Posted on: October 22, 2011 7:19 pm
Edited on: October 22, 2011 7:20 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TEXAS A&M WON. This week's performance from the Aggies wasn't nearly as impressive as the one we saw against Baylor last week, but I'm sure Mike Sherman's team will be happy to head home with a win. Texas A&M got off to a slow start in this game, trailing Iowa State 7-3 after the first quarter but the Aggies righted the ship in the second quarter to take a lead it never gave back. Ryan Tannehill didn't have a great game, completing only 23 of his 42 passes for 249 yards and 2 touchdowns, but his running backs more than picked up the slack. Cyrus Gray rushed for 139 yards but was outdone by his backfield partner Christine Michael, who finished with 142 yards and a touchdown.
WHY TEXAS A&M WON. The Iowa State offense just couldn't get anything going on Saturday. Starting quarterback Steele Jantz got the hook after Iowa State's first two possessions after failing to complete a pass to anybody on his team, and redshirt freshman Jared Barnett took his place. Barnett had some positive results on his first drive, as Iowa State marched downfield for a touchdown, but after that life got a lot tougher for the Cyclones offense. Barnett finished the day 16/36 for 180 yards.
WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. While Iowa State hung around and kept things close in the fourth quarter, you never really got the sense that the Cyclones would be able to complete the comeback following a touchdown run from Christine Michael that made the score 30-7 in the third quarter.
WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. By picking up this win on the road Texas A&M improved to 3-1 in the Big 12 which keeps the Aggies hopes of winning the Big 12 alive at the moment. Sure, they'll need to win out and have to hope Oklahoma State trips up twice, but stranger things have happened in the world of college football.
WHAT IOWA STATE LOST. Aside from the fact that Paul Rhoads may not know who his quarterback is going to be next week against Texas Tech, his team's chance of getting back to a bowl game this season may have died on Saturday afternoon. The Cyclones are 0-4 in the Big 12 now and need three more wins this year to go bowling. At the moment the only game on Iowa State's remaining schedule in which you could consider the Cyclones a favorite is in two weeks against Kansas.
THAT WAS CRAZY. Paul Rhoads: Angry Dancing Machine.
Posted on: October 19, 2011 7:06 pm
Edited on: October 21, 2011 12:04 pm
The Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, given annually to the top senior (or graduating 4th-year junior) pared its list of contenders to 10 on Wednesday. And look out: the field this season is absolutely loaded with deserving candidates. It really might be the best crop of candidates in the award's history. Here's a breakdown of all ten in alphabetical order, and whether we think each of them has a shot at taking this coveted award home.
Nick Foles, Arizona: Foles isn't going to win this award, not with Arizona struggling so badly, but his career's been better than you think. Foles is currently at 7,932 yards passing and 54 touchdowns on his career with an outside shot to hit 10,000 yards and 70 TDs before it's time for him to hang up his Wildcat helmet.
Robert Griffin III, Baylor: On statistics alone, nobody's having a better year thus far than Robert Griffin III; RG3 has gone for 142-182, 1950 yards, 22 touchdowns, and only interceptions, combining both production and efficiency better than anybody else in the field. Also, Griffin isn't just a fourth-year junior on track to graduate; he graduated after his third year at Baylor with a degree in political science, and is currently in grad school for corporate communications. Griffin is a strong contender for this award thus far.
Landry Jones, Oklahoma: It wasn't that long ago that Jones was thrust into the starting role for Oklahoma, taking over for Sam Bradford in 2009 after the returning Heisman winner suffered a major shoulder inury (twice). And yet even though Jones is slightly off his pace from his brilliant 2010 campaign, he's already over 10,000 yards on his career with 80 touchdowns (and a legitimate shot at topping triple digits there). Also, Oklahoma's undefeated with an inside track at another national championship bid.
