Saturday, October 28, 2006

College Football Week 9

I never got around to reviewing week 8, between the World series and the Bucs game I attended Sunday, so let me wrap that up first before I move on to this week's action.


MY PICK: Nebraska 28, Texas 27
SCORE: Texas 22-20
The Longhorns were on the ropes, trailing 20-19 with 4:54 to play after a Nebraska halfback option touchdown from Marlon Lucky to Nate Swift. All the 'Huskers had to do was run some clock and then punt it away and force Texas to go the length of the field to win it. But receiver Terrence Nunn fumbled the ball after he gained enough yardage for a first down on 3rd & 3 at their own 36, Texas recovered, and walk-on kicker Ryan bailey booted a 22-yarder for the stunning win. Texas QB Colt McCoy was 25-39, 220 yards, 2TDs, no TOs in his first big road test as Longhorn starter; the 'Horns have now won 16 straight on the road

MY PICK: Tennessee 38, Bama 17
SCORE: Tenn 16-13
The Vols waited until the last minute to pull this one out, and for a while it looked like it would be a second consecutive upset for the Crimson Tide. But when running back Adrian Foster dove into the end zone with 3:28 to go Tennessee could breathe a sigh of relief that the Third Saturday in October had passed without another embarrassing defeat. Vol QB Erik Ainge threw for 302 yards, but he had no TDs & 3 picks, but it was his block of Simeon Castille after his second pick of the QB that sent Castille out of bound and forced 'Bama to settle for a FG that kept the game close. Lesson learned: don't go heavy against 'Bama in this rivalry game.

MY PICK: Clemson 41, GTech 35
SCORE: Clemson 31-7
The purple-clad Tigers laid an old fashioned woodshed beating on the Yellow Jackets, and the offensive numbers Clemson piled up were staggering: 426 total yards, 321 on the ground with James Davis (216) and freshman C.J. Spiller (116 ) doing all the damage.Davis, the sophomore stud ACC rushing & TD leader, had 2 scores, and Spiller, the highly-sought after recruit form the Sunshine State, dazzled the national audience with a 50-yard catch -and-run TD in the 4th quarter when he froze 2 Tech defenders out of their jocks. Davis & Spiller bot ripped off 50 yard runs as well. But the most amazing stat from this game: the underrated Tiger defense (11PPG) held All- Everything junior Jacket receiver Calvin Johnson without a catch for the first time in his career.

MY PICK: Noles 24, BC 21
SCORE: BC 24-19
Well it's all over but the clamoring for Bobby's dismissal in Tally now that the Noles have lost 3 games and 2 home conference games for the first time en route to another disappointing season for the once proud champions. The Jeff Bowden-led offense was ineffective again, amassing just 260 total yards and a paltry 60 on the ground. The Noles had their chances, especially when they were up 10-7 late in the 1st half and were ready to get te ball back on a punt. But a roughing the kicker call gave BC the ball back, and 5 plays later the Eagles scored the go-ahead
TD, 14-10. Still with a chance to keep it close, BC got a huge pick of Drew Weatherford32-48, 326yds, 1TD, 2INT) and returned it 36 yards for a 21-10 lead going into the half that deflated the team and its fans yet again. Booby must go chants, letters & websites are now popping up all over the place. Please, let the legend retire in his own way and get off his back. Besides, it's his
idiot offensive coordinator son who is the problem. Or maybe it was the god-awful(in 90 degree heat) all-black unis!

MY PICK: Rutgers 21, Pitt 17
SCORE:Rutgers 20-10 Greg Schiano's Scarlet Knights
are officially the real deal now after winning a game they would have had no shot at winning just a year ago. But behind the strength of sensational RB Ray Rice (39 carries, 229 yds, 1TD) and the underrated Rutgers defense (5th time in 7 games have allowed 10pts or less) this Scarlet-clad squad has the folks in Piscataway (and the loyal RU fan base nation wide) thinking positive things, like awards and BCS bowls, for the first time in decades. The most impressive thing about this win is that Pitt, the leading offensive team in the Big East behind stud QB Tyler Palko (16-26, 169, 1TD) was held to just 236 total yards, 67 on the ground. Meanwhile the turf-churning Rutgers running attack totalled 268 on the ground, thanks in no small part to Mr. Rice. After a home breather vs, UConn Rutgers will play at Louisville in what could be a conference-deciding showdown on Nov. 9th. Repeat after me- Rutgers is for real, Rutgers is for real, Rutgers is for real...

