Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: September 24, 2011 10:33 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 12 South Carolina 21, Vandy 3

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

SOUTH CAROLINA WON: Despite a first half from Stephen Garcia that even a half-completed Jenga tower would describe as "oh, way too damn shaky," the Gamecock defense showed that it still knows how to put the clamps on -- and that Vandy, for all its progress, still has a long way to go -- by holding the visiting 'Dores to 71 total yards, 5 first downs, and no scoring drive longer than ... wait for it ... six yards. That Marcus Lattimore kid continued proving he might be an all-right player, too--he collected 151 yards from scrimmage (78 rushing, 73 receiving) and two touchdowns, doing nothing to hurt his budding Heisman campaign.

WHY SOUTH CAROLINA WON: Because if it's Vanderbilt and Jay Cutler isn't under center, it doesn't matter how energetic or shrewd the Commodore coaching staff might be: the offense is not going to do a whole lot.

Oh, James Franklin might change that eventually, but he hasn't been able to yet. Even against a questionable Gamecock secondary, Larry Smith was his usual inefficient, wobbly self, completing 13-of-17 but for a nonexistent 2.8 yards an attempt. The offensive line struggled all night against Melvin Ingram, Jadeveon Clowney and Co., yielding six sacks and rushing for negative-1 yards for the night. And turnovers were, unsurprisingly, a major problem. Clowney stripped Smith twice -- once of those fumbles returned by a combination of Antonio Allen and Ingram for Ingram's third touchdown of the season -- and a Smith interception ended one of the 'Dores few forays across midfield.

Full credit goes to Ellis Johnson for his ever-consistent defensive coaching and the Gamecocks as a unit for a dominant display. But Vandy got a dream performance from Garcia -- an awful four-interception night that got him pulled for Connor Shaw in the fourth quarter and repeatedly set the 'Dores up in great field position -- and still couldn't even stay competitive. Until Franklin can find something to hang his offense's hat on, Vandy might move out of the East cellar (and we won't say that's not an accomplishment), but opponents like the Gamecocks are going to remain well, well out of reach.

WHEN SOUTH CAROLINA WON: Despite their offensive struggles, Garcia's generosity had the visitors poised to regroup at halftime only down 7-3. But with less than 30 seconds remaining and the ball still on the Gamecock side of the 50, Garcia flipped a screen pass to Lattimore ... and he was gone, slaloming through defenders for a Heisman-quality 52-yard score. The way the Carolina defense was locked in, that 11-point deficit might as well have been 30 or 40.

WHAT SOUTH CAROLINA WON: A comfortable victory after a few weeks of drama, and a reminder that when their defensive line is on its game, they can cause enough havoc to win games nearly singlehandedly. Good thing, too, since Garcia did his best to lose it the same way.

WHAT VANDERBILT LOST: A little of the shine off their 3-0 start -- they won't be pulling any votes in next week's polls -- but not many were expecting them to pull this one out.


Posted on: September 24, 2011 7:40 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 7:41 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 30 Texas A&M 29

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. In a game that very much mirrored the 38-35 win for Oklahoma State over Texas A&M last season, the Cowboys came back from a 17-point deficit at halftime to win only the third matchup in Kyle Field history that featured two teams ranked in the top ten. Brandon Weeden threw 60 passes and finished the game with 437 yards and two touchdowns. Of Weeden's 437 yards and 47 completions, Josh Cooper, Justin Blackmon and Hubert Anyiam were on the receiving end of 31 of them for 336 yards.

HOW OKLAHOMA STATE WON. With a lot of help from the Aggies. After being stymied for the first 30 minutes on offense, and picking up only a field goal, the Cowboys came out and scored a quick touchdown on their first drive of the second half to cut the A&M lead to 20-10. Then the cavalcade of Aggie turnovers began, as Ryan Tannehill threw 2 interceptions and Kenric McNeal fumbled on three straight Texas A&M possessions. The Cowboys would use those turnovers to vault into the lead and never give it up.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It wasn't official until Ryan Tannehill's pass was deflected and picked off -- Tannehill's third interception of the game -- by James Thomas in the final minutes of the game. A few plays later Justin Blackmon was running out the back of the end zone -- without dropping the ball first, but more on that later -- to kill the clock and give two free points to the Aggies.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. There is no game on Oklahoma State's schedule in any year that is bigger than its date with Oklahoma at the end of each season. With this win, the odds are pretty good that Bedlam will also serve as the de facto Big 12 championship game.

