Monday, October 13, 2014

Football 2014 - Week 7

My recap of the only football games that matter

This week besides the NFL Thursday night game we had the local HEB high school rivalry game between Bell and Trinity. The game is always played on a Thursday night because the schools would party, fight, pull pranks and generally cause problems all night long and into Saturday when they played on Fridays. While the rivalry is still strong, the game hasn't been much of a contest lately. This year was no exception as the Trinity Trojans demolished Bell 48-3. The Blue Raiders lone field goal was the last score of the game when it was 48-0. My guess is that the Trinity fifth string defense was in the game at that point. The Trojans had 550 total yards with 441 of them on the ground. Bell had a total of 127 yards of offense and 187 penalty yards for a net -60 yards for the night. Trinity is now undefeated at 7-0 and the Raiders are winless at 0-7. Next up for Bell are the Colleyville Heritage Panthers.

Only saw a little of the beginning of the Thursday pro game. I assume they finished and somebody won.

On Friday, my one shining light of the season faltered. Bishop Kenny dropped their first game of the season to the recently renamed Westside Wolverines 38-20. Maybe we would have had better luck against the old named Nathan B. Forrest Rebels. It is not only the Crusaders first lose but it was a district game. It seems BK needs to develop a ground game and a ground defense. They were held to 59 yards on 22 attempts while gaining 303 yards through the air. Meanwhile Westside had 359 rushing yards and added 169 passing. They only threw seven passes, Kenny threw 37. The Crusaders are in second place in the district and now stand 4-1 overall. Next game is at home against winless Stanton.

Saturday brought the usual turmoil in the college ranks. Unfortunately my guys suffered two heartbreaking loses.

Let's start with the easy one. South Florida lost to #19 the East Carolina Pirates 28-17. That seems somewhat ironic since the Bulls play in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers stadium which has a fake pirate ship in one end zone. I'm not exactly sure where East Carolina is. I've been to both South and North Carolina many times but somehow missed East Carolina. As usual, USF got their fans excited with a 17-7 halftime lead but then failed to score again as the Pirates rang up 21 second half points. Stats weren't too far skewed except for the 231-93 advantage in rushing yards for East Carolina. The Bulls fall to 2-4, 1-1 on the season. They next travel west to Oklahoma to face Tulsa.

Now on to Waco for the first of the two heartbreaking loses. #9 TCU led #5 Baylor 58-37 with 11:38 left in the game. The Bears then reeled off 24 straight points including the winning FG with time expired. Final score Baylor 61 TCU 58. Needless to say this was not a defensive gem by either team. Baylor had an amazing 782 total yards. TCU had a very respectable 485 yards. That is a total of 1,267 yards or 0.72 of a mile. The Bears had several big scoring plays and TCU had a 94 yard kickoff return. This was one that got away from the Frogs. A win would have propelled them into the playoff picture but it was a tough part of the schedule with then #4 Oklahoma and #5 Baylor back to back. TCU will have to quickly shake off this disappointing lose as they now host #15 Oklahoma State. TCU now stands at 4-1, 1-1.

The next disappointment was the Florida lose to LSU in Gainesville. Both of these once mighty SEC programs are struggling this year. The Gators managed to tie the game at 27 with 1:49 remaining. Surely they would go to overtime. But nooooooooooooo, after holding LSU and forcing a punt at 0:54, our great quarterback, Jeff Driskel, threw an interception which led to the Tigers winning FG with 0:03 remaining on the clock. Here is the mystery, after holding LSU after the tying FG, the Gators took over at their own 42. Driskel then threw two incomplete passes and an interception. I know Florida was trying to win the game, but why in the world would you let Jeff (Interception) Driskel throw in that situation? He will inevitably find someone in the opposing uniform to throw the ball to. The stat numbers weren't terrible except for the three turnovers. This was a chance against a down LSU team at home in The Swamp. The Gators fall to 3-2, 2-2. The 4-2 Missouri Tigers come to Ben Hill Griffin next week. I don't hold out much hope for the Gators. Time to flush Muschamp and his QB Driskel. Aggravating.

In other games, the SEC was it's normal surprise conference this season. #3 Mississippi beat #2 Auburn 38-23. The other #3 Ole Miss won over #14 A&M 35-20, same margin. I'll get into the new AP rankings shortly. The once mighty #7 Crimson Tide barely got by unranked Arkansas 14-13. The other SEC games went according to schedule. The conference had five in-conference games and won all three non-conference games for an 8-5 overall record. The SEC has five teams in the top 10 with both Mississippi teams, both Alabama teams and Georgia. 

Outside the SEC #10 Arizona lost to USC. The #11 Oklahoma Sooners won an exciting game against Texas 31-26 in the Cotton Bowl. I was just outside the stadium during much of the game at the State Fair of Texas. For some reason there were way more Oklahoma fans that stayed around the fair grounds after the game. One other upset was Duke over #22 Georgia Tech 31-25. Big day for Duke football.

The AP top 25 had a major shakeup. We have a new #1 with Mississippi State. The former #1 now #2, FSU didn't lose, but the Bulldogs have beaten the then #3 Alabama and #2 Auburn in consecutive weeks. Meanwhile, FSU plods along against mostly average opponents. They also have a punk QB who can't stay out of trouble and investigations. Ole Miss is still at #3 so you know the whole state is still celebrating. The two high flying Mississippi schools have to play each other November 29th. That might be a good game. I was surprised that Baylor moved up to #4. I thought the Bears were exposed, especially on defense, by now #12 TCU. Looking forward to next week's games and upsets.

On to the pro ranks. Thankfully I have few or no expectations this season. I was not disappointed. Three teams, three loses. 

Jacksonville went to Tennessee to get beat by the Titans 16-14. Must have been an exciting game. The Jaguars had about 90 more total yards but also had a couple of turnovers. The education of Blake Bortles continues. He is not doing terribly considering the poor supporting cast. Bortles was 32/46 for 336 yards with one TD and one INT. Let's chalked this up to a transition/rebuilding season. The Jags remain winless at 0-6. Next up is Cleveland back in the Gator Bowl, I mean EverBank Field. 

The Falcons lost to Chicago at home 27-13. After a couple of good years, Atlanta QB Matt Ryan is looking very average. I don't expect much from him or the team this year. Let's see if we can get coach Norm Van Brocklin and middle linebacker Tommy Nobis back from the early Falcon years. For you Jacksonville Lee and Florida Gator fans, Harmon Wages was on the team back then too. 

Lastly we have the embarrassment in Tampa. The Bucs got smothered by the Ravens 48-17. It was 38-0 at the half. Was anybody left in the stadium? TB can look pretty miserable in some games. They are now 1-5 this year with little hope of much improvement this season.

If you are keeping score at home, and I am, you will realize that I had a perfect week. That is perfectly dreadful. All my teams lost. While most of those teams have been pretty bad lately, usually at least one of them wins, mostly Bishop Kenny. Not this week. 

So, will any of my teams win next week. I predict at least one of the eight will. See you in a few days.


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