Monday, September 12, 2011

Week 2: The other games

In the time between whenever I got up Saturday morning and the start of the Michigan game, I did actually consume some other football-type stuff. The summary:

Ohio State survives in typically irritating fashion:
Ohio State got its annual "haha look they might lose to a crappy team aww man they didn't" game out of the way Saturday, beating Toledo 27-22 when a fourth-and-7 pass at the OSU 17 with under a minute left fell incomplete. The worst part was that Toledo actually deserved to win: They had a 336-301 advantage in yards and could have had six more points if not for a missed field goal and a botched hold on another. Instead, Ohio State remained unbeaten against in-state teams since 1921 (this would be a phenomenal streak if there were any other legitimately competitive teams in the state of Ohio -- think about it). A couple interesting observations: Braxton Miller didn't play at all, meaning Joe Bauserman is the for-better-or-worse guy at QB, and Toledo racked up 292 passing yards that were mostly the result of Eric Page running wild in the secondary. Playing a flukily close game is one thing; getting outgained by Toledo at home and needing a punt-return touchdown and a 90-yard differential in penalty yards to pull out the win is another. Saturday's trip to Miami will probably be more of a test than I originally expected.

Texas wins, Garrett Gilbert loses:
Garrett Gilbert's line in the first half against BYU on Saturday: 2 for 8 for eight yards and two interceptions. Awful. It was 13-3 BYU at the half ... and then Case McCoy and David Ash came in and combined to go 11 for 12 as UT scored two touchdowns on five second-half drives to pull out a 17-16 win. Mack Brown made the announcement everyone knew was coming Monday when he named McCoy and Ash the co-starters going forward. McCoy went 7 for 8 -- with three of those completions going to Jaxon Shipley (little McCoy to little Shipley!) -- while Ash was only 2 of 3 but also had nine carries for 36 yards. It appears that Bryan Harsin can only do so much in terms of manufacturing an offense; decent quarterback play is also kinda important, and going 2 for 8 with two picks against BYU isn't even close to decent.

South Carolina and Georgia score many points:
This was probably the most entertaining game of the day (day, not night): South Carolina 45, Georgia 42. Things I learned: Aaron Murray is very good but still a sophomore and prone to some questionable throws, Marcus Lattimore is a beast, Stephen Garcia is as hilariously inconsistent as ever and Isaiah Crowell is probably gonna be very good. I actually thought Georgia looked like the better team, but South Carolina scored touchdowns via a an interception return, a 68-yard run on a fake punt by defensive tackle (!?!) Melvin Ingram and a fumble return by Ingram in the final minutes. Garcia was not good -- he finished 11 for 25 for 147 yards with a TD and two picks -- but his team scored 45 points because of the aforementioned scores and Marcus Lattimore being his typical 27-carries-for-187-yards self. Meanwhile, Murray was ridiculous (four touchdowns and close to 300 yards on 29 attempts) outside of the one pick-six -- the guy has so much talent. Same goes for Crowell, who should be the every-down back right now (why is Richard Samuel getting half the carries?). I feel pretty comfortable saying that Georgia and Notre Dame are by far the best 0-2 teams in the country.

Hey, Oregon's offense is back:
Nevada's defense is probably awful, but still: Darron Thomas just went 13 for 19 for 295 yards and six (!!!!!) touchdowns. In case you're wondering, that's a pass efficiency of 303.05 (lol). So that's nice ... the interesting thing was that LaMichael James had 12 carries for a meh 67 yards (he's averaging all of 4.0 yards per carry this year) while uber-freshman DeAnthony Thomas had eight carries for 97 yards and two catches for 93 more. The kid can flat-out fly and might end up taking some carries away from James if he's gonna average close to 20 yards a touch. Just to clarify, I still think James will end up with like 1,600 yards, but the offensive-line issues are gonna necessitate a few adjustments in the run game. Somehow, the offense will survive.

