Saturday, October 15, 2005LiveBlogging Madness!!
USC 21, ND 21: Back and forth and Mr. Bush just went to the endzone again...This is my primary game.
PSU 18, Mich. 10: Wolverines get hosed on a fumble call, but is there anything funnier than watching Michigan fans pout when they lose? I doubt it..
Florida 17, LSU 14: Tons of yards and five turnovers for the Tigers as they are starting to feel the effects of "Les Mile" Disease again.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Brady Quinn gets a major third down, once again the Trojans make the adjustments and they've put some helmets in Quinn's chest thus far.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Another third down conversion for Quinn, the line gave him great protection.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Meanwhile the running game will go nowhere.
-- (Fla. 17, LSU 14) Russell sneaks ahead for the first down.
-- (PSU 18, Mich. 10) Henne throws a deep fade to Manningham for the touchdown! BEAUTIFUL Pitch-n-Catch!!! Henne throws it on a rope.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Big play for ND...FUMBLE!!! Keith Rivers recovers.
-- (PSU 18, Mich. 16) Henne hands off and two points! We're all tied up in Ann Arbor. Stop pouting Michigan fans!
-- Whew all three on commercial.
-- (Fla. 17, LSU 14) Tigers driving inside the Gators 5.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Leinart off the mark on 3rd and 14, Trojans will punt.
-- (LSU 20, Fla. 17) Just give it Addai and good things happen Les!
-- (Mich 18, PSU 18) Wolverines will have great field position, right around the 50-yard line.
-- (ND 21, USC 21) Quinn hooks up with Fasano and gets the ball inside the Trojans 25-yard line. It's been a battle.
-- (Mich 18, PSU 18) Henne converts a 3rd and 3 with a slant pattern to Avant.
-- (LSU 21, Fla 17) And on 3rd down Chris Leak just got yoked. He's really becoming quite the softee.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Field goal up...Good!
-- (Mich 21, PSU 18) Field goal up...Good!
-- (LSU 21, Fla 17) LSU 333 yards, Florida 158 yards...Guys just let the defense win it.
-- (Mich 21, PSU 18) What a pick! Who was that? LeBron? Almost a pick six.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Leinart, no touchdown passes today....He hasn't had much time either.
-- (LSU 21, Fla 17) Boy Leak doesn't really do his running backs many favors in that option handoff.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Leinart gets nothing on third and long.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Irish starting to use the run successfully on this worn down USC defense.
-- (Mich 21, PSU 18) We've got a review here.
-- (LSU 21, Fla. 17) JaMarcus Russell is forced out on a 3rd and long.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Irish convert a third and long on the screen! Got away with a hold there.
-- (Mich 21, PSU 18) 4th and 7 and Robinson scrambles for the first down!
-- (LSU 21, Fla. 17) Gators have a long way to drive.
-- (ND 24, USC 21) Field goal is up and no good!
-- (Mich 21, PSU 18) Robinson connects for another first down, inside the Wolverines 20.
-- (PSU 24, Mich 21) QB DRAW....TOUCHDOWN!!!!
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) Big return by Breaston puts the Wolves near mid field.
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) Henne completes a bullet to Avant for 15..
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) Michigan calls a time out.
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) A counter draw gets the first.
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) SMART play by Breaston, he dropped the ball.
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) Bad pass, Six seconds they've got to get in the end zone.
-- (Mich 25, PSU 21) TAKE A SHOT AT THE FUCKING ENDZONE!!!
-- (PSU 25, Mich 21) Henne with a skinny post to Manningham...TOUCHDOWN!!! TOUCHDOWN!!! TOUCHDOWN!!!!
-- (Mich 27, PSU 25) Can't JoePa force Michigan to go for the conversion since it's a two-point game?
-- (USC 28, ND 24) Domers inside the Trojans 30 with a first down.
-- (LSU 21, Fla. 17) Gators have 80 to go in a minute...Leak is sacked for the...30th (??) time today...
-- (LSU 21, Fla 17) Leak completes the second down pass for a first...29 seconds left.
-- (ND 30, USC 28) TOUCHDOWN IRISH! TOUCHDOWN IRISH!
-- (LSU 21, Fla 17) Leak crossed the line...He crossed the line...Doesn't he have a TV? Can't he see the Blue line?
-- (LSU 21, Fla. 17) Ball game.
