Thursday, September 15, 2011

This Weekend's Games of Interest

Boise State (1-0) at Toledo (1-1) ~ 7:00pm Friday on ESPN
-If you are joining Toledo fans in getting your hopes up for an upset of the #4 Broncos based on the Rockets' near-upset of Ohio State at the Horseshoe, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed. All we are going to find out from this game is that Boise State is much, much better than the perennially-overrated Buckeyes.

Colorado State (2-0) vs. Colorado (0-2) in Denver ~ 12:30pm Saturday on FSN
-Sophomore QB Pete Thomas has a lot of potential to do good things in his career in Fort Collins, but has yet to really take off. Good thing for him is that his Rams take on an 0-2 CU squad that has given up 356 yards of offense per game so far in 2011. However, the Buffs found their own offensive juggernaut last week against Cal when senior QB Tyler Hansen threw for 474 yards and 3 TDs....of which 284 of the yards and 2 of the TDs were to sophomore wide out Paul Richardson. Sounds like this year's Rocky Mountain Showdown will be a high-scoring affair.

Wyoming (2-0) at Bowling Green (2-0) ~ 11:00am Saturday on
-The Cowboys may have found their offensive identity in last week's 45-10 win over Texas State, when they rushed for 382 yards as a team- led by junior Ghaali Muhammad's 123 and sophomore Brandon Miller's 101. That will be tested this week on the road, as the 2-0 Falcons are surrendering just 104 rush yards per game...albeit against the likes of Idaho and Morgan State.

San Diego State (2-0) vs. Washington State (2-0) ~ 5:30pm Saturday on The Mtn
-Did I really say UNLV had a chance against Washington State last week? Yowch! Wazzu backup QB Marshall Lobbestael came off the bench to throw for 361 yards to torch the Rebels, but the Cougars may want to think about running the ball against the Aztecs...after they gave up 403 yards on the ground in a 23-20 win at Army last weekend. Side note: this is the first time SDSU has hosted a Pac 12 team (other than Utah, obviously) since 2005.

New Mexico (0-2) vs. Texas Tech (1-0) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on Versus
-Well, I'm glad to see that Tech didn't cancell ALL of their games against the Mountain West. How'd they choose to keep the game with New Mexico over TCU? Hmmmm, that's a tough one. This one won't be close, but it will be closer than whatever kind of biblical blowout the "braintrust" in Lubbock expects.

UNLV (0-2) vs. Hawaii (1-1) ~ 9:00pm Saturday on The Mtn
-Oh, boy. UNLV's defense, so far in 2011, is giving up 554 yards of offense and 55 points per game. How is Hawaii's offense, you ask? They are averaging 365 yards a game having only played Pac 12 schools so far. Hawaii's QB, Bryant Moniz, is averaging 317 total yards per game himself, so if the Rebels have got to find a way to contain him.

Air Force (1-1) is idle this weekend with FCS Tennessee State headed to Colorado Springs next Saturday.

TCU non-conference opponents:

Baylor (1-0) vs Stephen F. Austin (1-1) ~ 6:00pm Saturday
-The #19 Bears have had a full two weeks to bask in the glory of their win over TCU, but still have a few weeks before beginning their (final?) Big 12 conference schedule. This week they welcome the Lumberjacks of SFA, who scored 82 points in their season opener against Division II McMurry before losing to FCS power Northern Iowa last weekend.

Portland State (1-0) vs. Northern Arizona (1-1) ~ 7:00pm Saturday
-Like Baylor, Portland State is also playing the Lumberjacks this weekend- the Lumberjacks of Northern Arizona, which I erroneously thought was the alma mater of Craig Kilborn (he went to Montana State...thanks, wikipedia!). NAU is coming off a win over something called Fort Lewis.

BYU (1-1) vs. Utah (1-1) ~ 8:15pm Saturday on ESPN 2
-This game used to be played in late November, usually in snow flurries and almost always important to the MWC standings. Now, it's just another non-conference game played in September after Utah accepted an invitation to the Pac 12 and BYU got butt-hurt and took their ball home to play by themselves. Neither of these teams have been overly-impressive this season so far, but it'll be worth watching just to see how hate-filled a stadium of 65,000 fueled by lemonade can get.

SMU (1-1) vs. Northwestern State (1-1) ~ 7:00pm Saturday
-After their UGLY opening loss at A&M, the Mustangs looked pretty meh again last Saturday- but these days that's good enough to beat UTEP, 28-17. Junior running back Zach Line looked good again, though- he's got 242 yards and 3 TDs through two games. Northwestern State lost 49-3 at LSU last week.

