College Football Week 8 Review

By: Will Johnson

This week was truly insane. Five Top 10 teams lost and eight in the Top 25. One team even refused to play! Let’s check out this week’s headlines.

 

Grambling St. Players Refuse to Play

The turmoil surrounding the Grambling State University football program has reached new heights this week. After firing their head coach earlier in the year and starting the season 0-7, the entire team refused to play their next game against Jackson St. As a result of these actions, Grambling St. will forfeit the game to Jackson St. and will have to pay a $20,000 fine. It seems as if the team was unsatisfied with the job interim head coach, George Ragsdale has done. Today, the team sent a letter to the athletic director, which outlined their complaints of the program. This letter included criticisms of the athletic complexes and the jerseys, both of which are stated to be detrimental to the player’s health. In fact, it seems as if the jerseys have caused multiple incidents of Staph Infection. This incident is a disgrace for both the program and the university. The NCAA needs to seriously punish Grambling State for putting their players’ health in jeopardy. Hopefully, Grambling St. and the NCAA can work together to clean this problem up as quickly as possible.

Game of the Week

Boy I was wrong. Florida St. hammered Clemson yesterday (51-14) and showed the country that it deserves to be in the BCS National Championship Game discussion. Jameis Winston had by far his best game of his season throwing for 444 yards and 3 TDs, if not for his one interception in the second quarter, his night would have been flawless. Explosive playmakers, Tahj Boyd  (156 yards, 1 TD, 2 INTs) and Sammy Watkins (68 yards and 1 TD), were unable to counter to Winston’s coming out performance. The game started badly enough for Clemson when, after a 22 yard touchdown pass from Winston to sophomore wide receiver Kelvin Benjamin and a 28 yard field goal by Roberto Aguayo, Boyd was sacked and fumbled the ball leading to a 37 yard fumble recovery for a touchdown by defensive lineman, Mario Edwards. The Tigers responded with a 3 yard touchdown grab by Sammy Watkins, but by halftime the game was 27-7 and too far out of reach for the boys from South Carolina. Last night’s outstanding performance puts famous Jameis and his million dollar smile right in the thick of Heisman Trophy hunt and Florida St. marching towards their first title game appearance since 2000.

Famous Jameis had his coming out party against a #3 seeded Clemson
Courtesy of Bleacher Report

 

Upsets Show Depth in SEC

Five Top 25 SEC teams lost yesterday (LSU 24-27 to Ole Miss, Texas A&M 41-45 to Auburn, South Carolina 21-23 to Tennessee, Georgia 27-31 to Vanderbilt, Florida 17-36 to Missouri), and four of whom were heavy favorites going into the game (Florida was not). While this does hurt the chances of the SEC repeating as BCS National Champions for the eighth straight time, it does show the depth of the conference. When you are playing tough games week in and week out, you are going to lose eventually. It now looks as if there is only one “easy win” within the conference, Kentucky, and under the leadership of Mark Stoops, they have been putting together a monster class headlined by Drew Barker (a four-star QB out of Hebron, Kentucky) and Denzel Ware (a four-star DE out of Crestview, Florida) and are ranked #16 in ESPN’s Recruiting Polls. Soon, there will be no more pushovers within the SEC. And while this week proved that Alabama is the only title-contender within the conference (I need to see more from Missouri’s new starting quarterback, Maty Mauk), the SEC showed that it truly is the most powerful conference in the nation.

QB Maty Mauk has clear potential Courtesy of Fox Sports
QB Maty Mauk has clear potential
Courtesy of Fox Sports

Rest of the Top 25

Alabama 

Alabama (#1) won 52-0 over Arkansas – Kenyan Drake (104 yards and 2 TDs) and Derrick Henry (111 yards and 1 TD) led the Alabama offense that rushed for 350 yards. Alabama’s defense held Arkansas to only 256 yards and caused 3 turnovers.

Oregon

Oregon (#2) won 62- 38 over Washington St. – Marcus Mariota improved his case for the Heisman Trophy with almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 total touchdowns. Oregon had over 600 for the third straight game as it gets ready for UCLA next week. Connor Hallaway threw for 557 yards and 4 touchdowns (as well as 4 interceptions) in a losing effort.

Ohio State

Ohio St. (#4) won 34 – 24 over Iowa – Ohio St. scored 24 second half points to overcome a 17-10 halftime deficit. Carlos Hyde ran for 149 yards and 2 touchdowns, including the one that put the Buckeyes ahead for good. Damon Bullock had 300 all-purpose yards and 3 touchdowns as Iowa dropped to 4-3 on the season.

LSU

LSU (#6) lost 24-27 to Ole Miss – Zach Mettenburger threw 3 first half interceptions leading LSU to a very poor offensive  performance. The LSU defense was unable to stop Ole Miss quarterback, Bo Wallace, who threw for 346 yards.

