Sunday, September 29, 2013

College Football: Week 5 Results

Except for the upset of #11 Oklahoma State by a struggling West Virginia (30-21), there were no really big surprises this week so don’t expect any major changes in the rankings. (You might see #6 LSU and #9 Georgia flip positions and a couple of others may slip lower having lost to higher ranked teams.)

The numbers on the left are the rankings in the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches’ Poll. (CBSSports does a preseason poll but then waits a few weeks to weigh in on a regular basis—or at least they did last year.) NR means the team is “Not Ranked” in that particular poll. The team’s current record is in parentheses following their name.

1/1 Alabama (4-0) The Crimson Tide shutout the #21 Ole Miss Rebels (3-1) 25-0. Oh oh! Alabama’s defense finally showed up! They not only shut out Ole Miss, they also had a safety meaning they alone provided enough points to win the game. Cade Foster kicked three field goals (including a 53 yarder), T.J. Yeldon had a 68-yard TD run and Kenyan Drake a 50-yard TD run, but those scores were icing on the cake. Yeldon had 17 carries for 121 yards while Drake toted the ball 12 times for 99 yards. Ole Miss had just 205 net yards on offense, 46 of them on the ground.

2/2 Oregon (4-0) The Ducks drubbed California Golden Bears (1-3) 55-16. It rained in Eugene—hard. And Ducks like water, so…. It was 27-0 at the end of the FIRST quarter and if Cal hadn’t scored the last two TDs in the game…. Bralon Addison had little trouble with the rain. He returned TWO punts for TDs. One went 75 yards and the other went for 67 yards. Byron Marshall carried the ball 19 times for 130 yards and two TDs. Marcus Mariota tossed two TD passes and ran for another TD for the Ducks.

3/4 Clemson (4-0) The Tigers routed the Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-3) 56-7. Tajh Boyd completed 17 of 24 for 311 yards and three TDs. He also rushed 17 times for 69 yards and a TD. This game was never in question.

4/3 Ohio State (5-0) The Buckeyes beat the # 23 Badgers of Wisconsin (3-2) 31-24. Braxton Miller returned to QB the Buckeyes and tossed four TD passes. Joel Stave did his best to keep Wisconsin in the game completing 20 of 34 for 295 yards and two TDs. Most of those yards were to Jared Abberderis who had ten catches for 207 yards and one of those TDs.

5/5 Stanford (4-0) The Cardinal dominated the Washington State Wildcats (3-2) 55-17. Rain and wind had Wazzu crowding the line of scrimmage so Kevin Hogan threw for 286 yards and three TDs. The Cardinal defense did their part, too. Jordan Richards returned an INT 30 yards for a TD and Trent Murphy did the same.

6/6 LSU (4-1) The Tigers fell to the #9 Georgia Bulldogs (3-1) 44-41. Perhaps the most exciting game of the weekend saw Aaron Murray complete 20 of 34 passes for 298 yards and four TDs—he also ran for one score on a QB sneak—while his ex-roommate Zach Mettenberger went 23 of 37 for 372 yards (a personal best) and three TDs for LSU. Georgia’s Todd Gurley had 8 carries for 73 yards before leaving the game with an ankle injury—in the second quarter. Marshall Morgan hit three clutch field goals—including a 55-yard personal best—for Georgia.

7/7 Louisville (4-0) The Cardinals had this week off.

8/8 Florida State (4-0) The Seminoles started slowly against the Boston College Eagles (2-2) who led 17-3 early in the second quarter. Then Jameis Winston took over and the Seminoles won 48-34. Winston tossed three TD passes in the second quarter including one as time ran out in the half. He tossed another in the third quarter and P.J. Williams returned an interception 20 yards for a defensive TD. Chase Rettig tossed four TDs and Andre Williams ran 28 times for 149 yards for the Eagles.

9/10 Georgia (3-1) The Bulldogs edged the #6 LSU Tigers (4-1) 44-41. See above for more.

