Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Football 2014 - Week 5

My recap of the only football games that matter

The Gators did not lose this week. The dynamic Muschamp/Driskel led Florida team has the week off. They need it to recover from the pounding they took at the hands of Alabama. They travel to Knoxville on October 4th to play the Tennessee Vols in an SEC East game.

As usual the NFL kicked off the week with a Thursday night game. I'm sure two teams showed up and played an exciting game.

Bishop Kenny had a district home game against the Paxson Eagles. The Crusaders got out to a 21-0 halftime lead and ultimately won 34-12. I couldn't find any statistics on this game at either the Florida Times-Union or MaxPreps. Kenny is now 3-0 on the season and next host Ribault in another district game. Kenny is currently ranked #7 in the state for class 5A.

While my alma mater continues their winning ways, the local Bell Blue Raiders continue going in the opposite direction. They traveled to Coppell to play the Cowboys in a district game. New game, same old results. Bell was pounded 42-3. They actually scored first but that was it for the evening. They even out rushed Coppell by six yards with 195 on 50 rushes. Unfortunately they were outgained in the air 203 to 58. The Cowboys scored on an 83 yard kickoff return (the one after Bell's FG), a 75 yd run, a 90 yd pass and a 62 yd pass. Seems big play defense is not a Raiders strong point. Bell falls to 0-5 for the season. Next up is a district game against the Richland Rebels at home. Although Richland is only 2-3 this season, they have scored 109 total points in their last three games and have not scored fewer than 21 in any game. Meanwhile, the Raiders have scored 21 total points in their last three games. 

As mentioned, the Gators had the week off. USF's trip to #19 Wisconsin didn't work out too well. The Bulls held their own in the first half and went to the intermission tied at three. Unfortunately they lost the second half 24-7 for a final 27-10 score. As usual South Florida was inept on offense. They were outgained by the Badgers 454-245 yards. Possession time was 41 to 19 minutes in favor of Wisconsin. The Bulls are now 2-3 for the season. They have an off week to work on the offense. Next game is back in Tampa against conference rival #22 East Carolina on October 11th.. Good luck with that.

In the battle for the Iron Skillet, the TCU Frogs demolished SMU 56-0 in Dallas. The Frogs amassed 645 total yards. Amazingly the Mustangs held the ball 4:30 more minutes. They also had three turnovers. TCU remains undefeated at 3-0 but things get a little more difficult next game. They host the #4 Oklahoma Sooners in a Big 12 (which has 10 teams) conference matchup. In fact the next three games are in conference against ranked teams. TCU squeaked into the AP top 25 at #25 with the win.

There were a few other interesting college games. #1 FSU got a scare against unranked North Carolina State. The Seminoles trailed 24-21 at the half but managed a 56-41 win. That's a potent offense but the defense certainly doesn't look national championship caliber. They also had four turnovers. Overall stats were very close. The rest of their schedule is pretty soft except for #9 Notre Dame in Tallahassee on October 18th.

As usual we had an upset in the SEC. Unranked Missouri went to #13 South Carolina and won 21-20 in an exciting game. The Fighting Spurriers led 20-7 in the fourth quarter but couldn't hold on. The Tigers scored the go ahead TD with 1:36 remaining. The SEC East is wide open at this point.

In other SEC games, #12 Georgia held on 35-32 against unranked Tennessee and #6 A&M came back from a 28-14 deficit after three quarters to win in overtime 35-28 against unranked Arkansas. None of the SEC games are easy. 

Overall the SEC was 7-4 and 3-0 in non-conference games. They still have seven teams in the top 15 and eight in the top 25.

In the pro ranks, as expected the Jaguars made a very long cross country trip to San Diego to suffer a lose. They only trailed 17-14 at the half but then failed to add any more points for a 33-14 final score. Amazingly, Jacksonville had more first downs, plays and time of possession than the Chargers. We are now in the Blake Bortles era for the Jags. The rookie's stats weren't too bad, 29/37 for 253 yards but he did throw two interceptions. It's going to be a learning year. The Jaguars are now 0-4 on the year and next play at home against the Steelers.
Speaking of the Steelers, they managed to lose at home to the mighty Tampa Bay Buccaneers 27-24. Not only did the Bucs win, but they managed to stage a ten point fourth quarter comeback. They kicked the winning FG with 0:07 on the clock. It was their first victory of the season. My prediction is now that Tampa Bay has tasted victory that they will go on to the Super Bowl. Next up they are in New Orleans for a game against the division rival Saints. 

My other team, the Falcons, got clobbered 41-28 in Minnesota. Atlanta was leading 28-27 after three quarters but couldn't score again. The Vikings won the statistical battle plus Atlanta QB Matt Ryan threw two interceptions. So far I've been disappointed in the now 2-2 Falcons. Next up are the Giants in the Meadowlands.
A couple of other games of interest. I hardly ever watch the Cowboys games even though they are on my local TV every week. I have never been a fan. I can't stand Jerry Jones. Nevertheless, I watched the whole game Sunday night because I was a at a friend's house who is a Cowboys fan. She had a great time watching. This was by far the best performance by the Cowboys in a long time. They beat the Saints 38-17 and at one point led 31-3. So here is my theory, this is the first Cowboys game I have watched in a long time and it is the best they have played in a long time. So, it must be me. Therefore I should be receiving compensation from the Cowboys to make sure I watch their games. My Cowboy fan friends should be supplying me with snacks and beverages.

Finally, I caught some of the Monday night game, Patriots at Chiefs. Wow, what has happened to the once mighty Patriots. The great glamour boy QB, Tom Brady, looked very ordinary off a 14/23 159 yard performance with two interceptions and a fumble. Isn't their coach, Bill Belichick, a genius? Perhaps you need good football players on your team to be a great QB or genius coach. Kansas City easily won 41-14. Brady was on the bench at the end of the game during mop-up time. Times change.


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