Texas A&M

Texas A&M (#7) lost 41-45 to Auburn (#24) – Despite Johnny Manziel’s 5 touchdowns and 500 all-purpose yard day, Texas A&M was unable to overcome Auburn. The Texas A&M defense could not stop Auburn’s rushing attack led by Tre Mason (178 yards and 1 TD) and Nick Marshall (100 yards and 2 TDs)

Louisville

Louisville (#8) lost 35-38 to UCF – UCF pulled off a stunner when sophomore quarterback, Blake Bortles, threw his second touchdown of the night to Jeff Godfrey with 16 seconds left. Despite the fact that Teddy Bridgewater threw for 341 yards and 2 touchdowns, his quest for the Heisman trophy came to an end today.

UCLA

UCLA (#9) lost 10-24 to Stanford (#13) – Stanford used the old ground and pound yesterday to physically dominate UCLA, as Tyler Gaffney ran for 171 yards and 2 touchdowns. Stanford’s defense stifled Brett Hundley (2 INTs) and the UCLA offense (266 total yards).

Miami

Miami (#10) won 27-23 over North Carolina – I talked about this in my preview for this week

South Carolina

South Carolina (#11) lost 21-23 to Tennessee – In a defensive battle (both teams held under 350 total yards), Tennessee needed Michael Palardy’s 19 yard field goal (third of the day) to upset South Carolina. Michael Davis (137 yards and 1 TD) carried South Carolina’s offense.

Baylor

Baylor (#12) won 71-7 over Iowa St. – The Baylor Bear’s scored over 69 points for the fifth time this season as they dominated a severely under-matched Cyclones team. Heisman candidate, Lache Seastruck, had his fifth 100-yard game and added two touchdowns for the Bears.

Mizzou

Missouri (#14) won 36-17 over Florida (#22) – In Matty Mauk’s first game as a starter, he threw for 295 yards and a touchdown to help the Tigers preserve their undefeated season. The Gator offense was unable to do anything against the Missouri defense as they only had 151 yards of total offense.

Georgia

Georgia (#15) lost 24-27 to Vanderbilt – Georgia was upset for the second straight week as Vanderbilt scored 17 points in the 4th quarter to erase a 14-point deficit. Preseason Heisman candidate, Aaron Murray, had his worst game of the season throwing for only 114 yards and an interception. Georgia’s rushing game also was hurting with the injury to sophomore sensation, Todd Gurley.

Texas Tech

Texas Tech (#16) won 37-27 over West Virginia – The Red Raiders scored the last 21 points to overcome the Mountaineers. Freshman quarterback, Davis Webb, threw for 462 yards and 2 touchdowns to keep Texas Tech undefeated. Next week Texas Tech will have a showdown against Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Fresno State

Fresno St. (#17) won 38-14 over UNLV – David Carr had another great game throwing for 412 yards and 4 touchdowns. UNLV was in striking distance until Carr threw for a touchdown to Davante Adams (221 yards and 4 TDs) with 9 minutes remaining. With the win Fresno St. kept its quest for a BCS Bowl alive.

Oklahoma

Oklahoma (#18) won 34-19 over Kansas – Oklahoma rebounded from last weeks trouncing from Texas with a convincing victory. The Sooners kept the Kansas offense to only 201 yards and just 16 yards passing.

Virginia Tech

Virginia Tech (#19) was off this week, they play Duke next week.

Washington

Washington (#20) lost 24-53 to Arizona St. – The Sun Devils moved into first place in the PAC-12 South by completely shutting down Keith Price (217 yards passing) and the Husky offense. Washington was only able to make 12 first downs and had a 24 percent 3rd Down conversion rate. Senior running back, Marion Grice, led the way for Arizona State with 195 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns (2 rushing, 1 receiving).

Oklahoma State

Oklahoma St. (#21) won 24-10 over TCU – The Cowboys overcame their worst offensive performance of the season by shutting down the TCU offense. They caused four turnovers and held TCU to only 325 yards of offense. John Stewart had a 95-yard punt return to get the Oklahoma St. festivities rolling.

Northern Illinois

N. Illinois (#23) won 38-17 over C. Michigan – N. Illinois continued its streak of 19 straight regular season victories going with a commanding win over the Chippewas. Jordan had 316 yards rushing (as well as 155 yards passing) and 4 total touchdowns in the win.

Wisconsin

Wisconsin (#25) won 56-32 over Illinois – Wisconsin used their punishing rushing offense, led by Melvin Gordon (142 yards and 3 TDs) and James White (98 yards and 2 TDs) to overpower the Fighting Illinois. Nathan Scheelhaase threw for 249 yard in a losing effort.

QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Hesiman Hopefuls after this week Courtesy of Zimbio
QB Marcus Mariota leads the pack in Heisman Hopefuls after this week
Courtesy of Zimbio

 

Heisman Power Rankings

In the thick of the season the Heisman Hopefuls show themselves and this week the men were separated from the boys.

1) Marcus Mariota, QB, Oregon – has been spectacular every Saturday, and this week was no different accounting for almost 400 yards of total offense and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 2051 passing yards and 19 TDs with 493 yards rushing and 9 TDs

2) Jameis Winston, QB, Florida St. – had his coming out this week against Clemson throwing for 444 yards and 3 touchdowns.

Season Stats: 1885 yards and 20 TDs

3) Johnny Manziel, QB, Texas A&M – he was injured for almost a quarter and still put up gigantic numbers (454 yards passing and 4 TDs plus 48 yards rushing and 1 TD)

Season Stats: 2289 yards passing and 18 TDs with 486 yards rushing and 6 TDs

4) Sean Mannion, QB, Oregon St. – with the loss to E. Washington to start the season people have not been paying attention to Oregon St., but Sean Mannion leads the nation in passing and had another great week yesterday against Cal (481 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2992 yards and 29 TDs

5) Derek Carr, QB, Fresno St. – kind of reminds me of Case Keenum from a few years ago. Being in a non-BCS conference hurts him, but always puts up big numbers, like last week against UNLV (412 yards and 4 TDs)

Season Stats: 2276 yards and 23 TDs

What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in Courtesy of Sports Illustrated
What a performance QB Jordan Lynch turned in
Courtesy of Sports Illustrated

 

Player of the Week

Jordan Lynch, QB, NIU 316 yards rushing and 3 TDs with 155 yards passing and 1 TD

 

Conclusion

What a crazy week in college football. I expect next week will be a lot different, but watch out for Oregon against UCLA.

Analysis of the Red Sox’s victory over the Rays

By: Josh M

An easy win for the Boston Red Sox, right? Or was it? Last season, the Boston Red Sox had the worst record in the AL East, lost their manager, and contemplated losing the icon and symbol of the franchise:  DH David Ortiz. The Boston Red Sox have not won a World Series since 2007 or made the playoffs since 2009. The stakes rode high as people where questioning the possibility of another drought for the grief-ridden team. However, the team ended the regular season with the best record in the league and hopes were high for them. In the ALDS the team drew the Tampa Bay Rays, one of their AL East division rivals.

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

In the first game, Boston pitcher, Jon Lester, who had a disappointing season last year going 9-14, was pitching against the Rays’ Matt Moore. However, the Rays had been the underdog going into the season and in this game as well. Lester had been hot all season and was the first top pitcher in the rotation. In the game, it was a blow out. Nothing special. Jon Lester had pitched virtually lights out except for two botched innings that resulted in two solo home runs. However, the Red Sox scored 12 runs in the game and made this no contest. However, the Red Sox did not hit a home run for the prodigious amount of runs that they amassed in game 1. On the contrary, they picked up the “W” in the first game of the best of 5 series.

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

In game 2, the game was held in Fenway Park, the home of the Red Sox, for the second consecutive game. Once again, the Red Sox demolished the Rays and sent them home to Tampa Bay with something to worry about. The Ray’s prominent pitcher and former Cy Young Award winner David Price pitched against the Sox’s John Lackey. After Boston’s two-run first inning, it was extremely difficult for the Rays to muster enough energy and spirit to make a comeback. Moreover, the biggest highlights of this game were the home runs by the Red Sox. Big Papi hit two home runs to blow the game open in the first and eighth innings. Also, Dustin Pedroia tacked on 3 RBIs in this game.

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

In game three, the Rays hoped to have redemption. And they did. When the Sox went up 3-0 in the in the 5th, the Rays were in a dire situation. In the bottom of the inning, they tallied three runs to tie the score. Later in the game, in the 9th inning, it was all tied up at 4-4 with Jose Lobaton stepping into the batting box. Here, every baseball fan heard of the man that has never made much noise in the MLB, with his 2alk off homerun off of closer Koji Uehara. The Rays celebrated, but they were still down 2-1 in the series and the Sox only needed one more win to advance to the ALCS.

Courtesy of ESPN
Courtesy of ESPN

In game 4, Sox pitcher Jake Peavey was set to face Jeremy Hellickson of the Rays. This game was not a spectacular, exciting, or heroic victory. The Red Sox merely won off of a sac fly and a wild pitch. The Sox won the game 3-1, but it didn’t matter how they won as long as they did win. The team celebrated and popped champagne, although they were in the opposing team’s clubhouse. This was a momentous victory for the team because it advanced them to the ALCS. They were set to play the Detroit Tigers, with Triple Crown winner Miguel Cabrera, to compete for the World Series. This win was huge for the Boston Red Sox, but it would be an even sweeter if they can win against the Tigers. This could be their first appearance in the World Series since their victory in 2007.