Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:12 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 1:13 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA WON. Though the Sooners didn't have as easy a time as it might look if you're just looking at the final score. For the first thirty minutes of this contest Oklahoma looked like a team that thought it would just be able to show up in Lawrence on Saturday night and beat Kansas. Which is why the Sooners only had a 27-17 lead at the break.
Oklahoma would pull away in the fourth quarter, as Ryan Broyles finished the night with 13 catches for 215 yards and two touchdowns. Broyles also became the NCAA's all-time leader in receptions when he scored on a 57-yard touchdown in the second quarter.
WHY OKLAHOMA WON. The talent gap between these two teams is just so large that barring numerous mistakes by the Sooners, Kansas just didn't have much of a chance. Yes, the Sooners slept through the first half, but even then they had a 10-point lead. After they were no doubt laid into by the coaching staff during halftime, the Oklahoma defense came out and smothered the Jayhawks offense, allowing only one Kansas first down in the final 30 minutes.
WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Even after the Oklahoma defense came out in the second half and stopped the Kansas offense cold, the Sooners had trouble taking full advantage. A couple of long drives stalled in the red zone, and Oklahoma had only a 33-17 lead with 14:18 left. Then four minutes later Landry Jones hit Ryan Broyles for their second touchdown connection of the game to make it 40-17, whatever chance Kansas may have had was gone.
WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. I'm not sure it won much of anything, to be honest. Yes, it won the game, but it didn't look nearly as impressive as it should have. Especially if you compare the Sooners performance to the one Oklahoma State had against Kansas last week. I don't think anybody who actually watched this game could justify putting Oklahoma ahead of either LSU or Alabama in the polls on Sunday, and with the BCS rankings coming out tomorrow, the Sooners won't be any higher than third.
WHAT KANSAS LOST. Nothing. I think this is one of those cases where Kansas actually earned some respect in defeat. Sure, the offense did nothing in the second half, but even though it gave up 47 points, this was a much better performance by the Jayhawks defense than any of us have seen this year. Oklahoma had four drives reach the red zone that resulted in field goals after the Kansas defense tightened up, and the Jayhawks also forced 3 turnovers.
THAT WAS CRAZY. Nothing truly insane happened in this game, but the fact that the score was tied 10-10 nearly halfway throught he second quarter probably caught plenty of people by surprise.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 11:07 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
AUBURN WON: The high-flying, high-scoring fireworks of 2010 faded even further into the Tigers' collective memory after another stuttering offensive performance, but precious few on the Plains will care: Gene Chizik's Tiger cubs are 5-2 and 2-1 in the SEC. Backup quarterback Clint Moseley came off the bench to lead a key second-half touchdown drive, and thanks to a string of muffed punts the Tigers finished with a 3-0 advantage in turnover margin.WHY AUBURN WON: In a matchup where both offenses needed all the help they could get, Florida gave Auburn's far more than Auburn gave Florida. The Gators' first muffed punt -- one Will Muschamp hotly contended had been a result of catch interference on the tigers' part -- set up a 25-yard Barrett Trotter touchdown pass, the only TD for either team the entire first half. And with Auburn leading 14-6 late in the fourth quarter, another muff set up Cody Parkey's game-icing 42-yard field goal.
In-between those two poles, the Florida offense moved the ball at least as effectively as Auburn and maybe better. (Which is not to say either team moved it well; the teams combined for just 474 yards of offense and at one point had 12 total punts to 15 total first downs.) But two red-zone possessions for Florida ended in just 3 points -- one of them a turnover on downs in the fourth quarter when backup QB Jeff Driskel overthrew an open receiver on 4th-and-3 -- while Auburn's one ended in a 14-yard Onterio McCalebb touchdown to open the fourth quarter.
With the Gator offense never looking capable of mounting a large-scale comeback under either Driskel or Jacoby Brissett, that Auburn got both more opportunities and took better advantage of them was always going to result in one outcome.
