Daily Blog •November 22, 2011

Week 12 News and Notes Part 2

South Carolina reached 9 victories in B2B years for the first time in school history. SC only led 20-13 at the half with The Citadel settling for a 32 yd FG after a 61/12pl drive, fumbling at the SC25, and settling for a 41 yd FG after a 40/8pl drive. SC used a fake punt to key a drive for a TD to go up 34-13 and at the end of the game, SC got a FD at The Citadel’s 12 with :45 left and could have taken a knee but Spurrier opted for a 20 yd TD pass to Anderson to make the final 41-20.

LSU got off to their best start at 11-0 since 1958 and Ole Miss had its worst loss since 1974 when they lost to Georgia 39-0. UM has now lost 13 consecutive SEC games and was playing without suspended QB Randall Mackey and RB Jeff Scott. Barry Brunetti had been used little but rushed for 74 yds and hit 5-10-30.

UCLA controls its destiny in the Pac-12 South but needs to beat USC. Ironically, UCLA could very well find themselves in the Rose Bowl or might miss out on a bowl altogether at 6-6. The Bruins had a 553-229 yd edge vs Colorado as Kevin Prince hit 15-19-225 and CU gained 51 of its yards in the final 3:46.

Tough loss for Washington St to Utah. Utah was +3 in TO’s. Connor Halliday who had thrown for 494 yds and 4 TD’s the previous week vs Arizona St, would hit a respectable 21-48-290 but had 4 costly int’s. In the 1H Halliday was int’d at the UU13, 39 and at the 50 on 3 of 4 poss. Utah had a couple of fortuitous scores. They got a 4&9, fake punt that went 49 yds for a TD and were tied a 7 at the half. Taking away the fake punt, WSU had 164-58 yd edge at the half. WSU fumbled the punt on their own 37 and Utah got a TD mid-4Q. WSU trailed by 3 when they got the ball with :52 left and got 24 and 44 yd passes and had a FD at the 7. On the next play, they got a 6 yd pass to the 1 fired incomplete and settled for a 17 yd FG, 27-27. In the first OT WSU was called for intentional grounding and a 17 yd loss as they said Halliday didn’t get the ball back to the line of scrimmage. Halliday had an open rec for the TD but under threw him and it was int’d at the 8 and Utah got a 38 yd FG for the win.

In a bowl elimination game, East Carolina kept their bowl hopes alive while UCF was eliminated, dropping to 4-7. UCF opened with 70/12pl drive for a 3 yd TD pass (8:55). UCF was int’d at the EC29 and ret’d 3 yds. and EC went 68/9pl for a TD incl a 4&1, 4 yd run to the 12. EC, after a 30 yd punt, started at the UCF40 and went 21/4pl for a 36 yd FG. EC got a 12 yd PR and went 46/6pl. UCF was hit with 2 PF pens on the drive, the key was a 3&17, 2 yd run where the PF gave EC the FD, 17-7 (10:45). UCF went 65/11pl for a TD, 17-14 (5:13). EC had an 82 yd TD pass called back on a hold and punted 4pl later. UCF got a 37 yd PR to the EC25 but missed a 39 yd FG (1:53). UCF went 35/10pl and got a 39 yd FG with :02 left, 17-17 and at the half UCF did have a 193-126 yd edge. Two punts to open the 3Q. EC on 2&7 got an 84 yd TD pass to Wiggins, in what was EC’s longest play of the year and the 4th longest TD pass in school history. UCF41 went 58/12pl but on 4&gl was SOD at the 1. EC, however, 3pl later, was int’d and ret’d 15 yds to the 4 and UCF got their TD on the next play, 24-24. 2 punts. EC went 72/10pl and got a 10 yd TD pass, 31-24. EC got 1 FD and fmbl’d and UCF ret’d it 12 yds to the 19. On the next play Bortles threw a 19 yd TD pass to tie it at 31 (3:49). EC got 1 FD. Hunt then broke the initial hit at the LOS, had some missed tkls and raced 56 yds for a TD with 2:10 left. UCF got a 72 yd KR plus a PF to set them up at the EC14 but on 4&10, Bortles was int’d at the goal line and ret’d 15 yds with 1:04 left.

