Top Team Notes & Thoughts
Week 13 - Part Three
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Week 13 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
| Rank 9-17
No. 18 Texas (8-3)
Last week: TCU 20, at Texas 13
Notes: Really, Texas? After David Ash appeared ready to take a big step forward in establishing himself as the star to work the offense around, he struggled way too much completing just 10-of-21 passes for 104 yards and two picks. After his performance against Kansas a few weeks ago, and with Case McCoy stepping it in and throwing for 110 yards in the rallying attempt, there are still too many questions going into the Kansas State game. … The offensive line never could establish anything with the ground game. Texas ran for just 86 yards on 33 carries, behind held to minimal gains time and again. … Cedric Reed did his part. The end made seven tackles with three tackles for loss. Overall, the defense was surprisingly fine. It didn’t get any help. … Now the Longhorns are out of the BCS bowl hunt and blew its chance to tie for the conference title. Even so, with all the flakiness and all the problems, don’t be shocked if the team pulls it back together to play well on the road against Kansas State. Texas has a nice fit for what the Wildcats do.
No. 19 Michigan (8-4)
Last week: Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
Notes: The offense couldn’t get Devin Gardner and the passing game moving. He was held in check when he tried to take off, and he struggled to make much happen down the field after connecting with Roy Roundtree on the 75-yard scoring play. … Denard Robinson ripped off a 67-yard touchdown run late in the first half, but he only got the ball in his hands nine other times and wasn’t able to do enough with it. The key to his game is opportunity, and he didn’t get enough carries to take over the game. … The offense just couldn’t control the clock, failed to convert a key fourth down play, and turned the ball over four times. The Wolverines didn’t have to be perfect to win, but they needed to play better. This was hardly their sharpest effort, but Ohio State had something to do with that.
No. 20 Boise State (9-2)
Last week: at Boise State 42, Colorado State 14
Notes: It hasn’t always been pretty this season, but Boise State has done a fine job of drilling the teams it was supposed to. Colorado State never had a chance to breathe. … The Broncos were up 42-0 thanks to a defense that didn’t give up a thing, forcing three turnovers, and an offense that rarely missed. The ground game ripped off 269 yards and four scores, led by D.J. Harper’s 107 yards and two touchdowns, but it was the passing game that proved to be the killer. Joe Southwick completed 17-of-20 passes for 216 yards and two scores, and Grant Hedrick hit both his throws for 18 yards. … The run defense had a few problems with Chris Nwoke, giving up a 72-yard dash. Against Nevada, the defense will have to worry about the run first and foremost, but the Wolf Pack passing game is making big things happen down the field.
No. 21 Northern Illinois (11-1)
Last week: Northern Illinois 49, at Eastern Michigan 7
Notes: So much for the idea that the Huskies would be taking it easy in a meaningless game. They didn’t need to try against the Eagles with the spot in the MAC championship already wrapped up, but they came out roaring. Jordan Lynch continued his outstanding season with 107 yards on the ground and 168 through the air, but this game was about Akeem Daniels, who averaged 9.3 yards per carry with four scores and 112 yards on just 12 carries. … The key to beating Kent State in the MAC championship will be turnover margin. The Golden Flashes live off of mistakes, but NIU is coming off a flawless performance with no turnovers and just three penalties.
No. 22 Northwestern (9-3)
Last week: at Northwestern 50, Illinois 14
Notes: There weren’t any problems for the Wildcats after a little bit of a slow start. The offense was fine, but the defense was a bit too leaky early on allowing a long scoring drive to kick things off and with the Illini coming up with a score early in the second to pull within three. And then it was all NU. … While Trevor Siemian was off, completing one of four passes with a pick, Kain Colter was red hot, hitting 9-of-11 throws for 102 yards and three touchdowns while running for 88 yards and a touchdown. … The Cats held on to the ball for over 37 minutes and converted big play after big play gong 4-for-4 on fourth downs and 7-of-13 on third down attempts. … 23 of the 29 first downs came on running plays. Venric Mark ran for 127 of the team’s 338 rushing yards.
No. 23 Oklahoma State (7-4)
Last week: at Oklahoma 51, Oklahoma State 48 OT
Notes: The Cowboys might have lost, but they’re improving and they’re showing that they’re going to be a force to deal with next year. This is a young team that did a great job on the road going toe-to-toe with the high-octane Sooners – at least on offense. … The defensive front didn’t consistently pressure Landry Jones, and the results were disastrous. The secondary was picked clean, and outside of Lyndell Johnson’s interceptions, there weren’t enough big plays to get the defense off the field. … Joseph Randle hasn’t had a quiet season, but this was the game everyone was waiting for with 113 yards and four scores. He also threw a 36-yard pass to quarterback Clint Chelf. … Outside of a pick, Chelf didn’t make any big mistakes throwing for 253 yards. Josh Stewart was the main target with 11 catches for 150 yards and a score.
No. 24 Utah State (10-2)
Last week: at Utah State 45, Idaho 9
Notes: How amazing was Utah State’s season? It was a missed chip shot field goal away from beating Wisconsin and a 6-3 loss to BYU from being unbeaten. … A miserable Idaho team didn’t have a prayer of doing anything against the loaded Aggie defense. The Vandals threw for just 52 yards. Jake Doughty made 12 tackles and Kyler Fackrell added 11. The USU defensive front gave up a few rushing yards, but there was never any concern. … Kerwynn Williams ran for 110 yards and a score on 17 carries. … The last thing Idaho needed was a long field, and Tyler Bennett did his part to make life hard putting three of his four kicks inside the 20.
No. 25 San Jose State (10-2)
Last week: at San Jose State 52, Louisiana Tech 43
Notes: The Spartans were perfectly equipped to bomb away with Louisiana Tech in a firefight, but it wasn’t just David Fales and the passing game that got it done. De’Leon Eskridge tore off 217 yards ad three scores, ripping off 7.8 yards per carry. … Fales is a terrific game manager, completing 25-of-37 passes for 367 yards and three scores. He was great at being able to push the ball down the field a bit more than he normally does. … All-America candidate Travis Johnson only came up with one sack and three tackles, but Tech had to pay attention to him all night.
Ohio State (12-0)
Last week: at Ohio State 26, Michigan 21
Notes: The Buckeyes were able to finish an improbable season unbeaten. It wasn’t always pretty, but 12-0 is 12-0. … Braxton Miller won’t be near the top of the finishing kick for the Heisman, but a case could be made that he’s the most valuable player in college football. He lost a ton of yards getting sacked, but he gained 108 yards and completed 14-of-18 passes for 189 yards and a score. … With star end John Simon out hurt, the rest of the defense picked up the slack with four sacks coming from four different players. Linebackers Zach Boren and Ryan Shazier whiffed on a couple of big plays, but they settled in and kept the Michigan running game under wraps. … The defense didn’t allow Michigan to take a snap on the Ohio State side of the field in the second half.
Week 13 Top Team Notes & Thoughts
| Rank 9-17