Monday, October 5, 2009

Week 5 Dragon Recap.

Good week for the Frogs as we moved up a spot in each poll and now sit 10th and 9th in the AP/Coaches Polls, respectively. Bad week for Boise State as it looks like they may be starting to fall in the rankings due to strength of schedule. Unfortunately for us, this could be a trend we see with our own team as our non conference wins look pretty terrible when you look at current records. Hopefully BYU and Utah will keep winning which will give us chances to notch wins against two top 25 teams. Regardless, we haven’t been ranked this high in the polls this early in the season in quite some time, so let’s enjoy it while we can and keep it alive. Here’s what happened. New team rankings reflected.

The Good.

#11/11 Miami 21, #19/21 Oklahoma 20. Well, looks like the pornstache ran out of magic in this one. Despite having two weeks to prepare for a Miami team coming off a crushing loss to Virginia Tech, Oklahoma couldn’t get it done. Miami even helped the ole Sooners out with QB Jacory Harris tossing two interceptions on his first two possessions, gifting OU a 10-0 lead. No matter, Big Game Bob failed again, dropping his guys to 2-2 for the first time since the Frogs eased Rhett Bomar out of town. Miami’s Harris came up big after those two INTs, throwing for 202 yards and 3 TDs and RB Javarris James rushed 15 times for 150 yards against an OU defense that was among the best in the country coming into the game. OUs Landry Jones was quite the Bo Levi Mitchell-esque Gunslinger in this one, only completing 18 passes for 188 yards and 1 TD. With OU’s title hopes all but gone, and Bradford’s status continuing to be questionable, the white trash of the south will have to find a new team to latch onto.

UR/UR Houston 41, UTEP 58. What a glorious game this was! And to think, I didn’t realize it had happened until the day after, but it was certainly a magnificent wake up call. Interestingly enough, Houston QB Case Keenum had the best game of his career, going 51-76 – let that sink in – for 536 yards – also let that set in – and 5 TDs and no INTs-ditto. In fact, Houston pretty much led the Miners in all aspects of this one except the scoreboard. The Cougars defense must’ve gotten infected by the Leach’s last week and decided defense was a silly game not worth playing as they gave up 581 total yards to UTEP, including 262 yards and 4 TDs to RB Donald Buckram. It should be noted that a week earlier against Texas, UTEP only had 53 yards of total offense, including EIGHT rushing. It also should be noted that Conference USA is, and will always be, shite.

The Meh.

#6/6 Boise State 34, UC Davis 16. This Boise win is elevated to “meh” status for now due to their drop in the rankings behind Virginia Tech for the time being. With USC sitting right behind them and Cincinnati jetting up the rankings, Boise could drop even further as they only face one team with a winning record (to this point) the rest of the way (Idaho). Lackluster score in this one, but it’s hard to get up for a team like UC Davis, even when style points are the only thing between the Fiesta and the Poinsettia Bowl for your team. Kellen Moore threw for 285 yards and 3 TDs to lead the Broncos to the win. The Broncos D held UC Davis to 28 yards rushing on the night.

#5/5 Virginia Tech 34, Duke 26. It was an ultimate let down game, and Virginia Tech lived up to the billing, even falling behind 7-0 early on. I had mentioned Duke’s touted passing attack, and they definitely delivered with Duke QB Thaddeus Lewis going off for 359 yards and 2 TDs. Think the Cowboys can sign him? We’re pretty desperate at this point. Regardless, Virginia Tech woke up in the second quarter and never looked back. VT QB Tyrod Taylor had an especially effective evening, going 17/22 for 327 yards and 2 TD passes. The win was enough to move Tech past Boise State in the rankings, although I can’t help but think Miami’s win over OU helped their cause significantly. Also, F Boise State.

#7/7 USC 30, Cal 3. After the prison raping they received from Oregon last week, I figured Cal would come out ready to unleash the fury on the Trojans. Instead, they decided to act out their favorite scenes from Oz for the second week in a row, putting up only 3 points, once again, in the loss. Cal RB Jahvid Best decided to continue his fall from the Heisman race, only putting up 47 yards on 14 rushing attempts. Cal QB Kevin Riley couldn’t get it done either, totaling 199 yards with an INT. Looks like that USC defense is real and spectacular. USC RB Joe McKnight picked up the slack with Stafon Johnson being out and ran for 119 yards and 2 TDs. USC held Cal to 285 total yards.

