Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: November 26, 2011 11:17 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Baylor 66 Texas Tech 42

Posted by Tom Fornelli

BAYLOR WON. Oh the points, there were so many of them on Saturday night in Cowboys Stadium. I mean, how often does a team score 42 points and lose a game by 24? What makes all of this even more unbelievable is that Baylor played the entire second half of this contest without Robert Griffin who missed the final 30 minutes after suffering a head injury late in the second quarter. Griffin still managed to account for 168 total yards and 3 touchdowns before leaving, but his replacement, Nick Florence, managed 165 total yards and 3 touchdowns of his own in his place. Though the real workhorse for Baylor on Saturday was Terrance Ganaway, who carried the ball 42 times for 246 yards and 2 touchdowns.

Seth Doege threw for 343 yards and 3 touchdowns for Texas Tech, but his 2 interceptions played a huge role in this game as well. Eric Ward caught 16 passes for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns. As you can tell, there was a lot of offense in this one, as both teams combined for 1,049 yards.

WHY BAYLOR WON. In a game like this, where neither defense seems all that interested in forcing the other team to punt, turnovers are going to play a huge role, and they did in this one. The biggest reason Baylor won this game is that it turned the ball over twice while Texas Tech turned it over 4 times. You can't afford to give possessions away in a game like this, and Texas Tech did too many times.

WHEN BAYLOR WON. This was a game in which no lead felt safe, but when Nick Florence scored from a yard out to make it 59-42 with just over 9 minutes left it was basically done. There was no way Texas Tech could be counted on to stop Baylor three times.

WHAT BAYLOR WON. For the first time since both schools joined the Big 12, Baylor beat Texas Tech. That wasn't the only landmark for the Bears in this game either, as Baylor has now won 5 Big 12 games for the first time since joining the conference and has a chance to reach 9 wins before the regular season ends. Which means a 10-win season is still in play, which would be a huge accomplishment for Art Briles' team.

WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. There will be no bowl game for Texas Tech. For the first time since 1992 the Red Raiders will finish a season with a losing record. Not exactly what Tommy Tuberville was hoping for in his second season in Lubbock, but the Raiders just suffered so many injuries down the stretch that I'm not sure what more he could have done.

THAT WAS CRAZY. There are so many things from this game that I could cite as insane, but how about this one: Baylor scored 31 points in the first half with Robert Griffin in the game. It scored 35 points in the second half without him. Who would have thought that would be possible? 
Posted on: November 26, 2011 7:34 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Wisconsin 45, Penn State 7

Posted by Adam Jacobi

WISCONSIN WON. Penn State's vaunted defense was no match for Montee Ball and the Wisconsin rushing game, and the Badgers rolled to a 45-7 victory to clinch the Leaders Division title and an invitation to the Big Ten Championship Game in Indianapolis. Ball rushed for 156 yards and four touchdowns on 25 carries, and made significant progress toward the NCAA record for most total touchdowns in a season; the record set by Barry Sanders is 39, and Ball now has 34 with two games left to play.

WHY WISCONSIN WON: The Badgers obviously have a high-powered offense, one that doesn't make many mistakes, so it was going to be crucial for Penn State's defense to force Wisconsin into punts and turnovers, while the Penn State offense was going to have to limit its own mistakes and focus on ball control and long drives. That clearly didn't happen. Penn State turned the ball over four times while Wisconsin only lost one fumble late in garbage time, and Wisconsin scored 24 points off turnovers as it cruised to victory.

WHEN WISCONSIN WON: Penn State had forced punts on two of the first four Badger possessions (three, actually, if we're counting the punt in the second drive; Penn State committed a penalty on the play and Wisconsin turned the drive into a touchdown), and Wisconsin's lead was a somewhat precarious 14-7, when a Penn State punt pinned Wisconsin back at its own 17 midway through the second quarter. Wisconsin answered with a scintillating touchdown drive marked by two long Russell Wilson scrambles to push the lead to 21-7, and when fullback Michael Zordich fumbled the ensuing kickoff and gave Wisconsin the ball 31 yards away from the end zone with two minutes left in the half, it wasn't too difficult to figure out how this game was going to end.

