Monday, October 19, 2009
A good, yet not great, week for the Frogs as we moved up spots in both polls and are top 10 in the initial BCS rankings – a place that we’ve never been before so early. It’s pretty unsettling that Boise State sits at fourth, but we just have to keep holding out that hope that the voters will get tired of their wins against WAC teams. Hopefully our weekend in Provo will be a big turning point. Let’s see what happened.
#14/14/15 Virginia Tech 23, #12/11/13 Georgia Tech 28. In the inconsistent world of the ACC, we probably should’ve seen this one coming, but the way Virginia Tech lost is the most jarring thing. Virginia Tech gave up 309 yards on the ground, including 122 yards and 3 rushing TDs to QB Josh Nesbitt, to drop this one and fall into the short end of a tie for first in the ACC. Thanks for the rankings boost.
#19/18/17 Ohio State 18, Purdue 26. And it wasn’t even that close. You had to figure Ohio State would eventually run out of steam trying to ride overrated and overworked QB Terrelle Pryor to wins every game, and he really imploded in this one, turning the ball over 4 times. Purdue – a team that is really, really bad even by Big Televen standards – took advantage, leading 26-10 in the fourth quarter and was never really threatened. Also a big ups for the rankings boost.
#3/3/3 Texas 16, UR/25/UR Oklahoma 13. Pretty wild to see Oklahoma unranked and sitting at 3-3, but that’s exactly where they find themselves after dropping a game to their bitterest of rivals. Sloppy game by both sides without a lot of offense, but the biggest story will be in Sam Bradford, who reinjured his throwing shoulder in the first quarter, will return to action this season. You’d think he’d have to in order to salvage his NFL prospects, but is it worth the risk? UT sits at third in the BCS polls, but completely controls their national title destiny.
#7/4/4 USC 34, Finally Unranked Notre Dame 27. This one shouldn’t have been close, but nevertheless Jimmy Clausen rallied the Irish back from a 34-14 deficit and had the ball on the USC 4 yard line but missed his receivers three times in the end zone to fall just short. Unfortunately, his defensive secdonary gave himi no breaks, allowing USC QB Matt Barkley to throw for 380 yards and 2 TDs. Charlie Weis is still without a decisive victory and, more importantly, will likely be without a job in 2010.
#10/8/7 Miami 27, UCF 7. Next.
#13/13/11 Penn State 20, Minnesota 0. What started as a very promising season for the Gophers has suddenly turned into just another dismal year for Minnesota football. The Penn State defense held Minny to 138 total yards and the O rode RB Evan Royster to 138 yards in the win.
UR/UR/UR Nebraska 10, Tetch 31. After blasting Kansas State last week, Texas Tech continued to roll behind interim QB Steven Sheffield, this time knocking off Nebraska in Lincoln. His numbers weren’t gaudy – 23/32 for 234 yards and a TD – but he didn’t have to be in a game where the Raiders defense actually suited up and played ball. The Raiders defense held the Huskers to 285 total yards and 10 points, their lowest point total in 2 years. Bet Red Raider fans wish that same D showed up in Austin.
#15/14/12 Oklahoma State 33, Missouri 17. The team that just won’t die. Despite still lacking playmakers Kendall Hunter and Dez Bryant, the Oklahoma State offense was still able to put up 351 yards and 33 points in the win. This was good, because their defense played with a definite “bend don’t break” attitude, giving up 393 yards. Fortunately, Mizzou QB Blaine Gabbert decided to get turnover friendly, throwing 3 INTs in the loss and keeping the Cowboys alive in the Big 12 South.
25/24/21 Kansas 30, Colorado 34. Just as Neil P should’ve done, sometimes the difference between success and failure is benching your son. Starting his first game, Colorado QB Tyler Hansen rushed and passed for a touchdown in leading the Buffaloes to the upset. It’s doubtful at this point that Colorado’s season will turn around, but never say never.
#4/6/5 Boise State 28, Tulsa 21. Try as they might, Tulsa simply couldn’t win this one. Tulsa QB GJ Kinne threw for 154 yards and 2 TDs but couldn’t make plays when it counted, badly underthrowing a wide open receiver to end the game and the Hurricanes chances of an upset. Boise QB Kellen Moore tossed 3 TDs in the game but still remains the most overrated player on the most overrated team in the country.
#5/5/6 Cincinnati 34, South Florida 17. In a game that was ultimately played between backup QBs, the Bearcats prevailed in very convincing fashion. Unfortunately, it cost us a spot in the coaches poll and probably the BCS rankings. We likely won’t catch an undefeated Cincy squad, but with games against Pitt and West Virginia remaining, they’ll have to earn that undefeated season. Tony Pike tossed 2 TDs before leaving with an injury, but backup QB Zach Collaros filled in pretty nicely, rushing 10 times for 132 yards and 2 TDs. Why Brian Kelly is still in Cincinnati is beyond me.
