Recapping Colorado Buffaloes Football and Pac-12 News, Links, and Mid-Season Reviews
G is for Greatness in Action. San Jose State's offense wins the award this week for fastest to a safety, forwarding two points to the the BYU Cougars on just their fifth play from scrimmage. Kentucky knows it will be a challenge, y'all, but it sees your five and vows to do it in one once they fumble this kickoff, fall on the ball at the one, and then are tackled in the end zone for two points and a turnover.
The schedule only gets more demanding. The Buffs are at Washington on Saturday, one of four more road dates.
Offensive MVP: RB Rodney Stewart. While a case could be made for Paul Richardson, Stewart has comparable receiving numbers -- 24 receptions for 338 yards compared to 29 catches for 474 -- while also leading the Buffaloes in rushing with 410 yards, or 82 yards per game.
Defensive MVP: LB Douglas Rippy. Rippy is tied for the team lead with 40 tackles and he also has three sacks. He's been a consistent presence for the Buffs' defense.
There is plenty of blame to go around for another forlorn football season in Boulder. Here is a look at the good, the bad and the ugly at the midway point of the Buffs' first autumn in the Pac-12.
"Blame Dan Hawkins... Blame President Bruce Benson... Blame Bohn for scheduling too aggressively... Blame donors... Blame the coaching staff..."
While Jon Embree's ultra-competitive personality leads him to say he believes the Buffs can win each game, the fact of the matter is he knew he was facing a prodigious challenge before the season ever started. He said multiple times throughout the spring and summer the Buffs would be underdogs in every game they played. It was a subtle way of publicly sharing his evaluation of what he inherited. That evaluation is proving to be correct.
Bright spot: The CU defense has been creative in devising ways to pressure the quarterback and it has led to the Buffs being among the national leaders in sacks. CU has sacked the quarterback 17 times, according to official NCAA stats (often different from CU's official totals) and is just four off the national lead.
A midseason review for every team in the Pac-12? Today the South; tomorrow,
THE WORLD!! the Pac-12 North.
Arizona State began the season with high hopes that wins would end hot-seat talk for coach Dennis Erickson. Despite epidemic injuries, that's exactly what has happened. The Sun Devils, who've seen seven starters miss games due to injury, will take a No. 18 national ranking to Oregon on Saturday in a clash that could be a preview of the Pac-12 championship game on Dec. 2. That's a much more pleasant topic to discuss than Erickson's job security.
So far, even while suffering through the second year of a NCAA-mandated two-year postseason ban, the Trojans have shown up and played hard. They haven't duplicated the listless performance at Oregon State last year. Still, the tough part of the schedule is ahead: road games at California, Notre Dame and Oregon as well as a home game with Stanford. We don't know who these Trojans are yet, but we will shortly.
Things can change quickly in college football. Following a bye -- after which coach Kyle Whittingham was a perfect 6-0 -- the Utes folded in the second half against Washington and then provided a repeat-performance versus Arizona State. They trailed both games 10-7 at the break but ended up losing 31-14 to the Huskies and 35-14 to the Sun Devils in front of stunned fans at Rice-Eccles Stadium.
Why? Turnovers. The Utes lost the turnover battle a combined 10-1, splitting five giveaways over both games.
The Utes will have to deal with -- fair or unfair -- questions about their fitness for the grind of Pac-12 play until they start to win some games. And that might not happen until Wynn comes back.
If the Bruins are going to rally and save Neuheisel's job, they will have to do it with Kevin Prince at quarterback. He was buried on the bench after throwing three early interceptions against Texas and replaced by Richard Brehaut, but Brehaut broke his leg against Washington State and is done for the season.
Fans at the Rose Bowl booed Prince as he entered the game, then cheered him when he led an impressive fourth-quarter comeback. Quarterback is a big issue, but it's not the only one. The defense has been terrible thus far, ranking 10th in the Pac-12 in both scoring and total defense.
Still, the schedule ahead is not terribly taxing (the Bruins don't play Oregon or Washington). It's not hard to imagine three more wins, which would get them to bowl eligibility. But how many win does Neuheisel need to survive?
How are things at midseason for Arizona? Well, coach Mike Stoops, who didn't begin the year on a terribly hot seat, was fired Monday. Does that help explain how things are going in Tucson?
What's ahead with defensive coordinator Tim Kish installed as interim coach? Well, the Wildcats have a bye week to digest the coaching change. Then they play host to UCLA, another team that qualifies as beatable.
If the Wildcats end their 10-game losing streak to FBS foes on that Thursday evening, then maybe things won't be as bleak the rest of the way.
The Big 12 is rebuilding, the Big East is shattering and TCU has concluded a long journey back to college football's power class. Also, Missouri needs to pick a conference.
As it is, the Pac-12 starts the second half of the season with a game of import, one that college football fans everywhere will at least raise an eyebrow at. LSU fans will be rooting hard for the Ducks. Illinois, the Sun Devils. Big Ten fans in general might watch to see which team will become a Rose Bowl favorite.
It's nice to matter again, eh?
Georgia 20 vs. Tennessee 12 Play by Play - ESPN - Also mentioned in the College Football Alphabetical, T is for Third and 57. PbP from Espn...
1st and 10 at TENN 23
GEORGIA penalty 10 yard Holding on Aron White accepted, no play.
1st and 20 at TENN 33
Carlton Thomas rush for a loss of 1 yard to the Tenn 34.
2nd and 21 at TENN 34
GEORGIA penalty 10 yard Holding accepted, no play.
2nd and 31 at TENN 44
GEORGIA penalty 10 yard Holding on Kenarious Gates accepted, no play.
2nd and 41 at UGA 46
GEORGIA penalty 15 yard Personal Foul accepted, no play.
2nd and 56 at UGA 31
Richard Samuel rush for a loss of 1 yard to the Geo 30.
3rd and 57 at UGA 30
Richard Samuel rush for 1 yard to the Geo 31.
4th and 56 at UGA 31
Drew Butler punt for 47 yards, returned by Devrin Young for 20 yards to the Geo 43, GEORGIA penalty 15 yard Personal Foul on Arthur Lynch accepted for a 1ST down.
My midseason review? At least we're not that. Go Buffs