Tag:Justin Blackmon
Posted on: November 9, 2010 2:25 pm

Maxwell semifinalists released; where are RBs?

Posted by Jerry Hinnen

There has been one good piece of news to come out over the past 24 hours for Cam Newton : the Maxwell Football Club named him one of 16 semifinalists for the Maxwell Award , the organization's honor for the best player in college football. And though Newton has accumulated the stats and highlight reels of an All-American running back this season, it's perhaps for the best for him he doesn't actually play the position. That's the way it looks from the complete list of semifinalists:

WR Justin Blackmon , Oklahoma State, So.
WR Ryan Broyles, Oklahoma, Jr.
QB Andy Dalton , TCU, Sr.
QB Robert Griffin III , Baylor, So.
RB Kendall Hunter , Oklahoma State, Sr.
RB LaMichael James , Oregon, So.
QB Colin Kaepernick , Nevada, Sr.
QB Andrew Luck , Stanford, So.
QB Ryan Mallett , Arkansas, Jr.
QB Taylor Martinez , Nebraska, Fr.
QB Kellen Moore , Boise State, Jr.
QB Cam Newton , Auburn, Jr.
QB Terrelle Pryor , Ohio State, Jr.
QB Denard Robinson , Michigan, So.
QB Ricky Stanzi , Iowa, Sr.
QB Tyrod Taylor , Virginia Tech, Sr.

All right, so it's also a little odd that none of the top 16 players in the nation by the Maxwell's estimation happen to play defense. But it's nothing unusual for defenders to get snubbed in the national Player of the Year talk, and since the Maxwell Club also hands out the Bednarik Award to the nation's best defensive player, the Maxwell itself appears to be a de facto offensive players-only honor; even the great Ndamokung Suh didn't crack the semifinalists list last season .

So the much bigger surprise is that among a list of the nation's top 16 offensive players, only two running backs, Hunter and James, make the cut next to two wide receivers and a whopping 12 quarterbacks. Since when has the the second-most high-profile position on the football field been this devoid of stars?

Since 2010, apparently. Last year's Maxwell semifinalist list included seven tailbacks, including a pair of Heisman finalists in Toby Gerhart and Mark Ingram and several who returned to college football for this 2010 season: Ingram, Noel Devine , Jacquizz Rodgers , Dion Lewis . Unfortunately for those four players, the season hasn't played out as expected for any of them; not one currently ranks among even the top 30 rushers in the nation at present, with Rodgers' 803 yards (good for 33rd) the best year to-date of the bunch.

Why the sudden downturn in the fortunes of the nation's top tailbacks? Some of it is probably a simple fluke. But some of it is the continuing rise of the spread offense, which revolves around the all-purpose quarterback at the expense of pounding along with the traditional bruising tailback. Auburn , Nevada , Michigan , TCU , Baylor -- these are all some of the most explosive offenses in the country, and all five begin with a mobile QB. It's no wonder all five placed their quarterbacks on the list above despite the presence of top rushers like Nevada's Vai Taua , Baylor's Jay Finley , and TCU's Ed Wesley . This year's top pro-style attacks, meanwhile, are all quarterback-dominated as well: Stanford and Luck, Arkansas and Mallett, Boise and Moore. Offenses like the 2009 Cardinal and Tide attacks that turned Gerhart and Ingram into superstars just aren't out there this year.

They'll probably be back next year. But that doesn't mean they'll be back in the same numbers we've seen in the past; as long as the spread remains as in vogue as it is today, the kind of bludgeoning workhorse tailback that makes award lists is going to stay an increasingly endangered species.
Posted on: November 6, 2010 2:24 pm

Oklahoma State shutting out Baylor 24-0

Posted by Tom Fornelli

Well so much for this morning's game between Oklahoma State and Baylor being a shootout in Stillwater.  It seems Oklahoma State has decided to mix things up and bring a defense with them today.

It's halftime in Stillwater, and the Cowboys hold a 24-0 lead over Baylor.  The Bears have only managed to put up 176 yards in the first half, and have killed themselves with three turnovers.  The biggest one may have come late in the half.  Baylor had put together its best drive of the game to get within the Oklahoma State 20-yard line, but Robert Griffin III was picked off in the end zone, ending the threat.  It was the second time Baylor turned the ball over on what looked like a promising scoring drive.