Michigan State pulls off miraculous, record setting comeback Just when we had all buried the Spartans for being a bunch of underachieving quitters they came back and proved to the world that there is still some fight left in old Sparty. MSU overcame a 38-3 3rd quarter deficit en route to an improbable 41-38 OT victory over the stunned Northwestern Wildcats, who now own the dubious distinction of being the answer to an ignoble trivia question: who allowed the biggest comeback in NCAA history? The Spartans looked dead in the water through 3 quarters as the Wildcats ran roughshod over John L. Smith's disappointing squad. But maybe something snapped when the Spartans were on the verge of complete & total humiliation- blown out by Northwestern- that made them rise up and conquer. Because all of a sudden (and I just watched this one on Classic) there appeared to be a tsunami (pardon the analogy, but that is what it resembled) of offense that took over Michigan State. It was like Groundhogs Day for N'Western: 3 & out, Spartan score; 3 & out, Spartan score; 3 & out, Spartan score. Over & over again that happened again starting at 7:)0 to go in the third quarter and culminating in a Brett Swanson 28 yard FG in OT to win it. Unbelievable game. Watch for it on ESPN Classic; it will be on all the time.

WEEK 9 Games to Watch:

1.) W-rld's La-rgest Outdoo- Coc-tail P-rty
9 Florida vs Georgia @ Jacksonville 3:30 CBS
The powers that be (aka: school presidents, television & advertisers) have declared that their employees may not refer to this classic matchup by its rightful name, due to political correctness. Bullshit, everyone else says. The annual border war between the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida Gators is what it is- a ginourmous outdoor tailgate centered around one of the most heated rivalries in the game.
These two teams, much like FSU/UF, do not like each other, and their fans feel pretty much the same why. My wife & I should know-our good friends, JT & Janet, are a mixed marriage and this day is most tense in the household. Lately it has consisted of a lot of pouting on JT's part & gloating on Gator's part, and if JT's prediction that the Gators, who have won 14 of 16 in the series, are going to "hang half a hundred" on his Dawgs, well then it could make for a nasty hangover for Dawg fans. And also for celebratory Gator fans; hence the nickname of the damn game!
MY PICK: Gators 27-17

8 Tennessee @ South Carolina 7:45
The Old Whining Ballcoach sports an 8-3 record over Tubby Fulmer and his orange-clad boys, dating back to his Florida days when he got off the classic blast "you can't spell Citrus (Bowl) without UT." Now the Vols are the clear favorites, boasting a potent offense (scored over 30 pts 5 times) led by QB Erik Ainge (1959 yards, 14 TDs) and a decent defense. The Gamecocks (5-2) have been disappointments in Spurrier's second season in Columbia, which has been marred by arrests, suspensions, and injuries. In other words, he needs this game BAD. I look for a close game, much like the Vols had with rival Alabama last week, but the superior Tennesse firepower should prevail.
MY PICK: Vols 24-13

3 USC @ Oregon State 3:30 EST
With all the talk surrounding "who should be Number 2? USC has got a lot to prove in this one. The Trojans were passed in the BCS standings by the Wolverines this week for 2nd place thanks to lackluster wins over Washington St, Washington and Arizona State by a combined 19 points. So until they face the red-hot Cal Bears in LA on Nov 18th, USC is going to have to do some serious ass-whipping if they want to hang with the big boys in the BCS race. Although the Beavers are an unimposing 4-3, Corvallis is a tough place to play. But with receiver Dwayne Jarrett back at full strength, he and QB John David Booty better start putting up some impressive numbers for the voters to see.
MY PICK: USC 35- 21

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