Gene Chizik's plan is taking shape:
The final seconds of Auburn's most recent escape:

Selling your soul really works, apparently. A couple things: First, I have no problem with Mississippi State running the option there. You have a linebacker-sized quarterback (who's a very mediocre passer) and a linebacker-sized running back and you're at the 2-yard line with an offense built around various forms of the option. Don't pass it just to get an extra play -- if you need that extra play, you're gonna end up running anyway from the same spot. Secondly ...

Defensive Play of the Week: It belongs to Ryan Smith. What a freakin' tackle -- he comes from the free-safety spot in the middle of the endzone, reads the play like a book and then meets a guy who's got roughly 50 pounds on him at the 1-yard line and undercuts him so perfectly that he goes down instantly. He shall be awarded 10 Tigerette hostesses for the week and whatever amount Bobby Lowder sees fit.

Game of the Week: Hahaha ... yeah. Condensed to 28 minutes (yes!) worth of highlights:

Player of the Week: Can Denard Robinson be player of the week for playing one good quarter? Ehhh ... sure. I'd give it to Darron Thomas if Nevada had a defense or Case Keenum (458 yards and five touchdowns) if he hadn't been playing against North Texas, but things are what they are. Denard had 446 total yards, threw for 338 yards on 11 completions (that's 30.7 yards a catch) and accounted for four touchdowns in the final 14:54. Schwing. I don't remember the first three quarters anyway.

Worst play in the history of ever: Oregon State had a punt that went minus-4 yards Saturday. It set the tone perfectly for a 35-0 loss to Wisconsin that was pretty much expected after losing at home last week to (guh) Sacramento State. Check out the high-quality video:

Oregon State is just awful in every way right now.

Speaking of awful: Purdue lost at home to Rice on Saturday. I literally can't believe how far Purdue has fallen -- I'd declare them the worst team in the Big Ten if not for the existence of Minnesota, which lost at home to New Mexico State. New Mexico State! I feel like Allen Iverson right now: We're talkin' bout New Mexico State! NMSU lost to Ohio by 20 the previous week and went 2-10 last year while playing in the WAC. I'm not even sure what else to say. The bottom of the Big Ten is pretty abysmal this year; I'm eagerly anticipating the Minnesota-Purdue showdown on October 8.

The most entertaining game I've attended in a long time: The Arizona State-Missouri game Friday night was phenomenal. There was lightning everywhere from start to finish, which seemed totally appropriate for the night ASU picked to roll out its all-black unis, and the game itself was pretty entertaining: ASU takes control with help of two awesome touchdowns, blows 14-point lead following crucial fumble, survives on missed last-second field-goal attempt following two timeouts by the kicking team (???), wins in OT. More of those, please.

I'm not even sure what this means: Courtesy of my new favorite Notre Dame fan via the always-entertaining NDNation (hat tip to This Week in Schadenfreude):

I cried like an asshole.......
by guilfordnd (2011-09-11 00:32:33)

......for `15 minutes in the bathroom. and i[''m still drunk. I wanted to be as positive as I could the entire game until the pass. I crumpled up after that and cried and cried like I lost a good friend or some s--- after that pass. Tonight I let the small bluegill and two other panfish that were in my aquirium into the creek down the street. I figured I can't have anymore pussies in my man cave. I will catch some fish that will be a f---ing asshole ( like a bass) where every time I feed it it will dominate, and then s--- out the remains. call me wierd but I got nothing left. I don't know what else to do. I look forward to the fall but the gets harder and harder each year.

Umm ... OK.

Post-Week 2 top 10: We learned basically nothing this week, so changes will be minimal. Oklahoma State is the only addition after an obliteration of Arizona, and I would drop Nebraska if Virginia Tech hadn't been even less impressive.
  1. Oklahoma
  2. Alabama
  3. LSU
  4. Oregon
  5. Boise State
  6. Wisconsin
  7. Florida State
  8. Oklahoma State
  9. Stanford
  10. Nebraska


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