Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Standings After Week 1 of the Pick 'Em Pool

Rank Selection W-L Pts
1 Buffalo's picks.......9-2 56
1 wwhd..................9-2 56
3 spitpurple's picks....9-2 55
4 tcufrog4's picks......8-3 52
5 AndyTCU's picks.......7-4 48
5 THE FINCH'S PICKS.....8-3 48
7 VikingFrog's picks....7-4 47
7 mankdog's picks.......9-2 47
9 BuckNasty.............6-5 45
10 sir wesley willis....8-3 44
11 wsharpeuga's picks...7-4 43
11 waddellgl's picks....6-5 43
13 counselorfrog's......8-3 42
14 tanichols's picks....6-5 39

The leaders: WWHD and Buff were able to pick an impressive 9 out of 11 games correct
Biggest Loser: WWHD's brother, aka the Red Barron
Worth Noting: Mankdog had the same impressive 9-2 record, but had trouble in the confidence factoring

Alot of football to be played. Thanks to those who participated. Try to get your picks in by Thursday.

MWC ranked ahead of the ACC

The conference has a handful of chances this year to score some big BCS points. Remember in the new format it is possible for a non-BCS conference to leapfrog into BCS standing. Not likely to happen, but we could definitely move in the right direction with some wins this season


There are a spattering of others as well. These just seem the most feasible.

Game 1: New Mexico Spanish Wolf Dogs

As I did last year, hopefully every Monday (or in this case Tuesday) I can have a game recap that will outline how the game went for the most part, partly to generate discussion, but mostly because I like to see myself talk. All kidding aside, I figure since this is a blog and since our football team is off to yet another fast start, we should use this as a forum for everyone to say how they felt about the game, as well as any other games from the week. Since this is the test run for this season I'm sure it's going to be extremely disjointed and rambling, but give me some time and I'll fine tune it as much as possible. Also, the more anonymous SMU commenters I can stir up, the better. Rice hung 56 on you guys? Solid debut, June, although A&M takes the cake for bed crapping opening weekend performances.

Anyway, I was out at PK this weekend where the only way to get VS is on satellite. Fortunately, I commandeered two separate restaurant/bars to allow me to watch the game. Ended up deciding on this one place that had an outside patio/bar with a couple of flat screens that agreed to leave the TVs on for us that afternoon even though they closed at 2 and did not really open back up until 6. This was fine for me though because it meant no competition for the TV. Unfortunately, the boat crapped out halfway there so we had to turn back and get jet ski'd over, causing us to miss kickoff. The place we went is kind of a clubhouse for this new condo development at PK (read: ritzy) and they were having a fancy party for all of the property holders. Since it was obvious we were possibly going to be run off by a bunch of well dressed faux lake rats, especially since I'd been into the margaritas most of the afternoon and was wearing my swim suit, game day homespun T shirt #1 of 2, and no shoes, I decided to make the jump from analog to digital and had the cute, podunk bartender break out the bottle of Jameson early and often. Needless to say I was castly overserved, and this turned out to be the best decision of the day.

1st Half - Anyway, when we got there we had just forced UNM into their first of many 3 and outs and took possession. I thought our offense looked very nice on this opening drive, and most of the game. Offensive line was dominant, running game was fine even without AB23, and I like the looks of our receiving corp. When we were held and Evans came on for his first FG attempt of the season, I'll be honest and say I was extreeemely nervous... but what did he do? Went out and booted a 50 yd FG down the middle. Nice. Very nice. After our D held them to another 3 and out, the pounding of the bar officially started when the UNM punter went into mondo FAIL mode and shanked that 7 yard punt. On the next drive when my namesake Andy Dalton ran in an 11 yd TD, I recall getting a phone call from WWHD and exclaming, "Who needs AB when you've got AD?!?!" At the time I'm pretty sure I firmly believed this, and while obviously having Brown back will take this offense to an entirely new level, it's nice seeing our ginger haired white QB pound the ball, especially when he can fall forward for a couple of extra yards on almost every run. Great stuff. On the next drive when Coleman immediately picked the ball off and almost housed it, followed by Turner's 2 yd drive, I was 100% sure the game was out of reach... until Ross Evans showed his age. How that kid went from booting a 50 yd attempt on his first ever college FG to missing an extra point is baffling, but obviously it happened and I'm sure GP will have him kicking extra points this week in practice until his leg rips off. As he should. Especially after we drove down, had 1st and goal from the 5 and didn't come away with any points. I understand he opened the game up with that huge boot, but what have you done for me lately kid? Evans definitely has potential, but he obviously still has some freshman jitters to work out. Regardless, it was nice to take a 16-0 lead into the locker room, even though it should've been 20-0 and really 24-0.

2nd Half - Memory starts to get fuzzy here, but I do remember getting a little uncomfortable when Gruner hit his man over the middle for that 81 yd play, but fortunately they only picked up about 100 more yards on the day and this was really the only momentum their offense could find all day, especially since Porterie was knocked out of the game on the previous drive. Definitely hate to see anyone get hurt, especially in an opener, so hope he comes back and has a decent season, especially since that guy is supposed to be legit and hasn't lived up to expectations. Regardless, once that 2nd string QB came in, you could tell the stadium was emptying and our defense was salivating. After that 81 yard play, Gruner was only able to pass for 12 more yards all day, and Jerry Hughes played a big part in that. Dude went for the defensive cycle with six tackles, one sack, 1 1/2 tackles for losses, a forced fumble, a fumble recovery and an interception. Wow! Who needs Ortiz and Blake?? Great to see that performance, especially as it, along with the great Kerley return, led to 10 more points and officially put the game out of reach, not that it wasn't already. By this point I'd recruited all of the TCU fans in the greater Possum Kingdom area around the television and even caused the bartenders to fear an uprising when they threatened to switch it over to the OU game (this was met with much Jameson fueled imbred comments from myself, probably not smart because 75% of the people there were for the OU game. You'll be proud to know that the Frog Faithful prevented this disaster, despite being outnumbered and out sobered.) As the clock wound down and 26-3 was in the books, I left my perch at the bar and headed home, satisfied and absolutely ravenous for game day this week.


