View Full Version : Week 1 Wrap-Up

R. Rich
09-08-2009, 09:16 AM
First off, props to my PENN STATE Nittany Lions!! It was nice to see JoePa back on the sidelines and fiesty as usual. Daryl Clark had a sensational first half as the Nits cruised past Akron (they had BETTER cruise past Akron!!) 31-7. While the running game sputtered (Evan Royster got only 63 yards vs Akron....ugh!), the young crop of receivers didn't fare too badly. They had some bad plays (like Graham Zug not hanging onto the ball after being hit, which led to an INT), but made some good ones, too (Chaz Powell and Derek Moye had strong starts). The defense may have found a quality replacement for the departed Aaron Maybin in another talented sophomore: 6-5, 262 lb Jack Crawford. He was impressive in his first collegiate action and still has a ways to go to reach his potential. Since the Lions don't face a really tough test 'til 09/26, when they hopefully put an end to the curse of Kirk Ferentz by beating Iowa @ home (White Out, anyone?), they should work on beefing up their O line and their running game. If they don't improve much over what I saw Saturday, they're going to underachieve this year.

Wow, for the first time in a few years, the Michigan-that school game elicits more than just a yawn from me. Both teams looked impressive in their tune up games: that school handily beating Nevada 35-0 while the Wolverines took out Western Michigan 31-7. I think Michigan QB Tate Forcier has the potential to be a very good one. He was very poised for a freshman, I thought. Meanwhile, Jimmy Clausen actually looked more like the guy who everyone thought he was coming out of high school years ago. Throwing for 315 yards and 4 TDs while having only 3 incompletions all day, he appeared to be shaking off the stink of the past few years. Only time will tell if this was a flash in the pan-type performance by him, or if he's finally ready to move into the elite QB status. A huge effort against Michigan will go a long way to showing what he's got.

Plenty has been said of the ugliness associated w/ the Boise State-Oregon game, so we'll focus on the game itself. The Boise defense was outstanding, forcing the Ducks to scramble for answers all night. I'm still scratching my head @ the call to run an option play while nearly in your own end zone. A slow developing running play deep in your end zone against a defense that has stymied you all game? Any wonder why it was a safety? None here, either. The Ducks, the most prolific offense in the NCAA last season, managed just 152 yards against Boise, their worst outing in 15 years. Now THAT'S defense! Man, I love college football. I love the quote from Bronco RB DJ Harper, who ran for 88 yards and a TD: "They came out talking a little bit thinking they owed us something, and we just came out and played our game,". Or, as Lawrence Taylor (aka the real LT) once said to Mickey Shuler after getting some payback on him for a cheap shot, "Hey, you just play, baby. Just play."

How many of you watched last night's brilliant goal line stand by the U? I was impressed. They could've folded and quit in this game, but they hung in there and snatched this one from the 'Noles. Close call, but no catch by FSU's Jarmon Fortson! How in the heck did FSU, leading 23-17 after 3, let the U whoop up on 'em 21-11 in the 4th? Christian Ponder looked solid out the gate in the 2nd half. They had things going their way. Until...

As for the games I watched and my predictions....

Oregon @ Boise State
My Prediction: Oregon 27 - Boise State 17
Final Score: Boise State 19 - Oregon 8

Yeah, I was a bit off on this one. Yikes. Great effort by the Broncs to shut Oregon up and to show everyone that they truly are for real. I did get that part right!

Georgia @ Oklahoma State
My Prediction: Oklahoma State 34 - Georgia 23
Final Score: Oklahoma State 24 - Georgia 10

This was even more of a runaway than I thought. I love how All America WR Dez Bryant rallied back from being rocked on one play to making a highlight reel TD catch later. He looked great in this win.

BYU @ Oklahoma
My Prediction: Oklahoma 38 - BYU 20
Final Score: BYU 14 - Oklahoma 13

Well, the injury to All America and Hypeman Trophy QB Sam Bradford certainly hampered the Sooners. But, give credit to BYU for showing up and refusing to lay down to Bob Stoops' mighty team. Even w/ Bradford's injury, the Sooners had the lead and just needed a defensive stand, from a Bob Stoops defense, to win the game. Or, even after the defense squandered the lead, they could've come back and won after getting down to BYU's 32 yard line. From there, RT Corey Brandon got a false start penalty called against him (his 5th penalty and OU's 9th), which made for a long FG attempt that fell short. Choke job by just 'bout any definition......even considering Bradford's injury.

Virginia Tech @ Alabama
My Prediction: Alabama 24 - Virginia Tech 13
Final Score: Alabama 34 - Virginia Tech 24

A lot was up to Tyrod Taylor's ability to generate offense. Well...no. He ran for just 26 yards on 10 attempts, and that's his strong point. His passing was equally subpar: 9 of 20 for 91 yards. Were it not for typical Beamer Ball, including some great defense and special teams play, this would've been a blowout.