WHEN AUBURN WON: Parkey had missed a pair of 40-plus-yard field goals already, but Chizik elected to let him try the game-clincher from 42 even after a false start penalty ... and with just 42 seconds left for the hapless Gators to work with after a hypothetical punt. But Parkey made that decision look good, hitting the kick and deciding the game.
WHAT AUBURN WON: The Tigers were projected to take a massive step backwards this season and have, in many ways; the defense has spent whole games getting shredded, the offense whole games going nowhere. But with Gus Malzahn's attack carrying the team early in the year and Ted Roof's defense doing so against South Carolina and Florida, the team has somehow emerged at 5-2 overall and 3-1 in the SEC ... and both their losses have come at top-10 teams on the road. The Tigers aren't what they were, but they haven't gone away, either.
WHAT FLORIDA LOST: Muschamp wasn't happy with his team's efforts against Alabama or LSU, but there was only so much the Gators could realistically do with John Brantley out. Auburn, though, showed Florida a passing game scarcely any better than their own--only for the Gators' special teams, running game, and red zone defense to give their freshmen quarterbacks so little help that the aerial draw didn't matter. Now the Gators have all-but officially dropped out of the East race, and even a winning regular season isn't guaranteed. The shine on that 4-0 start is officially off.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 10:53 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 10:53 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
KANSAS STATE WON. Kansas State used some smoke and mirrors to beat Texas Tech on Saturday night, and by smoke and mirrors I mean special teams and turnovers. Texas Tech actually outgained the Wildcats 569 yards to 341 on the night, including a 388 to 94 advantage at halftime, but it didn't matter. Kansas State won thanks to two blocked field goals, a kick return for a touchdown, and 4 turnovers by Seth Doege. One of which was a pick-six by Nigel Malone only 37 seconds into the game. The result of all this was Kansas State's first win in Lubbock since 2000, and bowl eligibility after only six games.
WHY KANSAS STATE WON. As I said above, it was special teams and turnovers. What really killed Texas Tech on Saturday night, though, was that three of Doege's turnovers came on consecutive possessions in the fourth quarter. All three came in Texas Tech territory, and although Kansas State was only able to get 7 points out of them, it was the points those turnovers kept off the board for Texas Tech that made the difference.
WHEN KANSAS STATE WON. After kicking a field goal with 2:32 left to cut Kansas State's lead to 41-34, Texas Tech recovered an onside kick to keep hope alive. Unfortunately the Red Raiders couldn't go anywhere, and when Doege's pass to Aaron Crawford on 4th and 4 fell incomplete the Wildcats just had to run out the rest of the clock.
WHAT KANSAS STATE WON. On a day when a few surprise unbeatens like Michigan, Illinois and Georgia Tech all suffered their first loss of the season, Kansas State survived a tough road test. With a game against Kansas next weekend, which is a rivalry game that may not be as easy as you'd think, there's a strong chance that Kansas State will be hosting Oklahoma in Manhattan in two weeks with both teams undefeated.
WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. This could have been a big win for Texas Tech following last week's home loss to Texas A&M, but the Red Raiders just beat themselves in the fourth quarter. Now Tommy Tuberville's team is off to a 1-2 start in the Big 12 with road games against Oklahoma, Texas and Missouri, plus a game against Oklahoma State still left on the schedule. Those two wins that Tech needs to get to a bowl game aren't going to come easy.
THAT WAS CRAZY. As great as Kansas State's special teams units were in this game, with the two blocked field goals and the kick return, they also made some dumb mistakes. A missed extra point and failure to recover an onside kick could have cost Kansas State the game.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:55 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
VIRGINIA TECH WON. Wake Forest punched first, but the Demon Deacons could not keep the pressure on Virginia Tech and the Hokies battled back for a 38-17 win. Logan Thomas picked up right where he left off in his breakout game against Miami, accounting for four total Hokie touchdowns to lead a potent offensive attack that proved too much for Wake Forest to handle.
