Posted on: November 30, 2010 10:34 am
Edited on: November 30, 2010 10:38 am
Posted by Chip Patterson
As Nebraska prepares for one last shot at a Big 12 title, head coach Bo Pelini is having to prepare for the Oklahoma Sooners with an uncertain quarterback situation. Starting quarterback Taylor Martinez was forced to miss the regular season finale against Colorado with turf toe, and on Monday Pelini said that the freshman's status for the Big 12 Championship game is officially "day-to-day." Nebraska would like nothing more than to say farewell to the Big 12 by getting redemption in Dallas after last year's heartbreaking last-second loss to Texas.
Martinez was replaced on Saturday by sophomore quarterback Cody Green. Green played well against the Buffs, completing 10 of 13 passes for 80 yards and two touchdowns. While Green displayed a little fancy footwork, rushing seven times for 23 yards and punching in a score on the ground in the fourth quarter to ice the game for the Huskers, he does not provide nearly the threat that the speedy Martinez does in the open field. However, Pelini did say on Monday that "it might be a combination of the two" quarterbacks against the Sooners.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 1:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Oklahoma went out and took care of its business on Saturday night, defeating its in-state rival Oklahoma State in Bedlam, and because of it, the Sooners are now on their way to Dallas to take on Nebraska in the Big 12 Championship. Unfortunately for the Sooners, while they may have won the game, it looks like they may have lost a couple of starters as well. Most notably, running back DeMarco Murray.
Murray injured his left knee in the fourth quarter when he took a helmet to it on a run. He did not return to the game, and it seems possible that he may not be able to return in time for Saturday's game either. Though Bob Stoops isn't entirely sure of anything concerning Murray at the moment.
"I'll have something a little more to say and make sure (the media) knows probably closer to practice or after practice," Stoops said Monday during his weekly teleconference.
Obviously, being without Murray would be a bit of a blow to the Sooners offense. He's eclipsed 1,000 yards this season for the second time in his career. Along with Murray's status, the condition of starting safety Jonathan Nelson is also up in the air at the moment. Nelson, who was second in tackles on the Oklahoma defense heading into Bedlam, suffered a concussion in the first quarter and did not return to the game.
He may miss the this week's game as well.
Posted on: November 29, 2010 12:05 pm
J. Darin Darst
We still have a few regular season games left in the season that mean something, including Pac-10 teams trying to make a bowl (Arizona State and Washington), here is the schedule for the conference title games:
MAC Championship: Northern Illinois (10-2) vs. Miami (Ohio) (8-4), 7 p.m. on ESPN2: Winner most likely goes to the Little Caesars Bowl, while the loser will be in either the GoDaddy.com or Humanitarian Bowl.
C-USA Championship: UCF (9-3) vs. SMU (6-2), Noon on ESPN: Winner goes to the Liberty Bowl to most likely play either Georgia or Tennessee. If SMU loses they are probably headed to the Armed Forces Bowl on Dec. 30. The Armed Forces Bowl is being played in SMU's Ford Stadium this year. If UCF loses, look for the Knights to play Hawaii in the Hawaii Bowl on Christmas Eve.
SEC Championship: Auburn (12-0) vs. South Carolina (8-3), 4 p.m. on CBS: It's easy for Auburn. Win and it plays for the BCS National Championship, lose and it will be in the Orange Bowl. A South Carolina win puts the Gamecocks in the Sugar Bowl. A South Carolina loss will most likely send it to the Outback Bowl.
ACC Championship: Virginia Tech (10-2) vs. Florida State (9-3), 7:45 p.m. on ESPN: Winner goes to the Orange Bowl, while the loser probably ends up in the Chick-fil-A Bowl. If the Chick-fil-A Bowl chooses a different team, than the Champs Sports Bowl vs. Notre Dame would be the next spot.
Big 12 Championship: Nebraska (10-2) vs. Oklahoma (10-2), 8 p.m. on ABC: Winner goes to the Fiesta Bowl, while the loser looks headed to the Alamo Bowl. The Cotton Bowl has the next pick out of the Big 12, but appears to be taking Texas A&M, so the loser of this game falls to the Alamo Bowl.
* Big East -- Connecticut at South Florida, 8 p.m. on ESPN2: A Connecticut wins, the Huskies go to either the Orange or Fiesta Bowl for the first time in history. If South Florida wins, than West Virginia wins the Big East and most certainly will play in the Orange Bowl.
Posted on: November 28, 2010 12:46 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
1. They call it Bedlam for a reason. Seriously, Saturday night's game between Oklahoma and Oklahoma State lived up to the hype, particularly in the fourth quarter and the closing minutes. Over the final 15 minutes the two teams combined for 40 points, 31 of which came in the final five minutes. When the dust cleared Oklahoma emerged victorious, and there was a three-way tie atop the Big 12 South. Though odds are that when the BCS rankings come out on Sunday, Oklahoma will be ranked the highest and therefore be on its way to Dallas for the Big 12 title game.
2. Which is where they'll find Nebraska. Nebraska took any possible drama out of the race for the Big 12 North and disposed of it on Friday afternoon, smacking Colorado around to the tune of a 45-17 victory. Of course, the Big 12 wasn't on hand to reward the Cornhuskers for their division championship because the conference was afraid. Seriously, I don't know if you heard, but Nebraska and the Big 12 aren't exactly BFF.
