Posted on: September 10, 2011 3:42 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 3:43 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OHIO STATE WON. Though it was not as easy a victory as Ohio State fans have come to expect against non-conference schools in recent years. In fact, this one wasn't settled until the final minute of the game thanks to an Ohio State offense that just didn't look very sharp in the second week of the season. Joe Bauserman did not have to share any snaps with Braxton Miller this week, though maybe he should have as he completed only 16 of his 30 pass attempts for 189 yards and a touchdown. In fact, it's tough to find a star on offense at all for Ohio State in this one, though I suppose Carlos Hyde's 2 touchdown runs qualify, even if he did manage only 3.9 yards on 21 carries.
WHY OHIO STATE WON. Because try as they might, Toledo was its own worst enemy in this game, and the Buckeyes defense came through with some timely stops when it needed to. Still, considering that Ohio State only won this game by five points and was actually outgained on offense by the Rockets 335 yards to 303 yards, you have to wonder how things would have gone if not for the 14 penalties worth 100 yards called against Toledo. One of those penalties was an illegal formation on a punt -- Toledo had roughly a billion of those on Saturday -- that cause Toledo to kick again, and on the second attempt Chris Fields returned the kick 69 yards to give the Buckeyes a 21-15 lead going into the half.
WHEN OHIO STATE WON. This game wasn't over until Terrance Owen's pass on 4th and 5 at the Ohio State 17-yard line floated hopelessly incomplete thanks to some heavy pressure from the Buckeyes front four.
WHAT OHIO STATE WON. The right to say that it still hasn't lost to an FBS level opponent from the state of Ohio since 1921, going 20-0 in 90 years. And that's it, really, as I don't think there are many Big Ten opponents who will look at this game film and see the Buckeyes as a team to be feared at the moment.
WHATE TOLEDO LOST. Aside from being the first Ohio school to beat Ohio State in 90 years, it also lost the chance to claim a victory over a BCS opponent for the sixth straight season. Not to mention the chance to be a MAC school that could claim victories over both Michigan and Ohio State in the last four years. Other than that, I think Toledo gained more in this loss than Ohio State did in victory.
THAT WAS CRAZY. This isn't exactly crazy, but it's a bit telling about the fluidity of this game. Ohio State and Toledo combined to go 6-for-28 on third downs in this contest, yet went 3-for-6 on fourth downs.
Posted on: September 10, 2011 2:36 am
Edited on: September 10, 2011 2:48 am
Posted by Adam Jacobi
ARIZONA STATE WON. It was a wild one in Tempe, with Arizona State picking up a 37-30 win in overtime over No. 21 Missouri. QB Brock Osweiler was a revelation for Arizona State, going 24-32 for 353 yards, three TDs, and no picks. Osweiler also made some big plays with his feet, finishing with five rushes for 34 yards and another score. The big quarterback's target of choice was wideout Aaron Pflugrad (seen at right in Osweiler's embrace), who ended up with eight catches for 160 yards and two scores.
WHY ARIZONA STATE WON: It's hard to pin the outcome of a game on one last-minute string of inadvisable coaching decisions when A) the outcome of the alternative is unknown, and B) the other 59 minutes of regulation gameplay featured 60 points scored. And yet, with 21 seconds left in the game and Missouri lining up for a go-ahead 48-yard field goal, Mizzou head coach Gary Pinkel called time out. Then after the teams had gotten set again, Pinkel called time out again, icing his own kicker twice. Kicker Grant Ressel would push the field goal wide, sending the game into overtime, and Missouri's comeback would fail thereafter.
WHEN ARIZONA STATE WON: When Missouri QB James Franklin's desperation heave on 4th and 5 fell harmlessly to the turf. ASU looked ready to put the game away early in the 4th quarter after taking its largest lead of the game at 30-16 and forcing a quick punt by Missouri, but PR Jamal Miles muffed that punt and Missouri recovered, sparking the 14-point comeback over the rest of the quarter. ASU was fortunate to get to overtime, but once there, the Sun Devils squashed the Tigers.
WHAT ARIZONA STATE WON: This was a significant enough win for Arizona State that some fans stormed the field afterwards, and really, who can blame them? Missouri isn't exactly a Top-5 team, but the Tigers were still ranked No. 21, and the game featured enough emotional highs and lows that whichever team prevailed was going to have an enormous boost of confidence both in the locker room and in the stands.
WHAT MISSOURI LOST: This was a tough pill for Missouri to swallow, no doubt about it, and what makes it especially rough on Tiger fans is the fact that the game was nearly in hand. Missouri was on the edge of field goal range with a little under a minute left and two TOs in its pocket when Pinkel went conservative with the playcalling, keeping the ball on the ground and making no attempt at the sidelines, then saving the time outs for after Ressel lined up to kick. If anything, Missouri fans lost some confidence in Pinkel's endgame coaching acumen, though it's not terribly likely the players themselves share that sentiment. Still, better teams than Mizzou have gone on to lose their resolve and turn in a subpar season after a backbreaker of a loss like this, so it'll be key for Pinkel to make sure his players stay focused on the games in front of them.
