Tag:Adam Jacobi
Posted on: November 5, 2011 7:37 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Northwestern 28, Nebraska 25

Posted by Adam Jacobi

NORTHWESTERN WON. Northwestern stunned the Big Ten today by upsetting 10th-ranked Nebraska at Memorial Stadium, 28-25. Kain Colter was a dynamo for the Wildcats, scoring three TDs, leading the team in passing with 115 yards, leading the team in rushing with 17 carries for 58 yards and two scores, and finishing second in receiving with three catches for 57 yards.

WHY NORTHWESTERN WON: There was one team that was able to move the ball on the ground effectively in this game, and that was Northwestern. The Wildcats held Nebraska to just 103 yards rushing on 30 attempts, and that inability to wear down the Wildcat defense meant Nebraska couldn't control the pace of the game. Meanwhile, the Wildcats notched 207 yards and three scores on the ground, most of which came after Dan Persa left the game with a left shoulder injury.

WHEN NORTHWESTERN WON: When Nebraska's onside kick went about 25 yards and was recovered without incident by Northwestern with 18 seconds left. With Nebraska out of timeouts, all it took was one kneel to finish the win off for the Wildcats. 

WHAT NORTHWESTERN WON: This won't just be Northwestern's biggest win of the season, it might be on the short list of best wins for any Big Ten team this year. The Wildcats went to a Top 10 team, (at storied Memorial Stadium, no less), lost their starting quarterback in the first half, and still not only won, but did so while holding the lead for over 47 minutes of gameplay. For a team perilously close to losing bowl eligibility (Northwestern was 3-5 coming into the game), pulling off a win like that could be enough to turn around a season.

WHAT NEBRASKA LOST: The Huskers had been the highest-ranked team in the conference coming into today's game -- and the early leaders in the Legends Division race. That, obviously, is out the window now. Nebraska's one Michigan State loss away from controlling its own destiny in the race again, but there aren't many potential losses left on the Spartans' schedule. This loss probably eliminates Nebraska from BCS at-large contention, though, if the Huskers were to lose in the Big Ten Championship. Make no mistake: this is a bad loss for Nebraska, and one that'll probably cost it when it comes to bowl selection.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Nebraska had trouble stopping Northwestern in the fourth quarter, but one thing the Huskers could stop was the clock; Nebraska didn't use a single timeout until there was under a minute left in the game. What that meant, then, was that the Wildcats burned over two full minutes off the clock between the time it got inside the 5-yard line and when Colter finally scored a touchdown. At that point, Bo Pelini had let the clock run down to 1:34, and Nebraska just plain didn't have the time necessary to mount two scoring drives. When you're losing by two scores, you need to maximize the length of the game, and Pelini failed miserably at that.

Posted on: November 5, 2011 2:26 pm
 

Penn State president Spanier releases statement

Posted by Adam Jacobi

In the wake of charges of perjury and failure to report abuse for Penn State athletic director Tim Curley and VP/treasurer Gary Schultz in the wake of the Jerry Sandusky case, PSU president Graham Spanier issued a statement in full-throated support of the two administrators. Here's the statement in full:

The allegations about a former coach are troubling, and it is appropriate that they be investigated thoroughly. Protecting children requires the utmost vigilance.

With regard to the other presentments, I wish to say that Tim Curley and Gary Schultz have my unconditional support. I have known and worked daily with Tim and Gary for more than 16 years. I have complete confidence in how they have handled the allegations about a former University employee.

Tim Curley and Gary Schultz operate at the highest levels of honesty, integrity and compassion. I am confident the record will show that these charges are groundless and that they conducted themselves professionally and appropriately.

Curley and Schultz are expected to turn themselves in on Monday.

Posted on: November 4, 2011 7:06 pm
Edited on: November 4, 2011 7:11 pm
 

Former PSU coach Sandusky indicted for sex crimes

Posted by Adam Jacobi

It's taken over two years, but a federal grand jury investigation into legendary Penn State defensive coordinator Jerry Sandusky has concluded -- and the 67-year-old coach now faces 40 charges of sex crimes against minors, according to the Patriot-News. And while Sandusky hasn't been a coach at PSU since the end of the 1999 season, the allegations he faces go back as far as 1996.

Sandusky first went in front of the grand jury back in late March of this year, and he wasn't the only one involved with Penn State to come in for questioning; no less than Joe Paterno, athletic director Tim Curley, and retired PSU VP Gary Schultz also testified before the grand jury, though it's not known exactly what they told investigators or how germane their testimony was to the cases at hand.

