Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: October 29, 2011 10:51 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 10:51 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Iowa State 41 Texas Tech 7

Posted by Tom Fornelli

IOWA STATE WON. So much for any momentum that Texas Tech may have brought into this game after beating Oklahoma last week. Texas Tech came out like a team that spent a bit too much time celebrating that upset, and Iowa State had no problem punching the Red Raiders right in the face from the opening whistle. Thanks to a couple of Texas Tech turnovers, Iowa State had a 21-0 lead in this one before the first quarter had even ended, and if not for an Iowa State fumble at the goal line, it easily could have been 28-0.

Jared Barnett didn't have a great night passing in his first career start, but he did rush for 92 yards and a touchdown. As a team Iowa State finished the night with 368 yards on the ground, led by James White's 138 yards and Duran Hollis' 102 yards.

WHY IOWA STATE WON. It actually came to Lubbock ready to play a football game, while Texas Tech seemed to figure that beating Oklahoma meant it would beat Iowa State as well. Also playing a large factor, you know those 368 rushing yards I mentioned earlier? Yeah, well all those yards helped Iowa State keep possession of the ball for 40 minutes in this game. Time of possession is an overrated stat in football, but when you're down 21 points so early, you need to have the ball to come back. Texas Tech rarely had it.

WHEN IOWA STATE WON. After Seth Doege scored a touchdown in the second quarter to cut Iowa State's lead to 21-7, there was a sense that Texas Tech was going to get back into this one. Only, they never did. Iowa State would tack on a field goal before the break and when Duran Hollis took off for a 71-yard touchdown run a minute into the second half, this one was over.

WHAT IOWA STATE WON. The Cyclones finally picked up their first conference win of the season on Saturday night, and they also got back to 4-4 on the season. Which means that a bowl game is not out of the picture for Paul Rhoads and Iowa State.

WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. Well, let's just say the Raiders time in the Top 25 will be short-lived after this one. Also, any positive feelings about the direction of the program after the Oklahoma upset are gone after taking such a beating at home.

THAT WAS CRAZY. As I documented on the blog earlier, the fact that Jared Barnett was put back in the game after taking a blow to the head in the first half was not an intelligent decision.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 10:44 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 10:44 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 14 South Carolina 14, Tennessee 3

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

SOUTH CAROLINA WON:
For the second straight week, the Gamecock offense sputtered in the kind of decisive fashion that would have spelled road game doom in the SEC most years. But this is 2011, so Carolina's gone 2-0 in those games. The Justin Worley experiment at quarterback was a miserable failure for Tennessee, as the true freshman hit just 10-of-26 passes for 4 yards an attempt and two interceptions--including a backbreaking pick at the Carolina 2 after a Prentiss Waggner interception had set up the Vols inside the Gamecock 5. Freshman Brandon Wilds picked up a solid 137 yards on just under 5 a carry in relief of Marcus Lattimore.

WHY SOUTH CAROLINA WON: It's pretty simple: in a game in which the two starting quarterbacks combined to average all of 4.4 yards an attempt and less than 200 yards total, the winner was always going to be the team that could run the ball. That team was the Gamecocks, who racked up 231 yards on 53 carries and -- in a stunning display of old school power -- put together a 20-play, 98 yard, 11 minute and 35 second touchdown drive in the third quarter. When you rush for 74 yards on one drive alone, you are (as the kids say) doing work.

The Vols? After a couple of small steps forward in their putresecent running game the last few weeks, tonight was a sizable step backward: 21 rushes, 35 yards, no scores. Ick.

WHEN SOUTH CAROLINA WON: Of course, maybe the Vol ground game would show some spark if the coaches seemed to trust it at all. Facing a 4th-and-1 at the Carolina 27, down 14-3 and less than 7 minutes left in the game, the Vols put the ball in the hands of Matt Simms--the same quarterback, you may recall, who the staff just benched in favor of a true freshman. Wildly incomplete pass, turnover on downs, game well and truly over.

