Tag:LSU
Posted on: October 26, 2010 11:02 am
Edited on: October 26, 2010 11:04 am
 

Urban Meyer misses Cam Newton. Probably.

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Cracks abounded yesterday when Twitter collectively heard that Urban Meyer had described the agony of watching former Gator Cam Newton go apenuts for Auburn by saying "It's really hard." (No, the CBS College Football Blog was not above joining in .) Which, all gym-class joking aside, it has to be at this stage; Meyer and his offensive staff have been totally unable to either adapt John Brantley to the existing Gator offense or adapt the offense to Brantley, a problem that Newton would have rendered utterly irrelevant if he'd remained in Gainesville.

But even so, was that actually what Meyer meant when he said it? Someone get us an ALCOA sponsorship, because here's the transcript , and now You Make the Call :

Reporter: Do you allow yourself to watch Cam Newton on Saturday? Did you watch him?
Meyer: It’s really hard, I’ll tell you that. I don’t watch much of it.
Reporter: It’s really hard to watch it?
Meyer: Yea.
Reporter: Because…
Meyer: I just think he’s a very good player, and I’m trying to watch more of the teams we play, so I spend my time watching the other ones we’re going to play.
Reporter: So like every Florida fan in the country, you think, ‘What if he was here?’ You let yourself...
Meyer: No, no, no, no. I didn’t say that.
Reporter: Does that ever cross your mind?
Meyer: No.
Reporter: Liar. (Laughter ensues)
On the one hand, Meyer's defense makes logical sense. If you're one of America's most richly-paid coaches and your team is riding the first three-game losing streak of your current tenure, with your biggest rivalry game of the season coming up against one of the SEC 's hottest teams, you probably don't have a whole lot of time to kick back with a cold one on Saturday afternoon and watch one team you won't play take on one you've already played.

Then again: the highlights of Newton's masterpiece performance against LSU were near-inescapable Saturday for even the most causal of football fans, and suffice it to say Meyer is not a casual football fan. Meyer is certainly aware of them, aware of what Newton is doing at Auburn, and aware that -- according to the Miami Herald 's Mike McCall -- he made a sizable mistake in evaluating Newton's potential:

Newton left because Tim Tebow decided to come back for his senior year and John Brantley was waiting in the wings.

That's where UF's staff really messed up--they just missed on the kind of talent they had in their hands. The decision was effectively made when Brantley and Newton were freshmen and Brantley got redshirted, meaning he'd be around longer after Tebow's departure. There was also some talk of putting Newton at tight end, though we'll never really know how serious it was.

The verdict here? When Meyer adds "I'll tell you that" to the difficulty of watching Newton, he's not talking about carving out the time for it. He's talking about watching a player he recruited, groomed, and eventually let walk away win a Heisman Trophy -- probably -- for someone else while the quarterback he promoted instead flails. Meyer is only human. You can bet it's hard.
HT: Team Speed Kills .
Posted on: October 24, 2010 1:01 am
 

What I learned from the SEC (Oct. 23)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. Cam Newton is the greatest thing to happen to college football since Denard Robinson.   So this isn't exactly breaking news, but OMG CAM NEWTON IS FREAKING AWESOME.  I knew going into Saturday's game that the only way LSU could beat Auburn would be if they stopped Cam Newton, but I also knew that stopping Cam Newton is like trying to stop the Earth from spinning.  Unless Les Miles had control over a meteor -- and he might -- it just wasn't going to happen.  We're only 8 weeks into the season and Newton has already set the single-season rushing mark for a quarterback in the SEC with 1,077 yards.  If he keeps playing like this he should be allowed to take any laptop he wants.  Hell, he can have mine.

2. Nick Fairley is pretty special too.
  I said it during the game on Saturday, and I'll say it again here.  Nick Fairley just isn't going to stop until he has the head of every quarterback in the SEC mounted on his wall.  As great as Newton played on Saturday, the reason Auburn won was because every time LSU dropped back to pass, Nick Fairley was in the back field flinging people around like bean bags.