#6/7/8 Iowa 20, Wisconsin 10. It was inevitable that the Hawkeyes would jump us in all of the polls if they continued to roll off victories, so I’m not all that bothered by this one because I expected it. Iowa actually fell behind 10-0 early, but ran up 20 straight afterwards to take the win.
So some pretty decent upsets, but unfortunately a lot of the guys in our vicinity just keep winning. Hopefully next Monday’s recap will be filled with more cheer.
-Jeremy Kerley...holy crap. That punt return just defied logic. Big hand for the rest of the return unit, too, for continuing to block for him all the way to paydirt.
-That helmet to helmet penalty on Daryl Washington was complete bullshit. He put his facemask right in the QB's chest. They called the penalty because the guy's helmet came off when he hit the ground, but that only happened because his chinstrap was barely fastened. That was a good, clean hit...keep 'em coming, 4-1!
-We all knew that Ed Wesley was pretty shifty...but at 5'9", 185, who knew he could barrel through defenders like that? He broke three tackles on his touchdown reception, including one where he absolutely ran over the defender. I guess that makes up for his first quarter fumble.
-There was a lot of groaning in the stands when Ryan Christian dropped a beautifully-thrown pass from Dalton right at the goal line. In reality, the only thing better than Dalton's throw was the play of the CSU defender to knock the ball away. Yeah, you ought to bring it in if it hits your hands, but that one is easily forgivable.
-I guess the black jerseys are not just for special occasions anymore? I don't mind, as I like the look of them...as long as they're paired with purple pants, and not black ones.
-How fast is Skye Dawson? Holy shit. Hopefully the offensive coaches can find some creative ways to get him involved.
-The crowd (31,156) was pretty disappointing, but I guess we were expecting something along those lines. Very frustrating.
-PA announcer: "TCU with a 1st and goal from their own 9 yard line". Really? You get paid to do that.
Defensive Player of the Game
Frogzilla comes through again. This time with two very timely sacks. The first came right in the second quarter on a 2nd and 11 for a nine yard loss. One failed attempt on 3rd and 20 later, and CSU would punt it off to Kerley for an ESPN Top Play. The second sack came in the middle of the third quarter right after we went up 24-6. It appeared as through CSU might still have some hope and Jerry felt the need to crush that into the ground. We would score again when we got the ball back to go up 31-6.
Offensive Player of the Game
Ice cold Any Dalton comes through again with another consistent performance against CSU going 15 of 23 for 211 yards and two TDs. I will take consistency over a gunslinger any day of the week. Especially this coming Saturday in Provo.
Special Teams Player of the Game
Well well well, 89 games without a punt return for a TD and now two in three games. The Cougars punt team better be terrified. Kerley had arguably one of the most exciting plays in the history of Amon G., and CSU should be lucky that he didn't take back that one at the end of the 1st quarter as well. Overall I was pretty pleased with the special teams play. Greg McCoy had his coming out party on kick offs with returns of 24, 34, and 36 yards. I like what I see there. And guess what? We got a freaking touchback! And it was immediately after the Kerley return so my level of excitement went through the freaking roof. I was almost more excited to see the touchback because I had seen a Kerley return for a TD already this season, but not a Sharples touchback. That's right. It was our first touchback of the year, its about time.
Play of the Game
Now THAT’s more like it. After a shaky start, the Frogs finally got the offensive machine back on track, surely silencing all the Dalton haters and showing that our poor output against Clemson, SMU and Air Force was just an anomaly caused by the weather. Yes, the turnovers have to stop, but they didn’t come close to costing us this time and after watching this defensive performance, how can we really be afraid of anyone? Let’s get all up in it, bitches.
Offense – A. It took a while, but the offense finally got it rolling thanks to the Colorado State defense deciding it was nap time instead of game time. King Kerley was undoubtedly the spark that got the TCU offense going, but it goes without saying he’s going to get a big shout out later. Until then though, things started out VERY slow with Colorado State leading 6-0 after the first quarter due to lots of offensive ineptitude and another vomitous turnover. However, 44 straight points in three quarters? Can’t really complain there, and it all starts with Big Red. I heard a TON of anti-Dalton vitriol in section X which still continues to blow my mind because the guy is going to leave school with the highest number of wins for a TCU QB ever, and it’s not going to be close. Sure, he won’t be an NFL type passer, but other than Sam Baugh and Little Davey, name another one from the Frogs. Not exactly a fair criticism, but I suppose that’s all part of being a fan. Anyway, Dalton hasn't really had a flashy game this season, besides winning the Clemson game of course, but he put points on the board when it counted, none bigger than the 47 yard hookup to a comically open Curtis Clay for a TD. That connection pushed the score to 24-7 and even more out of reach than it already was. Overall he finished with 211 yards passing on a 15-23 night and had 2 TDs to no INTs. Dalton also used his much talked about wheels 6 times for 42 yards and finally played a game without a sack.
