(most recent drive at the top)
The Irish came in and executed the perfect game plan to beat Oklahoma. Their defense is definitely for real as they held the Sooners to 13 points and it was due in large part to keeping the completely out of balance – Jones passed for 364 yards, but only had 15 yards rushing for the game – even if they did get the first rushing TD of the season against this stout Notre Dame defense. Hats off to the young quarterback, Golson passing for only 177 yards, but also opening it up just enough to keep the Irish rushing game going (215 yards on the ground). The argument can now begin as to who should be number 2 – Notre Dame, Kansas State or Oregon. Notre Dame heads back to Southbend to take on Pitt next week. They are now set up for a possible run to and undefeated season with the biggest roadblock to that being their final game in Los Angeles against USC. Almost as big as that will be to not lose focus between now and then with the other three games (Pitt, at Boston College and Wake). Oklahoma will have to re-group and get ready for a trip to Iowa State and try to keep their hopes for a conference championship alive . . . .though they still need a lot of help to get that – Kansas State will need to drop two games among their remaining schedule (OkState, at TCU, at Baylor and Texas)….good luck with that.
Oklahoma – starts at the 48 after a great return by Brennan Clay. Jones gets a some completions. Damien Williams is hurt on a 2nd and 7 play and leaves the game limping (helped off the field by a couple of trainers). The first play after the injury timeout was a touchdown pass to Kenny Stills for a “Pride” score (play under review – he may have stepped out at the 1) – after review – the play is reversed and he’s out of bounds inside the 1. 1st and Goal inside the 1 yard line and Jones stays in the game. Pass interference on Kenny Stills and the ball is pushed back out to the 15. 1st and goal from the 15. Jones is sacked there and that ends the game. END OF GAME
Notre Dame – starts at the 19 after the turnover on downs. First play is a run for 1 yard. Riddick up the middle for a three more on 2nd down (TIMEOUT – NOTRE DAME – 1:41). 3rd and 6 at the OU 16and Riddick runs it in for a touchdown to seal the game 30-13 – 1:36 – 4th
Oklahoma – starts at the 18 after the return. The snap goes through Landry’s legs into the endzone, he scoops it up in the endzone and just throws it out where it is caught by Clay at the 9. A completion to Saunders at 19. 3rd and 9 and Jones overthrows the pass to Shepard bringing up a 4th and 9. Jones in the gun – Irish with 7 in coverage and it’s incomplete when the pass is dropped by Clay. Notre Dame takes over on down at the OU 19.
Notre Dame – Starts at the 45 after the turnover. First play is a fun up the middle by Riddick for a gain of 10 and a first. Riddick again for 4 yards – OU takes their first timeout of the half (3:39 – 4th) – 2nd and 6 and Golson keeps in on a bootleg to the left for a gain of 2 – Timeout by OU (3:32 – 4th). 3rd and 4 after the timeout – Golson throws and it’s incomplete – 4th and 4 at the OU 29. 46 yard field goal is good extending the Irish lead to 23-13 with 3:22 left in the game.
Oklahoma – Starts at the 25 after a touchback. First play is a 7 yard completion to Saunders followed by an incomplete. 3rd and Jones completes it to Stills for a first down at the 41. One 1st down, the ball is tipped by Saunders and Te’o makes the interception (under review) (4:27 – 4th) – after review the play stands. Notre Dame takes over at the OU 45.
Notre Dame starts at the 27 and on 2nd and 2, Golson completes a 50 yard pass to Chris Brown at the OU 15. Then a 13 yard completion to the OU 3. 3rd and goal from the 2 and Golson dives in for a touchdown. 20-13 Irish – (5:05 – 4th) Took them 7 plays to go 73 yards.
Oklahoma – Starts at their own 48 and 7 plays later BLAKE BELL punches it in for a TD and the first rushing touchdown against Notre Dame all season. 13-13 (9:10 – 4th)
Notre Dame – starts with the ball at their own 10 after the punt. First play from scrimmage and Golson has to throw the ball away after scrambling. On 2nd and 10 Riddick is stopped after a gain of 3 up the middle. 3rd and 7 and Notre Dame has to take a timeout (12:14 – 4th). On 3rd and 7 after the timeout – Golson has to throw it away after being pressured. .
Oklahoma – starts with the ball at the 25 after a touchback on the kickoff. Saunders makes a catch on the first play for a first down at the 44 followed by Williams and a 5 yard run around the right end. Jones has to throw the ball away on 2nd and 5 outside the pocket. On 3rd and 5 and the pass is incomplete downfield intended for Justin Brown. OU is forced to punt yet again (13:10 – 4th).
Notre Dame – starts at their own 2 after the punt. One first down, they get 5 yards out to the 7. 2nd and 5 from the 7 and Golson runs a bootleg out for a first down on a huge run to the 24. The next play was a completion to Daniels on a jump ball out to the 46. At midfield on 2nd and 6 they gained a couple to bring up 3rd and 4 at the OU 48. Golson completed a pass to Toma for another first down at the OU 41. Hurst helps break up a pass on first down and on 2nd and 10 Tony Jefferson absolutely leveled Golson on a quarterback draw. He’s down injured for the moment (0:55 – 3rd). Looks like he got the wind knocked out of him. Reese has to come in at Qb for a play on 3rd and 7 from the OU 38. Empty backfield for Reese and he completes a pass of the left for a first down to Eifert at the OU 27. (END OF THE 3RD QUARTER). Golson comes back in and they try a reverse with a pass, but OU wasn’t fooled incomplete on first and 10. Golson keeps it on the option and is stopped by Gabe Lynn for no gain. 3rd and 10 from the OU 27 and the pass is incomplete intended for Eifert. The field goal attempt of 44 yards is just barely good inside the right upright and the Irish lead 13-7 (13:57 – 4th).
Oklahoma – starts at their own 20 after the missed field goal. Williams starts off the show with a 7 yard run up the middle followed by a hurry up to Saunders ou to the left for a first down and a quick pass back to the left to Stills for 5. 2nd and 5 from the 38 was a swing pass to Williams for a first down at the 46. Next play was another first down pass to Saunders at the Notre Dame 38. No gain on a dump off to Millard on 1st down was followed by a 2 yard loss on a delayed hand off to Williams. On 3rd and 12 from the 40, Jones along in the backfield, pass complete over the middle to Williams for a gain of 4 but well short of the first down. OU is forced to punt and Justin Brown downs it at the 2. – 4:41 – 3rd.
Notre Dame – starts with the ball at the top of the 3rd quarter. They return the kickoff to the 22. TJ Jones makes a great catch on 2nd and 9 from the 23 for a first down at the 36. Golson scrambles on 2nd and 9 for a first down at the 48. Irish starting to run and try to eat clock to shorten the game and keep Jones and the Sooner offense on the sidelines. On 3rd and 2 – Golson runs the draw to the OU 35. Irish offense starting to mix it up a bit and keeping OU defense off-balance. 1st and at ot the 24 after a pass. On 3rd and 4 from the OU 18, the Irish take a timeout. (8:15 – 3rd). 3rd and 4 from the OU 18 after the timeout – Golson throws to his left incomplete – and they have to settle for a field goal attempt with is PULLED LEFT – OU’s defense holds – still 10-6 Irish – 8:06 – 3rd.
