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).
Location: Boone Pickens Stadium – Stillwater, OK | Start Time: 12:00 PM Eastern | Line: Oklahoma State -19.5 O/U: 61.5
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.
QTR/Time: 1st/11:29 Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker: CMU – 13 Total Yards: 8 Result: Punt
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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
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
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
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.
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!
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!
QTR/Time: 4th/6:33 Possession: CMU Beginning Yard Marker: CMU-20 Total Yards: 0 Result: FUMBLE
1ST & 10 – Spalding runs left and loses the ball. Recovered by Oklahoma State and returned to the 11
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!
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!
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)
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!
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.
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 email@example.com
1. Oregon is not for real. While they have a very fast-paced offense that can put up a load of points on you in a hurry, they are a finesse team that has trouble taking a punch in the mouth as demonstrated last night by Stanford. The Trees rolled out and shut down the Ducks offense holding them scoreless until the 10 minute mark of the 4th quarter. By that time they had built a 26-0 lead on the strength of a smash-mouth running game that amassed 274 yards rushing against Oregon’s defense that seemed completely unable to stop the juggernaut. Stanford has to be the favorite to win the PAC 12 right now.
2. Baylor is for real. The Bears got punched in the mouth by Oklahoma’s defense out of the gate in Waco, but held their ground against the Sooner running game. Oklahoma lead 5-3 at the 8:16 mark of the 2nd quarter. It’s worth mentioning that Oklahoma was inside the 5 yard line on two different drives in the first half and came away with only 3 points. At that 8:16 mark, the walls collapsed for OU. Baylor scored on their next three possessions and lead 24-5 at the half. It didn’t get any better in the second half where Oklahoma’s offense, led by Blake Bell was only able to muster a single touchdown and the subsequent defeat to the Bears 41-14. The Bears’ schedule doesn’t get any easier down the stretch with matchups against Texas Tech, Oklahoma State, TCU & Texas. They should at this point be considered the favorite to win the Big XII championship. As for a shot at the national title, they’ll need help from teams playing against Alabama, Florida State and Ohio State. Unless two of those three teams lose at least one game, the Bears could likely be left out of the BCS Championship.
3. There is liable to be a shake-up in Norman. Thought Bob Stoops said after the game that the loss last night wasn’t Blake Bell’s fault, I would expect a shift over the next couple of games to work Trevor Knight back in as the starting quarterback. Based on the last couple of games, it has become clear that Bell has issues with the vertical passing game. He seems to have trouble with accuracy on downfield throws and is much more comfortable with timing routes no more than 10-15 yards where the receiver is on a button-hook (stops and turns around) route. Another possible shake-up coming, but not before the end of the season, could be co-Offensive Coordinator Josh Heupel and his future with the team. His play calling has become predictable and his ability to adjust when the game plan isn’t working is a question mark right now.
4. Marcus Mariota lost some ground in the Heisman Race last night. Though he passed for 250 yards and 2 touchdowns in the Ducks’ loss to Stanford last night, his scoring came after the game was decided. Per ESPN’s stat tracker had his lowest adjusted QB rating performance of the season at 76.7. In today’s slam-bang Heisman world, the top prospects have to take the bull by the horns against the toughest opponents on their schedule. He was unable to do this last night on the national stage and voters tend to take major stock in that.
#10 Oklahoma at #6 Baylor – 7:30 PM
#3 Oregaon at #5 Stanford – 9:00 PM
Oklahoma is in Waco to take on the Baylor Bears and hoping to slow down the #1 scoring team in the country. The Bears are averaging 63.9 pionts per game, but they haven’t played a lot of tough competition up to this point. The only teams they’ve played with less than 4 losses so far are Buffalo (7-2) and FBS school Wofford (5-3). The rest of the teams on their schedule are a combined 16-26. Tonight is a proving ground for Baylor. Win this one and they could be on their way to a conference championship.
Oregon heads to Palo Alto with the #2 scoring offense in the country (55.6 pts per game) and will be looking to avenge the 17-14 loss from last season to Stanford the de-railed their potential national championship run. Can the Cardinal pull it off again and ruin the Ducks title shot?
(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
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.
The Bears offense never really got on track and came up more than a bit short in this one. Jay Cutler went 11 of 27 for 126 yards, 1 touchdown and 4 interceptions. Chicago was fortunate that it wasn’t worse, but their defense did a manageable job against the Packers offense. Aaron Rodgers wasn’t exactly stellar at 22 of 32 for 219 yards, 1 TD and 1 INT. The Packer defense never let the Bears sustain a drive sacking Cutler 7 times. Matt Forte left the game on Chicago’s first drive of the second half with an injury to his right ankle. Michael Bush did a passable job of taking on the full time duties, but his 54 yards wasn’t enough to balance out the passing game enough to keep the Packer pass rush out of Cutler’s face.