Late in the year, facing the option is never a good thing as it is usually performing at its best and defenses (especially teams with losing records) tend to get worn down and break assignments. UNLV came in just 2-7 and allowed Air Force 380 yds in the 1H. Blown opportunities kept UNLV in the game in the 1H. AF opened with an 80/11pl drive for a TD (10:57). UNLV went 34/11pl for a 38 yd FG, 7-3 (5:51). AF went 63/9pl but missed a 34 yd FG (2:38). AF went 73/7pl. They got a 71 yd TD run called back on a hold but would drive down and get a 7 yd TD run, 14-3 (14:15). UNLV went 80/16pl for a TD on what may have been UNLV’s best drive of the year, 14-10 (7:15). AF went 41/9pl and the PK, who had missed 1 att all year entering the game, missed his 2nd of the day (a 42 yd’r). AF got a 67/1pl TD run by Clark, 21-10 (2:34). AF went 68/12pl but settled for a 27 yd FG and only led 24-10 at the half despite a 380-135 yd edge. AF got a 32 yd PR and went 24/6pl with a 4&gl, 1 yd TD run by Jefferson, 31-10 (11:09). UNLV got 3 FD’s and on 4&1 was SOD at the AF42. AF went 58/3pl for a 25 yd TD pass, 38-10 (3:03). UNLV got 2 FD’s and was int’d at the AF43 (14:13). After an exchange of fmbl’s, AF went 32/7pl for a TD, 45-10 (8:11). UNLV went 67/11pl and got a garbage TD on a 5 yd run with 3:46 left. AF rec’d the onside kick and after a FD took a knee at the UNLV12.

Case Keenum set the record for career completions with GameDay on hand and Houston rolled to a 37-7 win over SMU. Keenum and Timmy Chang are the only QB’s to reach 4,000 yards passing in 3 seasons and UH set up their CUSA showdown vs Tulsa next week while continuing to rise in the BCS standings. Who knows, with another week of chaos, they may actually find themselves in the National Title game. Keenum hit 30-45-318. At the half UH had a 260-93 yd edge but only led 6-0 before getting a 36 yd TD run by Hayes with :46 left in the half to lead 13-0. They converted on 4&1 twice on their 2nd 3Q drive which set up a TD for a 23-0 lead and took Keenum out to a standing O with 2:00 left. Backup QB Turner hit a 10 yd pass then threw a 43 yd TD with 1:18 left for the 37-7 final.

Vanderbilt opened with a 22/9pl drive but fmbl’d (10:09) and Tennessee ret’d it to the VU21. UT got a TD 3pl later, 7-0 (9:02). VU got 2 FD’s but was int’d at the UT29 and ret’d 10 yds (6:56) but UT punted. VU went 66/13pl but missed a 44 yd FG. The drive incl a 4&3, 8 yd pass to the 31 4pl prior (12:59 2Q). UT was int’d and ret’d 28 yds to the 6 (12:51). VU’s first TD came on a 6 yd drive with a Stacy run on the next play, 7-7 (12:48). UT went 82/10pl and got a 17 yd TD pass, 14-7 (7:48). 2 punts. VU went 42/9pl and missed a 34 yd FG. At half VU had a 175-126 yd edge and UT led 14-7. The 3Q opened with 2 punts. UT went 48/8pl but had 3&gl at the 3. Threatening to make it 21-7 a huge play happened when VU got an int and Barnes ret’d it 100 yds for a TD (5:29) and instead of a lead, it was tied at 14. 3 punts. VU, after a 28 yd punt by UT, went 35/7pl and converted on 4&5 for a FD to the 23 and then on 3&7 a 20 yd TD pass, 21-14 (12:21). UT went 80/13pl and they had a 23 yd FG blk’d but running into the K was called and on 4&gl they got a 2 yd TD pass to tie it at 21 with 6:27 left. VU did get to the UT40 but was int’d at the 35 with :20 left. In OT VU got 1 FD then on 3&6, Rodgers was int’d and Gordon ret’d it 90 yds for a TD. The ref said he ruled the play down but never blew the whistle so it was reviewable and replay clearly showed Gordon’s knee did not hit the ground and UT got the win, their first conf win of the season and kept bowl hopes alive.

