News and notes from a great Saturday on the couch:
- First and foremost, Texas Tech proved me dead wrong. Taylor Potts looked better than any of his predecessors and Tech showed a killer instinct I haven’t seen since the 2008 Gator Bowl. Mike Leach still has some work to do, shoring up his players’ effort on a weekly basis, but going into that hostile of an environment, and going toe to toe with what I feel is the #1 team in the country…requires some major props from me.
- Kansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Okie State all crushed teams they should have. Ho hum.
- I told you long ago that Baylor was improved, but not NEARLY ready to take that next step. UConn is no pushover, and they’re certainly battle tested enough to go into a calm meadow like Waco and beat a one dimensional Baylor team. Robert Griffin threw for 119yds and ran for only 20, as UConn’s plan of attack on defense worked perfectly. The Bears will get a few surprise wins along the way, but they are certainly not at a point where you can put them at 8 wins or so like some idiot prognosticators had them. They simply had to come from too deep of a hole to be this good this fast.
- Saw most of the KSU team, and they seem pretty much like I thought. They’ve got some pretty good athletes on defense and that Thomas kid impressed me somewhat at running back. But if old man Snyder is going to run Carson Coffman 20 times a game, they’re going to have issues. They may not be as bad as previous years, and Snyder seems to be doing what he can with what he’s been dealt; But until they get some better skill guys, they’re going to continue to struggle putting teams away. Either way, props to them for playing UCLA on the road. With the new old sheriff in town, look for that to be the last big-time road game for the Cats in quite some time.
- All afternoon, I was thinking Texas A&M might prove me wrong, and they did a decent job of that. (Who has the #1 ranked offense in America right now? Look it up). Apparently the yokels who attacked me this summer about Jerrod Johnson knew what they were talking about. 21-41 for 322 and 4TD’s is pretty impressive, if even against Utah State. Seems like the Ags are going to have to shore up the defense a bit before they can get back to where they need to be. 520 yards given up to Utah State at home is pretty much unacceptable no matter who you are.
- Happy for my Colorado friends, as Dan Hawkins holds off the wolves for at least a week. Wyoming is no juggernaut, but shutting out anybody these days is pretty impressive. Lots of work to do with a tough West Virginia team on the road in 2 weeks (Who looked pretty good against Auburn on the road). Better make that one count though, because Texas in Austin looms the following week.
- DESPITE the scoffs by some Kool Aid addicts, big props to Iowa State for their first road win in 80 years. MAC teams have been knocking people off left and right (Did you catch Northern Illinois yesterday?), and ISU ran all night on them. (Alexander Robinson 143 yards helped.) The Clones still have a ways to go, but a road win over anybody is a good place to start.
- Which leads us to my favorite game of the day. First of all, I have always said I will give props where props are due. Roy Helu is a very nice back. He’s shifty, he runs hard and he has the ability to make people miss. He is definitely one of the better weapons in the North. Pierre Allen and Nadlahdafkiog Suh are gigantic, and can move enough to fall on top of runners and clog lanes. (If throwing your arms up was a skill, Suh would be getting all sorts of hype. Oh wait….)
But despite that..let’s look at some other things shall we?
All year long, we’ve heard about how great Va Tech was…what a great measuring stick it would be. ESPN’s infatuation with Tyrod Taylor caused many of you to fall into the trap of thinking these were the Michael Vick days of old. Uhhh…no. The Hokies might be the worst offensive football team I’ve ever seen in my life. Without Darren Evans, that team is not one-dimensional, they’re none definitional. Taylor’s passing skill rival those of a powder puff league, and the play calling ability of Frank Beamer’s staff rivals that of the French Army National Guard on Maneuvers.
Va Tech ranks 107th in the nation in rushing defense and a stellar 106th in passing. They've had 3 whole sacks all season and gave up 117 yards to some guy from Marshall.
Zach Lee might be the least impressive Nebraska I’ve seen since Gerry Gdowski. (Which includes Jamal Lord, which is really scary). He hands the ball off as nicely as anybody, and can move up in the pocket, but his accuracy is horrible and decision making skills are brutal. The Huskers have ZERO options at wide receiver, unless you count Niles Paul, who seems to be more interested in looking good for the cameras after a long punt return than he is running routes.
I could go on and on about the predictable Bo Pelini temper tantrums (throwing a headset into a kid’s chest? Nice), or the never-before-seen 1st and goal into a punt strategy that was as dumbfounding as it was funny.
Nebraska has made a habit of losing games they used to win. This is not a moral victory. This is not some sort of “building experience”. It’s a pattern. This is what bad and overrated teams do when they find themselves in tough spots. This is what I was talking about when I claimed the Huskers would never be the same again, if for this very reason. Nebraska will not win the north, and there will be more “moral victories” to come. But sooner or later, people are going to figure out how to key on Roy Helu, and all this “Return to glory” bullshit will end.
Pity clap for you Nebraska fans.
You gave a great effort out there. Maybe next time.