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Random Thoughts: UPSET! Defense Is Back In Style

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College football news: all the scores, injuries, gaffes, upsets, derps, and snark that you can handle.

COLLEGE FOOTBALL: SEP 25 Clemson at NC State
Clemson gets a taste of their own medicine as North Carolina State Wolfpack fans rush the field.
Photo by William Howard/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

We are through the first quarter of the season. After four weeks, every Power-5 team has played at least one conference game or one against another P5, and you can start to get a feel for the identities of many teams.

The most surprising development of the young season might be that defenses are still in vogue. If you look around the nation, there aren’t a bunch of high-flying 70-68 games. The defenses have caught up pretty darned quick.

Arkansas 20 Texas A&M 10 – DON’T MESS WITH ARKANSAS! Arky went up 17-0 but would stall in the second half punting on four straight possessions and allowing TAMU to claw back into the game. In the end, the Arky defense saved the day denying the Aggies a single first down in the fourth quarter. The Razorbacks are 4-0 for the first time since 2003.

NC State 27 Clemson 21 (2 OT) - It’s no fluke. It’s a trend. Clemson’s offense is terrible. The Tigers fell to an unranked Wolfpack team that got knocked around by Mississippi State. It’s a miracle the score was even that close with Clemson tallying only 214 yards and 10 first downs while possessing the ball only 18:12. DJ Uiagalelei (2-26, 111 YDS, 2 TD, 1 INT) was flustered for most of the game. Mr. Fansville was sacked twice and threw his third pick of the year. The Wolfpack’s Devin Leary tossed four scoring passes. This game featured 14 punts and 24 penalties.

Notre Dame 41 Wisconsin 13 - Every year Wisky gets the preseason love. But in the end, they are always a perennial also-ran. Wisconsin would blow a 13-10 lead despite holding the Irish to only NINE rushing yards for the game and a poor performance by Jack Coan (15-29, 158 yards). ND was able to pull away from the Badgers with 31 fourth quarter points aided by a 96-yard kickoff return and a pair of pick-sixes.

SEC

LSU 28 Mississippi State 25 - As Clanga-clang is apt to do, they let their opponents build a lead and then they try to come back at the end. This time, it didn’t work. LSU led 28-10 behind Max Johnson’s four TD performance before MSU attempted to make a comeback scoring two late touchdowns. However, a poorly placed onside kick ended it for the Bullies. Will Rogers threw an unbelieavable 62 times for 47 completions, 3 TD and a pick in defeat. LSU again had an anemic rushing attack, totalling 63 yards. More on that is STATS below.

Kentucky 16 South Carolina 10 - It was an ugly win for UK as they lost the turnover battle 3-0. The Wildcats are last in FBS in turnover margin at an eyepopping -9.

Florida 38 Tennessee 14 - Emory Jones had 200+ yards passing and 100+ yards rushing in a defeat of the hapless Vols. Tennessee actually led for a brief moment at 14-10 in the second quarter.

AUBURN FAVORABLE CALL OF THE WEEK

Auburn 34 Georgia State 24 – We may have to have a weekly feature on Auburn favorable calls. The Panthers were dominating the Tigers for most of the game, leading 24-12 at the half and 24-19 entering the final frame. But the officials were not going to let Aubie Homecoming be ruined. With time running down, Auburn’s TJ Finley threw a pass to the 11 yard line that had to be reviewed. Anyone born with two eyes could see that the ball hit the ground. Anyone except a certain replay official. The Tigers would take the lead and tack on another late score on a pick-six.

BTW, this was the same SEC crew who blew the MSU-Memphis punt return from last week. It’s very interesting how there have been no Tweets from @SECOfficiating this week.

But you have to handed it to Bryan Harsin, he had the cajones to do what Gus Malzahn never did which is bench the favorite son Auburn royalty Bo Nix in favor of a quarterback with actual talent.

THANKS FOR THE BULLETIN BOARD MATERIAL

Boston College 41 Missouri 34 (OT) – The sheen on Eli Drinkwitz has certainly rubbed off. Losing to a meh ACC team who is on to their back-up QB because of injury is not a good look.