HOW VIRIGNIA TECH WON: When David Wilson really gets moving, Virginia Tech establishes an offensive advantage that is hard scheme against. Add a more confident Logan Thomas, who is also a threat on the ground, and the Hokies have recaptured that championship caliber on offense characteristic of the recent Frank Beamer squads. Wilson rushed 17 times for 136 yards and a touchdown while Thomas threw for 279 yards and two touchdowns with two rushing scores to round out another impressive outing. Tanner Price was able to get his yards against a banged up Tech defense, tossing for 254 yards and a pair of touchdowns, but Wake's defense couldn't slow down the Hokies after the first quarter.
WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Homecoming crowd lit up after Tanner Price found Cameron Ford in the end zone to cut Virginia Tech's lead to 11 points with just over two minute remaining in the third quarter. On the ensuing kickoff, a penalty set the Hokies back at their own 6-yard line and the Demon Deacons looked poised for a run. But Logan Thomas cooly orchestrated a 14 play, 94 yard drive that ended with a 30-yard touchdown pass to Marcus Davis. The possession ate up 6:15 of game clock and took all the momentum away from Wake Forest.
WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: With the Hokies' win and Georgia Tech's loss, the Coastal Division race is officially wide open. The Hokies have put themselves in the best position, already clocking a victory over Miami, and at this point appear to be trending up while the other contenders have more concerns moving forward. Huge road victory for Virginia Tech, and another great confidence boost for Logan Thomas.
WHAT WAKE FOREST LOST: Facing Florida State and Virginia Tech in back-to-back weeks is a daunting challenge for any ACC team. Coming out 1-1 was probably an ideal scenario at the beginning of the season, but after Wake's strong start Saturday's loss felt like a disappointment. The challenge now will be to rally the team and bounce back, with a pair of road games in the weeks ahead against Duke and North Carolina. Wake Forest is still in the hunt for the ACC Atlantic, they'll just need some help now and a big win in Death Valley to claim their second division title.
THAT WAS CRAZY: Wake Forest starting running back Josh Harris was listed as doubtful for Saturday's game after re-aggravating a hamstring injury in the win against Florida State. Harris initially hit the field in sweats, but then dressed out for the Demon Deacons and never saw the field. Harris rushed for 241 yards against the Hokies a year ago in Blacksburg, and could have definitely made a difference on Saturday if he was healthy. Seeing him on the sideline in pads must have been painful for the Wake Forest fans, as they watched the red-hot offense cool off in the second half with no running game to lean on.
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Posted on: October 15, 2011 9:07 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 9:09 pm
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
ALABAMA WON: Another week, another de facto scrimmage for the Tide against SEC competition. After spotting the Rebels a 7-0 lead, the Alabama defense barely gave their hosts another sniff of the end zone, denying Ole Miss any penetration deeper than the Alabama 35-yard line until the lead had ballooned to 45-7. Trent Richardson had another huge night, running 17 times for 183 yards and 4 touchdowns, plus 30 yards on 2 receptions for good measure. AJ McCarron continued his excellent play, hitting 20-of-25 for 225 yards and no interceptions.WHY ALABAMA WON: Because the meteor discussed in this space midweek never showed up. Or, more specifically, the Tide's overwhelming advantage in talent, depth, and coaching at virtually every position on the football field. When the total yardage numbers read Alabama 629, Ole Miss 141, things aren't that complicated.
But to leave it at that is to do a disservice to Richardson's incredible night, which even his eye-popping, career-high numbers don't do justice to. This begins to: Alabama would defeat Ole Miss, and defeat them easily, even if they just had a roster full of Nick Saban's typically solid four-star rank-and-file players. That they can go on the road and blow the Rebels out of their own stadium is due to the superstars like Richardson.
