Here are some of my thoughts on the early games (and games that concluded Thursday and Friday)
LSU’s defense is truly fun to watch. Most of us are now tuned in when it’s an Auburn or another high flying offense that puts up points like notches on Paris Hilton’s chastity belt on our television screen. But, I could watch John Chavis’ group every single Saturday. I can’t tell you how impressed I am with the overall team speed on the field at all times. Now, five defensive backs will do that, but the LSU defensive line is going to drive offenses into the ground all year long. Physical, fast and able to redirect and make plays all over the field, LSU’s front will change the way teams approach games against the Tigers from here on out. I’m still waiting for an opponent to put a hat on LB Ryan Baker, as he runs around free to the football all day long.
But, if you’re not cheering for LSU QB Jarrett Lee something is wrong with you. Either that or you’re an Alabama fan. 21 of 27 passes completed. One poor throw all night. To be able to survive 2008, stay at LSU for the next two years, maintain his belief in himself and take advantage of his opportunity?? No one knows how long that opportunity will last, but Lee doesn’t seem to care. He’s playing smart football and is the leader that the Tigers have desperately sought since Matt Flynn graduated.
Boise State’s Kellen Moore was +1200 to win the Heisman in 2010, but he wasn’t even on the board in 2011. I noticed that this summer and if I were smart (and had the cash), I’d have put it on him for +7000 or so and had a chance to make some serious cash. Yes, Moore is making himself a candidate for a trip to New York with some brilliant play in the first two games of the year. He’s been brilliant throwing the football, not just his completion percentage, but WHERE he’s putting the ball. It’s almost shocking when he throws an interception because he’s been so white hot. He’ll shrink to the background for a while due to the schedule, but if his numbers are consistent the next few weeks, he’ll have the opportunity to pick up more steam until the matchup against TCU. If RG III tore up TCU’s secondary…I’ll let you finish that sentence.
I mentioned earlier this week in my games that matter that this was the week that Geno Smith from West Virginia was going to “get it”. And, dadgum it, the man did. 36 of 49 for 388 and a touchdown. The only interception was a dropped/juggled miss by his receiver. He made every throw – the darts, the long outs, the accurate deep ball, touch throws. He was phenomenal and will have to be even better next week. Why? LSU is coming, boys.
Something that can truly hack me off is when coaches do stupid things. For example, trailing 34-10 with plenty of time left in the third quarter, I believe there were maybe 7 or 8 minutes left in the third. Randy Edsall decided to go for a touchdown on fourth and goal, instead of taking a relatively sure field goal (now, Maryland’s kicker had missed one earlier, but this one would’ve been a cheap shot). Maryland doesn’t get it. But, gets the ball back after a three and out and scores a touchdown. Edsall goes for two. Maryland doesn’t get it. So, that’s a sure four points that Maryland/Edsall eschewed. As luck would have it, Maryland got the ball back before the end of the quarter and scored again. Instead of being down 34-27, it was down 34-23. Edsall’s decision changed the rest of the way the game was played and it cost Maryland big time. I know that at the time he may have felt that the only way to get back in the game was to score three touchdowns with three two point conversions, thinking that his defense couldn’t stop West Virginia. But, if the ‘D’ wasn’t stopping Maryland then, why would it matter 34-17 or 34-18? That’s just not the tact to take at that point in the game. Take the points when they’re there – they’re not always that easy to come by.
Great comeback by the Hawkeyes, finding the wherewithal and “stick to it” after losing to Iowa State in OT last week and trailing 27-10 to Pitt in the fourth quarter. Couldn’t have happened to a better guy, that Todd Graham of Pitt. Sorry that’s an old city of Houston wound that runs deep. Regardless, speaking of QBs arriving, James Vandenberg found his sea legs this week in the second half. It may behoove Iowa to keep speeding up the game for him to keep playing and not thinking.
If you missed the a—kicking Clemson put on Auburn, oh boy. I’m telling you right now, keep an eye on these young Tigers. So many true freshmen on that offense and it ran up and down the field on Auburn. From Sammy Watkins (WR) to DJ Howard (RB) and Mike Bellamy (RB), this Tiger offense, now under the controls of OC Chad Morrisis about to give the ACC fits. Oh by the way, it goes nowhere without the fantastic play of Tajh Boyd at quarterback. All I can say is wow! After struggling through the first quarter, he, as I mentioned about Geno Smith, “got it” and, wow, that was fun to watch. He threw the deep ball well. He hit intermediate routes. He escaped the pocket when he needed to do so. Look out, ACC, the Tigers may be back. FSU is up next!