Tag:Quick Hits
Posted on: November 12, 2011 4:15 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Nebraska 17, Penn State 14

Posted by Adam Jacobi

NEBRASKA WON. In a game marked more for everything that's happened off the field than on it, No. 19 Nebraska won a 17-14 game at No. 12 Penn State. Rex Burkhead registered 126 yards on 27 carries, including Nebraska's last touchdown of the game to make it 17-0, a deficit too large for PSU to overcome. 

WHY NEBRASKA WON: Above all else, Nebraska won because it started putting things together faster than Penn State did. The score was close, the stats were close (if not identical) in every significant category, and the talent on the field was close to begin with. But Nebraska's the team that went up first, and went up big; at the end of the day, interim head coach Tom Bradley couldn't lead his charges all the way back.

WHEN NEBRASKA WON: When Penn State's last desperation play of the game fizzled, as Matt McGloin's pass was about 40 yards shy of the end zone -- and incomplete anyway. Penn State had held on 4th and 1 at its 29 with 44 seconds left, but the Nittany Lions' hurry-up offense was dreadful on the final try.

WHAT NEBRASKA WON: Not only did the Huskers stay alive in the Legends Division race, they registered their biggest road win of the season. Michigan State didn't cooperate, beating Iowa to stay atop the division, but if the Spartans somehow slip up and Nebraska doesn't, the Huskers will be going to Indianapolis in December. Speaking more to the game itself, Taylor Martinez looked downright competent at times, completing multiple 3rd and long throws for first downs. That's an accomplishment for the young man, who as a passer has often been Nebraska's biggest weakness.

WHAT PENN STATE LOST: With this loss, there are no more Big Ten teams undefeated in conference play; Penn State falls to 8-2 (5-1) on the season. Moreover, the vulnerabilities that have plagued PSU all season long -- dodgy QB play, offensive line struggles, and a rush defense that isn't quite as good as the front seven's talent level would indicate -- were all on display again today, and when that happens in a loss, it's a lot harder to ignore those problems. 

THAT WAS AMAZING: In a scene that college football could use a lot more of, before the game, the Penn State and Nebraska players greeted each other at midfield to shake hands. After that, the 100,000-strong crowd fell silent as the two teams -- joined by coaches, former players, and everybody else on the sidelines -- joined in prayer. For a game so wrought by scandal and horror, this was the perfect way to demonstrate that everyone's hearts and minds were in the right place.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:49 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 4:32 pm
 

QUICK HITS: South Carolina 17, Florida 12

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

SOUTH CAROLINA WON: 
The Gators had to know that after the Gamecocks' struggles in the passing game the past three weeks, their offense at home today would be run-first, run-second, throw-third. But if they did, it didn't show in the first half: Carolina dominated Florida along the line-of-scrimmage in the first 30 minutes, eventually rolling up 215 rushing yards to the Gators' 142. Connor Shaw completed only 6 passes for only 81 yards, but picked up 88 on the ground and ran for two first-half scores that would be all the Gamecock defense -- and their four sacks -- would need.

WHY SOUTH CAROLINA WON: More than anything, their burst of physical running in the second quarter that gave the Gamecocks both their touchdowns, allowed them to play with the lead throughout the second half, and forced the Gators just that far out of their ground-based offensive comfort zone.

But 17 points shouldn't really be enough to win an SEC game, should it? Kudos are in order for the Gamecock defense, which hounded John Brantley in the pocket, kept the Chris Rainey/Jeff Demps largely under wraps, and gave the Gators nothing in the downfield passing game. (We're not sure if any individual SEC unit has improved as much from 2010 to 2011 as the Carolina secondary, so eminently flammable in 2010 but one of the league's better defensive backfields in 2011. Of course, facing a steady diet of SEC quarterbacks tends to make any secondary look good.) But it's become obvious that the Gators' offensive troubles -- which many pinned on Brantley's absence or poor health in their four-game losing streak -- go much deeper than the quarterback position.

