Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: October 1, 2011 4:00 pm
Edited on: October 1, 2011 4:40 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Air Force 35, Navy 34 (OT)


Posted by Chip Patterson

AIR FORCE WON. Eight of the last ten Air Force-Navy games have been decided by a one-score margin. So when Air Force jumped out to a 28-10 lead in the fourth quarter, it seemed as though this annually decisive showdown in the battle for the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy might be different. However, Navy scored 18 points in the final 9:34 - including recovering an on sides kick and converting a 2-point attempt - to tie the game and send it to overtime. Navy's failure to convert on the extra point following overtime's first touchdown eventually decided the outcome and Air Force defended the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy with a 35-34 win.

HOW AIR FORCE WON: Falcons' quarterback Tim Jefferson orchestrated three methodical scoring drives in the first half, and the defense held strong against the bruising Navy offensive attack. The Midshipmen dominated the stats, with 466 total yards of offense and more than 40 minutes time of possession, but Air Force came up with enough big plays thanks to Ty MacCurther and Asher Clark.

WHEN AIR FORCE WON: It appeared the Falcons had this game won at several different points, but due to Navy's resilience it wasn't over until the final whistle blew. Jefferson punched in the touchdown for Air Force after Navy missed the extra point on the opening drive of overtime.

WHAT AIR FORCE WON: A great road victory against a very good Navy team.  Blowing that fourth quarter lead would have been a terrible way to head into a big-time matchup next Saturday against Notre Dame in South Bend.  The win also makes the Falcons 32-3 under head coach Troy Calhoun when leading at the start of the fourth quarter.  

WHAT NAVY LOST: Likely a chance to reclaim the Commander-in-Chief's Trophy. The Midshipmen held on to the heralded hardware from 2003-2009 before falling to the 14-6 to the Falcons in Colorado Springs a year ago. Terrific comeback though, and memorable game for the series.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Everything? Everything.

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Posted on: October 1, 2011 3:41 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 1 LSU 35, Kentucky 7

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

LSU WON: SEC wins simply don't get more ho-hum than this. Kentucky gained just 59 yards of offense through three quarters and didn't penetrate any further than the LSU 47 until fewer than nine minutes remained, meaning that even as the LSU offense sputtered -- 8-of-21 passing for Jarrett Lee and fewer than 4 yards per-carry probably weren't what the home crowd had in mind -- their 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter was never remotely threatened. The game had two bursts of excitement: when Jordan Jefferson came off the bench to sneak in from a yard out for that first LSU touchdown, and when budding Heisman candidate Tyrann Mathieu stripped replacement Wildcat quarterback Maxwell Smith, recovered the fumble, and returned it for his second touchdown of the season. 

WHY LSU WON: Because the collision of the impotent Kentucky offense and the ruthless LSU defense was as brutally one-sided as you'd expect. The Wildcats' first five drives all ended in three-and-outs as the Tiger defensive line crushed any efforts at running the ball -- their first nine attempts went for five yards or fewer -- and Kentucky starting quarterback Morgan Newton had been sacked twice before he completed his first pass ... on his 10th attempt. That Joker Phillips sent the true freshman Smith on for the second half ... against LSU ... down 14 ... in Death Valley should tell you the depths of the Wildcats' desperation.

The Wildcats' only realistic hope of getting on the board against LSU's first string was a turnover or huge special teams play. But the Tigers never lost a fumble or threw an interception, and committed just four penalties. The list of teams that can beat the Tigers when they commit that few mistakes is very, very short, and Kentucky most assuredly isn't on it.

WHEN LSU WON: The Tigers' 14-0 lead at halftime was more-or-less unassailable, but the win might as well have gone into the record books when they took their first drive of the second half 68 yards in 10 plays, capping it with a one-yard Alfred Blue plunge. At 21-0, Kentucky's chances of coming back were identical to their chances of coming back if the score was 437-0.

WHAT LSU WON: Another boost to Mathieu's All-American campaign, another notch in the win column, plenty of rest for the Tiger starters in the late-going. Aside from a little more crispness on offense, Les Miles couldn't have asked for much more.

WHAT KENTUCKY LOST: Just another bit of confidence in their offense to do anything against top-notch defensive competition. But given how little was expected of the Wildcats going on the road to face the No. 1 team in the nation, not much else.

Posted on: September 29, 2011 11:41 pm
Edited on: September 29, 2011 11:52 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Pittsburgh 44, No. 16 USF 17

Posted by Chip Patterson

PITTSBURGH WON. The Panthers overcame both their offensive inefficiencies and their fourth quarter woes in their 44-17 rout of South Florida on Thursday night. Under the lights of Heinz Field and with the attention of national television, Ray Graham stole the show. Graham picked up 303 all-purpose yards (226 rushing, 42 receiving, 35 return yards) and was a crucial piece of every Pittsburgh scoring drive.