Offense - B+. Numbers weren't dazzling (120 yards passing, 171 rushing). Dalton ran for two scores, but threw for none and had an INT. Regardless, this being the first game of the season it looked like Schultz was playing it conservatively, opting for short, accurate gains (16-25) and allowing Dalton to read what the defense was giving him and scrambling when necessary (it should be noted that he led the team in rushing attemps and yardage with 17 attempts for 56 yards.) Definitely spread the ball around on the ground attack with 48 attempts going to 5 different players with each guy having at least 5 attempts. Turner looked good as did Christian, although I hope AB can come back and Christian can be moved back outside. Obviously none of this could've happened without our O Line who looked great and it's very apparent why GP mentioned that this was the best unit he'd had in several years. The receivers did a great job of moving the ball and coming up with plays when they were needed, but seeing as how Schultz didn't seem keen on letting them run the field, they really did the best with what they had. This is understandable because UNM has one of the best CB duos in the country, but Dalton pretty much took them out of play except for the one INT. Jimmy Young led all receivers with 44 yards and looked solid, as did Walter Bryant, as did Bart Johnson. Kerley is going to be great, and I especially liked him on special teams. Definitely need Raegan to get the chance to do what he does, but I bet it will only be a matter of time. Didn't hate Schultz' play calling for the first time in recent memory, although UNM had obviously been watching their game film as they snuffed out the Kerley - Dalton HB pass, but it's good to see some creativity, even though I think we ran the same play against UNM last year (confirmation??). B+ because we should've put more points on the board, but I'm just nitpicking now.

Defense - A+. Our defense is GREAT. There, I said it. UNM was held to 186 total yards of offense, notably 56 yards rushing despite UNMs Rodney Ferguson allegedly being one of the best RBs in the conference. UNM also only totaled 9 first downs and only put up the one FG because of the one big play they had all game. Our very own Robert Henson led all tacklers with 9, followed by Washington with 7 and Hughes with 6. Hughes and Panfil kept heavy pressure on both New Mexico QBs all game and finished with 2.5 sacks between them. Obviously you had Coleman and Hughes with one interception a piece. Really, there isn't much else to say about the defense: They were outstanding as we expected and as long as the offense can put up a few points, these guys will win us lots of games. Last year Blake candidly mentioned that the D was so good that, "We'll win games 3-0 if we have to," and while we know what happened there, I think this year's group definitely has the potential to shut out plenty of teams.

Special Teams - A-. Since I'll probably rarely mention his name again simply because of his position, I figure I'll go ahead and take advantage now. Anson Kelton. Great. Dude is built like a linebacker, but kicks like a guy 100 pounds lighter. Had an average of 41.6 yards per punt including 2 that he dropped within the 20 (and really within the 5). The defense had to love this guy because he really made their jobs easier. We all know Patterson typically hates special teams players, but Kelton doesn't look like he'll be the source of too many headaches. In the return game, Kerley looked as good as advertised. We only had one return all game (when we weren't making interceptions or recovering fumbles, we fair caught all but one punt and, seeing as how UNM didn't score many points, there weren't many kickoff return opportunities, either), but when it counted, Kerley made a few cuts and took off for a 57 yard gain which led to a TD. I think this guy will be serious shades of Corey Rodgers (same amount of syllables in his name, which makes the pre-return cheering an easy transition) and is going to be electrifying. Ross Evans was the only blip on special teams, and he really wasn't all bad, especially since his 50 yd opening field goal gave us tons of momentum and will give him confidence down the road. He was 2/3 on FGs, hitting on 50 and 39 but missing on 20 as well as an extra point. Maybe we should move the extra point kicks back? I know nothing about being a kicker, but it seems like if he can hit on long kicks but misses on short ones, that's better than the opposite and can be easily corrected.

Game Ball - Jerry Hughes. Obviously. MWC Defensive player of the week. Outlined above.

Other games of interest -

SMU - 27, Rice 56. Went into dinner Friday and SMU was up 13-0. Walked out of dinner Friday and SMU was down 56-20. Love it. June Jones. Ouchie! Not giving him the benefit of the doubt with it being his first game and having a freshman QB because of his school affiliation. Cannot WAIT to see what we do to them. There will be blood.

A&M - 14, Arkansas STATE - 18. Not to be confused with the University of Arkansas of the SEC, this is the Arkansas State whatever-they-had-to-change-their-name-to-because-of-Indians-rights. HA!

Utah 25, Michigan 23 - First time Michigan has lost back to back home openers in 50-60 years. This is GREAT for the MWC. Utah is definitely going to be a tough game, especially being in a short week in Salt Lake City. Games like this are what make the BCS clench their bung holes.

UCLA 27, Tenn 24 - Only because those GD Deliverance imbreds cost me a 5 game parlay.

Next up - the mighty Lumberjacks of Stephen F Austin. They of the 0-11 record in the southland conference last year. I'm going to go ahead and mark it W.

Frogs - 45, SFA 0

Morning Dump

Horned Frogs' Hughes earns MWC defensive honor Star-Telegram

Frogs to make home debut Saturday GoFrogs.com