3. LSU only has so much "luck."
  I knew it was going to be hard for LSU to survive the entire season without a loss with a passing attack that works more like a retreat, and it came to a head on Saturday in Auburn.  Jarrett Lee and Jordan Jefferson were only able to complete 15-of-28 passes for 89 yards.  That's 3.2 yards per attempt.  Against an Auburn secondary that was absolutely torched by Kentucky and Arkansas over the last two weeks.

4. South Carolina really needs Marcus Lattimore. 
We saw South Carolina struggle without Marcus Lattimore last week, succumbing to Kentucky and blowing an 18-point lead in the second half, and the Gamecocks struggled again against Vanderbilt without Lattimore this week.  Yes, South Carolina won the game, but it had a lot harder time handling Vandy than it should have.  The Gamecocks were only able to manage 2.9 yards per carry, and had to rely on Stephen Garcia.   That may work against Vanderbilt, but trust me, having to rely on Stephen Garcia to win games is rarely a good idea.

5. Georgia may just win the SEC East.  It's hard to believe that the Bulldogs are still alive, but they are, and they're dangerous.  They hung 40 points on an SEC opponent for the third straight week and thanks to four Kentucky turnovers, only needed 290 yards of offense to do it.  Oh, and if Washaun Ealey scores five touchdowns in every game, Georgia is going to be tough to beat.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 6:12 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 8:53 pm
 

Video: Cam Newton may win this Heisman thing

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

POSTGAME UPDATE: The play below was the highlight, but in the end the Auburn offense had plenty enough to see off LSU , 24-17. As in, had 527 total yards of offense , 25 first downs, a staggering 441 rushing yards, and a flatly unbelievable
8.5 average yards-per-carry. The big second-half blow was Onterio McCalebb 's 70-yard jaunt in the fourth quarter to give Auburn the final seven-point margin.

Nick Fairley continued to pace Auburn's defense (4 tackles-for-loss, 2.5 sacks), but the story here -- given the strength of the LSU defense -- is the rise of what is without question the SEC 's most fearsome offense ... and arguably, give or take an Oregon , the country's.


Auburn
leads LSU 17-10 in the third quarter, but even the score of this matchup of undefeated SEC heavyweights sort of pales next to a transcendent football play like this one from Cam Newton :






















If Newton wasn't already your Heisman front-runner, he is now. In fact, he's in danger of lapping the field.


Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:23 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:27 pm
 

Auburn-LSU tied in slugfest; Lee out?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Through one half, the LSU defense has lived up to its reputation ... and unfortunately for the visiting Tigers, so has their offense. Gus Malzahn 's dynamic Auburn offense was held to just 10 points and 177 yards in the first half, well below their season averages. While Cam Newton ran for 78 yards and a touchdown, he also threw for only 32 total yards and looked uncomfortable in the pocket against LSU's (arguably) SEC-best secondary.

But those 10 points were good enough for a 10-3 lead until the final 15 seconds of the half, when Jordan Jefferson escaped a Daren Bates tackle at the 10 and sprinted in to tie the game. The play capped a huge 14-play, 78-yard, momentum-changing drive for LSU following a missed field goal by the usually-reliable Wes Byrum , the miss wasting Auburn's own 13-play march. Both teams will kick themselves for missed opportunities; LSU took the ball across midfield on their first three possessions and scored just one 48-yard Josh Jasper field goal.

So who's got the upper hand? LSU will take the second-half kickoff, a big deal in what's shaping up as an extremely low-possession game, but LSU quarterback Jarrett Lee suffered a wrist injury just before the half; Les Miles just said he would play in the second half, but if he can't, can Jefferson throw well enough to keep LSU moving? Can Auburn use their big home crowd to propel themselves into a big second half, as they did against Clemson and South Carolina ? But what if Nick Fairley really has a head injury and has to miss the second half himself?

The Lee injury might tilt the odds slightly in Auburn's favor, but after 30 minutes, things are way too close to call.

