In addition to the big offense we saw in the ACC in Week 6, we also saw a return to normalcy after a couple of weeks full of upsets. Most of the Top 25 held their ground leading up to Week 7, which features OU-Texas, Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, Boise State at Tulsa, Cincinnati at South Florida, Arkansas at Florida and South Carolina at Alabama. As good as the last few weeks have been for the oblong, this week's slate of games might be the best of the year. Until then, enjoy the week that was in calllage footbawl.
Virginia Tech 48, Boston College 14
Hokies Smash BC 48-14 (Tech Sideline)
"After three straight regular season losses to Boston College, #5 Virginia Tech restored order to this rivalry by pounding the Eagles 48-14 in a game that was over by halftime. The first half was the best half of football the Hokies have played in quite sometime, and they improved to 5-1 overall and 3-0 in the ACC. BC dropped to 4-2, with a 2-2 mark in conference play."
Eagles Get Ryan Williams'd (BC Interruption)
Jeff and Brian take time off from hearing their wives tell them to quit crying to discuss the game. "Brian: I agree that the team is much better than their performance indicated on Saturday, but NC State won’t be a pushover by any means. NC State fans always have the BC game circled on their calendar every year as they have some weird complex about Boston College and the ACC. The NC State secondary is very porous, however, and if the home version of David Shinskie shows up, the Eagles should have success on the offensive side of the ball. If I had to go with a starter, it has to still be Shinskie, right? What other options do we have? Tuggle didn’t see the field so you have to think he is squarely the 3rd string quarterback at this point. Marscovetra performed well in the second half, but this was in garbage time against a bunch of Hokie second-stringers."
Second viewing thougths and grade report: Virginia Tech (Eagle in Atlanta)
"I hate giving an F, but there are two reasons for the grade. One we had another terrible performance where the team didn't come to play. One stinker is to be expected during a season. A second one -- even against a good team like VT -- is not acceptable. The second reason for the F is Spaz's idea to bring in the second teamers on our first possession of the second quarter. We are down 17-0 at that point. The guys get overwhelmed and we punted from deep in our own end. VT scored on the next play. Game (effectively) over. There is no reason to put them in there. Spaz is not building a program. He inherited a winner, is familiar with what works at BC and doesn't have the luxury of youth to build for the long term. This division is up for grabs. Coming out flat and then experimenting in a conference game is a bad idea."
What we learned in the ACC: Week 6 (Annette)
"Emotion can't overcome X's and O's. It's not like Florida State didn't play with heart against Georgia Tech. It's not like quarterback Christian Ponder didn't play well enough to win. It's not like the Seminoles gave up. They played with a purpose and for their head coach, Bobby Bowden. But those qualities couldn't overcome a lack of adjustments, missed tackles or missed assignments on defense. Paul Johnson's offense has proven time and time again it's not a 3-yards-and-a-cloud-of-dust philosophy. It's got big-play capabilities and FSU learned that the hard way Saturday night."
ACC Power Rankings, Oct. 12 (ACC Sports Journal)
"When the Washington Redskins hired him as a "consultant" last week, 60-something Sherm Lewis was on his way to his regular gig as a bingo announcer at a Michigan retirement home, according to the Washington Post. We point this out for two reasons: to bring attention to the ineptitude of the Redskins and to reference random draws, which would seem to be the best way to determine the relative strength of ACC football teams in most cases."
OTB’s ACC Power Poll: Week 6 (On the B.Rink)
"Coastal Division is king. The question legitimately is–can the anyone in the Atlantic defeat a Coastal team? I really don’t know. Also, where did the defense go? Duke/NCSU and FSU/GT were arcade mode games where the defense seemingly had a couple less players on the field."
Week 6 Roundup: The Glass-Half-Full Edition (Instead of Texting)
"Saturday was one of the greatest offensive shows in conference history. Not long ago (before last season, basically), the ACC was seen as a punchless league dominated by defense. Saturday’s games may have killed off that perception. In every game involving ACC teams, the winner scored at least 40 points. Fittingly, the day ended with Georgia Tech outlasting Florida State, 49-44."