#9/8 Ohio State 33, Indiana 14. Ugh. Big Televen. Terrell Pryor continued to be a one man offense for trhe Buckeyes, throwing 3 TDs and running for one more, while the Ohio State defense held up their end of the bargain, despite giving up their first points in 9 quarters. After Iowa’s disappointing performance against Arkansas State, and Penn State’s extremely questionable offense against good competition, the Buckeyes once again look like the cream of the Televen crop. Have fun watching USC/OSU part deux in the Rose Bowl, sports fans.

#8/10 Cincinnati 37, Miami (OH) 13. It wasn’t the blowout I expected, but the Bearcats still prevailed in impressive, yet unfamiliar fashion. With QB Tony Pike *only* throwing for 270 yards and 2 TDs with 1 INT, The Bearcats pulled out the run game from their bag of tricks, with RB Jacob Ramsey rushing for 103 yards and 3 TDs. Miami continues to be bad, falling to 0-5 on the year, although they did put up 316 yards of offense against a pretty good defense. Interestingly enough, this is the oldest non-conference rivalry in division I-A… for me to poop on.

#12/14 Iowa 24, Arkansas State 21. Let me get this straight – you let Arkansas State almost beat you, yet still gain in the rankings, including 3 spots in the coaches poll? Surely you’ll remember that Iowa only beat Northern Iowa on opening weekend by blocking two late field goal attempts. I suppose that just shows you how good teams like Penn State, Arizona and Iowa State, the other teams Iowa has defeated, must be. Iowa QB Ricky Stanzi threw for 296 yards and 3 TDs, including 2 to Marvin McNutt to get the win. I’d rather read Helen Keller’s twitter feed than type anything else about this game.

#14/12 Penn State 35, Illinois 17. Well, at least Penn State can run the ball now. It might not be the “Spread HD” the Lions envisioned, but PSU managed to roll up 338 yards and 5 TDs on the ground, including 2 by Quarterback Daryll Clark. The Schultz’s actually outgained their season average on offense, totaling 393 yards with 1 TD passing and 1 rushing. Small victories.

#13/17 Oregon 52, Washington State 6. Oregon. STOP WINNING! Washington State now has both feet in the grave, if they hadn’t already.

The Bad.


Anytime you can gain a spot in the rankings is a good week, but anytime you gain a spot in the rankings and move into the Top 10 in both polls is great. Thanks, Sooners! Seems ironic – the Sooners record last year was part of the reason we stayed ranked so highly all season, and their loss in the Championship game moved Utah to the #2 spot, which helped us creep up to 7. They’re a fun team to dance on the grave of. Lots of big games this weekend so let’s keep our fingers crossed for a few upsets. Until then, Go Frogs!

Final thoughts on the SMU game

-Obviously, the most talked-about play of the game was Tanner Brock's helmet-less block. I think there are two ways to look at it: on one hand, it's a selfless play that shows he'll do anything to help his team win. On the other... he could've hurt himself a lot worse than he did. I'll say it's a little from column A and a little from column B. He also went way up in the air to block a punt earlier in the game and got flipped upside-down and landed on his head. Hopefully as he grows up, he'll continue to be aggressive but be a little smarter about it and buckle his chin-strap!

-On the other end of that play was Kerley FINALLY ending the seven-year drought of punt returns for TD's (Cory Rodgers had 2 kickoff returns for scores, but never a punt). I think Kerley is finally starting to become the all-around stud that we have expected for a while and got a glimpse of last year. He was dangerous on punt returns and kick returns, had one of his best games catching the ball and even ran down the SMU defender at the two yard-line on the play where Dalton's fumble was overturned (correctly, but only after about 20 minutes of looking at the video).

-Speaking of the officials...if you're not going to call a helmet-to-helmet penalty on the Ryan Christian hit (which would've given TCU the ball back with a 1st and Goal), you can't call Jerry Hughes for it later (which gave SMU the ball back and led to the Ponies' first score). I don't mind bad refs nearly as much as I do inconsistent ones.

-The post-Jerry Hughes era at Defensive End may not be as dark a time as you once thought. Wayne Daniels is really coming into his own now, and Braylon Broughton made a great pass deflection when he wisely read screen pass in the second half.

