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Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:31 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 21 Virginia Tech 38, Miami 35

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. The showdown of the ACC's two leading rushers lived up to the hype on Saturday, but it was the performance of Hokies quarterback Logan Thomas that gave Virginia Tech the 38-35 victory over Miami in Blacksburg.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: Virginia Tech's defense kept Miami in check for most of the first half, but the lack of depth played a factor late in the game as Miami began to rack up the rushing yards. Lamar Miller finished the game with 166 yards, but it was not enough to overcome Thomas and David Wilson. After struggling against Clemson, Thomas played close to a perfect game against Miami. The sophomore completed 23 of 25 passes for 310 yards and three touchdowns. On the ground he rushed 11 times for 28 net yards, but it was his second rushing touchdown - a 19 yard read up the middle - that won the game for Virginia Tech.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: Lamar Miller picked up all 90 yards of Miami's final scoring drive with 2:51 remaining. But Thomas picked apart the Hurricanes soft coverage and David Wilson tore through running lanes to move the Hokies into scoring position. With the game on the line on 4th down and 1, Thomas faked give to Wilson and took off up the middle towards the end zone. The entire Miami defense had committed to Wilson, and Thomas crossed the goal line untouched.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: Rejuvenation. After the 23-3 loss to Clemson, many felt the Hokies had been "exposed." Logan Thomas' performance was a complete 180 from that loss, and should give the young quarterback a huge confidence boost heading into a suddenly important road test against Wake Forest next week.

WHAT MIAMI LOST: The Hurricanes could have walked out of Lane Stadium with a come-from-behind victory to ignite a turnaround in Miami's season. The Canes once again will look back on this game and be frustrated by the penalties, picking up 9 for a total of 84 yards. The mental mistakes have plagued them all season, and in games as close as this every single yard matters.

THAT WAS CRAZY: The Virginia Tech - Miami series dates back to their days in the Big East, and there have been many memorable defensive battles between the two teams. This was not one. Both teams combined for 1,0001 total yards of offense, and the star running backs lived up the hype with Miller (166 yards) and Wilson (128 yards) providing electrifying runs in the fourth quarter shootout.

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Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 7:30 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Notre Dame 59 Air Force 33

Posted by Tom Fornelli

NOTRE DAME WON. For the first time since a 57-7 victory over Stanford in 2003, the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame eclipsed 50 points in a game as the Golden Domers had a rather easy time with Air Force on Saturday afternoon. The Notre Dame offense scored 6 touchdowns on its 6 possessions in the first half, with six different players scoring the touchdowns. Tommy Rees finished the day with 261 yards and 4 touchdowns, and the Notre Dame offense played it's second consecutive game without committing a turnover.

WHY NOTRE DAME WON. Let's all just be happy that the Air Force has jets at its disposal when it's defending the country, because if it were solely up to the Falcons football defense, we'd be pretty vulnerable right now. Yes, Notre Dame's offense looked extremely efficient in this game, totalling 560 yards, but the Air Force defense didn't exactly do much to stop it either.

WHEN NOTRE DAME WON. When Cierre Wood's 8-yard touchdown run gave the Irish 5 touchdowns in its first five drives and expanded the Notre Dame lead to 35-9 it was pretty evident that Air Force wasn't going to be able to get back into this one.

WHAT NOTRE DAME WON. A lot of confidence on offense heading into the annual showdown with rival USC. The Notre Dame offense had been able to put yards on the board all year, but over the last two weeks, not only has Notre Dame picked up yards but it's also scored 97 points and hasn't turned the ball over a single time.

WHAT AIR FORCE LOST. A chance to be one of the many teams that has come into South Bend and upset the Irish the last few seasons. It's not a conference game, so this loss doesn't hurt Air Force in the Mountain West, but this still would have been a nice win for the Falcons.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Notre Dame rushed for 266 yards against Air Force on Saturday, but it's leading rusher was backup quarterback Andrew Hendrix. Yes, the sophomore saw his first action in a Notre Dame uniform on a few plays in the first three quarters, and he took over for Tommy Rees late. He ended the game with 111 yards rushing on 6 carries, including a 78-yard gain that set up Notre Dame's final touchdown of the day.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 7:09 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 7:10 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 70 Kansas 28

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The Oklahoma State Cowboys must have come into this game salivating. They saw what Georgia Tech's offense did to this Kansas defense earlier in the season and must have felt like they could put up 100. For the first 30 minutes of the game, it looked like they might too. Oklahoma State led Kansas 56-7 at halftime, and Brandon Weeden finished the game with 288 yards passing and 5 touchdowns.

Oh, and Brandon Weeden didn't even finish the second quarter before he was replaced with backup Clint Chelf.

