CMU at OKState – Recap & Gamecast

c-mich-at-okst

 

Lots on controversy after this one was over. Early on, the Pokes jumped out to the 14-0 lead and it looked like they would blow out the Chippewas in Stillwater. Central Michigan’s defense managed to settle down and the offense got things rolling turning this one into a back and forth affair with an ending that left some questions. Late in the 4th quarter (4 seconds remaining in the game), Oklahoma State was facing a 4th down on CMU’s side of the field. Rather than punt or even run around for a few seconds and take a knee, Mike Gundy elected to send a play call in that I’m still scratching my head on. Mason Rudolph took the snap and immediately heaved the ball high out of bounds down the left sideline without waiting for any receiver to be in the area. The last four seconds ticked off the clock. The referees threw a flag for intentional grounding which comes with a loss of down at the spot where he threw the ball. During the course of the game, if a QB were to be called for this penalty on a 4th down (which this was), the loss of down portion of the penalty would result in turning the ball over to the other team. After a couple of minutes of discussion, the referees, decided to turn the ball over to Central Michigan at the spot of the foul (the CMU 49 yard line) and give them one untimed down. There was no screaming and yelling from Mike Gundy on the sideline at the time.

For the untimed down, CMU quarterback Cooper Rush took the snap, danced around for a few seconds, then heaved the ball downfield to the Oklahoma State 9 yard line where it was caught by Tight End, Jesse Kroll. Kroll promptly laterled the ball to Corey Willis at the 11 who then scampered across the field and managed to get into the end zone for the winning touchdown. There was a review of the play to make sure Willis go into the endzone when he got tangled up with a Poke defender at the goal line. During this brief period, the commentators were talking to Mike Pereira back in the studio and he commented that “they” (I assume some other rules gurus) were discussing it and they were of the opinion that, based on how the rules are written, the untimed down should have never been allowed to happen and the game should have been over regardless of the intentional grounding on 4th down.

The review confirmed that Willis did indeed get into the endzone and there was much rejoicing by Chippewas everywhere. They got a big win over a program from one of the Power 5 conferences and not much remains in front of them to prevent an undefeated season.

Then the grumbling started. It all comes down to how the rule Mike Pereira was talking about is worded: Rule 3, Section 2, Article 3.1 in the NCAA football rule book: “A period shall be extended for an untimed down if … a penalty is accepted for a live-ball foul(s). (Exception: Rule 10-2-5-a). The period is not extended if the foul is by the team in possession and the statement of the penalty includes loss of down.”

The referees apparently didn’t know the rule and, based on the lack of screaming their heads off at the time, no one on the Oklahoma State sideline knew it either.

There seem to be two schools of thought here, the play should be negated and Oklahoma State awarded the win and the other side: Let it stand – screw ups by refs happen all the time (see the Miami/Duke ending last year or the Arizona/Washington State ending). Oklahoma State themselves have benefitted from ref screw-ups – a first down given to the Pokes against KSU (that was clearly shot when they measured) allowing OSU to kneel away the win and the debacle of the bad call after bad call in Austin last year that helped the Cowboys pull off a late win against Texas.

There was even a front page editorial for the Oklahoma State newspaper calling for CMU to show integrity by giving the win back along with a rebuttal in a open letter to OSU that basically told them to stuff it.

My thoughts: Changing it now isn’t going to change what’s in anyone’s mind regarding the ending of the game. If they do change it and Oklahoma State runs the table, the talking heads on the sports networks will be of the opinion that OSU lost this game and had to be given a special dispensation and will use that as an argument against them getting into the playoff.

Mike Gundy himself has owned this one” “That’s a tough one. Just so everyone knows, I was the one who called the passing play,” he said. “To be honest with you, I never even thought of intentional grounding being called at that point in the game. As much time as we put into end-of-game situations, that never really crossed my mind. Unfortunately, that’s a difficult way to learn a hard lesson.” He also added,  “Even if the officials handled it incorrectly, it was still a dumb call on my part, regardless.”

If Oklahoma State does run the table, which I think is a long shot based on their performance in this game, they’ll get their shot at the playoff even with this loss, Unless conference champs from the other four “Power 5” conferences are all undefeated.

 

Below this is the AJS version of the “Game cast” – it’s pretty rough and summarizes the drives. This was our first game cast, so they’ll likely evolve as we go along and you’ll see as the game progressed, I started jotting in the plays that were run (I did this early on, but deleted them before updating the game cast). 

Score:  Central Michigan – 30   Oklahoma State – 27 (FINAL)

Location: Boone Pickens Stadium – Stillwater, OK | Start Time: 12:00 PM Eastern | Line: Oklahoma State -19.5  O/U: 61.5

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(game timeline)

START OF GAME

QTR/Time: 1st/15:00      Possession: OkState     Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-25    Total Yards:  29  Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: We discover with the opening shot that my graphic above is incorrect at the Cowboys are wearing black and silver helmets with a Pistol Pete on the side.