Before their game with Boston College, the Mizzou coach said this:

“If I had my pick of it, I would love to play a regional matchup that was maybe more of a rivalry game. That would be maybe a little bit more exciting to recruits to watch from a TV perspective or maybe we’re playing in front of your family. I don’t know the last time Missouri signed a kid from the great state of Massachusetts.”

To which BC coach Jeff Hafley strongly retorted:

“If he really didn’t want to come to Boston, he should have called me up and asked me, and I would have gotten on a plane and flew out to Missouri to play.”

SEC VS CUPCAKES

Georgia 62 Vanderbilt 0 - An embarrassing effort by the ‘Dores. 77 total yards and four first downs.

Alabama 63 Southern Miss 14 - The Tide rolls with 606 yards of offense and only three incompletions.

OH, HOW THE MIGHTY HAVE FALLEN

Louisville 31 Florida State 23 - The ‘Noles are 0-4 for the first since 1974 - two years before Bobby Bowden was hired. They went 1-10 that season. The ‘Ville (3-1) has actually been playing pretty well since the second half of the Ole Miss game. Of course, I just jinxed them so they’ll lose to Wake on Saturday.

Oregon State 45 Southern Cal 17 - Sledon Kovis has just imploded from Heisman hopeful to turnover machine (3 picks, lost fumble) as So Cal gets destroyed at home by a PAC doormat. The Beavers put up 535 yards of offense while B.J. Baylor ran for 158 yards.

Baylor 31 Iowa State 29 - The preseason media darlings are now 2-2 while Dave Aranda quietly has his Bears at 4-0.

Bowling Green 14 Minnesota 10 - Another preseason darling has bit the dust. The same team that lost to Tennessee by 31 as well as South Alabama defeated Big Ten Minnie on homecoming as a 30.5 point underdog.

B12 STRUGGLE

Oklahoma 16 West Virginia 13 - Surprise, surprise. The Sooners once again play down to their competition and squeak out a home win. Okie kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired.

Iowa 24 Colorado State 14 - The alleged #5 team in the nation had all of 278 total yards (54 rushing) against a dumpster fire non-P5 team. The Hawkeyes punted 8 times.

B1G BORES

Michigan 20 Rutgers 13 - UM had 112 rushing yards on 38 carries for a minuscule 2.9 ypc and were shut out in the second half but hung on for the W. (7 combined punts, 1 missed field goal apiece)

Michigan State 23 Nebraska 20 OT – Sparty was outgained 442-254, so they had to rely on big plays to pull this one off. A MSU 62-yard punt return for a touchdown with 3:47 left tied the game. An interception in overtime sealed the win for the Spartans. (13 combined punts)

Penn State 38 Villanova 17 - Okay, now do basketball. (12 combined punts)

OTHERS

Oregon 41 Arizona 19 - The #3 Dux devoured the Vandy of the West who was forced to play a back-up quarterback. Wildcats QB Jordan McCloud threw five interceptions to aid in the defeat. Oregon played in front of 50,024 in a 54,000 capacity stadium.

KID BROTHER IS DOING OKAY

Maryland 37 Kent State 16 - Taulia Tagovailoa was sharp completing 31-41 for 384 yards with 3 TDs. Like Bryce Young, he also had his first interception of the season when a receiver (Rakim Jarrett) couldn’t handle a pass.

A**HOLE OF THE WEEK

CLASSIEST MOVE OF THE WEEK

GEORGE TEAGUE DEFEND THE STAR PLAY OF THE WEEK

It was the best defense TCU played all day in their 42-34 home loss to SMU. I have a feeling a new rule will be on the books next year.

Mustangs QB Tanner Mordecai has 1,268 passing yards with 20 TDs and 5 INT. I bet Oklahoma wishes he hadn’t transferred.

NAME OF THE WEEK

LSU quarterback Max Johnson. Is it just me or does that sound like a British porn name? I would go on about the Johnson to Boutte connection but I might get banned. (cue the rage mob in 3,2,1...)

FSU DEFENSE OF THE WEEK

PISST OFF COACH OF THE WEEK

Since losing to Arkansas, Steve Sarkisian has laid 58 on Rice and 70 on Texas Tech.

