Monday, September 20, 2010
Oregon State 35, Louisville 28
-Jacquizz Rodgers wasn't about to be shut down two games in a row, and he made the Cardinals pay to the tune of 154 total yards and three touchdowns. This one wasn't sealed, though, until Beavers corner James Dockery picked off Louisville QB Adam Froman's pass with a minute left. No word on whether or not Froman's father is Abe Froman, the Sausage King of Chicago.
SMU 35, Washington State 21
-Hate Week or not, I for one am glad to see the Mustangs get a W in this one. I mean, if we're going to have to play them every year, we might as well get some benefit out of beating them, right? Fun fact: this was the Ponies' first win over a BCS conference team since 2000, although beating Washington State is about like beating, well, Baylor.
Utah 56, New Mexico 14
-Conference games are always a double-edged sword in regards to SOS, except that I consider New Mexico to be a lost cause (at least until they fire Locksley...what a disaster). The Utes look good, and they have already started a steady climb up the rankings- #13 and it's only September.
Tennessee Tech 43, Lane College 0
-As much of a mismatch as the Frogs were for the Golden Eagles, they were more so to now 0-4 Division II Lane College. Sure, a margin of victory of 43 points isn't as brutal as a 55-point victory...until you realize that Tennessee Tech's win was called at halftime due to lightning. Makes me wonder if I could start for Lane College.
Oklahoma 27, Air Force 24
-Hard to file this one under "bad", since I think we were all fairly proud of the Falcons when we saw this final score. But still, a loss is never a positive. The Zoomies actually outgained the Sooners, including a whopping 351 yards rushing. When you think about how tough the Falcons played the Frogs in Colorado Springs last year and how well they've played so far this year, their trip to Fort Worth in late October seems like a pretty big ballgame.
Missouri 27, San Diego State 24
-Again, you've got to be proud of the MWC team hanging tough on the road against the Big 12. I went out on a limb picking the Aztecs to win this one, and they came within a minute of making me look quite prophetic. SDSU freshman tailback Ronnie Hillman punished the Mizzou D for 228 rush yards and two touchdowns, and leads the MWC with 443 yards so far this season. They come to Fort Worth in November, and don't appear to be the pushover they've been in years past.
Florida State 34, BYU 10
-Man...we probably really need any non-conference win we can get out of the Cougars, but...hahahahahahaha! I'm not sure what's going on in Provo this fall, but these guys just cannot stop the run. They fall to 1-2 with this loss, but they've got a few more games coming up against teams who are all about running the ball and will look to tarnish BYU's last season in the league.
Boise State 51, Wyoming 6
-If Cowboy fans had any hope of an upset, they took on the same long face look of the Baylor fans because this one got ugly REAL quick. The consolation prize? At least Boise looked better against Wyoming than UT did, and the Broncos did it on the road.
Idaho 30, UNLV 7
-This is apparently definitely not the same UNLV squad who knocked off a ranked Arizona State team on the road a few years back. The Rebels are now 0-3 after this blow out loss to FREAKING IDAHO! And it wasn't even as close as the final score suggests...UNLV's lone score of the game came during garbage time.
Miami (Ohio) 31, Colorado State 10
-Steve Fairchild at CSU enjoys the same job security right now as, say, Houston Nutt at Ole Miss. Translation: he's gone at the end of the year. Sure, the Rams actually outgained the alma mater of everyone's favorite rapist who plays QB for the Steelers, but they also turned the ball over four times.
Not a bad week for the Top 10 - only one team, Iowa, lost and it was on the road to a ranked Arizona Wildcats team and their apparently irritable fans- and the Frogs remained 4th in the AP poll and 5th in the Coaches. As mentioned earlier, we also made up a little ground on Boise and now sit only 53 points behind them for third, despite the absolute destruction they put on Wyoming. Let's see what happened elsewhere.
The Bobcats may have won the mascot battle, but not much else as they only had 158 yards of output on the day and didn't score until the middle of the 4th. Terrelle Pryor tried to keep it interesting by tossing 2 picks, but in between those he completed 16 straight passes and finished 22/29 for 235 yards and 2 TDs. Not quite Dalton-esque numbers, but Baylor probably couldn't compete in the MAC, either.