WHEN ALABAMA WON: In lieu of making a "the day Ole Miss and Alabama were assigned to the same SEC division in 1992, mandating that today's game would be played some 19 years later" joke*, let's just watch Richardson's juke again, this time in .gif form:
WHAT ALABAMA WON: The right to host Tennessee for the right to advance to Nov. 5's Game of the Century of the Year against LSU undefeated. Dismissing the Rebels with the kind of ease that gave the Tide's starters all the rest they wanted was a nice bonus Saban will no doubt appreciate.
WHAT OLE MISS LOST: Actually, given that quarterback Randall Mackey didn't look utterly lost in his first start against SEC competition -- making several strong plays with his legs and generally looking more in-control than Zack Stoudt ever did -- tonight might be a net overall positive. Well, the final was 52-7. We said might be.
HTs: Kegs' n' Eggs, Gifulmination.com.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:17 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 7:18 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Oklahoma State scored more points on Saturday than it ever had before in Texas Memorial Stadium, beating the Longhorns 38-26. It wasn't the most impressive performance of the season by the Oklahoma State offense, as the Cowboys only picked up 423 yards of offense, but they did rush for 201 yards and still put up those 38 points. The most startling statistic in this game may be the fact that Brandon Weeden threw for only 222 yards and a touchdown. Jeremy Smith was the offensive star for the Cowboys, rushing for 140 yards and 2 touchdowns on only 7 carries. Justin Blackmon caught Weeden's lone touchdown pass, and finished with 74 yards receiving.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. While it wasn't Oklahoma State's best day on offense, its worst days are better than a lot of other team's best ones. What really provided the difference in this one, however, was the Oklahoma State defense. Not that it didn't give up yards and points, because it did. The difference was that Oklahoma State's defense forced 3 turnovers from Texas quarterback David Ash, picking him off twice and forcing a fumble.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It was on that Ash fumble. Texas was down 38-26 in the fourth quarter with less than five minutes to go when Daytawion Lowe came on a safety blitz and jarred the ball loose from Ash while tackling him from behind.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The BCS rankings come out this weekend, and most projections had Oklahoma State ranked fourth coming into today's game. That's not likely to change, but this win also means that Oklahoma State still controls its own destiny. The three teams ahead of it are LSU and Alabama, who have to play each other, and Oklahoma, who Oklahoma State plays to end its season. So if the Cowboys win out, they're in a good position to be playing for a national title in January.
WHAT TEXAS LOST. The Longhorns are now 1-2 in the Big 12, two games behind both Oklahoma and Oklahoma State, and both of those schools hold a tiebreaker thanks to beating the Longhorns. So there's no way that the Longhorns are winning the Big 12 this season or going to a BCS bowl game. Still, even though the Longhorns lost, there has to be some optimism considering how much better the offense looked this week compared to last. It's still very young, and inconsistent because of it, but there are signs that the future could be bright.
THAT WAS CRAZY. The second half of this game started with 14 points in 12 seconds. Justin Gilbert returned the opening kickoff of the second half for an Oklahoma State touchdown, and on the ensuing kickoff Fozzy Whittaker returned the favor for Texas.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:04 pm
Posted by Adam Jacobi
OHIO STATE WON. Reports of Ohio State's demise were premature, as the Buckeyes came away with a big win over No. 16 Illinois, 17-7. The Buckeyes took advantage of two Illinois turnovers for short fields and turned them into touchdowns, and a late Illinois interception killed a promising drive.
WHY OHIO STATE WON: Ohio State didn't actually do a whole lot on offense, gaining just 229 yards and 14 first downs, but the Buckeyes made clutch plays when they mattered. Courtney Roby picked Nathan Scheelhaase off on the second play of the 3rd quarter and took the ball back to the Illini 12, and Dan Herron would score on the very next play. On the second play of the fourth quarter, A.J. Jenkins fumbled, and Storm Klein was there for the recovery. Three plays later, touchdown pass from Braxton Miller to Jake Stoneburner -- more on that later -- and that was all the offense the Buckeyes would need.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON: With the score 17-7 late in the fourth quarter and Illinois facing a 4th and 2 in the OSU red zone, Ron Zook eschewed the easy three points in front of him and had his charges go for it. The play was botched, OSU took over, and never gave the ball back.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON: If you want to talk about "finding a way to win," this game is a prime example. OSU was struggling on offense even more than Illinois was, but the Buckeyes forced the Illini into multiple mistakes without making many of their own, and that was enough to swing the game. More than that, OSU avoided a three-game losing streak in conference play, though the two losses will likely keep the Buckeyes out of the conference title game unless all hell breaks loose in the Leaders Division.