WHAT SOUTH CAROLINA WON: The right to stay just a nose out in front of Georgia in the SEC East race with next week's trip to Arkansas looming large. Having Wilds prove he's a capable replacement isn't such a bad bonus, either.

WHAT TENNESSEE LOST: Despite Carolina's gaudy ranking, this was an offensively-hamstrung team coming to Neyland Stadium for a night game that helped the Vols with three turnovers ... and Derek Dooley's team couldn't even stay within 11 points of them as the Worley decision appeared to backfire badly. At 3-5 and with the Vols' own trip to Fayetteville forthcoming, Dooley is one upset away from seeing his team stay home for the holidays.


Posted on: October 29, 2011 8:01 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 22 Georgia 24, Florida 20

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

GEORGIA WON: Objectively speaking, it wasn't a thing of aesthetic beauty, but we won't dare tell Georgia fans that any win over Florida ain't pretty. The Bulldogs fell into an early 17-3 hole, gained just 354 total yards, saw Aaron Murray miss nine straight passes in the second half, and committed far too many special teams gaffes to list in this short a space. But after a hot start, in the second half John Brantley played like the injured, rusty quarterback he was (missing 11 of 12 himself at one point) and the Gators were held to just three points after the break. A pair of fourth-down Murray touchdown tosses and a bruising four-yard TD run by Richard Samuel (pictured) early in the fourth quarter would be all the offense the Dawgs needed.

WHY GEORGIA WON: Because Florida simply cannot find the key to getting the ball moving after halftime. In eight second-half quarters since their win over Kentucky on Sept. 24, Charlie Weis's offense has scored a total of 10 points: seven against LSU on a lightning-in-a-bottle downfield bomb, and three today when Chris Rainey's long kickoff return meant the Gators could gain three yards in three plays and still kick a field goal. Across seven second-half possessions vs. the Bulldogs, Florida earned one first down, gained 12 yards, and started drives at the Dawg 26, 45, and 36 that totaled, yep, three points. While the Bulldogs deserve a lot of credit for putting the clamps down -- particularly outside linebacker Jarvis Jones, who finished with four sacks -- that kind of week-in-week-out futility isn't going to win many games in the SEC. Or anywhere.

A nod is also due to Mark Richt's aggressive red zone play-calling. After Blair Walsh missed a 33-yard chippie (his ninth miss of the season; he would add a tenth later), Richt twice passed on makeable field goals to have Murray throw to the end zone on 4th down. Results: 1. massive touchdown pass to Michael Bennett to close halftime gap to 17-10 2. equally massive touchdown pass to Tavarres King to tie game at 17 early second half. Without Richt's willingness to take those risks, the Bulldogs lose.

WHEN GEORGIA WON: A 24-yard punt by Drew Butler (we mentioned the special teams disasters, right?) set the Gators up at the Georgia 36 with just under 6 minutes to play. The ensuing drive: incompletion, incompletion, incompletion, sack. Even if the Gator defense had been able to get the ball back (they weren't), there wasn't any way the shellshocked Florida offense was getting a better opportunity than that.

WHAT GEORGIA WON: The inside track to Atlanta. Only home dates against Auburn and Kentucky stand between the Dawgs and a 7-1 SEC mark, and the only help they need if they win out is a single loss from South Carolina ... who's losing 3-0 to Tennessee as we type this and still have a road date against Arkansas to come. But if becoming the de facto East favorite wasn't sweet enough, that was just the Dawgs' fourth win over Florida in 21 tries and may have even saved Richt's job. Not bad for 60 minutes of work.

WHAT FLORIDA LOST: the Gators' fourth straight SEC game and any distant hope of winning the division. At 4-4 and with only one "gimme" left on the schedule (and dates vs. Carolina and Florida State still to come), Florida isn't even guaranteed of making a bowl game just yet.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:30 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Penn State 10, Illinois 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

PENN STATE WON. Another week, another close win for Penn State, who rallied late to snatch a 10-7 victory from Illinois in the snowiest game ever played at Happy Valley. The game stayed scoreless amid myriad errors until Illinois scored with 3:32 left in the third quarter; from there, it was 10 straight Penn State points and the Nittany Lions hung on for the win.

