A little late this week. My good friends at AT&T U-verse decided I didn't need an internet connection from Saturday until late Monday.
Let's get to it. The football week started on Thursday. It was the annual battle, and I use that word loosely, between Trinity and Bell. They are the two high schools in the HEB school district and share the same football stadium, Pennington Field. The game is played on Thursday to cut down on the postgame hijinks that used to take place on Friday nights. The hope is that some of the pranksters will go home earlier since it is a school night. The good news here is that proverbial loser Bell jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the first quarter. The bad news is that Trinity scored 49 points before the Raiders finally scored again in the fourth quarter. Final score was 56-17. The Trojans had 684 total yards, 632 on the ground. Bell had 282 total yards which were evenly distributed between passing and rushing. There was only one turnover in the game and that was a fumble by Trinity. As usual the Blue Raiders were just out manned and out coached. It has been years since they have won this game. Bell falls to a perfect 0-7, 0-3 record and now must play at Colleyville Heritage.
More bad news on the high school front. After three straight wins, Bishop Kenny lost a home game to Yulee 38-24. Kenny got off to a quick 7-0 lead in the first quarter but then the Hornets scored 22 in the second quarter and never trailed again. As has been the case all this season there have not been many game details for the Crusaders games. They move to 3-3, 1-0 on the season. Next up is a district game at Ponte Vedra.
It was a good Saturday in the college ranks. We'll start with the USF vs Syracuse game. Somehow the offensively challenged Bulls score 45 points as they routed the Orange 45-24. The game was only 10-3 in favor of USF at the break. Must have been a good halftime adjustment or a very inspiring speech. The Bulls had 541 total yards, 259 air and 282 ground. QB Quinten Flowers was 15/22 with 2 TDs and no interceptions. Running back Marion Mack rushed for 184 yards. USF also recovered two Syracuse fumbles and intercepted a pass. The Bulls win stopped a three game losing streak and they move to 2-3, 0-1. Next up is an away conference game at Connecticut.
The good news continued as #3 TCU beat Kansas State in Manhatten 52-47 in a battle of the purple teams. A little closer than I would like, but a win is a win. The Frogs decided to make the game exciting so they fell behind 35-17 at the half. They held KS scoreless in the third to pull within 35-31. They fell behind 42-31 early in the fourth quarter before finally getting it together. They didn't clinch the deal until just over a minute remained in the game. Coach Patterson will surely have a heart attack if TCU continues to play these kinds of games. The Wildcats held the ball almost 20 minutes longer than the Horned Frogs, amazing. TCU led in all the offensive statistics which shows that they move the ball and score quickly. Frog QB Trevone Boykin had his usual game, brilliance mixed with mistakes. He was 20/30 for 300 yards passing with two TDs and of course, two interceptions. He also added 124 yards rushing and two more TDs. TCU goes to 6-0, 3-0. They go to Iowa State next for another Big 12 (10 teams) game.
It got even better when #11 Florida had an easy day at Missouri. I was a little nervous about this game, still not convinced the Gators were for real. It was a 21-3 victory which proved again that Florida has an outstanding defense. They will need it in coming weeks, especially with their recent QB news. The Gators got out to a 14-3 first quarter lead and then shut out the Tigers for three quarters. Florida had an over 15 minute advantage in time of possession. Neither team had outstanding statistics. The Gators defense did manage two interceptions. Amazingly Florida is 6-0, 4-0 for the year. Don't get used to that undefeated season. It's time to go to Baton Rouge to play the #6 LSU Tigers. In Monday's news, we found out that Gator QB Will Grier has been suspended for the rest of the season for testing positive for PEDs. Great timing in what had looked like a much better than expected year.
In another game of interest to a guy who grew up in Florida, #12 FSU beat Miami 29-24. There was a time when the winner of this game had an inside track to the national championship. FSU has come back in the last couple of years but the Hurricanes still have work to do. I remember when Florida, FSU and Miami were in the top ten at the same time, often in the top five. The latest AP poll has Florida moving up to #8. The SEC has four top ten teams. TCU and Baylor switched the #2 and #3 positions but that doesn't matter. They play each other later in the year so that will resolve itself.
In the pro ranks, I only had to follow two games since Jacksonville was at Tampa Bay in the battle of the inept. Somebody had to win. This time it was the Bucs with a 38-31 victory. I'm amazed these two teams were able to score 69 points. The lead even changed hands a couple of times. Total stats were pretty even except that Jax had two turnovers and the Buccaneers held the ball almost 10 minutes longer. The Jags were also only 2-8 on third down conversions. This game will probably be a tiebreaker in the draft position in 2016. TB moves to 2-3 while the Jags fall to 1-4. Tampa Bay goes to Washington, DC and Jacksonville plays Houston in a Thursday night game. One of the few Jags games that I can see here in Texas. Both teams actually have a chance to win.
The Falcons continue to roll, kind of. They managed to beat not so great Washington 25-19 in overtime. It was a close game the whole way. It was also pretty exciting. Atlanta took a three point lead with 24 seconds remaining, then Washington came back and kicked a FG with no time left to force overtime. The Falcons had a pick six in the OT for the win. Atlanta had the best of the statistical battle. It was not a crisp game, Atlanta had three turnovers and Washington has two. The Falcons are a perfect 5-0, they will now go to New Orleans.
So to recap, the good guys went 0-2 at the high school level, 3-0 in the college ranks and 2-1 in the NFL. Overall 5-3 which is OK for my teams. This coming weeks schedule has some challenges.