WHAT WISCONSIN WON: Just as expected at the beginning of the season, Wisconsin will represent the Leaders division in the Big Ten Championship. Of course, the route there has been a little different than expected, and the Badgers' ranking at No. 15 is beneath the standards set by the program and its preseason No. 9 status. But there's some redemption to be had here, at the very least, and if Wisconsin exacts its revenge on Michigan State in the Big Ten title game then shines in the bowl game, it's reasonable to think the Badgers could still climb back into the Top 10.

WHAT PENN STATE LOST: For the first time since Week 6, Penn State is not the front-runner for the Leaders Division title. Unfortunately, the season is also now over, so Penn State is hereby thrown to the mercy of bowl selection committees having lost two of its last three. Obviously these are less than ideal circumstances for Penn State off the field, and if those circumstances are going to have any effect on Penn State's bowl bid, it's going to be a negative effect. So we'll see what all that means for the Penn State postseason, and whether the PSU athletic department even feels like going through the process in the first place.  
Posted on: November 26, 2011 7:22 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 2 Alabama 42, Auburn 14

Posted by Jerry Hinnen



ALABAMA WON: 
Barring the beatdown to end all beatdowns by Oklahoma State against Oklahoma next week and a stunning change-of-heart from the poll voters, the Crimson Tide strangled the life out of the Auburn offense to punch their ticket to the BCS title game. The Tigers collected just 30 yards of offense through three quarters and failed to score any offensive points--their touchdowns came via a fumble recovery in the end zone and an 83-yard Onterio McCalebb kickoff return. AJ McCarron hit 14-of-18 for three touchdowns in a huge first half and Trent Richardson finished with 203 yards in a Heisman-quality performance.

WHY ALABAMA WON: Alabama's front seven and their rush defense is awfully, awfully good--No. 1 in the nation for a reason, mostly a reason like "held Auburn to 78 rushing yards, and less than 25 before two late garbage-time drives." But their pass defense? That's even better: Clint Moseley completed 11 of his 18 passes, but for just 3.4 yards an attempt and with just one completion beyond the line-of-scrimmage, a 15-yard fourth-quarter pass to Phillip Lutzenkirchen. When Auburn did finally come out of their shell with three deep passes in the third quarter, Dee Milliner responded by promptly picking off Moseley for a game-clinching pick-six.

Again: the front seven is good. Milliner, Dre Kirkpatrick, Mark Barron, Robert Lester, DeQuan Menzie and the rest of the Tide secondary is better. 

WHEN ALABAMA WON: The 27-14 lead Alabama took into the fourth quarter was probably safe given Auburn's offensive struggles. The 35-14 lead given by Milliner's pick-six was entirely insurmountable. 

WHAT ALABAMA WON: We mentioned that whole "99 percent chance of a BCS title opportunity," right? But this being the Iron Bowl, a third win over Auburn in four years ain't too shabby a consolation prize all by itself ... if it's a "consolation prize" at all.

WHAT AUBURN LOST: Any belief this wasn't the worst Auburn season in Gene Chizik's three years. His 2009 team also finished 7-5 but finished their season with a stirring everything-on-the-field battle at home against a Tide team that would go on to win a national title. Today's bludgeoning -- one of four in a series against the Tigers' four biggest annual rivals -- was a far cry from that effort and cements the feeling that Chizik may look towards a shakeup on his coaching staff.

