Sports. Honestly. Since 2011

Things We Learned In College, Week 11

-Let’s start with the biggest thing we learned yesterday: Alabama is not invincible. In the first quarter, the Tide did not have a first down. A&M was 5 for 5 on 3rd down. Alabama QB A.J. McCarron saw his streak of over 290 pass attempts without an interception, dating back to the Mississippi State game last season, fall in the first quarter. (He threw another one later). And so forth and so on. The Alabama team that lost to A&M last night, and should have lost to LSU last week, bore very little resemblance to the Tide that rolled (no pun intended) over their last 20 or so opponents dating back to last year.

source: Shutterbug459 Wiki Commons

-On the topic of the Aggies, that Johnny Manziel can play a little, can’t he? WOW. Even more than his mechanics and grasp of the offense- which are pretty damn impressive for a freshman- I’m awed by how little he gets rattled. I think it was Gary Danielson who made a good point on the broadcast last night- a lot of running QBs get scambling and when they look to throw, look for the home run throw way downfield. Manziel can leave the pocket and he doesn’t hesitate to make the screen pass or the short throw if that’s what’s there.

-Northwestern has now lost three games, in each of which they had a lead at some point in the fourth quarter. The Wildcats are a good team, but they’ve got to learn to finish games. I really like how Pat Fitzgerald has them playing through the first three quarters, and I like the dimension that having both Kain Coulter and Trevor Siemian gives them.

– Michigan’s Devin Gardner, making his second straight start in place of the injured Denard Robinson, looks pretty good at QB for a guy who’s played the position very little (and started there even less) since high school. Gardner takes more snaps under center than Robinson does, and the team runs more pro-style sets with him in there.

-Gotta give a shout-out to my home state UConn Huskies, who played Pitt on Friday night. At halftime, the score was 24-0, the rushing yards were 99 to 24, and the first downs were 14-4, all in favor of UConn. This is a three-win team that’s averaging 17 points per game, up 24-0 at the half. Pitt came out stronger in the second half, but the Huskies prevailed for their fourth win of the season, 24-17.

-Big night for the LSU defense in their win over #21 Mississippi State. The Bulldogs were held to just 47 rushing yards in the entire game. In addition, the Tigers’ Craig Loston returned an INT 100 yards for a touchdown, the first 100-yard pick 6 LSU has had since 1988 and just the third in school history. To the delight of Tiger fans, Zach Mettenberger picked up where he left off last week against Alabama, going 19/30 for 291 yards, 2 TDs, and no INTs.

-Here’s a stat for the ages: Kansas State has scored 114 points off of turnovers this season. Off of their own turnovers (not that there have been very many), they’ve allowed zero. That’s insane.

– Notre Dame went into Boston College and showed off their great defence once again.  Manti Te’o got another late game interception to preserve a win, and BC didn’t score a single TD in the game.  Yes the Eagles have struggled this season, but this defence has been impressive all season.  Another big primetime interception won’t hurt Te’o as he looks to attend the Heisman ceremony in New York.

-Congrats to the Minnesota Golden Gophers on their bowl eligibilty. (I had to include that, both of my parents are Minnesota alums).

-You can breathe, Florida fans; it was a bizarre ending, involving Loucheiz Purifoy blocking a punt with :02 on the clock and Jelani Jenkins returning it for a TD, but the #7 Gators did escape a serious threat from the Louisiana-Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns.

-Georgia Tech beat North Carolina 68-50 yesterday (yes, that was the football score, not a basketball score) and set a new ACC record for points in a game.

-The Big East lost its last unbeaten team as Louisville went down to Syracuse.

-Big props to Louisiana Tech QB Colby Cameron. Not only does he have his team poised to possibly end the season in the BCS Top 25, he’s broken two NCAA records this year. After last week’s game, Cameron had 358 passing attempts without an interception, breaking West Virginia QB Geno Smith’s single-season record of 273. Yesterday, he broke the NCAA record for total consecutive passing attempts without an interception, previously held by NC State/Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson. After yesterday’s game, his streak stands at 419 attempts.


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