Discussion in 'Thread Archive' started by The Dude, Nov 17, 2011.
The 2014 Washington Huskies trot out 11 new starters for their season opener vs Hawaii and roll the Warriors. Deontae Cooper in his 5th year on campus finally got the starting gig at tailback and took full advantage of his opportunity by carrying the ball 7 times in the first half for 202 yards, 3 rushing touchdowns, as well as hauling in a 46-yard touchdown reception as Washington jumped out to a 51-0 halftime lead. Bishop Sankey, in his second year as the complimentary back in Coach Alexander's offense got the ball 7 times for 126 yards, including a 93-yard touchdown run. Redshirt freshman Quarterback John Sims got his first start, throwing for 142 yards and 2 scores as the Huskies blasted Hawaii 65-14.
Washington is 4-0 in season openers under Alexander, but will have a much tougher task next week when unranked, but very talented LSU comes to town.
All things considered, it was a good start for the Irish. There were mistakes, and plenty of them, but there were also good plays and solid defense, which is what the Irish have lacked of late. Look for the real test to begin when #5 Stanford comes to town next week. If the Irish pass that test, we could be in for a special season in South Bend.
The Cocks got demolished by Arizona.
We couldn't do a whole lot of anything. It sucked.
Arizona Begins Title Defense In Impressive Fashion Cocks' offense stays limp, loses 41-10 to Wildcats.
Doin' It With Defense - Irish Beat Stanford in South Bend 31-7
The Irish didn't exactly play mistake-free football, but the defense was stifling, and the running game did enough to win. Notre Dame held Stanford to 165 total yards on the day, and most of that came on a 43 yard scamper by star running back Raeshaun Wright. The Irish held him to a total of 84 yards in the day while keeping quarterback Ethan Cronin in check as well, giving up only 77 yards through the air and sacking him five times.
The offense was hit-and-miss. The running game was good, but really only broke one big play on a 33 yard pitch play to junior HB Chad Hill (aided by the nice block by freshman FB Jack Winston pictured above). Junior QB Zac Smith threw two silly interceptions, and just might have lost some playing time in the process. Look for Coach Dude to find a way to use the quick feet of SR QB Andrew Hendrix, who has been lobbying for time. He just might get his shot.
The Irish play host to the #3 Wolverines of Michigan next week. Much will be known about this team when that one's over.
Buckeyes declaw Bearcats in the Shoe.
jca312 's Huskies are off to an impressive start. I'm looking forward to seeing a blog update.
Irish Snag First Commit of the 2014 Season
Lyles is a great signing for a couple of reasons. First, he's a superior route runner who rarely fumbles (B+ RTE, B+ CAR) and his speed is good in the short routes (A+ ACC - not shown above) and he's tough to jam on the line (B- RLS). These would be solid ratings for an upperclassman, so getting them in a freshman is rare. Also, with Lyles hailing from Notre Dame's home state of Indiana, the Irish have locked up a pipeline they were in danger of losing next season. Lots of reasons to like this pick-up for the Golden Domers.
Gamecocks(19) Exorcise Demons in Blowout of Dawgs (12)
For the past two seasons USC has had issues with it's SEC opener with Georgia, those issues were put to bed Saturday as the Cocks rolled to a big win. This game started out ugly for USC as QB Gilbert Bratton threw two early interceptions that UGA was able to convert into 10 points, putting USC down early. But a pick six by All-American Return man D. Hall put numbers on the board for the Cocks. They never stopped after that. Following a UGA field goal on the ensuing drive, the Cocks scored over 40 unanswered points in the final three quarters as rout was on. The RB combo of Chad Johnson, I. Newberry, and QB Bratton combined for over 250 yards rushing as the zone read was working early and often for the Cocks. Bratton then found some room in the secondary to complete some passes in the second half and really opened things up.
This was a huge win for Carolina as they improve to 1-1 and 1-0 in the SEC. They put their perfect SEC record on the line next week as they take on Alabama in a game pundits are circling as a potential SEC championship match-up.
In Gamecock Recruiting News:
The Gamecocks are looking at a very small class of only 10. With so few scholarships available the Cocks are zeroing in on their "top 10" and are devoting massive amounts of time on them. Rumor has it that coach Easy has found a 5 star MLB who reminds him of a young Lavarr Arrington. A scary thought for opposing offenses who already find running on USC to be a stiff challenge.
Wildcats Shake Off Hangover, Finish Strong to Move to 2-0 Arizona's defense too much for the Bulls to handle in second half. Recruiting Update Greg Williams, the nation's #2 ranked prospect in the nation, lists Arizona as his early favorite.
