- Geno Smith went to complete 34 of 39 passes for 411 yards, moving past Marc Bulger (8,153) to set the school record for career yards passing (8,191). He also has thrown for 734 yards and nine touchdowns. All while only throwing nine incompletions in two weeks. Yes, the same number of incompletions as touchdowns. Just like RG3 last year. Continue reading
College football officially started Thursday, August 30th with some good games and some not so good games. Let’s take a look at some quirky stuff…
- South Carolina has played on the first Thursday of the season six times (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) in the Steve Spurrier era. They have won all six.
- South Carolina is now 9-0 when Marcus Lattimore has at least 100 rushing yards.
- South Carolina turned the ball over twice in its first three plays from scrimmage. The Gamecocks only turned the ball over twice during their four-game win streak to finish the 2011 season.
- Marcus Lattimore fumbled on his first carry of the season. In his first two seasons at South Carolina, he only fumbled three times on 412 carries.
- Connor Shaw has won nine of his 10 starts for the Gamecocks.
- Akron coach Terry Bowden made his return to major college football, 19 years after his run ended at Auburn. Unfortunately for Bowden and the Zips, UCF defeated them handily, 56-14.
- Jahwan Edwards, a sophomore, ran for a career-high 200 yards and tied a career-best three touchdowns in Ball State’s win over Eastern Michigan. His previous high was 123 yards last year against Ohio on October 15th.
- Andre Parker, a linebacker at Kent State, made a name for himself Thursday night in the Golden Flashes win over Towson. Parker returned a muffed punt 58 yards…in the wrong direction. He ran it towards his own end zone, but the crazy part was instead of letting him go all the way for a safety, Towson tackled Parker out of bounds. The ball was brought back to the place of the muff, Towson’s seven-yard line.
- Utah set a Rice-Eccles Stadium record with a 21-play, 91-yard drive that consumed 10:42 and culminated with a Jordan Wynn-to-Jake Murphy 8-yard touchdown connection.
- The Utah 41-0 win over Northern Colorado marked the Utes’ first shutout victory since beating Wyoming 50-0 in 2007.
- Connecticut’s defense dominated their game, holding UMass to just 59 yards of offense and limiting the Minutemen to three first downs. UMass did not have an offensive snap in UConn territory. UMass never got its offense started, averaging just over 1 yard per play, and failing to get a first down until just 34 seconds before halftime.
- The game was the first between Football Bowl Subdivision programs from New England since 2004, when UConn faced Boston College. This was UMass’ first game as a FBS member.
- Rice linebacker Cameron Nwosu blocked three extra-point attempts in the first half, breaking the NCAA single-game record for blocked PATs.
- All four of UCLA’s first-half offensive touchdowns were scored on drives that lasted less than a minute. Last year, the Bruins only had six touchdown drives that were that quick all season.
- UCLA has two 70+ yard touchdown runs in the first quarter at Rice. Last season, the Bruins only had one play of 70+ yards all season (and no runs longer than 42 yards).
- McNeese State recorded its first win against an FBS school since 2001 when it beat Middle Tennessee 27-21 Thursday.
- Eastern Washington’s 20-3 win over Idaho was their first over an FBS opponent since 2003, when it coincidentally defeated Idaho as well, 8-5.
- Despite only gaining 42 yards on their four third quarter possessions, UNLV was able to take a 10-7 lead on Minnesota into the fourth quarter. The Rebels’ first two drives resulted in zero yards, their third nine yards and the scoring drive 33.
- After each scoring only 13 points in regulation, Minnesota and UNLV scored 17 and 14 points, respectively, in three overtimes in a Gopher 30-27 3 OT win.
- Arizona State outgained Northern Arizona 346-79 in the first half.
- In his starting debut, Taylor Kelly completed 15-of-19 passes for 247 yards
- Washington State managed -5 rushing yards against BYU
At Texas Tech, Mike Leach’s teams averaged more than 37 points per game for 10 seasons. Washington State scored just 6 in Leach’s debut. That’s the fewest points a Mike Leach team has scored since scoring 6 in a loss at Colorado in 2006 and tied for the 3rd-fewest overall.
- Brandon Weeden rewrote the Oklahoma State record book against Arizona with 42 completions on 53 pass attempts. He finished with 397 passing yards, narrowly missed throwing for 400 yards for the 4th time in his career. Continue reading
*Florida – The Gators are looking to make their fourth consecutive trip to the College World Series, a place they have been quite comfortable at, going 7-6 in three consecutive trips, including a runner-up finish two years ago. As in previous seasons, the Gators faced a challenging schedule, one that saw them go 22-9 against the 17 NCAA teams they faced.