10/9 Texas A&M (4-1) The Aggies beat the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-2) 45-33. The return of starting QB Brandon Allen (17 of 36 for 282 yards and three TDs) fired up the Razorbacks but the Aggies got out in front early and were able to stay there as they continually answered each Arkansas score with one of their own. Allen did toss two INTs, one of which Deshazor Everett returned 34 yards for an Aggies’ TD. Johnny Manziel went 23 of 30 for 261 yards and two TDs and rushed for another 59 yards on 9 carries. Alex Collins carried the ball 14 times for 116 yards for Arkansas.

11/11 Oklahoma State (3-1) The Cowboys got beat by the West Virginia Mountaineers (3-2) 30-21Clint Trickett, the third WVA quarterback to start this year, may have a few more starts from here on out. He completed 24 of 50 passes for 309 yards and a TD. Ishmael Banks returned an INT 58 yards for a Mountaineer TD and Josh Lambert connected on three field goals as well as three PATs for WVA to lead all scorers. J.W. Walsh competed 20 of 47 attempts for 322 yards and three TDs but also tossed two INTs including the one to Banks.

12/13 South Carolina (3-1) The Gamecocks lost QB Connor Shaw in the first quarter and had all they could handle against the Knights of UCF (3-1), but handle it they did 28-23. Running back Mike Davis stepped up rushing 26 times for 167 yards and three TDs. UCF had a 10-0 halftime lead but whatever Coach Steve Spurrier said at halftime seems to have worked. That and the defense and Davis’ running.

13/14 UCLA (3-0) The Bruins had this week off.

14/12 Oklahoma (4-0) The Sooners beat the #22 Fighting Irish (3-2) 35-21. Notre Dame turned the ball over on INTs early and it cost them. Corey Nelson returned one 24 yards for a score while the other set up a Damien Williams rushing TD to put the Sooners up 14-0 early in the first quarter. They (the Sooners) accepted the gifts and never looked back. George Atkinson did have an 80-yard TD run and Tommy Rees did toss two TD passes for the Irish, but those three INTs…. Blake Bell went 22 of 30 for 232 yards and two TDs and rushed 12 times for 59 yards for Oklahoma.

15/15 Miami (Fla.) (4-0) The Canes routed the Bulls of South Florida (0-4) 49-21. Stephen Morris lead the Hurricanes to a substantial lead as he completed 11 of 16 passes for 222 yards and two TDs before leaving the game with an ankle injury. Ryan Williams took over and completed 8 of 14 for 153 yards and another TD. Jimmy Gaines recovered a USF fumble in the end zone for a Miami TD while Julius Forte returned an interception of a Ryan Williams pass for a Bulls score.

16/20 Washington (4-0) The Huskies handed the Arizona Wildcats (3-1) their first loss of the season 31-13. Rain and wind played a role as the Huskies handed the ball to Bishop Sankey over and over. Stankey carried for a school record 40 times gaining 161 yards and scored a TD.  Ka’Deem Carey had 30 carries for 132 yards for the Wildcats.

17/16 Northwestern (4-0) The Wildcats had the weekend off.

18/17 Michigan (4-0) The Wolverines also had the weekend off.

19/18 Baylor (3-0) Add the Bears to the list of teams that were idle this weekend.

20/19 Florida (3-1) The Gators beat the Kentucky Wildcats (1-3) 24-7. Matt Jones carried the ball 28 times for 176 yards and a TD. Kentucky had only 173 net yards on offense. Gators beat Kentucky for the 28th consecutive time.

21/21 Ole Miss (3-1) The Rebels got shut out by the #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0). Roll Tide. More above.

22/22 Notre Dame (3-1) The Irish host the #14 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0). The Irish will go down but not without a fight. It will come down to mistakes and the Sooners will cause more than they commit. See above for more.

23/24 Wisconsin (3-2) The Badgers fell to the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (5-0) 31-24. See above for more.

24/25 Texas Tech (4-0) The Red Raiders were idle this week.

