Sunday, November 5, 2006

Thoughts From This Weekend

An above .500 weekend: 6-5 ATS, 4-3 O/U
Onto my thoughts from the games this past weekend where Tennessee was eliminated from the BCS, Arkansas moved one step closer to Atlanta, and Wake Forest and Maryland have set themselves up for a showdown later this season for the Atlantic Division. But before that, Arkansas did battle on the field and on the internet message board. Arkansas Girls vs South Carolina Girls. Some of these observations will make you say “Thanks, Captain Obvious”, but I tried to limit these to conserve your precious blog reading time.

ARKANSAS 26 SOUTH CAROLINA 20
Ø Hogs got out to a big lead then used their ground game to hold off the Gamecocks padding their league leading rushing total with 267 yards
Ø Marcus Monk does not get much recognition because he is receiver on a running team, but he came up with some big catches including the game clincher on a 3rd down. Monk finished with 8 catches for 192 yards
Ø Blake Mitchell played well in relief of Syvelle Newton. Is there a QB controversy now? I don’t think so because Spurrier will let them both play next game and will rotate them from series to series like he would sometimes at Florida
Ø South Carolina was plagued by mistakes on their part including an offensive pass int on a touchdown pass, having a punt blocked after a penalty of their own, and allowing a pass to go off two DBs for a TD in the last minutes of the 1st half
Ø Casey Dick replaced Mitch Mustain and threw for 228 yards and 1 TD for the Razorbacks; Mustain was pulled after throwing an interception on their first drive
Ø Hogs still have games left with Tennessee and LSU, but this was a big confidence builder getting a win on the road
Ø Gamecocks should become bowl eligible with a win over Middle Tenn St; the Gamecocks should get a bowl bid with their rabid fan following guaranteeing more tickets sales than a lot of teams

GEORGIA TECH 31 NC STATE 23
Ø Calvin Johnson exacted some revenge from last year by catching two TD’s in first half. Can we get a Game Changing Nominee for him when he steps onto the field?
Ø Tashard Choice came up big for Tech as well rushing for a career high of 164 yards and making some key 3rd down runs on their last two scoring drives
Ø State scores 1 TD on INT return another on 2nd half kickoff return where Tech defenders never got within 5 yards of him until he hit the 50
Ø The Wolfpack entered the game ranked 118th in turnover margin, but were +2 in this game
Ø Ball only completes 13 passes, but 4 were for TDs
Ø James Johnson caught three balls, but two were for touchdowns
Ø Defense only gives up three FGs; very similar to Maryland game
Ø State put Evans in shotgun and gave him a lot of short looks to get the ball out of his hands and not allow the pressure to get to him
Ø Wolfpack plagued by dropped passes in this game including one on 4th down to keep a potential game tying drive going at the end of the game
Ø NC State had won their last four game against ranked opponents
Ø Georgia Tech needs only to beat UNC or Duke to represent the Coastal Division of the ACC
Ø NC State must win its final three game to be bowl eligible (@Clem, @UNC, E. Carolina)

KENTUCKY 24 GEORGIA 20

Ø Georgia unable to hold leads of 14-3 in first half and 20-17 in 4th quarter
Ø Dawgs had 4 turnovers, 2 missed FG, and 1 extra point
Ø Stafford thrown just 4 TD to 12 INT this season
Ø Kregg Lumpkin given just 3 carries in 2nd half after 83 yards on 10 carries in the first half
Ø Last 5 games, Georgia has turned the ball over 19 times and had opponents score 59 points off those turnovers
Ø Georgia has lost to Vanderbilt and Kentucky for first time since 1973.
Ø Kentucky can become bowl eligible with one more win

