College Football Week 4 PreviewBREAKING NEWS, News Friday, September 21st, 2012
As some of you know I started the selections a bit early with BYU at Boise State. Talk about a tale of two halves? In my opinion as I have stated many times, most of a college football games comes down to two things, the offensive and defensive line play and coaching. When I look at a game I look at it much different then most. This game featured some intelligent coaching moves and a few not so intelligent. I had Boise winning 14-13 and it finished 7-6 but this was advantage BYU and I will get to why as I discuss the game a bit further.
BYU reminded me more of the old Miami teams with just too many stupid penalties and mental mistakes. It was a credit to their defense that they were even in this game. Both teams struggled to move the ball in the first half. BYU had thought they had converted a 3rd and 3 from the 6 yard line midway through the 2nd quarter. Instead of 1st and goal at the 1 they were forced back into a 3rd and 15 from the 16 due to a bone head chop block . The following play BYU was picked off at the 5 yard line killing the drive. Boise State quickly moved the ball to the BYU 26. On 1st down Boise had literally 7 seconds to throw a pass with the quarterback taking a sack. It was there which I felt coach Mendenhall made an outstanding coaching move. He sensed his team was gassed and took a time out. That will never show up on a stat sheet and I highly doubt any other article will discuss this but it was the move that most likely kept BYU in the game and enabled them to remain only one score behind. The drive ended in Boise state turning it over on downs. Entering this season I had Chris Pedersen as the 5th best coach in college football. It’s not until you see a coach in a tight spot or face adversity that his greatness or lack there of comes to the forefront. I can’t judge an entire body of work on a game. And I have to take into account his talent pool has dropped considerably. But Pedersen made a few head scratching calls that “should” have cost him the game.
With 6:20 to go in the third quarter, BYU fumbled the ball on their own 1-yard line. I understand it would not be impossible but in my opinion a Boise score of any kind puts that game away. BYU had 22 yards passing up to that point and couldn’t even manage a first down. I had no problem with the play calls on 1st, 2nd, and even 3rd down. Then Pedersen decides to go for it on fourth down. Boise was stuffed on fourth down, handing the ball and momentum right back to BYU. Even a field goal there would have put the game out of reach. The next move came with 1:01 left in the third. Boise again was faced with a fourth and 5 from the BYU 35-yard line. They didn’t trust their kicker to do anything but kick a extra point. There are less then 130 college teams that play major college football, but there aren’t 130 decent kickers in the world? Or what about a punt pinning them deep? The Broncos go for it again and again they hand the ball back to BYU with much better field position. BYU managed a very impressive 90-yard fourth quarter drive that actually mixed both the run and pass well. The Cougars were able to score with 3:44 left on the clock to tie, ohhh wait to score and go for a 2 point conversion? Now I am all for going for the jugular and especially if you think you couldn’t win in overtime but for so many reasons you have to kick the extra point there and tie the game. Boise had already conceded their kicker could not make a field goal. BYU also had shut Boise down the entire night. Their only score came from the defense so why coach Mendenhall thought they could not win this in OT is just an awful decision. I want t know what he was thinking. You can figure out the try was unsuccessful and left BYU trailing 7-6 with 3:44 left. Boise state did a great job getting a few first downs and the game ended that way. Again this is a loss that falls squarely on the coach. I thought BYU had a great shot to walk out of Boise with a win. The cover is nice but I felt for the BYU defense that played a remarkable game. Coach Mendenhall let his kids down. Get the tie there and give your kids a chance to decide the game in OT not in a split second going for two they had worked too hard for the upset and actually deserved to win the game they out played Boise. I will say this. Mendenhall otherwise did a solid job coaching. Especially calling that time out that even the announcers seemed perplexed as to why he did at that point. I get it and it kept his team in the game. Its unusual you walk away with more praise for the losing team but I was impressed with the BYU defense and think as the season goes on they will give a few teams some fits. They are on my radar.
On to the rest of this week:
As I keep saying to the point of annoyance, when you look at a game throw out the skilled positions and look at the offensive and defensive lines for both teams: Let’s continue to put the theory to work:
Clemson at Florida State: Finally an important match up! I want this game to live up to the hype. Clemson is stacked at the skilled positions. Boyd, Hopkins, Ellington and Watkins are the modern day four horseman. The difference in this game is Florida State will manhandle Clemson on both sides of the line.
Prediction: Florida State 38 Clemson 17
Michigan at Notre Dame: Denard Robinson brings an explosive offense into South Bend and the line movement suggests that we will see an upset. Watch the tape. Notre Dame is ranked 23rd against the run. Michigan 107th. Both teams have played some teams that can run the ball. Notre Dame will be able to run on Michigan. I can’t say the same about Michigan over Notre Dame. I just don’t feel Denard can do enough right over wrong to follow the public here. Notre Dame has them beat upfront on both sides of the ball.
Prediction Notre Dame 27 Michigan 21
Best of the rest and it follows games where I think there is a total mismatch upfront.
Illinois 31 Louisiana Tech 27
LSU 38 Auburn 10
Oklahoma 44 Kansas State 28
Enjoy your weekend everyone! Please remember to donate to your local animal shelters.
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