Saban would have had a heart attack
Yesterday we brought you an article pointing out that Alabama has only allowed 3 runs of over 10 yards this season (none reaching the 20 yard mark).
Well, let's just hope Coach Saban wasn't watching last night's Houston / UTEP game (final score 49-42 Houston).
In that one, the two teams combined for 9 touchdowns that were 20 yards or longer. Over 1,250 total yards in the game.
We honestly don't think that Nick could watch such a game.
Only 1 coach hasn't gone for it on 4td down this season
If they had offered this as a prop bet in Vegas, what do you think the odds would have been that Les Miles would be the only FBS coach to not have gone for it 1 time at this point in the season. 5,000 to 1???
Yep, LSU is the only team in the country that has yet to attempt a 4th down conversion.
The Hat never ceases to amaze.
On the flip side, we're pretty impressed that Western Michigan (8 of 8), Iowa State (5 of 5) and Stanford (5 of 5) are all perfect on the year thus far.
Equally impressive that Army has gone for it 14 times already (made it 9 times). Heck of a pace Coach Ellerson.
College football...expect the unexpected.
Bielema talks pre-game ritual
Nebraska is coming to play in Camp Randall Saturday night at 8PM on ABC in what is the first matchup of Top 10 teams to play at Wisconsin since 1962.
In the video below (which is pretty good) Bret Bielema explains what they as a team do before a home night game.
In short, hotel the night before. Bring them to the stadium mid morning, "walk'em and stretch'em" let them go back...watch Gameday...then "four hours out we have our pre-game meal and roll".
On whether the kids will watch Gameday..."Oh yeah, that's a big deal."
Quick side note > Thayer Evans of Fox Sports wrote a lengthy article about Coach Bielema getting engaged (wedding is planned for March).
Stopping the run (Alabama's D vs. Florida's O)
Alabama is 4-0 on the year, with wins over Kent State, Penn State, North Texas and Arkansas.
Through 16 quarters, Alabama has only allowed 3 rushing plays over ten yards and not one of them has made it 20 yards.
They do not give up big plays.
This weekend, they go to The Swamp to face Charlie Weis' offense, which is #9 in the country in rushing offense averaging 259 yards per game on the ground.
Florida's duo of Jeff Demps and Chris Rainey have combined for 27 rushes for over 10 yards, including 10 for 20+, 3 for 30+ and 1 for 40+.
These guys are big play machines.
It will be interesting to see which unit wins the big play battle this weekend (8PM on CBS).
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.