-The Frogs really really really REALLY need to find someone who can kick the ball off. Ross Evans just isn't cutting it. Kevin Sharples finally had one deep kick, but he hasn't been able to do it consistently.

-Mixed results from the PA guy. On one hand, I love the "First Down, T (pause) C (pause) UUUUUUUU!"...but he seems to NOT do it on big, emotional first down pick-ups. Also, is it too much to ask for him to pronounce the names of TCU's players correctly? I cringed every time he butchered Alex Ibiloye's and Luke Shiver's names.

-37,130...not a bad crowd for how hard it was raining. Of course, with good weather you'd probably see something like 41,000 under attendance in the final stats, but Mother Nature didn't run off quite as many people as I thought.

-SMU's players didn't seem very interested in shaking hands after the game and NOT AT ALL interested in staying for their own school song.

Game Awards - TCU v. SMU

Well, it only took 89 games, it's about time.

Defensive Player of the Game

Darryl Washington had a monster of game against the ponies. 5 tackles two of them for loss, one pick and two sacks. His performance was a major reason why smew was only able to rack up an impressive -16 yards rushing. Good job June, maybe if you bitch a little bit more about not getting calls your offensive performance just might improve. Props also goes out to Ibiloye with 9 solo tackles and Frogzilla with 8 total and 1 and half sacks.

Offensive Player of the Game

Our multi-headed rushing attack was pretty good again. Turner had 81 yard on 19 carries and Wesley had 63 on 10. Dalton had two TD passes including another great one to Hicks.

Special Teams Player of the Game

Jeremy Kerley clap, clap, clap clap clap. Seven years? Really? I can't believe it had been that long since we took a punt back. When I first heard that I just couldn't believe that CoRo didn't take one back, but oh well, lets just hope it isn't another seven years. Kerley put up 170 total return yards against the Ponies while breaking about 23 tackles and 5 sets of ankles on that punt return. FYI the last tack back was Terran Williams v. Cinci

Play of the Game

See above (and below, yes Finch this was of course going to be it.). But really, this play was great on so many levels. Between Kerley making people look ridiculous, Tanner Brock leveling people with no helmet, and SMU getting a pride obliterating bitch slap to bring them back down to earth, this is now in the running for play of the year.

Superfan of the Game

This one goes out to Crazy D for not only volunteering for the unwanted job of parking in the space, but for also putting the high rack up there. Good work (will also give it to whoever finds the Aqua Teen Hungerforce reference in this post). Anti-fan of the game goes to a former special teams walk on who shall remain nameless who needs to either lighten up or get the hell out of the student section.

Game 4: SMU Overdoses. or Cocainuses.

Tony Montana may not have been an alum,
but SMU kids seemed to have learned a lot from him.

Another Hate Week, another Joyous win. The Ponies looked like they were going to put up a fight, but, as we’ve seen this season against inferior competition, the Frogs will eventually prevail. It’s definitely not the swift punishment we so often saw last season, but if it gets the win, it’ll do. Typically I don’t care enough to visit other team’s message boards before or after games, but after this win, I just couldn’t resist. Surprisingly, the majority of the Pony fans were realistic about their situation and pretty downcast about their bowl prospects given the thus far respectable play among their CUSA counterparts. However, there were a few – and there will always be a few – fans who decided to turn a 25 point loss into a slighting of the opponent. Apparently we have no business being a top ten team and we would be “absolutely destroyed” by any of the teams ahead of us. This coming from a team who just lost despite being gifted three turnovers and only scored due to gimpy screen plays- a high flying offense indeed. There’s also quite a bit of complaining about the Dalton “no fumble” call, including from their head coach, as well as shots at the quality of a TCU eduation and, most shockingly, the quality of our girls. I mean, I realize this is probably just sour grapes from fans of a bad football team, but come on now, guys. For a team that’s turning the corner and threatening to retake the metroplex, perhaps the fans need to act the part? I digress though – it was an ugly early performance, and an even uglier gameday experience, but we did what we needed to do and can start conference play on a high note.