It was a wild finish to the Virginia/Florida St game. FSU finished with a 386-316 yd edge. The first 3 poss were punts. FSU went 65/5pl but Manuel was sk’d and fmbl’d at the 18 (4:25). UVa went 82/11pl the key being a 3&11, 13 yd pass early in the drive. The TD made it 7-0 (14:56). 2 punts. FSU went 75/11pl and got a 1 yd TD run, 7-7 (4:49). UVa got 2 FD’s and punted (2:11) and FSU got a 34 yd PR to the UVa39. They got 2 FD’s to the 15, overthrew an open rec in the EZ and settled for a 26 yd FG, 10-7 (:54). At the half FSU had a 212-146 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 2 punts. FSU went 81/7pl. A 68 yd pass to Reed got the to the 1 but they settled for a 21 yd FG not running up the middle (7:55). 5 punts. FSU took over with 7:32 left 4Q, got 3 FD’s to the UVa29 but was sk’d on 3&11 taking them out of FG range. On 4&25, they punted 31 yds and it was ret’d 12. UVa went 75/5pl and got a 10 yd TD run by Parks with 1:16 left for the lead. FSU on 4&1 was sk’d but a facemask call gave them a FD. The game also appeared over when on 3&5, a pass to the sidelines was complete but with no time-outs left, he didn’t get OOB. UVa players ran off the field but it was ruled an incompletion and they had to come back on after a lengthy review and jumped offsides. FSU att’d a 42 yd FG for the win and missed it wide left. UVa will now play this week for the Coastal div title.

Kansas St keeps just continues to pull upsets as Bill Snyder finds a way to win. I think Bill Snyder deserves NCAA Coach of the Year as this team is now 9-2. Last week vs Texas, UT had a 15-8 FD edge and 310-121 yd edge. The final score - KSU 17-13! Each team punted to open. UT was int’d and ret’d 15 yds to the 16 (11:03). KSU got a 20 yd FG, 3-0 (7:10). 4 punts. UT after a 6 yd PR, started at the KSU38 but on 4&3 settled for a 48 yd FG. 4 punts. They key play of the game happened late in the half. KSU fmbl’d the punt on its own 46 and UT rec’d. A horrifically bad call of kick/catch interference when the UT player wasn’t within a yard and a half of the KSU player, amazingly allowed KSU to keep the ball at their 46. They got 1 FD and then on 3&14 a 24 yd pass to the 23 with 1:05 left and with :09 left, KSU got a 16 yd TD pass to take the 10-3 lead despite having just 57 yds offense with 54 of them coming on the last drive! UT got 1 FD and was int’d and ret’d 23 yds to their 37 (10:48). KSU went 37/7pl for a TD, 17-3 (6:59). UT went to McCoy at QB and they went 81/6pl and McCoy hit a 36 yd TD pass, 17-10 (3:43 3Q). 3 punts. UT got a 55 yd run by Johnson and an 8 yd run to the 11 but on 4&8 settled for a 26 yd FG with 4:27 left, 17-13 (4:27). UT got a 24 yd PR to the KSU49 but on 4&10 McCoy was sk’d with 2:18 left. KSU punted on 4&6 with 1:16 left. UT, from its 20, got 2 FD’s but on 4&10 fired incomplete.