Not content to let their rival corner the market on "things middle school boys think are funny," Oregon hung a girthy 69 on Portland State to keep their season average right around one point a minute scored. The Ducks worried about their quarterbacking situation heading into the year, but when you have FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YARDS OF RUSHING YARDS I guess you can overlook said issue. Despite that, QB Darron Thomas tossed 4 TDs, but LaMichael James stole the day with a career high 222 yards and 2 TDs. James later said that this was "the worst game I've ever played in my life," which makes me think they need to get that man on a strict regimen of random drug tests pronto. Either that or he's just really kind of an asshole girlfriend beater... oh wait. For their part Portland State converted all zero of their 18 third down attempts.
#8 Nebraska Cornhuskers 56, Washington 21. Jake Locker's Heisman campaign just went bye-bye-o in this one. The Cornhuskers defense held him to 4/20 for 71 yards, a score and a pair of picks. The ground game wasn't much more impressive where he had 59 yards and another TD. Meanwhile, Nebraska Freshman QB Taylor Martinez, in his first road start in supposedly one of the tougher road environments in the NCAA, rushed for 137 yards, passed for 150 and accounted for 4 of Nebraska's 8 TDs. Todd McShay will still have Jake Locker as his top rated QB entering the draft, he'll be taken way too high by someone like Oakland, and thus prove that NFL executives types are morons and have zero interest in track records.
#9 Iowa Hawkeyes 27, #24 Arizona 34. Arizona scored with less than 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a tie game and pulled out a big win in a game where neither team could get much going on the ground offensively and despite three turnovers. With the Pac 10 having won every single matchup since 1990 with the Big Ten when both teams are ranked, you'd think the Televen might want to reconsider the whole Rose Bowl thing... Iowa dropped to 18 with the loss and Arizona catapulted up 10 spots to 14th.
Defensive Player of the Week - Teejay Johnson & Collin Jones
It is hard to pick just one when your entire defense dominates a squad as badly as they did, so I am going to go with two. It's always good to see your men in the back come to play, and thats exactly what Johnson and Jones did. They combined for 14 tackles with two being for loss and didn't allow Griffin to ever go long (notice I didn't include McCoy in this). And as mentioned by Sir Wesley, it is good to see Jones come back from that injury.
Offensive Player of the Week - Andy Dalton
Well when you have two players who go out and totally dominate on offense (Dalton and Wesley) you gotta pick the one who was breaking records in his performance. Dalton was 21 of 23 for 267 yards and two TDs. His 91% completion rate was yet another TCU record for Dalton. He completed his first 11 passes and only missed his 12th because he intentionally threw it out of the end zone because Kerley was covered. There have been some questions about the passing game in the first two contests, but when your ground game dominates the way it does we really have no reason to throw the ball. Unless of course you want to completely demoralize an opponent. When Dalton is on he seems to have a knack for doing it with such efficiency that a D has no chance. I have full confidence this will be the case on Friday.
Special Teams Player of the Week - Jeremy Kerley
Ohh its coming, we know it, he knows it, the coaches know it, and you can damn well bet SMU knows it. This guy is about to break one. He is dying to break someones ankles on the way to the endzone so ridiculously (is that a word? it is to me) it will make the CSU return look like pop warner. Why do you think he didn't just try and hurdle the punter? Because he wanted to make him look foolish by falling over his own two feet. The 45 yard return was by far the highlight of the special teams and the game (see below). I am calling it, this week, we see Kerley make Sports Center top 10.
Play of the Game
It has been along time since I have heard Amon G. erupt from a hit like that. If you haven't done so, go back and watch Patterson's press conference around the 7:30 mark. He tries so hard to act like he doesn't know what hit the reporter is asking about, but ohh he knows, his grin is priceless. Let's compare the one from Saturday v. The Great White Hit (still my all time personal favorite). Hopefully we can get a better quality video when the full highlights come out.
This just in: Baylor is STILL not very good at this game you can "Foot Ball."
Before I begin, for those of you who haven’t yet checked out our “question exchange” with theebears.com – not sure their level of interest as every single comment I’ve seen on there has been from our readers – I HIGHLY, HIIIIGHLY recommend it. Their catty responses to our answers were just the beginning; they absolutely knock their responses to our questions out of the park. Apparently someone missed out on theesarcasm. FYI Baylor fans – making fun of our basketball team does not hurt our feelings. In fact, we welcome it. Pretty sure they’re a little bit more impressed with our two star recruits this morning.