HOW PITTSBURGH WON: Head coach Todd Graham's "high-octane" offense finally lived up to their reputation against USF, and the result was a production of 523 total yards. South Florida's defense looked visibly worn down, starting with hands on hips as early as the second quarter and finishing with gasping defensive lineman in the fourth. Pittsburgh's defense also dialed up the pressure on BJ Daniels in the second half, and the junior quarterback - for the first time in a couple contests - looked completely out of sync with his wide receivers.

WHEN PITTSBURGH WON: The Panthers dominated most of the second half, but the game's fate was not sealed until Pittsburgh defensive back Jarred Holley forced Darrell Scott to fumble early in the fourth quarter. The Panthers flipped the turnover into a field goal, but most importantly ate up more than six minutes of clock to put the game out of reach.

WHAT PITTSBURGH WON: After a rocky start, the Panthers are rejuvenated. If there were any doubters, Todd Graham may have won the respect of the locker room with Thursday night's win. It was validation for Graham's system, and validation for his preparation to get Pittsburgh ready for a talented USF team on a short week. The Big East title race is focused on league play, and league play alone. At least for the next 40+ hours, Pittsburgh sits alone the top of the standings.

WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA LOST: A huge shot to the momentum that the Bulls have had rolling since the end of the 2010 season. The Bulls will likely lose their Top 25 status, and now will need to fight their way back into Big East title contention. The Bulls play three of their next four contests on the road, so this was not the best start to their October stretch. The next couple weeks will be crucial if the Bulls plan to contend in November and December.

THAT WAS CRAZY: I was going to write something about South Florida's tendency to choke on Thursday nights, or the strange trends regarding the Bulls and national television. Thankfully, our own Brett McMurphy summed up it well with this tweet.



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Posted on: September 25, 2011 2:34 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 2:34 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oregon 56, Arizona 31

Posted by Bryan Fischer

OREGON
WON. No surprise but Chip Kelly's squad came into Tuscon and pushed around an Arizona team that was in the middle of a brutal stretch of games. Six of the Ducks' seven touchdown drives lasted less than three minutes as they were in control of the game from start to finish. Quarterback Darron Thomas passed for two scores and ran for two more as he directed the offense to perfection.

HOW OREGON WON: In their previous three games, Oregon got the bulk of their scoring and offense through the air. Against Arizona, they gashed Mike Stoops' defense for 516 yards, 415 of which were on the ground. LaMichael James put up the video game numbers we're used to seeing from him, rushing for 290 yards and 2 touchdowns.

WHEN OREGON WON: The Ducks had 212 yards rushing at halftime and were in control throughout most of the first half. The Wildcats put together a good drive near the end of the 2nd quarter and scored a touchdown, followed by a successful onside kick. Arizona kept sticking around during the second half until Thomas led an eight play, 75 yard drive late in the third that pretty much put the game away.

WHAT OREGON WON: Yet another Pac-12 conference game, their 13th in a row to be precise. While they may take heat for struggling against SEC competition, Oregon is the new USC in terms of being the team everybody is not looking forward to playing. The North title still looks like it will come down to a road trip to Stanford and the Ducks did nothing to suggest otherwise.

WHAT ARIZONA LOST: Just another game as part of a brutal four game stretch against Oklahoma State (loss), Stanford (loss), Oregon (loss) and USC (in Los Angeles next week). There's some talent on this team, especially on offense, but it hasn't been consistent and put everything together. With the 1-3 start, the hot seat for Stoops will continue to get warmer.

THAT WAS CRAZY: James set a school record for career touchdowns scored after running up the middle for 12 yards on the Ducks' opening drive. He also set school records for rushing (288 yards) and all-purpose yards (363) on the night. For someone who was a Heisman finalist a year ago, James continues to add his name to the record books more than a few times as he cements himself in Ducks lore.

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Posted on: September 25, 2011 1:13 am
 

QUICK HITS: No. 15 Florida 48, Kentucky 10

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

FLORIDA WON: The Gators extended their series streak against the Wildcats (the second-longest current streak in the FBS*) to 25 straight games, and sadly for Kentucky, it's been a while since they were even competitive; after tonight's result, they've lost their last four against Florida by a combined score of 200-36. Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey each went over 100 yards rushing as the Gators racked up a ridiculous 405 yards on the ground.

WHY FLORIDA WON: There's a lot of things these past four years that have gone wrong for Kentucky against Florida. Wait, scratch that: everything has gone wrong these past four years. But maybe nothing has gone more wrong than the Wildcats' first halves. Again and again, they've left the first half (or even the first quarter) so hopelessly behind the Gators that they must feel like they shouldn't even both showing up for the second ... and it's shown in the final scores.