Virginia 47, Indiana 7
What the hell? (From Old Virginia)
"It's so funny how I learn, every year, how quickly the fortunes of our football team can swing, mid-season. You'd think in my 10th year of UVA fanhood I'd have learned this lesson by now, but you'd be wrong; apparently I am not a fast learner. Two weeks into the season - actually one week, really, because eight days is all it takes to end up 0-2 - everything was DOOM. Two weeks after being 0-3 - again, actually just one week - I'm about to open my fat mouth about bowl games again."
North Carolina 42, Georgia Southern 12
UNC 42, Georgia Southern 12 (ACC Now)
"Running back Ryan Houston rumbled for three touchdowns. The defense snagged six turnovers. And North Carolina easily dispatched FCS foe Georgia Southern 42-12 at Kenan Stadium on Saturday. But the question now is: can the Tar Heels (4-2) build off that momentum – in the upcoming games that actually matter? Remember: While UNC’s romp halted a two-game winning streak and served as a confidence boost – something that was sorely needed after scoring only 10 points its previous two games – the victory doesn’t count toward bowl eligibility."
Defense Dominates in Chapel Hill (Joe Ovies)
"North Carolina rebounded from back-to-back losses with a 42-12 rout of Georgia Southern. The Heels defense feasted — limiting the opposing team to 170 total yards, forcing six turnovers and two touchdowns. Quan Sturdivant returned a fumble 49 yards, while Bruce Carter brought back an interception 41 yards. Ryan Houston rushed for three touchdowns all within 10 yards and Shaun Draughn added a 16-yard touchdown run. The Heels ran it up to their final tally of 42 by the end of the half, which is a good thing because the rest of the game wasn’t so efficient."
UNC 42 Georgia Southern 12 (Tar Heel Fan)
"The defense was beast-like doing awesome stuff like stripping the football from ball carriers and taking it the other way for a TD or vintage Bruce Carter with the pick six. The UNC defense forced six turnovers, an element I think has been missing in otherwise good defensive performances so far this season. Going plus-5 in turnover margin goes a long way towards dominating the game. And Robert Quinn is playing like a man possessed(with NFL 1st round draft aspirations.)"
Duke 49, NC State 28
Duke 49, N.C. State 28 (ACC Now)
"Lewis' career-day ended an eight-game losing streak in the ACC, a 20-game losing streak on the road in the ACC, an 11-game losing streak in the series with State and a nine-game winless streak in Raleigh. Duke's first game at Carter-Finley since 2002 was Lewis' only chance to play here. He'll always remember it. Lewis completed 40-of-50 passes for a career-best 459 yards and five touchdowns."
Pack No Longer Best Team In The State (Joe Ovies)
"Savvy State fans knew this was a possibility. First off, these teams have a history of tough/bizarre games. The last memory of Duke visiting Carter-Finley was Philip Rivers’ junior year, where it took a diving play into the end-zone by the QB and a missed 65-yard field goal attempt for the Pack to be victorious. Then there is the matter of the Wolfpack defense, more specifically the secondary. How shall we put this nicely — it’s been porous. The defense regressed after putting up a stinker against Wake Forest QB Riley Skinner, with Duke’s Thad Lewis tearing them a new one."
Well, See You All Next Year (Backing The Pack)
"What seemed like a serious problem last week now appears to be an impossible one. TOB said afterwards that he thinks they're playing their best guys in the secondary, but I think we're at a point where it's no longer worth worrying about, since it's pretty evident that this group's ceiling is low regardless of who's playing where. We're at the halfway point, the coaches have had plenty of time to smooth some of the rough edges, yet the poor fundamentals continue. I keep waiting to see some signs of progress or direction; instead, the situation looks beyond repair."
So yeah...FAIL (Yet Another...)
