Sunday, November 24, 2013

Football 2013 - Week 13

by Bill Holmes

My recap of the only football games that matter

The season is winding down. While the pros still have five weeks left in the regular season, high schools are already into playoffs and colleges only have one or two games left. Then we have a few conference championship games followed by 742 college bowl games.

The Falcons start out the week with a Thursday home game against New Orleans. Of course this would be a blowout by the 8-2 Saints vs 2-8 Atlanta. Not exactly, remember this is the very unpredictable NFL. As it turns out it was a low scoring and close game. Have no fear though the Falcons did succumb to the Saints 17-13. The game was 14-13 at halftime, so you can imagine what a thrilling second half it was. There was one thrilling field goal in the third quarter and no scoring in the final 20 minutes. The difference turned out to be the five sacks by NO and an Atlanta fumble. This is the fifth loss in a row for the Falcons. It assures a losing season and eliminates them from the division race. The 2-9 Birds next travel to frigid Buffalo to play the 4-7 Bills.

Unfortunately this will be the last high school update for this season. The Bishop Kenny Crusaders finally lost a game but they didn't go down easily. The Clay County Blue Devils won the game 74-73. That is not a misprint or a basketball score. Amazingly it was a regulation football game, no overtime. The bad news of course is that Kenny is eliminated from the playoffs. BK was leading 60-44 after three quarters but Clay outscored Kenny 30-13 in the final period for the upset. As you can imagine there were a few yards gained by both sides. The Blue Devils had 638 total yards, the Crusaders had 834. There was some good news for BKs outstanding quarterback John Wolford. He alone accounted for 773 total yards, 234 rushing and 539 passing, scoring 10 touchdowns, 2 rushing and 8 passing. Too bad he had no defensive support. Wolford broke the all-time Florida high school records for career passing yards and touchdowns. He passed Tim Tebow to take the touchdown crown. Well done John on a great four years. Too bad he's a senior. The Crusaders finish the season with a 10-1 record. They had a great run. Congratulations to the team and John Wolford.
John Wolford
The only good news on Saturday was that TCU had an off week. That's the high point.

The USF Bulls lost at home to the always powerful SMU Mustangs 16-6. It was another outstanding offensive performance by South Florida. They were held scoreless until about 2½ minutes were left in the game and that was on a 50 yard punt return, not by the offense. The Bulls threw two interceptions and were penalized 107 yards. An absolute terrible showing. USF falls to 2-8, 2-4 for the season. Unfortunately they still have two games to play. Next game is Friday at state rival the #19 University of Central Florida Knights who sport a 9-1, 6-0 record, a road trip of less than 100 miles.

As bad as the USF lose was, there was an even more pitiful game that took place in Gainesville. The once mighty Florida Gators were beaten by the Georgia Southern Eagles 26-20. Losing football games by this edition of the Gators is not unusual this season but two factors make this lose especially egregious. First, the game was in The Swamp, the once secure home field of nasty Gators. Secondly, and even more appalling, the Eagles are a Division II (now call FCS) team. It is like the varsity losing to the junior varsity. Want some more good news? GSU outgained Florida 429 to 279 yards. More, all 429 yards were via the rush. The Eagles only attempted three passes and completed exactly none. So, the mighty Gator defense knew what was coming and still couldn't stop it. GSU even lost two fumbles just to make it a more even game. Florida gave up runs of 66, 53 and 45 yards. Two Eagles rushed for over 100 yards and a third had 94. Did I mention the Gators even got off to a 10-0 lead? This is the first Florida lose ever to an FCS team, the first losing season since 1979, their sixth consecutive lose. The Gators will not be going to a bowl this year either, the first time in 22 years. There are probably some other milestones, all bad, that I missed. UF falls to 4-7, 3-5 for the year. Next they host the #2 ranked Florida State Seminoles who sport an 11-0 record. That could be very ugly. It seems to me that Seminoles are at home in the swamp.

In the SEC there were three non-conference games. Alabama and South Carolina managed to win easily against patsy teams. Florida lost to their patsy opponent. The big game was #12 Texas A&M at #22 LSU. Johnny Football and the Aggies didn't fair too well in Baton Rouge, LSU won 34-10. The Tigers never trailed. Manziel was only 16/41 and two interceptions. There will be some shakeup in the rankings and the Heisman race. The other SEC games ended pretty much as expected. Missouri and Alabama lead the two divisions but both can still be overtaken in the last games next week. In the new BCS rankings, there are three SEC teams in the top 5. four in the top 10 and six in the top 25. Alabama is still ranked #1 but they play #4 Auburn on Saturday. 

A final college note, #2 FSU mashed the Idaho Potatoes (actually Vandals) 80-14. I'm sure the Noles were extra inspired because my oldest son and his family were in the stands. The Seminoles are now 11-0, 8-0 for the year. They strengthened their overall hold on the second spot in the BCS rankings and actually bested #1 Alabama in the computer polls. There next game is at the hapless Florida Gators then on to the ACC championship game probably against Duke although Georgia Tech can still win the Coastal Division too. FSU's biggest problem now is can they keep their quarterback Jameis Winston on the field. He is under investigation for sexual assault.

In the professional action, Atlanta had already lost on Thursday. Would the Jags and Bucs hold up their end? Not exactly.

The Jacksonville Jaguars pounded the Houston Texans 13-6. It seems the Texans are even more inept on offense than the Jags. Maurice Jones-Drew scored a touchdown in the first quarter then the teams traded field goals the rest of the game. Jax actually won the statistical battle. Chad Henne was 23/32 for 239 passing yards. Jones-Drew had 84 rushing yards. Neither total is spectacular but you must remember what team we're talking about. The Jaguars improve to 2-9 for the season and are now in a three way tie for the top draft choice. They are also now tied with the Texans for last place in the AFC South after holding sole possession of that position all year. The two teams meet again on 12/5 to break that tie. The Jags next travel to beautiful Cleveland to play the 4-7 Browns.

Just a few minutes after the Jaguars victory another miracle happened. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Detroit Lions 24-21. The Bucs lost everything but the turnover stat and game. The Lions had five turnovers. Despite that TB needed an 85 yard TD passing play in the fourth quarter to come from behind. The final interception came inside there own five yard line in the final minute to seal the deal. There were six lead changes in the game. This dominating win gives the Bucs a 3-8 record, all three wins in a row. The victory moves Tampa Bay one game behind in the draft race and moves them into third place in the NFC South one game ahead of Atlanta. They travel to the 8-3 Carolina Panthers next so their win streak is in jeopardy of being stopped at three.

In one other NFL note, the Vikings and Packers tied at 26 on the frozen tundra. It was the first tie of the year and the first ever tie effected by the new OT rules. In years prior to 2012 the Packers would have won since they scored a field goal first in the OT period. With the new rules, the first team to score must get a TD for OT to end in sudden death. In this case, Minnesota came back and scored there own field goal to again tie the score. Time ran out before either team could score again.  


1 comment:

  1. The bar cart is IT! Too perfect! Another amazing score! What we see all the first time we have learned the hard way not to break up are perfect! Looking caveman! It was a great weekend of football!