Cocks Walk Out of Denny-Bryant Stadium with a Massive Win
Following the fiasco of the Kickoff Classic you could excuse many Cocks fans if they were a bit apprehensive about playing a top ranked defense. Despite a stellar effort against Georgia at home, many within the program felt that Alabama on the road would present a different set of challenges then any other game this year. Turns out they were right, it was challenging for the Cocks to keep the score down, and the hand offs spread out amongst one of the best running back committees in the nation. All said the Cocks had three running backs near 100 yards, and the passing game was coldly effective, despite several big drops by All-SEC split end Seth Amos. With the win the Cocks improve to 2-1 overall and 2-0 in the SEC.
In Recruiting News:
The Cocks have signed a 4 star Defensive End, and a 3 star Kicker. That leaves the Cocks with only 8 scholarships available, and 10 hours a week to fill them. Expect a power class from the Cocks to develop.
Irish Bounce Back - Hand Spartans Second Loss of the Year
Notre Dame went into East Lansing reeling from a tough overtime loss to Michigan last week. A second loss, especially so early in the season, could have ended any title hopes Irish fans had just a week ago. But the Irish weren't ready to call it a season just yet, and they proved it by going into Spartan Stadium and pulling off a tough and impressive win 27-17.
Scoring was difficult on both sides of the ball, as both defenses played well. The Irish managed a couple of long, clock grinding drives that led to the win, both by scoring points and also by taking possessions away from the Spartans at the end of the half, and again at the end of the game, when things were still very much in doubt. Both key drives were capped off by explosive runs by Junior running back George Atkinson, who ran for a whopping 200 yards and three touchdowns in the game, two coming on 40+ yard runs that looked as if they would be no more than three yard runs. But Atkinson shook tacklers again and again, earning him the player of the game award.
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After this impressive win on the road, perhaps the pollsters will show the Irish some love this week and get them out of lower end of the top 25. The Irish travel to West Point next week to battle a traditional rival of theirs, the Black Knights of Army. Look for it to get out of hand early, but for the Irish to show the proper respect for their opponent.
Utes pull off a huge win against #3 ranked USC
The Utes somehow survived losing their #1 HB and Heisman candidate Harvey Langi as well as their 2nd string HB and top LB to pull off the win. With the Utes down by a touchdown with 3 minutes left to play the Utah defense came up with the kind of play the Utes are known for, forcing a fumble and giving the Utes one last chance and thats just what they did, driving down the field and scoring the go ahead touchdown with 2 minutes left. However the Trojans were not about to give up as they proceeded to drive all the way down to the 15 yard line. Then on 4th and 10 throwing a strike to the 2 yard line on a very questionable call. Replays seemed to show the WR's toe out of bounds and Coach Dub challenged but the play would stand. It was then that the Utah crowd 50,000 strong rose up and pushed the Utah defense to make a goal line stand that will be talked about in Pac 12 lore for years to come. On 4th down the Trojan QB was sacked and the Utes escaped with a 4 point victory.
With the Utes sitting at #10 in the polls, they hope this win will push them into the top 5 and help them jump fellow Pac 12 team Washington.
Notre Dame Mid-Season Report
The Irish hit their Bye week after a 5-1 start and a #19 ranking in the national polls. The only blemish n their record cam at the hands or arch rival Michigan, who won in Ann Arbor in a 16-13 overtime classic.
After last year's 8-5 campaign, which ended with a Liberty Bowl victory that no one found much reason to celebrate, the goal for this season was to restore the Irish to national prominence. So far, the pollsters are relatively unimpressed with the hot start, so Notre Dame will have to keep winning, and keep winning big, in order to get back to the BCS.
The offense has played well, mostly due to fewer mistakes at the QB position and some stellar running by a trio of backs, led by junior and Heisman dark horse George Atkinson III. Atkinson has been nearly impossible to tackle this season, and has also been a threat catching passes out of the backfield, which is a new wrinkle in Coach Dude's offense, seemingly built in just for Atkinson, who broke a check down pass for a 56 yard score against Purdue last week.
The defense, however, is surely the reason for the improved opinion of the Notre Dame squad. The Irish have been simply unblockable up front, with Senior and Notre Dame all-time sack leader Louis Nix racking up a whopping nine sacks so far this season. His front line mates have also had their share of fun, hitting quarterbacks so often that Coach almost never calls a blitz. He simply doesn't need to.
