Tag:Jahvid Best
Posted on: September 26, 2009 5:38 pm

Pac-10, ACC showdowns blowouts instead at half

The Virginia Tech-Miami and Oregon-Cal showdowns had been thought to be two of the best matchups of the weekend, but at this point the Hokies and Ducks have been dominant over their higher ranked opponents.

Oregon leads #6 Cal 25-3 at the half. The score is just as one-sided on the other side of the country with #11 ranked Virginia Tech leading #9 Miami 21-0.

In both cases, the home defenses have imposed their will over the visitors. The two Heisman contenders from these contests -- Cal RB Jahvid Best and Miami QB Jacory Harris -- have each been held in check. Best rushed for 55 yards over the first half, but did so on 15 attempts. Harris has been under constant pressure from the aggressive Hokie defense and is battling the elements, as well, as the driving rain pelting much of the east coast and south hasn't made an exception for Blacksburg. Harris finished the half only completing 2 of 10 passes for 48 yards. The zip and accuracy he had shown in previous contests hasn't been there thus far for Harris. He's been short and wide on numerous throws, as the combination of weather and the VT pass rush is clearly bothering him.

Barring impressive comebacks, the top 10 is going to see another significant upheaval this weekend. 

Posted on: September 19, 2009 1:10 pm

Minn WR Eric Decker as advertised with TD

One of the key matchups I'm watching this week is between 6-3, 215 pound wideout Eric Decker of Minnesota against 5-09, 191 pound Cal cornerback Syd'Quan Thompson.

I've been admittedly lower on Decker than some, but may need to adjust my thinking after watching the first few moments of this game. While I still question his speed and elusiveness in the open field, with his size, Decker's game translates well to the next level as a possession receiver.

Over the past few years the term possession receiver has, for whatever reason, taken on a negative connotation. While they may lack the gamebreaking ability of speedier threats, a good possession receiver is invaluable to his offense.

This is exactly what Decker showed in snaring a touchdown in the first quarter to close the gap against Cal to 14-7. The Gophers desperately needed a score after surrendering two early touchdown runs to the spectacular Jahvid Best. Though Syd'Quan Thompson has lined up against Decker for some of this game, Decker's score came against the other starting Golden Bear corner, Darian Hagan (6-0, 186).

Decker gained a free release from Hagan and slipped past him down the sideline. He contorted his body in space to make an impressive catch while absorbing a monster hit (but clean) the safety. The hit came high into the chest plate and drew blood from Decker's chin, but he hung on for the score.

Decker was knocked out of the game for a few moments, but was back on the field (running a reverse and WR pass) on the next Golden Gopher possession.  
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