The Cowboys slowed things down in the second half, and finished the day with 600 yards of total offense.

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It's a pretty simple mathematical equation really. Oklahoma State's Offense + Kansas' Defense = AVERT YOUR EYES, CHILDREN. I tweeted during the second quarter that it was a good thing this game wasn't being televised nationally because what Oklahoma State did to Kansas on Saturday would have resulted in a lot of FCC fines, and I wasn't joking.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Kansas actually scored first in this contest, taking a 7-0 lead early. Oklahoma State then responded with 14 points in the next 150 seconds of play to take the lead, and it was over then.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. A game it should have won against a bad Kansas team. This was the type of performance you expect to see from an offense as potent as Oklahoma State's against a team like Kansas. Now the Cowboys move on to face Texas in Austin next week.

WHAT KANSAS LOST. I'm not sure it's what Kansas lost on Saturday as much as it could be what Turner Gill ends up losing in the near future. While it may not be fair to put Gill's job in jeopardy in only his second season, but with some of the repeated beatdowns that the Jayhawks have endured the last two season, it wouldn't be a shocker either.

THAT WAS CRAZY. In the span of 20 minutes and 57 seconds of game time from the first through second quarter, Oklahoma State scored 56 points. Or, to put it in a different manner, the Cowboys offense averaged a point for every 22.44 seconds of action. Want some more fun with math? Oklahoma State ran 42 plays in the first half, which means it averaged 1.33 points per play or a touchdown every 5.25 plays. That's rather good!
Posted on: October 8, 2011 6:39 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 8 Clemson 36, Boston College 14

Posted by Chip Patterson

CLEMSON WON. The Tigers overcame an injury to their star quarterback to pull away from Boston College and win 36-14. Andre Ellington took over in the second half with freshman backup Cole Stoudt under center, finishing with 118 yards on 22 carries to lead the Tigers to the victory.

HOW CLEMSON WON: Tajh Boyd had the Clemson offense clicking early, leading three scoring drives in the first quarter to help the Tigers build a 17-0 lead. Boston College struggled without Montel Harris (knee) and Andre Williams (ankle) in the backfield, finishing with just 258 yards of total offense. Once Clemson built their lead in the first half, they needed to take care of the ball and execute on defense to hold on for the win.

WHEN CLEMSON WON: Early in the fourth quarter, Ellington broke loose on a 4th down conversion for 35 yards and a touchdown. The score put the Tigers up by three touchdowns and finished off the Eagles for good.

WHAT CLEMSON WON: Bowl eligibility. With Tajh Boyd's injury clouding what was an otherwise impressive afternoon for the Tigers, it is hard to think of what relevance this win will have in the big picture other than the postseason berth.

WHAT BOSTON COLLEGE LOST: Another loss, and I'm afraid they will continue to pile up for the Eagles. In addition to being decimated by injury, they can't even seem to come up with momentum swings after injuries to star players. Just not the Eagles' year I guess.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Clemson escaped with a victory, but the story of this game is the status of starting quarterback Tajh Boyd. His maturation and ability to lead this Chad Morris offense is what has sparked Clemson's success. Stoudt was able to keep the machine rolling against Boston College, but Boyd is a necessary piece for the Tigers to accomplish their goal of winning the Atlantic Division. When Boyd was carted off the field for X-rays, it appeared as though the injury may have been knee-related. Clemson's SID later reported Boyd suffered a hip injury. Either way, all eyes will be on Clemson's training staff as the 6-0 Tigers head to College Park next week to face Maryland.

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Posted on: October 8, 2011 6:14 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 6:16 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Illinois 41, Indiana 20

Posted by Adam Jacobi

ILLINOIS WON. 19th-ranked Illinois spotted Indiana an early 10-0 lead, then overpowered the Hoosiers en route to an easy 41-20 victory. 

WHY ILLINOIS WON: Indiana has a crippling dearth of talent on the defensive side of the ball, and that was evident today as Illinois racked up 523 yards of offense in a balanced attack, overwhelming the Hoosiers over the course of the game. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns in the winning effort, and he also rushed for 88 yards and another score. Indiana simply had no answer for Scheelhaase on Saturday.

WHEN ILLINOIS WON: On a 4th and goal from the 3 yard line and having just seen its lead turn into a 14-10 deficit, Indiana trotted out kicker Mitch Ewald for the chip shot field goal. It was good, Illinois maintained its lead, and the Hoosiers were never heard from again.