HOW PENN STATE WON: Penn State just committed fewer errors on Saturday, and really, that's not saying a lot. Penn State had "only" three turnovers, while Illinois had four. Both teams scored one touchdown and lined up for two field goals. Penn State's Anthony Fera made one of his two attempts, while Illinois botched the hold on one field goal and the usually reliable Derek Dimke put his game-ending kick square on the upright. 

WHEN PENN STATE WON: When the ball went doink. Illinois took over the ball with just 1:08 on the clock, but Nathan Scheelhaase drove his team into field position with just the time he'd been given. A make puts the game into overtime, but alas, that was not to be.

WHAT PENN STATE WON: Penn State, somehow, is 8-1 on the season, with its only loss coming to Alabama early in the season. In some ways, Penn State could probably lay a claim to a Top 10 ranking based on its record and resume of opponents. It wouldn't be a strong claim, mind you, but the case could be made all the same. You'd think the magic would run out soon, but we're three-quarters of the way through the season; we're long past the point that this winning stops being an anomaly and starts being the story of Penn State's season.

And as for what Joe Paterno won, the venerable old coach just passed Grambling State legend Eddie Robinson to assume the Division I all-time record for most career coaching victories, with 409.

WHAT ILLINOIS LOST: Illinois may have lost its last chance to avert disaster. This was the Illini's third straight loss after a 6-0 start; with Michigan and Wisconsin looming next on the schedule, that slide could easily hit five straight games coming into a season finale at Minnesota that looks a little bit tougher today after the Gophers' win this week over Iowa.

THAT WAS CRAZY: In the second quarter, Illinois took advantage of a Rob Bolden fumble to take over the ball at Penn State's 24. The Illini quickly pushed the ball inside the PSU 5-yard line, and had a 3rd and goal at the 3. Jason Ford appeared to score on the next play, but Illinois was flagged for illegal motion and the touchdown was nullified. Nathan Scheelhaase threw an incomplete pass on the next play, and on 4th down, holder Tim Russell bobbled the snap, came up with it before Dimke could kick it, and threw an interception. The Illini were awarded no points, and may God have mercy on their souls.

Also, Bolden should not be taking one single snap away from Matt McGloin anymore, but you knew that.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:10 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 59 Baylor 24

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And it won in a fashion I don't think many people expected. The over/under on this game in Las Vegas was set at 81.5 points as the world expected a back and forth shootout, but only Oklahoma State provided the points on Saturday afternoon.

The Cowboys jumped out to a 14-0 lead early and then never looked back. Baylor was able to move the ball down the field against Oklahoma State, but it either turned the ball over or was just stopped anytime it approached scoring range. Joseph Randle was the star for Oklahoma State on offense, finishing the day with 152 yards rushing and 4 touchdowns. Brandon Weeden also threw for 274 yards and 3 touchdowns.

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. I'm not sure where it came from, but the Oklahoma State defense was more than just opportunistic on Saturday afternoon. It's a unit that has led the Big 12 in takeaways all season long, and while it picked up 5 more against Baylor, it also smothered an offense that came into the game averaging 44.3 points per game. If the Cowboys defense continues to play this way for the rest of the season, then we'll be seeing Oklahoma State in New Orleans in January.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. After stuffing Baylor at the goal line in the first quarter, Oklahoma State went 99 yards for its first score of the game. Baylor would then turn the ball right back over to Oklahoma State on the ensuing kickoff, and 18 seconds later the Cowboys were in the end zone again making it 14-0. This one was pretty much done right then.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The Cowboys are now the official top dog in the Big 12. With Kansas State's loss against Oklahoma, Mike Gundy's team is the only undefeated squad left in the conference and has the inside track for the Big 12 title. It won't be easy as some tough games remain on the schedule, but if the Cowboys win out they'll be playing for more than a trip to the Fiesta Bowl.

