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Tag:Upset Alert
Posted on: October 29, 2011 4:16 pm

QUICK HITS: No. 12 Virginia Tech 14, Duke 10

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. Well, a more appropriate phrase probably would include "didn't lose." The Hokies improved to 8-1 overall, emerging victorious in a game that was highlighted by six turnovers, twelve penalties, three missed field goals, and no second-half touchdowns. Duke's defense kept them in the game, but Sean Renfree could not deliver on two 4th down opportunities late in the game.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: Duke placekicker Will Snyderwine was a preseason all-conference selection by several different outlets, but his 2011 performance has been completely out of character. Three missed field goals goals against Virginia Tech kept the Blue Devils from capitalizing on the Hokies' offensive struggles. When Virginia Tech needed to milk the clock, they ran their best play: feed David Wilson. Wilson kept up his steady production, rushing 23 times for 148 yards on a Duke defense that eventually could not deliver enough stops to make up for the offensive blunders.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: Duke kept getting the ball back, so this one wasn't done until Sean Renfree threw his third interception of the game on 4th down with less than a minute remaining. The junior quarterback took a beating all game, but his gritty play helped keep it competitive down to the final minutes. Virginia Tech's final point of the game occurred with 10:20 left in the second quarter.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: A win. There is so little the Hokies can take away from this performance, I'd suggest they just jump right to next week's preparation. The offensive line looked out of sync, there were too many penalties on both sides of the ball, and Virginia Tech looked very sluggish and uninspired. But a win is a win, and the Hokies remain atop the Coastal Division Standings.

WHAT DUKE LOST: Head coach David Cutcliffe called beating Virginia Tech a possible "program changer" for the Blue Devils. Between Snyderwine's missed field goals and Renfree's interceptions, there were just too many mistakes to pull the upset on Saturday. Duke has been on the cusp of bowl eligibility several times under David Cutcliffe, but the loss to the Hokies sets up what will likely be another bowl-less season for Duke football.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Matt Daniels played an absolutely fantastic game. Considered one of the leaders of the Duke defense, Daniels' contributions don't always show up on the stat sheet. Saturday was not the case, with the senior safety recording three interceptions, unofficially 14 tackles, and several key break ups to help keep Duke in the game.

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Posted on: October 30, 2010 1:47 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2010 1:48 pm

Chicken Curse threatening Gamecocks. Again.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

No one would have disputed coming into this weekend that South Carolina -- despite being the odds-on favorite to win the SEC East even after their stunning loss to Kentucky -- had a long way to go to finally shake their penchant for late-season collapses and the so-called "Chicken Curse" that's haunted them every time they've enjoyed even a little prosperity.

But the Curse was supposed to at least wait until next week, when the 'Cocks took on Arkansas . This week was supposed to be a gimme, a lay-up, with Carolina hosting Tennessee , a team winless in SEC play that had lost their last two games by 58 points.

But behind Matt Simms ' best performance of the season to-date, the Vols have had other ideas. Simms has gone 9-of-12 for 148 yards and a nifty touchdown to Luke Stocker , leading Tennessee into a 10-10 halftime tie on the road. The Vols could even be ahead if not for a disastrous sequence following a first-and-goal at the Carolina 6, when Tennessee went backwards on two plays before a third-down sack and Simms fumble helped set up a Carolina touchdown drive.

But we've seen this movie before when it comes to the Vols, who have put together solid first halves against teams like Oregon and Alabama before their razor-thin depth chart caught up with them late in the game. It won't help that Marcus Lattimore appears to be fully over his ankle injury, running for a tough 92 first-half yards and adding another 26 as a receiver.

So Carolina remains the prohibitive favorite. But given their history, the Gamecock faithful have to be sweating a bit at the moment.

Posted on: October 23, 2010 1:55 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 1:58 pm

Geno Smith unraveling in Morgantown

Posted by Chip Patterson

After throwing only two interceptions in his first 196+ attempts, West Virginia quarterback Geno Smith has thrown three picks in the first half of Saturday's conference match up with Syracuse.  The Orange have been able to capitalize on the mistakes, and lead 19-14 in Morgantown at the break.  Syracuse has been unintimidated by the West Virginia defense, running right at the top ranked unit for 132 yards on the ground.  The Mountaineers entered the game ranked third in scoring defense, but have not had an answer for Syracuse's rushing tandem of Delone Carter and Antwon Bailey.  

Smith's interceptions have given Syracuse short fields for three scoring drives, but the Mountaineers have been able to hold them to field goals each time.  If Smith can keep the ball out of the hands of the Orange, they should be able to pull back in this game.  Until then though, we have an UPSET ALERT!

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Posted on: October 23, 2010 1:18 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 1:50 pm

Northwestern manhandling Sparty

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Lots and lots and lots of seasoned Big Ten fans were pointing to Michigan State 's trip to Evanston as a giant flashing neon TRAP TRAP FOR THE LOVE OF EVERYTHING HOLY IT'S A TRAP game, what with 1. Sparty's tendency to play down to its opponent 2. Northwestern 's bye week to prepare 3. the Wildcat's tendency to play up to their opponent. MSU really can't say they weren't warned.