As for the game itself? What more could you have asked for? The defense was stunning, the offense was better, Baylor couldn’t have accounted for more than 7,000 of the second biggest ever crowd in Amon G Carter history – see Baylor, we don’t need our opponent to fill our stadium. That’s what happens when you’re the #4 team in the country – and, to top it all off, Ross made a field goal! Winners all around. After hearing all week how ready Baylor was and how, at least according to sources at theebears, TCU will never “out-athlete” Baylor, I loved the touch GP showed by pulling out the all blacks on a crisp, near 100 degree afternoon and basically saying, “We’re going to make the elements a factor for ourselves and still kick your ass.” And we did. I didn’t make the Tennessee Tech game, but I don’t see how it could’ve possibly been much uglier than that. But without further ado, let’s take a closer look at The Feeding.
Offense – A+. Really, as much as a homer as I am, I try to keep a semi-level head when breaking down the game because only rarely is a team absolutely perfect in any one aspect of the game. But, after re-watching the majority of our offensive series yesterday afternoon, I’m not really sure how I can justify not giving them a perfect grade because they were absolutely unstoppable. When your team is able to call the dogs off before halftime, you know you’ve done something right, and Saturday it all started with AD for Heisman. I’d been calling for Andy to have a breakout game, and while I thought it might be last week, the fact that it happened against the Bears works out well for me. I’m sure you’ve all read the stat-line, but take another gander. 21-23, 267 yards, 2TDs/0 INTs. Highest completion percentage in a single game in TCU history. Didn’t have an incomplete pass until almost halfway through the second quarter. And of his two incompletions, one was an overthrow in the end zone that may have been intentional due to the coverage on Dawon, and the second didn’t come until 3 minutes left in the third. Dalton was so good Saturday, that I’m not even sure what else to say about it. On the first TD to Kerley, the safety bit HARD on the play action, fell down and Dalton made maybe the easiest TD throw of his career. The TD to Kerley in the fourth would've been an interception if a lot of guys had tried to squeeze the ball in there, but Dalton put it on a dime where only Kerley could get his hands on it and put the 45th nail in Baylor’s coffin. Oh yeah, and just for good measure, he outrushed Robert Griffin on less than a third of the attempts. In his postgame interview, Dalton kept classy as you’d expect, but the shit eating grin on his face said it all. He knows he was almost single handedly responsible for crushing the souls of all the Baylor faithful and sending them back to the drawing board, and he couldn’t have been more thrilled. Sorry Dan Jenkins, Sam Baugh was a hell of an athlete, but I'm not fully on board with your assertion that Dalton doesn't even come close.
So when I say Dalton “almost single handedly” beat Baylor, I have to clarify because once again his partner in crime, Ed Wesley, destroyed any slim chance the Bears might have had of a late comeback. We’ll all remember his first touchdown where he ran through the defender and walked it in for 49 yards. I just remember watching the safety on that play; he was CONFRUSED. Apparently they didn’t see that kind of speed against Buffalo. For the day Wesley had 165 yards on 19 carries and 2 TDs, plus one of the greatest hi top fades you’ve ever seen since the early 90s. I think this could be the reason for his outbursts this year. He had 4 TDs last year. He already has 4 this year. I feel pretty confident he’s going to have a new career high by the time this thing is over.
Also having a standout day on offense was Jeremy Kerley who hauled in 6 passes for 69 yards on two TDs. That first TD was only 28 yards, but for the record, didn’t it seem WAY longer than that at the time? Maybe it was just me. Even more so than in the past I feel, we’re running a true spread offense, so the days of Jimmy Young having near 1000 yard seasons are probably over, but I’m not complaining. Long TD bombs are fun – and Antoine Hicks has yet to get in on that game, so look for that in the upcoming weeks – but the results we’re getting from short out routes is getting the job done and with the speed of our receivers, chances are they’re just as liable to break an 8 yard pass for a big gain as they are to blast one down the sideline on a deep route.