Notre Dame starts at their own 19 after the kick off return. They are happy to take a knee and go into the locker room leading 10-6 – HALFTIME
Oklahoma – starts at the 21 after the kick off. OU finally gets another first down when Sterling Shepard comes up with a catch over the middle to the 39. Stills makes a catch on 2nd and 9 from the 40 for a first down across midfield to the Irish 47. The next play Jones completes a pass to Justin Brown for another first down at the 29. Notre Dame jumped offsides on 2nd and 10 to make it 2nd and 5 from the 24. Stills makes the catch for the first down at the 18 on a slant with a very good catch. Williams gets 5 on 1st down, then Stills gets another 1st down at the 5 yard line on a quick pass. Damien Williams got 1 on first and goal and we have our first appearance of the Belldozer Package. There was a holding call that cancelled a Blake Bell touchdown so Jones came back in and then had to throw it away on 2nd and goal from the 13 followed by a dropped pass at the 5 to a wide open receiver. Hunnicutt gets the field goal – 10-6 Irish 0:43 – 2nd (NOTE ON THE PENALTY: THERE WAS A LOT OF CONFUSION ABOUT WHEN THE FLAG WAS THROWN AS IT CAME WAY AFTER THE TOUCHDOWN RUN BY BELL AND THEY COULDN’T FIND A HOLD ON THE REPLAY – coming back after halftime – they found a holding call – ticky tack as it was)
Notre Dame – starts at their own 19 after the punt. On 3rd and 8 from the 21, Golson completes a pass to Daniels out at the 35. They they quickly get out close to midfield with a bootleg pass in the flat to the right. OU is having to respect the pass a bit more and it’s starting to open up the running game as two more run plays get the Irish down to the OU 36. On 2nd and 10, Notre Dame fumbled the ball forward and recovered instead of a 3rd and 10 it’s a 3rd and 5. Bob Stoops challenges that it was a fumble but it wasn’t reviewable. Then Golson completes a short pass for a frist down to Toma down to the OU 25. One 1st and 10 from the 25, Demontre Hurst went out of bounds on the Notre Dame sideline on an incomplete pass and got injured. That could be a blow to OU’s secondary. Hurst seems to be OK after the injury timeout, more on that later. Notre Dame drive stalls and they settle for a field goal.10-3 Irish – 5:58 – 2nd .
Oklahoma starts with the ball at their own 31 after the punt. Oklahoma starts off the drive looking to establish more of a rushing game (as I said in the preview: BALANCE is the key to beating the Irish). Jones is sacked on 3rd and 6 by Manti Te’o and the Sooners are forced to punt after 3 plays and negative 5 yards of offense. – 11:44 – 2nd
Notre Dame – starts at their own 12 and gets out to the 30 on a pass play (END 1ST QUARTER) The first down at the 30 resulted in 3 plays for 1 yard and and Notre Dame has to punt. 7-3 Irish – 13:52 – 2nd
Oklahoma – starts at the 32 after the punt. Oklahoma is able to move the ball initially again and on 3rd and 7 at the Irish 44 the drive stalls again. Oklahoma is forced to punt. 0:38 – 1st
Notre Dame – starts with the ball at their own 24 after the punt. They then have a three and out of their own.
Oklahoma started with the ball at the 25 after a touchback. Oklahoma promptly goes three and out. – 7-3 – Notre Dame – 5:16 – 1st
Notre Dame – starts at their own 33 after a decent kickoff return. On the second play from scrimmage – Cierre Wood broke straight up the middle for a 62 yard touchdown run to give the Irish the lead and likely giving Mike Stoops a couple of popped blood vessels on the sidelines – 7-3 – 6:24 – 1st
Oklahoma started at their own 18 yard line this time and were out to midfield in three plays and then down inside the 20 in two more plays. The drive then stalled and OU had to settle for a field goal try from the 11. Michael Hunnicutt put it through and Oklahoma draws first blood – 3-0 OU – 7:12 – 1st
Notre Dame – started with the ball at their own 23 – They came up just short of the first down marker on 3rd down so they have to punt and OU takes over at their own 18 after a fair catch by Justin Brown – 10:42 – 1st
Oklahoma started off well enough on the first drive, but it stalled and a screwed up snap that lost them 19 yards on 1st down out near midfield. A miscommunication at Landry Jones was trying to make a quick play change and the center snapped it right past him. Oklahoma ends up punting and Notre Dame takes over. 12:21 – 1st
Texas managed to survive with a late touchdown from Case McCoy to DJ Grant with 7 seconds left in Lawrence for the come from behind win over the Jayhawsk – 21-17 – so Texas gets not only a win, but a nice quarterback controversy.
South Carolina held on for the win over Tennessee 38-35 when Jadeveon Clowney made a monstrous play inside their own 20 by forcing a fumble from Tyler Bray which was recovered with 1:06 left. The Gamecoks win, but they lost Marcus Lattimore to a horrendous injury to his right leg which, from the looks of it, will end his season.
In the first quarter in Eugene, the Oregon Ducks are already up in Colorado’s grill leading 21-0 early there. (UPDATE: This one ended up being ridiculous with Oregon winning 70-14 over the Buffaloes)
BYU and Georgia Tech are tied up at 7 early (UPDATE: BYU ended up winning this one handily in Atlanta, 41-17
Other games that I think will be interesting to watch in the 3:30 eastern time slot are the USC/Arizona game in Tempe, TCU/Oklahoma State in Stillwater and Texas Tech/Kansas State in Manhattan – all those are just getting under way – the first two are scoreless so far, but Texas Tech just took a 7-0 lead on their opening drive.
Georgia pulled an upset in their match-up with Florida 17-9 with the Gators turning the ball over 6 times including twice in the endzone when they were trying to score. It was also a sloppy game in terms of penalties with 24 penalties for 227 yards between these rivals.
Arizona is working on an upset of USC – leading 39-28 with just over 5 minutes left and the Trojans have turned it over 5 times in this one. USC scored at the 4:40 mark and got the 2 point conversion to make it a 3 point game at 39-36 and now Zona is trying to milk as much clock as possible with their running game. So far in this game: 1168 total yards of offense between the two teams. The Wildcat managed to bleed off about 3 minutes of time on the clock leaving Matt Barkley and the USC offense 55 seconds after the punt to get within field goal range with a starting field position at their own 13 and no timeouts for either team. Then the Matt Barkley that everyone was expecting to be the #1 draft pick marched the Trojans to mid-field in 4 plays and with 5 seconds left from the Arizona 48 yard line – the Hail Mary into the endzone fell incomplete after being tipped away by a Wildcat defender giving USC their second loss of the season and Rich Rodriguez gets his first signature win as the head coach of Arizona 39-36.
It looked early on like TCU would give the Pokes all they could handle in Stillwater, but in the end Oklahoma State scores 27 unanswered points in the second half to win this one 36-14.
Kansas State lead 13-10 at halftime over the Red Raiders then outscored Texas Tech in the second half 42-14 to make a final score of 55-24
If the Irish are going to win this one, it is going to be on the backs of the defense, particularly the front 7.
Oklahoma has been on a tear since its one loss of the season, scoring over 50 per game. In the past, OU’s Landry Jones has been inaccurate when his rhythm is interrupted and Notre Dame will need to find some way to make that happen. The captain of the defense and Heisman dark horse candidate, Manti Teo will need to keep the defense focused and locked in on Jones (and hopefully pull in a couple of the turnovers he dished up so readily against Michigan’s Denard Robinson). Notre Dame’s young cornerbacks will also have to maintain excellent coverage to avoid the quick releases that other quarterbacks that Notre Dame has faced have not managed to do with any consistency. Otherwise, any pressure on Jones will be all for naught.