Case Keenum, Houston: If Keenum's knee had stayed healthy in 2010 and he'd have set all those all-time career marks then, he probably would have taken home the Golden Arm award over Scott Tolzien. As it stands now, Keenum might not be a finalist for the trophy; the competition is that much better this year. Still, Keenum's on pace for more astronomical numbers, and if the voters feel like saluting a record-breaker, Keenum could definitely be in the mix here.
Andrew Luck, Stanford: It would sound pretty much derogatory to describe Luck as the pre-anointed No. 1 pick of the NFL draft, but being that some NFL fans want their teams to tank on the season in order to draft Luck (to his chagrin), it's clearly true -- and for good reason. The Stanford senior has his team undefeated and rolling thus far, and he's third in the nation in passing efficiency. If Stanford can make it to the Rose Bowl this year, look for Luck to be a finalist for this award.
Kellen Moore, Boise State: Moore has been so indispensable at QB for Boise State that it almost seems unfathomable that he won't be there next year. Moore has racked up a 44-2 record as a starter with the Broncos, and it would be a shock if he doesn't get to 50 wins for his career. Moreover, his QB play has elevated the BSU offense to judo in football form, able to skillfully counteract anything and everything a defense throws at it, and usually without undue exertion. Boise will likely need to run the table in order for Moore to have a chance to win this trophy.
Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M: Tannehill's probably not even going to be a finalist without an insane last half of the season and a Big 12 championship under his belt, but even being on this list is a heck of an accomplishment for a guy who was playing wide receiver 52 weeks ago. Tannehill's numbers in the 13 games (essentially one full season) since taking over for Jerrod Johnson? 290-440, 3355 yards, 26 TD, 12 INT. Not too shabby, but not a game-changer in this class of candidates.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State: The 28-year-old quarterback is back in Stillwater with his favorite target, Justin Blackmon, and as a result the Cowboys are undefeated and ranked fourth in the initial BCS standings, with wins over Texas, Texas A&M, and a surprising 6-1 Louisiana Lafayette already under their belt. Weeden's only ranked 17th in passing efficiency nationally (and sixth among Golden Arm Award candidates), so he's going to need to find a way to stand out from the pack.
Russell Wilson, Wisconsin: In terms of passer efficiency, Wilson leads the entire nation with a ridiculous 210.93 rating thus far. Sure, he's also got an offensive line full of mashers and an elite stable of tailbacks behind him, but numbers are numbers, and Wilson's numbers are phenomenal. It'll be interesting to see if the voters punish Wilson for his departure from North Carolina State and one-year shot with Wisconsin, but if he's on this short list of contenders, he's probably in good shape.
Tyler Wilson, Arkansas: Given the slate of competitors already mentioned above, it seems pretty clear that Tyler Wilson is not winning this award. He's been doing a fine job of helping Razorback fans adjust to life without Ryan Mallett under center, at least, and with any lucky he'll be back for his senior campaign to take another run at this trophy when the field isn't quite as crowded.
Tags: Adam Jacobi, Andrew Luck, Arizona, Arkansas, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Big Ten, Boise State, Brandon Weeden, C-USA, Case Keenum, Golden Arm Award, Houston, Johnny Unitas, Johnny Unitas Golden Arm Award, Kellen Moore, Landry Jones, MWC, Nick Foles, Non-BCS, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Pac-12, Robert Griffin III, Russell Wilson, Ryan Tannehill, SEC, Stanford, Texas A&M, Tyler Wilson, Unitas Award, Wisconsin
Posted on: October 18, 2011 10:20 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
We've reached the midway point of the college football season, and we can't think of a better time to hand out some mid-season awards. I mean, giving out mid-season awards two-thirds of the way through the season would be pretty stupid, right?
So taking a look at what has been a pretty good season for the Big 12 as a whole so far this season -- save for Kansas -- it wasn't that easy to come up with people to give these awards to. Plenty of players, coaches and teams all deserved consideration, and I realize plenty of people will disagree. So feel free to leave your choices in the comments.