25/23 Fresno State (4-0) The Bulldogs beat the Hawaii Rainbow Warriors (0-4) 42-37. A tale of two games: FSU jumped out to a 42-10 lead and then held on as Hawaii scored 27 unanswered points. Derek Carr completed 33 of 47 for 324 yards and two TDs while also running for a TD, but he also tossed two INTs. Sean Schroder led the Warriors’ comeback going 17 of 27 for 321 yards and three TDs while Steven Lakalaka rushed for two second half TDs for Hawaii.

Saturday, September 28, 2013

Quiet Day At the Aerie

Friday morning was my first back at physical therapy in a week. Oh, I got some exercise (mostly walking with some stationary bike) and some hot tub time while Terry and I were in Portland with Rick and Sandy, but it was a far cry from what I should have been doing. And therapy being of the dry land exercise type proved even more that I missed my workouts. Afterwards my knees ached and were noticeably swollen.

This being the Fabulous 1890's Weekend in Mansfield (celebrates the first night football game), there were all kinds of events going on. I would have gone to more if my knees were feeling as good as they did prior to PT on Friday. Terry and I limited ourselves to a visit to the farmers' market before going to the church's turkey dinner on Friday. Then we went to the firemen's breakfast this morning.

I spent Friday evening applying ice to my knees. I continued doing that this morning and saw/felt some improvement, but this afternoon, while watching football, I opted for heat. That seems to be working even better. (Or, maybe, it's just that the heat has been applied for a longer period of time. There was lots of football to watch!)

The weather has been excellent with cool--low 40s nights--and bright sunny 70 degree days. While we had 1.15 inches of rain while we were away, it hasn't rained since we returned--but fog!!?? Boy have we had fog--and dew--every morning. Mostly the fog stays down in the valleys below us giving the impression of a white sea with little islands poking above the surface. Occasionally we can see the fog wafting slowly up the hillsides making it appear as though we were in the Smokey Mountains. Rarely, the fog encompasses us and produces and ethereal atmosphere in which visibility is very, very limited.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

College Football: Week 5 Polls and Schedule

Unlike last week, there aren’t any obvious blowouts on this week’s schedule. I don[t see anyone on the list below posting 70 points or more. Fifty-plus maybe, but not 70. There are no FCS teams either. There ARE quite a few games pairing ranked teams—four of them. There are also several undefeated and unranked teams playing ranked opponents which could offer some surprises. At the end of the day there could be a whole lot of shaking going on. Especially if there are a couple of upsets. A lot of teams are idle this week, too.

The early games (Thursday and Friday) include VA Tech (3-1) at Georgia Tech (3-0) on ESPN Thursday and while neither team is ranked, that game looks interesting. Friday night, Middle Tennessee (3-1) goes to Salt Lake City to face a struggling BYU team (1-2). Although they are 21 point underdogs, The Blue Raiders could surprise. That game is on ESPNU.

The numbers on the left are the rankings in the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches’ Poll. (CBSSports does a preseason poll but then waits a few weeks to weigh in on a regular basis—or at least they did last year.) NR means the team is “Not Ranked” in that particular poll. The team’s current record is in parentheses following their name.

1/1 Alabama (3-0) The Crimson Tide will host #21 Ole Miss (3-0) this weekend. Someone has to finally lose. I think it will be the Rebels but with Bama’s defense being so shaky earlier this year, it might take a whole lot of offense.

2/2 Oregon (3-0) The Ducks host the California Golden Bears (1-2) who haven’t been so golden so far. The Ducks should roll to an easy victory in this one…again.

3/4 Clemson (3-0) The Tigers host Wake Forest Demon Deacons (2-2). Clemson got off to a slow start last week against NC State. They won’t repeat that mistake this week against Wake. Boyd will have a big day.

4/3 Ohio State (4-0) The Buckeyes host the # 23 Badgers of Wisconsin (3-1). This could be an upset but the Buckeyes have a little too much talent. If they play mistake free ball they win at home.