The burden of the team falls on the defense because, quite frankly, Notre Dame’s offense cannot score 50 points. Notre Dame was dealt a major blow when it was announced that running back George Atkinson III would not be making the trip to Norman because of flu-like symptoms. While Atkinson is not ND’s first back, he is their source of speed and outside yards and can be a major threat on punt returns. Golson, while showing tremendous talent, cannot be counted on to drive the team up and down the field, so the defense Is going to have to keep the game close into the fourth quarter and hope for an upset win in the closing minutes.
Notre Dame does have several things going for it, any one of which may prove to be the difference maker in this game. One: a really good defense. The game may be in their hands, but they have done it before. Let’s not forget that besides the two touchdowns by BYU (one of which was with a short field), their defense has allowed very few points since week 2. Two: a closer in Tommy Rees. If Golson gets rattled, injured, or if it just comes down to the two-minute offense, there is no backup QB in the country I’d rather have. Finally, three: Manti Teo. The man is a beast and is without question the leader of the team. If anyone can keep the team on track it is Notre Dame’s star linebacker. Even so, the luck of the Irish will need to be in full force for this one. GO IRISH!
I haven’t blogged in awhile either on sports or on working out. I’ve been nursing a bad heel for about 5 weeks new. Plantar Faciitis is not a fun thing when you are trying to maintain a cardio regimen. But I digress.
When last I wrote something here, it was right after OU dropped their first game of the season at home to Kansas State. Since then the Sooners have been on a tear winning three games in a row averaging 52 points per games and giving up 16 points per game. The Red River Shootout (that’s right – it’s still the “Shootout” for those PC thinkers out there that stomp about and insist that a shootout has negative connotations to it). To them, I say this, “DEAL WITH IT!” But I digress.
On second thought, to call this year’s game in Dallas a “Shootout” might be inappropriate, but not for the reasons mentioned above. Normally when one thinks of the word “shootout” it would indicate there was a flurry of shooting from both sides of the battle/skirmish. In this one . . .not so much. It was more like the result of a firing squad the way Oklahoma absolutely dismantled the Longhorns. The previous week, Texas had lost a close game to West Virginia in Austin in a game that was more reminiscent of a shootout than the match-up in Dallas. The horns lost 48-45 to a Mountaineer team that, as it turns out, has developed an OLE’ defense giving up just under 40 points per game (118th in the country on that stat). Man, I’m digressing a lot this morning. Rolling into Dallas, it looked for all the world like it would be more of the same, but the Oklahoma defense stymied the horn’s offense all day long with their only offensive points coming late in the 4th quarter when the game was already out of hand. A side note here: If you’re team in winning 36-2 early in the 3rd quarter and your quarterback throws a pick 6 from his own 20 and you start yelling the the TV in anger . . .you might be a Sooner fan. The final score in Dallas was 63-21 in yet another rout by Bob Stoops over Mack Brown. There are rumblings in Austin that it might be time to show Mack the door, but that will have to wait at least until the end of the season. The other two games featured Oklahoma getting their first win in Lubbock since 2003 win a 41-20 win over the Red Raiders (which was actually played the week before Texas) and a butt whuppin’ in Norman over Kansas 52-7 who looks even worse this year than last.
SO! – Oklahoma has bounced back and been rolling since the KSU loss.
Let’s look at Notre Dame.
The Irish are undefeated right now. 7-0 – their best start since 2002 when they started 8-0 before dropping a game at home to Boston College. That team has no relationship to the current edition of the Irish. This year Notre Dame features a very strong defense; 2nd in scoring giving up only 9.4 points per game which is pretty impressive. They have a very big, very physical front seven on defense led by linebacker Manti Te’o. His instincts on defense are amazing. He always seems to be where the ball is and is a play-maker and leader on the team.
The offense for Notre Dame also has a strong presence up front with the offensive line that has a lot of experience and a solid running game (38th in the country). The offense this weekend will be led by a talented redshirt freshman quarterback Everett Golson who has a lot of mobility and can make plays out of the pocket.
There are those who will tell you that this game is obviously “advantage Irish” because of the stingy defense that has only given up 17 points once this year while OU has given up more than that three times including a loss at home to a run-heavy Kansas State that looks similar to the Irish offense. Let’s look at that a bit more closely though, shall we?
Oklahoma has faced 3 top 10 scoring offenses this season, Kansas State, Texas Tech and Texas. The best offense Notre Dame has faced is Purdue who is ranked 50th in scoring. There are those who will say that the three top high scoring teams OU faced are a product of crappy defense in the Big XII and the low scoring teams the Irish have faced are a product of the amazing defense in the Big Ten. There are those who will say the Big Ten opponents Notre Dame has faced don’t have a lot of balance and limited weapons on offense. In fact, the most balanced offense the Irish have faced this season, Purdue, passes the ball roughly 55% of the time on offense, but even so, their running game has been abysmal averaging only 3 yards per carry. The Boilermakers took Notre Dame down to the wire and the Irish came away with a win on a 27 yard field goal with 7 seconds left in the game. So if you can bring some balance to the table, you can give the Irish trouble. (side note here: Purdue is 71st in giving up points this year at 27.7 points per game and they held the Irish to 20 in that one)
Oklahoma’s offense will be, by far, the best offense the Irish have faced this season ranked 22nd in passing, 34th in rushing and 5th in scoring. The big question for the Irish defense: How economically can you stop the rushing game of Oklahoma. If you can do it with just the front 4 or maybe 5, you can drop 6 or 7 into coverage and make it a long day for Landry Jones and company. If they have to use 7 up front to stop the OU rushing attack, Jones will pick apart the young cornerbacks as there are just too many weapons in OU’s passing game. Trey Millard, OU’s fullback, will likely have a huge role in this game, even if it’s just as a decoy to get Manti Te’o out of the middle to open up things there. If Te’o doesn’t pay Millard any mind, the Sooners will exploit that all night long and the Irish will go home very sad.
For OU, this will be the best defense they’ve faced, though not “by far.” Kansas State’s defense is ranked 14th and while they beat OU, it was due in large part to two of the three turnovers in that game being unforced errors on the Sooners part that the Wildcats were able to exploit.
The experts on ESPN and elsewhere keep talking about how OU’s offense matches up against Notre Dame’s defense, but what seems to be ignored here is the Sooner defense. Have the Sooners had three games where they gave up more points than the Irish have in any game all season? Yes. But can we break that down a bit?
Kansas State game (24 total points against OU) – the Wildcats had a defensive score on a forced fumble inside the Oklahoma 5 so that’s not on the Sooner defense – Defensive points given up in that game: 17
Texas Tech game (20 total points against OU) – It was 41-13 late in the game and all 2nd and 3rd stringers in for OU against Tech’s starters who got a touchdown with 56 seconds left in the game to lessen the sting of the blowout at home – Defensive points given up by starters: 13
Texas (21 total points against OU) – The horns got 2 points early when they ran back a botch extra point try after the Sooners first score. Their next trip to the endzone was the pick 6 early in the 3rd quarter when OU was winning 36-2. They score two touchdowns late in the game (at the 4:43 mark on a long bomb pass and the last play of the game) similar to Texas Tech, against 2nd and 3rd string defenders when the game was even worse than the Tech blowout – Defensive points given up by starters: 0
Suddenly – OU’s defensive points per game given up (when it matters) drops from 15.3 per game down to 9.5 right in line with the Irish and this done against offenses that run much more wide open than do the Irish opponents up to this point.
The Irish offense is strong in the running game, but inconsistent at best in the passing game. Golson will need to use his legs a lot to buy time and will need to be more accurate than the 58% completion rate he has had so far this season. Look for Mike Stoops to stack the box and dare the Irish to pass. This is possibly the best defense the Irish will face this season since USC now looks more vulnerable than they did at the beginning of the year.
