Thursday, October 20, 2011

You probably want one of these, don't you?

The fellas over at The Varsity are debuting these sweet new koozies this week- so if you swing by (3515 Bluebonnet Circle) and buy something today through Saturday, you'll have one for your very own. It should be noted that these are the only acceptable alternative to Spit Blood koozies for keeping beverages cold. They'll even be serving free beer on Saturday, although the already-sick-of-Joe-Buck Rangers fan in me hopes it won't be anything produced by Anheuser-Busch.

If you're not going to be in Fort Worth this weekend, you can still get one of these buy ordering something online by Saturday at The Varsity's new website.

Players to Watch: New Mexico

When the Lobos have the ball, keep your eye out for tatted-up #20 Deon Long. The 6'0" redshirt freshman has taken quite a journey to being the Lobos' most dangerous offensive threat this season. Originally from DC, he spent a year at Hargrave Military Academy in Virginia after high school and then originally enrolled at West Virginina before transferring out to New Mexico (you'll remember Mike Locksley had some DC ties) where he redshirted last year per NCAA transfer rules. Now that he's on the field, he's leading UNM with 580 receiving yards and 3 TDs on 31 catches. At 18.7 yards per catch, you could definitely say Long has big-play ability- and big-play ability against our secondary is not always a great thing (for us). While Long has been the Lobos' big-play threat, #84 Ty Kirk has been their most consistent offensive weapon. The 6'2" junior from the Chicago area (remember Locksley was replaced as Illinois' OC by none other than Mike Schultz) is second on the team with 353 yards, but has racked up a team-best 41 catches- including 30 in UNM's past three games.

On the other side of the ball, #58 Carmen Messina is the clear-cut leader of the New Mexico D. A fifth-year senior linebacker, the 6'2", 236lb Messina has led the Mountain West in tackles every year since he took over as a starter his sophomore season and led the nation in that category last year while earning All-MWC honors and Honorable Mention All-America honors. This year he's again leading UNM in tackles with 36.5, including 5.5 for a loss. He also has a sack, an interception and two pass break-ups. All together, he's easily the best defender on the team so if you see Casey Pachall or the TCU offensive line pointing before plays on Saturday- they're probably going to be pointing at Messina.

This Weekend's Games of Interest

Boise State (6-0) vs. Air Force (3-3) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on Versus
-In what strangely could end up being a Big East conference game as early as next year, the Broncos host the Falcons for their first showdown as MWC rivals. Remember how badly the Frogs beat Air Force on the road? Remember how badly the Frogs were playing at the beginning of the season? Yeah, this game isn't going to be close.

Colorado State (3-3) at UTEP (3-3) ~ 7:00pm Saturday
-Here's another game that could be a conference game in the future, if the head-scratcher of a merger between the MWC and CUSA ends up happening. At 3-3, the Rams have a decent shot at reaching a bowl game this year- but with TCU and San Diego State still looming on the schedule, they need to pick up win #4 in the city that gave us some of our crazier readers.

San Diego State (4-2), Wyoming (4-2) and UNLV (1-5) are all idle this weekend.

TCU non-conference opponents:

SMU (5-1) at Southern Miss (5-1) ~ 7:00pm Saturday on CBS-College
-I have to say, I've been impressed with the Mustangs. They've got a tall task in front of them this weekend, though, with an equally hot Southern Miss squad that has historically been a tough out at home (and Frog fans would know...). With this game going up against Game 3 of the World Series, you have to wonder how many people will actually be watching.

BYU (5-2) vs. Idaho State (2-5) ~ 2:00pm Saturday
-Don't look now, but the Cougars have won 4 in a row following their 54-10 nightmare against Utah on September 17th. BYU QB Riley Nelson looks like he may have found a new favorite target in 6-4 sophomore WR Cody Hoffman, who hauled in 9 passes for 162 yards and a score in the Scientologists' win at Oregon State last week.

Louisiana-Monroe (2-4) at North Texas (2-5) ~ 4:00pm Saturday
-The Warhawks had dropped their two games following the loss at TCU, but got back into the win column with a 38-10 road victory over perennial Sun Belt favorite Troy last week. Kolton Browning threw for 275 yards and 3 TDs- an effort that, if replicable, should be enough to take down the Mean Green. Sorry, Jub-Jub.

Portland State (3-3) vs. Williamette (3-3) ~ 7:00pm Saturday
-Two weeks in a row, two heartbreaking losses for Portland State against teams from Montana. The Vikings led Montana late in the third quarter last weekend, but allowed 14 unanswered points and ended up falling, 30-24. This week they've got Williamette, a DIII school in Salem, Oregon. Raise your hand if you've ever heard of Williamette. LIAR!

Baylor (4-2) is idle this weekend.

Texas Tech (4-2) at Oklahoma (6-0) ~ 7:00pm Saturday on ABC
-As is the case with the SMU game, I wonder how many Red Raider fans will be watching this game while Game 3 of the World Series is going on. I'm not sure how much of a chance Tetch would have against the Sooners in Norman if they had Eric Stephens- but without him, I'm thinking this one might be over early.

Oklahoma State (6-0) at Missouri (3-3) ~ 11:00am Saturday on FX
-I'm not going to say the Cowboys are vulnerable to an upset, but I do think the under-the-radar Tigers have a surprising performance in them somewhere. They did take down the Sooners in Columbia last year, after all. Keep an eye on this game, even if Missouri doesn't pull of the upset, I think it'll be entertaining.

Kansas State (6-0) at Kansas (2-4) ~ 11:00am Saturday on FSN
-Whoa, Bill Snyder's got those Wildcats playing some football again! I'm not sure how long this streak will last, other than I know it'll last through the weekend because Kansas is terrible. How many other people switched over to the KSU-Tech game last Saturday during the Rangers game and saw that KSU's QB is named "C. Klein" and said made some kind of awkwardly-worded Back to the Future joke?

Texas A&M (4-2) at Iowa State (3-3) ~ 2:30pm Saturday on ABC
-Really? This game is on ABC? I can't wait to be in the Big 12! Despite their two early season losses, I've always felt like this is a good Aggie squad. Iowa State can score some points and will hang tough in a close game, all the more reason for A&M to put them away when they inevitably get out to a big lead in the early going.

Texas (4-2) is idle this weekend

Morning Dump

TCU's young secondary growing in confidence Star-Telegram

Pachall named to Manning Award watch list

Chris Del Conte's Notes on a Scorecard

Clyde Smith an under-the-radar get for TCU basketball ESPN Boston