Just some thoughts on games that finished this weekend. Check back later tonight for more of my thoughts on afternoon games.
Everyone and their brother will be jumping on the Russell Wilson-Montee Ball-James White bandwagon and with good reason. However, if the Wisconsin run defense doesn’t improve, there are going to be major issues for the Badgers in the Big Ten.
UNLV didn’t stuff the stat sheet on the ground, running for only 146 yards, but there were moments in this game where UNLV could’ve really hurt Wisconsin. If it could’ve stopped Wisconsin at all and stayed within shouting distance, there’s no telling what may have happened.
Bradley Randle and Tim Cornett averaged nearly five yards per carry and this might be the weakest running attack the Badgers face this season. Wait’ll Nebraska gets a hold of them. Uh oh.
I got a tweet from an Oklahoma State fan during the summer when I put out my Heisman favorites listing. He had some trouble with my insertion of Baylor’s Robert Griffin III on the list. He then replied to me, Griffin is no better than the fifth best QB in the league. Well, if that’s true, I want to see those other four quarterbacks he’s watching because RG III is maybe the best QB in the nation.
Okay, I’m not going to get all crazy after week one, but how do you describe what we saw on Friday night? All Griffin did against #14 TCU was complete 21 of 27 for 359 yards and five touchdowns. He was slowed in the fourth quarter as TCU’s offense was on fire throughout the last 15 minutes of the game. But, Griffin hit on nearly every type of throw imaginable.
But, most importantly, he laid deep balls right on the money numerous times on the night. TCU was so intimidated by his deep throws that it got away from man coverage and it minimized Griffin’s impact. Don’t be surprised to see teams force Baylor and Griffin to drive the ball with 8 to 12 play drives from now on. No more man coverage.
Either way, RG III needed a career night to get Heisman attention on national television. Just know that everyone was talking about it Friday night. Well, everyone, except my Oklahoma State buddy who is still wondering whether Griffin is for real or not. Trust me, bro, just like I said back in August, he’s the real deal.
Got to give some credit to Ohio State QB Joe Bauserman handled the starting job opportunity in Columbus extremely well. True freshman Braxton Miller will have his chance throughout the year, but Bauserman proved he was steady and able to navigate through the Akron defense easily. We’ll see if that’s the same thing for Miami later in the month. But, Ohio State will take it after an off-season from hell.
If you’ve got Northwestern on the schedule, buckle up. This is one heck of a physical team. Really impressed with the defensive line that got pressure on Boston College QB Chase Rettig and held Andre Williams in check after a 69 yard run to start the game.
Jack DiNardo inside and Vince Browne outside were solid, but the new star for that defense may be inside linebacker Bryce McNaul. Wearing #51 it’s not hard to imagine a poor man’s Pat Fitzgerald, but McNaul was the beneficiary of great DL play in front of him. The secondary gave up 375 yards passing and gave up plenty of receptions in front of zone playing corners. But, the Cats’ philosophy is to not beat itself and keep from getting beat deep. That worked today.
The Northwestern offense was effective at times, sort of start-stop kind of play from them. QB Kain Colter showed how electric he can be, although he’s streaky throwing the football. But, in the second quarter, he really got hot taking what the BC secondary was giving to him. That drive tied the game at 10 in the second quarter. He finished 17 of 24 and found a groove with short to intermediate throws. As the game slows down for him, keep an eye on this young Cat in the future.
The Tigers came back from behind to beat Utah State with a scintillating comeback, similar to the ones that the Tigers completed in the National Championship season in 2010. However, this defense is vulnerable to say the least. Utah State ran at them. Right the, well, you know, right the (bleep) at them and there was little it could do about it.
True freshman QB Chuckie Keeton was magnificent running and tossing against this Auburn defense, a unit that was exposed without Rotary Lombardi Award winner Nick Fairley. The secondary can run, but can’t cover anyone, giving up chunks of yardage on slants inside and other short to intermediate tosses.
Auburn has Mississippi State coming up and if there isn’t significant improvement, the Tigers won’t win seven games. Mississippi State is better offensively than Utah State and the MSU defense is ten times better than Utah State’s group. Auburn had better thank its lucky stars that this one is in Jordan-Hare. Auburn is in trouble.