THAT WAS CRAZY: The penalties. The penalties. The penalties. The two teams combined for 23 flags for 224 yards, and that's just the penalties that weren't declined. Defensive penalties routinely kept drives alive, and offensive penalties killed scoring chances. If only icing one's kicker were a penalty, though. Maybe then Pinkel would have thought twice. Still, this was one hell of a game, and it's too bad the last drive and overtime didn't reflect the quality of the rest of the game.
BONUS THAT WAS CRAZY: Ressel also had a 54-yard field goal attempt at the end of the first half. Like the game-winning attempt, this one also failed. It did, however, connect with the face of one unfortunate photographer (GIF via @HuskerLocker):
Posted on: September 9, 2011 10:19 pm
Edited on: September 10, 2011 12:11 am
Posted by Jerry Hinnen
FIU WON: There was no question which team had the best player on the field, and in the end, that player left no doubt about which was the best team on the field. Golden Panther All-American candidate T.Y. Hilton dominated the game, finishing with a school record 201 yards receiving (on just 7 receptions, a 28.7-yard average) and 268 all-purpose yards. His touchdown receptions of 74 and 83 yards broke open the game in the first half and the FIU defense held the Cards to just seven second-half points.
WHY FIU WON: Aside from Hilton's game-defining explosiveness, the Golden Panthers also benefited from Louisville's total inability to finish drives. The Cardinals outgained FIU 498-293 for the game but time and again crossed midfield only to come away empty-handed ... or worse, as was the case when Will Stein ended the Cards' first possession (and a 10-play drive) with a 74-yard pick-six that put FIU up 7-0 early.
From there Louisville put together drives of 29, 53, 25, and (in the fourth quarter) a backbreaking 76 yards -- with FIU stuffing runs on both 3rd- and 4th-and 1 after those 76 yards -- that resulted in a grand total of three points. The game was summed up by the Cards' follow-up drive to that failure, which began at midfield and featured an incredible scramble and completion by Stein to convert 3rd-and-13, setting his team up first-and-10 at the FIU 33 ... only for the Panthers' Tourek Williams to come up with a 13-yard sack on the very next play.
WHEN FIU WON: Three plays after that sack, Stein's desperation deep ball to Josh Chichester was broken up, and FIU took over up 14 points with just under 6 minutes to play. (At that point, Louisville had spent two drives running 21 plays, covering 84 yards, and eating up 10 minutes of clock ... and producing zero points.) Though not officially done until FIU recovered an onsides kick and forced the Cards to start their last-gasp drive inside their own 3, after that turnover on downs anything short of an Auburn-style miracle would result in an FIU win.
WHAT FIU WON: An impressive 2-0 start and the program's first-ever win over a BCS-conference program, for starters. But the unquestioned status of 2011 Sun Belt favorite, too, and for Hilton, maybe even some honest-to-goodness Heisman candidacy buzz.
WHAT LOUISVILLE LOST: Just about all the 2011 optimism lingering from Charlie Strong's encouraging 2010 debut. No doubt Strong's effective recruiting and solid defensive coaching will have the Cards competitive throughout the season and Big East title contenders in future campaigns. But this year's edition is too young on the offensive line and too shaky in the secondary to expect anything more than a low-level bowl appearance--a modest goal that after tonight's loss might still prove to be out of reach.
Posted on: September 8, 2011 11:45 pm
Edited on: September 8, 2011 11:46 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The Cowboys jumped out to an early lead in this game thanks to a virtuoso performance from Brandon Weeden, and never really broke much of a sweat as the Cowboys performed an encore of January's Alamo Bowl. Weeden finished the game with an Oklahoma State school record 42 completions. Those completions resulted in 397 yards passing and two touchdowns. It should also be noted that even though the Oklahoma State defense gave up yardage, it kept the Wildcats off the board for the most part, allowing 14 second half points that never really put the outcome in jeopardy.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Domination and balance on offense. Yes, the Cowboys offense threw for neary 400 yards, but it also rushed for 197 with running back Joseph Randle having a huge game. Randle finished the day with 15 carries for 121 yards and 2 touchdowns rushing, and he also had 9 receptions for 99 yards. Oh, and then there's that Justin Blackmon guy. Just another ho-hum 12 catch, 128 yard and 2 touchdown performance for the best wide receiver in college football.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Watching the game, you never really got the feeling that Arizona was going to pull out the victory as the Cowboys jumped out to a 21-0 lead. Still, after an Arizona touchdown cut it to 21-7 in the third quarter, the Oklahoma State offense stalled for a bit and let the Wildcats hang around. That is until Weeden and Blackmon connected for their second score of the night to make it 27-7.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. It's first Pac-16 conference victory? No, seriously, OSU won the sleepless nights of defensive coordinators around the Big 12. Through two games the Cowboys offense has amassed 1,260 yards of offense and 98 points. In fact, the only thing that has slowed the offense down has been the offense itself. Whether it was the 3 turnovers last week or the 10 penalties on Thursday night. If this is what the Oklahoma State offense is capable of when it's shooting itself in the foot from time to time, what is this unit going to do when it plays a mistake-free game?
