Monday, October 26, 2015

Football 2015 - Week 9

I was out of pocket and out of sorts last weekend so there was no Week 8 post. Here is a very quick recap of week 8's results:

  • On Thursday Night Football, Atlanta lost to New Orleans 31-21 for their first defeat of the season.
  • Friday night lights saw Bishop Kenny lose 36-7 @ Ponte Vedra and L.D. Bell lost 52-3 in a district game @ Colleyville.
  • College matches had #3 TCU beating Iowa State 45-21, South Florida won a conference game @ UConn 28-20 and the #8 Gators lost 35-28 to #6 LSU in Baton Rouge.
  • The Bucs had a bye week. Jacksonville lost @ home to Houston 31-20.

For Week 9 we finally have some good news in the high school ranks. After a two game losing streak, Bishop Kenny squeaked out a victory over the Terry Parker Braves 17-14. The game was tied at seven at halftime. It was also tied at 14 in the fourth quarter before BK kicked the winning FG. The Crusaders had a poor passing game going only 6-19 for 79 yards and one interception. On the ground, Crusader running back Gushanas rushed for 179 yards on 27 carries and two TDs including one for 55 yards. The win moves Kenny to 4-4, 2-1 for the year. Next is a home district game against Wolfson.

Miracles do happen and Bell proved it with a district win over Haltom 32-29 in a game played at AT&T Stadium. This was Bell's first win of the season and comes after two straight games where the opponent scored over 50 points. The Raiders led 17-14 at the half but fell behind twice in the third quarter before sealing the victory in the fourth stanza. Statistically, it was a very close game between these two inept teams that now have a total of two wins. As mentioned, it was Bells first win, it will also be their last. They are now 1-8, 1-4 and must travel to Southlake to play the perennial power Carroll Dragons. 

It was a slow Saturday. #4 TCU and #13 Florida had the week off. The 7-0 Frogs next host West Virginia. The 6-1 Gators travel to Jacksonville for the annual outdoor cocktail party against Georgia.

South Florida is on a roll as they won their third straight with a 38-14 victory over SMU in
Tampa. The Bulls trailed 7-3 after one quarter but never again after that. Despite the lopsided score, the stats were amazingly close. SMU won the passing battle 233-97 and USF won on the ground 255-132. Quinton Flowers rushed for 201 of those yards and three TDs. The Mustangs even won the possession battle by almost 10 minutes. Care to guess what the difference was? Yup, it was turnovers, SMU had four and South Florida had only one. Same old story. This win moves USF to 4-3, 2-1 on the season. It's now on to Annapolis to play the Navy Midshipmen in another AAC game.

The big surprise in college was the last second win by unranked Georgia Tech over #9 FSU. The 22-16 Tech win was the result of a blocked field goal attempt with a 78 yard recovery return with no time left on the clock. 

LSU won the only non-conference SEC game. There were a couple of minor upsets but I figure whenever SEC schools play each other it is a tossup. 

The latest AP Top 25 poll has five SEC teams, two in the top 10. Ohio State remains #1. TCU falls one spot to #5 despite not playing. The Gators moved up two spots to #11, they didn't play either. The big loser was FSU which dropped from #9 to #17. 

Jacksonville got the pros off to an early start with their game against the Bills from London at 8:30 AM central time. For the first time ever, the game was streamed by Yahoo for free. I watched it on the Roku Yahoo channel but also checked out a couple of the other options on my PC and tablet. They all worked. There were a few pauses/buffering during the broadcast and picture quality did vary somewhat. I don't know if that was caused by Yahoo or my AT&T U-verse connection. Now about the game, It was a boring first quarter but the second quarter more than made up for it. In a little over five minutes, Jax scored four TDs, two by the defense and a third set up by the defense. That stretch left the Jags leading 27-3. The Bills got untangled and were able to score 10 more points before halftime. That made it 37 total second quarter points and a 27-13 Jacksonville lead. As exciting as the second quarter was, there were no scores in the third quarter. With a 14 point lead going into the fourth quarter it was looking good for the Jaguars. So of course they allowed Buffalo to score 18 fourth quarter points and trailed 31-27. Jacksonville's offense finally woke up and marched 84 yards on seven plays to retake the lead at 34-31. The Bills still had a little over two minutes left but failed to move the ball. This was not a pretty game. Buffalo slightly won most of the statistics but as often happens, four turnovers will almost always cause a loss. Jags QB Blake Bortles was 13/29 for 182 yards with two TDs and one INT. He showed stretches of good play. T.J. Weldon had almost all of Jacksonville's rushing yards with 115 yards on 20 carries and one TD. The Jaguars remain a work in progress, but we'll take any win. This game moves them to 2-5 and now enjoy a bye week.

Tampa Bay again let a lead get away from them. Maybe these pirates are enjoying too much rum during halftime. The Bucs got out to a 24-0 lead and led 24-7 at the half. Unfortunately for them they were only able to score two FGs in the second half while Washington cut the lead to three points by the end of the third quarter and again midway through the fourth. Still, TB led by six with 2:24 remaining in the game before allowing Washington to march 80 yards to score the winning TD with 0:24 to go. The Bucs excel at blowing leads. The Buccaneers had over 100 more total yards, held DC to 50 rushing yards and scored a defensive TD. Jameis Winston had a good day going 21/29 for 297 yards and two TDs. Still not enough as they lost 31-30. Tampa Bay falls to 2-4 and goes to Atlanta on Sunday.

Speaking of Atlanta, the Falcons continued their mostly winning ways with a tough 10-7 victory at Tennessee. Each QB threw for one TD and two INTs. There aren't many highlights here.The Titans TD came on a one play 19 yard drive after an interception. They converted only one of nine third down chances. The Falcons were a little better on offense but nothing to brag about. They had about a 10 minute possession advantage and 120 more total yards. Atlanta is now 6-1 for the season. They host Tampa Bay next in a division game.


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