Despite Dalton’s solid performance, the biggest eye opener of the game – aside from Kerley, although I’m not sure if something that was totally expected can be considered eye opening – would likely be the introduction of Skye Dawson to the world. He only rushed twice, but he led all rushers with 47 yards, including a 25 yard dash that would shock most Olympic sprinters. We’ve heard about his speed but to this point we haven’t seen it. Needless to say, I think we’re going to see a lot more of that in the years to come. Wish he’d been around last weekend, but a coming out party against BYU this weekend would also be welcome. Your usual triumvirate of Ed Wesley (6-44), Matthew Tucker (7-36) and Joseph Turner (8-28-1TD) carried the load, but the Frogs had 14 different rushers get in on the ground game, including TD runs by Antoine Hicks and Luke Shivers who are simply touchdown machines when we are on the goal line.
No one lit up the stat line catching the ball, and Dalton’s numbers are going to be skewed by some early drops in the red zone, but still a solid day. Curtis Clay led all receivers with 3 catches for 72 yards and the above mentioned score, while Ed Wesley caught 3 for 52 yards and a long score. Kerley and Young had 3 catches each for 40 and 19 yards, respectively while Bart Johnson had 2 for 32 yards. Matthew Tucker and a returning to action Ryan Christian had a catch a piece. We may be confused about Christian’s choice of hair style, but after taking a helmet-to-helmet hit like he did and returning 2 weeks later, perhaps it provided a pretty decent brain buffer and we should lay off it a while.
Final Numbers – 26 First downs, 499 total yards of offense (275 rush, 224 pass), 70 plays-7.1 yard average, 1 fumble/1lost, 30:22 TOP, 0 INTS, 5/10 third down conversions, 0/2 fourth down conversions, 4/5 red zone scoring, 0 sacks allowed.
Defense – A+. I think we should all take a minute to rise from our computers and give the defense a BIG round of applause for their efforts because they absolutely humiliated Colorado State Saturday evening. CSU’s first two drives? 53 yards and 6 points. CSU’s final 11 drives? 9 punts, 1 fumble, 130 total yards, 0 points. I don’t know about you guys, but from where I come from, they call that “rape” and it carries a hefty jail sentence. Seriously guys, you may want to lay low for a while because the police have multiple warrants out for what just happened and I hear Colorado State snitches. The man, the myth Jerry Hughes only had 4 tackles on the evening, but he did add 2 sacks to his total, pushing it to 8 on the year and looking like he could increase his school record total from last year. Tank Carder and Colin Jones were the two guys I remember most from the evening as they led the team in tackles with 7 and 6 a piece and each got in on a tackle for a loss. I think it’s been said before, but for clarity, if Tank continues to play like this, he can wear an Allen Iverson arm sleeve and shave his head into a Drew Gooden duck tail for all I care. D-Wash continued to impress with 5 tackles, one going for a loss while 903s own Wayne Daniels also had 5 with 2 going for losses. Back from injury, Nick Sanders had 3 tackles but he did drop a sure interception which is hopefully the only sign of rust he’ll show the rest of the way. Alex Ibolye returned after missing last week’s game and recorded 5 tackles, 4 of them solo. Tanner Brock had 2, including one for a loss, both of which with his helmet on, it should be noted. Sometimes you just have to level the playing field in a blow out so I admire his altruism towards his fellow competitors. Lots of backups were able to get in on the action due to the score, including Braylon Broughton who recovered a fumble late in the game to ice it, or as much as you can ice a 38 point lead. Big, big day for the defense and a huge confidence builder going into Provo on Saturday.
Final Numbers – 10 first downs allowed, 182 yard (70 rushing, 112 passing) 55 plays-3.1 yard average, 11 forced fumble/recovery, 0 INTs, 29:38 TOP, 2/13 third down conversions, 1/1 red zone, 4 sacks.