Here's more from the Patriot-News about the nature of the charges against Sandusky:

The charges follow a more-than two year grand jury investigation that began when a Clinton County teen alleged inappropriate contact against the 67-year-old former coach.

During the investigation, older allegations from 1998 surfaced as well. In the older case, Penn State police investigated inappropriate touching in a shower.

All in all, the 40 charges include corruption of minors, endangering the welfare of children, various indecent assault charges on persons under 16 (and sometimes 13), and involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person under 16. Although the alleged offenses don't have specific dates attached to them -- all but one are listed for January 1 -- they go back as far as 1995, according to court records. The other alleged dates of offense stretch as late as 2005, with other alleged offenses interspersed liberally in the 10-year period.

Obviously, Sandusky is innocent until proven guilty, and until that time it would be unfair to him and his family to start casting aspersions against him for what are very serious and disturbing allegations. The fact that this investigation has progressed this far, however, does not bode well for the man once thought to be Penn State's head-coach-in-waiting -- or for the children's charity, The Second Mile, that Sandusky had been involved in since 1977 before stepping down last year.

From a college football standpoint, it's going to be extremely interesting to see if Penn State had any knowledge of Sandusky's alleged transgressions, or if allegations and accusations had made their way to the PSU athletic department while Sandusky was still an employee there. One would hope not, of course, and until specific evidence arises suggesting that, Joe Paterno's legacy shouldn't be in any way tarnished by the news about Sandusky.

That all said, it's now true that for nearly five years, Penn State was employing a man who was allegedly committing indecent assaults on children, so questions absolutely must be asked about what the athletic department knew and when. To suggest otherwise is to put politics ahead of concern for abused children.

Posted on: November 4, 2011 3:04 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 10

Posted by Tom Fornelli

The Saturday Meal Plan is a helpful guide put together for you to maximize the results of your college football diet.  Just enough to leave you feeling full, but not so much you spend your entire Sunday in the bathroom.

Listen, we know what you're planning on having for dinner on Saturday night. The only college football fans who won't be tuning into Alabama and LSU on Saturday night are the ones who have their favorite teams playing at the same time. And even most of those people will be flipping back and forth.

Still, that doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other strong options out there on Saturday. I mean, every main course needs an appetizer or 8, right?

BREAKFAST

Iowa vs. #13 Michigan - ESPN, 12pm ET

Let's face it: it's not very fun to watch games with dynamic performers if those guys get shut down by a defense. Fortunately for Michigan, that's probably not a fate awaiting Denard Robinson against Iowa. The Hawkeye defense has been jarringly bad all season long, and "Shoelace" is likely to get in the end zone several times. What more can you ask for from an early game? - Adam Jacobi

Texas vs. Texas Tech - FX, 12pm ET

The word is that beginning next season these two teams will begin playing on Thanksgiving Day, so this may be the last time you watch this game without a turkey leg in your mouth. Both are looking to make a statement on Saturday, as the Longhorns would like the world to know that they're a good team that has lost to great teams. Texas Tech, meanwhile, would like to prove that the win over Oklahoma wasn't just a fluke and it wants to wash the stench of Iowa State off. - Tom Fornelli

Florida vs. Vanderbilt - SEC Network, 12:21pm ET

Is this the week the Commodores finish the deal? After playing Georgia tough and Arkansas tougher, it would seem the reeling Gators, losers of four straight, would be ripe for the picking. But with John Brantley another week removed from his ankle injury and Will Muschamp's team now in desperation mode, the upset won't come easy. Vandy's struggled on the road, too, having lost their two SEC games away from Nashville (to South Carolina and Alabama) by combined 55-3. Can the Gators rebound? - Jerry Hinnen

LUNCH

Oregon State vs. #4 Stanford - ABC, 3:30pm ET

Let down game? We'll see if Stanford struggles on the road after their big, overtime win at USC last week. Strange things have been known to happen up in Corvallis with highly ranked teams so keep your eye on this one even though it's a complete mismatch in favor of the Cardinal. - Bryan Fischer

#7 Oklahoma vs. Texas A&M - ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm ET

With its slim hopes of winning the Big 12 dashed last week by Missouri, the Aggies are now resigned to playing the role of spoiler. What better way to say goodbye to Oklahoma than by killing its chances at a Big 12 title as well? Both of these teams have strong offenses, and we could be in store for quite the shootout in Norman on Saturday. - TF