Offense – B. Well, it certainly wasn’t impressive at first, but 39 points is 39 points. Surely you have to blame the poor weather a bit, but a couple of our turnovers were inexcusable, and we’re fortunate that SMU is really, really, really bad at organized American football. The Ryan Christian drop is ok as it was a criminally flagrant hit that he never saw coming, but the Bart Johnson drop cannot happen especially as we consistently tout him as Mr. Dependable. Regardless, both occurred in the red zone and were lost which kills our red zone scoring streak as well as kept the game close far longer than acceptable.

Despite all of this, not a terrible game for the offense and let’s start with Dalton. A very quiet evening – 12-20 for 189 yards – but he did have 2 TD passes, including an absolutely ridiculous hookup with Antoine Hicks. Including the big play at Clemson, you have to think Hicks is going to become a full time go to guy for Dalton along with Kerley and Young and knowing that we have him for two more years after this makes me absolutely ecstatic. You have to think UT sees what this kid can do and groans about what could have been– insert UT fan blogger UT vs. TCU education + stable of 5 star receivers quote here. Dalton did have an unnecessary interception- although what INT is really necessary?- but he managed the game fine and gave us the kind of performance we should expect from now on with the running backs we have. I stayed with some friends this weekend and we were talking about the game and one of them mentioned how he absolutely hates Dalton and this just absolutely baffled me. I mean, while the guy isn’t going to be a Heisman candidate or anything, he’s still likely going to wind up TCUs career passing leader and all he’s done so far is lead the team to back to back bowl wins as well as a #7 ranking last year. I guess our expectations must stretch beyond that these days. Another interesting stat: of Dalton’s 50 completions this year, only 4 have gone to a running back or tight end, and while I’ve always disliked his inclination to overlook his tight ends, at least the guy is moving the ball up field rather than just dumping it off in the flats. All I’m trying to say is, for those of you who doubt Dalton’s ability, just look at what he’s done compared to his Katy counterpart on the other sideline…

Speaking of the run game, it was once again the difference between the win and loss column as we totaled 229 yards on 53 attempts including 3 TDs. Joseph Turner led all backs with 81 yards on 19 carries and a TD and, while it’s fun to watch an electrifyingly fast back like a Jahvid Best or a pre NFL Reggie Bush, I don’t know that I don’t find Turner’s bruising style even more entertaining. He doesn’t quite have the baby killing, bull in a china shop rage of someone like Marion Barber, but the way the guy never stops moving his feet to get some extra yards will never cease being fun to watch. Case in point – in the second quarter before our first score, we faced a third and two and while Turner easily got the first, he turned a 3-4 yard gain into 9 simply by not giving up on the run. He’s very deceptive to tackle because he gets low to the point that as a defender you have to think he’s down, but he never touches that knee and will never quit until you forcefully put him down. What a fantastic weapon he’s become.

Moving on, Ed Wesley had 10 rushes for 63 yards and Matthew Tucker had 9 for 52 yards and a score. Even more than the score though you had to take notice of Tucker’s blocking as he got way up in a defender’s pads to spring Hicks on the outside handoff for the Frogs first score. It’s not too often than a young back recognizes his variety of roles in an offense and it’s great to see Tucker leaving it all out there even though it won’t show up in the stats. To finish, neither QB did much in the run game with Jackson (2-14) and Dalton (6-17) mostly allowing the running backs to do the damage. Antoine Hicks (3-8-1TD), Jeremy Kerley (1-10 and Chris Smith (3-3) were the other three Frogs with carries in the game.

The receiving game contributed 2 big scores, with the Hicks one mentioned above being the best. Seriously, replay that thing because it was a nearly impossible catch and pass and Dalton dropped it in there perfectly while Hicks scraped it up before it dropped to the turf. Truly, truly fantastic play and while the game was pretty sealed at that point, pushing the lead from 11 to 18 surely made the win feel much more secure. Once again Dalton spread the ball around to several different players, but Kerley led all with 4 catches for 48 yards. Bart Johnson had 2 for 35, including a fumble, while Curtis Clay, Hicks, Jimmy Young, Christian, Evan Frosch and Luke Shivers pulled in a catch a piece, with Shivers’ going for a TD. I didn’t really keep too close an eye on things, but this two game drought in big play hookups between Dalton and Young is somewhat concerning. Are the defenses keeping better coverage on him? Are we simply choosing not to air it out long? Are the rapid emergence of Hicks and the big play ability of Kerley too tempting to pass up on a given play? Defintely something to keep an eye on as the season progresses.

