Monday, September 15, 2014

Football 2014 - Week 3

My recap of the only football games that matter

CBS kicked off their Thursday Night Football presentation. In the same mold as Sunday Night and Monday Night football on NBC and ESPN, respectively, it is over the top. CBS tries to make it an event when in fact it is just one of 256 regular season NFL games. There is too much pre-game stuff with too many reporters, announcers and experts babbling on about inane crap. This particular pre-game was dominated by the Ray Rice domestic violence case. It is a very important issue that needs to be discussed and fixed. Unfortunately, everyone has jumped on the bandwagon, everyone is now an expert, everyone involved now needs to be punished if not executed. I find it ironic that all these talking heads with ties to the NFL are now speaking out and condemning Ray Rice, the Ravens and the league office. Some of these people are players and coaches who are guilty of bad behavior and/or ignoring or covering up that behavior. I thought I would puke when Deion Sanders started talking about this issue. Deion is a jerk and has been forever. He has treated women with disrespect for years. His last divorce was a public circus. While he may not have hit his wife, he certainly didn't respect her and verbally denigrated her. Same problem as Ray Rice, just different methods. I had to turn it off and never did watch the game. I assume they played even though I didn't watch and I assume one team won and one team lost.

In the Friday night lights division, Bishop Kenny had an off week. Their next game is against Wolfson to start district play.

The Bell Blue Raiders had their first game on their home field although technically they were the home team last week at Cowboys (AT&T) Stadium. Different field, same result. Bell got crushed by the Midland Bulldogs 49-6. Looking at the stats, it wasn't even that close. Bell scored one TD in the first quarter on a 64 yard run and never led. The Raiders are now 0-3 on the season and have been outscored 154-55, a mere 33 points differential per game. Next up Bell travels to Abilene. Maybe getting out of town will be good for them.

In the college ranks for once USF, TCU and Florida were not all playing at exactly the same time.

Saturday started with two blowouts. One good, one bad. Let's start with the bad news. The South Florida Bulls looked terrible against the NC State Wolfpack. The score was 49-17 and it was nowhere near that close. It was painful to watch. NC State outgained USF 589-159. The Bulls also had three turnovers. The Wolfpack held the ball for 39 minutes and pulled their starting QB in the third quarter. The two USF touchdowns were on a 75 yard pass play and a 46 yard interception return. Absolutely pitiful. USF is now 1-2 on the season. How did they win a game? Next up the Connecticut Huskies go to Tampa on Friday night. 

The second game turned out better. TCU beat the Minnesota Golden Gophers 30-7. The Frogs never trailed and in fact, the Gophers didn't score until about four minutes remained in the game. Minnesota also had five turnovers. Ironically TCU lost the time of possession stat 25-35 but they won all the others. The Horned Frogs are now 2-0 and next travel all the way to Dallas (technically University Park) to play SMU on 9/27. Next week they have a bye.

Before the Gators got started, we had a big SEC East matchup as #6 Georgia went to #24 South Carolina. It was a great game with the Gamecocks holding on at the end for a 38-35 victory. SC led most of the game but never by more than 11 points. The Dawgs got within three with seven minutes remaining but that was it. SC had a crucial fourth down at midfield with a little over a minute to go. They made it by a millimeter, maybe less. An aside, Steve Spurrier tied the great former Georgia coach, Vince Dooley, for second spot in all time SEC wins. Bear Bryant hold the record. 

Now on to the main event. The Florida Gators hosted the Kentucky Wildcats in another SEC East game. Despite neither team being ranked, Florida is expected to dominate Kentucky every year, especially in Gainesville. Well, they dominated the first half to a 3-3 tie. They also dominated the second half to a 20-20 tie in regulation. It took three overtimes for Florida to finally win 36-30. It was not a stellar performance, particularly the offense, as usual. The Gators had 295 passing yards but 15 catches for 216 yards were by one receiver, Demarcus Robinson. Gators QB, Jeff Driskel was once again just mediocre. The Wildcats tried to help Florida by throwing three interceptions. For the moment Florida is leading the SEC East with a 2-0 (1-0) record. They better enjoy it quickly because it won't last. Unless vast improvements are made, I don't see how coach Will Muschamp can keep his job. Batten down the hatches because next week the Gators face rough seas and high tides, a Crimson Tide to be exact. Florida travels to Tuscaloosa next week to play Alabama. That could be ugly. 

Once again the SEC dominated in their non-conference games. The only blemish was unranked Tennessee's lose at #4 Oklahoma. The other games were wins, mostly by large margins. After three weeks, the SEC non-conference record is 27-2. Not too shabby. There will be more conference games in upcoming weeks. The rest of the college football world should be thankful.

In the week three AP college football poll, there are seven (7) SEC teams in the top 15. That's half of the conference members in the very top ranks of college football. There is one more SEC ranked in the top 25. That's eight SEC teams total in the poll. This is the one bright spot on my football landscape. 
For the second week in a row the Jacksonville Jaguars were on TV in D/FW. This week it was against the equally hapless Washington team with the politically incorrect name. Both teams have been offensively challenged so I expected a low scoring game. I was half right. The good news is that my youngest son, who is also a Jags fan, came over to watch the game. Because the Cowboys game was on at the same time, we may have been the only two people watching the game in these parts. This was painful to watch. The Redskins lost their starting QB, RG III, early. Their backup then came in and led the team to 41 points. The Jaguars defense was terrible and the offense was worse. Final score 41-10. The only Jaxs TD came on a 63 yard pass play. Their FG came with 6:50 remaining in the game when they were down 34-7. The Jaguars were outgained by 300 yards 449-148. They had only 25 rushing yards. Washington held the ball twice as long as Jacksonville and ran 33 more plays. There was nothing encouraging about this game if you are a Jags fan. They sucked in every phase of the game. Next week they host the Indianapolis Colts. Let's hope that since Indy plays the Monday night game this week that they will be tired and off kilter next Sunday. 

Both Atlanta and Tampa Bay also lost. The Falcons got beat 24-10 in Cincinnati. Atlanta helped the Bengals cause by throwing three interceptions. I had thought that the Falcons would bounce back from last year's poor season after their opening week win against the Saints. I may have been wrong. Next week they play the Buccaneers in Atlanta.

Speaking of the Bucs, they lost at home 19-17 to St. Louis. It was a close game between two bad teams. Tampa Bay had the lead 17-16 with 38 seconds to go, but the Rams kicked the winning FG. Statistically the game was close and equally unimpressive. As mentioned, TB heads to Atlanta next Sunday in an NFC South divisional game. 

Overall, I would call this weekend a bust. Bell, USF and Jacksonville got blown out. Tampa Bay and Atlanta lost. The Gators squeaked by at home over a conference weak sister in overtime. Only the TCU Horned Frogs played well and took care of business. This could be a long season. At least either the Falcons or Buccaneers will win next week. The Jaguars aren't on local D/FW TV next week so I won't be tempted to torture myself of my son. Unfortunately, the Gators at Tide game will be televised. 


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