"Defense, defense, defense. Where was it? It certainly wasn't on the field Saturday. I've been hemming and hawing about whether I felt Mike Archer's system could work, but after two weeks of watching a good quarterback pick it apart, I'm convinced that this bend-don't-break, umbrella, soft zone, whatever-you-want-to-call-it defense will not work on a consistent enough basis to stick with it for the long haul. The reason is simple: Good quarterbacks can pick it apart. We've seen it two weeks in a row now. And if State wants to reach the level of an ACC title contender, they're going to face plenty of good quarterbacks along the way. If we have to bank on beating only the teams with young/subpar quarterbacks, you can forget about any title aspirations."
Wake Forest 42, Maryland 32
Terps Demolished By Wake Early (Testudo Times)
"Yeah, I expected a loss - actaully, a loss of these proportions weren't out of the question in my mind leading up the game - but that doesn't make me any happier about it. All of the time Friedgen bought with the Clemson win just disappeared with this performance. It's bad when the good performance is the outlier, not the bad ones."
Miami 48, Florida A&M 16
Game Five : Miami 48, Florida A&M 16 (AllCanes)
"It was only FAMU and it wasn't a razor-sharp performance, but it wasn't supposed to be. Miami passed yet another test early in the season; avoiding the let down. The starters took care of business, the back ups got their licks in and the Canes are headed to Orlando next weekend for a showdown with Central Florida."
Rattlers Prove Harmless To Hurricanes (Canespace)
"When it was over there were no reported bites or fatalities as a result of the impotent Rattlers or their weak attempts at attacking the Hurricanes on the field. In fact, the highlight of the day was the FAMU Marching 100 band who jammed, jived and juked their way through a special 30 minute post-game concert to entertain the fans of both teams. Now that's entertainment!"
Georgia Tech 49, Florida State 44
FSU Postgame: Thoughts after Tally (From The Rumble Seat)
"Player of the game goes yet again to Josh Nesbitt. His leadership and ability to carry the team on the back was Hamilton-esque. What he did that night was something Lil' Joe could never do. The play where he ripped the ball back after the bad pitch could easily be the play of the year for the Yellow Jackets. Nesbitt is the most under-appreciated piece of the Georgia Tech offense, but yet he is our most valuable piece. Without him, we lose to Clemson and quite possibly the 'Noles."
Georgia Tech beats Florida State 49-44 (Tomahawk Nation)
"Our defense failed us in this game, which is not surprising given everything that we know. Mickey Andrews is well past his prime, and can't game plan for the triple option, Jody Allen and Chuck Amato are terrible position coaches on the defense, and recruiting lapses have left us thin and starting true freshman. Obviously this has been well covered on TomahawkNation, but Bobby Bowden is the root of all these coaching failures, and once Jimbo Fisher (whose offense looked dominant) is able to hire a full staff we can expect our defense to turn around at least some."
Abbreviatedly Random and Briefly Meaningless Thoughts (Scalp Em)
"Sitting at 2-4 on the season so far there is some good news for FSU fans. It is a money back guarantee (you won’t have to hold your breath for this one) that the Seminoles will not lose next Saturday. Of course they don’t play but that’s beside the point. We here at Random Thoughts look for any silver lining we can find right about now."
National College Football
Quick Hits From My Couch (College Game Balls)
"Blackout Fail. Doak was a sea of Garnet and Gold and three coeds fought a movement backed by thousands of no-show forum warriors."
I am shocked (shocked!) that CBS projects the SEC for the national championship (Dr. Saturday)
"I've respected CBS Sports' Gary Danielson for years when he's talking about what's happening in front of him -- as a game analyst, he's generally sharp, quick on the draw and refreshingly merciless when it comes to doling out honest criticism. He's the best in the game when it comes to keeping the viewer involved strategically. As his bizarre anti-spread ravings suggest, though, Danielson's not quite as venerable when assembling the big picture. So it probably shouldn't be surprising that Danielson's hierarchy of "teams controlling their own destiny" for the national championship during the Florida-LSU game Saturday night leans rather heavily toward the conference that unfolds in front of him every week."