Brantley may not be 100 percent, but he wasn't all that far off in Columbia, and he still finished the day a mediocre 13-of-21 for just 119 yards and no touchdowns, And between his line's struggles in pass protection, his receiver's occasional butterfingers, and the continued boom-or-bust nature of the Gators' less-than-physical rushing game, he didn't get a lot of help. End result for the Gator attack: just 261 total offensive yards, just 12 points -- the Gators' fifth time at 20 points or fewer in six games -- and a final SEC record of 3-5, the program's first losing league record since 1979. Dear Charlie Weis: year 2 had better be a lot better if you'd like to get out of Gainesville alive. 

WHEN SOUTH CAROLINA WON: Shaw basically made one important play all game in the passing department, but it was a biggie: facing first-and-15 at his own 37 immediately following a fourth-quarter Gator touchdown that cut the Carolina lead to two, Shaw threw deep to Ace Sanders for 46 yards. That was more than half of Shaw's passing total for the day, but more important it set up the Gamecocks for a short field goal and a 17-12 lead. The way the Gator offense had sputtered, asking them to score a second touchdown in the space of a quarter was always going to be too much.

WHAT SOUTH CAROLINA WON: A shot at the SEC East. If Georgia loses today to Auburn or next week to Kentucky (OK, if they lose today to Auburn), Carolina will go to Atlanta for the second time in two years.

WHAT FLORIDA LOST: a fifth SEC game for the first time in 32 years. Last week's win against Vanderbilt ensured the Gators won't miss a bowl game, but there's no way to color Will Muschamp's first season at the Gator helm as anything other than a disappointment now.

Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:46 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 3:50 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 66 Texas Tech 6

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Actually, Oklahoma State didn't win as much as it destroyed. The Cowboys offense put on another clinic on Saturday afternoon, as it racked up 637 yards of total offense and seemingly scored at will against a Texas Tech team in a total freefall since upsetting Oklahoma three weeks ago. Brandon Weeden threw for 423 yards and 5 touchdowns on the day, and he only had 6 incompletions. Joseph Randle only rushed for 83 yards on the day, but he did score 3 touchdowns and Justin Blackmon had 103 yards with 2 touchdowns on the day.

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Because it's offense is seemingly unstoppable right now, and its defense didn't allow Texas Tech to do anything. Those 6 points that Texas Tech got? Those came on a fumble return touchdown, which was followed by a missed extra point from the Raiders.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. I joked on Twitter that this game was over when Texas Tech started the game by going three-and-out and punting, but it turns out it was actually true. Though I suppose it wasn't actually official until Weeden hit Josh Stewart on a 27-yard touchdown to make it 21-0 in the first quarter.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. Well, this one had to feel good for the Oklahoma State defense. After having a tough night against Kansas State last week, the Cowboys defense came out Saturday and held Texas Tech to 270 yards of total offense and forced another 3 turnovers. As for the entire team, this win keeps Oklahoma State on its path toward the Big 12 title and BCS championship game.

WHAT TEXAS TECH LOST. I'm not sure how much confidence Texas Tech still had in itself coming into this game after the way they'd been beaten the last two weeks, but whatever was left has to be gone now. This is a team that has now been outscored 190-43 since holding a 31-7 lead over Oklahoma in the third quarter of that game. Things have fallen apart quickly in Lubbock.

THAT WAS CRAZY. As for total game time, Oklahoma State averaged 1.1 points per minute played in this game on Saturday. In time of possession terms? That number increased to 2 points for every minute it had the ball. That's efficient offense.
Posted on: November 12, 2011 3:26 pm
Edited on: November 12, 2011 3:27 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Missouri 17 Texas 5

Posted by Tom Fornelli

MISSOURI WON. This was not the prettiest game ever played, and a lot of it had to do with the wind howling through Columbia, Missouri on Saturday. The difference maker was that Missouri was able to run the ball a lot more effectively than the Longhorns and used it to put points on the board. Though just because the Mizzou ground game was more effective than Texas', it doesn't mean it was that great. The Tigers averaged only 3.4 yards per carry on the day and finished with 151 yards on the day. Kendall Lawrence did most of the damage, as Henry Josey left the game in the second half with what looked like a knee injury. Lawrence finished the day with 106 yards and a touchdown.