Posted on: November 26, 2011 6:50 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia Tech 38, Virginia 0

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. The Hokies were put on upset alert against their in-state rivals, but another dominating 38-0 performance led to their eighth consecutive win in The Commonwealth Cup. With the victory Virginia Tech clinches the ACC Coastal Division and a spot in the ACC Championship Game, their fifth since the conference expanded to 12 teams in 2005.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: The Hokies' defense forced four Virginia turnovers and held the Cavaliers to just 30 yards rushing. With Virginia's offense neutralized, Logan Thomas and David Wilson were able to slowly grind away at the Cavaliers defense. Thomas completed 14 of 22 passes for 200 yards and two touchdowns while adding a rushing touchdown to the stat line. Wilson delivered another stellar second half performance, wearing down Virginia with his 153 yards and two touchdowns. It was Wilson's 10th 100+ yard rushing game this season, tying an ACC record.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: Late in the second quarter, Virginia was driving after a Justin Myer missed field goal down 14-0. Michael Rocco completed three quick passes to move the ball down to the Virginia Tech 20 yard-line in the final minutes of the half. Virginia Tech had dominated most of the game, so cutting the deficit to 14-7 heading into the locker room could have drastically changed the momentum of the game. But Rocco was sacked 13 yards behind the line of scrimmage, and fumbled the ball as he went down. It was the second fumble of the first half, and Virginia never appeared to be within striking distance again.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: A second shot at Clemson. Logan Thomas' maturation into one of the better quarterbacks in the ACC really began after the 23-3 loss to Clemson in Blacksburg. Thomas has improved his accuracy and vision throughout the Hokies' seven-game win streak, and adding the second ground threat has helped Wilson's performance as well. The Tigers, on the other hand, have been reeling in recent weeks and look vulnerable for Virginia Tech vengeance.

WHAT VIRGINIA LOST: A shot at their biggest statement win since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004. The Cavaliers have not only been winless against their in-state rivals since ACC expansion, but the Hokies have owned most of the Coastal Division. Unseating Frank Beamer from the comfortable position of Coastal Division champion would be a huge win for Mike London. Still, there is plenty to proud of in Charlottesville as the second-year head coach will now prepare Virginia for their first bowl game since the 2007 season.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Senior wide receiver Danny Coale has been in competition for the starting punter position since spring practice. However, his only game action was a two-punt (62 yards) showing against Marshall earlier in the season. Coale took four of Virginia Tech's punts on Saturday, with dramatically improved results. The wide receiver averaged 47.5 yards per punt with a long of 52, while also serving as the return man for two punts.

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Posted on: November 26, 2011 5:15 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 5:20 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Boise State 36, Wyoming 14

Posted by Bryan Fischer

BOISE STATE WON. The Broncos picked up their 10th win of the year at home after a very slow start and some uncharacteristic mistakes. The halftime adjustments by head coach Chris Petersen worked out pretty good however, as the offense extended the lead thanks to a big third quarter. Running back Doug Martin and Kellen Moore put together solid games in their second to last game on the Blue Turf. 

WHY BOISE STATE WON: Credit goes to the Broncos' defense for this one as they shut down Wyoming all day, limiting the Cowboys to just 182 yards and seven offensive points (Moore threw a pick-six). With the exception of allowing a 15-play, 80-yard drive near the end of the day (which nearly doubled Wyoming's total yardage at that point) that resulted in a 4th down touchdown pass, it was a strong day for the boys in blue. Moore finished the day 24-of-36 for 279 yards and three touchdowns while Martin rushed for 163 yards and two touchdowns.

WHEN BOISE STATE WON: After Moore was picked off by Luke Anderson for a touchdown, the two teams exchanged punts for most of the first and second quarters. Then the Broncos led a 17-play, 79-yard drive that took over six minutes off the clock before Martin punched it in. The defense forced a three-and-out and then Moore found Matt Miller for a 47 yard touchdown on the second play of the next drive to take the lead in a game that was pretty much over at that point as the Broncos ran off 36 straight.

WHAT BOISE STATE WON: The slim hopes of still getting to a BCS bowl remain alive for Boise State. They're going to need plenty of help but by improving to 10-1 on the season they will make for an attractive at-large team if a team or two (or three) can lose. They've got one final game on the Blue Turf this season to leave an impression in what will be Moore, Martin and plenty of other seniors' final home game in blue and white.

