3rd down offense
There are 19 teams in FBS that are 50% or better in 3rd down conversions. Only one of those 19 teams (Miami) has a losing record.
Put simply, if you are able to keep drives going you score more points...score more points = win more games.
On the other end of the rankings, the 5 teams ranked 115-119 have a combined 4 wins.
However, team 120 (Vanderbilt) is a head scratcher. The Commodores are 3-1; but they have been winning with defense and big plays. In their lone loss, this past weekend at South Carolina, Vandy was held to 1 of 14 (7%) on 3rd down conversions. Credit Ellis Johnson's defense with that win.
3 games tonight for your viewing pleasure.
All times Eastern.
Texas Southern at Jackson State - 7:30 - ESPNU
South Florida at Pitt - 8PM - ESPN
Houston at UTEP - 8PM - CBSSN
Coppell (TX) at Denton Guyer (TX) - 8:30 - FSN
Bruce Feldman, who now writes for CBS Sports, spent last week with the West Virginia staff. He was there for LSU week and wrote a very good article about how the week played out for the offensive staff and quarterback Geno Smith.
One of our favorite paragraphs was:
The Sunday evening practice is short. It's mostly special teams stuff and lasts under an hour. The team has dinner by 7:30. The staff is waist deep in LSU film. Most of the WVU coaches will go home soon after the team meal. Meanwhile, Holgorsen settles into what staffers affectionately call "The Lounge" to resume studying the Tigers. The 10-by-20 room next to the head coach's office, which used to be where former WVU coach Bill Stewart would smoke his cigars, has been remodeled and now has two theater-style seats, a few bar stools, an antique metal Coke cart, a Red Bull cooler and a 50-inch flat screen with an Xbox. Holgorsen likes the feel of the room for whenever he wants to have a one-on-one with a player. It's also an ideal spot for the coach and Spavital to get another look at a ferocious defense.
Show of hands please, who is surprised by the Red Bull cooler? Anyone...anyone?
Lane Kiffin unplugged
Watch a few minutes of the video below taken shortly after practice today.
Do yourself a favor and skip the first 6:45.
6:50 mark - Kiffin provides quality insight into his thoughts on the Pac-12 reprimand of his quarterback for calling ASU linebacker Vontaze Burfict a "dirty player".
7:10 mark - Kiffin is distracted by something eye-catching (unconfirmed reports place Coach O in the vicinity doing lunges at the time).
7:30 mark - Kiffin speaks extremely highly of Matt Barkley's character, on and off the field.
8:45 mark - Kiffin provides any interesting assessment of how a redshirt actually relaxes (and improves) highly touted freshmen.
10:20 mark - Kiffin let's the world know that freshman wide receiver Marqise Lee is going to be something special.
Beer sales update (the LSU factor)
You might recall that we found the initial reports about the beer consumption at West Virginia's opener well below our expectations. We also sent the Moutaineers some friendly advice ("ice down a whole lot more when LSU comes to town").
Well, those of you familiar with Baton Rouge on a Saturday night might not find this to surprising; but West Virginia released their "Beer Sales" figures today from the LSU game and......consumption at that one game basically equaled the combined sales at their first two games.
That's the LSU factor.
Quick summary of sales that night:
36,000 beers sold
8,500 bottles of water sold
7,000 sodas sold
2,500 frozen lemonades sold
Thus far, through 3 home games, West Virginia says they have earned a net profit of $250,000 on beer sales and they are now projecting to earn nearly $600,000 this season.
Who wins? Top scoring offense vs. top scoring defense
Well, come Saturday afternoon (3:30 kickoff on ABC / ESPN / ESPN2), we'll have one more data point in this age old argument when Baylor and Kansas State face off in Manhattan.
Baylor comes in ranked 3rd in scoring offense and has put up 50 or more against both of their FBS opponents (TCU and Rice) thus far.
Kansas State is ranked 7th in scoring defense allowing an average of just 10 points per game thus far.
Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III has put up very, very impressive stats thus far in leading his team to 3 wins. For the season, RG3 is 70 of 82 (85%) for 962 yards, 13 TDs, 0 Ints. He's also averaging 7 yards per carry and nearly 56 yards per game on the ground. He caught one pass (remember when he flung it out to the receiver and then streaked right down the middle of the defense for a huge catch in traffic against TCU) for 15 yards and he has punted once for 39 yards.
Kansas State's defense is among the leaders nationally in pass efficiency defense and pass defense.
Something has to give. Should be a good one to watch.
Quick video of some of RG3's highlights thus far on the season.
Diaco and Kelly in the locker room
Notre Dame rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Pitt 15-12 on Saturday. The win evened Notre Dame's record up at 2-2.
After the game, the coaches (and players) were clearly excited about the win and their defensive effort (the Irish held Pitt to just 2.7 yards per carry and only allowed 165 yards passing).
Below, we have locker room video...and thankfully at the 0:30 mark Brian Kelly does not try to "Mike Gundy" with the guys.
No TV Wednesday
Question: With UMass joining the MAC next year, will we get Tuesday night games earlier in the season?
No live games tonight; although tomorrow we've got two undefeated teams on the road as Houston plays at UTEP and South Florida plays at Pitt.