WHAT BAYLOR LOST. I'm not sure many people thought Baylor would win this game, but to be blown out of the water this badly from the get go? Nobody saw that coming. Nobody. The biggest loss of all in this game could be Robert Griffin's Heisman hopes, as his performance was less than stellar. Yes, Griffin finished the day with 425 yards passing and a touchdown, but most of that came when Baylor was already well behind. Plus, the 2 interceptions he threw didn't help matters either.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The Baylor offense ran 57 plays for 286 yards in the first half. The score at halftime was Oklahoma State 35 Baylor 0.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 7:05 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 58 Kansas State 17

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. Kansas State's dream of an undefeated season came to an end on Saturday in Manhattan as an Oklahoma team that was looking to make a statement following a loss to Texas Tech made its statement. This game was close for the first 30 minutes, as Kansas State had a 17-14 lead in the 2nd quarter and trailed only 23-17 at halftime, but then the Sooners blew the Wildcats out of the water in the second half.

The Oklahoma defense figured out how to stop Collin Klein and the Wildcats on defense, and then the offense kept adding to its lead. The further the Wildcats got behind the easier it was for Oklahoma to stop them as this Kansas State offense just isn't built for comebacks.

WHY OKLAHOMA WON. Aside from the defensive performance in the second half, the thing that Oklahoma really had going for it on Saturday was the return of Landry Jones. Jones hadn't been sharp in recent weeks, and he threw 2 interceptions in the first half, but he finished his day with 505 yards passing and 5 touchdowns.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. When Jaz Reynolds needed only his right hand to pull in his second touchdown grab of the day in the third quarter, making the score 37-17 Sooners, the air came out of Bill Snyder Family Stadium. It seems even Kansas State fans knew their team couldn't make up a 20-point deficit against Oklahoma.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners got some of their swagger back following last week's loss, but more importantly, Oklahoma is still alive for the Big 12 title. If it can beat Oklahoma State to end the season, even if Kansas State wins out, the Sooners would hold the tiebreaker over both Oklahoma State and Kansas State. So there's still plenty to play for in Norman.

WHAT KANSAS STATE LOST. Kansas State had its doubters coming into this game, and after this performance those doubts aren't going away. Yes, what has taken place in Manhattan so far this season has been a fantastic story, but it was rather evident on Saturday that this team isn't quite ready to compete for a Big 12 title.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:28 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 8 Arkansas 31, Vanderbilt 28

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

ARKANSAS WON: In the wildest, most unpredictable, best game in the SEC in weeks, the Razorbacks scored the contest's final 14 points for their second upset-avoiding comeback victory in as many weeks. But this one was an even closer shave than the one at Ole Miss, as Vandy's Carey Spear missed a 27-yard field goal with less than 10 seconds remaining that would have sent the game into overtime. The difference in the placekicking made the difference in the game, as the Hogs' Zach Hocker made three tries from 35 yards out or further, including the game-winner from 42 yards with 6:53 to play.

WHY ARKANSAS WON: The continued brilliance of Tyler Wilson had an awful lot to do with it. Despite taking yet another pounding from an opposing defensive front (especially late in the first half), Wilson connected on 27 of his 43 passes for 316 yards, one huge late first-half touchdown, and no interceptions. With the Hog ground game reverting to its usual sputtering self (71 yards on 26 carries, 2.7 an attempt), Arkansas doesn't come close to winning this game without Wilson.