5/5 Stanford (3-0) The Cardinal travel up the coast to play at Washington State (3-1). The Wildcats are much improved from recent seasons, but don’t think they’ve enough talent to defeat the Cardinal. Stanford wins on the road barring any turnovers.

6/6 LSU (4-0) The Tigers travel to Atlanta to face the #9 Georgia Bulldogs (2-1). This will be a huge test for the Tigers and I think that the Bulldogs will prove to be a wee bit too much to handle. It could come down to the Tigers’ special teams and this week they will not prevail. ‘Dogs by a TD.

7/7 Louisville (4-0) The Cardinals have this week off.

8/8 Florida State (3-0) The Seminoles head north to play the Boston College Eagles (2-1). Look for Jameis Winston to have another big game.

9/10 Georgia (2-1) The Bulldogs host the #6 LSU Tigers (4-0). I pick the ‘Dogs in this one. See above.

10/9 Texas A&M (3-1) The Aggies Head to Arkansas to face the 3-1 Razorbacks. Will Johnny play more than three quarters? Not if he watches what Rutgers’ Nova did to the Hogs in the fourth quarter last week. Aggies have pulled pork for dinner.

11/11 Oklahoma State (3-0) The Cowboys head for the hills to play the West Virginia Mountaineers (2-2). The Cowboys win convincingly as WVA continues to struggle in this rebuilding season.

12/13 South Carolina (2-1) The Gamecocks head south to face the Knights of UCF (3-0). I’ll be rooting for UCF but logic tells me that it will be South Carolina. It will be played within sight of Disneyland, however.

13/14 UCLA (3-0) The Bruins have this week off.

14/12 Oklahoma (3-0) The Sooners head to North Bend to play the #22 Fighting Irish (3-1). Notre Dame has had its struggles in the early going—as has Oklahoma. The Sooners’ defense will prove to be the difference here as they manage to rattle Rees.

15/15 Miami (Fla.) (3-0) The Canes play at the home of the 0-3 Bulls of South Florida—who have looked awful. If Miami shows up and doesn’t mail it in, this will be over by halftime. If they get complacent, it will still be a Canes win.

16/20 Washington (3-0) The Huskies host the Arizona Wildcats (3-0). Should be a good game but the Huskies will prevail in the end.

17/16 Northwestern (4-0) The Wildcats have the weekend off.

18/17 Michigan (4-0) The Wolverines also have the weekend off.

19/18 Baylor (3-0) Add the Bears to the list of idle teams this weekend.

20/19 Florida (2-1) The Gators head inland to play at the home of the Kentucky Wildcats (1-2). Chomp! Chomp! Gators win.

21/21 Ole Miss (3-0) The Rebels play at the home of #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0). Roll Tide. More above.

22/22 Notre Dame (3-1) The Irish host the #14 Oklahoma Sooners (3-0). The Irish will go down but not without a fight. It will come down to mistakes and the Sooners will cause more than they commit. See above for more.

23/24 Wisconsin (3-1) The Badgers are on the road playing the #4 Ohio State Buckeyes (4-0). Could be an upset but not likely. OSU has too much talent regardless of who is at QB.

24/25 Texas Tech (4-0) The Red Raiders will be idle this week.

25/23 Fresno State (3-0) The Bulldogs head out to Hawaii (0-3) for a Sunday game. FSU has won two of its three games by one point. They score a lot of them but give up almost as many. Still, their QB, Derek Carr has completed nearly 69% of his pass attempts and tossed 12 TD passes vs just one INT in three games. There should be a lot more talk about his performance. Too bad their rush offense really stinks. Still, they are more than a match for the Rainbow Warriors.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

College Football: Week 4 Results

Every team listed in the Top 25 won meaning that there will be very little adjustment made in next week’s polls…except for Michigan. They won but not without some luck and not by the margin they should have had against a weak UConn team. They (the Wolverines) are going to slide down a few notches.

The numbers on the left are the rankings in the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches’ Poll. (CBSSports does a preseason poll but then waits a few weeks to weigh in on a regular basis—or at least they did last year.) NR means the team is “Not Ranked” in that particular poll. The team’s current record is in parentheses following their name.