WHAT WYOMING LOST: The Cowboys move to 7-4 on the year and have put together a solid season that has exceeded expectations. With a win next week, they'll secure third place in the Mountain West behind TCU and Boise.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Because of a new conference rule that prevents the Broncos from wearing all-blue uniforms, they tried to come as close as they could to the combination Saturday afternoon by wearing blue helmets, blue jerseys and white pants.

Posted on: November 26, 2011 4:18 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Kentucky 10, Tennessee 7

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

KENTUCKY WON: 
In and of itself, not a big deal. But they won against Tennessee. Kentucky never beats Tennessee. They hadn't done it in 26 years. They'd had a dozen golden opportunities over the years and never pulled it off. Apparently, what they needed was to plug in a wide receiver at quarterback and let him operate out of the Wildcat nearly the entire game; Matt Roark ran for 152 yards and tailback CoShik Williams added 68 yards and the one second-half touchdown the Wildcats would need. The much-maligned Kentucky defense held Tyler Bray below a 50 percent completion rate and picked him off twice -- once on the Vols' 4th-and-17 final desperate play -- and of course the Tennessee running game added nothing. Result? Wildcats 10, Vols 7. Yes, Virginia, Kentucky can beat Tennessee.

WHY KENTUCKY WON: As much attention as Joker Phillips' decision to go to Roark at quarterback and completely forsake the terrible Wildcat passing game will get -- Kentucky only attempted 6 passes, completing four of them for all of 15 yards -- this game was ultimately about how flat-out awful the Volunteer offense became over the second half of this season. Shooting blanks against Alabama or LSU or with Justin Worley at the helm is one thing; with Bray under center and facing the nation's 64th-ranked defense, the Vols should have been able to put at least a few points on the board, right? 

Aside from one 54-yard bomb from Bray to Raijon Neal that gave Tennessee a brief glimmer of second-half hope: entirely wrong. Bray averaged a just-better-than-terrible 5.7 yards an attempt, thanks half in part to some scattershot throws and half due to the Vol receivers failing repeatedly to get open. As always, the Tennessee running game did nothing, netting 61 yards on 24 carries. And with the game on the line in the fourth quarter, the Vol line could not keep Kentucky's defensive line off of Bray--thus the game coming down to "4th-and-17."

Derek Dooley is about to have a flamethrower taken to him by Vol fans and the Knoxville media, not that it will keep him from a third year at the helm. But his inability to find any way to get the Tennessee offense moving at all -- especially when contrasted with Phillips's ingenuity with Roark -- means some of that heat is justified.

WHEN TENNESSEE LOST: When Taiedo Smith picked off Bray on that 4th-and-17 from Tennessee's 31. With fewer than 90 seconds left and no Vol timeouts remaining, all that was left was the Wildcat victory formation.

WHAT KENTUCKY WON: I think they'll be happy with snapping the nation's longest annual series losing streak, don't you?

WHAT TENNESSEE LOST: Not only did the loss end the nation's longest annual series winning streak, not only will it crank up the heat on Dooley's seat to the hottest levels in the SEC (and maybe the nation), but this loss drops Tennessee to 5-7 overall--and will leave the Vols home for bowl season, depriving them not only of the prestige and payout but the extra practice that Dooley's young team desperately needs. There's no way to spin this as anything less than a total disaster for the Vols and their head coach. 

Posted on: November 26, 2011 3:31 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 13 Georgia 31, No. 25 Ga. Tech 17

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

GEORGIA WON: 
If the Bulldogs were looking forward to the SEC championship in any form or fashion, in never showed Saturday in Atlanta. Aaron Murray had another supremely efficient day (19-of-29, 252 yards, 4 touchdowns, 1 interception) and the Dawg secondary picked off Tevin Washington twice on Tech's first three possessions of the second half to turn what had been a close game at halftime into a comfortable victory.

WHY GEORGIA WON: For all of Murray's brilliance -- and even his glittering statistics didn't do justice to how cleanly he picked apart the helpless Tech secondary, or how little answer the Jackets had for tight end Orson Charles (5 catches, 95 yards, all of them wiiiiiide open) -- this game belonged to the Georgia defense. The Bulldogs have slowly become one of the nation's best defenses since their early breakdowns against Boise State and South Carolina, and in the second half they showed it. 