Meanwhile, Oklahoma State can do no wrong on offense.  Brandon Weeden has already thrown for 244 yards while Justin Blackmon has 8 catches for 114 yards and a touchdown.  Kendall Hunter has 69 yards rushing and the Cowboys other two touchdowns of the half.

Still, the story has been the Oklahoma State defense, which until this week, I wasn't even aware existed.  Baylor has yet to find any rhythmn on offense, and when they do, the Cowboys for a turnover.

What I had thought would be one of the most entertaining games of the day looks like it's going to turn out to be a blowout, and Baylor can kiss whatever chance it had to win the Big 12 goodbye.
Posted on: October 30, 2010 1:48 pm

Offenses late to arrive in Manhattan

Posted by Tom Fornelli

When you think about Kansas State and Oklahoma State this season, you don't tend to think about either team's defense.  Both teams rank in the bottom half of the FBS in scoring defense, while the Cowboys are second-best in the country scoring 48.3 points per game.  The Wildcats aren't nearly that high, but 33.9 points a game is good enough for 29th nationally.

Still, it appears that both teams have decided to dress up as defensive powerhouses for Halloween this season.

It's halftime in Manhattan and the score is tied at 7-7, with the first touchdown not coming until William Powell scored from 8 yards out to give Kansas State a 7-0 lead halfway through the second quarter.  Oklahoma State didn't join them there until the final minute of the half when Brandon Weeden hit Michael Harrison for a 15-yard score to tie it up.

Now, seeing Oklahoma State struggle on offense without Justin Blackmon wouldn't be that surprising, but the truth is, though they haven't managed to score much, the Cowboys are moving the ball pretty well.  Oklahoma State has 286 yards of offense in the first thirty minutes, but two turnovers have killed a couple of drives.

Meanwhile, Kansas State hasn't turned the ball over at all, but have killed themselves with penalties on offense.  The Wildcats have held on to the ball for over 17 minutes, yet only managed 136 yards of offense.

In other words, it hasn't been pretty for either team, but hopefully the second half will prove to be a bit more entertaining than the first.
Posted on: October 28, 2010 12:04 pm

OSU confident no violations to come

Posted by Tom Fornelli

While Oklahoma State has already announced that wide receiver Justin Blackmon will be suspended for this week's game against Kansas State following his DUI arrest on Monday , and Blackmon has issued an apology, there still is the question of how Blackmon came across the tickets to Monday night's Dallas Cowboys game at JerryWorld.

JerryWorld is an expensive place to see a football game, one of the most expensive in the NFL, and given all the troubles going on throughout college football about contact between players and agents, it's a natural question to ask.  How did Blackmon get those tickets, and will it result in any kind of NCAA violation for the school?

Well, at the moment, the school is pretty confident that Blackmon did nothing wrong to acquire the seats.
Dallas Cowboy tickets are believed to have been provided to Blackmon and his friends by the father of a former OSU player. Cowboy athletic director Mike Holder would not comment on the Blackmon situation, but OSU sources indicate that athletic department officials are confident that no extra-benefit NCAA violation has occurred.

Which may be true, but considering everything Oklahoma State went through with Dez Bryant last season -- who happens to be a former OSU player that plays for the Cowboys, but this is just my brain connecting dots -- the last thing they want is the NCAA sniffing around campus right now.
Posted on: October 26, 2010 3:44 pm
Edited on: October 26, 2010 5:12 pm

OSU WR Blackmon arrested on DUI complaint

Posted by Chip Patterson

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon has had an up and down couple of days since Saturday's Big 12 showdown with Nebraska.  The Cowboys wide receiver continued his season-long streak of 120+ receiving yards with a 157 yard, two-touchdown performance against the Cornhuskers.  One thing Blackmon could not do was help stop Taylor Martinez and the Cornhuskers offense, and Oklahoma State eventually lost the 51-41 shootout in Stillwater.  Then Blackmon was fortunate enough to be in attendance to watch former Cowboys receiver Dez Bryant put on a three-touchdown show in Dallas' losing efforts to the New York Giants on Monday Night Football.  But even that night got worse when Blackmon was arrested on the way home after the game on a DUI complaint.