*BTW Louisville-West Virginia are tied at 31 in the second OT*
-- (ND 31, USC 28) 75 yards to go and Leinart is sacked!
-- (ND 31, USC 28) Third and a TON! completes a shirt pass to Bush for 12...Fourth and 8.
-- (ND 31, USC 28) WHAT A FUCKING CATCH!!! Jarrett is down the sidelines for a HUGE GAIN!!! UNBELIEVABLE!!
-- (ND 31, USC 28) Big third and four. Bush gets the first down.
-- (ND 31, USC 28) Leinart around the the corner NO score!
-- (ND 31, USC 28) Leinart sneaks..SPINS...TOUCHDOWN!!!! TOUCHDOWN!!!
-- (USC 34, ND 31) Boy the luck works against the Irish. If Leinart doesn't pop the ball out of bounds the clock runs out...
-- (USC 34, ND 31) Squib it...It's Over!!! Sorry Sabol, I still love ya man!
The Game: For a couple of years this was the premier matchup in the ACC and last year it was thought to be huge as well. However FSU's dominance over Virginia has given the game a reputation of having more style than substance.
The Players: Probably the three best offensive lineman in this game will be out. FSU lost Matt Meinrod for the season last week while Virginia will be without Brad Butler due to a suspension and D'Brickashaw Ferguson with an injury. Both teams are also banged up on defense.
The Numbers: FSU is 12-1 against the Cavaliers since the Seminoles joined the ACC but everyone only seems to remember the one Virginia won. Most of the others haven't been very close.
The Line: Opened at FSU -7 and is anywhere from -6.5 to -7.5 depending on where you look.
The Forecast: FSU has beaten Virginia by running the ball VERY well. Whatever running plays they call it works like magic against the Cavaliers' 3-4 defense. I expect Virginia to start strong though and their athletic linebackers could cause an early disruption to FSU's short passing. In the long run, the Noles as a better team.
The Pick: FSU 27, Virginia 14
The Game: It's basically do or die for both of these teams as a second loss in the SEC will be extremely tough to overcome with Alabama, Auburn and Georgia sporting undefeated conference records. LSU seems to have recovered from a shocking loss to Tennessee, while the jury is still out on Florida.
The Players: The attention has been given to the quarterbacks Chris Leak and JaMarcus Russell but the running backs tell the story. Can Florida get production from their committee of DeShawn Wynn, Markus Manson and Skyler Thornton? Will LSU give the ball to superstud Joseph Addai more than 15 times?
The Numbers: Too many to list. LSU has won two of the last three, but Florida has won 14-of-17 overall and are 10-3 at Death Valley.
The Line: Opened at LSU -6.5 and it's dropped to -6.
The Forecast: Florida has to get its offense going or Chris Leak will suffer another beating at the hands of LSU's strong front seven. LSU needs to jump out quickly and completely take what little emotion Florida seems to have these days.
The Pick: LSU 23, Florida 17
The Game: This is an interesting rivalry because USF scored a major upset in the fifth year of the program with a 35-26 victory over Pitt in 2001. Last year Pitt finally got revenge, and got it in a big way with a 43-14 win in Tampa. Now both teams are in the same conference and already it seems like both teams don't like each other.
The Players: USF quarterback Pat Julmiste has been terrible on the road. He was 8-for-25 with three interceptions against Miami two weeks ago and most of his mistakes came in the first six minutes. Meanwhile Pitt is waiting for the Tyler Palko-Greg Lee connection to warm up.
The Numbers: USF's Andre Hall is among the Big East leaders in rushing with 519 yards. Palko is on pace to throw for half the yards he threw for last year.
The Line: Opened at Pittsburgh -2, it's now a Pick 'em
The Forecast: It's all about the first five minutes with USF. If they can avoid the turnovers and bad field position, they will win.
The Pick: USF 24, Pittsburgh 17
Around the ACC/State
I'll have capsules of FSU, Florida and USF later.
A short list of ACC games since a couple of teams are off and Clemson played N.C. State on Thursday.