Storyline Clarity (Varsity Numbers)
"Ah, October. The month where college football goes from good to great. There are some negative sentiments below regarding the NCAA, officiating, etc., but make no mistake: October is still a great month to be a college football fan, with crazy finishes, passionate rivalries, and strange weather coming into play. This is also the month when the storylines of the season crystallize. At least one top 5 team lose this weekend (No. 1 Florida and No. 4 LSU face off tomorrow night), and the pictures in the SEC West, Pac-10, and Big East will start to become more clear (with Nebraska's win over Missouri last night, the story of the 2009 Big 12 North has already become more focused). So let's take one more look at last week, then dive into potential developments and upsets for the weekend."
Nebraska 27, Missouri 12
Post Game Overreaction - A Leap Of Faith Edition! (Corn Nation)
"I can't remember the last time I felt such a swing in emotion. From family-waking profanity to family-waking shouts of glee, as the Huskers won a game in Columbia for the first time since 2001 and broke a road losing streak to Top 25 teams dating back to 1997."
Perspective, perhaps all too soon (Rock M Nation)
"What we saw Thursday night was what happens when the game we call football is stripped of its "beautiful" paradigm and rebuilt as a battle of wills. Victory or defeat, there was simply no cosmetic beauty to be taken out of this game. For all the X's and O's in the world, Thursday night was about four quarters of execution, four quarters of minimizing mistakes, and four quarters of willing yourself to victory against any obstacle. In the end, Nebraska's will won out."
Tennessee 45, Georgia 19
Honk if you're having fun (Rocky Top Talk)
"Perhaps Lane Kiffin does know what he's doing. Perhaps Jonathan Crompton's problem is in fact that he's had to learn five offensive schemes in five years and had his brain scrambled in the process. Perhaps he is the team's best chance at QB. Perhaps he can even salvage the season."
Texas 38, Colorado 14
Texas Takes Care of Colorado, 38-14 (Burnt Orange Nation)
"For my part, I obviously am at this point conflicted, torn between my excitement about the team's many strengths and the nagging worry about the offense remainiong vulnerable to occasional bouts with mediocrity. For what it's worth, my sense after five games is that the defense, special teams, and overall roster composition are substantially stronger than last year -- sufficiently so to mitigate the offensive question marks. Whereas in 2008 Texas was vulnerable to a bad game on both sides of the ball, it's difficult to envision the 2009 defense coughing up big points and needing a pick-me-up. If that's correct, then Texas can win any given game if either the offense has a good day or, in the case of a pedestrian performance by the offense, Texas' defense and special teams put points on/keep opposing points off the scoreboard."
Arkansas 44, Auburn 23
Arkansas 44, Auburn 23: The Heartbreak That Wasn't (Arkansas Expats)
"I suspect you were having panicky thoughts as well. We've watched these Hogs cough up too many leads over the years. But thank God for Dennis Johnson. His 65-yard kickoff return to close the third quarter seemed to steady the Hogs, and it gave me hope that Arkansas just might make it out of the afternoon alive. We are alive indeed. Alive and kicking."
Oregon 24, UCLA 10
Oregon 24, UCLA 10 was more than two big plays (George Schroeder)
"Oregon has a defense worthy of a nickname. The offense will return to gashing opponents when Masoli returns, presumably for Washington in two weeks. Costa showed he’s a reliable backup, by the way, and you figure he’d only get better. But Masoli is the key."
Oregon's defense wins the day (Addicted To Quack)
"This wasn't the prettiest game we've seen, but it was a game we needed to see. Our defense stepped up when the offense was struggling. They scored points on their own, and put the offense in position to score. What I think we've learned is that this defense is good. It's good enough to win football games on it's own against mediocre competition. This has not been the case in recent years. If the offense can move the ball consistently, and I don't doubt Chip Kelly one bit, this will be a very dangerous football team."