If it all comes down to defense stopping the opponent’s offense, it’s advantage Oklahoma. I think for Notre Dame to win this game, they will need at least one defensive scoring play. They Irish will need to use their run game to eat clock and shorten the game. If they can’t stop the passing game of OU, it will be a long night for them.
I’m watching this one right now and it’s in the 4th quarter with the Wildcats leading the Sooners 17-13. Regardless of the outcome, the Sooners don’t look great on offense. They keep shooting themselves in the foot. Three turnovers have lead to all 17 points for K-State. Landry Jones was stripped in the first half inside the 5 and the ball was recovered in the end zone for a TD. Then Blake Bell on a 2nd and goal from the 1, tried to run before he received the shotgun snap and fumbled away a scoring opportunity. Then, in the second half, leading 13-10, Landry Jones tried to force a pass when pressure was on him and it was intercepted leading to Wildcat QB, Collin Klein scoring a touchdown.
Even as I type this, John Hubert just ran in another one from 9 yards out to extend the lead to 24-13 with 7:27 left. Landry’s performance tonight can best described as a bit on the manic side. Some drives, he looks like the all-world, first round draft pick everyone wants him to be. At some very inopportune moments, he looks like an inept practice squad QB facing off against the ’00 Ravens defense.
A bright spot for the Sooners tonight has been true freshman, wide-receiver, Sterling Shepard. With 4:09 left in the game, he has 7 catches for 108 yards and a touchdown that he just got to bring the score to 24-19. They went for 2 and the pass was knocked down at the line. So if they do manage to get the ball back, they will need a touchdown instead of just a field goal. There will be no overtime in this game.
OU had an opportunity to get a 3 and out, but on 3rd and 11, Tom Wort proved that he still can’t cover a receiver worth a crap. They got the first down and were able to bleed more time off the clock. It’s now 3rd and 3 with 1:59 left. Both teams are out of timeouts. Klein gets the first down on the keeper and they will now be able to run out the clock without taking anything but a knee. There will be no dramatic ending in this one.
Kansas State pulls off the upset in Norman, defeating Oklahoma 24-19. And Oklahoma’s lack of experience on offense was quite apparent tonight. They will have some things to work on this week in practice as they get ready for a trip to Lubbock to try and avenge their last loss at home against Texas Tech from last season. Lubbock is not an easy place for OU to win and it doesn’t look like they are going to be able to just walk in and take the place with the way they look right now. The Wildcats will have the week off and take on the hapless Kansas Jayhawks on October 6th.
If there is one thing that I do like about the outcome of this game, OU won’t have to worry about going to the national championship and getting trounced by someone like Alabama, LSU or Oregon. So there is that . . .I guess . . .
Just watching a bit of the Baylor at UL-Monroe game. Yes – the same UL-Monroe that beat Arkansas two weeks ago and took Auburn to overtime last week. Lookout Bears – they are a tough little team.
Early on here and Baylor didn’t do much with their first possession and Monroe is moving the ball well initially – now inside the Bears 40.
Two interceptions and one touchdown so far in the first quarter and the WarHawks lead in this one 7-0. Baylor actually had a good drive going with the up-tempo offense, but a UL-Monroe defensive lineman got in on the Baylor QB, Florence, and tipped a pass causing a wounded-duck, floater to get intercepted at the 5 yard line killing the drive. While the Bears were moving, it’s quite obvious here early they aren’t nearly the team they were last year with RGIII and Kendall Wright. As for the defene . . .well . . .different year, same Bears. They aren’t very good on that side of the ball. It’s going to be a long year for Baylor in conference play. Even as I’m typing this, the WarHawks are marching right down the field AAAAND they score on a 9 yard run up the middle and the PAT coming up will make it 14-0. . .but hold on – the previous play is under review.
Looks like his knee may have been down with the ball at about the 1 foot line.
After review – the ruling the field stands!! UL-Monroe beating the Baylor Bears 14-0 late in the first quarter.
Baylor starting to move the ball again and the quarter ends. The Bears will need to get it together on this drive and answer with a score of their own, preferably a touchdown, or this one could get out of hand.
And Baylor does indeed answer with a 43 yard touchdown pass down the middle to cap a 7 play, 75 yard drive that took 2:11. And the Bears are back in it, but still down 14-7 with 14:22 left in the second quarter.
Well the response from Monroe didn’t take long as they went 75 yards on 5 plays with a 48 yard touchdown run by Monterrell Washington puts the WarHawks up by a score of 21-7 with 12:00 minutes left in the half. Um . . .excuse me? . . .Baylor Bears??? If you’re down by fourteen points, you can’t spend the rest of the game trading TD’s like this. (Apologies for the Dan Fouts style of analysis here)
The WarHawk defense is giving the Baylor receivers a lot of cushion . . .almost too much respect. You can’t let them have a 15 yard completion on every other play while trying to prevent a big TD pass.
This drive for Baylor (now at the Monroe 10) has featured more running. Florence is starting to run the spread option and is keeping it more. It’s showing dividends in the form of yards gained.
On a 4th and goal from inside the 1 yard line – Baylor decides to go for it as they can’t afford to not keep pace with the way their defense is playing. Glasco Martin punches it in on a hand off up the middle. With the PAT, they get back within 1 score 21-14 – 7:51 left in the half.
With 5:32 left in the half and Monroe moving the ball, Baylor got what they needed – a turnover. On a first down at their own 45 – Edwards was cutting through the middle on a delayed hand off when the ball came out and Baylor comes up with it, recovered by Sam Hall.
Apparently on the first play from scrimmage Baylor scored a touchdown to tie the game at 21-21 with 5:25 left. It was a 47 yard pass to Williams. We didn’t get to see it live because they were late coming back from commercial.
Monroe is moving the ball again. Using the passing game and a mismatch on the outside between their big wide-receiver and Baylor’s short cornerback (Goodson).
On 4th and 7 from the Baylor 21 – UL-Monroe calls timeout with 2:01 left in the half and contemplating whether or not they should go for it. They don’t seem to have much confidence in their kicking game, so it’s a real possibility here.
So they do decide to go for it and Kolton Browning is sacked back at the 32 where Baylor takes over with a chance to take their first lead of the night if they can put together a quick drive before the half ends. (1:55 – 2nd)
On 4th and 1 at the 27 with 15 seconds left, Baylor went for it and got the first down on the QB keeper. Then the threw a pass play that was complete for a gain of 8. Baylor uses their final timeout with 2 seconds left and Crowley hits the 34 yard field goal to close the half and give the Bears the lead 24-21.
I’m going to call it for the night here. I will follow up in the morning on the results (I’m recording it) – so there will be a full account of the game. I was up too late with last nights Giants/Panthers game on NFL Network and I’m beat.
Saturday morning – I’m watching the second half here early on my DVR. UL-Monroe will have the ball to start off the second half. For the record, I will blog this as I watch the recording. I haven’t seen a box score or any highlights since I went to bed, so I don’t know who won.
The WarHawks start off the second half with a very quick 5 play, 75 yard drive finished off with a 58 yard touchdown run by Jyruss Edwards and he made the defensive backs for Baylor look like they were linebackers once he got into the secondary. He can fly. 28-24 Warhawks (13:10 – 3rd)
Baylor’s drive stalls at the 42 when Florence is stopped short of the yard to gain on a keeper. They punted and Monroe will start with the ball at the 20 after the touchback.
The commentator just said the attendance for this game is 31,175 for this home opener at Louisiana-Monroe which is a record for Malone Stadium. Good for them.
The WarHawks come up short on their drive after 3 plays and punt for the first time in this game. Baylor takes over at their own 32.