Final Numbers – 18 first downs, 418 total yards (229 rush, 189 pass) 2 lost fumbles, 1 Int, 34:17 TOP, 7/15 third down, 4-5 red zone, 1 sack allowed.

Defense – A-. Well, it took them a bit of time to settle down – SMU held the ball for 10:26 in first half, mostly due to turnovers- but the Frogs defense came to play once again. After being held without a sack for the first time in 26 games last week, the TCU defense wasn’t about to let the streak run to two. Naturally, Wayne Daniels and Jerry Hughes decided to take out any sort of anticipation in the opening minute as they sacked QB Bo Levi Mitchell for what would be the first of 5 sacks on the night. The biggest focus for the defense tonight had to be getting pressure on Mitchell because he’s going to pass the ball regardless, but when you put pressure on him, he prefers to throw it to the opposite team. This proved true as Mitchell threw into 2 INTs, including one where I hones to god think he just figured, “well, the sooner I give the ball back, the sooner this is over with” and threw a perfect pass to Colin Jones. Pretty incredible for a guy who has “gunslinger” tattooed on his bicep. This guy apparently has some expectations of himself – including a facebook message on Saturday reading “Time to shock the world”-and hopefully June will defer some of his paycheck to fund the removal of said tattoo before Mitchell begins interviewing as a used car salesman post college. SMU came into the game averaging 432 yards per game… and ended with 224, including -16 yards rushing! I mean, yeah, I mentioned that SMUs ground game wasn’t much of a threat, but yeesh! That’s just appalling if I’m supporting the $10 million man.

Leading the charge for the Frogs would definitely be Daryl Washington, who may have only finished with 5 tackles, but he had two sacks and an interception which officially ended the game. I don’t think this guy needs any more superlatives heaped on him… and neither does this next guy, Jerry Hughes, who finished with 8 tackles and 1.5 sacks. Of more mention should be Alex Ibiloye who should be brought up for not only leading the team with 9 tackles – ALL SOLO – but also so our stadium announcer can get his damned name right. Seriously, I know some names are hard to pronounce, but the guy who does this has been around for multiple seasons and, I mean, when all you get paid to do is pronounce names and remind everyone that it’s third down, shouldn’t you get it right? Terrible.

Also of note were Wayne Daniels, 4 tackles and a half sack, as well as Tank Carder with 4 tackles, a half loss, and a fumble recovery. Getting his first start due to the Nick Sanders injury, Jason Teague filled in pretty well, totaling 3 tackles and not allowing any big gains over his head. Another guy who I want to mention is Rafael Priest who, while he didn’t have a huge night – 1 tackle – he absolutely blanketed the SMU receivers all night, not giving up an inch of space. Emmanuel Sanders may have finished with 8 catches for 74 yards and a TD, but it certainly didn’t happen on Priest’s watch.

The only complaint I really have for our defense would have to be how susceptible we seemed to be to screens to SMU RB Shawnbrey McNeal, as his two huge gains resulted in SMUs only two scores. I understand that when you blitz, getting beat on a slip screen is a risk you have to take, but should the guy have really been THAT open? Sure, had we gotten to Mitchell on either of those plays – and we were SO close – I’d be singing a different tune today, so it's really neither here nor there. I can accept messing up once, but I never thought Patterson would be fooled twice by the likes of June Cometh. Truthfully though, I’m just really angry we didn’t shut those assholes out. What a terrible, terrible grouping of individuals. You can have your Boulevard, we’ll take a top 10 ranked team anyday.

Final Numbers – 9 First downs allowed, 224 yards (240 pass, -16 rushing) 2 forced fumbles-1 recovered, 2 INTs, 3/15 third down conversions allowed, 1 red zone possession allowed, 5 sacks, 25:43 TOP.

Special Teams – B+. Before I get completely into the play that we’re all going to be talking about this week, I want to bring up one aspect of said play. With Kerley tearing down the sidelines about to cut back right into an SMU player which would’ve killed the run, true freshman LB Tanner Brock came flying in from out of nowhere and absolutely leveled said defender with a crushing block – all without a helmet. Say what you will about it being a “dumb” play on Brock’s part – and Patterson will tell you that he wants his guys to play smarter, despite the result – you can’t deny how fired up that had to have made our team the rest of the game. Seriously, re-watch the play a few times because when I say without a helmet, I mean he went head to helmet on the guy and walked away from it. Jason Phillips was tough and will always be revered as one of the greatest to play under Patterson, but I seriously think this kid, along with Carder, could make us forget that the Henson/Phillips combo ever happened. Move over Kelton - new favorite player ever.