Central Michigan won the toss and have chosen to defer. Cowboys will receive.

Kickoff results in a touchback.

Short passes and runs – not much happening. Biggest play was a pass interference on a deep ball down the middle that was badly under thrown by Rudolph. Drive stalled at the CMU 46. Punt – fair catch at the CMU 13.

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QTR/Time: 1st/11:29      Possession: CMU     Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU – 13    Total Yards: 8   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: 

A couple of short plays – pass on 3rd and 2 knocked down. Punt to Oklahoma State – fair catch made at their own 33 where the Pokes take over.

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QTR/Time: 1st/10:01      Possession: OkState   Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU – 33  Total Yards: 22 yards  Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Commentator just called Mike Gundy’s mullet an “Oklahoma Waterfall” – who knew?

Rudolph got sacked on the first play from scrimmage. Biggest play of the drive is a roughing the punter penalty keeping the drive alive. Pokes punt and fair catch by CMU at the 15.

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QTR/Time: 1st/10:01      Possession: CMU     Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-15    Total Yards:  -1  Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: 3 and out for the Chippewas. Net -1 yards. Not so much dominant defense by the Pokes, but bad offense.

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QTR/Time: 1st/5:52      Possession: OkState     Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-43    Total Yards: 57   Result: TOUCHDOWN

Commentary/Notes: Rudolph missed a wide-open receiver on the 2nd play from scrimmage deep down the middle, but then started hitting receivers. Culminated in a touchdown on a swing pass to the left to Jalen McCleskey who tip-toed down the sideline for a 26 yard TD.

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QTR/Time: 1st/4:49      Possession: CMU     Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-20    Total Yards:  -2  Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff returned to the 20 to start the drive. Drive begins with an offensive pass interference negating an 8 yard completion (push offs will do that). One dimensional from there – completed on swing pass to the right for 8 yards, but the screen pass attempt on 3rd and 12 was knocked down at the line by an o-lineman’s helmet. Punt to the OSU 37 and downed there.

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Most Recent Drive Summary/Commentary

QTR/Time: 1st/3:10      Possession: OkState   Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-37    Total Yards:  63  Result: TOUCHDOWN

Commentary/Notes: There was one attempt to run by Rudolph on an option play, but aside from that it was all passing all the time finishing off with an 18 yard TD pass over the middle to tight end Zac Veatch. Chippewa defense already looking gassed.

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QTR/Time: 1st/2:23      Possession: CMU   Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-21   Total Yards:  79  Result: TOUCHDOWN 

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff returned to the 21. Central Michigan finally puts together a drive with Cooper Rush finding receivers all over the field. Finished it off with a 24 yard TD pass to the tight end, Tyler Conklin.

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QTR/Time: 2nd/12:13     Possession: OkState   Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-33   Total Yards: 31   Result: FIELD GOAL

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff is short – returned to the OSU 33. Pokes put together some good plays, but the drive stalled at the CMU 36 where Matt Ammendola came in and snuck a 53 yard field goal through the uprights.


Lateral left – 8 yds, run right – 7 yds, pass – right – dropped by Stoner, 2nd and 10, screen pass right – 11 yards, 1st and 10 – pass left flat – 1 yd, 2nd and 9 (CMU-40), draw for 4 tds, 3rd and 5 – pass – deep right – incomplete (underthrown) – Field goal – 53 yards – GOOD

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QTR/Time: 2nd/9:25     Possession: CMU   Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-35   Total Yards: 52   Result: FIELD GOAL

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff out of bounds – CMU starts at the 35. Chippewas put together another drive that got down inside the 5 before stalling. Cooper Rush muffed a snap on 3rd and goal from the 3 and they settled for a field goal.

1st and 10 – pass left – yds, 2nd and 3 – run right for 2 yds, 1st and 10 – pass right – 9 yards (Penalty – facemask on defense, tack on 15), 1st and 10 (OSU-25 yd line) – run middle – 4 yds, 2nd and 6 – pass – Cooper Rush scrambles for 10 yards and a 1st down, 1st and 10 – pass complete for  yards to the 4 , 2nd and 2 – run middle – 1st and goal at the OSU 3 – run – no gain, 2nd and goal – pass right to Conklin – incomplete (knocked down by Sterns), 3rd and goal – TIMEOUT CMU. 3rd and goal – snap mis-handled – Cooper Rush falls on it for a loss of 5, Delay of game – CMU. 29 yard Field Goal attempt – GOOD

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QTR/Time: 2nd/4:08     Possession: OkState   Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-35   Total Yards: 5   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff out of bounds – drive starts at OSU 35. 3 and out. CMU defense came up big late in the 2nd quarter. Only managed to take off 35 seconds.