Kerley also was the team’s second leading rusher with 49 yards on 4 attempts, including a huge 4th and 1 end around for 16 yards that led to our 4th TD on the day. Fullback Luke Shivers also got in on the fun, scoring from 2 yards out on his only carry. Backups Aundre Dean and Waymon James saw action late, but perhaps the most impressive of the non-starters was Casey Pachall on what will likely be just called “the stiff arm.” Pachall took an option left, kept it himself, and bulldozed the Baylor corner for a short gain, prompting lots of “oooooooooooohs” from the crowd. We’ll all miss Andy when he’s gone, but this kid is going to be a lot of fun to watch… and fun to listen to announcers mispronunce his name
Also catching passes were Jimmy Young, Bart Johnson and Josh Boyce, who caught 3 a piece, and we finally got the tight ends involved in the air attack as Evan Frosch and Logan Brock had a catch each. Nothing ridiculous from Skye Dawson or Antoine Hicks this week, who also had one each, but just give it time. There are just so many weapons on this team that not everyone can get their numbers week in week out. Also, you have to ask yourself: Until proven otherwise, do you want to take the ball out of the hands of Wesley or Kerley? Didn’t think so.
558 total offensive yards and SEIS touchdowns against a team that, as we well know, hadn’t given one up all year. Scored on our first five drives. The Frogs had ten more minutes of possession on the day and only 3 penalties for 25 yards, which is a serious improvement. Only 3 of 8 on third down, but when you’re scoring as quickly as we did and averaging 8 yards per play, you don’t have to convert too many.
Before I move on though, I just want everyone to realize how unbelievably talented our offensive line is. Baylor, despite what you saw Saturday, has a decent front 4, including an absolute beastmaster at nose tackle, and our guys absolutely shut. Them. DOWN. When I was watching the game yesterday, rather than focusing on the skill players I spent the majority of my time watching both of our lines play, and given my amount of offensive line grading expertise boils down to my days as a tight end at Foster Middle school, I can still say that our line can compete with anyone in the country. I truly believe that. Marcus Cannon and Jake Kirkpatrick may get most of the attention, but I’m not so sure Kyle Dooley and Josh Vernon aren’t as good. And did anyone notice redshirt freshman Ty Horn? Dude is HUGE and looked like he’d been a starter from day one. Just an all around phenomenal job.
Defense – A. So when you look at the stat sheet and see that the defense held Baylor to 263 total yards, 15 first downs, only one score and basically killed any of Robert Griffin’s dreams of leading Baylor to the promised land, you’ll likely wonder why they don’t get the A+. Well, I have to nitpick on Greg McCoy, because that’s three times he’s been burned for scores this year and I’m not sure what’s going on there. He’s supposedly the fastest or second fastest player on the team and you’d think he could keep up with just about anyone. It was hard to tell on the play whether he got turned around or not or what exactly happened, but he was at least 3 steps behind the Baylor receiver and just got burned. Fortunately it hasn’t cost us a game yet, but that is definitely something that needs to be worked on in practice this week because you know June Jones is going to try and exploit it Friday.
But enough of the bad, let’s talk about the greatest player in division one football history, Robert Griffin the third. Sorry bro, thanks for playing! On the broadcast, they showed a quote from ole RG3 this week that I somehow missed that was condescending towards TCU’s players, suggesting that they lack talent and that they’re basically a bunch of “world beaters.” I think it’s safe to say he regrets those accusations. Dude got absolutely OWNED. Has he had a worse game in his career? I honestly don’t want to go back through all of his splits, but at least this year he hasn’t come close.16/28 on passes for 164 yards and one score. But hey, at least he didn’t throw an INT. Running the ball, he had 21 yards on 14 attempts. A dual threat QB indeed. He was also sacked thrice. So what happened? Well, much like my grading of the offensive line, I’m not well versed in defensive strategy, but basically GP and Bump were like “Dear defense, make Robert Griffin’s life a living hell this afternoon” and they were like “Yes sir.” He was running for his life all afternoon and never knew where the blitz was coming from. DJ Yendrey and Kelly Griffin each got him once, while Stansly Maponga and Cory Grant combined for a third. On Grant’s sack, he came from absolutely out of nowhere around the end and caught Griffin before he had any chance to react. And Grant is a large man. Speed, indeed. Late in the game, Griffin was dejectedly sitting on the bench by himself when we started a rousing chorus of, “Rob-ert-griff-in” in Section V, to which he turned around and started raising his hands in a taunting gesture. Way to be, RG3. Way to be. Thanks for making my afternoon more enjoyable than I could’ve possibly imagined.