WHY MISSOURI WON. Not to take anything away from Missouri in this game, but the entire game changed with the injury to Texas running back Fozzy Whittaker in the first quarter. The Longhorns came into the game already missing both Malcolm Brown and Joe Bergeron, and once Whittaker went down the Texas offense could get nothing going against this Missouri defense.

WHEN MISSOURI WON. As I said above, this game was probably over when Whittaker left the game. Still, things weren't officially over until Mack Brown and Texas decided to punt twice in the fourth quarter after there were only six minutes left in the game and they trailed by 12. It seemed as though the Longhorns were waving the white flag.

WHAT MISSOURI WON. Well, this is a huge win for Missouri for a couple of reasons. It's the first time Missouri has beaten Texas under Gary Pinkel, and the first time it's beaten Texas under anybody since 1997. More importantly for this season, however, the win improved the Tigers record to 5-5 on the season and leaves them only a win shy of bowl eligibility.

WHAT TEXAS LOST. The Longhorns had built up a nice amount of momentum the last few weeks behind their ground game, but with so many injuries to the backfield, this team will have a hard time winning games if it has to throw the ball. The Longhorns will have to get healthy in a hurry if they want to finish the season with a winning record in the Big 12.

THAT WAS CRAZY. There was a bit of a Blocked Punt Party in this game during the third quarter. Missouri blocked a Texas punt to set itself up with a first and goal at the 1-yard line, but only got a field goal out of it. A few minutes later Texas returned the favor by blocking a Missouri punt, sending the ball out the back of the end zone for a safety.
Posted on: November 10, 2011 11:18 pm
Edited on: November 10, 2011 11:22 pm
 

QUICK HITS: Virginia Tech 37, Georgia Tech 26

Posted by Chip Patterson

VIRGINIA TECH WON. Thursday night's primetime showdown between Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech had the feel of an elimination game. For the last six years, the winner of the annual ACC Coastal showdown has gone on to represent the division in the ACC Championship Game. The road has now been cleared for the Hokies, after pulling away with a 37-26 victory in Atlanta on Thursday.

HOW VIRGINIA TECH WON: In a game between opponents that know each other as well as the Hokies and Yellow Jackets do, sometimes it just comes down to execution. The Hokies converted on more than half of their third downs, and both of their huge fourth down attempts to keep scoring drives alive when the Yellow Jackets had them stopped.

Virginia Tech was led by quarterback Logan Thomas, who threw for 209 yards through the air and added 76 yards on the ground for a combined five touchdown performance. David Wilson added yet another impressive outing to his growing ACC Player of the Year resume, with 23 carries for 169 yards. Georgia Tech committed only two penalties, but none were more deciding than the 15 yard personal foul on Jeremiah Attaochu for throwing a punch after sacking Logan Thomas. If the sack stands, Georgia Tech likely heads into the fourth quarter with the lead. Instead the Hokies marched down the field and took a 27-26 lead before the end of the third on a Thomas touchdown run.

WHEN VIRGINIA TECH WON: After the aforementioned Logan Thomas go-ahead touchdown, the Yellow Jackets were stuffed on 4th and 1 from their own 31. Paul Johnson has a tendency to pull the trigger on fourth down, but Tevin Washington's failed sneak resulted in the rare "four and out." The Hokies used almost four minutes of fourth quarter clock getting those 31 yards, finally scoring a touchdown on a pass from Thomas to defensive end-turned-tight end Chris Drager to extend Virginia Tech's lead to 34-26.

WHAT VIRGINIA TECH WON: A clear road to the ACC Championship Game in Charlotte. With the Georgia Tech win, Virginia is the only team that can stand between the Hokies and their fifth trip to the conference title game in the last seven years. The Hokies still need to face North Carolina next week before their annual meeting with the in-state Cavaliers, but remain a game up heading into the weekend.