Well that didn’t take long. The Bears put up a 4 play, 68 yard drive with a 46 yard touchdown pass to Tevin Reese who was wide open. The safety that was matched up on Reese got burned big time on that one. Reese made a fake inside on the route, the safety bit and Reese turned on the burners to get open deep. Baylor now leads 31-28 (8:13 – 3rd)
The WarHawks start their next drive with the ball at the 25. Jyruss Edwards got a little banged up on a 3rd at short when he fought to get a first down at the 35 – which succeeded. Kolton Browning on 3rd a long throws an interception to Baylor’s Dixon who returns it just inside the 30 where the Bears will take over. It was a poor pass after a bad snap leading to Browning second interception of the season.
Baylor driving inside the 20 and a drive is kept alive by an offsides penalty by the Warhawks on 3rd and 7 from the 16. (5 of those in this game on Monroe). On 3rd and 2 and the Baylor run is stopped just short of the marker. They go for it on 4th down – and punch it through for just enough to get the first down and goal at the 9. One of the offensive linemen for Baylor tried to pull Salubi along when he was stopped initially at the line on first and goal. And Monroe gets their 6th penalty of the game . . .all offsides . . .do you think there might be something that NEEDS to be said on the sideline?
There’s a highlight during an injury timeout here showing Georgetown getting a last second field goal for the 21-20 win over Princeton in the Hoya’s first appearance on national television (ESPN-U)
On 3rd and goal from the 3 – the pass into the endzone was incomplete (a chop block penalty was declined) and Baylor settles for a field goal to extend their lead to 34-28 (1:48 – 3rd)
UL-Monroe start with the ball at the 25 (touchback) after the field goal. They need to answer here as Baylor has gained the momentum here, even if just a little with that last score.
The Warhawks have moved a bit here and will still have the ball to start the 4th quarter with the score still 34-28 in favor of Baylor (End 3rd Quarter).
The initial play of the 4th quarter was a pass complete at the 49 for a first down for Monroe. On 3rd and 9 from the 50, Browning was pressured, he scrambled to his right, keeping his head up and looking downfield, he completes a long pass for the first down at the 19 after a gain of 31. On 3rd and 5 from the 14, Browning scrambling again, gets off a shovel pass for a first down at the 3 yard line. It was nearly a touchdown with the receiver fumbling the ball into the endzone and a WarHawk falling on it. The next play happened before a review could be called. It was all moot anyway as on 3rd and goal from the 1, Kolton Browning keeps the ball up the middle for the score to retake the lead 35-34 (10:54 – 4th)
On the ensuing kickoff, Baylor returns it to the 27 where they will try to answer the last score. The Monroe defense is trying to get the crowd into it, but with only 31,150 fans in an open stadium, it’s tough to get that deafening noise you get in one of the big stadiums. Baylor gets to mid-field here and the drive is stalling a bit. Incomplete pass on first down followed by a false start penalty. On 2nd and 15, they get 11 bringing up a 3rd and 4 at the Monroe 41 where Williams makes a catch and is able to fight for a first down about a half yard beyond the marker for a first down. Two plays later, a pass complete and Sampson gets a first down to the 20. (7:46 – 4th) (side note: I hate the new “lose your helmet and sit out a play” rule) One 1st and Goal from the 9, Florence ran the option to the left and when it looked like he might be hemmed in, he makes a late pitch to Norwood who scampers in for a touchdown. Baylor goes for 2 trying to get to a 7 point lead, but the try fails. Florence was stripped and linebacker scooped it and was running it back, but was caught from behind near mid-field. Baylor leads again 40-35 (7:10 – 4th)
Monroe actually returns a kickoff instead of taking a knee in the endzone and start this drive at the 25 . . .so no difference. On 2nd and 11 from the 24 after a false start penalty, Browing moves out of the pocket and finds Harper for a 41 yard completion to the Baylor 35. It was all for naught as the next play was a fumble on a missed exchange between Browning and Edwards. Baylor takes over at the 38. (5:29 – 4th – 40-35 Baylor leads)
Baylor comes up short on 3rd down by inches at the 47 and Baylor takes a timeout to think about whether to go for this one or not. When we come back from commercial, they are reviewing the play to check the spot from the last play (Baylor challenged the call on the field). After review the ruling on the field stands and Baylor is charged for a timeout and they are out of challenges. They decide to go for it on 4th and inches. None of the previous mattered anyway as they punch it through with the fullback for a first down at the 49. (3:55 – 4th) Baylor is just trying to chew up the clock at this point so Monroe doesn’t have time to answer. Martin gets a big run on 2nd down to the 23 and puts the Bears in field goal range. (2:36 – 4th). On 2nd and 9 from the 22, Florence throws deep over the middle where Terrence Williams makes a diving catch in the endzone for a touchdown to extend the lead to 47-35 with 2:25 left in the game. That is the play the ices the game for the Bears. It looks like they will escape with the win over this feisty WarHawk team.
Monroe starts with the ball at the at their own 10 after a holding call on the kickoff return. They will need some crazy fast scoring to have a chance here. First play is a 21 yard completion for a first down. Browning then runs for another first down with 1:58 left at the 41. May catches a pass on the next pass for a gain of 3 and stays inbounds, clock rolling. May catches another pass beyond the marker by about 4 yards, but then circles back short of the first down by a yard where he is promptly tackled. TIMEOUT WarHawks (1:28-4th). 3rd and 1 at the 50 after the timeout – completed pass for a first down at the Bears 41. Browning runs for a first down sliding down at the 28. Browning throws a short pass incomplete to avoid a sack – 53 seconds left. It’s full on desperation time now. Browning runs on 2nd down and comes up about 3 yards short of the line to gain. Pass complete for a first down at the 15 – out of bounds and the clock stops at 27 seconds. Browning throws the ball away on 1st down – clock at 21 seconds. It’s pretty much over at this point. Pass incomplete in the endzone on 2nd and 10 – 13 seconds left. On 3rd and 10, Leonard catches a pass at the 8 and fights his way into the endzone for a touchdown with 6 seconds left. Bears still lead 47-42 with an onside kick coming!
Baylor catches the onside kick with no trouble at all and this one ends with them holding on for the win 47-42. The Louisiana-Monroe WarHawks gave it all they had, but came up a bit short. As I said earlier, I think Baylor is in for a long conference season in the Big XII with this defense. They look like they might be worse on that side than last year. Monroe, on the other hand, could be looking at a good season for them and hopefully getting their first bowl bid at the end of the year.
DON’S GAME SUMMARY
The Giants absolutely dominated this game in all phases. The kept the Panther defense off balance with a strong rushing performance out of surprise breakout star Andre Brown who rushed for 113 yards and 2 TD’s. Eli Manning was only pressured in the pocket twice all night and was able to just dissect the secondary on his way to a 288 yard passing night. The defense for New York didn’t just contain Cam Newton, but made him rather ineffective. Newton was 16 of 30 passing for 242 yards passing and no TD’s while he was intercepted 3 times. He rushed for only 6 yards on 6 carries (1 for a short TD) which was in contrast to last week against New Orleans when he ran 13 times for 71 yards and a TD. The Giants looked every bit the defending world champions they are in this one. Right now, I would put them as the favorite to win the NFC, despite the stumble against Dallas in week 1.
The Giants will head to Philadelphia in week 4 to take on the Eagles while the Panthers will re-group and head to Atlanta take on the Falcons.