1st and 10 – delayed handoff – 5 yds, 2nd and 5 – pass overthrown incomplete, 3rd and 5 – pass – pressure from defense forces Mason Rudolph to throw it away. Punt – dropped, but recovered by CMU at the 11.

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QTR/Time: 2nd/3:33     Possession: CMU  Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-11   Total Yards:  32  Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Started out looking like CMU was going to march down and get some kind of score, but the drive stalled at their own 43 and they ended up punting it away.

1st & 10 – run right – 7 yds (jet sweep), 2nd & 3 – pass right – low and complete for 3 yds, 1st & 10 – pass right for 18 yards, 1st & 10 (CMU-32) – pass left – 4 yds (1:41 left in the half), 2nd & 6 – pass right – complete – 2 yds (out of bounds – 1:17). 3rd & 4 – pass – deep middle – incomplete, 4th & 4 – Punt downed at the OSU 15.

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QTR/Time: 2nd/0:59     Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-25   Total Yards: 9   Result: End of half

Commentary/Notes: The pokes got a couple of good plays, but a sack with 25 second left lead to Gundy deciding to let the half run out

1st & 10 – pass right – incomplete Washington came down out of bounds, 2nd & 10 – delayed handoff to the right for 12 yards. 1st & 10 – pass left for 3 yds (out of bounds), 2nd & 7 – Rudolph SACKED by Ostman! Clock runs – HALFTIME!

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QTR/Time: 3rd/15:00     Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-25   Total Yards: 18   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Started with a good run by Spalding and stalled from there.

1st & 10 – run middle – 17 yards by Spalding, 1st & 10 – pass knocked down at the line, 2nd & 10 – run left for 1 yard, 3rd & 9 – pass – middle incomplete – Anthony Rice couldn’t hold on. 4th down – low line-drive punt – taken at the 20 – returned to the OkState 38.

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QTR/Time: 3rd/13:21     Possession: OSU Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-38   Total Yards: 5   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Chippewa defense starting to turn it up. 3 and out for the pokes.

1st & 10 – Carson runs for a loss of 1, 2nd & 11 – pass left to Seals for 6 yds, 3rd & 5 – pass incomplete. 4th down punt – downed at the 11.

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QTR/Time: 3rd/12:00     Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-11   Total Yards:  89  Result: TOUCHDOWN

Commentary/Notes: 89 yard drive – sustained – lots of rest for the CMU defense. Tyler Conklin comes down with a tip drill in the endzone to tie the game at 17

1st & 10 – pass right incomplete (Rush pressured into bad throw), 2nd & 10 – WR screen left – 3 yds, 3rd & 7- pass middle – Ward gets a lot of yards after the catch – 17 yds, 1st & 10 (CMU-31) – Ward runs left – 5 yds, 2nd & 5 – run right – strung out and stopped for no gain, 3rd & 5 – pass – right to Conklin – 18 yards (lots of YAC), 1st & 10 (OSU 42) – Rush is sacked back at midfield, 2nd & 19 – pass – Crouch – 5 yds, 3rd & 14 – pass middle – lots of tip drill – no one comes up with it (penalty – roughing the passer against the Pokes – Tre Carter), 1st & 10 (OSU-31) – pass – Rush scrambles down to the 12 – 19 yard gain, 1st & 10 – run right – cuts back to the 8 – 4 yds, 2nd & 6 – pitch left – 3 yds for Hays, 3rd & 3 – TIMEOUT CMU, 3rd & 3 – pass right – tipped up – Tyler Conklin comes down with in for a TOUCHDOWN

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QTR/Time: 3rd/5:16 Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-25  Total Yards:  61  Result: FIELD GOAL

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff – touch back. Pokes roll out with some tempo and catch the Chippewa defense a bit flat-footed. The defense manages to settle down and the drive stalls at the CMU 14. OkState settles for a field goal to take the lead.

1st & 10 – delayed handoff up the middle – Hill runs for 5 yds, 2nd & 5 – run left – Justic Hill through a huge hole for 17 yards, 1st & 10 – tempo – pass left – McCleskey OB after 8 yds, 2nd & 2 (CMU45) – Pass- right – McCleskey gains 28, 1st & 10 – pass middle for Washington – tipped away by Coleman at the last second, 2nd & 10 (CMU12) – Carson runs right – loses 2, 3rd & 12 – pass right – incomplete in the endzone – intended for McCleskey. 4th down – 35 yd field goal attempt is good

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QTR/Time: 3rd/2:58     Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-25  Total Yards: 4   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff – touch back.Nothing doing on this drive as they Chippewas immediately have to play behind the chains after Cooper Rush gets sacked on 1st down. A 3 & out drive.

1st & 10 – Rush is sacked by Owens – loss of 9 yds, 2nd & 19 – pass left – Willis for 5 yds, 3rd & 14 – jailbreak screen right – 8 yds – 4th & 6 – punt taken at the OSU 26 by McCleskey – returned to the OSU 44

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QTR/Time: 3rd/0:35     Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-43  Total Yards: 16   Result: Punt

Commentary/Notes: One first down then NOTHING.