The warning has gone unheeded: Northwestern is flattening the Spartans 17-0 midway through the second quarter. Even if that's not that surprising, the Wildcats' utter dominance on the ground surely is; against one of the Big Ten's best rush defenses, the home team already has 121 rushing yards to the Spartans' 33, led by quarterback Dan Persa with 47 yards and two touchdowns. Persa has added 98 yards through the air as NU has an eye-popping 241 total yards.

Michigan State is driving as we type this, but it will take more than one drive to avoid what looks like an extremely serious upset bid fpor the nation's No. 7 team.

UPDATE: That drive ended in a Spartan touchdown pass from Kirk Cousins to cut the NU lead to 17-7, but again, MSU will have to finally stop the Northwestern attack to get all the way back into the game.
Posted on: October 16, 2010 5:21 pm

Upset Alert: Longhorns leading Nebraska at half

Posted by Chip Patterson

Right when the nation was falling head over heels for T-Magic and the Nebraska defense, the Cornhuskers have found themselves struggling with a familiar foe on their Big 12 farewell tour.  A double digit favorite, Nebraska enters the break facing a two touchdown deficit to Texas.  Garrett Gilbert has been getting it done for the Longhorns with this feet, racking up 68 yards and two touchdowns on the ground in the first half.  

At times it seems like Gilbert has looked more like Nebraska quarterback Taylor Martinez than Martinez has.  Martinez has looked frustrated and overwhelmed in the face of the Texas defense.  Nebraska has yet to face a defense of Texas' caliber, and it is showing on the field.  Nebraska is not over their heads, the big play threat will keep this match up competitive for a while.  But the Cornhuskers need to find the end zone early so they can hang around long enough to have the big play matter.

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Posted on: October 2, 2010 7:04 pm
Edited on: October 2, 2010 7:13 pm

Michigan State holds off Wisconsin 34-24

Posted by Chip Patterson

After Scott Tolzien connected with Jacob Pederson for a touchdown that brought Wisconsin within a field goal of Michigan State, the Spartans needed a strong drive keep their opponents at bay.  Kirk Cousins answered the call with a 15 play, 84 yard drive that ended with a B.J. Cunningham touchdown reception on a gutsy 4th and Goal conversion.

For the second time in the game, the Spartans converted a fourth down near the end of the quarter and completely broke the spirit of the Wisconsin Badgers.  Cousins got the Wisconsin defense to bite on a play action while Cunningham snuck behind the linebackers, standing wide open in the back of the end zone.  By the time the Badgers got the ball back, there was not enough time to string together the two scores needed to avoid upset.

Michigan State believes that they can be Big Ten title contenders, and after Saturday's upset of the No. 11 Badgers, the rest of the conference will start to believe it as well.  

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Posted on: September 26, 2010 12:22 am
Edited on: September 26, 2010 12:24 am

Upset Alert: Ducks retake 28-24 lead before half

Posted by Chip Patterson

On a day that has already seen a top ten team go down and the number one team in the nation pushed to the limit, the Oregon Ducks are doing everything they can to escape Arizona State with a win on Saturday evening.

Arizona State blew a 10 point lead in the second quarter to two quick Oregon scores as the Ducks lead 28-24 at halftime in Tempe.  Darren Thomas threw for a touchdown and ran for another in the last three minutes of the first half to pull Oregon back into the game after getting shocked by four scores by the Sun Devils in the first half.

Thomas has completed 11 of 20 passes for 155 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and a rushing touchdown to lead the Ducks, but a 40 yard run by LaMichael James and pick six from John Boyett helped get the Ducks up and going.  The Sun Devils clearly entered this game expecting pull another shocker on this thrilling Saturday, and the crowd in Sun Devil Stadium felt confident until Oregon erased the ten point deficit in a matter of minutes before halftime.

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Posted on: September 25, 2010 5:24 pm

Upset Alert: UCLA leading Texas 13-3 in Austin

Posted by Chip Patterson

Last week, we saw Texas' defense carry the Longhorns through a difficult must-win road game against Texas Tech in Lubbock.  So far in the first half against UCLA, four Texas turnovers have put the Longhorns' defense in impossible situations that UCLA has capitalized on to the tune of a 13-3 lead at halftime.  

The Bruins' three scoring drives have been 2, 4, and 37 yards, and all come after a Texas turnover.  Bruins linebacker Akeem Ayers has led the way for UCLA's defense, getting credited for forcing a Garrett Gilbert fumble as well as picking him off for two of the four Texas turnovers.  Ayers also has a sack on Gilbert to his name.

In a game that defense has dominated, it has to kill UCLA to leave points on the board.  Bruins kicker Kai Forbath, the nation's top kicker a season ago, missed a field goal following a Gilbert fumble.

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