WHAT GEORGIA TECH LOST: After the thrilling upset of undefeated Clemson and a week off to get healthy, the Yellow Jackets are already eliminated from the ACC Coastal race. Much of the blame can be placed on the loss to Virginia earlier in the season, but Thursday night's home loss to the Hokies sealed their fate.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Both teams boast strong running games, but the quarterbacks did all the work around the goal line on Thursday night. Logan Thomas and Tevin Washington combined all five of the game's rushing touchdowns, including quarterback sneaks from 1, 2, even 11 (yes, it was a sneak that went 11 yards) yards out. It was crazy.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
Posted on: November 6, 2011 1:24 am
 

QUICK HITS: Arkansas 44, South Carolina 28

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

ARKANSAS WON: 
On the stat sheet -- where the Razorbacks outgained the visiting Gamecocks 435-206 and won the turnover battle 4-to-1 -- this was an easy victory. But the Gamecocks found a way to make the Hogs sweat, scoring on a Devin Taylor pick-six, a short field following a long kickoff return, and two out-of-nowhere long touchdown drives to pull within 30-28 early in the fourth quarter. But Tyler Wilson answered with a decisive 8-play, 63-yard touchdown drive to put the home team back in control, and the Hogs weren't threatened again.

WHY ARKANSAS WON: Because eventually, even with the help it got from Taylor and special teams, the Gamecock offense just wasn't built to keep pace with Arkansas's. Connor Shaw had led Carolina to 28 points total in his team's two previous games--getting them to 28 in this one game alone was a huge step forward, and a nod is due even if the Gamecocks somehow got there on only those barely-more-than-200 yards.

Arkansas, meanwhile, twice settled for field goals after driving inside the Gamecock 15, were stopped on 4th-and-goal at the 2, and had two other drives end in a missed field goal. And they'd still scored 37 points when Shaw stepped back to pass inside his own 10 late in the fourth -- no time any more for trying to grind out drives -- and was buried by Hog defensive end Jake Bequette. Shaw fumbled, the Hogs recovered, ballgame.

Coming from behind was never really an option for an offense like this ... and given the way Wilson was playing, that Dennis Johnson is running angry these days, and that the Hogs were at home, that was always going to happen eventually. This was just an offensive mismatch.

WHEN ARKANSAS WON: when Bequette made that sack. But we suppose getting Broderick Green into the end zone two plays later (pushing the lead to 16 points with only 4:07 to play), as opposed to a second goalline stuff, made it official.

WHAT ARKANSAS WON: Combined with Alabama's loss, a ticket directly back into the SEC west race. If the Hogs win out -- a tall task, since that would include taking down LSU in Baton Rouge -- they would force a three-way tie atop the division that would be broken by the BCS standings. It's a long shot, but it's a shot nonetheless.

WHAT SOUTH CAROLINA LOST: their grip on the SEC East. The Gamecocks now slip a game behind Georgia in the loss column, and will need beat Florida at home next week and have the Dawgs to lose to either Auburn or Kentucky to make it back to Atlanta. Their shot is probably better than the Hogs', truthfully, but it probably doesn't feel that way with their destiny controlled by someone else.

Posted on: November 6, 2011 12:04 am
Edited on: November 6, 2011 12:04 am
 

QUICK HITS: Oklahoma State 52 Kansas State 45

Posted by Tom Fornelli

OKLAHOMA STATE WON. They may have been playing the Game of the Century down in Tuscaloosa on Saturday night, but the game being played in Stillwater wasn't half bad. Both Oklahoma State and Kansas State took turns taking the lead in the first half, and then just went back and forth in the second half until Oklahoma State's goalline stand in the final seconds sealed the deal. These two teams combined for 1,081 yards of total offense, 97 points and 11 touchdowns on the evening.

The quarterbacks were the story, though one did it with his arm and the other showcased his legs. Brandon Weeden threw for 501 yards and 4 touchdowns on the night, with Justin Blackmon pulling in 13 passes for 205 yards and 2 touchdowns. For Kansas State it was Collin Klein answering Weeden at every turn, rushing for 144 yards and 3 touchdowns while passing for 231 yards and a touchdown.