So what happens tonight? A three-and-out forced on Florida's first possession, a nice Ryan Tydlacka punt to pin them on their 8, then a solid stop on the Gators' second ... and then the 'Cats Josh Clemons fumbles on the UK 45. Next play, John Brantley throws a 45-yard touchdown pass. Next Florida possession: 20-yard Demps touchdown. Ensuing Kentucky possession: Morgan Newton throws an interception. Two plays later, Trey Burton scores another touchdown.

And in a matter of minutes, it's 21-0 and the limping, toothless Kentucky offense has no prayer of ever climbing out of the hole. Credit to the Gators: with the chance to deliver the early knockout blow, they delivered it. But why do the Wildcats always seem to accept such a blow against this particular team?

WHEN FLORIDA WON: Kentucky did take some morsel of momentum into halftime, Newton capitalizing on a Jeff Driskel fumble to throw a 19-yard touchdown pass with 1:16 left in the half. Too bad Florida's first drive of the third quarter went 99 yards for a touchdown, the last 84 of them coming on Demps' second touchdown of the night to restore the lead to 38-10. If the game wasn't over already, it was over-over at that point.

WHAT FLORIDA WON: Given the history between the two teams and Kentucky's painful start to the season, the Gators' thumping of the 'Cats won't do much to move the needle. But it sure won't do anything to hurt their status as the East's top challenger to South Carolina, either.

WHAT KENTUCKY LOST: This surely wasn't one of the four remaining victories Joker Phillips' was counting on to extend the Wildcat's bowl streak, so not that much in the final reckoning. But we can't imagine yet another bludgeoning at the hands of the Gators will do much for the 'Cats morale.

Posted on: September 25, 2011 12:09 am
Edited on: September 25, 2011 12:10 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 38 Missouri 28

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. There would be no upset over the top-ranked Sooners for Missouri this season, though it seemed it was possible early on. Missouri took a 14-3 lead on Oklahoma in the first quarter, but the Sooners responded with 28 unanswered points before finishing the night with a 38-28 victory. The Oklahoma offense had a much better night this week than it did against Florida State, even without Kenny Stills and Trey Franks around. Landry Jones finished the night with 448 yards and 3 touchdowns, though he also threw 2 interceptions. That gives Jones 4 interceptions on the season and only 5 touchdowns. Compare that to 2010 when he threw 38 touchdowns and was only picked off 12 times.

As for the rest of the Sooners offense, Ryan Broyles didn't seem to mind not having Kenny Stills around to divert attention, finishing the night with 13 catches for 154 yards and all 3 of Jones' touchdowns. Then there was running back/Subway sandwich artist Dominique Whaley who finished the night with 150 all-purpose yards and a touchdown. Somebody get that kid a scholarship already.

HOW OKLAHOMA WON. One reason that Missouri beat Oklahoma last season was that the Tigers gashed the Oklahoma defense on the ground. Missouri had similar success on Saturday night, rushing for 233 yards, but Oklahoma was able to limit the big plays and keep Missouri out of the end zone. A couple missed field goals by Grant Ressel hurt Mizzou as well, as those 6 points could have played a role in the final quarter. Most important for the Oklahoma defense, it got off the field on third down, as the Tigers converted only 4 of their 13 attempts on third down.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Missouri would add 14 points in the fourth quarter to make this game look a lot closer than it really was, but when Dominique Whaley broke loose for a 30-yard run and then pounded it in from 3 yards out for the score on the next play to make it 31-14 in the third quarter, you kind of got the feeling that Mizzou wasn't coming back. Still, you could say this wasn't officially iced until Jones and Broyles connected for their third score in the fourth quarter to make it 38-21 after Mizzou had cut it to a ten-point lead.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners got some revenge for last season, which is nice, but more importantly this win kept the Sooners on track for a possible Big 12 title and national championship berth. There are still some big roadblocks in Oklahoma's way, but so far this year the Sooners are passing every test they've faced.

WHAT MISSOURI LOST. Missouri is not good enough to win the Big 12 this year, that much has been made clear through the first month of the season. That being said, I'm not sure Missouri really lost all that much in this game. This is a team that's likely looking at an 8-win regular season at best, and the Tigers still have a chance to do that. Though if James Franklin can become a more consistent passer, then the Tigers could surprise a lot of people.

