Quick notes 9/5/09

Quick thoughts on some of today’s games, some still in progress. As of 5:45 pm EST.

  • Next week – Notre Dame vs. Michigan – This match-up now looks a whole lot more interesting. For ND, their ability to shut down Nevada’s spread bodes well for the defense this year. For Michigan, their offensive outburst bodes well generally. The Wolverines sudden efficiency and explosiveness is fueled by improved quarterback play and line play — the bulwarks of any good offense (or banes of any bad offense).
  • Oklahoma State can’t quite score at will on Georgia, but their defense  does seem improved under new DC Bill Young. Either that, or Georgia can’t replace Moreno and Stafford as easily as we may have thought.
  • Purdue scored 52 points and rushed for over 300 yards en route to beating Toledo (Pat Forde picked this game as an upset special of the week). That makes their matchup with a wounded Oregon team something to watch. Will the Ducks take their aggression out on the new-look Boilermakers? Or will they roll over?
  • Navy’s ability to run their O against Ohio State indicates bad things for OSU against USC. It also is bad news for the rest of the country that has to play Georgia Tech. What do you think the ratio of future NFL players was between Navy and OSU? GT is not quite OSU but they have it a little better than Navy.
  • Baylor’s QB Robert Griffith is great.
  • Jonathan Crompton played an improved game for Tennessee, particularly after some early troubles. If this team wants to win he has to play well.
  • Northern Iowa had bad clock management at the end of the game against Iowa. They got a first down around the thirty or so with 17 seconds left; that stops the clock until the ball is set. They got to the line but didn’t have a play ready, the clock ran down to 7 seconds, and then they had to use their final timeout. Generally you want to keep your final timeout for you to get your kicking team on; that’s what they did (they attempted their first field goal attempt then) but they could have run another play and gotten further downfield. And, who knows, it could have been the difference: longer field goal attempts (the first was about 40 yards) tend to come off the kicker’s foot at a flatter trajectory. A shorter kick might have been harder to block. Who knows.
  • Finally, my preview of Mizzou – Illinois seemed accurate. Juice hasn’t turned it over a lot (and Benn and RB Ford have left the game with injury), but the game hinged on Mizzou QB’s Gabbert’s play, and he’s played great in his first as a starter. On a day when Chase Daniel got cut from the Redskins, seeing his alma mater blow out the Illini has to be uplifting.

  • arnold

    Random thought: is it legal to kick a PAT like UW did after a last second touchdown?

  • AERose

    Central Michigan held to less than 4 yards per attempt passing and no points in the first three quarters at Arizona. Mr. Brown, your crow is served.

    (Just needling, I’m a partisan when it comes to the Pac-10 and I can’t resist.)

  • Josh Paddock


    I was at the Arch Rivalry and, unfortunately, cheering for the Illini. It seemed like Juice was making poor reads on the zone option, but that could very likely be due to poor offensive line play. Gabbert didn’t seem to have a mobility problem to. He picked up several first downs with his legs and played a relatively mistake-free game.

  • Wide Tackle Six

    Big Week for the Big Ten coming up.

    They looked pretty bad yesterday. The less I have to see of it the better. Big Twelve-SEC matchups like yesterday should be a scheduling requirement. That was real football.

    And no Georgia has not replaced Moreno and Stafford.

  • Jon

    UGA fans underestimated the importance of Matt Stafford. Stafford does a lot for the offense since he was given pretty much complete control of the offense. Cox is a solid QB but he’s no Stafford.

    Michigan looked very good against WMU but WMU is a pretty slow team which makes Michigan looks a lot faster than they look on tv. The QB and OL play has improved 100% from last year. I would expect Michigan to win at least 7 games which is an improvement from last year.

    As for Michigan/ND game, it’d be interesting because you can’t read much from the 1st game other than the improvement from the previous year. It’s in Ann Arbor so it’ll help Michigan especially when they have two true freshmen QBs. Interesting to note that the underdogs has won every games in this series for the past 7-8 years. ND has to be the favorite in this game.

    A lot of teams will have problems with GT because the offense is different than what they’re used to. OSU has almost all summer to prepare for Navy yet they couldn’t stop the triple option especially the FB dive. Dwyer may be the best RB in the country and imagine what would he do against OSU? Scary.