To say Florida has a powerful lineup would be an understatement. Four players have hit more than 15 home runs and those same four have over 50 RBI. Megan Bush leads the way with 20 dingers and 72 runners batted in. Fellow senior and SEC Player of the Year Kelsey Bruder (17 home runs, 63 RBI) is right behind her. Other power hitters in the lineup include Aja Paculba (15 round trippers and 54 RBI), Brittany Schutte (17 homers, 52 RBI) and Cheyenne Coyle (13 home runs, 46 RBI).
The Gators use a two-pitcher rotation, headlined by stud freshman Hannah Rogers and Stephanie Brombacher. The team has relied heavily on Rogers, as Brombacher was out for an extended period of time with an injury. Since Brombacher has come back, however, Florida has tried to use both of them, usually in the same game. Rogers has a 30-5 record and 1.6 ERA, while Brombacher has impressive stats as well (17-2, 1.08).
UCLA – The defending national champions come into the NCAA Tournament unseeded after going 33-17. The Bruins have never been to the state of Florida for the postseason or played in Gainesville. UCLA has appeared in five tournaments in Florida and owns a record of 30-2. Against their Regional opponents UCLA is 3-2 vs. the Gators, 1-0 vs. Bethune-Cookman and has not faced Jacksonville. They’ve faced 15 teams that made the Tournament and went 13-17 against those teams.
The Bruins have six players hitting over ,300 on the season. They are a power hitting team, having knocked 64 balls out of the park, compared to 25 for their opponents. Andrea Harrison leads the team in average (.392), hits (58), home runs (13), RBI (46), slugging percentage (.730) and on-base percentage (.503). Kellie Fox is hitting .352, knocked out 11 homers and brought in 45 RBI, all second best on the team. GiOnna DiSalvatore leads the team in doubles, while B.B. Bates is the third member of the double-digit home run club (10) and third with 39 RBI.
Two pitchers on the Bruins staff, Donna Kerr and Jessica Hall, have similar stats. Hall has started 24 games, while Kerr 23; Both have appeared in 31 games. Hall has accumulated a 16-8 record and 2.61 ERA. Kerr has a 12-record with 2.46 ERA. Kerr has punched out 167 batters, while Hall has 113 K’s.
Bethune-Cookman – Bethune-Cookman earned their invite when they defeated Delaware State for their second consecutive Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference title. It is also the second consecutive year they have gone to Gainesville for the NCAA Tournament and third overall. Their first time, in 2005, they defeated the Gators and South Florida twice to win the Regional and move on to the Super Regional round.
Allison Garcia is the team’s offensive stud. She hits .374, has 61 hits, nine home runs and 56 RBI, all team highs. Michelle Banuelos-Smith is second on the team with a .367 average. She is tied for second in RBI with 40, with Ashton Hinds. Hinds leads the team with 20 steals
Not only is Garcia their top hitter, she is also the team’s top pitcher. She has a 26-11 record and has a 3.54 ERA. She has struck out 133 batters on the season.
Jacksonville – A 7-1 victory over Lipscomb secured the program’s first A-Sun Tournament Championship. The title also seals the Dolphins (43-14) first NCAA Tournament berth. The team comes in on a 15-game winning streak, their last loss coming to Lipscomb at the beginning of April. The Dolphins do have an impressive win over Texas A&M earlier in the season.
Sarah Simon and Amanda Schmidt lead the team offensively. Both women have a team-high nine home runs, but Schmidt leads the team with 48 RBI, while Simon has 40. Schmidt boasts a .301 average and leads the team with 12 doubles, while Simon leads the team with a .371 average and added 10 doubles. Kayla Ouellet leads the team with 21 steals.
Sarah Sigrest and Olivia Kline make up the Dolphin pitching staff. Sigrest has put together a 26-5 record, while boasting a nifty 1.01 ERA. She has also struck out 200 opponents. Kline’s put together a 15-6 record and 1.5 ERA.
>So last week I previewed some of the Regionals in the NCAA Softball Tournament. Well, 16 teams advanced to the Super Regionals portion and I am going to do a quick preview of those. This is a head-to-head best two-of-three series. The winner goes to The College World Series.
Super-Regional # 1 : Alabama vs. Hawaii
Alabama: The top-seeded Crimson Tide, behind the bat of freshman Courtney Conley and the arm of junior Kelsi Dunne, the No. 1 seeded Alabama softball team claimed the NCAA Softball Tuscaloosa Regional Championship Sunday afternoon, defeating Lipscomb 6-0.
With the win the Crimson Tide improves to 51-9 and ties the school record with its 27th straight victory. The regional title is the sixth in a row and eighth overall for Alabama.
Dunne (29-4) earned her second win of the weekend on the strength of a 14-strikeout, two-hit shutout. The win is the 16th in a row for the right-hander. She had 10 strikeouts in the first game against Lipscomb, while only allowing five hits in that game.