Neuheisel's Bruins Implode Against Oregon In A Flash (Bruins Nation)
"Yes, we get it. We are a young team. We are supposed to go through growing pains. We have red shirt freshman and true freshman QB who are finding their ways. We have an offensive line which is getting it together after cratering following years of mediocrity this past season. We are supposed to be going through the roller coaster experience we all went through during Howland's first two-three years at UCLA. That said it's never fun seeing a team just fall apart in a flash, giving away a game it has every chance of winning, and then hopelessly trying to make a run without much hope."
Oklahoma 33, Baylor 7
Post Baylor Game Quotes And Thoughts (Crimson And Cream Machine)
"Sam Bradford might have had a career day had it not been for the drops. I know that frustrations were high with them. There were several murmurs in the crowd, screaming from the coaches and even a little body language from Bradford himself. This has been an issue troubling the Sooners all season long but has never been on display more than it was on Saturday when just about every skill position player on the field dropped a ball."
Alabama 22, Ole Miss 3
Initial Impressions from the Ole Miss Game (Roll 'Bama Roll)
"First and foremost, this is a big victory for the Tide. I know that some of the luster was taken off this game with Ole Miss' loss against South Carolina a couple of weeks back, but even so this game received lots of national attention yesterday, and it was the game that the pundits had circled all year long. To come out and win this type of game, on the road, is a big victory."
TCU 20, Air Force 17
TCU survives in the cold at Air Force, 20-17 (Mountain West Connection)
"In the end TCU showed even with a poor game on the road they are a tough team to beat. Not many teams can turn it over 3 times on the road force no turnovers of their own and come away with a W. TCU takes on a struggling Colorado State at home next week. Air Force gets Wyoming at Falcon Stadium next week."
Florida 13, LSU 3
13-3 Adds Up to ‘Glorious W’ (Orange and Blue Hue)
"Florida fields the best defense in the nation, hands down. Holding LSU to 3 points? In Death Valley? At night? YGTBFKM. The best, yes. Not only is this true in a statistical sense, but man, this is a nasty stop squad. LSU’s biggest play, a 26 yard pass from QB Jordan Jefferson to WR Brandon LaFell (the LSU stadium announcer called him ‘Jojo’, by the way) only occurred thanks to a mismatch with sub Markihe Anderson. No way that pass is completed against Joe Haden, who had an awesome outing along with the rest of the defensive starters. The DBs were hitting hard and drawing accurate beads on their targets. It was clear that LSU receivers were hearing footsteps in the second half. It had to be frustrating for Jordan Jefferson to face such a stingy defense."
Iowa 30, Michigan 28
Sad Pandas (MGoBlog)
"This is probably a time to dispense with the fooferah and get right to the heart of the matter. From our vantage point from the endzone of Kinnick Stadium our instant assumption when Denard Robinson came in was that Forcier had gotten hurt on one of two earlier plays. We couldn't see a whole lot, but we saw a lot of Michigan's third quarter—unfortunately because they spent it next to the wrong endzone. Forcier banged his hand on someone's helmet, then later took a wicked shot from some defensive lineman or another moments after launching another incompletion."
West Virginia 34, Syracuse 13
Syracuse vs. West Virginia Post-mortem (Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician)
"I know, lots of variables at play. West Virginia took their foot off the gas in the second half, halftime adjustments factored in, etc. But you can't deny that while Greg Paulus was out-of-control and throwing desperation lobs, Ryan Nassib looked much more comfortable in the pocket. And his throws! My God, the difference in arm strength between Nassib and Paulus was undeniable. Nassib's passes were thrown so hard for the Syracuse receivers that they seemed uncomfortable trying to catch them, as if they weren't used to such precise balls."