1st & 10 – pass – Rudolph scrambles for 7, 2nd & 3 (CMU49) – shuttle pass left to McCleskey to the 42, END OF 3RD QUARTER, 1st & 10 – pass right – incomplete – Ricketts breaks it up, 2nd & 10 – pass middle – badly overthrown incomplete, 3rd & 10 – pass – dumped off to Sanders – 1 yd, 4th & 9 – punt downed at the 5.

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QTR/Time: 4th/14:00     Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-5  Total Yards:  95  Result: TOUCHDOWN

Commentary/Notes: Suddenly the Chipps start hitting on deep passes??

1st & 10 – Hayes up the middle for no gain, 2nd & 10 – Hayes up the middle for 7, 3rd & 3 – pass left complete to Conklin for a 1st down do the 17, 1st & 10 – pass middle – complete to Conklin for 15 yards (penalty – deffensive holding – declined), 1st & 10 (CMU32) – Ward up the middle for no gain, 2nd & 10 – Spalding loses 3 yards on the hand-off, 3rd & 13 (TIMEOUT CMU), 3rd & 13 – pass middle deep  – completel for 40 yards, 1st & 10 (OSU31) – pass middle – lobbed to Spalding at the 1 – TOUCHDOWN CMU!

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QTR/Time: 4th/9:40     Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-25  Total Yards: 70   Result: INTERCEPTION

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff – Touchback. Lots of tempo from OkState again and driving right down the field. Then on 1st & Goal from the five, Rudolph’s accuracy goes haywire as he throws a fade pass, but it goes inside and Josh Cox comes up with it in the endzone for CMU

1st & 10 – pass middle – complete to Seales for 17 yards, 1st & 10 – pass left – Seales – 11 yds, 1st & 10 – pass dumped right to Carson – 12 yards, 1st & 10 – pass left to McCleskey forced out after 10 yards, 1st & 10 (CMU25) – run left for 1 yard, 2nd & 9 – Rudolph sacked for a loss of 6, 3rd & 15 – pass lobbed left incomplete (penalty – pass interference defense – 1st down), 1st & 10 (CMU16) – (Penalty – false start), 1st & 15 – pass left to Lacy – 7 yds, 2nd & 8 – pass left to Carson – 9 yds, 1st & goal at the 5 – pass left – INTERCEPTION IN THE ENDZONE BY JOSH COX!

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QTR/Time: 4th/6:33     Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-20  Total Yards: 0 Result: FUMBLE

Commentary/Notes: 

1ST & 10 – Spalding runs left and loses the ball. Recovered by Oklahoma State and returned to the 11

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QTR/Time: 4th/6:25    Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-11  Total Yards: 11 Result: TOUCHDOWN

Commentary/Notes: 4 plays capped by Stoner coming in with a shovel pass/jet sweep to Washington for a TD

.1st & 10 – Carson up the middle for 5 yds, 2nd & 5 – fade pass to the right – incomplete, 3rd & 5 – Rudolph runs a QB draw to the 1 1/2 (measurement – he’s a half yard short), 4th & 1 – going for it – TIMEOUT OKSTATE, 4th & 1 – Washington on the jet sweep left for a TOUCHDOWN!

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QTR/Time: 4th/5:12    Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker:  CMU-26  Total Yards: 14  Result: INTERCEPTION

Commentary/Notes: Kickoff returned to the CMU 26. 2 completions, 1 run and an interception (Cooper Rush’s first mistake of the game is a costly one.

1st & 10 – pass right – 7 yards, 2nd & 3 – delayed handoff up the middle to Spalding – loss of 2, 3rd & 5 – pass right to Spalding for 9 yds, 1st & 10 – pass right – INTERCEPTED BY RICHARDS AT THE OSU 45!

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QTR/Time: 4th/3:10    Possession: OkState Beginning Yard Marker:  OSU-45  Total Yards: 6 Result: Turned over on downs after penalty

Commentary/Notes: BONEHEAD decision in an effort to run out the clock on 4th down results in 1 untimed down for CMU from midfield.

1st & 10 – Carson runs left for loss of 1, (TIMEOUT CMU), 2ND & 11 – dump off pass to Carson to the right – 18 yds, 1st & 10 (CMU38) – Childs up the middle for 1 yd, 2nd & 9 (TIMEOUT OSU), 2nd & 9 – Rudolph takes a knee – 2 yard loss, 3rd & 11 – Rudolph kneels – 2 yard loss, 4th & 13 (TIMEOUT OSU), 4TH & 13 – Rudolph throws it away deep to run out the clock – (Penalty – intentional grounding – in the pocket and no receiver in the area – loss of down – CMU’s ball at the CMU 49 – 1 untimed down to come)

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QTR/Time: 4th/0:00 Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker: CMU-49 Total Yards: 51 Result: TOUCHDOWN!

