- 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
>Two weeks ago, Minnesota was looking pretty ranked in the top 20 at 16-4. Fast forward two weeks and the Gophers may ow be on the bubble after losing four of five and dropping to 17-8.
Trevor Mbakwe scored a season-high 24 points in Sunday’s win over Iowa and the Gophers will need more of this to help Minnesota get back on track. They are going to have get their frontcourt to lead the way, as the health of point guard Blake Hoffarber will be in question as soreness and pain in a knee doesn’t just go away like that. Ralph Sampson III, the other main clog in the middle, is coming off of his worst game of the year, one which saw him score only two points, will be looking to get back to the form that saw him score in double digits in the seven games prior to that.
Penn State, in its own right, might be playing for an NCAA bid. It’s record (13-10) isn’t too flashy, but if the Nittany Lions manage to win two or three of their remaining five games, possibly upset Wisconsin or Ohio State and win a game in the conference tourney, who knows what might happen? As they have been all year, Penn State is led by Talor Battle, who is still averaging over 20 ppg. Prediction: The Nittany Lions are 16-4 at home, but lose a squeaker, 75-73
>While this weekend’s matchups may not be as sexy as last week’s there are some very intriguing games that might go a long way in determining how a team ends up in the conference. There are four games featuring ranked teams and those will be previewed here.
Game of the Week: Missouri vs. Texas
Missouri comes into the game on a two-game winning streak, having defeated both Kansas State and Iowa State handily. The Tigers come in at 17-3, but two of their losses have been on the road (at Colorado and at Texas A&M by two points in overtime). Junior guard Marcus Denmon leads five Tigers in double figures with 17.3 points per game. Missouri uses a 10-man rotation and eight of the ten play 17 minutes per game or more (the other two play 11-12 mpg). The Tigers average 85 ppg, which is good for fifth nationally and dish out 18 ppg, which is good for sixth in the nation. Three players could be key factors in the game, besides Denmon. Ricardo Ratliffe, who is second on the team with 12 ppg and seven rpg, will be looked upon to neutralize the Texas big men. The other two keys are Kim English and Phil Pressey. English was expected to have a breakout season, but has struggled early in the season and Pressey has come back from an early season wrist injury to be second on the team in assists with nearly four dimes per game. Texas was featured in last week’s preview as well. The team is led by the frontcourt duo of Justin Hamilton and Tristan Thompson. Cory Joseph will be the key for Texas in this game. How he reacts to the “Fastest Forty Minutes in Basketball” will be crucial. The Tigers love to press and create turnovers after made baskets so how he will be able to handle the pressure will be the difference. Joseph has only turned the ball over more than three times once and has had some of his cleanest games against UNC, UConn and USC. Prediction: Mizzou pulls the road upset: 78-76
Louisville at Connecticut
The Cardinals come in having won three of their last five, including two buzzer beaters over Marquette and West Virginia. Louisville is led by Preston Knowles, who averages just over 15 points per game and is hitting 40 percent of his three point attempts. Two others, Peyton Siva and Chris Smith, are also averagibg double figures. Siva, who hit the game-winner against West Virginia, is going for nearly 11 points per game and a team-high five assists per game. Smith averages 10 ppg and leads the team, hitting nearly half of his three pointers. Three of Louisville’s bog men (Rakeem Buckles, Jared Swopshire and Gorgui Dieng) are out with injuries. The key could be Kyle Kuric. He is an on and off player, who when he is hot, is able to put up 20 ppg but has also had five games of zero points. The Huskies rely on guard Kemba Walker and their inside presence, which is helping them average 41 rebounds per game. Walker is being considered as one of the top two contenders for NCAA POY, averaging 24 ppg, five rpg and four apg. Big man Alex Oriakhis is the only other Huskie averaging double figures at 11, but leads the team with nine boards per game. The key could be freshman Shabazz Napier, who is averaging 8.4 ppg and over three assists per game. Like Kuric, he is hot and cold, going for double digits in six games, including three this month. Prediction: The Huskies’ depth and Louisville injuries help the Huskies pull out a 75-60 win.
Georgetown at Villanova
Georgetown has been on a bit of a slide lately, going 4-4 in their last eight and are coming into a hostile environment on Saturday. The Hoyas are riding a three-game winning streak, however. They are led by Mr. Do-It-All Austin Freeman, who is averaging over 18 points per game. The senior guard has scored in double digits in all but two games and has scored 25 points or more in two of the last three. Georgetown has two others, Jason Clark and Chris Wright, who are averaging double digits. Clark is pouring in 13 points a game, while wright is averaging over 10 and leads the team with 5.6 assists per game. Guard play will be the key in this game. If one guard is having a rough night, there will have to be others to pick up the slack. And if the guards struggle, the frontcourt has to be able to bail them out too. After knocking off Syracuse on the road, Villanova got blown out in their game against Providence. Villanova has won two of the three, losing the last to Connecticut on a last-second shot by Kemba Walker. The Wildcats have three players who average double figures, including two seniors: Corey Fisher and Corey Stokes, both of whom are scoring 15 points per game. While Stokes leads the team in free throw (94) and three point (44) percentage, Fisher is second on the team in assists per game, with five. The other player in double figures, Maalik Wayans (13.5 ppg), also leads the team with 5.3 dimes per game. Prediction: Villanova is just too good and wins 80-65
Minnesota at Purdue
Minnesota, on a four-game winning streak, started that streak with a home win against Purdue. A key piece from that win, Al Nolen, is out for the season with an injury however and that has caused Blake Hoffarber to take over PG duties. Three of the Gophers’ four losses have been on the road. Hoffarber is one of three Minnesota players in double digits, averaging 14 points per game. He not only leads the team in assists with 4.4 per game, but also three-point percentage, knocking in 40 percent of his treys. Trevor Mbakwe is second in points with 13.4 and leads the team with 10.5 rebounds per contest. Ralph Sampson III is the other Gopher is double figures, throwing in 11 ppg. The key will be the play of Mbakwe and Sampson, as they will have to go up against the beasts of Purdue. The Boilermakers, on the other hand, have been on a bit of a skid lately, dropping three of their last five. JaJuan Johnson continues to be a beast for them inside, averaging nearly 21 ppg and eight rebounds per game. Johnson has scored 20 points or more in his last five games. He is supported by guard E’Twaun Moore, who is averaging 18 ppg. No other Purdue player is averaging over six points per game. The key here is for Johnson to continue his hot streak. Prediction: Purdue pulls out a squeaker, 67-64