The increased pressure has led to some bad throws by opposing quarterbacks, and the much improved Notre Dame secondary has feasted on the mistakes, picking passes at a rate of almost two a game. If any of these guys end up with post-season awards, though, you can bet they'll be thanking Mr. Nix and the front four for setting them up.
Look for the Irish to beat up on some lesser competition for the next few weeks before finishing the season with tough rivalry games again Pitt, and then against USC. The Irish will likely be favored in every remaining game except for the USC game, so simply taking care of business should be enough to get the Irish back to the BCS - where they belong.
Arizona Update Coming Soon (Tonight)!
I just noticed that I didn't include the categories in my stat lines, so there's a bunch of numbers that probably don't mean anything to anyone. Not the smartest thing I've ever done.
Irish Roll the Owls - Continue to Get Little Respect in the Polls
The Irish won big in Philadelphia this weekend, posting a season high 63 points while holding Temple to a lucky seven. It was a dominant performance on all fronts, with both the offense and defense having little difficulty imposing their will and controlling their side of the ball. Notre Dame capitalized on numerous Temple mistakes to repeatedly turn the ball over deep in opposing territory, and then they cashed in for six almost every time. The 6-1 Irish now hope they might just take a step up in the polls, after languishing in the bottom half of the top 25 all year. Irish fans are beginning to wonder just what it will take to get some respect. It could be that the looming rivalry game against USC might just give them their answer.
Irish Recruiting - Week 9 Update
While the recent drop in prestige and a coaching change has left the Irish with a tougher recruiting job this season, so far, Notre Dame has been up to the task, signing a number of quality recruits. While in years past, it was unlikely that any freshman could crack the starting lineup at Notre Dame, the combination of a large graduating class and new offensive and defensive systems bring opportunity for new players to crack the two-deep roster, or maybe even start. It's not necessarily likely, but if one or more of these guys come in better than expected, they just might see significant time on a roster that might just be a bit thin next season.
Pac 12 Showdown#1 Arizona vs #2 Washington
Big game this week as Pac 12 foes Washington and Arizona face off. The Wildcats are the defending National Champions and come into the game on a 14-game win streak. Washington is #3 in the Coaches' Poll, but #2 in both the Media and BCS Polls. Coach Alexander and Coach Arrighi have had some epic battles in the 3 years that they've led Washington and Arizona, respectively. The home team has won each of the first three games, with blowout wins the first two years, but a much tighter game last season, when the Huskies outlasted the Wildcats in overtime, 20-17. Arizona was driving for the winning touchdown when Sean Parker, a redshirt senior strong safety, intercepted standout Wildcat Quarterback, Tom Savage to seal the victory. Washington blew their golden opportunity at a conference and national title losing the following week at home against a struggling Oregon team, 41-36, then three weeks later at Stanford, 24-21. Had Washington been able to pull out either one of those wins, they would have represented the North in the Pac 12 Championship, but it wasn't meant to be.
Arizona on the otherhand, used the loss as a springboard to the school's first ever football national championship. The Wildcats went on to light up Washington State, Oregon, Utah, Arizona State, and Colorado to the tune of 49.8 points/game earning a spot in the national championship game when all the dust settled. The Wildcats' title once again sparked anti-BCS rhetoric as Arizona climbed the rankings to #2 and didn't even win their division of the Pac 12.
"I'm always happy for a team from our conference when they get an opportunity to be national champions." Alexander said when asked about the controversy "All they can do is play the schedule they're given and if the polls think they are one of the top two teams at the end, then they should be in the national championship game. What's the line...oh yeah, it's the system that we have, so we have to live with it."
So, let's get back to this year's tilt. What should we expect?
Both teams have dynamic playmakers on offense and stout run defenses. The Wildcats have the edge in pass defense, as this continues to be the weak spot during Coach Alexander's rebuilding process. Ka'Deem Carey is Mr. Do Everything for Arizona, Washington's counter is Deontae Cooper. Both Carey and Cooper play running back, return kicks, and can catch the ball well out of the backfield. Both backs have been in the Heisman Trophy discussion all season, but as of late, Carey has opened up a gap when Cooper had some unimpressive games due to bumps and bruises and a general lack of production.
Arizona and Washington are almost mirror images, both teams are led by first year starters at Quarterback, J.P. Pressley of Arizona is a prototypical pocket passer with a big arm, while Josh Sims is a dual threat quarterback who can run wild if he's not contained. Pressley and Sims spread the ball out well to all their weapons, tight end Curtis White leads Arizona in receiving yards and touchdowns, but receivers Kris King and Darrell Arnold are both very dangerous as well. For Washington, 6'6" tight end Austin Jenkins provides a nice safety net for Sims, having scored on 6 of his 18 receptions, but mercurial home run threat, Dante Greene leads the team in receiving yards and is a deep threat every time Sims drops back to pass.