This year reminds me of 2007 when all of the teams playing with BCS pressure lost and a 2 loss LSU ended up in the National Title game. The players get distracted thinking of their possibilities and “what if” scenarios and also play, perhaps not to lose the game in some cases. We saw that last week with Oklahoma St getting upset by Iowa St. Oklahoma was perhaps a bit stunned by OSU’s loss which hurt their BCS chances of still had their possibilities and did need to route for some other teams and ended up getting upset by Baylor. The first 3 poss were punts. OU got 1 FD and nailed a 47 yd FG, 3-0 (5:34). BU went 59/9pl for a 34 yd FG, 3-3 (1:09). OU got a FD to midfield but Franks fmbl’d after a 16 yd rec (:19). 2 punts. BU got a 55 yd pass to Wright down to the 28 and Wright finished with 208 yds on 8 rec. 2pl later Ganaway’s 15 yd TD run made it 10-3 (7:08). OU went 72/11pl. They brought in Bell to run out of the Wildcat (which BU couldn’t stop all night) and he got a 3 yd TD run (2:38). BU got a 69 yd TD pass to Reese, 17-10 (2:23). OU had a 250-237 yd edge at half but trailed 17-10. OU opened the 3Q with a 69/4pl drive for a TD. BU took a big chance going for it on 4&1 at their own 33 and was SOD and OU made them pay with a 32/2pl TD drive, 24-17 (11:11). The TD came on a Bell 1 yd run at QB. 2 punts. BU on 2&13, got an 87 yd TD pass to Wright to get back in it, 24-24 (6:39). BU went 85/10pl. On 3&10 they got a 16 yd pass and later on 4&11 went for it and got a 23 yd pass. They got a 13 yd TD pass on the next play, 31-24 (1:15). OU was int’d 5pl later at the BU26 and BU got a 50 yd pass to Sampson and 3pl later a Ganaway 11 yd TD run made it 38-24 (12:49). OU got 2 FD’s and on 4&14 were SOD at the BU25 (9:45). OU went 75/7pl and Bell’s 4 yd TD run made it 38-31 (5:55). BU got 2 FD’s and punted with 3:29 left and OU went 77/10pl. Bell came in and ran 6 yds for a TD. OU was going to go for the 2 pt conv as BU had not stopped a Bell run all game and BU was stacking 10 guys at the LOS to try to stop it but an ill procedure pen on OU forced a regular xp and they tied it at 38. BU on 2&6, got a 22 yd FD run by Griffin. Griffin ran for another 8 and then hit a 12 yd pass and they opted to go for the big play. Giffin hit Williams with a 34 yd TD pass on the next pl with :08 left and BU got its first win vs Oklahoma.

The Big Game was played in a rare late start under the lights in a rain soaked stadium. Cal got a 42 yd pass on the first play to the SU29 but was sk’d and fmbl’d. Stanford went 63/3pl and got a 34 yd TD run by Montgomery (13:42). Cal went 67/13pl but settled for a 25 yd FG. On 3&10 from his own 35, Luck was int’d and ret’d 45 yd to the 4. An illegal blk brought it back to the 19 but Cal got a TD 3pl later, 10-7 (5:53). Cal went 81/13pl but settled for another 19 yd FG and their 3 long drives only had them ahead 13-7 (10:40). SU went 78/10pl for a 6 yd TD run by Gaffney, 14-13 (7:10). SU went 67/8pl and missed a 33 yd FG (:50). At half SU had a 223-210 yd edge. SU opened the 3Q with a 68/9pl drive for a 4 yd TD pass. SU went 78/6pl and got a 10 yd TD pass to Hewitt, 28-13 (5:42). Cal got 2 FD’s but on 4&3 was sk’d back to the 50. Cal got a FD but fumbled at its own 39 (:00). SU was SOD on 4&2 (13:25) Cal went 68/5pl and got a TD and 2 pt conv, 28-21 (10:53). SU went 57/14pl and got a 35 yd FG with 3:07 left, 31-21. Cal went 74/10pl and got a 1 yd TD run by Anderson, 31-28 (:14) but SU rec’d the onside kick.

Despite Arizona St losing again for a 3rd straight week, they still have a shot at the Pac-12 Title if a couple of favorites besides themselves win this week. If USC beats UCLA, Utah defeats Colorado and if ASU takes care of business vs Cal, they would win the 3-way tie for 2nd place and represent the P12 in the Title game. ASU opened with an 80/10pl TD drive (9:41). ASU went 52/8pl but was int’d at the 10 and ret’d 41 yds. Arizona went 49/5pl and got an 11 yd TD pass 14-0 (5:34). ASU went 74/12pl for a TD, 14-7 (2:00). UA went 48/11pl for a 49 yd FG which they missed (13:00). ASU went 68/8pl for a tying TD, 14-14 (10:14). UA went 67/10pl but missed a 27 yd FG (5:11). ASU got a 58 yd pass foll’d by a 22 yd run by Marshall, 21-14 (4:29). 2 punts. UA (:33) went 56/5pl and got a 43 yd FG to pull within 21-17. At half UA had a 328-288 yd edge. The 3Q opened with 2 punts. ASU got a 44 yd PR to the UA23 but settled for a 22 yd FG, 24-17 (9:24). 3 punts. ASU went 65/6pl but after a 22 yd pass to the ASU16 fmbl’d (1:54). ASU went 49/7pl for a 27 yd FG, 27-17 (12:33). UA went 94/7pl and got a 33 yd TD pass, 27-24 (10:25). ASU got 1 FD but on 4&3 was SOD at the UA with 8:08 left. UA went 61/6pl. Foles was inj’d and Beirne came in and his only pass of the game was a 23 yd TD to Criner on a 3&4, 31-27 (5:18). ASU went 42/8pl and was int’d at the 16 and ret’d 41 yds (2:15). UA went 3&out punting with 1:13 left and ASU got 4 FD’s to the UA with :09 left but their final 2 passes were incomplete.