#19 Wisconsin vs. Purdue - ABC/ESPN2, 3:30pm ET

We're not saying this game won't be competitive, but before the third quarter is over, Russell Wilson will probably throw a sword at the press box then scream, "Are you not entertained?! Is this not why you have come out here?!" And then, if we haven't stretched the Gladiator reference past credulity and good taste, the Camp Randall crowd will begin chanting, "Caroliniard!" over and over. - AJ

Air Force vs. Army - CBS, 3:30pm ET

Air Force already withstood an 18-point comeback from Navy before winning 35-34 in overtime, and it would be a huge let down to follow that performance with a loss against Army at home.  The Falcons can capture their 18th outright win for the Commander-In-Chief's Trophy if they can win the ground attack battle against the Black Knights.  Army and Air Force rank 1st and 3rd nationally in rushing offense, and Saturday's battle will be a test of defense and ball control as the two service academies square off in the annual rivalry.  With Air Force starting quarterback Tim Jefferson reportedly playing with a broken nose, I expect senior Asher Clark to step up in the backfield with a big performance at home.  The Falcons are favored to win this nationally televised battle, but in these rivalry games with the service academies you never know what to expect.  - Chip Patterson

DINNER

Pitt vs. #23 Cincinnati - ESPNU, 7pm ET

The Bearcats have quietly made themselves Big East frontrunners, as the only team without a loss in conference play.  Two years ago Cincinnati came from behind to beat Pittsburgh 45-44 on Heinz Field to cap off an undefeated regular season and earn a berth to the Sugar Bowl.  Now with Butch Jones at the helm, they control their own destiny to return to a BCS bowl.  Their five-game home stretch starts with the Panthers, who will be looking to rebound from losing Ray Graham for the season with a knee injury.  Quarterback Tino Sunseri delivered one of his best performances of the season after Graham went down against UConn, and they'll need it again to take down the conference leaders. - CP

#8 Arkansas vs. #10 South Carolina - ESPN, 7:15pm ET 

Believe it or not, there's going to be two matchups of BCS top 10 teams in the SEC Saturday night. The Hogs and Gamecocks might have been able to draw a little more attention away from that other game if Carolina had done anything on offense of late, but -- go figure -- scoring just 28 points in their past two games doesn't seem to have done much to move the national needle. If Tyler Wilson can avoid getting an early shower courtesy of Melvin Ingram and the rest of the outstanding Gamecock pass rush, Carolina should be hard-pressed to keep pace with the Raozrback offense in Fayetteville. - JH

#3 Oklahoma State vs. #17 Kansas State - ABC/ESPN2, 8pm ET

Consider this Kansas State's last stand. The Wildcats were finally starting to gain the respect they deserved for their strong start to the season only to get trounced by Oklahoma last weekend. They either get off the mat and fight back against a very good Oklahoma State team or they'll just be a footnote in the 2011 season. As for Oklahoma State, they've got plenty to play for, as a berth in the BCS title game is very much in play. - TF

#2 Alabama vs. #1 LSU - CBS, 8pm ET

So, is it possible to sum up two solid weeks of previews and thousands and thousands of words in just a couple of sentences? We'll try: if AJ McCarron doesn't hand the Tigers big plays on defense and Rueben Randle doesn't break free for some big plays on offense, Alabama's brutal run game and equally brutal run defense will eventually wear down the Tigers in Tuscaloosa. But if McCarron does get sloppy and Randle does keep the Tide D off-balance, the matchup's close enough that just those handful of plays could swing it. - JH 

LATE NIGHT SNACK

Washington vs. #6 Oregon - Fox Sports, 10:30pm ET

Washington fans hate Oregon. Oregon fans hate Washington. This Northwest rivalry is underrated by many nationally and has been one-sided as of late but this year's game should be very competitive. The Huskies can score some points on the Ducks defense but can UW defensive coordinator Nick Holt stop the fast-paced Oregon attack? - BF 
Posted on: November 1, 2011 9:41 pm
 

Joe Paterno say Rob Bolden will continue to play

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Penn State may be 8-1 and rolling this season, but fans are still being driven crazy this year by the continuing quarterback platoon system between Matt McGloin and Rob Bolden. McGloin hasn't been great by any stretch, but aside from a 1-10, 0-yard horror show against Alabama, he's been hands-down better than Bolden, both overall and especially in Big Ten action.