Moving along though, Kerley finally did it! After 7 years, the Frogs finally returned a punt for a score, and just to keep the suspense up, he didn’t’ make it look too easy. In fact, I don’t think anyone in the stadium believed he’d done it until the referee signaled because he was pinballing off guys pretty much the entire way and had to drag an SMU defender the last few feet into the end zone. In the preview I wrote that SMUs Sanders was thus far the star return man of the two teams but Kerley calmed that argument. It wasn’t just that play either – Kerley finished with 123 punt return yards on 4 tries and set the Frogs up with great field position throughout the game. Unfortunately we weren’t able to capitalize on these returns early, but, like I said, you can’t argue with the final score. Kerley also returned one kickoff for 52 yards which led to the Frogs first score.

Kicking the ball, Ross Evans, you ignorant slut. Alright, so the guy who blocked his first PAT is some ringer the Ponies brought in from Estonia who is a 6’8” discus champion, but from the looks of it, that kick was going to be lucky to skid off the crossbar it was so low. Inexcusable and I have no faith that this kid has recovered enough from the Utah game to be a reliable option. Fortunately we were able to put the ball in the end zone whenever we were close enough for a field goal so we didn’t have to watch his futility there. Other than that though, his kickoffs left a lot to be desired as he recorded no touchbacks, but fortunately none went out of bounds. Kevin Sharples must REALLY feel bad about himself right now.

As I said, Anson Kelton has relinquished his role as my favorite Frog, and he didn’t work too hard to earn it back as he punted 5 times for a 31 yard average, although I will admit most of his kicks were near midfield and he dropped 2 inside the 20.

The Frogs also failed to convert two 2-point conversions.

Final Numbers – 3-4 PATs, 0-2 2PC, 5 punts – 31 yard average -2 inside twenty, 4 Punt Returns for 123 yards and 1 TD, 3 kick off returns for 124 yards.

Overall – It was a dreary and cold game to sit in, but it was a lot more exciting than Stanford last year and the 7PM as opposed to 11AM start helped pull in more of a crowd. Announced attendance was 37,000+, which is fine, but it’s sad to think how much better it could’ve been had the weather stayed away. Like most of our games, first half attendance was much more favorable than second half despite a close halftime score, but I’m tired of complaining about that. The offense was fine and did the most with what they had considering the weather, the defense was fantastic, and Kerley set us up with beautiful field position most of the night. In the future, hopefully we can hold onto the ball and capitalize on said position. Not too much jibber jabber from SMU fans which is a shame because I was definitely ready for a little confrontation. In fact, judging from my voice, or lack thereof, the morning after, I’m pretty sure I must have challenged most of the SMU bench to a sparring match as well. Props to WWHD and I HATE H for harassing the referees so much at halftime that they called a fair game the rest of the way. Congrats to SMU fans not winding up dead from cocaine overdoses in the portapotties as they’ve been prone to do – seriously. Cheers to the TCU police for staying away from our tailgate section for the most part re: clearing the aisles because we're a fire hazard. Jeers to the usher who made WWHD empty his treat on the ground in the third quarter. Huge Cheers to the Frogs for plowing through non conference and emerging 4-0. Huge opening conference game this weekend in Colorado Springs and as lyle pointed out to be earlier, it’s supposed to be in the 20s and snowing hard. Looks like it’s our ground game against theirs, and I’m pretty sure our defense isn’t budging. Go Frogs!

Tanner Brock: Crazy/Dedicated

Before I give CounselorFrog a chance to post his play of the game, check out Tanner Brock's helmet-less crackback block that enabled Kerley to take it to the house for the first punt return for a touchdown in 89 games. Now that the lid is finally off, I feel like we will be seeing several more of these. Especially if everyone on our punt return team has the audacity that Tanner Brock shows here.