WHAT TEXAS A&M LOST. For the first 30 minutes of this game, Texas A&M was giving one of the most impressive performances I'd seen from any team in college football this season. On both offense and defense. Then halftime came and I don't know what happened in that Aggie locker room, because this was not the same team in the second half. Because of that, Texas A&M can likely say goodbye to any chance of leaving the Big 12 as the conference's defending champion.

THAT WAS CRAZY. So I saw Justin Blackmon drop two passes in this game that were catchable in my opinion. That alone is crazy enough as it is because I'm not sure Justin Blackmon drops anything. But then somethine stranger happened. Blackmon was about to waltz into the end zone for a touchdown that would have given Oklahoma State an 11-point lead, and then this happened. 



Image via Mocksession 
Posted on: September 24, 2011 7:02 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 7:43 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 3 Alabama 38, No. 14 Arkansas 14

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



ALABAMA WON: If there were any last lingering doubts about the Crimson Tide's national championship bona fides, they were erased in Tuscaloosa today. Alabama dominated the visiting Razorbacks in all three phases, getting 211 yards from scrimmage from Trent Richardson (on 10.6 yards a touch), scoring two touchdowns on special teams, and holding the previously red hot Hog offense to a miserable 3.96 yards per-play, 226 total. Given the kind of team Arkansas should prove to be this season, this goes down as the most impressive performance of the 2011 college football season to-date. LSU: your move.

WHY ALABAMA WON: We're man enough to admit when we're wrong, and when we wrote yesterday that the Tide secondary could be beaten deep? Judging by Saturday's evidence, we were very, very wrong. Tyler Wilson completed 22 of his 35 passes before giving way to Brandon Mitchell in the fourth quarter, but for only 185 yards--5.3 an attempt. Again and again Wilson was forced to check down to slithery receivers like Joe Adams or Jarius Wright, and again and again Mark Barron, Dre Kirkpatrick and the rest of the Tide secondary was there to smother them well short of the sticks. The Hogs' inability to get deep was encapsulated by a 3rd-and-1 play in the fourth quarter, when Wilson executed an excellent play-action fake, looked deep towards Greg Childs and fired ... only for Childs to be blanketed in double-coverage by Barron and Kirkpatrick, who only missed out on an interception by colliding with each other.

Combine Arkansas's lack of any kind of downfield threat with their near-total feebleness in the run game (19 yards, .9 per-carry), and it's no surprise they enjoyed just one gain (one) longer than 20 yards. The Hogs were forced to drive the field on the Tide, and we have serious doubts anyone can drive the field on the Tide.

WHEN ALABAMA WON: A comeback from 31-7 down in the third quarter was never likely, but the Hogs could at least dream after getting a highlight-reel touchdown pass from Wilson to Cobi Hamilton and following it up with a stop and drive across midfield. But the aforementioned play-action failure on 3rd-and-1 led to a Dennis Johnson run up the middle on 4th-and-1 ... which Dont'a Hightower mercilessly stuffed. With just 3:30 left in the quarter, that stuff ended whatever remaining threat Arkansas represented.

WHAT ALABAMA WON: The right to be called the best team in the country ... pending what Oklahoma and LSU do later Saturday night. The battle for No. 1 is officially a three-horse race.

WHAT ARKANSAS LOST: Any right to be mentioned in the same breath with the Tide and Tigers at the top of the SEC. The Hogs are banged-up on defense and were a poor matchup for the Tide on offense, but their lines simply aren't physical enough or powerful enough to battle the current consensus top two.