And yet, week after week, Joe Paterno steadfastly refuses to hand the job to McGloin full-time. That trend seemed like it should finally be at an end last week, when McGloin led a game-winning, 80-yard touchdown drive against Illinois while Bolden went 0-4 with two fumbles in limited action. Enough is enough, right? Well... no:

"I don't see any problem with him right now," Paterno said. "Now maybe something develops down the road that I don't know about. But right now, he appears to be fine." 

"We're still gonna do it as a rotation. It wouldn't be fair to Bolden for me not to consider him as one of the kids [we play]. He's worked too hard, made too many sacrifices and he's got too much ability for me just because of one football game or two football games to say, 'Hey, we're not counting on you.'

"He's gotta be ready to go. We'll play him, I'm pretty sure. But again, we have this week and next week to go back to some basic things and see what happens." 

As admirably inclusive as Paterno's stance is, it's still enough to make the Nittany faithful tear their hair out. Rob Bolden's numbers in Big Ten action are 11-31, 138 yards, no touchdowns, and one pick. That's good enough for a 66.43 quarterback rating, and if that sounds terrible, we assure you, it is. By way of comparison, the NCAA's leading passer is Russell Wilson with a 196.95 rating, and the NCAA stops keeping count at No. 100 with Kolton Browning of UL-Monroe -- and even his rating is 110.93.

And yet, Bolden keeps getting snaps.

Perhaps Paterno's notion is that McGloin could go down with an injury at any moment, and Bolden's the only other person on the roster that Paterno's comfortable with having throw a pass in a close game -- and on this year's Penn State team, they're ALL close games. And as long as Bolden hasn't cost PSU a win with his poor play, the thinking might go, he hasn't done that much harm.

But if Bolden can't be bothered to take practice seriously without getting snaps on Saturday, then he's not a positive member of the program. And if he can still care without taking any of McGloin's playing time, well, there's a pretty simple solution right in front of everybody.

Posted on: November 1, 2011 4:07 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Michigan at Iowa

Posted by Adam Jacobi

MICHIGAN WILL WIN IF: It takes away the deep pass. The most efficient passer in the Big Ten, obviously, is Wisconsin's Russell Wilson; Wilson actually leads the nation with a ridiculous 196.95 rating. Second? That would be Iowa's James Vandenberg. Seriously. Vandenberg's got 17 touchdown passes and only four picks on the year, and his efficiency numbers are buoyed by 10 of those touchdowns coming from over 20 yards out. Last week, Minnesota bottled up the Iowa passing offense and taking away those deep passes (often at great expense to the rushing defense, which ceded over 250 yards to Marcus Coker), but at the end of the day Iowa only had 21 points and a loss to show for its efforts.

IOWA WILL WIN IF: It leaves the bad defense on the road. Iowa has historically been known for a stout defense, especially under DC Norm Parker since he and Kirk Ferentz arrived in Iowa City in 1999. This year, though, Iowa has struggled mightily -- especially in road games. Away from Kinnick, Iowa is 0-3, with losses to Iowa State, Penn State, and Minnesota -- and the defense has faltered late in all three games. Moreover, none of those three teams have a quarterback who even approximates the skill that Denard Robinson brings to the table, and Iowa's going to have a nightmare of a time forcing Robinson out of his comfort zone, which is "breaking long runs and incinerating all who oppose him." Certainly, Iowa doesn't have the defensive athleticism to keep up with Robinson. It must, however, bring the defensive scheming and intensity to at least limit Robinson's damage. 

X-FACTOR: The Kinnick Stadium crowd. The Hawkeye corner of the Internet is a dark and lonely place right now after Iowa left Floyd of Rosedale in Minneapolis for the second year in a row. If that lack of enthusiasm bleeds through to gameday and Robinson finds a muted crowd to greet him -- or shuts the fans up himself with an early long touchdown or two -- the likelihood of Michigan's offense sputtering and making mistakes lessens greatly. If, however, the fans have a short memory and try to disrupt the Michigan offense, Iowa may stand a good chance of keeping pace with the Wolverines -- especially if the Hawkeye offense does its part early too.
Posted on: November 1, 2011 2:10 pm
Edited on: November 1, 2011 2:13 pm
 

Keys to the Game: Northwestern at Nebraska

Posted by Adam Jacobi

NORTHWESTERN WILL WIN IF: The Wildcat defense shuts down Rex Burkhead. Seriously, if Rex Burkhead can't rush for more than 2-3 yards a pop, Nebraska's probably in trouble, because Burkhead is the unquestioned workhorse of this vaunted rushing attack; he's averaging over 25 carries per game in Big Ten play, and logged 35 rushes last week and three total TDs in the Huskers' 24-3 win over Michigan State. The one small, tiny, insignificant detail: keeping Burkhead bottled up for four quarters is basically impossible, even for a good defense. Northwestern's defense? Not so good. The Wildcats give up about 200 yards per game on the ground alone, and 31.5 points per game. That's going to have to change this week, or Burkhead and Nebraska are going to run up the score.