Commentary/Notes: Untimed down – Cooper Rush heaves a pass deep down to the 9 where it’s caught by Kroll who immediately pitched it back to Corey Willis who runs left for the TOUCHDOWN! CHIPPEWAS WIN!

END OF GAME!


CFB – 2016 – Week 1 “Big Game” Quick Summaries

Kansas State vs. #8 Stanford – Friday – 9 PM Eastern 

Stanford 26 – Kansas State 13 – Final. Overall, KSU’s offense looked pretty terrible. That was in part due to Stanford being pretty solid on defense, but also due to the cats poor performance on offense. The Wildcats kept it closer than a lot of people expected.

#3 Oklahoma vs. #15 Houston (at Reliant Stadium in Houston) – Saturday – 12 PM Eastern

Houston 33 – Oklahoma 23 – Final. Oklahoma’s offensive line looked abysmal in pass defense all day. Houston is a good team, but they have to get better quickly or it will be a long season. The game momentum swung in Houston’s favor and never went back when Austin Seibert missed a 53 yard field goal attempt and no one saw the Houston player standing under the goal post. He caught the short kick and returned it for a touchdown. From that point on it was all Cougars. The Sooners got a late TD, but the offense in the second half was less than spectacular.

#16 UCLA vs. Texas A&M – Saturday – 3:30 PM Eastern

A&M 31 – UCLA 24 – Final (OT) – It’s a good win for the Aggies, but they blew a 15 point lead in the 4th quarter letting the Bruins force overtime. Josh Rosen threw a career high 3 INTS in this game allowing the Aggies to dominate most of the way.

LSU vs. Wisconsin (at Lambeau Field in Green Bay) – Saturday – 3:30 PM Eastern

Wisconsin 16 – LSU 14 – Final – While Leonard Fournette averaged 6 yards per carry and pulled down 138 rushing yards, LSU hasn’t improved at quarterback and Brandon Harris actually looks worse than last year. Wisconsin’s quarterback didn’t look much better, but look out Big Ten, guys who play quarterback up that way with the name Bart tend to have some success!

#18 Georgia vs. #22 North Carolina (at the Georgia Dome in Atlanta) – Saturday – 3:30 PM Eastern

Georgia 33 – North Carolina 24 – Final – The Tarheels had a 24-14 lead more than halfway through the 3rd quarter and gave up 19 unanswered point to the dawgs. Freshman Jacob Eason looked okay at quarterback and will get better as time rolls on. Having a guy like Nick Chubb rushing for 222 yards and 2 TDs doesn’t hurt that potential.

USC vs. Alabama (at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX) – Saturday – 8 PM Eastern

Alabama 52 – USC 6 – Final – This was touted and scheduled as the premiere game in the prime time slot Saturday. Early on, it looked like it might end up being an epic defensive battle with USC leading 3-0 at the 7:46 mark of the 2nd quarter and Bama only with 40 yards of offense. Then Jalen Hurts scrambled right on a 3rd and 13 and threw a 39 yard TD pass to ArDarius Stewart in the endzone and the USC balloon was slashed wide open with air bleeding out. Bama added a FG on their next possession then Marlon Humphrey intercepted __ at the 18 of USC and ran it in for a touchdown and the rout was on. USC’s offense had no answer to Bama’s defense and the running game rollfed for the Tide who were lead by Damien Harris with 138 yards rushing. The Trojans only mustered 194 total yards of offense. Don’t count on them being contenders for the PAC 12 this season.

#10 Notre Dame vs. Texas – Sunday – 7:30 PM Eastern

Texas 50 – Notre Dame 47 – Final (OT) – Texas game plan wasn’t overly complicated – it involved freshman Shane Buechele throwing the ball as deep as possible early in the game and hope for either one of his guys to run under it or get a pass interference penalty. They got 2 long completions (1 to the 1 yard line and 1 a TD) and a pass interference call with this. Sure the Buechele (aka: The Kid with the Cannon), threw some shorter stuff as well, but throwing an up tempo offense at the Irish seemed to keep them off balance all night. And I know Tyrone Swoopes is a big guy (the announcers were calling him the 18 wheeler when he came in to run the option), but with absolutely no threat of him throwing the ball (the one pass he attempted, was badly overthrown), stopping him shouldn’t have been that hard. Texas, much like A&M, blew a big lead (31-14) and allowed the Irish to force overtime. Both scored TDs in the first OT, but Swoopes punched it into the endzone for the win in the bottom of the 2nd OT in answer to the Domer field goal.

