Welcome back and if you are back for this column you already know the warning. You will not find any good, not even really bad. What you will find is a weekly expose into the UGLY of College Football.
Week 11 had plenty.
It seems like Houston puts a team on THE UGLY every week, and of course this week is no different.
First, the final score was 73-17 in the Cougars favor, just to get that out of the way. Now, we must consider that Houston even spotted Tulane a free quarter – and by free quarter I mean a quarter in which Houston actually did not score. This game was over by the end of the second quarter and Tulane never had a prayer – assuming they prayed.
At the end of the second quarter Houston lead 35-10, at the end of third quarter it was 59-10, and so on and so forth. Tulane gave up 735 total yards – 443 through the air and 292 on the ground.
Case Keenum was 22-for-29 for 325 yards and three touchdowns. Keenum’s backup – Cotton Turner – nearly threw for more yards than Tulane’s starting quarterback. Turner had 118 yards on 11 attempts, while Tulane’s Ryan Griffin had 137 on 43 attempts. Nice work.
A couple things were clear Saturday. One, Oklahoma State did not look past Tech Tech at any point, and two Oklahoma was Texas Tech’s Bowl game. Congratulations.
Texas Tech gave up 637 total yards to Oklahoma State and only managed to gain 270 themselves. Maybe Oklahoma State’s defense has been skewed somewhat by chunk and junk, I am not sure. One thing I am sure of though, is Texas Tech is just horrible.
Maybe it was fitting that Adam James – son of Craig James – senior day was a final score of 66-6, who knows.
At halftime Oklahoma State lead 49-0 and at which point even T. Boone Pickens started looking ahead
Now I did predict Oregon to defeat Stanford so I should give them leeway, but if you have read this column in the past you know I will not.
Oregon punked Stanford in primetime and made the Cardinal look, well, very very slow.
Andrew Luck – the best quarterback in the country – is all that kept Stanford in this game for at least a half. (Oregon lead 22-16 at the half) To beat Oregon, Stanford needed to take the air out of the ball, control the clock, and not turn the ball over. Achieving one out of three of those is a losing combination every single time.
Stanford did have the ball for 34 minutes and change, but Oregon (being Oregon) scored at will and did enough defensively to make the doubters ponder if this Ducks team is not better than the 2010 version. Oregon forced five turnovers by the Cardinal – two of those being interceptions thrown by Andrew Luck.
Oregon only converted one third down play out of nine versus Stanford – but that is more of an indictment itself on the Cardinal. Following back-to-back three-and-outs, Oregon scored two consecutive touchdowns, fumbled, two more touchdowns, punted and then ended the game with two more touchdowns and a failed field goal attempt. They did not need third downs.
53-30 was the final score – and now Stanford will fall into anonymity as Oregon makes a late charge for another National Championship berth.
Boise Boise Boise:
I will be honest; I thought Boise would win – and predicted as much – but I openly pulled for TCU to save America. I have been outspoken again Boise. I did not want to a team like Boise State to have a shot to play for a National Championship when, in truth, they did not deserve to be there.
TCU did save America, in my eyes.
To have as many NFL targets as Boise does – and they do – TCU quarterback Casey Pachall exposed Boise for what they are, a team with a lot of talent that does not have to face like-talent on a week in week out basis. Pachall threw for 473 yards Saturday and five touchdowns, out-playing Kellen Moore all day long. (And that is hard to do) Moore threw for 320 himself and only threw 10 incompletions, but Pachall was an animal.
TCU answered everything Boise threw at the Horned Frogs and ended the game with 506 total yards as they- not Boise- now looks at a BCS bid.
The Fighting Zookers:
There is a theme here. Not only does the team who plays Houston almost always gets an automatic spot in this UGLY column, but so does the Ron Zook lead Illinois Fighting Illini.
We must remember that Illinois, once upon a time, was 6-0. After losing to Michigan 31-14 – Illinois now finds themselves 6-4, losers of four in a row, and- as I predicted a week ago- will be 6-5 after they play Wisconsin in a week.
Illinois managed only 214 yards against the (I guess) much improved Michigan defense in defeat.
Ok so Baylor won the game. Baylor also went over 500 yards of total offense in the win to move into bowl eligible status at 6-3 and 3-3 in the Big-12. So what’s wrong with winning? They played Kansas.
Kansas is just flat out terrible. If you trail the Jayhawks – in football – 24-3 (at one point) and need overtime to eventually pull out the win 31-30 that is what I call a severe problem.
RG3 (Robert Griffin III) was his normal self going 22-of-29 for 312 yards and three touchdowns but Baylor allowed Kansas to get up big early while giving up over 400 yards of total offense to a team whose offense normally comes on the basketball court.
- The Marshall Thundering Herd should not be confused for thunder. Marshall lost to Tulsa Saturday 59-17 – giving up 682 total yards. (302 passing – 380 rushing)
- Ohio State should not be allowed to dot the I anymore. The Buckeyes lost to, wait for it, Purdue Saturday 26-23. Verus Purdue – the 65th ranked defense in America – Ohio State was only able to move forward 295 yards.
- Thank God it’s basketball season for Kentucky. Vanderbilt absolutely destroyed the “Wild”cats Saturday by a score of 38-8. In the game Kentucky was 0-for-12 on third down conversions, rushed for 32 yards, and got the achieved a very elusive first down only nine times.
- Tom O’Briens NC State Wolfpack followed up the defeat of the arch-rival Tarheels with an underwhelming performance – a loss – the Boston College Eagles. BC got their second ACC win 14-10 over the Pack.
- FAU (0-9) continued their perfect season Saturday with a loss to FIU 41-7.
- Houston Nutt
- Dennis Erickson
The Bottom Five:
The Five Ugliest Offenses in America
116: Idaho – 286.20 yards per game
117: Memphis – 283.30 yards per game
118: Kentucky – 273.50 yards per game
119: Kent St – 238.50 yards per game
120: Florida Atlantic – 236.67 yards per game
The Five Ugliest Defenses in America
115: TIE – Rice/UAB – 488.80 yards per game
117: New Mexico – 490.00 yards per game
118: Ball St – 490.70 yards per game
119: Memphis – 505.90 yards per game
120: Kansas – 537.70 yards per game
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