Offensive Player Of The Year: Robert Griffin, QB, Baylor. There are so many good offensive players in this conference, but from my perspective, there is nobody whom I enjoy watching more every Saturday than Robert Griffin. He has track speed, but unlike a lot of quarterbacks in college who can run, Griffin prefers throwing the ball and he has one of the most accurate arms I've ever seen. Which is why he's completed 78% of his passes in 2011 for 1,950 yards, 22 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions. He trails only Russell Wilson with an efficiency rating of 205.7, and he's rushed for another 295 yards and another 2 scores. The man can do it all. Also considered: Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State; Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma; Ryan Tannehill, Texas A&M
Defensive Player Of The Year: Sean Porter, LB, Texas A&M. This wasn't the easiest of decisions, but after weighing a few options like Tony Jefferson and Arthur Brown, I went with Porter. Texas A&M's secondary may not be having the best season, but it isn't because Porter isn't doing his best to help out. The linebacker has 38 tackles this season, 9 1/2 for loss, and leads the entire Big 12 with 7 1/2 sacks. Also considered: Arthur Brown, Kansas State; Tony Jefferson, Oklahoma, Jake Knott, Iowa State
Coach of the Year: Bill Snyder, Kansas State. Okay, so this one was easy. Bob Stoops and Mike Gundy are doing fantastic jobs with their teams, but that doesn't come as much of a surprise. Now, Kansas State being 6-0 and being ranked eleventh in the initial BCS rankings? That was not expected, but maybe it should have been. After all, Bill Snyder has pulled this off in Manhattan before. Also considered: Bob Stoops, Oklahoma; Mike Gundy, Oklahoma State
Surprise: Kansas State. Obviously this is Kansas State. As I said above, the Wildcats are 6-0 and a serious contender in the Big 12. Before the season started, most pundits had Kansas State pegged to finish somewhere around sixth or seventh. Heck, I even picked them as my sleeper team before the season began, and even that just meant fifth place. Also considered: Nobody
Disappointment: Missouri. I thought about putting Texas A&M here, but the more I thought about it, Missouri is more disappointing to me than the Aggies. I didn't think Mizzou would compete for a Big 12 title this season after having to replace Blaine Gabbert, but I didn't expect the offense to look so anemic under James Franklin either. The good news is the Tigers and Franklin looked very good against Iowa State last week, and hopefully that trend will continue. Also considered: Texas A&M, Kansas
Game Of The Year (So Far): Oklahoma State at Texas A&M. We all knew that Oklahoma was going to contend for a Big 12 title coming into the season, the bigger question was which team would challenge them? Well, this game would give us the early indicator, and Oklahoma State came back from a 17-point deficit on the road in College Station and let the Big 12 know that it's a team that came to play in 2011. Also considered: Arkansas at Texas A&M, TCU at Baylor
Game Of The Year (To Come): Oklahoma at Oklahoma State. It's called Bedlam for a reason, people. As if the rivalry between these two schools didn't mean enough, there's a chance that when Oklahoma comes to Stillwater on December 3rd, not could these teams be undefeated and playing for a Big 12 title, but for a berth in the BCS title game as well. There's a long way to go before then, but I'd love to see it happen. Also considered: Oklahoma at Kansas State, Texas A&M at Oklahoma
Big 12 Champion: Oklahoma. Kansas State and Texas A&M will have something to say about it before it's over, but I think that this conference race will come down to the two schools from Oklahoma. So when I compare the two teams, I see two very strong offenses, but I only see one strong defense. Because of that, I have to go with the Sooners at this point, but I'm far from certain here. Also considered: Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Texas A&M
Tags: Arthur Brown, Baylor, Big 12, Big 12 Midseason Awards, Big 12 Midseason Report, Bill Snyder, Blaine Gabbert, Bob Stoops, Brandon Weeden, Iowa State, Jake Knott, James Franklin, Kansas, Kansas State, Midseason Awards, Midseason Report, Midseason Reports, Mike Gundy, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin, Russell Wilson, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Tannehill, Sean Porter, Texas A&M, Tom Fornelli, Tony Jefferson
Posted on: October 16, 2011 1:38 am
Edited on: October 16, 2011 3:09 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
A handy recap of who really won and who really lost that you won't find in the box score.