Tulsa World reported Tuesday that the sophomore wide receiver and three friends were pulled over on the way back to Oklahoma on I-35 after attending the Monday night game in Arlington.  Blackmon was driving the Chevy Silverado as it was clocked going 92 mph in the 60-mph zone.  After field sobriety tests were performed on the side of the road, the officer reported that there was a detectable amount of alcohol in Blackmon's system.  Under Texas law, any minor operating a vehicle with alcohol in their system is considered driving under the influence.  For Blackmon, who does not turn 21 until January, it was poor timing to get behind the wheel.

Oklahoma State head coach Mike Gundy has canceled all media interviews for Tuesday, and the school is expected to issue a statement in the afternoon.  Blackmon, who leads the nation in yards per game and touchdowns, is arguably the most important single piece of the Oklahoma State offense.  If this arrest leads to even a one-game suspension, it will have an immediate impact on the Cowboys' chances that week.

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Posted on: October 23, 2010 5:52 pm
Edited on: October 23, 2010 5:53 pm

Nebraska leading shootout in Stillwater 31-27

Posted by Chip Patterson

Nebraska's defense has given Cornhusker fans flashes of the "Blackshirts" of old at times this season.  Saturday's matchup with Oklahoma State is not looking like it is going to be one of those times.  Nebraska's defense had not allowed more than 20 points in a game coming into the weekend, but the Cowboys have shredded the Cornhuskers defense and only trail 31-27 at halftime.

Oklahoma State wide receiver Justin Blackmon continues to build on his breakout season, and has already picked up 129 yards receiving, including an 80 yard touchdown reception from Brandon Weeden.  But the Cowboys have been led by running back Kendall Hunter, who has rushed 17 times for 146 yards and a touchdown of his own.  Unlike the defense, the Cornhuskers offense is chugging along as usual on the back of Taylor Martinez, who has picked up 68 yards on the ground and 128 through the air.  Nebraska has also gotten some help from the special teams unit, with Niles Paul taking a kickoff 100 yards for a touchdown.

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Posted on: October 16, 2010 11:02 pm

What I learned from the Big 12 (Oct. 16)

Posted by Tom Fornelli

1. T-Magic has a lot of tricks left to learn.   Seems somebody left their top hat and magic wand back in the dorm room this morning, because Taylor Martinez had no answer for the Texas defense in Lincoln on Saturday.  Martinez only had 21 yards on 13 carries and had completed 4-of-12 passes for 63 yards before getting yanked by Bo Pelini in favor of Zac Lee.  The good news for Martinez is that Lee didn't exactly do anything to take away his starting job. 

2. Texas' defense is still pretty good, the offense, however, is not.
  Hey, listen, the way things have gone for the Longhorns this season, they have no reason not to be thrilled after picking up a big win on the road against Nebraska.   That being said, unless they start picking things up on offense, whatever slim hopes they have of winning the Big 12 are nothing more than a pipe dream.  The good news is that the 'Horns finally found some semblance of a running game, as they did gash a stout Nebraska defense for 209 yards on the ground.  The biggest surprise being Garrett Gilbert 's 71 yards and two touchdowns.  Still, that 4-of-16 passes for 62 yards needs a lot of work.

3. I still don't know what to make of Missouri.   I made a comment about this on Twitter on Saturday afternoon, and caught a lot of flak from Missouri fans over it.  Listen, I don't think Missouri is a bad football team, it's just I don't know how good they are.  I'm sorry, but beating Texas A&M just doesn't impress me all that much because the Aggies are horrible.  So far the Tigers most impressive win is against an Illinois team that is 3-3.  Other than that it's wins against teams like McNeese State, San Diego State and Miami (OH).   Next week's date with Oklahoma will give us all a better idea of how good this Missouri team actually is.

4. Jerrod Johnson just isn't working.
  It's time for a quarterback change in College Station.  I don't care what Johnson has done in the past, or what everybody thought he'd do this season, the fact is the kid has played horribly.  Maybe Mike Sherman is just worried about losing his job and doesn't want to give the ball to another quarterback at this point in the season, but trust me, staying with Johnson at this point is only going to help ensure he's out of work at the end of the season.

5. More people need to learn about Justin Blackmon.  The Oklahoma State wide receiver has been a monster this season, and his name should be thrown out there when it comes to Heisman talk.  He has 48 catches for 748 yards and 11 touchdowns this season, including a 10-reception 207-yard performance against Texas Tech on Saturday.  His worst game of the season (yardage wise) came in the Cowboys' opener.  Blackmon only had 8 catches for 125 yards and 3 touchdowns that day.
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