WHY OKLAHOMA STATE WON. The clock ran out. Had Kansas State another chance on fourth down in the final seconds, this game may have been going to overtime. I mean, this game was so back and forth that you can't really say that the Cowboys did anything but outscore the Wildcats, and that's as basic as it gets.

WHEN OKLAHOMA STATE WON. When Collin Klein's pass on third and goal with a second remaining on the clock fell to the back of the end zone harmlessly.

WHAT OKLAHOMA STATE WON. What didn't it win? It may have had the scare of a lifetime on Saturday night, but Oklahoma State is still undefeated and following LSU's 9-6 win over Alabama, guess who is going to be moving up to the #2 spot in the BCS standings on Sunday: Oklahoma State.

WHAT KANSAS STATE LOST. I don't think Kansas State lost as much as it gained in this contest. Let's be honest, after getting destroyed by Oklahoma in the second half last week, the natural reaction was to write off Kansas State's 7-0 start to the season as a fluke. A team taking advantage of its schedule. Well, after nearly knocking off Oklahoma State in Stillwater, I don't think we can consider this team a fluke anymore. It's a good team with an extremely good quarterback that's going to compete for a Big 12 title in the next few years.

THAT WAS CRAZY. Not that this game was ever a defensive struggle, but both teams combined for 26 points in the final 5:16 of the fourth quarter.
Posted on: November 5, 2011 10:37 pm
Edited on: November 5, 2011 10:40 pm
 

QUICK HITS: No. 23 Cincinnati 26, Pittsburgh 23

Posted by Chip Patterson

CINCINNATI WON. The Bearcats overcame a frustrating start offensively to battle back from a 10-point third quarter deficit and win 26-23 at Pittsburgh. Quarterback Zach Collaros completed just 19 of 32 passes for 214 yards, no touchdowns and two interceptions as the defense held Pittsburgh scoreless in the final 28 minutes of play.

HOW CINCINNATI WON: Pittsburgh entered Saturday night's game leading the nation with 36 sacks allowed. In the second half, protection for quarterback Tino Sunseri evaporated and the Bearcats pass rush kept the Panthers' offense out of sync and off rhythm. Even in Week 10, the talented offensive line is still struggling with the new offensive scheme. Pittsburgh's offensive inefficiencies in the second half gave Cincinnati enough opportunities to to climb back into the game. Credit the Bearcats defense for stepping up the pressure and allowing Cincinnati to remain undefeated in conference play.

WHEN CINCINNATI WON: Pittsburgh kicker Kevin Harper hit a career-long 52 yard field goal in the first quarter, but with the option of a 55-yard field goal head coach Todd Graham decided to go for it on fourth down. The misread by quarterback Tino Sunseri on the 4th and 6 pass to Devin Street gave the ball back to the Bearcats with less than four minutes remaining. But then Harper was given another shot, with a 50-yard field goal opportunity in the final seconds to tie the game. The kick went wide right, and Cincinnati held on to win a crucial conference road game.

WHAT CINCINNATI WON: The Bearcats hold on to their spot at the top of the Big East standings, gaining two games on West Virginia. Cincinnati owns the head-to-head tie breaker with one-loss Louisville, and a win next week against West Virginia could give them great odds at sealing the Big East title in November.

WHAT PITTSBURGH LOST: The Panthers lost a ten point second-half lead that could have been a season-altering home victory. With road contests against Louisville and West Virginia in the coming weeks, Pittsburgh needed to get that fifth win tonight to give themselves the best chance at bowl eligibility. At 4-5, things are not looking as promising for Todd Graham in his first year at the helm.

THAT WAS CRAZY: Pittsburgh had so many opportunities to win the game, but Tino Sunseri and the Panthers offense could not get close enough to Harper's comfort zone to tie the game. Two potential game-tying drives in the final minutes produced no points, and Butch Jones' bounce-back second year continues as Cincinnati improves to 7-1.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the regular season all the way through the bowl games, CBSSports.com has you covered with this daily newsletter. | Preview
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com