WINNER: Fans of offense
The Big 12 often gets flak for the lack of defense that is played in the conference, and for the most part it's criticism that's deserved. Of course, there's another side to that coin, and it's that the Big 12 is also home to some good offenses as well. Offenses that were fully on display throughout Saturday.
In five games between all ten teams in the conference, there was a total of 355 points scored, 45 touchdowns and 4,658 yards of total offense. That's 71 points, 9 touchdowns and 931.6 yards of offense per game. That is insane.
LOSER: The Baylor defense
Okay, and there's just genuinely bad defense too. There is little doubt what the strengths and weaknesses are with Baylor this season. The strength is Robert Griffin and the Baylor offense. The weakness is the other side of the ball, and it was evident on Saturday. Texas A&M racked up 681 yards of offense on Saturday, and Ryan Tannehill threw for 415 yards and 6 touchdowns. Robert Griffin, despite evidence to the contrary, is not perfect, and in order for Baylor to beat the best teams in the Big 12, Griffin can't do it all on his own. He's going to need his defense to step up and make plays from time to time, and it just didn't do that on Saturday. The result? A 55-28 blowout in College Station.
WINNER: Ryan Swope
Somebody had to benefit from all those yards that Baylor was giving to Ryan Tannehill and it was Ryan Swope. Swope finished the day with 11 catches for 206 yards and a school record 4 touchdowns. Swope is one of the most underrated receivers in the Big 12, and he's often overshadowed on his own team by Jeff Fuller, but he showed everybody why he deserves a lot more attention this weekend.
LOSER: David Ash's hold on the Texas quarterback job
For the first time since the Longhorns replaced Garrett Gilbert, Mack Brown and Bryan Harsin handed the reins to David Ash for a full 60 minutes on Saturday and got some mediocre results. Ash completed only 22 of his 40 passes for 139 yards with no touchdowns. More importantly, he turned the ball over three times. There's no guarantee that Case McCoy will see time next week because of it, but you can bet at the very least Malcolm Brown and Fozzy Whittaker will get a lot more than the 28 carries they split on Saturday.
WINNER: Missouri offensive coordinator David Yost
Coming into Saturday, Missouri's offense hadn't exactly been lighting up scoreboards the same way it has the last few seasons. Obviously, a lot of this had to do with breaking in a new quarterback in James Franklin. Coming into Saturday the Tigers were averaging 32.2 points per game, but if you took out the 69 points Mizzou scored against Western Illinois, that average dropped to 23 points per game. Against Iowa State Yost's offense blew up for 52 points and 583 yards of offense, with James Franklin totaling 5 touchdowns. No doubt Yost is hoping that becomes a trend for the last half of the season.
LOSER: Brandon Weeden's Heisman stock
I put Robert Griffin in this spot last week following a Baylor victory, and now Brandon Weeden finds himself in the same situation. Sure, Oklahoma State scored more points (38) than it ever had before during a trip to Austin, but Weeden's numbers on Saturday weren't very Weeden-esque. He finished the day with only 218 yards and a touchdown. Compare that to last week when he threw 288 yards and 5 touchdowns in less than a full half. The good news for Weeden is he has plenty of time to help people forget this performance.
WINNER: Believers in Bill Snyder
Let's be honest, nobody expected Kansas State to be 6-0 at this point in the season. A lot of people didn't expect the Wildcats to be 6-0 even after they started the season 5-0, as Kansas State opened the week as 3 1/2-point underdogs on the road against Texas Tech. Yeah, well, Bill Snyder doesn't care. The style of offense he runs may seem a bit old fashioned, but it works, and Kansas State is a contender to win the Big 12 whether you're willing to believe it or not.