UNSUNG HERO OF THE WEEK

This poor guy made an amazing play on a bad snap and his average will be killed for it.

MATRIX GLITCH OF THE WEEK

FISHIEST END OF THE WEEK (NON-AUBIE CATEGORY)

FAKE-OUT OF THE WEEK

STATS OF THE WEEK; SHHH, DON’T TELL ANYONE

  • Ya know what they aren’t telling you about UGA? The Dawgs have thrown an interception in each of their four games.
  • Brian Kelly has the most wins as a Notre Dame coach with 106, one more than Knute Rockne. However, Kelly has 39 losses as compared to only 15 for Rockne. There is also that pesky National Championship total stat.
  • LSU and Notre Dame are both averaging 80.0 rushing yards per game, good for a tie with La-Monroe and San Jose Cuervo State for 122nd best in the nation.
  • October 5, 2019 is the last time Arizona won a football game. The Wildcats have the nation’s longest current losing streak at 16.

TALKING HEAD BOZO OF THE WEEK, AGAIN!

COLLEGE GAMEDAY

ADOPT-A-TEAM

Poll

Adopt Maryland (Lia, Locks)?

This poll is closed

  • 77%
    Yay
    (515 votes)
  • 22%
    Nay
    (147 votes)
662 votes total Vote Now
  • Arkansas State (1-3) - The Fightin’ Butch Joneses were outgained by Tulsa 663 to 359 yet only lost 41-34. They travel to troubled Georgia Southern (see DRAMA section below).
  • UCLA (3-1) - The Bruins handled Stanford 35-24. Up next is a big one with Arizona State. Winner takes the lead in the PAC 12-South division.
  • Tulane (1-3) - The Green Wave fell to UAB 28-21. We may have to dump these guys.
  • UT-Martin (3-1) - The Skyhawks defeated #9 Jacksonville State 34-31. Murray State comes in for homecoming in two weeks.

COUSINS

  • Troy (2-2) - Ugh. The Trojans lost to miserable ULM 29-16. South Carolina is next.
  • South Alabama (3-0) - The Jags had the week off to prep for ULL. It probably won’t matter.

THAT ANNOYING CO-WORKER WHO TALKS ON THE CELL PHONE ALL DAY

  • UAB (3-1) - The Dragons beat Tulane. Liberty is next.
RS-Patriot

SALUTE TO OUR TROOPS

  • Army (4-0) - 384 rushing yards lifted the Black Knights over Miami-Ohio 23-10. They are at Ball State.
  • Navy (0-3) - The Midshipmen led Houston 17-7 at the half but allowed the Cougars to score three straight touchdowns, losing 28-20. It doesn’t get any easier with Center Florida coming to town.
  • Air Force (3-1) - The Falcons destroyed FAU! 31-7. Next is New Mexico.

COMMANDER-IN-CHUMPS TROPHY SCHEDULE

9/2/21 Tennessee 38 Bowling Green 6
9/11/21 South Alabama 22 Bowling Green 19
11/20/21 South Alabama at Tennessee - Championship!

boxers

ELIMINATED FROM PLAYOFF CONTENTION

Premature elimination: Wake Forest, BC, Arky

Definite elimination: Duke, Georgia Tech, Louisville, FSU, NC State, Syracuse, Kansas, Nebraska, Illinois, Cal, Oregon State, Arizona, Stanford, Washington State, Washington, Mizzou, Vandy, Tennessee, Pitt, Colorado, Utah, Miami, Pitt, Indiana, Northwestern, South Carolina, Missy State. NEW: Clemson, UNC, Rutgers, West Virginia, Minnie, Wisky, Iowa State, Southern Cal, Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas State, Colorado, TCU.