The fake field goal was the crazy fun play of the night. If it doesn’t work, the Bears take the momentum, but that wasn’t the case and from that point on, there was never a feeling that Chicago would be able to overcome the Lambeau Leapers.
AverageJoeSports PLAYER OF THE GAME – GREEN BAY LINEBACKER – CLAY MATTHEWS with 7 tackle and 3 1/2 sacks.
The Packers will head to Seattle in week 3 to take on the Seahawks while the Bears will go home to lick their wounds and get ready for St. Louis.
PACKERS – 1st and 10 at the 30. Benson up the middle for a gain of 6. I formation – Benson to the right for a gain of 5 to the 19 and a first down – TWO MINUTE WARNING. With no timeouts left for Chicago, this one is academic at this point. Victory formation for the Packers – Rodgers takes a knee 3 times and puts the Bears out of their misery for the evening.
BEARS – Start at the 18 – no timeouts left. 18 – Cutler sacked on 1st down for a loss of 4. (Injury Timeout – BJ Raji). 2nd and 14 – CUTLER SACKED AGAIN – at the 4 yard line!. 3rd and 24 – Bush up the middle for a decent gain, but flags are down – 12 MEN ON THE FIELD – GREEN BAY – 5 YARDS – REPLAY 3RD DOWN. 3rd and 19 from the 9 yard line. Pass complete to Marshall for a 14 yard gain to the 23. 4th and 5 and they are going for it. Shotgun – PASS IS INTERCEPTED BY MCMILLAN (LOOKS LIKE IT BOBBLED AND WAS NOT IN FACT A CATCH). (3:00 – 4th)
PACKERS – Start with the ball at the 20 after Gould kicks it through the endzone. I formation – Benson loses a yard on a run to the left. 2nd and 11 – I formation again – play action – pass is incomplete on the right intended for Nelson. 3rd and 11 – shotgun formation. pass over the middle to Nelson on a crossing pattern for 26 yards to the 45. I formation on first down – Benson up the middle for no gain. 2nd and 10 – I formation – Alex Green in the game – takes the ball and is brought down by Briggs for no gain. TIMEOUT CHICAGO (4:27 – 4th) 3rd and 10 from the 44. Rogers scrambles and is brought down for a loss of 1. 4th and 11. TIMEOUT CHICAGO (4:19). PUNT – Hester catches it at the 17 and is forced out at the 18. (4:09 – 4th)
BEARS – After the turnover – Cutler SACKED on 1st down – loss of 7. 2nd and 17 – pass complete to Marshall for a gain of 10. 3rd and 7 – shotgun – pass lobbed into the endzone for Marshall – incomplete – 4th down – BEARS GOING FOR IT – shotgun – PASS COMPLETE TO KELLEN DAVIS OVER THE MIDDLE IN THE ENDZONE FOR THE TOUCHDOWN! (6:49 4th)
PACKERS – Start at the 30 – Under center – Play action – PICKED OFF BY TIM JENNINGS – RETURNED TO THE GREEN BAY – 24
BEARS – Start with the ball at the 20 after a touchback on the kickoff. UNNECESSARY ROUGHNESS ON GREEN BAY – Ball to the 35. Cutler – runs for a first down at the 46. Handoff to Bush for a couple of yards up the middle. 2nd and 8 – Cutler in the gun – pass complete to Bennett for a first down at the Green Bay 40. Shotgun again – pass incomplete deep over the middle. 2nd and 10 – Cutler shotgun formation – scrambles – throws – ALMOST intercepted AGAIN!. HOLDING ON CHICAGO – 2nd and 20 – shotgun – sacked for a loss of . 3rd and 21 – pass deep – dropped as Davis slips on the turf. Punt – fair catch at the 15. PENALTY – FACEMASK ON CHICAGO – 15 YARDS FROM END OF THE KICK (8:14 – 4th)
PACKERS – FIRST PLAY AFTER THE INTERCEPTION – 26 YARD TOUCHDOWN PASS TO DONALD DRIVER!!!