  • Tyler

    “Navy’s ability to run their O against Ohio State indicates bad things for OSU against USC.”

    That’s pretty much absolute bunk. Navy scored both passing touchdowns on OSU when OSU was in Cover 0, and had their weaker safety in man coverage on the slotback. How often will Ohio State play Cover 0 against USC?

    And Navy scored both rushing touchdowns on the QB Lead play where OSU’s Mike got caught up in the wash. It will be interesting to see how many times USC runs Matt Barkley with a FB lead blocker.

    Other than a handful of OSU mistakes, Navy’s offense could hardly get off the ground against OSU. The option is obviously a big play offense, but the mistakes OSU had were quite irrelevant when comparing them to the rest of Ohio State’s season. There was literally nothing transferable from that game to what USC will attempt to do.

    Navy was dangerously close to being blown out on a few occasions, but they always seemed to scrape their way back into the game. Hats off to them, but they were a miraculous 5 minute stretch away (4th and 2 stop where the pulling guard trips, OSU in cover 0 with balanced leverage by the safety- no inside help, a tipped pass interception, and a great QB lead play) from losing quite decisively. If OSU plays that whole sequence more conservatively, there is a good chance that the game is viewed as an easy victory.

  • Rob

    “How often will Ohio State play Cover 0 against USC?”

    With their supply of RBs, maybe USC will implement the Triple Option this week.

  • Rob

    “the mistakes OSU had were quite irrelevant when comparing them to the rest of Ohio State’s season.”

    Unless they play GT in a bowl.

  • stan

    Navy had six new offensive starters after going 8-5 in 2008 with losses to Ball State and Duke. It isn’t enough to find excuses for each of their scoring plays. OSU apologists have to explain a 15 play, 99 yard drive, 8-12 on 3d down, and all the other plays which allowed Navy to put up as much offense as OSU did.

    I disagree with Chris in that I think the fact that OSU was only able to put up 363 yards on the Navy defense is a bigger sign of problems next week vs. USC.

  • PaulM

    Slight nit to pick: it’s Robert Griffin, not Griffith

  • Mr.Murder

    Notre Dame lacks separation speed. Their biggest plays required defenders to fall down. The odds of that happening on a routine basis are pretty low.

    Their HC was “concerned” with Nevada?

    Sounds like he is stealing lines from a Knute Rockne speech with that one….

  • Mr.Murder

    GA game was a trap from the outset. Their stars of last season, QB, RB, and top WR are all being replaced. The Qb fumbled before he was hit and his OL were shaking their heads like they’ve seen it before, in practice.

    Could be a long year for them. They still had to chance to tie it in the second half, AFTER having a TD called back and some other opportune penalties hurt them.

  • Mark


    Even though it’s not this coming weekend, I am excited to see how Monte Kiffin/Ed Ogeron schemes to defend Florida/Meyer/Tebow/Spread next Saturday, Sept 19th @ 3:30pm when Tenn visits Gainesville. Monte is a GREAT defensive mind and was instrumental in developing his brand of the 4-3 under Bob Devaney and Tom Osbourne @ Nebraska, way back when. Along with his Knowledge of the “Under/Over”, Zone Dogs(4 Man Rush), Zone Blitz(5 Man Rush), Blitz(6 Man Rush), amd multiple Coverage schemes, can’t wait to see how Tenn D attacks the Florida Spread. Now, not sure if Tenn has the Def personnel to get it done, but they gotta have some speed and quicks, and Monte loves that. This is the early season scheme game excited to tape…

    Loved that Ravens Zone Blitz from what appeared to be 3-4 Pers.

  • Anonguy

    Though the discussion is over, I am amused that there is apparently nothing to be afraid for in the Buckeyes’ future when they go from being up 20 – 7 at the half, followed by extending their to 29 – 14 and nearly blew it.

    I suppose it’s okay for the Buckeyes to just give up two TDs to a team that they were dominating on D for most of the game? That there’s nothing to worry about when they make the wrong call on D and are staring down OT when they were up 15 early in the fourth?

    But hey, if you want to keep those rosy glasses on, I won’t stop you.

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