PANTHERS – (1:09) – Kickoff is a 27 yard return – FLAG – HOLDING ON CAROLINA – (1:04) – 1st and 10 from the 12 – Derek Andersen in at QB for Newton – slant complete to Smith for 8 yards – FLAG – PENALTY ON GIANTS (DON’T KNOW WHAT IT WAS) – 1st and 10 – pass complete to Smith for a first down out to the 40. Andersen in the gun – pass to Williams over the middle for a gain of 9. 2nd and 1 – Andersen – pass to Williams again for a first down to the Giants 37. END OF GAME
GIANTS (6:25 – 4th) – David Carr comes in for mop up duty – 1st and 10 and Carr throws the ball to Bennett for a gain of 4. 2nd and 6 from the 47 – hand off to Scott for a loss of 1. 3rd and 7 – Carr in the gun – and he is sacked by Edwards – FLAG – HOLDING (DECLINED). Punt – first one of those we’ve seen in a long time for the Giants – Adams – MUFFS THE CATCH – GIANTS BALL AT THE 19!! 1st and 10 – officially at the 19 – half off to Scott – gain of 4 to the 15. 2nd and 6 and Scott breaks a tackle and fights down close to a first down. 3rd and 1 and Scott goes up the middle for a first and goal at the 8. Carr tries a fade to Randle on the left, but overthrows it badly – now you know why he only gets mop up duty . . in case you were wondering. I formation on 2nd down – Scott – met at the line for no gain. TWO MINUTE WARNING. 3rd and goal from the 8 – Carr in the shotgun – trips right – Scott on the draw to the left for no gain. TIMEOUT – NEW YORK (1:13) – TYNES ON FOR A 27 YARD FIELD GOAL – GOOD
PANTHERS – (9:40) – Start with the ball at the 25 after the kick off return by Adams from 3 yards deep in the end zone. (9:34 – 4th) – Shotgun on first down – complete to Smith for big gain out of bounds at the Giants 47. Shotgun again – Newtown scrambles to the right and runs out of bounds for a gain of 3. 2nd and 7 – from the gun – pass complete over the middle to Olsen – short of the first down by 2. 3rd and 2 – again from the gun – pass to the left intended for Smith – FLAG – ILLEGAL CONTACT ON WEBSTER – 5 YARDS – AUTOMATIC FIRST DOWN. From the 29 – Newton completes it on the left to Tolbert for a gain of 5. Another pass to Tolbert on the left with blockers in front for a screen – Tolbert rumbles down inside the 10 to the 8. 1st and Goal – shotgun – Newton scrambles right under pressure and throws it away. 2nd and Goal from the 8 – shotgun – pass in the left corner of the end zone is overshot and incomplete. Giants DB – Rolle is down and being looked at out of bounds (6:40 – Injury timeout). 3rd and Goal from the 8 – shotgun – pass fired over the middle for Olsen – broken up by Hill. 4th and Goal and they have to go for it – shotgun again – pass is intercepted at the goal line and returned out to the 43 yard line by Stevie Brown. (6:25 – 4th).
GIANTS – (13:31 – 4th) – 1st and 10 from the 48 – Brown off tackle on the left for a gain of 7. 2nd and 3 at the 41 – Eli complete on a slant to Barden on the left for a first down to the 31. Shotguna and a pitch to Brown who is strung out and forced out of bounds for no gain. 2nd and 10 – Manning under center – pass complete to Barden for a gain of 6. 3rd and 4 and chewing clock up – shotgun – pass complete to Bennett who is forced out of bounds and has his helmet ripped off by a Panther defender – FLAG – FACEMASK – HALF THE DISTANCE TO THE GOAL. 1st and Goal at the 6 1/2 yard line. Empty backfield – shotgun – fade to the left corner of the end zone – pass tipped away by Josh Norman. 2nd and Goal – shotgun – trips left – pass complete to Brown on the slant at the goal line – stopped inside the 1. 3rd and goal – double tight – Brown dives over the left side for a TOUCHDOWN! (9:40 – 4th)
PANTHERS – (0:50 – 3rd) – Start with the ball at the 20 after a touchback. Cam pump fake – play-action pass complete on the right to Tolbert for a first down as he pounds it to the 32. Next first down – Williams runs to the left – strung out and dropped for a loss at the 30. FLAG DOWN – PERSONAL FOUL ON NEW YORK – 15 YARDS AND A FIRST DOWN AT THE 45. END OF THIRD QUARTER. First play of the 4th quarter is a first down from the 45 – shotgun – pas complete on a slant to Olsen for a first down to the Giants 39. Another shotgun and Williams goes in motion out left – NEWTON SACKED BY BOLEY & PIERRE-PAUL for a loss of 12. 2nd and 22 – pass down the middle and broken up by Amukamara – intended for Murphy. 3rd and 22 – shotgun – pass over the middle is intercepted by Boley and returned to the Carolina 48. (13:31 – 4th)
GIANTS – (6:25 – 3rd) – The kickoff is taken at the goal line and returned to the 19. (6:19 – 3rd) – 1st and 10 at the 19 – I formation – play action deep pass over the middle to his tight end, Bennett for a first down at the 48. 1st down again – quick slant to Cruz for a gain of 6 to the Panther 46. 2nd and 4 – and Brown gains a couple bringing up 3rd and 2. Pass complete on a crossing route to Cruz for a first down at the 37. 1st down AGAIN – Brown runs up the middle for a gain of 4. The Giants are having their way with this defense. Shotgun on second down – pass complete to Bennett over the middle for a first down at the 26. Play-action on 1st down and the pass is broken up – intended for Brown on a short crossing route. 2nd and 10 – shotgun – ELI IS SACKED BY FRANK ALEXANDER for a loss of 6. 3rd and 16 – Shotgun again – screen left to Brown – big gain, just about a yard short of the first down. 4th and 2 – 36 YARD FIELD GOAL BY TYNES IS GOOD! (0:50 – 3RD).