Endangered: LSU, Ohio State, Texas, Virginia Tech, Purdue, UCLA, Arizona State, Auburn. NEW: Oklahoma, Iowa, Texas A&M, Michigan State

Premature endangered: Sparty, Baylor

A way WAY WAY too early look at the College Football Playoff (CFP) picture:

  • ACC - After four weeks, only BC and Wake are unbeaten. That won’t last. Clemson and UNC are finito. Only a slew of flukey miracles of an unprecedented measure could get them back in.
  • Big 12 - Oklahoma had yet another struggle-win over an inferior opponent. Baylor and Okie Lite are both 4-0. They face off this weekend.
  • Big Ten - Standings will be a little more clear after this Saturday.
  • PAC-12 - Oregon is the last unbeaten in the PAC.
  • SEC - Bama and UGA lead. OM is looking impressive. Florida is still in it. TAMU will need a whole lotta luck and prayer.
  • Indies - As long as Notre Dame wins, the idiots with microphones will say how wonderful they are. BYU is still trying to get noticed. IMHO, they should have held out for a better conference.
  • Non-Power 5 - Cincinnati travels to Notre Dame.

RANK ‘EM IF YOU GOT ‘EM

The AP and Coaches Poll rankings mean nothing anymore. They are pure entertainment and Ratt Poison for some teams. That said, here is this:

The only rankings that matter are those from the CFP Committee. The first one drops on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. Until that time comes, here are the Top 10 TV shows for 1994–95 season:

  1. Seinfeld
  2. ER
  3. Home Improvement
  4. Grace Under Fire
  5. Monday Night Football
  6. 60 Minutes
  7. NYPD Blue
  8. Murder, She Wrote
  9. Friends
  10. Roseanne

Krazy Kristi’s “SHUT UP!” of the Week goes to Clemson. It is very apropos that the NC State fans rushed the field after defeating the Tigers. The field rush is just one of several lame things Clemson always does and tries to pawn it off on being a “tradition”. A tradition they don’t like is “Clemsoning” which refers to ranked Tigers teams’ habit of losing to lousy teams. This truly feels like the end of Clemson’s run. Dabo Swinney’s excruciatingly embarrassing antics (#NeverDabo) are wearing thin. His recent coaching strategies are reminiscent of Les Miles final years at LSU.

Poll

Can Dabo right the ship?

This poll is closed

  • 65%
    No, they are heading back to mediocrity.
    (488 votes)
  • 29%
    Yes, it’s a one year blip.
    (219 votes)
  • 5%
    Other, see my comments below.
    (39 votes)
746 votes total Vote Now

HEISMAN HYPE

Most years, the Heisman Trophy voting is basically a hype award. Often times voters fall in love with someone and refuse to REALLY look at what a player has accomplished. of course there are exceptions.

WHO WILL WIN

CLARIFICATION: This section is not who deserves to win. It is who the slobbering press and other voters will callously crush on.

The hype machine has Corral ahead of Young.

LEADERS

  1. QB Matt Corral (RS-Jr, Ole Miss) Did not play.
  2. QB Bryce Young (Soph, Alabama) 20-22, 313 YDS, 5 TD, 1 INT - Shoulda been 21 for 22 but a pass bounced right off Jameson Williams’s chest into the waiting arms of a defender for Young’s first turnover of the year.

FADING

  • QB Spencer Rattler (RS-Soph, Oklahoma) 26-36, 256 YDS, 1 TD, 1 INT - If you are an idiot (and a lot of these voters are) or lazy (ibid.), you just see the stats. But Rattler has trouble finishing drives. He has even lost his home crowd (see above).
  • QB J.T. Daniels (RS-Jr, Georgia) 9-10, 129 YDS, 2 TD - Only played one quarter.
  • QB Jack Coan (RS-Sr, Notre Dame) 15-29, 158 YDS, 1 TD - He isn’t that good but he’ll be on the lips of the morons until ND loses.

GONE

  • QB Kedon Slovis/Sedon Klovis (Jr, So Cal) 31-49, 355 YDS, 1 TD, 3 INT - Losing to THE Oregon State ain’t gonna get it.

TOKEN RUNNING BACK WHO WON’T WIN

  • Kenneth Walker (Jr, Michigan State) 19 CAR, 61 YDS - not great
  • Zach Charbonnet (Jr, UCLA) 23 CAR, 118 YDS, 1 TD
  • TreVeyon Henderson (Fr, anOSU) 8 CAR, 93 YDS, 2 TD against Akron.

WHO SHOULD WIN

CLARIFICATION: This section IS for who deserves to win it.