WHAT ILLINOIS WON: The Illini are now bowl eligible, running their record to 6-0 on the season heading into a key matchup with Ohio State next week. It also has a claim on the best QB-WR combo in the conference with the Nathan Scheelhaase-A.J. Jenkins tandem running wild on the competition. And the defense? Not too shabby. Yep, Ron Zook's having a two-thumbs-up season all around, and he's not afraid to tell the world about it.

WHAT INDIANA LOST: This wasn't really a winnable game for Indiana, all things considered; the Hoosiers just don't have that kind of talent yet. At the very least, though, it got to experience life with a lead in Big Ten play -- and to see what kind of effort it takes to maintain that lead against an offensive attack like the Illini's. So this was more of a "teaching moment" than a moral victory -- as if such a thing could exist in a 21-point loss.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Scheelhaase completed 12 passes: six to Jenkins, six to the rest of the team. Jenkins' six catches were for 182 yards and two scores; the rest of the team managed 28 yards and one score. A.J. Jenkins IS the Illinois downfield attack, and he's awfully good at his job.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 3:45 pm
Edited on: October 10, 2011 3:47 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 55 Texas 17



Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. Actually, Oklahoma won may not be the most accurate way to describe this game. Words like conquered, destroyed, annihilated, emasculated and torched describe what Oklahoma did to Texas on Saturday in the Cotton Bowl a lot better. This wasn't a Red River Shootout, unless a shootout generally involves one side showing up with automatic weapons while the other side bring rubber band guns.

Landry Jones got his Heisman campaign back in full gear by throwing for 367 yards and 3 touchdowns on the afternoon. All 3 of the touchdowns and 305 of the yards came in the first half. Ryan Broyles caught 9 passes for 122 yards and a score, while Kenny Stills caught the other 2 touchdowns for the Sooners. On the whole, Oklahoma's offense outgained the Longhorns 456 to 267, but that's somewhat misleading because the Oklahoma defense contributed 3 touchdowns as well.

WHY OKLAHOMA WON. Well, first and foremost, Oklahoma is just a better team than Texas is right now. There's simply no way around that. Not helping matters for Texas was the youth and inexperience on both sides of the balls, a secondary that was a bit think against a passing attack like Oklahoma's and turnovers. Texas turned the ball over 5 times on Saturday, and 3 of them directly led to 21 Oklahoma points.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Late in the second quarter things were getting out of control when Oklahoma took a 27-3 lead following a Demontre Hurst interception that he returned 55 yards for a touchdown. However, Texas then responded with a 100-yard kick return by Fozzy Whittaker to cut the lead back to 27-10 that seemed to give Texas life. Life which Oklahoma quickly smothered by going 83 yards in two minutes and thirteen seconds right before the half to make it 34-10. The eyes of Texas had quarters placed on them at that point.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. Beating Texas is always a wonderful experience for the Sooners in this great rivalry, and this year it also moved Oklahoma one step closer to a Big 12 title. Still, I think the one thing that really made Bob Stoops feel good was getting some revenge on Bryan Harsin for his time at Boise State. The Oklahoma defense seemed one step ahead of Harsin all day long.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. This was Texas' chance to show the world that the program was back on track and that it could compete for a Big 12 title once again. It failed miserably.

THAT WAS CRAZY. The sheer domination by Oklahoma in this one was crazy on its own, but the fact that Texas came into this game ranked 11th in the country may have been the most insane part of all. I thought Texas was a bit overrated coming into the game based on what the Longhorns had actually accomplished so far this season, and they confirmed it on Saturday afternoon.
Posted on: October 7, 2011 12:46 am
Edited on: October 7, 2011 5:38 am
 

QUICK HITS: No. 9 Oregon 43, California 15



Posted by Chip Patterson


OREGON WON. Cal kept fighting until the end, but the Ducks dominated the start of the second half and pulled away late in their 43-15 win in Autzen on Thursday night. LaMichael James picked up his third-straight 200-yard game before suffering an apparent right arm injury early in the fourth quarter. James' was carted off the field with his arm in an air cast, and appeared to be in a significant amount of pain. Other than that, the news was all good for Oregon -- marching back from a 15-14 halftime deficit to roll off 29 unanswered points in the second half.

HOW OREGON WON: After starting the first half failing to convert on third downs and generally struggling to hit a rhythm, the Ducks picked up the tempo to start the second half and wore down Cal's defense. It started with a methodical 13-play, 88-yard drive to kick off the third quarter. By the end of that first drive the defense was gassed, and ripe for the picking for the remainder of the quarter. James, Kenjon Barner, and freshman De'Anthony Thomas continued the offensive assault and helped put the game away late.