BEARS – After the kickoff – start with the ball at the 26 on the return from Hester. Cutler starts under center – play action – pass intercepted deep downfield by DJ Williams – returns the ball to the Chicago 26
PACKERS – Start at the 43 – Benson up the middle on 1st down for a gain of 6. I formation on 2nd – pass to Williams complete for a 1st down at the 45. Under center – Ace formation – play action – complete to Finley on a diving catch for a gain of 5. 2nd down at the Chicago 40 – pass to Jones on the right right at the marker – just short of the marker. On 3rd and short – handoff to Coon and the Bears meet him in the backfield for a loss of 1. Crosby for a Field Goal of 54 – GOOD! (11:38 4TH)
BEARS – Handoff up the middle for a gain of 4. Cutler under center – pass tipped at the line – incomplete. 3rd and 6 from the 24 – shotgun – pass incomplete – dropped by Hester. Punt is fielded by Cobb at the 27 – returned up to the 43. (END 3RD)
PACKERS – After the turnover – 1st and 10 – Rodgers starts in the gun – complete over the middle to Nelson for a first down at the Chicago 38. From the gun – handoff up the middle to Benson – looked initially to be stopped for a loss, but after second effort breaks an 11 yard run. On 1st down – Benson up the middle for gain of 4. 2nd and 6 – play action pass into the endzone for James Jones . . .OFF HIS FINGERTIPS – 3rd down coming up. Shotgun – complete to Finley – FUMBLE – BEARS RECOVER AT THE 20 (0:53 – 3RD)
BEARS – On first down from the 24 – Cutler starts under center – hands off to Bush on the right side for a gain of 5. 2nd down – Bush up the middle for a gain of 4. 3rd and short – under center – I formation – Bush up the middle – pushes the pile for a first down to the 32. 1st down – Bush runs again – this time to the right for a gain of 7. 2nd and 3 – I formation – Allen takes the handoff and is promptly dropped for a loss of 3. 3rd and 6 – false start and the Bears shoot themselves in the foot again. 3rd and 11 – Cutler in the gun – he scrambles – WOODSON INTERCEPTS THE PASS – PACKERS BALL AT THE CHICAGO 46. (3:05 – 3rd) – REPLAY REVIEW SHOWS WOODSON DOWN BY CONTACT AT THE GREEN BAY 47.
PACKERS – Start with the ball at the 20 after Cobb takes a knee in the endzone for a touchback. 1st down – under center – pass to the right to Benson who turns what should have been a loss into a 5 yard game (Forte heading for the locker room). Under center on 2nd down – Benson up the middle for a gain of 4. Ball came loose, but he’s ruled down. 3rd and 1 – under center again – I formation – handoff to the right and Brian Urlacher makes the stop short of the line to gain. Punt – Hester has room run, but is cut down almost immediately at the 24. (6:49 – 3rd).
BEARS – Start the 2nd half with ball. Touchback on the kickoff – Cutler hands off to Forte on 1st down for a short gain (3) on the left side. 2nd down – under center – hand to Forte again, this time to the right and he gets a couple more yards. 3rd and a long 5, shotgun – pass complete to Forte over the middle who runs up to the 40 for a first down. Forte runs up the middle on first down for mabye a yard. 2nd and 9 from the 41 – Cutler in the gun – deep over the middle – ALMOST intercepted by McMillan (safety) – incomplete. 3rd and 9 from the 41 – shotgun again – TIMEOUT BEARS (12:20). After the timeout – pass to the left complete to Forte for a first down at the Green Bay 45. Under center on first – Cutler throws it away on the right. Pressure is screwing up a lot of timing. 2nd and 10 – Cutler in the gun – draw play to Michael Bush up the middle for a gain of 9. 3rd and 1 – under center – play action – pass back to the right to tight end Spaeth for a 1st. followed by a hand off to Bush up the middle for a gain of 8 (Forte is being looked at by trainers on sideline). 2nd and 1 and Jerrell Worthy stops Bush behind the line for a loss of 2. 3rd and 4 from the Packer 27. Pass deep in the endzone for Brandon Marshall who is open – he can’t hold on to it. Robbie Gould kicks a FIELD GOAL OF 45 YARDS (8:49 – 3rd) .
