My recap of the only football games that matter
The pros started off the week again with a marque Thursday night matchup. Apparently CBS didn't pay a whole lot for this package because the game was Tampa Bay at Atlanta. I follow both teams, but this is not going to be the most watched NFL game this week. I turned it on while the pregame show was still on only to find Deion Sanders was blabbing his usual BS. Luckily there was an Auburn at Kansas State game already underway. Back in Atlanta the Falcons were destroying the Bucs. It was hard to watch the massacre. The game ended up 56-14. It was 35-0 at the half and 56-0 after three quarters. Tampa Bay finally scored in the fourth quarter, once on an interception return of Atlanta's backup QB. A complete blowout. The Buccaneers have a lot of work to do.
The #5 Auburn at #20 KSU game was close all night it was 10-7 at halftime and after three quarters. Auburn finally took a 20-7 lead with about 6:30 remaining. Kansas had their chances. They missed three field goal attempts and had three turnovers. Chalk up another SEC win over the Big XII (which has 10 teams).
South Florida hosted UConn on high school football night. That's probably appropriate since the Bulls often play like a high school team. It was pouring rain at the kickoff which contributed to USF recovering a fumble on the Connecticut 19 yard line. They were actually able to score a TD four plays later. The good news is that is continued to rain all game and that UConn is more inept on offense than USF. It was a pretty sad game by two bad teams. The Bulls won 17-14. The hapless Huskies had only 132 total yards, 44 rushing and 88 passing. Not exactly a run and gun team. The Bulls were about twice as good which still is pretty anemic. We'll take the win. South Florida is now 2-2 (1-0) for the season. They actually lead the AAC (not to be confused with the ACC). Next up they travel to the Wisconsin Badgers, a Big Ten (which has 14 members) team. Good luck with that matchup.
Now on to the teams that are supposed to play on Friday nights, the high schools. After a weather cancellation and a scheduled open week, Bishop Kenny finally got to play a game. It was against local Southside rival and district member Wolfson. Apparently the Crusaders didn't get rusty during their two idle weeks. They dominated the Wolves 41-0. BK had 410 total yards to Wolfson's net 74 yards. The Wolves rushed for -34 yards (that's negative 34 yards) and threw two interceptions. Kenny is now 2-0 (1-0), their next game is a district contest at home against Paxson.
The local team didn't do so well. LD Bell traveled all the way to the Abilene Eagles to get pummeled 38-12. That's about a 330 mile round trip. Bell actually led 3-0 after one quarter but were behind 24-3 at halftime. Statistically the game wasn't a blowout. The Blue Raiders just have trouble finishing off drives and getting a score. Their defense leaves a little bit to be desired too. Bell has be been outscored 192-67 and are now 0-4 on the season. Next game they open district play at Coppell. Good luck with that.
Saturday had the big game of the week. No, not TCU they had the week off. I'm talking about the Florida Gators at the #3 Alabama Crimson Tide in a big SEC contest. The game started out terribly when 'Bama scored on their first offensive play, an 87 yard pass. Then the next Alabama offensive play they fumbled and Florida recovered. That led to a Gator TD for a tie game. The Tide fumbled again on their third possession and the Gators scored again and led 14-7 about six minutes into the game. That was the last time Florida led. This was a very sloppy game. Alabama had four turnovers and 11 penalties and Florida had three. There were also some missed field goals. The Tide led 21-14 at half but the Gators scored early in the third quarter to tie the game after another interception. That was their last score. Statistically Florida had no business being tied at that point. Final stats showed Alabama had 645 total yards, Florida had 200. Driskel was a terrible 9/28 for 93 yards passing with two interceptions. While the final score was 42-21 it should have been much worse. The only thing that saved Florida was that Alabama couldn't hold on to the ball or avoid penalties. Head coach Will Muschamp is supposed to be a defense guy yet his team gave up 645 yards, most in school history. Jeff Driskel is supposed to be an experienced QB but he continues to suck. He was recruited by ex-coach Urban Meyer who probably knew he was leaving. Thanks for nothing Urban. My suggestion is to fire Muschamp and bench Driskel then rebuild this team with a real coach. At this point while it is true that Alabama and Florida are in the same conference, they are not in the same league. The Gators have a week off to regroup before heading to Knoxville to play the Vols.
There were a few other interesting college games. There was only one top 25 match-up besides the Thursday night Auburn-KSU game. That would be the #22 Clemson Tigers at #1 FSU. The interesting twist was that Heisman Trophy winning QB, Jameis Winston was benched for this game. Seems he made another bone headed decision last week, now becoming a pattern. One thing the game proved is that backup QB Sean Maguire is no Jameis Winston or Heisman candidate. Pretty sure Winston will be back next week. Clemson certainly had their chances and led 17-10 in the fourth quarter. FSU managed to tie it in regulation and then win in OT 23-17. FSU was lucky to get the win. Wonder what the pollsters will do?
In a big SEC upset, the unranked Mississippi State Bulldogs went to Baton Rouge to play the #8 LSU Tigers. That is one of the hardest venues for a visiting team. Not today. Although the final score was 34-29, the Bulldogs led 34-16 with two minutes remaining. LSU made it interesting at the end but ran out of time. The SEC seems to be amazingly balanced this season. Mississippi State has to get into the top 25 after this win. How far will LSU fall.
The SEC was 7-4 overall and 4-1 in non-conference matchups. Alabama looks to be the cream of the crop right now. There are several other good teams and a few not so good. It will be interesting to see with the balance and competitiveness in the conference how that translates to getting teams into the playoffs.
In the latest AP Top 25 Poll, the top 10 stayed pretty much in tact except for LSU which fell from #8 to #17. In the opposite situation, Mississippi State went from unranked to #14. The SEC again has seven teams in the top 15 and eight in the top 25. FSU remained at #1 despite a close game with Clemson. I guess the voters expect FSU's knucklehead Jameis Winston to stay out of trouble the rest of the season. Good luck with that.
In the Sunday pro game, the Jacksonville Jaguars did not disappoint. They lost at home to the previously winless Indianapolis Colts 44-17. The score was 30-0 at the half and 37-3 halfway through the fourth quarter. As usual Jax was outpaced in every offensive statistical category. The Jags didn't score a TD until about seven minutes remaining in the game. The good news there is it was Blake Bortles' first NFL TD pass. Bortles is the Jaguars first round draft pick (#3 overall) and supposed to be their QB for the future. He had been riding the bench until the second half of this game. His statistics weren't great, 14/24 with 2 TD & 2 Int for 223 yards, but they were better than the guy he replaced, Chad Henne. Henne has been terrible this season. Bortles has been named the starter for the next game and probably the rest of the season. Hopefully he will manage to stay alive and injury free behind a less than stellar offensive line. There are very few expectations for Jacksonville's season so he should have time to develop with little pressure. The Jags are now 0-3 and next play in San Diego against the Chargers who have already beaten the defending Super Bowl champion Seahawks in Seattle this season. Can you spell u-g-l-y?
Overall not a great week. Bishop Kenny won. USF won ugly in the rain. So did Atlanta because they played Tampa Bay so that's pretty much a wash. The Gators were humiliated by Alabama and it looks like another down year. Hopefully it will be Muschamp's last season in Gainesville. Maybe the Jaguars are at the start of a successful Bortles era. So, we soldier on to next week, take our lumps and hope for some improvements.