#11 Ole Miss vs. Florida State (at the Citrus Bowl in Orlando) – Monday – 8 PM Eastern

Florida State 45 – Ole Miss 34 – Final – There’s a theme for this week that didn’t quite play out in this game. Ole Miss had a 28-6 lead late in the 2nd quarter, but could only muster another 8 in response to the Noles offense waking up and hanging 39 additional points in response. Rebels quarterback Chad Kelley threw for over 300 yards and 4 touchdowns, but 3 interceptions didn’t do his team any favors and the Ole Miss rushing game was nearly non-existant pulling down a total of 67 yards on 25 carries. Meanwhile, on the other side of the field, freshman quarterback Deondre Francois threw for 419 yards and 2 TDs. They could be a threat to Clemson in the Atlantic division of the ACC and not having to play the Tigers until late October give Francois time to become even better. For Ole Miss, get ready, your season isn’t getting any easier. Sure you’ve got Wofford this weekend, which should be a blowout, but then you’ve got Bama & Georgia back to back. Oxford is not going to be a happy place for football in three weeks.


The Big XII Opening Weekend – 2016

It’s 2016 and the conference is starting off the season with some big matchups (intended and unintended).

Early Saturday features a game that Oklahoma didn’t anticipate being as big as it’s turned out to be. The Sooners go to Houston to play the Cougars at Reliant Stadium. With Houston coming off it’s best season in recent memory, they look to upset the 3rd ranked Sooners in their hometown and make a statement. I think they can score, but with 3 of 5 starters on the offensive line graduated and Greg Ward’s favorite target in the passing game in 2015, now playing for the Pittsburgh Steelers, it may be tougher than most expect. After getting handled pretty well by Clemson in the playoff last year, Stoops’ Sooners will look to make this a statement game early on, which they need to do with Ohio State headed to Norman in a couple of weeks.Sooners win 42-24.

Kansas State travels west to play at Stanford. Stanford was left out of the playoff last season, but just barely. They will be lead by Heisman hopeful running back, Chrisitian McCaffrey, and will likely try to run the ball right down the Wildcats’ throat. Do not count out KSU. Bill Snyder is one of those coaches who always seems to do the most with the least. I look for Stanford in the win at home, but much closer than expected. 31-28 Cardinal.

2016 is a make or break year for Dana Holgerson in Morgantown. The best record the Mountaineers have posted since coming to the Big XII in 2012 is 8-5 last season and a 5th place finish in conference play. They need to do better than that this year or Crazy Hair Dana may very well be gone. Look for them to start out strong against the Missouri Tigers who are coming of a horrible 5-7 season. I don’t think the Tigers improve much this year. Eers win at home – 38-24.

Notre Dame heads to Austin for the prime time game on ABC against the Longhorns. The horns are coming off a 5-7 season and, like Holgerson, Charlie Strong is in a make-or-break mode this year (They’re a lot less patient in Austin). Unfortunately, I don’t think Texas can get it done against the Domers. Notre Dame wins this one, though in a low scoring contest – 20-13.

Now, as to the rest of the conference this weekend, I’m not going to delve into much of it other than to say, if they don’t go 6-0 as conference in the remaining games, it’s a sad year indeed. Ther other 6 games on the Big XII slate this weekend feature all FCS opponents:

Northwestern State at Baylor, SE Louisiana at Oklahoma State, Rhode Island at Kansas, Northern Iowa at Iowa State, Stephen F. Austin at Texas Tech, and South Dakota State at TCU. Aside from Northern Iowa at Iowa State (one of the better FCS schools at one of the worst teams in the Big XII), none of those games should be close. But I’m sure Kansas will find a way to blow it somehow (they lost to South Dakota State last year to kick of their winless 2015).


Stand by for some changes

UPDATE: August 31, 2016:

We’ve started adding some new things. We’re expanding into covering conventions for gaming (video/PC/role-playing) and fan conventions. Go to the “Conventions” page and poke around.

Changed the look of the site entirely. Still the same stuff here, just switching it up from the old look. With some split focue on the site now (general blogging, gaming, as well as sports), we decided to move away from a strictly sports related theme. Though the goal post logo will stay the same for now (I love that logo).

JUNE 26, 2015

While the name of the site is going to remain the same and we will still be talking about sports, we aren’t going to limit ourselves to just sports.

We may be talking about almost anything from sports to movies to video games to whatever strikes out fancy.

So give us a couple weeks and we’ll be back on the air – in the interim, feel free to browse the old stuff. 

You can email questions, comments, and suggestions for articles to averagejoesports@gmail.com

 


Silly Season – 2015 Draft Day – Browns Rumor: They want Bradford??

So there’s a rumor running around Cleveland that with Tennessee basically wanting 2 years worth of 1st & 2nd round picks from the Browns along with a Season Pass to the Rock n Roll Hall of Fame, the Browns are now trying to get with Philly on a possible trade to get Sam Bradford in an orange helmet. (side note: as a Sooner fan, the thought of a fellow alum wearing anything orange kind of sickens me)

Exploring this a bit further: The Browns reportedly tried to trade the Rams for Bradford earlier this year, but Sam wasn’t willing to sign any sort of extension or long term contract after such a trade as he was not thrilled about the notion of moving to a team with the same issues as St Louis (limited receiving talent, mediocre run game and poor protection on the right side of the line). This opened the door for the Eagles to move in and get Bradford to Philadelphia.