WHEN OREGON WON: After the drive mentioned above, the defense stepped up and stopped a previously productive Zach Maynard. Following a punt, it only took a pair of LaMichael James runs and a 68-yard Kejon Barner touchdown to begin ushering in the beatdown in Autzen Stadium. It was clear at that point the momentum had swung back in the Ducks' favor, and Cal was not going to reclaim the lead.

WHAT OREGON WON: Their 15th straight conference win. Their streak dates back to the 51-42 loss at Stanford in 2009. Cal actually gave them the biggest scare in that streak, slowing the Ducks down and forcing them to grind out a 15-13 win in Berkeley. Thursday night served as some home-served payback for those alleged fake injuries.

WHAT CALIFORNIA LOST: After grinding out a 15-14 first half lead, the Bears could never get it started again after halftime. The team was gassed, and all of the sudden the lanes began to open up for Oregon. California now heads home to continue Pac-12 conference play against USC. A two-loss start is not favorable for the Bears, but is not entirely unexpected considering the opponents.

THAT WAS CRAZY: LaMichael James' right arm injury in the fourth quarter was painful to watch. Whether it is an arm or dislocated elbow, Oregon will likely not be in a hurry to give specific details on the status of the nation's leading rusher. Up to that point it was just another dominant performance by the 2010 Doak Walker Award winner.



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Posted on: October 2, 2011 12:16 am
Edited on: October 2, 2011 12:14 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Wisconsin 48, Nebraska 17



Posted by Adam Jacobi

WISCONSIN WON. What looked like a clash of the titans quickly turned into a blowout, as No. 7 Wisconsin welcomed No. 8 Nebraska to the Big Ten with a 48-17 whipping. Russell Wilson was lethal leading the Wisconsin attack with 255 yards and two touchdowns on 14-20 passing, while adding six rushes for 32 yards and another score. Rex Burkhead was valiant in defeat for Nebraska, leading the Huskers in rushing with 18 carries for 96 yards and a score, but it was an exercise in futility since Wisconsin could do whatever it wanted on offense.

WHY WISCONSIN WON: It's simple why Wisconsin won: the Badgers have a great quarterback, and the Huskers plainly don't. Russell Wilson rejuvenated his Heisman campaign with a truly stellar showing today, while Taylor Martinez put together a 12-play stretch that wrecked Nebraska's chances at keeping this game competitive; in those 12 plays, Martinez threw three interceptions, and Wisconsin converted all three into sustained touchdown drives. Just like last year, when Wisconsin was on, it was unstoppable -- and it spent a whole lot of time being "on" tonight. And oh yes, Montee Ball's line tonight: 30 rushes, 151 yards, four touchdowns. The chains just about never stopped moving for the Badgers.

WHEN WISCONSIN WON: This actually looked like a balanced contest for most of the first half; Wisconsin was the first team to commit a turnover after Jared Abbrederis fumbled at the end of a punt return, and Nebraska held leads at 7-0 and 14-7. Taylor Martinez began throwing his interceptions at that point, though, and when Martinez threw his third pick of the evening early in the third quarter, Wisconsin responded with a 47-yard touchdown drive (capped by a Russell Wilson 10-yard score on a bootleg) that put the score at 34-14 and served notice that there would be no comeback.

WHAT WISCONSIN WON: Just about the only valid criticism of Wisconsin's season to this point had been the fact that the Badgers' schedule was pure cake, especially compared to the six teams ranked ahead of the Badgers at this point in the season. So while it's now obvious that Nebraska is simply not a great team, Wisconsin still has a Top 10 win on its resume now, and it's getting awfully hard to find anything wrong with this team anymore. The rushing, the passing, and the defense were all working, and as a whole Wisconsin looked like the kind of team that can run the table this year. Who's going to stop them if Nebraska can't even come close?

WHAT NEBRASKA LOST: This was a tough, tough way for Nebraska to begin its Big Ten Era; Wisconsin manhandled the Huskers in the trenches on both sides of the ball, and Taylor Martinez looked maddeningly inconsistent yet again. Now, Nebraska's had problems with its defensive intensity and passing game all season long, but up to this point, it had stayed undefeated, and let's face it: there are some things you can look past after a win that aren't so easily ignored with a 31-point loss on the books. Look for a lot of reevaluation in Lincoln as the team licks its wounds and prepares for Ohio State.

THAT WAS CRAZY: With Wisconsin leading 41-14 in the second half and generally having its way with the Nebraska defense, the Wisconsin student section couldn't resist the opportunity to mark the occasion. And lo, up went a "BIG TEN FOOT-BALL (clap, clap, clap-clap-clap)" chant that the rest of the stadium couldn't help but join. Now, Nebraska isn't going to absorb 31-point losses every week in this new conference, but it's also not going to have many weeks of easy victories from here on out, either.

 
 
 
 
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