Let’s talk after Saturday. B)

THE SICK REPORT

  • LSU cornerback Derek Stingley did not play against Mississippi State after injuring his foot at practice last Wednesday. He was seen on the sidelines in a walking boot during the game. Ed Orgeron did not have an update on the injury status but mentioned Stingley will see a doctor this week. Is it just me or does Stingley seem to be hurt an awful lot for a guy playing outside corner? It makes one wonder if his mind is elsewhere...
  • Clemson might be in BIG trouble after losing three starters and linchpins in DT Bryan Bresee (torn ACL), LB James Skalski (shoulder, questionable), and RB Will Shipley (ACL scare, out three-to-four weeks). The Tigers are already without DT Tyler Davis (torn bicep) for eight weeks.
  • Game Show Host Louisville linebacker Monty Montgomery tore an ACL and is out for the season.
  • Utah DB Aaron Lowe was fatally shot early Sunday in Salt Lake City while attending an off-campus house party. The incident occurred less than a year after teammate and friend Ty Jordan was killed in an accidental shooting. Just last month, Lowe was voted the first recipient of the Ty Jordan Memorial Scholarship, created to honor the former Utah running back who died in December. No arrests have been made.

DRAMA

  • Ohio State linebacker K’Vaughan Pope quit the team... in the middle of a game! In the second quarter of their game against Akron, the senior thought he was going back into the game but was waved off. And then the hissy fit started. He took off his helmet and headed to the locker room before a staffer convinced him to return. After getting into heated exchanges with his position coach and teammates, including one of the team captains, he was then led to the locker room. Pope removed his gloves and threw them into the stands and attempted to remove his jersey but was talked down from his ledge and led from the stadium. And then he pulled out his phone (see above). Yeah, he was dismissed. I am sure his helicopter parents will swoop in with their lawyer at any moment.
  • On Sunday, Michigan State DB Kalon Gervin and LB Chase Kline both entered the transfer portal. What is that about? Both are reserves who get some playing time, but why don’t you just play out the season?
  • A video of Georgia Southern nose tackle Gavin Adcock riding on top of a moving school bus and chugging a beer as Georgia Southern rode to Paulson Stadium prior to its conference opener against Louisiana-Laffy made the rounds. He later apologized but was still suspended from the team.

KOACHES KORNER

  • Georgia Southern coach Chad Lunsford has been fired after 1-3 start. The Eagles won their opening game against FCS Gardner-Webb before falling to FAU!, Arkansas, and ULL. This is VERY odd. Losing to the Owls is pretty bad but it seems excusable to lose to the Hogs and the Rajuns. Additionally, GSU was 8-5 last season after a 7-6 season in 2019 and a 10-3 campaign in 2018, his first full season as head coach. He was also 2-1 in bowl games. Previous to his tenure, the Eagles had been to one bowl game. However, the above video may have been a factor. IMHO, it was a rash and stupid decision.
  • First-year Auburn wide receivers coach Cornelius Williams has been fired after only four games in the 2021 season. He had a 2-year contract worth $600,000, so add that to the debit worksheet.
  • After losing a home game to Oregon State by 18, interim So Cal coach Donte Williams is probably not getting the full-time gig.
Black and White TV

TEEVEE

Alabama-Florida and Penn State-Auburn both topped 7 million viewers. Oklahom-Nebraska was just over 4 million.

THIS WEEK

(Below is an abbreviated list of highlighted games of interest. If you REALLY need to know about the big Toledo-UMass showdown, you can find the details here.)

Thursday, September 30

Virginia at Miami-FL 6:30/7:30 ESPN

Friday, October 1

Houston at Tulsa 6:30/7:30 ESPN - Sounds like a Arena League game.
Iowa at Maryland 7pm/8pm FS1 - battle of unbeatens. Check out Lia.
BYU at Utah State 8pm/9pm CBSSN - Holy War Lite

Saturday, October 2

GAMES OF THE WEEK

* Arkansas at Georgia 11am/noon ESPN - Defense vs Defense. We will learn a lot about UGA in this one.

* Ole Miss at Alabama 2:30/3:30 CBS

ELIMINATION GAME

Cincinnati at Notre Dame 1:30/2:30 NBC - Loser is likely out of the playoff chase.