West Virginia (2-0) at Maryland (1-0) ~ 11:00am Saturday on ESPN U
-WVU was asleep through the first half of their game against FCS Norfolk State last week, trailing by two as they went into the locker room. I guess Dana Holgerson probably let loose with a few "golly's" and maybe even some "dadgum's" in his halftime speech, because the Mountaineers roared back to win 55-12. Junior QB Geno Smith threw for 349 yards and 4 TDs, giving him 620 yards and 6 TDs (and no INTs) so far this year. Let's all pray that Maryland doesn't wear the same uniforms they wore against Miami two weeks ago.

Pitt (2-0) at Iowa (1-1) ~ 11:00am Saturday on ESPN 2
-Junior Ray Graham is the Panthers' new workhorse running back, following up his 201 yard, 3 TD performance on opening day against Buffalo with a 121 yard, 3 TD performance in a 35-29 win over Maine last week. Hopefully the pink locker rooms at Kinnick Stadium will create some motivation for the Pitt D, but I'd expect something high-scoring in this one.

Syracuse (2-0) at Southern Cal (2-0) ~ 7:00pm Saturday on FX
-The Orange followed up their opening-night, comeback OT win over Wake Forest by just going through the motions in a 21-14 win over Rhode Island last week. USC, coming off close wins over Minnesota (who then lost to New Mexico State!) and Utah, may not be USC...but they're still USC. I'll be hoping that our future conference brethren in this one, but I'm not expecting much.

South Florida (2-0) vs. Florida A&M (1-1) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on*
-Junior QB BJ Daniels threw for 359 yards as the Bulls rolled past Ball State, 37-7, and moved up to #20 in the polls. Florida A&M, who you'll remember was where Casey Printers transferred after he completely quit on the Frogs in the 2001 Bowl against Texas A&M, turned the ball over three times in a 23-17 loss to fellow FCS team Hampton State.

Louisville (1-1) at Kentucky (2-0) ~ 6:00pm Saturday on ESPN U
-Going into this rivalry game, the Cardinals will be looking to erase the memory of their loss to a Sun Belt team last Friday night. Granted, Florida International may be replacing Troy as the class of the Sun Belt, but that's still no bueno for a team in a BCS league. The Wildcats are 2-0, but they've been fairly unimpressive in their wins over Western Kentucky and Central Michigan.

Cincinnati (1-1) vs. Akron (0-2) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on*
-After scoring 72 points against an FCS team in Week 1, the Bearcats helped create a Rocky Top legend as they allowed Tennessee's sophomore QB Tyler Bray to throw for 405 yards and 4 TDs on them in a 45-23 Volunteer win. The bright spot for UC was senior running back Isaiah Pead (that's right, "I. Pead"), who ran for 155 yards on just 11 carries. Akron is still looking to get into the endzone for the first time this season following losses of 42-0 and 41-3.

UConn (1-1) vs. Iowa State (2-0) ~ 7:00pm Friday on ESPN 2
-Freshman tailback Lyle McCombs had his second straight 100 yard game, but the Huskies gave up a fourth quarter lead as they lost to Vanderbilt, 24-21, in Nayashville. The Cyclones are now Iowa State Champs after defeating Northern Iowa and Iowa in the first two weeks of the season, and watch out for them because they are playing with the desperation of not wanting to end up in the MAC when the plug is finally pulled on the Big 12. They'll be trying to impress Big East brass in this one.

Rutgers (1-1) is idle this week after losing a 24-22 heart-breaker against the Tar Heels in Chapel Hill last week. They'll be back in action next week against Frank Solich and the Ohio Bobcats.


VikingFrog said...

Interesting VikingFrog note. Craig Kilborne graduated from my high school.

Top of the MWC off to a pretty strong start this season. I'm liking it.

Rotten Arsenal said...

To answer the Tech-New Mexico question, there is a valid reason why they keep them on the schedule (at least it's reasonable enough to make some sense).
New Mexico and Tech were old conference mates in the Border Intercollegiate Athletic Association, so this is somewhat similar to us playing Baylor and SMU on a regular basis. Of course, Baylor and SMU are typically better than NM, so this is just another way for Tech to have some crap team in non-con play that they can point to "history" as a reason.

Also see: TechTard Stat Hate Edition for more Border Collie League stuff

CounselorFrog said...

That's gay