1st HALF STATS SUMMARY
BEARS – TOTAL YARDS – 47 (7 PASSING, 40 RUSHING) – Cutler – 4/9 – 37 yards – 1 INT (sacked 3 times) , Forte – 4 rushes, 25 yards
PACKERS – TOTAL YARDS – 201 (125 PASSING, 76 RUSHING) – Rodgers – 14/21 – 128 yards (sacked 4 times), Benson – 11 rushes, 45 yards
PACKERS – Start at the 48 after the turnover. Rodgers from the shotgun – complete to Nelson at the 40 – TIMEOUT PACKERS (0:58). 2nd and 2 – complete to Finley on the right – gain of maybe 1. 3rd and long 1 – handoff up the middle to Coon for a short gain – he gets just enough for the first down at the Bears 38. TIMEOUT PACKERS (0:31). Timeout taking a bit long. Looks like they are checking the spot on the last play. Play stands. 1st and 10 at the 38 – Shotgun – pass incomplete over the middle, but a flag flies – ILLEGAL CONTACT ON DJ WRIGHT (BEARS) – 5 YARD PENALTY – 1st and 10 at the 33. Shotgun – pass over the middle is ALMOST intercepted by Lance Briggs – couldn’t hold on to the ball that hits him right in the numbers. 2nd and 10 – shotgun – screen left to Coon down to the 17 TIMEOUT PACKERS (0:01). Crosby back on again for a 35 YARD FIELD GOAL ATTEMPT – RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE AND GOOD! HALFTIME
BEARS – Touchback on the kickoff – False start on first down. Shotgun – Cutler throws to his left incomplete intended for Earl Bennett – he just couldn’t drag the foot. 2nd and 15 – shotgun again – complete over the middle to Forte who runs it out to the 36 or a 1st down. Clock rolling – shotgun – pass down the right side deep and is knocked down by Morgan Burnett (almost and INT). 1:13 left – shotgun – over the middle and intercepted by Williams at the 48. TIMEOUT FOR A REVIEW OF THE PLAY (1:07 – 2ND) PLAY STANDS.
PACKERS – Start their drive at the 20. Rodgers hands to Benson outside to the right – strung out and brought down for a gain of 1. Under center on 2nd and 9 – play action – dumps it to Coon again – only 2 yards. 3rd and 7 – Rodgers goes back in the gun, – complete to Cobb on the right hash for a first down at the 43. Under center on first – Nelson catches the quick throw out to the left for a gain of 6. 2nd down – under center – swing pass for Benson for a first down to the Chicago 46. Alex Green takes the handoff on first down up the middle for 2 yards. 2nd down – Rodgers hands off to Benson again for a gain of 5. 3rd and 3 – shotgun – pitch to Cobb to the right and his slashes the Bears defense getting from the 39 down to the 11. 1st and 10 and Peppers gets Rodgers from behind for a loss of 7. 2nd and 17 – TIMEOUT GREEN BAY (2:09). After the timeout – Packers on 2nd down from the 18 yard line – shotgun – Rodgers is sacked again, by Henry Melton, back at the 27- 2 MINUTE WARNING. 3rd down at 26 at the Chicago 27 – pass intended for Cobb is incomplete. Crosby in for the 45 yard … FIELD GOAL FAKE!!! SHOVEL PASS ON THE RIGHT SIDE FOR A TOUCHDOWN TOM CRABTREE!!! FIELD GOAL FAKE!! FIELD GOAL FAKE!!! (1:50 – 2ND)
BEARS – The kickoff is returned from the endzone by Hester out to the 37 yard line. 1st down – Cutler under cetner – Michael Bush gets his first carry of the game up the middle for a gain of 7. Under center again on 2nd and 3 – Bush up the middle again, this time for a gain of 2 to the 46. 3rd and 1 – I formation – Bush up the middle again to the 49 for a 1st. Cutler hands it off again to Bush (steady diet working here) for a gain of 4 into Green Bay territory. 2nd and 6 – Cutler completes on the right side to Earl Bennett on the left for a first down at the 38. Under center on first – Bush over the left side – not much of a gain. FLAGS EVERYWHERE – PERSONAL FOUL ON CARIMI (Bears O-lineman) – 15 YARDS BACK. 2nd and 25 and TIMEOUT BEARS (9:34). So after the timeout, the Bears on 2nd and loooong and Cutler is sacked by Matthews – he held onto the ball too long – gotta get rid of that. Brings up a 3rd and 32 (how many plays do you have for that) Cutler completes to Alshon Jeffrey for a gain of 7. The punt bounces at the one and just barely plops into the endzone for a touchback. (7:54 – 2nd)
PACKERS – Starting the drive at the 21. Rodgers under center – ace set – audible – Benson is stopped for no gain. 2nd down – Rodgers under center again, pass complete to Benson out across the 38 for a first down. Next first down – Under center – another completion over the middle to Benson for a gain of 8. 2nd and 2 at the 43 – draw play to Benson for a gain of 5 and a first down. Yet another first down and Rodgers is under – Benson off the left tackle – cuts back inside for a gain of 7 to the Chicago 42. END OF FIRST QUARTER. 2nd and 3 and a long pass over the middle for Jennings is dropped. Rodgers passed for Jones and it’s incomplete. Green Bay challenges the number of players on the field. After the review, the Packers win the challenge and get a first down. So on 1st and 10 from the Chicago 37 (Bears got hosed – dude was off the field). Pass to the left and Jones is dropped by Tim Jennings for a loss of 5. 2nd and 15 and Rodgers completes a pass for Nelson on the left to the Chicago 34. 3rd and 7 and he flips a dump pass to his fullback for a gain of 5. Mason Crosby comes out for a field goal attempt of 48 – IT RIGHT DOWN THE MIDDLE AND GOOD. – GREEN BAY LEADS. (12:56 – 2ND)