New Mexico St lost starting QB Christian at the end of the 3Q and Travaughn Colwell hit 7-11-61 in his place. NMSt opened with a 32/9pl drive but was sk’d and fmbl’d and BYU went 52/12pl for a TD, 7-0 (5:38) behind Jake Heaps, who was getting his 1st start since Sept. 3 punts. BYU was int’d at their 38 and NMSt converted on 4&1 and went 38/9pl for a TD, 7-7 (9:40). BYU went 90/15pl and got a 20 yd TD pass to cap this drive, 14-7 (3:25). BYU, after a 17 yd PR, went 46/6pl for a 9 yd TD pass with :30 left 21-7. At half BYU had a 194-124 yd edge. BYU ret’d the 3Q’s opening KO 43 yds and with 2 FD’s but missed a 37 yd FG (12:06). BYU went 57/9pl for a 2 yd TD run, 28-7 (7:01). 2 punts. With Colwell at QB NMSt was sk’d & fmbl’d at their own 40. BYU went 40/3pl for a 9 yd TD pass, 35-7 (3:14). NMSt went 50/16pl but on 4&8 was SOD at the BYU20 (11:16). BYU went 80/8pl and got a 27 yd TD pass with 7:24 left and there were 3 FD after that.

I thought during the week USC had an excellent shot at pulling the upset of Oregon and that is exactly what they did. In fact, at one point USC led 38-14. Each team punted to open, then USC fmbl’d a snap at their own 20 but UO fumbled it back on the next play (10:42). 2 punts. USC, who had WR speed that Stanford did not possess with Lee and Woods, got a 59 yd TD pass to Lee, 7-0 (6:35). UO got 2 FD’s and on 4&8 was SOD. USC went 66/9pl for a TD, 14-0 (14:54). 2 punts. UO went 88/7pl and got a 29 yd TD pass to Thomas, 14-7 (5:53). USC went 50/7pl for a 4 yd TD pass, 21-7 (2:27). The Ducks went 57/12pl but James fmbl’d at the 9 with :23 left. At half UO had a 220-215 yd edge. UO went 3&out to open the 3Q and USC blk’d the punt and rec’d at the UO12 (13:33). They settled for a 26 yd FG, 24-7 (12:44). UO went 43/4pl for a 9 yd TD run by Barner, 24-14 (11:34). USC went 76/5pl and got a 3 yd TD run by Tyler, 31-14 (9:27). USC went 65/9pl and got a 5 yd TD pass, 38-14 (3:28). UO got a break when Thomas ret’d the KO 96 yds for a TD, 38-20 (3:13, 2ptng). USC got 1 FD and punted on the last play of the 3Q. UO went 75/9pl for a TD, 38-27 (12:44). USC got 2 FD’s but a pass was high off the rec’s hands and int’d and ret’d 10 yds to the UO40 (8:32) on 2&14. UO went 60/7pl for a TD and 2 pt to pull within 38-35 (7:05). USC got 3 FD’s on a 58/8pl drive and had a 2&6 at the 11 but fmbl’d (2:31) and the Ducks had a chance. They stayed in the hurry up offense, not calling time-out and raced from their 14, 66/15. They had a FD at the 18 but on 4&12 settled for a 37 yd FG and missed it.