SEC

Tennessee at Missouri 11am/noon SECN - Two reeling teams circling the drain.
Troy at South Carolina 2:30/3:30 SECN - This is no gimme for SC.
Florida at Kentucky 5pm/6pm ESPN - If UK can cut out the turnovers, they could give the Gators problems as UF leaves the Sunshine State for the first time this season.
Mississippi State at Texas A&M 6pm/7pm SECN - Pisst off or quitter mode?
Auburn at LSU 8pm/9pm ESPN - The Tiger Bowl is looking like an elimination game.

OTHERS ON SATURDAY

Michigan at Wisconsin 11am/noon FOX – Will Wisky wake up? Is Meeshagin for real?
Louisville at Wake Forest 12:30 PM Bally Sports/ESPN3 – Who would’ve thought this would be an important ACC game?
Oregon at Stanford 2:30/3:30 ABC - The Cardinal could be a problem for the Dux.
Oklahoma at Kansas State 2:30/3:30 FOX - After four games, the Sooners finally leave the comforts of their home stadium.
Ohio State at Rutgers 2:30/3:30 BTN - Can Pesky Rutgers get the upset?
Baylor at Oklahoma State 6pm/7pm ESPN2 - Battle of undefeateds.
Indiana at Penn State 6:30/7:30 ABC – IMHO, Indy is overrated. PSU will be looking for revenge for the controversial Penix 2-point conversion from last year.
Arizona State at UCLA 9:30/10:30 FS1 - Key PAC-12 battle.

UConn at Vanderbilt 6:30/7:30 ESPNU - Yuck

40 WINKS

Fresno at Hawaii 10pm/11pm CBSSN

SABAN vs. POP and BEAR

  • Nick Saban is 100-15 vs SEC opponents as coach of Alabama. His conference record with LSU was 28–12.
  • Since 2008, Alabama has played 25 more games (80) vs. ranked teams than any other team. They have more WINS vs ranked teams (65) than any other team has GAMES against ranked teams.

#ALABAMA

  • Bama running back Brian Robinson sat out the Southern Miss game. While his status is “day-to-day”, Saban told reporters Monday that “we’re hopeful that he’ll be 100 percent by game time.”
  • Reserve DL Tim Smith injured a foot in the third quarter versus USM and went to the tent for awhile. He should be okay.
  • Alabama hasn’t trailed at any point in its last 53 quarters of play, which is the longest streak for any FBS team since 1950. The last time the Crimson Tide trailed was against UGA last season.
  • The Tide has 100 straight wins over unranked opponents.
  • Alabama at Texas A&M will be at 7pm/8pm aired on CBS, most likely with Brad & Gary. I am so so sorry.

GAME 5: Saturday, October 2, 2021

Ole Miss Rebels (3-0) at Alabama Crimson Tide (4-0)

Tuscaloosa, AL ~ 2:30pm CT/3:30pm ET, CBS

  • Two SEC Network personalities took little time to declare their predictions. Chris Doering and former SBNation/EDSBS guy Spencer Hall have both already picked Ole Miss to upset Bama outright.
  • Tuscaloosa weather for Saturday should be beautiful as it has been all week. A high of 86° is expected with partly cloudy skies and low humidity.
  • Announcers: Brad Nessler and Gary Danielson (again, so sorry) with Jamie Erdahl.
  • Eli Gold on Alabama Radio.
  • The Crimson Tide have a 56-10-2 edge over OM all-time. Alabama has won the last five. Previous to that, they lost two in a row to Hugh Freeze’s Country Club Teams.
  • Ole Miss is Alabama’s seventh most frequent foe with 68 games.
  • There will be a large contingent of Bama recruits at this game, so get loud!
  • The line on this game is around Bama -14½. Over/Under is a gigantic 79½.

Poll

Can Arkansas take down Georgia?

This poll is closed

  • 6%
    Arky by 7 or more.
    (51 votes)
  • 22%
    Arky 6 or less.
    (173 votes)
  • 27%
    UGA by 6 or less.
    (209 votes)
  • 42%
    UGA by 7 or more.
    (320 votes)
753 votes total Vote Now