THAT WAS CRAZY: You didn't think we'd wrap this post up without mentioning Marquis Maze's spectacular third-quarter punt return for touchdown, do you? Adams was supposed to be the big special teams threat this game, but Maze's weaving Play of the Year candidate had more than a little to say about that:


Posted on: September 24, 2011 4:09 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 4:21 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Michigan 28, San Diego State 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

MICHIGAN WON. Denard Robinson continued his assault on the record books, moving up to second in Big Ten history for rushing yards by a quarterback in today's win over visiting San Diego State. Robinson rushed for 199 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-7 victory for the Wolverines, and Michigan's defense was stout in its best performance of the year.

WHY MICHIGAN WON: For the fourth time this season, Michigan won a football game, and for the fourth time this season, it was all Denard Robinson with the effort. Robinson's passing stats weren't thrilling -- under .500 passing, under 100 yards, and two interceptions -- but his throws were generally on target, and the passing game still provides a balance that helps open up rushing opportunities for the lightning-fast quarterback.

Better yet, Michigan is starting to get some production from its tailbacks, as Fitz Touissant rushed for 67 yards on 13 carries, and Vincent Smith added nine rushes for 47 yards and a score (shown at right). The more Michigan can depend on its running backs, the fewer hits Robinson will need to take; clearly, that's a positive development.

WHEN MICHIGAN WON: This game was pretty much a no-doubter from the opening kick, but it wasn't until the middle of the fourth quarter, when Michigan held firm on a 4th and 1 then needed just four rushes to go 57 yards for its only score of the half, than the Wolverines effectively put the game out of reach. 

WHAT MICHIGAN WON: The Wolverines have never had trouble putting games together in September, so Michigan fans aren't likely to read a whole lot into Saturday's win. Still, it was nice to see Michigan live up to its ranking at this point in the season.

WHAT SAN DIEGO STATE LOST: The Aztecs are down from last season, and not just because Brady Hoke left for Michigan; they're just on the lower portion of the success cycle that most mid-majors usually find themselves on. There's probably some consternation about blowing the 4th and 1 in Michigan territory on a drive that could have made this a one-possession game, but mostly this game was more of a foundation for teaching than a missed opportunity for a win.

Posted on: September 24, 2011 3:41 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Temple 38, Maryland 7

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

TEMPLE WON: Not only did the Owls win their first road game over a BCS-conference school since 2002 (Rutgers), they won it in shockingly dominant fashion over the woeful Terps. Bernard Pierce ran for 108 yards and four touchdowns in the first half alone, powering the Owls to a 31-0 halftime lead. Meanwhile, Chuck Heater's defense held Gary Crowton's offense to just 240 total yards and zero points through the game's first 55 minutes.

WHY TEMPLE WON: The team from the MAC is not supposed to be able to go into the stadium of the team from the ACC and flat manhandle their hosts up front, right? But that's exactly what the Owls did, riding Pierce and their veteran offensive line to first-half touchdown drives of 57, 76, and 93 yards. It's not like the Terps didn't know what was coming--they were so focused on the Owl running game they allowed quarterback Chester Stewart (with all due respect, not a player known for his accuracy) to complete all nine of his passes. When you run the ball 59 times and still average a healthy 4.8 yards on those 59 attempts, you have officially bulldozed your opponent into submission.

But it wasn't just the Owl offense. The Temple defensive front held Maryland to a miserable 45 yards on the ground on 23 attempts--just 2.0 yards per-carry, and most of that coming well after the game had been decided.

The game's defining play took place halfway through the second quarter, when eight straight Danny O'Brien passes took the Terps from their own 16 to a 4th-and-2 at the Temple 9. Randy Edsall elected to go, handing off to D.J. Adams, but the Terp front was overwhelmed and sophomore tackle Levi Brown stuffed Adams for a loss of 1. MAC or not, ACC or not, there was no questioning which was the more physical team after that. 

WHEN TEMPLE WON: The above stop -- even coming with 37 minutes left in the game -- effectively sealed it. But whatever dying embers of hope Maryland had were officially extinguished when the Owls took 12 plays -- 11 rushes, one pass -- to run off the final 7 minutes of the half, kick a 41-yard field goal as time expired, and take an insurmountable 31-point lead into the locker room.