NEBRASKA WILL WIN IF: They don't make Dan Persa look like Superman. One thing that's become evident over the course of the season is that Dan Persa is not at his 2010, pre-injury level of play. That's to be somewhat expected, considering it's an Achilles injury we're talking about here, but it's to the point that Pat Fitzgerald isn't even using Persa's rushing ability anymore; that role falls to Kain Colter, who's certainly dangerous as a rusher (and receiver, when need be) in his own right -- but Colter's so harmless as a passer that one look at who's under center is usually all it takes to figure out whether Northwestern's going run or pass. Now, Persa's still a talented thrower, and he's got a stable of capable receivers, so if Northwestern's going to keep this game at all close, it'll be by passing the ball -- if Nebraska keeps Persa's passing numbers out of the stratosphere, this should be a relatively easy Husker win.

X-FACTOR: Bad Taylor Martinez. At his best, Taylor Martinez is a dual threat with the ability to make big plays with his arm or his feet, and defenses usually have to account for both possibilities. Of course, Taylor Martinez is rarely at his best, and he's usually good for one or two horrifying interceptions per game. He certainly has the ability to keep Northwestern in this game when the Wildcats shouldn't be; at the same time, if he takes care of the football, this one'll probably be over by the time the fourth quarter starts.

Posted on: October 31, 2011 7:47 pm
 

Big Ten poll reactions, Week 9

Posted by Adam Jacobi

This week's polls have been released. Here's how the Big Ten fared, from the top of the polls to the bottom, and what it means.


(AP/Coaches)

9/9. Nebraska

I've wanted to see this Nebraska from the start, and here it is. The defense played up to the hype for the first time all year, Rex Burkhead was an absolute ox, and Taylor Martinez only threw one unforgivable pass. Bo Pelini may have even smiled.

So with the Huskers at 7-1 and finally possessing a big-time win, yes, No. 9 is fair. It'd be great to see a road win, and what do you know: Nebraska travels to Happy Valley then the Big House after this week's home tilt with a plucky Northwestern team.

13/13. Michigan

It is a fact that Michigan still hasn't beaten anybody of note outside of that miracle comeback against Notre Dame. It's also a fact that Michigan's offense hasn't been tested by a decent defense since MSU dismantled it a couple weeks ago (no offense, Purdue). And yet still, this is a 7-1 team that'll probably be able to coast its way to double digit wins, and even in a down Big Ten, that's probably worth a Top 15 spot; it's not as if the other conferences are much better once you get out of the Top 10 anyway.

16/15. Penn State
15/16. Michigan State

These two teams are functionally tied, and they've got the stingiest scoring defenses in the Big Ten, so they get to share a blurb here. Penn State seems like the worst one-loss team in a BCS conference, but so far, Alabama (you know, the team that's about to beat LSU) is been the only team that proved it could beat the Nittany Lions. Michigan State, meanwhile, is still 6-2 and in pretty good shape in the Legends Division race, but hidden in the Spartans' 17-4 record since the start of last season is the fact that all four of those losses have been by at least 18 points and away from Spartan Stadium -- not the stuff of champions, that. Still, MSU doesn't face any more ranked opponents for the rest of the season, so as long as the Spartans don't lay another egg at Kinnick Stadium this year look for them to have a strong chance to make it to Indianapolis -- probably to face Penn State, who holds a 2.5 game lead in its division.

19/17. Wisconsin

Oh, Wisconsin. Don't let them see you like this. Don't let them see you in hysterics after those two ridiculous Hail Marys submarined your hopes and dreams of an undefeated season. You deserve better than 19th in the nation; you really do. In fact, strictly from a "power poll" perspective, you still probably deserve to be as high as, say, Michigan -- even though that defense is just lousy. The Badgers can't ride a blowout over Nebraska at Camp Randall for the whole year, though, and it's time for this team to get back on track immediately.

Also receiving votes: Ohio State (37 AP votes, 21 coaches votes) 
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com