Leading the team in tackles were Colin Jones and TeJay Johnson who had 7 a piece, and it looks like Jones has certainly recovered from his season ending injury last year. The two combined for 2 tackles for loss. Following those two was Tank Carder who was all over the field Saturday, finishing with 6 tackles, and Jason Teague had 5. Tanner Brock and Maponga had 4, Alex Ibiloye had 3, and a whole host of guys had 2 a piece, including backups Jurrell Thompson, Kenny Cain, Greg Burks and Travaras Battle. Wayne Daniels was mostly quiet, tallying 2 tackles and one for loss, but I think he’s shomer shabbas and was observing the traditional day of rest to try and keep the game competitive. A noble gesture, but it didn’t work.
For the day, Baylor was 2 of 12 on third down conversions and averaged less than 5 yards per play. If Art Briles doesn’t choose to use the game film as a “learning experience” on what it’s like to play with the big kids, he can always submit it as the latest installment in the Faces of Death DVD series.
Special Teams – A+. Jeremy Kerley and Greg McCoy. SO CLOSE. SO SO CLOSE. If you haven’t watched lyle’s posting of the Kerley near-punt return TD, stop reading now and scroll down to it because it’s worth checking out. And even if punter tackle saving special teams TDs aren’t for you, the block Greg Burks lays to spring Kerley around the edge is AWESOME. For the day, Kerley returned four punts for 84 yards, including the aforementioned 45 yarder to set up a TD and did not return any kicks. You know, because Baylor didn’t get to kick off much. Greg McCoy took his one kick return 31 yards and ALMOST broke it to the end zone, but it was ultimately called back on a penalty. No matter, just 10 more yards for our offense to pad some stats as we scored on that drive as well.
Legging the ball, Anson Kelton, Kevin Sharples and Ross Evans all did their part. Kelton has certainly busted out of his slump from last year, punting three times for a 48 yard average and downing 2 inside the 20. Sharples got some serious action on 8 kickoffs, putting one deep for a touchback and averaging 63 yards. He had a few that were short, but when I started screaming my displeasure I was informed that they were into the wind, so I’ll let it slide. And Evans, as mentioned earlier, was perfect on on his PATs and kicked a 23 yard field goal to push the lead to 38-3.
The coverage team let Baylor get some pretty decent yardage on kickoffs, but never let them bust a huge return and the defense did their job to keep them out of the end zone despite the field position. The Bears also only returned one punt for 8 yards.
Overall Impression. A very nice win for TCU and although we didn’t move up in the rankings, we picked up some points on Boise and now only sit about 50 points behind them. That could all change with a win in Dallas Friday and a Boise loss to Oregon State the next evening in front of the Gameday crew. Nine of our last ten wins have been by at least 27 points and we've won 15 of our last 18 against supposedly superior BCS competition. The Baylor fans – totally broken, by the way – were nowhere near as prevalent as anyone expected them to be. In fact, I can probably count on my hand how many I saw before the game started hanging out tailgating or walking around. But, when your team is riding sky high expectations and gets punched in the mouth that early on, it’s a tough pill to swallow. Baylor is always going to nay say TCU no matter the results on the field. It’s just in their genes so we may as well get used to it. But if their “superior athletes” aren’t going to back it up on the field, then it’s all just a bunch of empty threats and silly aggression by a bunch of timid, broken fans. Still, I wish them well the rest of the year – we need the strength of schedule boost, after all – but honestly? This looks like another 4-5 win season max for Baylor and another Christmas season at home. Art Briles may eventually turn that thing around, but I bet he’s wishing he’d given more consideration to the Lubbock job this off season.
Next up on the schedule is SMU this Friday night on ESPN2. Opening line is 17.5 points. The Ponies started slow this weekend before pulling away from Washington State 35-21. In the past we’ve pretty handily taken over their stadium and made it Amon G Carter east, but this year the Ponies are much more enthused than normal and I expect a fierce home atmosphere. Or at least as fierce as 32,000 folks can be. Should be a great one and I’ll have a preview up at the end of the week. In the meantime, let’s enjoy the victory this weekend a little bit more, but realize that there’s still a lot of work to do to finish this thing out. Patterson will have the boys ready. We better be as well.