WHAT TEMPLE WON: Even with several MAC teams putting together impressive performances Saturday (and throughout the season), a 31-point clubbing of an ACC team on the road is far and away the conference's best result of the season--and maybe the best result from any non-AQ conference team, Boise State excluded. Until further notice, Temple is your MAC favorite, and it's not even close.

WHAT MARYLAND LOST: Their manhood? Their dignity? Every bit of shine the Edsall hire gained in the win over Miami? A home victory that might have proven essential along the potentially tricky path to a bowl game? Any and all respect for their chances of an ACC divisional title?

The answer is: all of the above. Maryland was humiliated. Putting it any other way is being too generous.


Posted on: September 24, 2011 3:17 pm
Edited on: September 24, 2011 3:37 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 25 Georgia Tech 35, UNC 28

Posted by Chip Patterson

GEORGIA TECH WON. The Yellow Jackets outlasted a relentless North Carolina squad, using their high powered option offense to pull away with a 35-28 win over the Tar Heels in Atlanta. Stephen Hill broke loose for 151 yards receiving while six different Yellow Jacket rushers combined for 311 yards on the ground. Georgia Tech is off to their first 4-0 start since 1990, when the Jackets went on to claim the national championship.

HOW GEORGIA TECH WON: After giving up a touchdown on the game's opening drive, Georgia Tech's defense toughed up and picked off North Carolina quarterback Bryn Renner twice to jump out to a 17-7 halftime lead. Once again Georgia Tech's offense was impressive, totaling 495 total yards of offense. Orwin Smith, Tevin Washington, and David Sims all contributed more than 70 yards rushing and Roddy Jones delivered the fourth quarter killstroke to set up the winning touchdown.

WHEN GEORGIA TECH WON: After Giovani Bernard stepped with a momentum-swinging 55-yard touchdown run to tie the game at 28, senior running back Roddy Jones took a pitch 48 yards down the sideline to set up first and goal for the Yellow Jackets. Tevin Washington then punched in the touchdown to put Georgia Tech ahead 35-28.

WHAT GEORGIA TECH WON: Georgia Tech's impressive victories thus far this season have come with an asterisk because of the competition. But Saturday's performance against a stout North Carolina front seven proves that this offense can roll against the beset in the conference. Georgia Tech picks up a crucial Coastal Division win, and the folks in Blacksburg should take note. There is another contender for that division crown.

WHAT NORTH CAROLINA LOST: The Tar Heels came very close to picking up that treasured 4-0 start as well. Giovani Bernard put together an incredible performance, and the defense did their best to bend and not break in the first half. Ultimately this loss will not be terrible, and I imagine they will learn from this experience, but it could have been a signature win for this team and first-year coach Everett Withers. The key here will be turning this loss into a learning experience before the Tar Heels have to travel to Greenville to face East Carolina under the lights next Saturday.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Tevin Washington entered the game as the nation's leader in pass plays of 50+ yards and long touchdowns. He added one to both counts with his 59 yard touchdown to Stephen Hill in the second quarter. With Georgia Tech's offense usually being around 75% rushing plays, Washington is not the first name that comes to mind for such an accolade.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: September 17, 2011 11:23 pm
Edited on: September 18, 2011 12:27 am
 

QUICK HITS: No. 1 Oklahoma 23, No. 5 FSU 13


Posted by Chip Patterson

OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners dug in and outlasted a pesky Florida State squad, riding Landry Jones and a power running game to a 23-13 win in Tallahassee. It was the largest crowd in the history of Doak Campbell Stadium, but it was not enough to pull the Seminoles through for the upset.