1/1 Alabama (3-0) The Crimson Tide beat past the Colorado State Rams (1-3) 31-6, but it took a blocked punt returned for a TD in the second quarter and two fourth quarter TDs to salt it away as the Tide seemed to sputter despite AJ McCarron’s 20 of 26 for 258 yards and one TD.

2/2 Oregon (3-0) The Ducks had the weekend off before starting PAC12 play.

3/4 Clemson (3-0) The Tigers got off to a slow and shaky start on the road against the North Carolina State Wolfpack (2-1) on Thursday night but they righted the ship in the second half on both defense and offense and came away victorious 26-14.

4/3 Ohio State (4-0) The Buckeyes demolished the FCS Florida State Rattlers (1-3) 76-0. Braxton Miller didn’t play—though he probably wishes he could have. Kenny Guiton completed 24 of 34 for 215 yards and six TD passes—a school record. All six happened in the first half as OSU threw virtually no passes in the second half. Ezekiel Elliot rushed 14 times for 162 yards and two TDs—in the second half.

5/5 Stanford (3-0) The Cardinal host the #23 Arizona State Sun Devils (2-1). Arizona State’s Taylor Kelly threw for 367 yards, including three touchdown passes--in the fourth, but it was too late to overcome a 39-7 deficit as Stanford won 42-28.

6/7 LSU (4-0) The Tigers of LSU rolled over the Tigers of Auburn (3-1) 35-21. LSU led 21-0 at the half and coasted the rest of the way. Jeremy Hill rushed 25 times for 184 yards and three TDs for LSU.

7/6 Louisville (4-0) The Cardinals overwhelmed the FIU Golden Panthers (0-4) 72-0. Bridgewater threw four TD passes but the big story here was that the defense yielded just 30 yards(!) and two first downs as Louisville completely dominated the Golden Panthers.

8/8 Florida State (3-0) The Seminoles routed the FCS Bethune-Cookman Wildcats (3-1) 54-6. Jameis Winston tossed two TD passes and Karlos Williams scored twice on the ground and Telvin Smith returned an INT 68 yards for a score for the Seminoles.  

9/10 Georgia (2-1) The Bulldogs beat the Mean Green of North Texas (2-2) 45-21. Aaron Murray completed 22 of 30 passes for 408 yards including a Georgia record 98 yarder to Reggie Davis. Brelan Chancellor returned a kickoff 99 yards for a TD for North Texas in the second quarter to make it 21-14 Georgia and Zac Whitfield recovered a blocked punt in the third quarter to tie it at 21 all, but Murray ran for a TD and tossed his third TD pass to put the Bulldogs ahead for good at 35-21 after three quarters.

10/9 Texas A&M (3-1) The Aggies easily beat the SMU Mustangs (1-2) 42-13. Aggies defense showed up this week making Manziel and the rest of the offense’s job easier. In fact, Manziel sat down after leading the Aggies to a TD on their first possession of the second half. That score made it 39-6. He finished the day 14 of 21 for 244 yards and one TD pass, plus two TD runs on 12 carries for 102 yards. On defense, Deshazor Everett returned a fumble recovery 12 yards for a TD.

11/11 Oklahoma State (3-0) The Cowboys were idle this weekend.

12/13 South Carolina (2-1) The Gamecocks were off this weekend.

13/15 UCLA (3-0) The Bruins drubbed the New Mexico State Aggies (0-4) 59-13. UCLA’s Brett Hundley passed for 280 yards and three touchdowns and Jordan James rushed 19 times for 164 yards and two TDs.

14/12 Oklahoma (3-0) The Sooners had the weekend off.

15/14 Michigan (4-0) The Wolverines came t-h-i-s close to losing to the Huskies of UConn (0-30. It took a Desmond Morgan interception to snatch victory from the jaws of defeat. UConn led 21-7 in the third quarter but two Fitzgerald Toussaint TD runs put the score at 21 all. The Huskies were marching in the fourth, however, when Morgan’s interception set up a Brandan Gibbons 21-yard field goal for the win.