PANTHERS – Opening drive of the 2nd half – I was a bit late getting back to it here. Carolina is moving a bit here. Newton just completed a pass to Olsen at the New York 31. 1st and 10 – Pass complete to the left for 7 yards. 2nd and 3. Williams off the left tackle – very close to the first down – Rolle on the stop. 3rd and 1 – Newton keeps it up the middle for a first down at the Giant 20. 1st and 10 – ace set – pass left complete to Olsen crossing on the left – first down and goal at the 9. Shotgun – handoff to Williams up the middle fighting to the 1 yard line. 2nd and goal – Newton on the keeper – stopped about a foot outside the endzone. 3rd and goal inside the 1 – shotgun – double tight – Newtown goes airborne over the top and reaches in for the TD – ALA – the BCS championship game winner against Oregon a couple years ago. (6:25 – 3rd)
1ST HALF STATS
PANTHERS – (0:37) – 1ST AND 10 AT THE 7 – hand off to Tolbert for a gain of 3 up the middle – END OF THE FIRST HALF
GIANTS – (1:25 – 2nd) – Start with the ball on their own 41 – Shotgun – Manning passes deep over the middle to BARDEN…AGAIN – to the Panther 43. 1st and 10 – the Carolina defense gets their first real pressure on Manning – he has to scramble and runs out for a gain of 1. 2nd and 9 – Eli in the gun – pass is tipped by Cruz and almost intercepted by Godfrey in the secondary. 3rd and 9 – pass deep intended for Bennett who stops on his route and is almost intercepted again. Punt downed at the 7. (0:37 – 2nd)
PANTHERS –(3:13 – 2nd) The kickoff is deep and out of the endzone for a touchback so they will start at the 20 yard line. Newton on 1st down completes a pass to Smith down the right side for a first down at the 33. Play-action on 1st down and complete to Olsen who breaks a tackle and gets to the New York 49. Newton completes another one to Olsen for a gain of 9. 2 MINUTE WARNING. 2nd and 1 after the TV timeout at the New York 40 yard line – Shotgun formation – hand off to Tolbert for a rumbling gain of 1 and a first down. Newton on first down – passes right intended for a wide-open Olsen is short and incomplete. 2nd and 10 from the 39 – FALSE START – 2nd and 15 from the 44 – penalty on Steve Smith??? Really?? – ANYWAY – Pass is intended for LaFell who tips the pass that is just behind him and it’s intercepted by Hosely – Giants take over at their own 41! (1:25 – 2nd)
The Giants have scored on every possession so far. Eli already has 169 yards passing and Brown has 96 yards rushing
GIANTS – (9:12 – 2nd) Start at the 12 – on first down – I formation – quick slant to Victor Cruz who take the ball to the 20. 2nd and 2 and Brown goes up the middle for a short gain, but enough for a 1st down at the 22. I formation again and Eli audibles – pass – complete to Barden who has a hot hand – first down at the 44. Eli has all day to pick them apart. 1st down and the pass over the middle for Pascoe is broken up. 2nd and 10 at the 44 – Ace set – to and I – hadn off – Brown for a gain of 9, but there is a HOLDING ON THE GIANTS that negates the play. Now it’s 2nd and 20 from the 34 – Eli in the gun – three receivers left – pass complete deep over the middle after Manning steps up in the pocket – first down to the Panther 43 – should have been intercepted. 1st and 10 – draw to Brown up the middle – gain of 5 or so. 2nd and 5 – pass to Bennett short on the right – he turns and gets the first down at the 32. Draw play on first down and Wilson is met in the backfield for a loss of 2. 2nd and 12 at the 34 – shotgun – complete to Cruz for a short gain of 3. 3rd and 9 at the 31 – shotgun formation – pass on the left intended for Randle – incomplete. TYNES FIELD GOAL FROM 49 YARDS AWAY IS GOOD! (3:13 – 2ND)
PANTHERS – The kickoff is caught in the endzone by Adams – he gets out to the 21. (11:57 – 2nd) – 1st and 10 and Pierre-Paul knocks down the pass again. 2nd and 10 – shotgun – fakes a pass left, then turns for the screen, but the Giants had it sniffed out – Newton throws the pass in the dirt at the running-back’s feet. 3rd and 10 – Newton throws deep and complete to Brandon LaFell for a first down at the 47. 1st down and Williams runs up the middle for a gain of 7. 2nd and 3 – handoff to Williams again and is met behind the line for a loss of 1. 3rd and 4 – shotgun formation – play-action – and Newton is sacked by Osi Umenyiora. Punt is deep and a fair catch is made at the 12 – (9:12 – 2nd).
GIANTS – (1:42 – 1ST) – So far the Giants have moved the ball nearly at will while the Panthers haven’t been able to sustain a drive yet. New York starts at the 28. 1st down – I formation – Brown gains a yard off the left tackle. I formation again – Brown up the middle – cuts and weaves SOMEHOW through the defense and breaks out a good run to the 48. 1st down short pass to the fullback Hynoski for a gain of 6. END OF 1ST QUARTER – The first play of the second quarter has Eli under center – I formation – play action pass to Barden deep over the middle for a first down at the Panther 25. 1st and 10 – Brown off left tackle for a gain of 2. Shotgun on 2nd down – complete to Barden on the left – he runs down to the 9 for another first down. 1st and goal and a draw play to Brown on the left – brought down after a gain of 7 to the 2 yard line. 2nd and goal – Brown DIVES over the middle and stopped right at the goal line. 3rd and goal – about a foot out – I formation – double tight end set – BROWN OFF THE LEFT TACKLE FOR THE TOUCHDOWN! – (12:03 – 2nd)
PANTHERS – (3:40 – 1ST) – Adams returns the kickoff to the 18 again where Carolina will start this drive. One 1st down – shotgun – trips left – pass batted up in the air at the line and almost intercepted by Jason Pierre-Paul and now he’s down hurt. 2nd and 10 – shotgun – hand off to Williams to the left – HUGE hole – he runs for a first down to the 34. Newton under center on first down – pitch left to Williams who runs for a gain of 5. 2nd and 5 at the 39 – Newton keeps it on the option and is stopped for no gain. 3rd and 5 from the 39 – shotgun formation – blitz coming – Newton scrambles left away from the blitz – Mosely hits him as he throws and the ball is incomplete. Put to the 21 is returned to the 28. (1:42 – 1st).
GIANTS – (8:30 1st) Start their drive at the 20 after the touchback. Handoff on first down up the middle and Andre Brown runs for 17 yards to the 36. Quick throw outside on the right to Barden who spins to the outside of the defender coming inside and runs for a 1st down to the Caroline 43. Next play is Brown on the draw play for a short gain up the middle. Shotgun on 2nd and 7 – pass complete in the left flat to Wilson for a gain of 2 after a head-to-head collision. Shotgun on 3rd and 5 plenty of time – complete to Cruz who is tackled immediately at the 31. Screen pass to Brown on the right for a loss of 2. Eli rolls to his right on 2nd and 12 and completes a short pass – gain of 4. 3rd and 8 at the 29 – pass intended for Cruz is broken up bringing up a 4th down. Tynes on for the 47 yard FIELD GOAL – GOOD. (3:46 – 1ST).
PANTHERS – Kickoff taken by Adams at the 4 and is stopped short of the 20. Drive starts at the 18. Wildcat formation on first down – with Newton lined up at wide-out. Run up the middle for 5 yards. Newton passes on 2nd intended for Murphy and overthrew him down the left side by about 10 yards. Newton throws short on the left side for Steven Smith – defended by Webster, but PASS INTERFERENCE – 1st down Panthers. Next play – 1st down – deep pass low over the middle complete at the 50. 1st down from midfield – option left to Williams – stopped after a gain of 7 by Webster with a TD saving arm tackle. Run up the middle for no gain. 3rd and 3 and Newton tries to run the draw, bounces outside, but is stopped at the line of scrimmage – no gain. Punt on 4th and 3 – touchback – (8:30 – 1st)
GIANTS – win the toss and will receive.
1st possession – Giants start at the 20 after a touchback on the kickoff. First play is a first down pass to Victor Cruz at the 32. Barden catches the ball on a slant for a gain of 8 to the 40. 2nd and 2 and Eli audibles to a run off left tackle for a first down. They almost sacked Manning on 1st and 10, but he managed to get rid of the ball for an incomplete pass. 2nd and 10 and Brown runs off the right tackle for a HUGE gain down to the Carolina 22. Cruz threw a great block to set him free. No gain on 1st down – running play. Short pass to the fullback on the left. 3rd and 3 and a pass over the middle to the endzone to Martellus Bennett for a touchdown – GIANTS (11:38 1st)
Carolina hosting the banged up Giants. Manning’s offensive weapons are limited in this one with Ahmad Bradshaw and Hakeem Nicks out for the game injured. The Giants defense will need to play well and keep Panther QB, Cam Newton, limited. Should be a lot of fun watching this one. We’ll post updates throughout the game here and name a player of the game at the end.
Pre-game tribute to Steve Sabol from NFL films. Showing lots of the clips they’ve shot over the years. Always been a fan of Sabol.
Giants win the toss and will receive.
1st possession – Giants start at the 20 after a touchback on the kickoff. First play is a first down pass to Victor Cruz at the 32. Barden catches the ball on a slant for a gain of 8 to the 40. 2nd and 2 and Eli audibles to a run off left tackle for a first down. They almost sacked Manning on 1st and 10, but he managed to get rid of the ball for an incomplete pass. 2nd and 10 and Brown runs off the right tackle for a HUGE gain down to the Carolina 22. Cruz threw a great block to set him free. No gain on 2nd down – running play.