3. Missouri still has BCS hopes. It's a long shot, sure, but the Tigers still have a chance to sneak in to a BCS game now that Boise State has lost, and depending on what happens next week. It wouldn't be a bad consolation prize for Gary Pinkel's team. By the way, did you know that Missouri has four 10-win seasons in school history and three of them have come with Pinkel in charge? He's a keeper.
4. Somebody is getting fired in Texas. You know, something told me that if Texas could manage to get a win against Texas A&M on Thursday night and become bowl eligible, even though the season would be seen as a failure overall, the good will of beating the Aggies might save some jobs. I doubt that's going to be the case anymore. Sorry, Greg Davis. I'm not sure you deserve it, but somebody has to be the scapegoat, and I don't think Mack Brown is falling on his sword.
Posted on: November 27, 2010 10:05 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Things may have gotten off to a slow start in Stillwater on Saturday night, but Bedlam picked it up in the second quarter, and at halftime Oklahoma leads Oklahoma State 24-17. Both teams have made their share of mistakes, particularly Landry Jones and Brandon Weeden. Jones has thrown two touchdowns for the Sooners, but he's also thrown one for Oklahoma State, as one of his three interceptions was returned for a touchdown by the Cowboys' Shaun Lewis -- one of two Lewis interceptions in the half, though his second came courtesy of a fantastic play by Broderick Brown.
Jones came into the game having thrown only 7 interceptions all season.
Though, as troubled as Jones has been in the first half, Weeden has been worse. He's completed only 10-of-21 passes without a touchdown, and two interceptions of his own. A big reason for his struggles has been the fact that Oklahoma's secondary isn't letting Justin Blackmon find much room. Blackmon only has 3 catches for 62 yards -- which leads Oklahoma State -- but 45 of those yards came on one grab late in the second quarter.
A catch that helped set up freshman Jeremy Smith's second touchdown of the game to cut the lead to 21-17 with just over a minute before halftime. Oklahoma would then put together a nice drive in the final minute to set up a 29-yard field goal as time expired to put the score where it is now.
In other words, both teams have made mistakes, and both offenses seemed to be finding their groove towards the end of the first half. Hopefully they can keep it up in the second half, and the shootout we were hoping for continues.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:51 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Nebraska didn't have Taylor Martinez or Niles Paul available on Friday, but it didn't much need them. The Cornhuskers put an end to Colorado's post-Dan Hawkins win streak and killed the Buffaloes chances at a bowl game with an easy 45-17 victory in Lincoln. More importantly than ending Colorado's season, Nebraska clinched the Big 12 North with the win and will now be on its way to Dallas for its second straight trip to the Big 12 Championship Game.
Which will also be the last time Nebraska plays for a Big 12 title, seeing as how the school is bound for the Big Ten next season.
The Cornhuskers will now turn their attention to Stillwater, Oklahoma on Saturday night. That's where they'll likely find out whom their opponent will be in Dallas. Should Oklahoma State beat Oklahoma, then it'll be the Cowboys heading to Dallas. If the Sooners win, then things get a lot more complicated as the Sooners, Oklahoma State and Texas A&M would all be tied for first in the Big 12 South.
Which would meant that whichever team is ranked higher in the BCS standings will get to go to Dallas, and that team would likely be Oklahoma.
Posted on: November 26, 2010 6:50 pm
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Posted on: November 26, 2010 11:56 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
Texas fans don't have much to be thankful for this season, as on Thursday night, just a few hours after stuffing themselves full of turkey, they saw the Longhorns season come to an end with yet another loss at home. Though, to Texas' credit, at least this home loss came to a ranked team. I doubt that's of much solace to the team or the fans, as the 'Horns finish the season 5-7 and not eligible for a bowl for the first time under Mack Brown.
Speaking of Brown, he went out of his way following last night's loss to Texas A&M to let everybody know that this season wasn't his player's fault. It was the coaching staff's.
"I think just disappointing. You can say a lot of words. It's not our standard at all. It was obvious tonight that our players are as good as theirs. I think it goes back on coaches. It's not talent. We had our chances to win the game. People have said it's talent, it's not."
As you'd expect after making a statement like that, Brown also discussed whether there would be any changes to his coaching staff for next season.
"What I will do is take my time and evaluate the coaches and the staff and each player and everything that we're doing. At that time, I'll be able to make the conscious decision on what's best for the program."
Talk to any Texas fan, and they'll tell you that the answer is FIRE GREG DAVIS, as the team's offensive coordinator has found himself to be the target of the most scorn this season. Still, while I think it's honorable of Brown to place the blame on the coaches, it can't be entirely their fault. Yes, the players on the field are all part of some of the best recruiting classes in the country the last few years, and they are talented. Still, that wasn't Greg Davis out there throwing 17 interceptions this season, that was Garrett Gilbert. It wasn't Mack Brown coughing up the ball, it was the players.
While I wouldn't be surprised to see changes on the Texas coaching staff, even if it's just to appease the fans, I don't think it will fix anything. No, the only people who can fix this Longhorns team are the ones wearing the pads and helmets.