Oregon State 38, Stanford 28
WildBeaver Formation Works Wonders as Beavers Down Trees (Building The Dam)
"Danny Langsdorf brought the Oregon State rendition of the trendy Wildcat formation out of the lab Saturday afternoon. On it's debut play, it produced sophomore tailback Jacquizz Rodgers' longest rush of his OSU career-- a 61-yard scamper that set the Beavers up for their second touchdown of the game. Jacquizz would score four touchdowns on the afternoon and account for 271 yards of total offense-- almost certainly his best game since the Beavers downed USC last season."
Washington 36, Arizona 33
Huskies snatch victory from defeat! (UW Dawg Pound)
"Washington never seemed right tonight. From the onset they played sloppy but still came off the field with a 14-10 lead at the half. Arizona made some adjustments at the half and outscored the Huskies 17-7 in the third quarter and dominated time of possession in the second half working a short passing game consisting of mostly bubble screens which the Huskies could not figure out how to stop till the end of the game when all the chips were on the line."
Stuff Only I Care About
21-year-old man arrested after stealing ambulance (Lawrence Journal World)
Yeah, this sounds like Lawrence. "While the crews were away from the vehicle, an intoxicated man got into the ambulance and began driving away, heading westbound on 10th Street. Hadl said the man believed he had no other means of transportation home. The man led police on a brief low-speed chase. It began at 2:22 a.m. and ended just a few minutes later at the intersection of 10th and Tennessee streets. Numerous police cars surrounded the vehicle, and the man was taken into custody without incident."
Closed for season (Boston Globe)
Amalie Benjamin, who I love and in a heartbeat would give up my hard-drinking, road-tripping bachelor ways for, on the disappointing end to the Sox season: "The bottle of Bud Light rested next to him as Jonathan Papelbon folded his shirts, filled his bags, and cleared out his locker. The rest of his teammates had melted away, either out the door to lives that might not include the Red Sox next season or back into the players’ lounge, where there was solace in a beer or two. But Papelbon sat on a chair in his corner of the clubhouse, long after he had thrown his final pitch of the day and the season, silently packing."
Season Over: Angels Sweep Sox as Papelbon Blows Up (Over the Monster)
"The story of the 2009 Red Sox will be one of a good team that couldn't get the job done in the postseason. For Sox fans, this is nothing new—it was the story so many times during the 86-year drought. But now we expect more out of this team—certainly more than the performance we received this October—and Theo Epstein will need to have an active offseason to meet our expectations."
A View From the Roost: New Perch (The Goose's Roost)
"And maybe that’s why the crowd was so dead. There was a level of disinterest on Thursday that was hard to place, but maybe everyone really is in "wait and see" mode just like I am. Sure, let’s see how the lines shake out. Sure, let’s watch what Tyler Myers can do. Sure, we need to see how Miller holds up, but win or lose, we’ve only seen just over 120 minutes of hockey from this Sabres team."
Sabres Need Adjustments to Improve Offense (Die By The Blade)
"With the current lines they have players out of position and others that aren't being utilized properly. Stafford is a waste of talent on the fourth line and Kaleta and Ellis are both playing out of position. The first move would be to send Ellis to te press box and play Paille. Paille in the lineup would immediately improve the Sabres offense. He isn't going to score 30 goals but he has much more offensive talent than Matt Ellis."
Get Yer Rexall Goal Horn Here (The Copper & Blue)
"You're excited about the new look, leave-the-defense-to-the-devil Edmonton Oilers. You just can't get enough goal horn from Rexall. We're here to help. Download the Rexall Horn in .mp3 format as your email alert, as your windows startup sound or just to scare the bejesus out of everyone when your phone rings at night. Remember, nothing rings quite like a 100 decibel horn."
Quebec moves closer to getting NHL team (The Globe and Mail)
First Hamilton, then Winnipeg, now QC is looking for the seventh NHL team in Canada: "The return of the Quebec Nordiques to the NHL may be one step closer to reality. Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume confirmed Saturday that he met with NHL commissioner Gary Bettman along with former Nordiques owner Marcel Aubut. The mayor said the talks between him, Aubut and Bettman in New York on Friday were "fruitful.""