BEARS – Start at the 20 after the touchback. Shotgun on first down and tight end Kellen Davis draws the pass interference call on Green Bay’s DJ Smith for a first down at the 44. Another shotgun and Cutgler is sacked at the Chicago 34 by Clay Matthews. Another shotgun – screen pass is blown up by AJ Hawk for a loss of 2. Bears offense looks sluggish right now. 3rd and 22 from the 32 and another shotgun – run off the left tackle by Forte for a gain of 7. The punt is fair caught by Cobb at the Packer 21 (2:35 – 1st)
PACKERS – They start at their own 34. Rodgers under center on 1st down hands off to Benson up the middle for a gain of 8. Looks like Rodgers is having a little issue with his thumb from the sack. Benson runs to the left end for a 1st down at the 42. Rodgers back under center – bootleg to the right and he has to throw it away. 2nd and 10 – under center – play action and a zippy pass down the right sideline RIGHT OFF NELSON’S FINGERTIPS!!! Whoa! 3rd and 10 and a shotgun formation. Rodgers is sacked again, this time by Julius Peppers . . .he’s large. The punt is a high one that bounces at the 2 and into the endzone for a touchback (4:37 – 1st)
BEARS – They start the drive with just under 8 minutes at their own 17. Cutler’s pass to the left is tipped at the line and falls incomplete. 2nd down and Forte runs for 6 yards off the right tackle to the 22. Trying to get the running game going to give Cutler a little time. 3rd and 4 and we have a delay of game making it 3rd and 9. So on 3rd and 9 and a shotgun for Cutler – pass over the middle and he missed Forte who wanted a defensive holding call – he did not get it. The punt is back to the Packer 34 where Cobb makes the fair catch. (6:31 – 1st)
PACKERS – Rodgers completes it to Finley out to the 45 on 1st down. Benson runs for no gain on the right side on 1st down. On 2nd down, Rodgers completes to Nelson at the Chicago 34 on the play action pass. The next first down – shotgun – Randall Cobb runs for 8 yards, but it’s negated by a holding call. Instead of 2nd and 2, they have 1st and 20 from the Chicago 44. This will limit your play calling a bit. About 4 on a running play. 2nd and 16 was a pass play and Rodgers is sacked back at the 50. 3rd and 26 and you’re really limited now. Rodgers lost the handle on the ball while he was going to throw it (greased?) and falls on it at he line of scrimmage. The punt is shanked and the Bears will take over just inside the 20. (7:57 – 1st)
BEARS – Cutler gepts sacked on the first play just inside the 5. Forte got about 4 yards on 2nd down trying to get some of the lost yardage back. On 3rd and 19, Cutler in the gun – draw play to Forte and gets almost back to the original line of scrimmage. The punt takes a good roll for the Bears and is fallen on by the Packers at their own 29. (11:26 – 1ST)
PACKERS go on offense first! They start at the 17. Benson opens with a short run up the middle and a little better gain on 2nd down. On 3rd and 2 from the 25, Rodgers from the shotgun tries to hit Nelson on the right side, but it was broken up. Looooong punt (56 yards) – Hester calls a fair catch at their own 18.
Kickoff time: 8:30 PM Eastern
While we’re waiting for the opening kickoff – an update on the Rutgers at South Florida game: Nearing the end of the 1st quarter and USF has a 3-0 lead and just recovered a muffed punt by Rutgers.
Can the Packers recover from their home loss to the Niners?
Can the Bears get Cutler’s first win at Lambeau?
We’re watching the game on NFL Network and commenting on it here!
Answer me these questions:
What is the point of having drug testing in a sport if you can still be banned for using even when you never test positive for performance enhancers?
If you are using testimony of banned athletes as “evidence” of another athlete’s guilt with the promise that the “witnesses” bannings will be shortened, doesn’t that kind of take the air out of your evidence?
Sorry I haven’t updated in awhile. I had the triathlon on August 5th. It didn’t go exactly as planned. I had to pull out after the bike with leg cramping. It was a very windy, rainy day and the swim ended up taking a lot longer than I expected. I also developed a cold a couple of days after and am just now getting to where I can sleep through the night without waking up coughing and congested. I’ll post a full article on the race this week.