Monday, September 9, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 2

by Bill Holmes

Lets start with the worst news. The Florida Gators lost to the Miami Hurricanes 21-16. It was a pitiful game by the Gators. There were five turnovers, several in the redzone. That negated the Gators complete dominance in all the offensive statistical categories. They gained 413 total yards to 212 for the Canes. They ran 77 plays vs 53, 22 first downs vs 10. Time of possession was 38:20 to 21:40. How do you lose that game? It's easy, have a brain dead quarterback who turns the ball over. Have a brain dead coach who goes for a two point conversion in the first quarter and misses. Have a complete lack of urgency and clock awareness. Once again the defense played well but drastic changes need to be made on offense. That includes better game planning by the coaching staff and maybe a new quarterback. Jeff Driskel looked completely lost most of the game. He's a junior with plenty of game experience. He looked like a first game true freshman. I see at least four more losses this season if improvements aren't made. South Carolina, Georgia, LSU and FSU look stronger than Florida at this point. It could be a very long year.

The South Florida Bulls lost to Michigan State 21-6. Despite the lose, the Bulls did OK. The Bulls defense played exceptionally well, which is amazing considering they allowed mighty McNeese St. 53 points last week. Two of the Spartans touchdowns came on turnovers. Obviously the Bulls need to find some offense. Like the Gators they have some rushing ability but the passing game is a mess. They have no chance to make a comeback if they get down by a couple of scores. Both teams are offensively challenged. The Bulls have two more games before they start conference play in the brand new American Athletic Conference (AAC). One of those two games is at Miami of the ACC, so the AAC will play the ACC. Got that? Hope the Bulls do better than the Gators did against the Canes. The AAC has a couple of weak sisters so maybe the Bulls can find a win or two along the way.

Now lets get on to a win for one of my teams. The TCU Horned Frogs beat the always powerful Southeastern Louisiana Lions 38-17. The Frogs started slowly and were only ahead 17-14 at the half. It appears Coach Patterson had a chat with the boys during halftime and the Lions only scored three points in the second half. The bad news is that first string quarterback Casey Pachall was injured and left the game. Word is that he will miss next week's game against Texas Tech. The good news is that backup QB Trevone Boykin started nine games last year as a freshman. He threw for two TD's and no interceptions in Saturday's game. The Frogs look like a decent team this year. The Big 12 doesn't look exceptionally strong this season so maybe they'll do OK. Tough break for Pachall who'll be out at least eight weeks with a broken arm. He hit rock bottom last year with alcohol and drug problems but had worked his way back with rehab and new maturity since then.

In the biggest SEC game of the week, the Georgia Bulldogs defeated the South Carolina Gamecocks 41-30. Dawgs looked good after losing a close game last week to Clemson. They now hold the upper hand in the SEC East. I didn't have a clear favorite in this game. I have some feelings for the Bulldogs since I lived in Georgia for several years. I am also a Spurrier fan for what he did at Florida as a player and coach. I root for both teams on any week they're not playing Florida. The Gators play each team later in the season. Both teams look much better than the Gators at this point.

The SEC had a good week. Teams were 10-1 against non-conference opponents and 11-2 overall. 

After disappointing college results on Saturday I was hoping (hope is the operative word here) my pro teams would do better on Sunday. Some things are not meant to be.

I didn't expect much from the Jacksonville Jaguars and they didn't disappoint. They scored a safety early in the first quarter and that was it. Not a single offensive point. Jags lose 28-2 to the Kansas City Chiefs. They only had 178 yards of offense with two interceptions and six sacks. Their one all-star, Maurice Jones-Drew, gained 45 yards on 15 carries. It's obvious that Jax needs a lot of help. I wonder how many fans were left to see the fourth quarter? Is Tim Tebow in their future? He's unemployed and probably better than the current quarterback options. At least he has a positive persona and might get some extra fans into the stadium. 

The Atlanta Falcons lost to the New Orleans Saints 23-17 despite winning the statistical game. It turned out to be a surprisingly defense dominated game. The Falcons are the only alleged decent pro NFL I root for. That makes this a disappointment. Many had picked Atlanta to win their division and some had picked them to go to the Super Bowl. Are the Birds pretenders or are the Saints better than anticipated? 

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers had the New York Jets beaten until they made a bone headed play that snatched defeat from the jaws of victory. The Bucs scored a field goal with 34 seconds remaining in the game to go up 17-15. They then allowed the Jets a long gain then a stupid personal foul penalty. The Jets kicked a 48 yard field goal with 2 seconds on the clock. Jets 18 Bucs 17.

Still looking for some football wins, I checked the local high school scores from Friday night. The L.D. Bell Blue Raiders beat Midland 49-37.   

I checked the Jacksonville sports and found that the Bishop Kenny Crusaders tied Hernando 0-0. That wouldn't happen in Texas. No ties allowed. They use the NCAA rules to break a deadlock.

All-in-all it was a very bad week. Final tally for my teams was 2-5-1. Glad I didn't place any bets. The SEC did well but most of the opponents were of the warmup game variety. The one conference game between Georgia and South Carolina, both future Gators opponents, showed they're stronger than Florida at this point in the season. Next week can't be any worse, can it?

Correction - after publication it was discovered that the Bishop Kenny - Hernando game was cancelled due to lightning. That makes the overall record for the week 2-5. It also looks like Florida uses the National Federation of State High School Associations (NFHS) rules for overtime. Similar to the NCAA rules of alternating possessions, no kickoffs.


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