THAT WAS CRAZY. As I said above, James Franklin has not been a consistent passer this year. Yes, he threw for 291 yards against Oklahoma on Saturday night, but he completed only 16 of his 32 passes. What is crazy to me, however, is the way Gary Pinkel ran the offense at times against Oklahoma. I can't remember how many times Mizzou faced a 3rd and long and ran the same quarterback draw play. Oklahoma knew it was coming, and stopped it repeatedly. Then in the fourth quarter, down 17 with under 5 minutes to go, Missouri kept calling the draw play or the read option. You're down three scores with less than five minutes to go! Your odds of winning aren't good at that point, but if you run out the clock they're non-existent!
Posted on: September 24, 2011 11:26 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 18 South Florida 52, UTEP 24

Posted by Chip Patterson

SOUTH FLOIRDA WON. After the first half looked like it was going to be a shootout on both sides, South Florida pulled away from UTEP late for a 52-24 win.  BJ Daniels put together yet another impressive performance through the air, throwing for 202 yards, two touchdowns and no interceptions.  He complimented that with 130 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground.  USF is 4-0 and rolling, but now must focus on conference play with Pittsburgh coming up on Thursday. 

HOW SOUTH FLORIDA WON: In the first half UTEP was taking advantage of uncharacteristically reactive Bulls' defense.  The result was a 31-17 halftime deficit that still felt attainable for the Miners.  But the defense toughened up in the second half, forcing three UTEP turnovers while the offense delivered the late touchdowns to put the game out of reach.  .

WHEN SOUTH FLORIDA WON: When B.J. Daniels struck Lindsey Lamar (pictured) for the 54-yard touchdown in the third quarter to put USF up by three touchdowns, you could tell the Bulls were going to have their way for the rest of the game.  UTEP had sputtered significantly since putting up 234 yards of total offense in the first half.  The game was sealed for good with Sam Barrington's interception returned for a touchdown in the fourth quarter.

WHAT SOUTH FLORIDA WON: Withstanding the Miners' first shot was a good test for the Bulls' defense.  South Florida's competition since their season opening win against Notre Dame in South Bend has been a noticable caliber downgrade, so it was good to see a different look before staring the Big East season on Thursday.  In their 4-0 start the Bulls have boosted their status as Big East title contenders, and they will have a short week to prepare proving it in conference play. 

WHAT UTEP LOST: The Miners had a chance to hang with the nationally ranked Bulls, but turnovers put the game out of hand in the second half.  UTEP is pretty banged up right now, and competing with South Florida in Tampa was not something that was expected.  Any road trip against a team like the Bulls is a good experience for UTEP, but it really stings knowing how close they were.

THAT WAS CRAZY: South Florida was not known as a particularly high scoring offense in 2010, but through four games the Bulls are averaging 45.5 points scored.  Additionally, the 52-point performance against UTEP marked the first time in program history a team has scored 50+ points in back-to-back games.  USF entered Saturday's game hot after routing Florida A&M 70-17 a week ago.

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Posted on: September 24, 2011 11:04 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 11:05 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Baylor 56 Rice 31

Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WON. Rather easily at that. Robert Griffin continued to set the world on fire with another insane performance, completing 28/32 passes for 332 yards and 5 touchdowns while rushing for 51 yards and another score. Those 5 touchdown passes? All five went to different receivers. In other words, Griffin hasn't exactly slowed down since the entire country got a look at him in the season opener against TCU. Both Kendall Wright (10 receptions, 111 yards, 1 touchdown) and Tevin Reese (7 receptions, 101 yards, 1 touchdown) were his favorite targets on the night.

WHY BAYLOR WON. While the Rice offense has proven that it's capable of putting up yards and points, it just doesn't have the talent to match Griffin and company. The Bears had 655 yards of total offense in the game, and that was after they called off the dogs in the fourth quarter, removing most of the starters. Still, Baylor has to be somewhat concerned about the fact it gave up 35 points and 416 yards to Rice. Sure, Rice's offense is more than capable of such a performance, but I'd really like to see Baylor put an opponent away if it's going to have any real shot of finishing near the top of the Big 12.

WHEN BAYLOR WON. I'd say this game was just about over when Terence Ganaway's 4-yard touchdown early in the second quarter made it 28-0, but it was probably earlier than that.

WHAT BAYLOR WON. A non-conference game that doesn't mean much in the scheme of things, but at the very least Baylor earned the right to continue hyping Griffin as a Heisman candidate.

WHAT RICE LOST. A game that it was supposed to, nothing more, nothing less.

THAT WAS CRAZY. So far this season Robert Griffin has thrown 13 touchdown passes. Which puts him on pace to finish the season with 56 touchdowns should the Bears reach a bowl game. What's truly insane about that number, though, is that Griffin has completed 70 of his 82 pass attempts on the season. That means Griffin has thrown more touchdowns than incompletions in 2011. Statistically he's more likely to throw a touchdown than he is an incompletion!
 
 
 
 
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