Special Teams – A. Well, he can do it with his teammates playing like gladiators sans helmets, and he can do it the traditional, helmeted way. Jeremy Kerley can really do it all. Pretty amazing that it took seven years now that he has two, and honestly, if there were Vegas odds that he’ll put up another one, how much juice would there have to be to make it fair for the bookies? +10000? No way that one goes on the board because we’d all be millionaires come the end of the season. Regardless, if someone gives you a 3.5 o/u on it, you’d be foolish not to clear out your life savings and take the over. I think the greatest thing about this return -69 yards, to refesh your memory – was how we all knew it was happening and that there was no way he wasn’t going to get 6 on it, but it blew our minds nontheless. I’ve watched the replay on sportscenter at least 10 times now and I can’t get over that cutback move he made at the end to punch it in. It was one of those moments that when the dust cleared and there were no flags, you realized that you’d been hugging everyone in your immediate vicinity for the past 3 minutes, and you didn’t feel the slightest bit gay about it. It’s amazing how if you’re hanging out with your dude friends and you accidentally brush hands or something, you immediately recoil in horror and hope your friend isn’t questioning your intentions, but in the context of a football game, anything non-penetrating goes. Football. Truly an amazing game. For the day, Kerley had 103 yards on 3 punt returns with the score, and at least another bakers dozen of frat dude stalkers for the rest of the season. We would’ve won the game eventually, but that touchdown return, much like the one against SMU, was the spark we needed to get our offense going, and was all she wrote for the Rams.
I’m surprised they didn’t just kick the ball out of bounds on punt returns given their coverage, but they at least attempted to rectify it on kickoffs, when they only kicked it to Greg McCoy who I’m not sure isn’t almost as potent of a weapon. Three returns for 94 yards? That’s downright Rodgersesque right there, son. That’s another guy that is surely guaranteed a couple of TDs by the time his college career runs its course. Curtis Clay also returned one punt for 7 yards.
The kicking game never got much chance to get going, but Kevin Sharples looked like he’d been eating his Wheaties while sitting on the bench as a couple of his kickoffs actually reached the end zone. He even had a touchback! A TOUCHBACK I TELL YOU! I’m not sure what the wind conditions were, but I don’t remember anything tumultuous enough to give him an extra 5-10 yards, so he must have changed techniques. Overall he had 8 kickoffs for a 65.6 yard average, the touchback and, most notably, a relatively large group of female supporters in section X, proving once again that we should’ve practiced a lot harder growing up because even the spot kickers on a football team get ass simply by association.
Punting, Anson Kelton continued to be a disappointment, punting twice for 56 yards – an embarrassing 28 yard average. Not sure what’s happening to the guy, but it has to be hard to kick your leg too high when you’re built like a linebacker. Fortunately if our offense keeps rolling, we won’t have to play the field position game too often.
Final Numbers – 65.6 yard kickoff average, 1 touchback, 4 punt returns for 110 yards and 1 TD, 3 kickoff returns for 94 yards, 2 punts for 56 yards and no returns, allowed 7 kick returns for 134 yard – 19 yard average.
Overall – Best performance we’ve put together all year by far, and it looks like the offense is clicking at the right time as we have a season defining game in Provo this weekend. By now you’ve all heard that gameday will be there, which is funny since our TV contract doesn’t allow ESPN to broadcast the game nor does it allow directv subscribers to get in on the action – even more of a reason to attend, which it appears WHHD and myself will be doing. Regardless, the only reason Boise is ranked 4th –PUKE!! – in the BCS is because they won a nationally televised game against Oregon and, even though the game itself isn’t getting quite that much exposure, having Gameday on the scene is arguably a much bigger boost. It’s a must win game, but there will be plenty of time for posts on the topic this week, so we’ll leave it be. Until then, if we can put together performances each week like we did Saturday – and CSU is arguably one of the better teams in the conference despite their record, so it’s reasonable – I’d like to know who outside of Alabama could give us a game. Seriously. Overrated, state your case in the comments. Go Frogs!
Undefeated TCU deserves bigger home crowds Star-Telegram
Horned Frogs eight in first BCS standings AP
The head Frog is fired up KSL
Coach downplays BCS poll ranking TCU eighth San Francisco Chronicle
Sorry Longhorns, the best team in Texas is TCU Bleacher Report
MWC solid in poll, but behind Boise State Salt Lake Tribune
ESPN adds spice to Provo showdown Salt Lake Tribune
'College Gameday' to visit Provo Deseret News
Non-AQ power rankings ESPN
After Kerley's 69 yard dance through 230 lb green jerseys we all celebrated like a bastard. After a few deep breaths and another swig from my neighbors flask to celebrate the back to back week returns I stood and thought that must have been the most exuberant celebration I have ever seen at Amon G. I have only missed one 2 home games since 2005 and I rank that as number one. My question to y'all is where do you put it on your ranking of rowdiest crowd after a single play? I would also love to hear your comments for other top memories?