Look for another tight game, but expect the Wildcats to draw on their championship experience and edge the Dawgs in the end...
Prediction: Arizona 31, Washington 28
Should be a good one. You guys seem pretty evenly matched.
Can't get all my fancy screen shots and what not, but Michigan easily handled the #8 Iowa Hawkeyes in Ann Arbor.
With our 3rd QB in as many years, it looks like the offense is finally taking shape. Sophomore RB Corey Royal is going to be a superstar, as the offense has fallen on the shoulders of him and change of pace back, Senior Justice Hays. Hays would start at most schools, but Royal's raw talent has been too much for our OC to overlook. The offensive line, albeit young, sure has some big strong boys across the line and should be even better next year.
This week against Iowa, Senior QB Ron Bellomy was knocked out for the game and next week with a hip pointer. This brought in sophomore QB Ryan Gay. Gay was a recruit coming into Ann Arbor, and is known for his power arm and accuracy. He really showed it off and has given the Wolverine faithful something to look forward to in 2015.
On the defensive side of the ball, Michigan really needs to focus on building up that defensive line. It's been too easy for opponent's offensive lines to dominate the front four and get to that next level. Recruiting efforts have gained commitments from 2 DT's this year, and hope that the LB's currently under scholarship progress a bit better for 2015. The secondary looks to be set for a while.
On the recruiting side of things, this class is full, with 1 5*, 7 4*'s, and a couple 3*'s to bring the class to 70, barring anyone transferring or leaving early.
Despite the teams confidence in Ryan Gay, the Wolverines landed their QB of the future, the #1 QB in the land in recruit Derrick Mann. He doesn't have the accuracy Gay does, but figures to compete for some playing time almost immediately and push the QB's to become better faster. Michigan also snagged QB Kevin Newsome (name?) as a more prototypical drop back passer. WR is still a position that Michigan has yet to be successful in recruiting. Former recruit Omar Horne hasn't developed like most have hoped, and sits at the 4 spot on the depth chart.
Should be a good remainder of the season as Michigan postures for another trip to the B1G Championship game in Indianapolis, and it looks like it will all come down to THE GAME once again.
Gamecocks Continue to Find Success On and Off the Field This year's Kickoff Classic between Arizona and South Carolina was rather lopsided in favor of the Cats, but since then everything has gone decidedly the Cocks way. With a balanced offensive attack, and a steady defense the Cocks have reeled off 7 straight wins. This has been in conjuncture with successes in the recruiting aspect of the game and has created a winning attitude around the program. The success of the Cocks can be attributed to the offensive balance. The Cocks are the number one team in all of the NCAA for total yards, and total offense, and number one in total rushing. But unlike years past the attack is through the air as well as the ground. Sophomore Gilbert Bratton is in the NCAA top 10 for passing with nearly 2000 yards passing. Coach Easy has said this is the best passing attack he has had since taking over for Steve Spurrier at the start of the 2011 season. Much of that has to do with the number of contributors in the passing game, it is not uncommon to see five or six players on the scoresheet for receptions in a game. But what really makes these passing numbers special is when you look at the rushing sheet. As of week 9 the Gamecocks have two rushers over 1000 yards rushing and double digits in touchdowns. Sophomore Chad Johnson is garnering Heisman consideration with his 16 touchdowns and 1100 yards of rushing, while freshman I. Newberry is over 1000 yards rushing and 10 touchdowns. This balance and distribution has put the Cocks back at the top of the NCAA rankings as the highest rated 1 loss team in the nation. On the recruiting front the Gamecocks only had 10 scholarships to give this year so they became a little picky with who received them. As of press time the Cocks had 9 commitments. Six 4 star players have committed, as well as a 3 star kicker and a 3 star center.But the highlight of the class has to be 5 star HB Greg Williams. At 5'7" he isn't the largest player in the class but he is the fastest. He boasts A speed, and A+ acceleration, coupled with great agility. In an offense that favors the run Williams should be a great asset. "We see Greg as our Reggie Bush, and Newberry, Johnson, and our other boys will each work in conjuncture to be a fantastic plethora of backs." Some question the necessity of taking a second 5 star HB in as many years, but with recent success it is hard to argue with Coach Easy.
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