Wake Forest (2-4) at Boston College (5-1): Last week Wake proved they still have a lot of fight in them, but they have to pull off a couple of upsets to get to a bowl. How well will B.C. defend Wake's multidirectional option without Matthias Kiwaunka? A win here will continue a very successful opening campaign in the ACC for the Eagles. Boston College 31-24
Georgia Tech (3-2) at Duke (1-5): A much-needed game for the Hokies, who have dropped two in a row. They are also coming off of another nine-day rest. P.J. Daniels was injured in practice on Thursday and might not play, but it shouldn't matter. Georgia Tech, 38-14
A few more games statewide.
Miami (4-1) at Temple (0-6): Another rough week for the Owls, but after watching an ESPN vignette on them it seems like they still have the spirit. Meanwhile Miami has ALL the talent, speed and execution in their corner. Miami 65-6
UCF (3-2) at Southern Miss (2-2): The Knights have left their 17-game losing streak far in the past and put themselves in a dominating position in the C-USA East with a win today? Jeff Bowers' team can close to beating Alabama, but surprisingly lost by 17 at home to Tulsa last week. I'm banking on them bouncing back, barely...So Miss 17-14
Middle Tennessee St. (1-3) at FAU (1-5): Howard Schellenberger's team got off the schnide this week and are still in a position to challenge for the Sun Belt title. They will be looking for their first home win over a team that is fresh off of an upset week over Vanderbilt. FAU 31-24
North Texas (1-3) at FIU (1-3): The last two Division I-A rushing champions will try to get things going against one of the nation's worst running defenses. Hey R.D., what the hell happened to the Mean Green? N. Texas 24-10
Monday, October 10, 2005Weekend Rewind...
I'll do grades tomorrow on this game but after a second viewing I was very pleased with the offense that has questions (580 yards) and especially the contributions from the running backs. The defense had a definite off game and those happen, especially against a team like Wake Forest that traditionally plays FSU tough. I think Chris Barclay has been one of the best running backs around and he deserves to get a lot more credit than he does. What was Jim Grobe thinking by putting Cory Randolph at receiver? The kid is a damn solid quarterback and runs the misdirection well.
With Virginia coming up the goal was to get through this game without major injuries. No dice. FSU lost its best offensive lineman, Matt Meinrod, for the season. For now John Frady will replace him. I don't know how much of a difference it will make against Virginia and their 3-4 scheme, but I'm more worried about the N.C. State defensive line.
Speaking of offenses with questions. After the game Meyer admitted that Leak had a shoulder injury and hadn't practiced all week. He's expected to play in pain this week. [SP Times] Right now the Gators are riding on the heels of a defense that can't be trusted from week to week. They are getting good production from the special teams and the pass rush but can they stop the running attack they are sure to get from LSU next week? It's hard to say.
Meanwhile the Bulldogs hung in there for the better part of three quarters and continues to improve under Slyvester Croom, hopefully that will soon turn into more victories.
Interesting game and it solidifies my thinking that Georgia is the cream of the SEC East and a serious National Title contender. They've got all the components there. They play a strong, disciplined game. They've got experience on both sides of the ball and they play excellent special teams, which is a key to me. They were much tougher than Tennessee down the stretch, the Bulldogs pounded their runnin ggame while shutting down the Volunteers completely.
As for Tennessee, I hate to say this but I feel like Phil Fulmer's time is beginning to come to a close. His teams just aren't as good as they use to be, he's not getting in as much talent as he once did. The quarterback situation was handled terribly. It's possible the situation with Alabama and the memos took a lot out of him, but his team doesn't respond. Late in the fourth quarter they gave up.
Highly entertaining game between two teams that would have their lunches handed to them by Texas. Terrible way to lose the game for Nebraska and it would've been a fitting victory because the Huskers handled Tech's offense beautifully in the second half.
But this game was strictly for my enjoyment. Both sides made great plays and terrible mistakes, there were about 100 passes attempted and lots of running north and south. Joel Filani was a stud down the stretch while Nebraska should've rushed the ball a little more in the second half.
It was this or the Big Ten game and I made the right choice. 900 yards of offense and six lead changes. I love Jeff Tedford's offense. I love what he does with Marshawn Lynch and Justin Forsett in the running game while DeSean Jackson is the best freshman receiver in the nation right now. UCLA played with a lot of heart, something that they've been questioned about over the last few years. There is another team in L.A. and another running back, Maurice Drew.
And don't sleep on Cal, they still have USC in Berkeley next month and I have a feeling Tedford's team will not go away quietly. They had 13 separate double digit leads but couldn't hold on until the end.