I’m now curious as to what has changed? The Browns still have the same issues. Has someone spoken to Bradford and told him he that playing in Cleveland is much better than being in the same backfield with the 2014 rushing leader and his former roommate from college in an offense that isn’t dissimilar to the one he ran at OU?

 


Huepel & Norvell out at OU – Who’s next?

So Oklahoma had a lot of struggles this year on defense giving up just under 26 points per game which ranks as the 82nd best year an OU defense has had.  Putting aside the injuries on a defense that didn’t have a lot of depth to begin with, that’s a pretty bad year.  So what’s the first thing you do in the off-season?  Well, of course, you fire your Co-Offensive Coordinators Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell since they only averaged 36 points per game.  Yes, yes, they laid a big fat egg in the bowl game against Clemson,  but I’m going with the Saban-defense here – it’s hard to motivate players if they aren’t playing for a national championship . . .does that count?

Side note:  That ranks as 21st in the Sooner record books.  For anyone keeping track – since Josh Heupel and Jay Norvell have been the co-offensive coordinators at OU, they have averaged 39.5, 38.2, 32.8 & 36.3 points per game in each season over the past four.  Aside from the 2013 average of 32.8 (the #32 scoring offense in OU history), the other three years the offenses all rank in the top 25.   Clearly the issues here lie with the offense and not the defense. 

I’m not really sure what’s up with this move by Bob Stoops aside from trying to assuage the fears of the torch and pitchfork crowd in Norman.  One would hope that there is some move, of which we are currently unaware, that justifies this action aside from reacting to the spoiled brat fans. 

Watching the games this year, the problems with this team stemmed from two sources, in my opinion.  Louisiana Tech v Oklahoma

One – Aside from the offensive line, they were very young on offense.  Yes, yes, we all know what Trevor Knight did to Alabama in the Sugar Bowl last season, but did anyone notice that of the 9 players who caught passes in the Sugar Bowl last season, only two of them returned this season (Sterling Shepard & Taylor McNamara and McNamara was second string this season)?  OU had an entirely new backfield with the departure of Brennan Clay & Roy Finch.  Did anyone notice that?

The Sooners were ranked #3 & #4 in the pre-season polls based on the upset of the mighty Crimson Tide in the Sugar Bowl and the return of Trevor Knight.  But no one seemed to notice that the offense had a plethora of new faces.  So when they were running up the score in the some 2008, Bradford-esque fashion, the masses became troubled. 

If there are more changes coming in Norman, let’s hope they include some on the other side of the ball.  Things like:

Tackling

Only playing 3 yards off a receiver on a 3rd and 4 instead of 8 yards off

Tackling

Getting pressure on a quarterback

Staying at home on the backside of a running play

Tackling

Better communication between defensive backs so we don’t leave receivers wide open with no over-the-top help from the safety

And most importantly (in case I forgot), TACKLING!

 


Bo Pelini Fires Shots on the Way Out

Bo Pelini will be taking over as Head Football Coach at Youngstown State University next fall after he lost his job at Nebraska.

He had a meeting with his players at a high school and per ESPN he said some very negative things about Nebraska AD, Shawn Eichorst.

“A guy like him, who has no integrity, he doesn’t even understand what a core value is,” Pelini said, according to the contents of the tape. “He hasn’t understood it from the day he got here. I saw it when I first met with the guy. To have core values means you have to be about something, you have to represent something that is important to you. He’s a f—— lawyer who makes policies. That’s all he’s done since he’s been here: hire people and make policies to cover his own ass.”

At the time of his firing by Nebraska, Pelini was due a $7.9 million buyout. There is no non-disparagement clause in that contract that would affect his severance.  There is word that the administration may try to use Pelini’s public rant to get out of the buyout under that clause.

In my opinion, (however unprofessional Pelini was) to do so could negatively affect possible future hires for other coaching positions.  When you consider Pelini has won at least 9 games in each of his seven seasons at Nebraska, who would feel remotely secure in taking any coaching job there knowing that not if you win at least 75% of your games, you can still lose your job and a buyout is on the line as well?


The State of the Saints

As we enter the Free Agency Period today, Rick had the following on the state of his beloved New Orleans Saints of some of the cuts they’ve had so far in the off-season.
 

When we acquired Sproles from the Chargers, it was one of those beautiful synchronous moments in time.  Like when amino acids started partying in the primordial soup and accidentally created life, except far less important to the creation of life on the planet earth.  But synchronous.  Because we had just parted ways with the inconsistent, oft-injured, and cap-heavy Reggie Bush and picked up in return a guy who was better, more consistent, and cheaper.  His production the last three years has even made me forgive him for what he did to the Sooners in the Big XII Championship game.