WHAT ILLINOIS LOST: Gone is the perfect record and the lofty ranking, as the Illini will likely tumble from No. 16 when Sunday rolls around. Nathan Scheelhaase had his worst day of the year, gaining just five yards per pass and 3.1 yards a pop on the ground while giving the ball away twice. Illinois can still salvage a division title by winning out, but that doesn't seem terribly likely.
THAT WAS CRAZY: So, that touchdown pass we mentioned earlier? That was all Braxton Miller did through the air. No, seriously, that was it. Miller's final passing stats: 1-4, 17 yards, 1 TD, and he played the entire game at QB. All in all, OSU rushed on 51 of its plays, and passed on just those four. Hey, we said OSU was going to need to rely on its ground game.
Posted on: October 15, 2011 7:00 pm
Edited on: October 16, 2011 12:12 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
LSU WON: The No. 1 team in the country wasn't quite as sharp as they have been in previous weeks ... and they still won by a full 31 points in one of the SEC's most hostile venues against a desperate Volunteer team. Short-field touchdown drives of 5 and 36 yards gave the Tigers a 14-0 first-half lead, and that was all the points the typically-stout LSU defense (237 total yards allowed, zero Tennessee second half points) would need.
WHY LSU WON: The usual litany of 2011 Tiger positives: no turnovers (their fourth straight game without a giveaway), 259 punishing yards on the ground, a red zone offense that scored 31 points -- four touchdowns, one field goal -- in five attempts. LSU has been a model of brutal efficiency all season, and by scoring those 31 points on just 383 total yards, they were again.
But when it comes to Tyrann Mathieu, Morris Claiborne, Eric Reid and the rest of the LSU secondary, there's nothing "efficient" about them. As a unit, they held Matt Simms to a miserable 6-of-20, 128-yard, zero touchdown, two-interception performance. Individually, Claiborne's spectacular weaving 90-yard interception return -- taking the ball from the LSU 5 to the Volunteers' 5 -- set up the first LSU touchdown and put the Tigers in control. Alabama's secondary may have the better numbers and be closer to a total "lockdown" unit, but no set of defensive backs in the country is more explosive.
WHEN LSU WON: Already down 24-7, Tennessee took their first drive of the second half to the LSU 30. But a terrible option play on second down left the Vols in a 3rd-and-17 hole, and the drive would end in a punt ... albeit a punt that pinned the Tigers at their 1. Unfortunately for Tennessee, that punt would only be the prelude to a thumping 16-play, 99-yard drive Jordan Jefferson capped with a 3-yard option run for the score. At 31-7 and with nearly 7 minutes already gone from the fourth quarter clock, at that point a Vol comeback went from "miraculous" to "flat-out impossible."
WHAT LSU WON: As well as Tennessee played -- loss or not, this was a better outing for the Vols than their Georgia or Florida games -- a road trip like this one was almost certainly the highest hurdle remaining for the Tigers to clear before the Game of the Century of the Year against Alabama. All that remains between LSU and taking a spotless record into Tuscaloosa Nov. 5 is a home game against Auburn ... and a bye week.
WHAT TENNESSEE LOST: Not much--with Simms readjusting to being on the field, the running game still a work-in-progress, and the thin front seven bound to wear down in the face of the LSU ground attack, this was never going to end well for the Vols. Getting through this game and next week's tilt with the Tide without any other major injuries -- and the improvement in the ground game as a bonus -- would actually be something of a win.