HOW OKLAHOMA WON: The Sooners opening drive looked very much like the 2010 OU-FSU game. Landry Jones led the uptempo offense methodically down the field on a touchdown drive that took over 6 minutes of game time. But after that drive the game became a fierce battle in the trenches, with both lines hammering each other to make room for every yard.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON: EJ Manuel left the game with bruised left shoulder, and was replaced by redshirt freshman Clint Trickett. Trickett came into the game hot, and turned a 3rd and 28 situation into a 56-yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene to tie the game at 13 early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma answered in a fashion that you would expect from the No. 1 team in the nation. Landry Jones led an eight play, 83-yard drive in 2:32 that finished with an incredible touchdown catch by Kenny Stills. The fast response to put Oklahoma up 20-13 deflated the noisy stadium for the moment, and switched the momentum for good.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON: For the Sooners, this was the first true test of their top ranking. Escaping Tallahassee in the manner they did is a huge boost of confidence for the team and likely a boost in the Sooners' status in the eyes of the voters. The offense wasn't the steamrolling unit many expected, but the defense was relentless and delivered the game changing interception.

WHAT FLORIDA STATE LOST: Possibly an injury to their star quarterback, and likely a shot at the national championship. Florida State is still very talented and could find themselves back in the top five by the end of the year, but for the time being their ceiling has been lowered to ACC Championship and Orange Bowl. That's still a great season for Florida State, especially only in year two under Jimbo Fisher.

THAT WAS CRAZY. We expected fireworks and a showdown between two of the games' touted quarterbacks. What we got was a gritty and grinding field position battle, with each team scraping for every single yard. Redshirt freshman quarterback Clint Trickett converting the 3rd and 28 with a 56 yard touchdown pass to Rashad Greene was not in the script. Oklahoma's 8 play, 83 yard touchdown answer was. The entire game was a struggle, but it was Oklahoma that emerged thanks to fourth quarter execution.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: September 17, 2011 10:44 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Illinois 17, Arizona State 14

Posted by Adam Jacobi

ILLINOIS WON. The Fighting Illini registered a huge home win over No. 22 Arizona State, 17-14. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 135 yards and a score on 11-15 passing for Illinois, and he added 67 yards on 18 carries. Meanwhile, ASU QB Brock Osweiler had 256 yards on 25-45 passing, but he threw two interceptions under heavy pressure and was harried pretty much all game long. 

WHY ILLINOIS WON: The Illinois defense stood tall against its toughest opponent to date, registering six sacks on Brock Osweiler and 12 tackles for a loss on the whole. A.J. Jenkins came up big with the game-winning touchdown, and he accounted for 103 of Illinois' 135 receiving yards. Every time Illinois needed a play, it got it from either Jenkins or its defense, and the Illini are now 3-0 as a result.

WHEN ILLINOIS WON: When Osweiler's 4th and 10 pass sailed harmlessly over Aaron Pflugrand's outstretched arms. ASU had gotten the ball back for one last drive with 2:26 left at its own 27, but the Sun Devils struggled to move forward after that and never seriously threatened Illinois' defense.

WHAT ILLINOIS WON: With this win, Illinois will probably be garnering some serious Top 25 consideration, and the non-conference win over a ranked opponent ought to endear the Illini when it comes time for jockeying for bowl position. Moreover, considering the struggles that many Big Ten teams showed with their quarterback situations, Illinois also established itself as having one of the more stable offensive personnel situations. That's meaningful going into a conference where wins are fiercely contested nearly every week.

WHAT ARIZONA STATE LOST: ASU's season isn't over by any stretch, but everything the Sun Devils had going for them after last week's victory over Missouri -- momentum, an undefeated record, and a Top 25 ranking -- is now off the table for the next couple weeks. ASU will likely rebound and make some noise in the Pac-12, but it's going to have to do so with an unenviable negative mark on its record already.

THAT WAS CRAZY: With 55 seconds left and Illinois facing a 3rd and 12, Nathan Scheelhaase faked a handoff up the middle and took off on a naked bootleg. He didn't get very far, gaining no yardage, but the play took 11 seconds off the clock before he was finally brought down by Sun Devil defenders. With that, only four seconds remained on the clock before Illinois' fourth down snap, and instead of punting away the ball, Illinois was able to keep Scheelhaase in to run those four seconds off the clock before kneeling and finishing off the Sun Devils. So yeah, that bootleg was crazy... like a fox.

 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com