WINNER: Ryan Broyles
It was just another night for the Oklahoma receiver, as he caught 13 passes for 217 yards and 2 touchdowns. His first touchdown catch of the night was the reception number 317 for Broyles in his career, and it moved him past Taylor Stubblefield for the most receptions by any player in NCAA history. Broyles finished the night with 326 career receptions, and he's still got seven games to go. He could pass 400 by the time he's done.
Tags: Baylor, Big 12, Bill Snyder, Brandon Weeden, Bryan Harsin, Case McCoy, David Ash, David Yost, Fozzy Whittaker, Garrett Gilbert, Iowa State, James Franklin, Jeff Fuller, Kansas State, Mack Brown, Malcolm Brown, Missouri, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Robert Griffin, Ryan Broyles, Ryan Swope, Ryan Tannehill, Taylor Stubblefield, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas Tech, Tom Fornelli, Western Illinois, Winners And Losers
Posted on: October 15, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: October 15, 2011 3:38 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TEXAS A&M WON. The Aggies put together their best game in weeks. Yes, the A&M defense gave up quite a few yards, but most teams do when going against this Baylor offense. The biggest difference was that the A&M offense put its foot on the gas pedal in the second quarter and never took it off. Ryan Tannehill finished the day with 415 yards and 6 touchdown passes and Ryan Swope was by far his favorite target. Swope had 11 receptions for 206 yards and a school record of 4 touchdowns. Texas A&M's offense would finish with 679 yards of total offense.
WHY TEXAS A&M WON. While Texas A&M's defense didn't have a strong performance, it was still better than that of Baylor's. The Aggies were able to get pressure on Robert Griffin throughout the day, and also made some key stops, none bigger than on a 4th and goal in the fourth quarter. Texas A&M even managed to intercept a pass, which was only the second time Griffin had been picked off all season, and A&M's first interception in a span of 23 quarters. Combine that with an offense that refused to be stopped, and the Aggies proved to be too much to handle.
WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. The aforementioned stop on fourth and goal. At the time Baylor was trailing 41-28 and looking to cut A&M's lead, but the Aggies blitzed and got to Griffin, causing him to heave up a prayer as he was being dragged down. It landed incomplete, and seven plays later Tannehill was throwing his sixth score of the day to Uzoma Nwachukwu to seal it.
WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. First and foremost, the Aggies won a conference game that it needed after losing to Oklahoma State three weeks ago and is back to 2-1 in Big 12 play. What the Aggies also got was a bit of revenge on Baylor. You'll remember that when the Aggies announced they were leaving for the SEC, it was Baylor that through a wrench in the process by threatening litigation. So this one had to taste a bit sweeter because of it.
WHAT BAYLOR LOST. For all intents and purposes, Baylor's chance to win the Big 12 this season has been erased. The Bears now fall to 1-2 in Big 12 play, and will have to be resigned to the chance to play spoiler down the stretch.
THAT WAS CRAZY. After both Baylor and Texas A&M combined for only 10 points through the first 21 minutes of the game, both teams managed to put up 21 points while taking less than 2 minutes off the game clock about halfway through the second quarter. In that span, both offenses ran 11 plays for 230 yards.
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:38 pm
Edited on: October 14, 2011 3:40 pm
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.
This week we're offering a menu that is a bit low on carbs. It's not that we don't have plenty of interesting choices to offer you this weekend, but there isn't exactly a must-have on the list. Which I suppose is a good thing considering all the big meals we've all been ingesting the last few weeks and the pounds they've packed on, we could all afford to eat a bit more salad this weekend.