Strength of Schedule Watch: Week 5 recap

While the Frogs continued to take care of business, their opponents continued to disappoint this weekend, going just 4-6. It wasn't all bad, but it sure wasn't all good:

What went right:
Virginia 16, North Carolina 3
-Woohoo, the Wahoos won! I didn't think UVA stood a chance against the Tar Heels, who came into Saturday 3-1, but they completely shut down the UNC offense and finally put this one away with an 8-yard TD run by Mikell Simpson with just under six minutes to play. They also got three field goals from their kicker, Robert Randolph- had we not caught that before? Hopefully this is the start of a turn-around for the Cavaliers, who at 1-0 in ACC play are now ahead of both Miami (2-1) and Georgia Tech (2-1) in the Coastal Division.

BYU 35, Utah State 17
-In a game that was on a Friday night for reasons I can't seem to figure out (I can't imagine they'd move a game to Friday just so it could be on The Mtn, right?), the Cougars overcame 3 turnovers and 322 yards of offense by Utah State to win and stay ranked, 35-17.
San Diego State 34, New Mexico State 17
-The Aztecs made sure that New Mexico State didn't go two in a row over the Mountain West, but this game was actually closer than the final score indicates. SDSU barely out-gained NMSU, and they were tied 17-17 in the 4th quarter before the Aztecs pulled away thanks to 4 NMSU turnovers.

Wyoming 30, Florida Atlantic 28
-This one would've been pretty bad for the conference for the Cowboys to drop, but they controlled the clock by running the ball 46 times for 198 yards and 4 TD's to overcome the Owls down in Florida. At 3-2, the Cowboys have an outside shot at becoming bowl-eligible.

What went wrong:
Maryland 24, Clemson 21
-You've got to be shitting me, Clemson! First, they won't give TCU a return game. Then, they can't even get their game against TCU on real TV. Now they're fucking up the Frogs' strength of schedule! CJ Spiller tried to spur a comeback with a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown late in the 4th quarter, but on the Tigers' last possession, QB Kyle Parker fumbled the game away Clint Stoerner-style and they are now 2-3. Fuck!

Navy 16, Air Force 13 (OT)
-Air Force kicker Erik Soderberg kicked a 27-yard field goal with no time remaining in regulation to force overtime in Annapolis, but then he missed a 31-yarder that sealed the Falcons' fate. The Falcons are just a few plays away from being 5-0, but instead are 3-2 with the Frogs coming to town this weekend.

Idaho 31, Colorado State 29
-I thought that the State of Idaho was just big enough to have one good football team, but watch out for the 4-1 Vandals, being led by future NFL draftee QB Nathan Enderle. His 333 yards through the air took down the Rams and scored a second MWC win for Idaho. This has to be a pretty frustrating loss for CSU, who led 20-7 late in the 1st half. At 3-2, they will be in a fight with Air Force, Wyoming and UNLV to become bowl-eligible.

Nevada 63, UNLV 28
-Holy hell do I feel like an idiot for ever proposing that UNLV could be the surprise team in the Mountain West this fall. They gave up 773 yards of offense to the previously 0-3 Wolfpack, including 559 yards rushing! Nevada had three different players reach 170 yards on the ground. Just a real, real ugly loss for the Rebels and the conference.

Texas Tech 48, New Mexico 28
-This one was actually closer than I thought it would be. It was just 14-7 at halftime, but then Tech's backup QB, Steven Sheffield, playing because Taylor Potts went to the hospital with a concussion, led the Red Raiders to three 3rd quarter touchdowns and they never looked back. New Mexico is now 0-5. Ouch.

Southern Utah 38, Texas State 16
-Yes, that's right- Southern Utah held the Bobcats to 5 less points than the Frogs did. Turnovers were killer for Texas State, losing 3 fumbles and an interception to skew the fact that they actually had very little trouble moving the ball on Southern Utah. Either way, it still doesn't look good.

Morning Dump

Timely return ignited Frogs Star-Telegram

TCU reaches top 10 for only 2nd time in 50 years AP

TCU defeats upset minded TCU 39-14

Air Force football primer: the TCU Horned Frogs Denver Post

Air Force doesn't have time to worry about loss with TCU coming to town
Colorado Springs Gazette

The "big three"...and the "small six"

Around the MWC USA Today

What we learned from the non-AQs, week 5 ESPN