Don't forget to stop by Tom Fornelli's live Facebook chat during the second half and have your say.

Posted on: October 23, 2010 2:03 pm
 

Join us for a live chat during Auburn and LSU

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Watching college football is fun.  I know, I do it every Saturday for about 13 hours.  This afternoon I'll be watching Auburn and LSU battle on CBS, listening in on the soothing, dulcet tones of Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson.   You should watch too, because it should be a pretty good game.

Know what would make the game even better, though?  Chatting about it with me.  If only there was some kind of way to do that.....

Oh, wait, there is!  I'll be hosting a live chat over at our Facebook page in which I'll be talking about the game and answering your questions about what the hell Les Miles happens to be thinking.  So make sure you join me there at 3:30 Eastern.

I promise, it will change your life forever.
Posted on: October 23, 2010 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 13, 2010 6:13 pm
 

Game day weather updates, Week 8

Posted by Adam Jacobi

Here's the weather outlook for all of today's important matchups. You like storms? We got storms. There's a front moving through the nation's heartland, and there's copious amounts of rain all the way from Chicago to Texas. Will this affect Missouri-Oklahoma? All times are Eastern.

Noon kickoffs

Purdue at No. 11 Ohio State, 12:00, Columbus, OH: Upper 50s, clear

Syracuse at No. 20 West Virginia, 12:00, Morgantown, WV: Mid 60s, mostly cloudy

No. 8 Michigan State at Northwestern, 12:00, Evanston, IL: Upper 50s, rain

Ole Miss at No. 21 Arkansas, 12:21, Fayetteville, AR: Upper 60s, cloudy (storms later)

Afternoon kickoffs

No. 10 Wisconsin at No. 12 Iowa, 3:30, Iowa City, IA: Upper 60s, chance of rain

No. 6 LSU at No. 5 Auburn, 3:30, Auburn, AL: Upper 70s, clear

No. 14 Nebraska at No. 17 Oklahoma State, 3:30, Stillwater, OK: Mid 70s, chance of storms

Evening kickoffs

No. 7 Alabama at Tennessee, 7:00, Knoxville, TN: Mid 60s, partly cloudy

No. 3 Oklahoma at No. 18 Missouri, 8:00, Columbia, MO: Mid 60s, scattered storms

Air Force at No. 4 TCU, 8:00, Fort Worth, TX: Upper 60s, scattered storms

Late night kickoffs

Washington at No. 15 Arizona, 10:15, Tucson, AZ: Upper 60s, partly cloudy


Posted on: October 22, 2010 5:49 pm
 

The Saturday Meal Plan: Week 8

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.

Breakfast

Main Course - Northwestern vs. #8 Michigan State - Noon - ESPN

Michigan State leads the way for breakfast for the second straight week, which is what happens when you're the only undefeated team left in the Big Ten.  Be forewarned, though, just because this matchup doesn't seem all that appealing, it...ok, it isn't really.  It's just that the morning slate is light again because that's just the way things work in this television dominated world.

Still, the Spartans shouldn't take Northwestern all that lightly.  First of all, no road game is easy, even if it's being played in a stadium with 35 people in it.  Yes, Northwestern inexplicably dropped a game to Purdue last week, but that's Northwestern's style.  It has a tendency to play to its opponents.  So there's a chance that the Wildcats could hand MSU it's first "Sparty, no!" of the season.

Side Orders: Ohio State hosts Purdue, and this game may be interesting for a few reasons.  First of all, it's our first chance to see how the Buckeyes will respond following a loss, and they'll also be looking for revenge for last season's loss in West Lafayette.  Speaking of revenge, I'm sure Notre Dame wouldn't mind beating Navy and starting a new trend there as well.  Or you can just watch Texas, West Virginia and Virginia Tech romp over some conference foes.

Lunch

Main Course - #5 Auburn vs. #6 LSU - 3:30pm - CBS

Two undefeated Tigers roll into Jordan-Hare on Saturday, and only one will emerge.  Who is it going to be?  Well, there are going to be two different games being played in this one.  There's the game between each team's strength -- Auburn's offense and LSU's defense -- and their weakness -- Auburn's defense and LSU's offense.