#23 Michigan State vs. #11 Michigan - ESPN 12pm ET
This game has it all: rivalry, firepower, and consequence. Michigan State is looking to continue its reign in this series, having won the last 3 in the series. Michigan will need to get Heisman candidate Denard Robinson rolling and light up the scoreboard; that hasn't been much of a problem for UM this year. At stake is probably the best shot at challenging Nebraska for the Legends Division crown; the loser, meanwhile, will need a lot of help in the race. - Adam Jacobi
#21 Texas A&M vs. #20 Baylor - FX 12pm ET
Robert Griffin is appointment television no matter who Baylor is playing, but considering that Texas A&M is statistically the worst passing defense in the country, this one could be really fun. Of course, Texas A&M isn't exactly a slouch either, as Ryan Tannehill, Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael have done a good job of covering up that secondary's mistakes on offense. This one could be a pretty nice shootout to start your day with. - Tom Fornelli
Mississippi State vs. #15 South Carolina - SEC Network 12:21pm ET
Is Connor Shaw for real or not? The Gamecocks' now-unquestioned starting quarterback looked the part against Kentucky, but a veteran Bulldog secondary playing at home in Starkville is a much tougher test. And if Tyler Russell's breakout second half against UAB was more than illusion, State could have put some of their offensive woes behind them as well. Whichever quarterback proves last week's performance wasn't a fluke should come away with the victory. - Jerry Hinnen
Tennessee vs. #1 LSU - CBS 3:30pm ET
For the second week in a row, the Tiger defense gets to face a backup quarterback making his first start of the season. The Vols' Matt Simms has a lot of advantages Florida's Jacoby Brissett didn't, though: he'll be at home; he's a senior who started eight games for Tennessee in 2010; and he saw the LSU defense up close and personal playing against them last year. Too bad the Vols don't have the running game to keep the Tigers from teeing off on Simms all the same. - JH
#22 Texas vs. #6 Oklahoma State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET
Did you know that Mack Brown's Texas teams have never lost a game following the Red River Shootout? That record is likely going to be in serious jeopardy with the Oklahoma State offense coming to town, but if the Longhorns can manage to keep Brandon Weeden in check and pull off a win, it'd be a very large step in returning the program to where it once stood. Or you should watch just to see if Oklahoma State can finally hit the century mark. - TF
Virginia vs. #12 Georgia Tech - ESPNU 3:30pm ET
The last time Virginia took the field, they needed overtime to steal a 21-20 victory over Idaho. With an off week to get healthy and prepare for the Yellow Jackets' option attack, the Cavs defense will try to live up to their 311.8 yards allowed per game (ranked third in the ACC). Tech coach Paul Johnson criticized the decision making of quarterback Tevin Washington in last week's 21-16 win over Maryland, and cited a lack of "continuity" as a reason for their uncharacteristically low score. Look for Georgia Tech to try and use this game to get their methodical attack back on track. It might be more than a young Virginia defense can handle, even with a week to prepare. - Chip Patterson
#16 Illinois vs. Ohio State - ABC/ESPN 3:30pm ET
The Illini look to continue their tear through a stunned and unsuspecting slate of opponents and run their record to 7-0. In Illinois' way is mighty Ohio State, who's got the talent to win the battle up front on both sides of the ball. If OSU doesn't have Braxton Miller at 100% after last week's ankle injury, though, can the vaunted Buckeye rushing attack pick up the slack and turn drives into touchdowns? - AJ
Maryland vs. #8 Clemson - ESPNU 6:30pm ET
Clemson quarterback Tajh Boyd wasn't wearing hip pads for "swag reasons." Now he has to shed his hip fashion style in order to protect his strained hip against Maryland. Boyd may have been carted off the field last week against Boston College, but he'll be lining up under center on Saturday night in Byrd Stadium. Maryland, on the other hand, won't make a decision regarding their starting quarterback until game time. Starter Danny O'Brien was benched in the 21-16 loss to Georgia Tech in favor of freshman C.J. Brown, who ran for 124 yards in just one half of action against the Yellow Jackets. But Brown struggled throwing the ball, so it will be interesting to see what head coach Randy Edsall decides to do. The last time Maryland played a primetime game at home, they wrapped themselves in the state flag and pulled out a victory. Tune in to see what fashion statement they make this week. - CP