WHAT ARIZONA LOST. A chance at revenge against the Cowboys. The Wildcats were still a bit sore from the 36-10 loss agianst OSU in the Alamo Bowl last season, particularly a bit of showboating by Justin Blackmon on a long touchdown. Well, Arizona didn't play with much of a chip on its shoulder on Thursday night, and now it has to face Stanford, Oregon and USC in its next three games. This is not a formula for a successful season.
THAT WAS CRAZY. During the second quarter Weeden launched a deep ball to Blackmon who had three defenders on him over the middle. Blackmon also had the three defenders beat, but when the ball fell into his hands, Blackmon dropped it. Which is something I don't think I've ever seen before.
Posted on: September 5, 2011 11:28 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 11:40 pm
Posted by Chip Patterson
MARYLAND WON. The first game of the ACC season featured the conference's newest coaches as Randy Edsall and Al Golden each made their debut on Monday night. Maryland and Miami braved through rain and injury issues before Terrapins' sophomore quarterback Danny O'Brien connected on a couple of deep passes late in the fourth quarter to set up Nick Ferrara with the game-winning 30-yard field goal with 1:39 remaining. Senior cornerback Cameron Chism iced it with a pick-six to give Maryland the 32-24 win.
WHY MARYLAND WON: The Terrapins offense looked potent in year one under new offensive coordinator Gary Crowton, picking up 499 total yards against the Miami defense. Early in the game they got it done with a fast-paced offense that kept the depleted Hurricanes defensive unit on their heels. But red zone inefficiency resulted in five different drives only producing 12 points (4 field goals and a 23-yard miss by Ferrara).
WHEN MARYLAND WON: Maryland could have put this game away early, but the inability to capitalize in the red zone gave Miami enough of an opportunity to hang around until the bitter end. Trailing 24-23 with less than 4:00 remaining, it was the ACC Rookie of the Year O'Brien who connected with Kevin Dorsey on a 52-yard go route to set up the game winning field goal.
WHAT MARYLAND WON: A hard-fought conference win against one of the ACC's toughest opponents. Many doubters wondered how the Terps would perform with a new coaching staff and several key players missing from 2010's 9-win campaign. Davin Meggett stepped up as the new starting running back and delivered a 92 yards of downhill running while Kevin Dorsey took over Torrey Smith's role as O'Brien's favorite target with 8 catches for 124 yards. The Terps have some issues to address in the red zone, but it was a great start for a team looking to continue the momentum from a year ago.
WHAT MIAMI LOST: Al Golden was pleased with his team's ability to withstand Maryland's fast start and continue to fight through the game. But he will not be pleased with the penalties and costly turnovers that continue to nag this group of Hurricanes. Miami was 119th in the nation in turnovers a year ago, and on Monday two turnovers directly cost the Hurricanes 14 points. Without the pick-six or fumble returned for a touchdown Miami might have escaped with a win.
THAT WAS CRAZY: The uniforms. They are…something. (via @jose3030)
Posted on: September 4, 2011 11:20 pm
Edited on: September 4, 2011 11:21 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TEXAS A&M WON. This game was a rather interesting one for Texas A&M as SMU was an opponent capable of giving the Aggies a headache to start the season. Well, Texas A&M won't be needing any Tylenol tonight. While the Mustangs hung around in the first half despite two turnovers that resulted in 14 Texas A&M points, the Aggies dominated the final 30 minutes. The Aggies used a balanced attack on offense and racked up 458 yards of total offense (212 rushing, 246 passing) while cruising to an easy victory. Ryan Tannehill looked very good, completing 21 of his 26 passes for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns, while Cyrus Gray rushed for 132 yards and 2 touchdowns of his own. Ryan Swope had a nice opener as well, catching 8 passes for 109 yards and a score.
WHY TEXAS A&M WON. While the offense had itself a strong night, Texas A&M's defense was the true deciding factor. The Aggies were facing an SMU offense that returned its entire offensive line, its quarterback and it's top rusher and receiver from a team that averaged nearly 30 points a game last season and held it to 14 points. The Aggies also forced two turnovers early that got Kyle Padron pulled from the game, and had 7 sacks on the evening, including 3 from defensive end Tony Jerod-Eddie. So much for dealing with the loss of Von Miller.
WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. The Mustangs were hanging tough despite turnovers and having their backup quarterback in the game, but when Christine Michael scored his second touchdown of the night a minute before halftime to make the score 33-14 it put an end to any realistic hopes that SMU might have had. It was the proverbial foot on the throat moment.
WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. Well, if the SWC were still around, the Aggies would have won a conference game. Instead the Aggies got to show everyone why they deserved to be ranked at #8 to start the season. It was exactly the type of performance you expect to see from a top ten team that is considered a candidate to win the Big 12.
WHAT SMU LOST. Stability at the quarterback position. Kyle Padron threw for 3,828 yards, 31 touchdowns and 14 interceptions for the Mustangs last season. He only threw 4 passes and had 2 interceptions before June Jones gave him the hook for J.J. McDermott, who played pretty well in his stead. Now the Mustangs have a question mark at a key position they thought they already had an answer to going into the night.
THAT WAS CRAZY. Nothing out of the ordinary really happened in this one, though I suppose the fact we had an entire game played this weekend without a lightning delay could be considered a bit of a novelty. Of course, the irony there is that the state of Texas is in the midst of a terrible drought and would more than welcome the rain that hit the midwest and east coast this weekend.
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:51 pm
Edited on: September 3, 2011 11:52 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA WON. The Sooners looked every big the top-ranked team in the country on Saturday night, never even allowing Tulsa a moment to think it might leave Norman with a victory. The Sooners offense racked up 47 points and 663 yards of offense on the night. Landry Jones (375 yards 1 TD) and Ryan Broyles (14 receptions, 158 yards 1 TD) had their typical nights, but it was a running back without a scholarship who may have grabbed the most attention. Dominique Whaley finished the night with 131 yards and 4 touchdowns, possibly answering the question of how the Sooners offense will replace DeMarco Murray.
WHY OKLAHOMA WON. It's just too good on offense for a team like Tulsa to compete with. The Sooners had 30 points within the first 20 minutes of the game, and every time you average more than a point a minute, things tend to work out well. If there's anything to worry about, it's that a Tulsa offense without its biggest threat in playmaker Damaris Johnson picked up 400 yards against the Sooners defense. Still, the Sooners forced three turnovers and kept Tulsa off the scoreboard for the most part, and that's a defense's biggest job.
WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. When Damaris Johnson was suspended indefinitely. The Sooners struggled in their opener against Utah State last season -- Auburn sympathizes -- and there was a bit of an upset risk in this game if Johnson had been able to play. Once he was suspended, Tulsa's hopes were dashed unless Oklahoma forgot to show up to the stadium.
WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. Another week atop the rankings. While plenty of big name schools across the country struggled on Saturday, Oklahoma never really had to break a sweat, and that's what top-ranked teams are supposed to do.
THAT WAS CRAZY. My favorite part of this game was easy to pick out. Oklahoma defensive end Frank Alexander picked off a deflected pass by G.J. Kinne and returned it 27 yards before finally being tackled. Any time I get to watch a defensive lineman run in the open field it's a moment I cherish, and Alexander didn't let me down.
Posted on: September 3, 2011 11:12 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
OKLAHOMA STATE WON. And it won rather easily. Things got off to a slow start but the Cowboys offense picked things up in the second quarter and went into the half with a 34-10 lead and never really looked bad. The Oklahoma State offense finished with 666 total yards in the game, with Brandon Weeden throwing for 388 yards and 3 touchdowns. Weeden threw 3 interceptions as well -- two of them were pick sixes -- which kept the Cajuns from getting completely destroyed. Justin Blackmon had one of his typical 8 receptions for 144 yards performances, though he never saw the end zone. Tracy Moore had 7 catches for 112 yards and a score, while Joseph Randle stepped into Kendall Hunter's old role, finishing with 129 yards rushing and two touchdowns.
WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Just too much firepower on offense for Louisiana-Lafayette to handle. When a team has so many weapons on offense it's near impossible to stop them, and the Cajuns just couldn't. The defense played a lot better than the score suggests as well, as 14 of Louisiana's points came on interception returns.
WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Louisiana-Lafayette hung tough for a quarter, but once Josh Cooper caught a 15-yard touchdown pass to make it 24-3 halfway through the second quarter, you knew this one was done.
WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. A game it was supposed to, and nothing much more really. Though I suppose you can argue that the offensive performance by the Cowboys justifies the team being ranked in the top ten to start the season.
THAT WAS CRAZY. Last season Brandon Weeden threw 1 interception for every 39 pass attempts. On Saturday night he threw 3 in 39 pass attempts.