My take on some of the interesting matchups for the weekend along with my pick for each game.
Alabama at Arkansas +20 – When I first sat down to write out these picks, this was going to be my upset special with Arkansas playing at home and having something to prove after dropping an overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe last week, but now the reports are coming out that the Hawgs quarterback, Tyler Wilson, will likely not play in today’s matchup. That all but makes this game academic. Without Wilson in there, this offense won’t be able to generate much offense. The Tide, as they say, rolls in this one beating the 20 point spread.
Texas at Ole Miss +10 – Texas heads to Oxford for their first road game of the years and they will be facing the first semblance of worth opponent. Ole Miss starts the season at 2-0 for the first time since 2009 and only the second time since 2002. The Rebels are looking to make a statement in this one with an upset win. Unfortunately for them, they are facing Texas, who looks to be much better than they have been over the last couple of seasons, due in large part to their defense. No upset here, Horns win and beat the 10 point spread.
Notre Dame +6 at Michigan State – This is the 70th meeting between the Irish and the Spartans. Notre Dame leads the series 41-27-1, but the last 10 meetings are split 5-5. The Irish come in with a run heave offense, though they have more yards passing. The Spartans, after leaning heavily on Le’Veon Bell and running game in week 1 against Boise State, opened up the passing game last weekend against Central Michigan. But don’t put an incredible amount of stock in that. It’s CENTRAL Michigan, not Michigan. Look for them to rely more on Bell again this weekend. Sparty wins outright at home for the upset.
USC at Stanford +9 – Stanford has won the last three meetings between these teams so being a road game for the Trojans might present some problems. Unfortunately for the Cardinal, Jim Harbaugh and Andrew Luck are gone and Matt Barkley is still around. To have a chance in this one, Stanford will have to use their running game and the short passing game with their tight ends to have sustained drives that eat up a lot of clock and keep Barkley and the USC offense off the field. I don’t think they will be able to do that in this match-up. Trojans win this one easily by 14+
Arizona State +6.5 at Missouri – This is the Sun Devils’ reciprocal visit from the match-up last season in Tempe where ASU won 37-30. Missouri’s defense looked solid last week against Georgia, but they will be tested this weekend against an offense that is averaging just over 500 yards and 54 points in their first two games. I don’t see Tiger QB, James Franklin, keeping pace in this one to pull off the win much less beating the spread. Take the Sun Devils and the points.
Florida +3 at Tennessee – The Volunteers are at home and favored by 3 over the Gators, due largely to Florida’s struggles in both of their wins this season against Bowling Green and Texas A&M and the Volunteers apparent discovery of a high-flying offense that has passed for an average of 353 yards in their first two games, but keep in mind, one of those games was against Georgia State and the other against NC State who isn’t exactly an elite team in college football these days. The Gators get everything in gear this week and win outright.
BYU at Utah +4 – The Utes come into this one after losing to Utah State last weekend for the first time in 15 years in an overtime barn burner on the road. This week, they return home to face the BYU Cougars whose offense is rolling so far this season. Utah quarterback, Jordan Wynn was injured in the first half last weekend against the Aggies. This was his fourth shoulder injury since 2010 and he’s decided to hang it up for good. While the Utes have some promising backup talent in Jon Hays and Travis Wilson, this is too big an obstacle for them this early in the season. Cougars win this one going away by 10.
SUN, SEP 9
|Indianapolis at Chicago||21-41||CBS||BEARS||Soldier Field|
|Philadelphia at Cleveland||17-16||FOX||EAGLES||Cleveland Browns Stadium|
|New England at Tennessee||34-13||CBS||PATRIOTS||LP Field|
|Atlanta at Kansas City||40-24||FOX||CHIEFS||Arrowhead Stadium|
|Jacksonville at Minnesota||23-26||CBS||VIKINGS||Mall of America Field|
|Washington at New Orleans||40-32||FOX||SAINTS||Mercedes-Benz Superdome|
|Buffalo at NY Jets||48-28||CBS||BILLS||MetLife Stadium|
|St. Louis at Detroit||23-27||FOX||LIONS||Ford Field|
|Miami at Houston||10-30||CBS||TEXANS||Reliant Stadium|
|San Francisco at Green Bay||30-22||FOX||PACKERS||Lambeau Field|
|Seattle at Arizona||16-20||FOX||SEAHAWKS||U of Phoenix Stadium|
|Carolina at Tampa Bay||10-16||FOX||PANTHERS||Raymond James Stadium|
|Pittsburgh at Denver||19-31||NBC||BRONCOS||Sports Authority Field at Mile High|
MON, SEP 10
|Cincinnati at Baltimore||13-44||ESPN||RAVENS||M&T Bank Stadium|
|San Diego at Oakland||22-14||ESPN||CHARGERS||Oakland-Alameda County Coliseum|
Just some updates as some games have completed and the second wave are in progress.
Tragedy in Tulsa – First off – During their game with Tulsa earlier today Tulane safety Devon Walker collided with a teammate and broke his neck. The story on ESPN.com notes that he was revived on the field and a tracheotomy was performed. Walker is currently in the emergency and trauma center and Saint Francis Hospital in Tulsa. It’s always unfortunate when something like this happens and our thoughts and prayers go out to him and his family.
PSU comes up short again – Sophomore kicker, Sam Fickens, from Penn State missed 4 field goals today including a 42 yarder that was a potential game winner as time expired leaving the Nittany Lions with their second loss of the season, this time to the Virginia Cavaliers. This is going to be a very long and painful season for Penn State.
South Carolina Cruises – Despite the absence of quarterback Connor Shaw, who was out with a shoulder injury suffered last week in the opener against Vanderbilt, the Gamecocks cruised to a 48-10 win over East Carolina. Backup QB, Dylan Thompson passed for 330 yards and 3 TD’s with 21 completions on 37 attempts. If you are asking yourself, “Does this mean they have a quarterback controversy?” Don’t. They were playing East Carolina – not Georgia or Florida.
Buckeyes Pull Away late – Ohio State had another slow start leading the Central Florida Knights by only 7 at the half (17-10), but they came out in the second half and scored two more touchdowns which was more than they needed as UCF could only respond with one of their own. tOSU wins 31-16, but it looks like any serious thoughts of going undefeated and winning the AP title are nearly squashed with this one.
Warhawks Stun the Hawgs – Louisiana-Monroe went into Little Rock to take on the Arkansas Razorbacks and it’s more than possible that they were not taken seriously by the home team. at the 9:42 mark of the 3rd quarter, it didn’t look like the Hawgs had much to worry about when Brandon Allen completed a 13 yard touchdown pass to Mekale McKay to up their lead to 28-7 on the Warhawks. LA-Monroe QB, Kolton Browning then lead his team to a comeback and completed a 23 yard touchdown pass to Brent Leonard with under a minute left in the game to force overtime with the game tied at 28. Arky settled for a field goal at the beginning of the first overtime and 4 plays later on a 4th and 1 from the 16 yard line, Browning scrambled out of the pocket to his right looking for an open receiver and instead found enough open ground to scamper into the endzone for the touchdown and the biggest upset of the season so far. Warhawks win 34-31.
Noles Win Big in Only 3 quarters – After two rain delays, officials called the game with 8:59 left in the 3rd quarter. The game was academic at that point anyway with Florida State leading 55-0 on 413 yards of total offense. Savannah State was only able to muster 29 yards of total offense. The Tigers never crossed their own 39 yard line on offense.
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