#24 Auburn vs. Florida - ESPN 7pm ET
In a matchup of teams with passing games that will be lucky to reach "mediocre" -- the Gators thanks to John Brantley's injury, the Tigers due to Barrett Trotter's ongoing struggles -- the winner should prove to be whichever team can get their pair of star tailbacks on track. With Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey on one side and Michael Dyer and Onterio McCalebb on the other, backfield head-to-heads don't get a whole lot better than this. - JH
Washington State vs. #7 Stanford - FX 7:30pm ET
The Cardinal have the country's best quarterback in Andrew Luck and the conference's toughest defense (just 10.6 points per game allowed) so this should be a relatively easy road trip for the Cardinal. Head coach David Shaw will likely want to establish the running game this week after tilting heavily in favor of the pass last week against Colorado. The question probably isn't if Stanford will win, but by how much. Washington State showed they've got some fight in them last week before coming up short against UCLA. - Bryan Fischer
Kansas vs. #3 Oklahoma - ESPN 2 9:15pm ET
This is a pretty late start for a game that's being played in Kansas, but I have to believe it's some kind of strategy. Maybe the Jayhawks are hoping that by starting the game later, nobody will be watching the Sooners offense destroy a Kansas defense that has been shredded by everybody it's faced this season. This one likely won't be competitive for very long, but who knows? - TF
LATE NIGHT SNACK
#9 Oregon vs. #18 Arizona State - ESPN 10:15pm ET
They're still the conference king until knocked off their perch but Arizona State will present a stiff test for Oregon this weekend. The Ducks are not as good as they were last year on defense and will be missing star running back LaMichael James but Kenjon Barner and freshman DeAnthony Thomas are able replacements for him on offense. The atmosphere at Autzen at night should be a big advantage but expect a tough Sun Devils defense to force a few turnovers and make things interesting. - BF
Tags: ACC, Adam Jacobi, Andrew Luck, Arizona State, Auburn, Barrett Trotter, Baylor, Big 12, Big Ten, Boston College, Brandon Weeden, Braxton Miller, Bryan Fischer, C.J. Brown, Chip Patterson, Chris Rainey, Christine Michael, Clemson, Colorado, Connor Shaw, Cyrus Gray, Danny O'Brien, David Shaw, DeAnthony Thomas, Denard Robinson, Florida, Georgia Tech, Idaho, Illinois, Jacoby Brissett, Jeff Demps, Jerry Hinnen, John Brantley, Kansas, Kenjon Barner, Kentucky, LaMichael James, LSU, Mack Brown, Maryland, Matt Simms, Michael Dyer, Michigan, Michigan State, Mississippi State, Nebraska, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Onterio McCalebb, Oregon, Pac-12, Paul Johnson, Randy Edsall, Robert Griffin, Ryan Tannehill, Saturday Meal Plan, SEC, South Carolina, Stanford, Tajh Boyd, Tennessee, Tevin Washington, Texas, Texas A&M, Tom Fornelli, Tyler Russell, UAB, Virginia, Washington State
Posted on: October 11, 2011 11:45 am
Posted by Tom Fornelli
BAYLOR WILL WIN IF: It continues to use a more balanced approach on offense. There's not much more fun that can be had while watching college football than watching Robert Griffin drop back and wing the football all over the field to guys like Kendall Wright and Tevin Reese, but it may be the running game that is most important for Baylor. Simply put, the Baylor defense is not very good, as it is giving up nearly 30 points per game. Facing a Texas A&M defense that is giving up 347.6 yards per game through the air may be very enticing for Baylor this week, but it needs to keep feeding the ball to Terrence Ganaway. This Texas A&M offense is pretty good too, and can hang with Baylor point for point if it has to. The best way to keep that from happening is to keep it off the field. If Baylor goes for the quick strikes, odds are Texas A&M will answer back, and while that will make for a fantastic game to watch, it might not lead to a victory for the Bears.