The Jackets racked up nearly 200 yards of offense in the first 30 minutes and could have been within a field goal if they'd scored on a botched 3rd-and-goal option from the 2, but their first four second half possessions went like this: three plays, interception; four plays, punt; one play, interception; 13 plays, turnover on downs. Not only has the light come on for the Dawgs in Todd Grantham's schemes, but a handful of legitimate stars have emerged: linebacker Jarvis Jones, safety Shawn Williams, corner Brandon Boykin (who limited Tech top target Stephen Hill to just one reception). Add that kind of back seven talent to a major offseason increase in beef along the 3-4 line, and you're looking at a defense that's not going to make things easy next week for LSU.

WHEN GEORGIA WON: That second Washington pick -- a brilliant diving effort by Williams -- was quickly turned into six points by Murray, putting Tech in a 21-point hole their option offense had no prayer of erasing.

WHAT GEORGIA WON: Their 10th game of the season in Mark Richt's "make or break" year; we're fairly confident he's off the hot seat by now. The Dawgs also cemented their total domination of the series under Richt, having now won 10 of their last 11 over the Jackets. For all Paul Johnson's brilliance, aside from the shocker in Athens his debut season, he hasn't had any better luck solving Tech's archrival than his predecessors.

WHAT GEORGIA TECH LOST: Their fourth game of the season and maybe some juice in the bowl pecking order. But more to the point: any illusion that Johnson's arrival might mean a turn in fortunes in the rivalry.

Posted on: November 26, 2011 3:30 pm
Edited on: November 26, 2011 3:31 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma 26 Iowa State 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA WON. The weather in Norman wasn't pretty for this contest, with winds gusting up to 45 MPH at times through the game, and it's safe to say that the game matched the conditions. It was not pretty, nor was it all that entertaining. Odds are if you watched this one, you are either a fan of one of the teams, or you were working it.

Oklahoma and iowa State combined for 8 turnovers on the day, but Oklahoma was a lot more capable of moving the ball on offense. The Sooners finished the game with 503 yards of total offense. Landry Jones completed only 22 of his 43 passes for 256 yards, no touchdowns and 2 interceptions. It was Blake Bell who scored both Oklahoma touchdowns coming in for Jones in Oklahoma's goal line package.

WHY OKLAHOMA WON. It could actually manage to move the ball on offense and score points before punting or turning the ball over occasionally. Though that's not to say they were consistent on offense. The only consistency I saw from the Sooners on offense today was that they made sure all of their turnovers came after entering Iowa State territory.

WHEN OKLAHOMA WON. Considering that Iowa State really wasn't able to do anything on offense all day, as the Cyclones lone touchdown came after a botched snap during an Oklahoma punt gave them the ball at the Oklahoma 10-yard line, you could probably argue that this one was over at halftime. Still, I don't think it was official until Michael Hunnicutt's fourth field goal of the day made it 26-6 midway through the fourth quarter.

WHAT OKLAHOMA WON. This was a very important game for the Sooners coming off of last week's loss againt Baylor. First of all, it was Senior Day for the Sooners and it's always nice to send your seniors off with a win. Secondly, winning this game means that Oklahoma still has a chance to win the Big 12 and get to the Fiesta Bowl if it can manage to beat Oklahoma State next week.

WHAT IOWA STATE LOST. Nothing outside the chance to become the most hated school in the entire state of Oklahoma. Obviously Iowa State would have liked to win this game, but it's already bowl eligible after beating Oklahoma State last week and can still finish the regular season with 7 wins if it can pull an upset against Kansas State next week.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Oklahoma's leading rusher on the day was wide receiver Trey Franks, who managed 88 yards on two carries. One was a 43-yard pickup on a double reverse, and the other was a 45-yard gain on a double reverse. Now, I'm no coaching expert, but if I have a guy averaging 44 yards a carry, I give him a few more carries.
 
 
 
 
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