Nobody was really shocked at our offseason axing of the beloved-but-again Jonathan Vilma, Will Smith, and Jabari Greer.  Cutting Lance Moore was a more bitter pill.  But it wasn’t until we let Sprolesy go that most Saints fans started to hit the panic button.  “Umm, management?” the fans are asking, “Will you kindly tell us (and therefore all other GMs and Player Agents) what the hell you’re doing?”  To which Mickey Loomis has declined, because he’s not stupid. 

With the resigning of Drew Brees two years ago and Jimmy Graham this year, we’ve had to shell out the big bucks for two superstars (something the Saints have little experience with.  That’s taken some painful cuts, and more might be forthcoming.  (If we cut Pierre Thomas, I think there might be a riot in the Marigny district of New Orleans, which will last for two and a half minutes because the rioters would be too drunk or too hipster to remember what they were doing.) 

So those were longer thoughts.  Short thoughts:

1)  We’re starting to wonder what time horizon Mickey Loomis is looking at.  Are we in “Win now” mode or are we in “Structuring” mode or are we hoping to pull off a Patriots-esque hybrid of the two?

2) Bigger than Sproles (literally and figuratively!), we’re shopping O-linemen Zach Strief and Brian De la Puente in free agency.  This is terrifying.  Brees cannot be his masteful wizarding self when he looks like a Wile E. Coyote-shaped grease spot in the turf.  This is where the Saints are really playing Contract Chicken, and how that plays out will dictate by itself the answer to Question #1.

3) Lots of Saints fans are talking about grabbing either Dexter McCluster*** (Chiefs) or Golden Tate (Seahawks) to fill the Sproles void.  Other Saints fans are thinking that we become a more trad-style rushing team and wondering if this is the year Mark Ingram starts to finally live up to his hype.  Other Saints fans are drinking somewhere in the Marigny wondering why they were thinking about rioting.

4) Other big needs in this offseason: cornerback, safety, and wide receiver.  (In that order — remember, we picked up Colston in the 7th round and Stills in the fifth round.)  Unless we lose Strief and BDLP, in which case we’re drafting a cleric.

***Also, Dexter McCluster just signed a three year deal with the Titans, and Sprolesy hasn’t technically been cut yet — http://www.canalstreetchronicles.com/2014/3/11/5497502/saints-news-3-11-14-saints-still-looking-to-trade-darren-sproles

 

 

Rick Lockett is a Senior Staff Writer and has been with AverageJoeSports.com since its inception.

Bryan Harsin heading back to Boise State

Bryan HarsinIt is being reported that Bryan Harsin, who was an assistant in Boise from 2001-2010 was hired by Boise State to be the head coach today.  This is in the wake of Chris Peterson leaving the Broncos last week after 8 seasons to take over at the University of Washington.  Harsin spent the 2011-12 seasons in Austin as the co-offensive coordinator for the Longhorns and was rumored to be on the short list to the Texas job if Mack Brown is convinced to step down this week.  He went 7-5 at Arkansas State this season.

The coaching carosel is in full swirl.  Still “up in the air” (and we don’t think it’s that up in the air) is the status of Mack Brown in Austin.


Sources: Mack Brown Stepping Down at Texas (UPDATED)

Mack-BrownUPDATE: 12/10/2013 – 23:34 PM – ESPN’s Brett McMurphy now reporting that Mack Brown will make the announcement that he is stepping down before the weekend.  Sources close the Mack Brown are saying he prefers to tell his staff and players in person instead of them reading it on the internet.

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UPDATE: 12/10/2013 – 16:34 PM – ESPN’s Joe Schad says Mack Brown has texted 247 SPORTS (HORNS247 section of the site) that he is not going anywhere.  He says, “I haven’t seen [the] article,” Brown wrote in a text message to the website Horns247. “I’m in Florida recruiting. If I had decided to step down, I sure wouldn’t be killing myself down here. I have not decided to step down.”

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12/10/2013 – 15:04 PM – Chip Brown at Orangebloods.com is reporting that Mack Brown will announce that he is stepping down after 16 seasons in Austin.

If Mack leaves, it opens up all kinds of question regarding the rumors of Nick Saban making a move from Tuscaloosa to helm the Longhorn program.  If that were to happen, it would be an unprecendented move. To have a head coach at a blue blood program to leave after 3 national championships in the last 5 seasons, even it is for another blue blood program, just sounds flat out crazy to me.

Other, more likely, rumors include James Franklin the current head coach at Vanderbilt and the former Longhorn offensive coordinator and current Arkansas State Head Coach, Bryan Harsin, taking over control.  It would be Harsin’s first stint as a head coach and while he would be a decent enough choice, Franklin, with what he’s done in Nashville, would be a much better choice.

What say you?