speed and moves on one run and scored on another. James Coleman also scored a touchdown in the second half. Grade: B
Wide Receivers: The underclassmen showed out. Freshman Greg Carr and sophomore De'Cody Fagg both went over 100 yards receiving, Carr scored twice. True freshman Rod Owens scored the first FSU touchdown of the game. Junior Chris Davis also had over 100 yards receiving and another freshman, Fred Rouse had the most exciting plays of the day with a 54-yard reception and two exciting punt returns. This group is going to be explosive. Grade: A
Tight Ends: I think Matt Henshaw caught a career-high three passes for 14 yards. If that's not worth a passing grade I don't know what is. Grade: B-
Offensive Line: The blitz caused Weatherford's first turnover and the fact that The Citadel did a good job of applying pressure and the line let Weatherford get hit especially hard on several occasions. Starting center David Castillo was out but backup John Frady played admirably. Grade: C-
Kicking: Gary Cismesia kicked a career-long 47-yard field goal in the first half and was great on extra points and kickoffs. Even Chase Goggans got into the act and made a couple of extra points. Grade: A-
Monday, September 12, 2005Blogpoll Review (#2)
1. Southern Cal: The Trojans will remain #1 until someone beats them. So good luck in 2006. Forecast: No change
2. Louisiana State: An amazing win for an amazing team of character. Forecast: No change.
3. Texas: The flagbearer for a suddenly weak Big XII defended this spot. Good job. Forecast: No change.
4. Ohio State: Great game, but you lost. Life is unfair. Forecast: Going down.
5. Georgia: Sure the "Shockley for Heisman" campaign took a major plunge, but last time I checked they are still first place in the SEC East. Forecast: Stable.
6. Michigan: The "poor" defense performed admirably. I wish I could say the same for the poor offense. Forecast: Free Fall
7. Virginia Tech: Did what they were supposed to do against Duke. Forecast: Stable.
8. Louisville: Enjoying the bye week. Forecast: Stable
9. Florida State: As exepcted the offense was much better against The Citadel. Don't expect the same against Boston College. Forecast: Stable.
10. Tennessee: Waiting for the Gators. Waiting patiently. Forecast: Stable.
11. Iowa: Will they stay or won't they. That's the question. I expect Iowa to bounce back eventually, but they were terrible this week. Forecast: Free Fall.
12. Florida: Running game improved quite a bit, should give Tennessee something to think about. Forecast: Stable/Small Rise.
13. Miami (Florida): Head to Clemson on Saturday, lost to the Tigers last year. Forecast: Stable.
14. Georgia Tech: Avoided a potential trap game against a somewhat decent UNC team. Reggie Ball continues to impress. Forecast: Stable.
15. Alabama: Yes yes it was a great catch, he'll probably win an ESPY...That being said, I would've liked for 'Bama to look better going into conference play. Forecast: Stable.
16. Cal: Giving the Bears one more chance was the right move, that can be a scoring machine. Forecast: Stable.
17. Notre Dame: Well now, this schedule doesn't seem as hard as it once did. Forecast: Big Bounce.
18. Purdue: Struggling with Akron doesn't get any points with me. Forecast: Small Slide.
19. Fresno State: Blowout victory against weak opponent, looks like the other FSU is ready for whatever. Forecast: Small rise.
20. TCU: Nice knowing ya! Forecast: Over and Out.
21. North Carolina State: Even on a bye week that Wolfpack defense is stout!. Forecast: Stable.
22. UCLA: Not sure why everyone hates Karl Dorrell (no, actually I do), but this team is pretty good. Maybe they can't stop the run but who in the Pac-10 can. Forecast: Small rise.
23. Arizona State: It's rare that I move a team up after a loss, but they represented the Pac-10 very well. Forecast: Small rise.
24. Oklahoma: This team has problems so I'll drop them now to save the pain of dropping them later. Forecast: See ya.
25. Texas A&M: A Bye week does this team good. Forecast: Stable.
On Today's Calendar...
FSU Report Card
New Blogpoll (Possibly)
I'll also be doing a joint BC-FSU roundtable with Eagle in ATL this week as well.
Sunday, September 11, 2005Inspiring Performance...
If you weren't as LSU fan this week, you have problems. I love Arizona State, I love the women, I love the offense. Heck one of my good friends is a die-hard Sun Devil. That being said, there was no way I wanted them to beat LSU. It wasn't that LSU needed this victory, it was that they needed to play this game. They needed a platform to release the emotions that have been kept inside for days as they watched their people suffer. Winning a football game won't repair a home or save a life, but it might've made someone smile for a few hours. And that's a start.
LSU's Special Delivery [Shreveport Times]
LSU Extends Drama to the End [Arizona Republic]
Sun Devils Kick it Away [East Valley Tribune]
Be honest, you didn't think Mack Brown could do it. Sure he won a Rose Bowl, but that was a neutral site game. Brown couldn't go on the road and coach his team to a victory against a Top 5 team. But he did. In a matchup that truly lived up to the super billing it was given, the Longhorns proved they belong at the top of the polls with a come-from-behind victory over Ohio State.
Young Better Than Two Buckeyes [Tribune]
Hookup Gives Horns Win [Boston Globe]
Everything Bigger for Texas [LA Times]
Longhorns Get Last Laugh [DMN]
Two games in the book for new coach Charlie Weis and his Notre Dame team. Last week the Irish won with offense and on Saturday they won with an opportunistic defense, causing two red-zone turnovers. The schedule doesn't get much easier for the Domers, but the road trips will soon give way to five consecutive home games, including Southern Cal and Tennessee.
The Delighting Irish [Sun-Times]
Weis Off to Historic Start [Indy Star]
Rockne, not Rocky, Start for Weis [Tribune]
Michigan Fumbles Game Away [Free-Press]