16/17 Miami (Fla.) (3-0) The Hurricanes blew away the FCS Savannah State Tigers (1-3) 77-7. The Hurricanes scored TDs on their first 7 possessions and set a school record for points scored despite losing starting QB Stephen Morris in the first quarter to what is reported to be a sprained ankle. The Canes defense and special teams did their part too. The D had four interceptions and Stacy Cole returned a kickoff (after Savannah State’s only TD) 88 yards for a score. Cole also caught a TD pass. Morris’ replacement, Ryan Williams completed 11 of 13 passes for 176 yards and two TDs. Gus Edwards scored three rushing TDs and Dallas Crawford scored twice on the ground and once via the air for the Canes.

17/20 Washington (3-0) The Huskies routed the FCS Idaho State Bengals (2-1) 56-0. Keith Price completed 16 of 21 pass attempts for 213 yards and three TDs—he also ran for a TD—before coming out of the game before the half.

18/16 Northwestern (4-0) The Wildcats needed two TDs from their defense to defeat the FCS Maine Black Bears (3-1) 35-21. Damien Proby returned an interception 49 yards to make it 14-0 at the half and Dean Lowery returned an INT 19 yards to make it 21-0 early in the third quarter. Maine then came back to put a little fear into the Wildcats who held on for the win.

19/18 Florida (2-1) The Gators won but also lost against the Tennessee Volunteers (2-2). The Gators won  the game 31-17 but had to do so with their second string QB after starter Jeff Driskel broke his lower right leg in the first quarter. Driskel is done for the year. Tyler Murphy proved more than adequate in relief completing 8 of 14 passes for 134 yards and a TD and gaining 84 yards on 10 carries while scoring another TD for the Gators.

20/19 Baylor (3-0) The Bears routed the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks (2-2) 70-7. Well, I was right about high scoring. Baylor 35 in the first quarter, 14 in the second and 21 in the third to hang 70 on the Warhawks. Sadly, 70 points was only the fourth highest total for the week! (See Louisville, Ohioi State, and Miami (Fla.).) Bryce petty tossed four TDs on an 18 of 27 for 351 yards performance. Joe Williams returned an INT 41 yards for a TD and Terrell Burt’s pick six went 63 yards as the defense also joined the scoring parade.  Lache Seastrunk had a 75 yard TD run and there were TD passes of 63, 47, 65 and 65 yards for the Bears.

21/22 Ole Miss (3-0) The Rebels were idle this week.

22/21 Notre Dame (3-1) The Irish edged the Michigan State Spartans (3-1) 17-13. The Fighting Irish needed what seemed to be some Devine intervention to win this one. Things just kept going wrong for the Spartans. Botched trick play, four (!) pass interference calls and holding penalties keeping ND drives alive…Some One was looking out for the Irish.

23/23 Arizona State (2-1) The Sun Devils got beat by #5 Stanford Cardinal (2-0). See above for details

24/NR Wisconsin (3-1) The Badgers had little trouble with the Purdue Boilermakers (1-3) 41-10. Melvin Gordon led the Badger attack with 16 carries for 147 yards and three TDs.

25/NR Texas Tech (4-0) The Red Raiders whupped the Texas State Bobcats (2-1) 33-7. Davis Webb threw for 310 yards and two TDs and Will Smith returned a fumble 9 yards for a TD as the Red Raiders proved to be too much for the Bobcats.

NR/24 Michigan State (3-1) The Spartans lost to the #22 Fighting Irish of Notre Dame (3-1). See above..

NR/25 Fresno State (3-0) The Bulldogs edged Boise State (2-2) 41-40 Friday night. Derek Carr threw for 460 yards and four touchdowns for the Bulldogs but it was a Josh Quezada 1 yard run and a Colin McGuire extra point that finally put the Broncos to rest in a wild and wooly affair.  Boise attempted two-point conversions after three of their five TDs and succeeded only once. If they had kicked the extra point after each TD….