TEXAS A&M WILL WIN IF: It keeps the Baylor offense off of the field. Texas A&M will be able to put up points on this Baylor defense, but it probably doesn't want to get involved in an old fashioned shootout. With two backs like Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, along with Ryan Tannehill's ability to tuck the ball and run, there's no reason the Aggies can't dominate the time of possession in this game. So Mike Sherman and the Aggies should use Gray and Michael to sustain long scoring drives and keep Robert Griffin off the field as much as possible. Yes, this is a team that can score 48-50 points if it has to, but it will probably be better served scoring somewhere between 35-40 and keeping its defense rested and ready to get after Griffin.
X-FACTOR: Coryell Judie and Terrence Frederick. The Texas A&M secondary has been torched so far this season, and if that's going to stop anytime soon it will be on the shoulders of Judie and Frederick. Both corners will have their hands full with Kendall Wright on Saturday in Waco, but if they can keep him in check and limit the big plays, then there's no reason that Texas A&M shouldn't go home with a win.
Posted on: October 8, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: October 8, 2011 11:34 pm
Posted by Tom Fornelli
TEXAS A&M WON. Finally the Aggies were able to get the second half monkey off their backs, though it came down to the final minute in Lubbock on Saturday night. Still, A&M played a full 60 minutes for the first time in three weeks as the Aggies rode the legs of Cyrus Gray and Christine Michael, along with all of Ryan Tannehill's limbs to a much-needed win. Tannehill finished the night with only 189 yards passing and a touchdown, but he also rushed for another 55 yards and two touchdowns. Gray and Michael combined for another 167 yards and 2 touchdowns on the ground. Seth Doege had a big day for Tech in the loss, throwing for 389 yards and 3 touchdowns, and Alex Torres (8 catches, 111 yards) was his favorite target.
WHY TEXAS A&M WON. Looking at the box score, you might have a hard time figuring out how Texas A&M won this game. The Red Raiders outgained the Aggies 523 yards to 410, had the edge in time of possession, didn't turn the ball over and Texas A&M had 9 penalties for 100 yards. In spite of all that, the Aggies still leave town in a dirty bus with a victory. What it came down to, though, was that even though the Aggies gave up yards rather easily, the defense made the plays it needed and the Aggies offense kept answering Tech scores with scores of its own.
WHEN TEXAS A&M WON. It wasn't until Texas Tech's onside kick came down in the arms of an Aggie with 31 second left to go in the contest that you could consider this one official.
WHAT TEXAS A&M WON. A much needed conference victory to not only get out of an 0-1 hole in Big 12 play, but to restore some confidence to the roster. You can say that the two collapses of the last two weeks are things of the past and out of your mind all you want, but until you go out and prove that you can hold a lead in the second half, the doubt is always going to be there. Had Texas Tech completed the comeback in the fourth quarter, I'm not sure the Aggies would ever be able to recover from it.
WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. The dreams of an undefeated season are no more, and although a 1-1 start in the Big 12 isn't devastating, when Kansas State, Oklahoma, Texas, Oklahoma State and Baylor all remain on the schedule, it could be.
THAT WAS CRAZY. In the third quarter Seth Doege threw a pass out to Eric Stephens in the flat that Stephens bobbled and dropped. Texas A&M's Damontre Moore then dove into Stephens' knee, causing it to bend in a way you never want to see a knee bend, and then rolled over on it. Eric Stephens then had to be carted off with an air cast on his leg, and I'm not expecting a positive diagnosis. I don't think Moore was trying to hurt Stephens in any way, but why are you diving into the knee of a player who just dropped a ball? There's absolutely no reason for it.