The team wasn’t really challenged, cruising past Alcorn State 9-0 before beating Lipscomb twice, 5-2 and 6-0. Kayla Braud led the team with a homer and four RBI on the weekend, while Conley added three RBI of her own.
Hawaii - It is the second time in school history that the ‘Bows have advanced to the Super Regionals. Hawaii is the only school in the WAC to make it to the “sweet sixteen” in softball.
Kelly Majam hit her 29th home run in the Regional-clinching win. Traci Yoshikawa, Melissa Gonzalez, Jenna Rodriguez, and Katie Grimes added homers in the 7-1 win over Texas Tech. As a team, the ‘Bows had six players hit .300 or over for the Regionals, outscoring their opponents 23-6 with eight home runs and 23 RBI. The team has combined to hit 149 home runs as a whole, having two players, Gonzalez (25) and Majam (29) with over 25 home runs, as well as five players with over 50 RBI, led by Gonzalez’s 60.
Missouri – For the first time in the history of the program, the Missouri softball team will play host to the NCAA Super Regional round. The Tigers advance to the Super Regional for the third consecutive season after winning the Columbia Regional on Sunday. Mizzou used a come-from-behind 3-2 win over Creighton on Friday before defeating Illinois 3-1 on Saturday, setting up a 4-2 victory over the Illini again on Sunday to clinch the title. Missouri looks to return to the Women’s College World Series for the second straight year.
The Tigers used a balanced effort offensively over the weekend, as Catherine Lee, Nicole Hudson and Ashley Fleming each had thee RBI on the weekend. Rhea Taylor raised her stolen base total to 45, which is third on the all-time season list, and her 62 runs scored are second, behind her record of 64 set in her freshman year, 2008.
Although the offense was balanced, the star of the weekend was pitcher Kristin Nottleman, who improved her record to 22-7 on the season with her three wins during the Regional. She had 14 strikeouts over the three games, including 11 in the two games against Illinois.
Missouri is 2-1 against Oregon, winning last year in the San Diego Classic, 8-7 in eight innings.
Oregon – The No. 20-ranked University of Oregon softball team (36-19) battled back for a dramatic 4-3, eighth-inning victory over the NCAA tournament’s eighth overall seed Georgia Tech (51-11) Sunday afternoon at Mewborn Field to earn its first Super Regional trip since 1989.
The team was 12-15 against NCAA Tournament teams, including wins over seeded teams Arizona, Washington, California and Arizona State.
Sam Pappas is the main threat for the Ducks, as she leads the team in HR (11), RBI (48) and stolen bases (11), while having the second highest batting average at .389. Allie Burger leads the team in the postseason with a .545 average, while Kaylan Howard leads the team with one home run and five RBI.
Jessica Moore leads the team with a 16-7 record and a 1.87 ERA. She ahs struck out 232 batters this year while walking only 66. Moore has pitched 18 1/3 innings in three postseason games, striking out 16. In the postseason, Mikayla Endicott has struck out four of the five batters she has faced.
Super-Regional # 3: UCLA vs. Louisiana-Lafayette
UCLA – The Bruins are hosting their third Super-Regional in a row. Last year they were upset by an unseeded Missouri team in three games.
Arizona State: The Regional Championship was the fifth consecutive for the 13th-seeded Sun Devils. They managed to make it through the Regional without dropping a game, dispatching Boston University and an underrated Long Island University team twice.
If the Devils’ schedule didn’t prepare them for postseason play, I don’t know what can. They faced 17 tournament teams, including 11 nonconference foes.
The team has always been known as one to pack an offensive punch and that has continued to be the case this year. Of their regular starters, all of them except one are hitting above .300 and three have double-digit home runs, as well as four who have over 40 RBI. Katelyn Boyd is the table-setter, as she leads the team in average (.414), hits (70), home runs (15), RBI (49) and stolen bases (27). Lesley Rogers is a perfect 22-of-22 on the basepaths.
Hilary Bach is the ace of the staff, having compiled a 25-7 record in 37 appearances. She picked up two wins on the weekend, while Megan Elliott pitched a gem in the first game against LIU, only giving up four hits in over five innings.
ASU is 2-1 against Florida, with their last meeting being a loss last year, 8-2.
Florida – The fourth-seeded University of Florida softball team used a 13-3, five-inning victory over FIU on Sunday afternoon at Katie Seashole Pressly Stadium in front of 1,503 fans to advance to its fourth straight NCAA Super Regional appearance. With the three Regional wins, Florida improved its all-time record to 16-15 in NCAA Regional action and 29-21 overall in the NCAA Tournament. The Gators finished the season 10-1 against in-state rivals, defeating all three Florida teams in the Gainesville Regional. Florida is hosting Super Regionals for the third time in program history
Part 2, the other side of the bracket will try to be up before I leave for Cleveland Thursday afternoon.