But the largest factor in Vanderbilt's defeat was that Vanderbilt -- for all of James Franklin's culture-changing confidence, bravado, and game-planning -- is still Vanderbilt. Opening up the second half with the ball and a 21-14 lead, Zac Stacy threw a halfback pass into excellent coverage that was picked and turned into a Hocker field goal. Stacy redeemed himself with a tackle-breaking 62-yard third quarter touchdown run and could have salted the game away when he took an early-fourth quarter handoff from the Arkansas 3, with his team up 28-20. But he fumbled without being touched, and Jerry Franklin scooped and scored from 94 yards on the game's biggest play. And then Spear capped what should have been an inspirational 8 play, 80-yard drive with the game on the line -- the sort of thing Vandy never does -- with the sort of thing Vandy always does.

Franklin clearly has the 'Dores on the right path, and faster than anyone could have imagined. But the exorcism isn't complete yet.

WHEN ARKANSAS WON: Spear's miss and Stacy's backbreaking fumbles were huge plays. But they might not have been any bigger than the touchdown thrown from Wilson to Jarius Wright (pictured) with five seconds remaining in the first half. The Hogs had taken over on their own 38 with just over 90 seconds left in the half, down 21-7, with Vandy having scored three long touchdown drives in four first-half attempts and getting the ball to start the third quarter. All the momentum was with the home team. But Wilson hit Wright for a 30-yard gain on 4th-and-10, and on the next play Wilson and Wright connected again from 11 yards out. The Commodores were never fully in control of the game again.

WHAT ARKANSAS WON: A continued spot in the polls' top 10, a 7-1 overall record, a 3-1 SEC record, and the knowledge that no matter how poorly they might play over the first 30 minutes, the Razorbacks always have a second-half comeback in them. But if one escape from a heavy underdog is a fluke, two is a trend, meaning that it's hard to argue the Hogs are playing like a top-10 team right now.

WHAT VANDERBILT LOST: As with the Rebels a week ago, this wasn't one of the games the 'Dores would have had circled as a must-win for bowl eligiblity. But to play as well as Vandy did and have the game so ... close in hand only to lose on a handful of mistakes must be crushing. Franklin will have his work cut out for him keeping his players' positive and focused after this kind of heartbreaker.
Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:01 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2011 4:02 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Missouri 38 Texas A&M 31 OT

Posted by Tom Fornelli

MISSOURI WON. We don't know how either of these two teams will fare in the SEC once they get there, but if today was any indication, at least the games these schools play against each other will be exciting. Missouri came back from an 11-point deficit at halftime -- I know! Texas A&M blowing a second half lead, crazy! -- to take a 31-28 lead late in the fourth quarter. However, Texas A&M was able to tie the game up with a field goal, and then things got really interesting.

Ryan Tannehill had the ball knocked loose while dropping back to pass in the final minute with A&M at midfield. Missouri recovered the fumble but would miss a 46-yard field goal as time expired to force overtime. In that overtime James Franklin hit Marcus Lucas for a touchdown, and A&M's ensuing possession ended with a batted pass on fourth down. In the end a huge win for Missouri.

WHY MISSOURI WON. You can't really tell by looking at the score and the 31 points that Texas A&M put up, but this win belongs to the Missouri defense. It shut the Aggies down in the second half, allowing James Franklin and the Missouri offense to get back into the game and eventually take the lead in the fourth quarter.

WHEN MISSOURI WON. It wasn't official until Ryan Tannehill's pass on 4th and 5 in overtime was tipped at the line of scrimmage and fell to the ground incomplete a few seconds later.

WHAT MISSOURI WON. This was the first signature win of Missouri's season. It was also only the second win the Tigers picked up in conference play this season, ending a losing streak. It also improves Missouri's record to 4-4 on the year, putting Gary Pinkel's team in good position to qualify for a bowl game.

WHAT TEXAS A&M LOST. The Aggies didn't have much chance of winning the Big 12 coming into today's game, but this loss wipes it out completely. Even more problematic is that now all three of A&M's losses on the season have come in games in which the Aggies began the second half with a double-digit lead. I'm not sure what happens at halftime that causes the Aggies offense to disappear at times in the third quarter, but Mike Sherman and company need to fix it.
 
 
 
 
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