VIRGINIA TECH 17 MIAMI 10
Ø A very lackluster game offensively until Tyrone Moss scampered 50 yards with 11 minutes to play to tie the game at 10-10
Ø Key Play was Xavier Adibi’s interception with 3:33 to play on the Miami 26 allowing Branden Ore to rush for the winning score.
Ø Kyle Wright had another horrible game throwing for just 77 yards and 2 INT, but Sean Glennon of Va. Tech was not much better throwing for 86 yards
Ø Scouts were on hand from the Gator and Peach Bowls where Virginia Tech is now likely to end up. Miami may be summoned to Boise, which I still think they should accept just for the fact of getting those extra practices in before the bowl game

FLORIDA 25 VANDERBILT 19
Ø Gators held onto the victory despite 13 4th quarter points by Vandy
Ø Leak ran for 2 TDs and threw for 1, but also threw 3 picks and was sacked 4 times
Ø Florida used two blocks to help their sluggish offense
Ø Vandebilt’s Chris Nickson threw for a career high 298 yards as the Commodores had 391 yards of total offense – the most Florida had given up all season
Ø By virtue of Tennessee’s loss and Florida’s win, the Gators are headed Atlanta giving Urban Meyer a $37,500 bonus. If Florida wins the SECCG, Meyer will receive another $37,500
Ø Don’t expect the Gators to be planning for Atlanta just yet as Spurrier makes his first return to the Swamp since taking over at South Carolina in what should be an emotionally charged atmosphere

MARYLAND 13 CLEMSON 12
Ø The Terps won their fourth consecutive game when Dan Ennis kicked a 31 yard field goal as time expired
Ø It appears teams have figured out how to slow down Clemson’s running game and it is not a complicated strategy – putting 9 men in the box and making Proctor beat you by throwing
Ø A controversial play almost cost Maryland the game as Will Proctor fumbled the ball backwards towards his goal line where James Davis appeared to recover in the end zone for a safety. However, the refs ruled he was down on the 1” line and gave Clemson the ball at that spot where they promptly completed a pass into Maryland territory the next play
Ø Ralph Friedgen told his team after the game they had just won the first round of the ACC playoffs. Maryland has game versus Miami, Boston College, and Wake Forest remaining and “control their own destiny”
Ø The Tigers are likely headed to the Gator, Peach, or Champs Sports Bowl with their ACC Title hopes dashed

FLORIDA STATE 33 VIRGINIA 0
Ø Virginia had looked so good the past few weeks, but FSU brought them back to reality on the third play from scrimmage with an interception return for a TD
Ø If things were not bad enough, the Cavs next possession resulted in a blocked punt setting up a 1 yard TD plunge
Ø FSU had its first shutout since 2003 vs Notre Dame
Ø Xavier Lee played well in his first start of the season, but Bowden has not decided who he will start this week vs Wake Forest
Ø FSU can become bowl eligible with a victory over Wake, Western Michigan, or Florida

Other ACC Ramblings:
Ø Wake Forest shocked a lot of people, myself included, by beating Boston College and taking control of the Atlantic Division with Maryland. The Deacs are a top 20 team in November something reserved for the basketball team
Ø The misery continues for Duke and North Carolina as both lost on Saturday. Both teams are still looking for their first Division I-A victories, but don’t worry they play each other at the end of the season and one must win since there are no ties in college football

Other SEC Ramblings:
Ø Les Miles got off the hot seat (until his next lost) by beating Tennessee in Knoxville. JaMarcus Russell overcame three turnovers and threw three touchdowns, including the game winner to Early Doucet.
Ø The Tigers are still alive in the SEC West, but are most likely heading to the Outback or Capital One Bowls
Ø You can pretty much kiss Mike Shula goodbye after his loss at home to Mississippi State to the coach the Crimson Tide passed over, alum Sylvester Croom
Ø Auburn’s offense is still not clicking like most people thought they would. Injuries to QB Brandon Cox and Kenny Irons have slowed them this season
Ø The Tigers are hoping that Arkansas loses only 1 of its remaining game because Auburn would have a much better chance of getting to the BCS as a one loss team, especially if Arkansas beats Florida

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