Odds are that whichever team's weakness best resembles a strength is going to emerge victorious, and have a much easier path to the SEC title and possibly a BCS game.  If you're wondering which way I'm leaning, well, I'll just say that one team has Cam Newton at quarterback and the other has some indecipherable combination of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.

Also, I'll be doing a live-chat during this game over at our Facebook page, so stop on by and make fun of Les Miles for four hours with me, won't you?

Side Orders: The afternoon is packed with some big games this week.  If for some reason two undefeated teams battling it out isn't good enough for you, you can always go with Iowa and Wisconsin or the also undefeated Oklahoma State taking on previously undefeated Nebraska.

Dinner

Main Course - #18 Missouri vs. #3 Oklahoma - 8pm - ABC

Personally, I've been waiting to dig in to this one for a while.  I've seen Missouri play a few times this season, and as I've said here before, I'm just not sure what to  make of them.  The Tigers are a good team, but are they really 11th in the BCS good?  Is that what a couple of victories over some 3-3 BCS teams and nobody else gets you these days?

Whatever the case, we'll find out on Saturday night.  If the Tigers can knock off the team that sits atop the current BCS standings, then I guess we have to take them seriously. 

Though, I feel I should point this out as well, just so Missouri fans can hate me a little less, I think Oklahoma is a bit overrated as well.  Still, I think the Sooners will prove to be better on Saturday night.

Side Orders: Bit of an light night on the menu this week.  There really aren't any other marquee matchups being played on Saturday night.  Kentucky and Georgia could be interesting seeing as how both teams are still alive in the SEC East, but other than that the only game that even catches my eye is TCU and Air Force.   Though, if you hate yourself, you could always tune in to Texas A&M and Kansas.

Late Night Snack

The Washington Huskies have found a home as a late-night snack here.  I've featured them here twice in the last few weeks, and they're undefeated in those games.  Can they run the streak to three on the road against an Arizona team that is without Nick Foles?
Posted on: October 20, 2010 3:02 pm
 

Les Miles' next trick: invisible spies

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

Let's start with the actual college football information provided by Les Miles ' appearance at today's SEC coaches media teleconference, namely, that he and defensive coordinator John Chavis are not planning on deploying a quarterback spy to help keep Auburn quarterback/hellbeast Cameron Newton in check:

 

"He's a guy you can focus on him and get beat by the other very talented perimeter. Auburn looks with that quarterback as playmaker. When he dishes the ball, when he throws it or hands it off, it's a very talented group.

"If you take a spy and play him up and in, you're getting blocked. If you take a spy and play him in the center of the field and allow the deception in the perimeter to be divided, can you tackle Cam Newton in a position where you stop him from being a first down carry.

"It becomes a very difficult situation to put one guy on Cam Newton. It just doesn't seem to pay any dividends to me."

No, I'm not sure what "other very talented perimeter" means. Or "when he throws it or hands it off, it's a very talented group," either, exactly. But the point is clear enough: Miles isn't going to assign a spy to Newton, which makes some sense when you consider that the most effective defense against him to date has been to drop as many players into zone coverage as possible.

Of course, all we really know is that Miles isn't going to assign a visible spy. Since he makes it clear that if he can find a way to put a transparent 12th defender on the field, he will:

When asked how he would defend Newton otherwise, Miles respnded, "If I could have a spy no one could see, a guy on the field that didn't count, that would be a great answer."
If this was any other head coach, we'd all have a good laugh at his debonair wit and move along to the next question. But since this is Les Miles we're talking about, there's no point in pretending we're not going to be watching very carefully Saturday to see if Newton suddenly falls to the ground for no apparent reason. If he can win that North Carolina game ... and that Tennessee game ... and that Flordia game ... well, finding a way to turn a defender invisible and sneaking him onto the Jordan-Hare Stadium field doesn't seem like such an impossible task.

 



 
 
 
 
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