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14 Nov 2010

One Foot Inbounds: Basketball Scores

by Robert Weintraub

The team is an unstoppable offensive machine. They run the ball from what are at heart simple formations and blocking schemes. And they score seemingly at will.

I refer, of course, to the Wisconsin Badgers.

Now if you heard a team scored 83 points on Saturday, you would have guessed it was Auburn, Oregon, or one of a dozen wide-open spread teams. Nope. Instead, it was the old-school boys from Madison, who sledge-hammered Indiana 83-20 behind a straightforward running attack out of the Woody and Bo era. From his left tackle position, All-America candidate Gabe Carimi led a line that caved in the Hoosiers defense. His performance up front that enabled Wisconsin to pile up 338 rushing yards despite the fact that the defending conference player of the year, John Clay, didn't even suit up for the game.

There are a bevy of stats that can be thrown out there after this one, but my favorite is this one -- the Badgers hoops team only got to 83 points in four of their 34 games last season.

Auburn's basketball team isn't far ahead of the pigskin crew, either. Of course, the annual grudge match with Georgia was less about the rivalry or the fact that the Tigers clinched a spot in the SEC title game, and more about Cam Newton. I'll spare you any more talk about the allegations made against the Newtons of Westlake, as they are known in these parts. I enjoyed the CBS coverage, which made it seem like the fact Cam ran on to the field to thunderous applause from the Jordan-Hare crowd vindicated the Auburn quarterback in the court of public opinion. And announcers Verne Lundquist and Gary Danielson seemed more put out that Tigers coach Gene Chizik stonewalled them in the pre-game production meeting than about the charges themselves. That was likely the proper reaction, however. SEC school pays big-time recruit? Snore. Been going on since the first days of the conference. But a football coach shutting out the network that's paying big dollars to televise the games each week? That's a far bigger violation.

Auburn, like Wisconsin, cut through the enemy defense like a Ginsu through a tin can. Georgia gamely scored with the Tigers for three quarters, but made a strategic error -- the Bulldogs kicked a field goal. Can't beat the Battering Cam that way. Sure enough, Auburn punched it in twice after the Bulldogs went for three and won 49-31. Regardless of the result of the Iron Bowl against Alabama, Auburn will be in Atlanta for the SEC title game.

Their opponent will be South Carolina, who went old fashioned themselves, pummeling Florida in The Swamp behind the punishing runs of Marcus Lattimore. The Gamecocks beat the Gators down 36-14. The fabulous freshman ran it an incredible 40 times for 212 yards and three scores. Forty carries for a freshman in a showdown for the division, on the road! But it was quarterback Stephen Garcia who had the signature run of the day, barreling over Will Hill at the goal line in the second half. Congrats to the Gamecocks. Don't forget, they had Auburn way down during the game at Jordan-Hare earlier this season. Payback in the Dome is hardly out of the question.

Even Oregon, the very quintessence of the score quickly, run-a-million-plays-and-get-the-defense-upchucking attack, went to a more traditional clock-killing drive to salt away a serious upset bid by Cal. Taking over with 9:25 left in the game, up by a precarious two points, the Ducks ran it 15 times and passed just once, despite LaMichael James struggling with an ankle knock and several big blows to the torso throughout the game. In the end, James got a big first down, and Oregon was able to kneel it out. The drive might have been Oregon's most impressive of the season.

The key play in the game was a rare illegal motion penalty against a kicker. Bears booter Giorgio Tavecchio took a little stutter step before a field goal that put Cal in front 16-15 midway through the fourth quarter. That was ruled a penalty, and he missed the re-kick from short distance. Cal only possessed it once more in the game.

Oregon wins with a bludgeoning drive. Wisconsin puts up 83 points on a conference foe. Just another predictable week in college football.

Toedrags

  • If TCU were a power conference team, no one would punish them for their 40-35 win over San Diego State. The Aztecs jumped up early during the last game at Aron Carter Stadium before a major renovation, then TCU scored 37 unanswered points. SDSU put up a couple of late touchdowns to make it interesting. Now there is all manner of talk that the Frogs blew the goodwill they built up by crushing Utah last Saturday. It didn't help that the Utes laid an egg at Notre Dame. Indeed, Boise jumped TCU in the AP poll.
  • Stanford-Arizona State. The Cardinal are up 17-13, three minutes to go. It's a big third down for Stanford, and the Devils need to make a stop to get the ball back and have a shot at the upset. Up in the broadcast booth, Adam Archuleta, the overpaid Redskins safety turned Versus color man, actually told the ASU defense that it was time to "sack up." They've gotten so edgy since the days when it was OLN! P.S., the Devils lacked testicular fortitude, as Stanford converted and won.
  • Awesome scene in northern Ohio on Wednesday night. The Miami (OH)-Bowling Green game was obscured by a massive fog bank. Somewhere down on the field, BGSU punched in a score. The cannon went off in the end zone, and the smoke mixed with the fog. But the score was overturned on replay. The Falcons scored again, the cannon went off again, and once more, replay said no. By the time Bowling Green scored with no quarrel, and the cannon fired for a third time in five minutes, Perry Stadium resembled something from the Battle of Antietam. Supposedly, Miami kicked a field goal on the game's final play to win 24-21.
  • The Redhawks are in a first-place tie in the MAC East. Out West, Northern Illinois is dominant. They blasted Toledo 65-30 in a battle for the division title with the Rockets. That's how to celebrate Senior Night!
  • A pyrrhic victory for Northwestern and quarterback Dan Persa, who gets overshadowed by the likes of Ricky Stanzi and Terrelle Pryor and Denard Robinson, but who could be the All-Big Ten quarterback. He was elusive, accurate, and clutch against Iowa, leading 85- and 91-yard touchdown drives in the fourth quarter as the Wildcats knocked off the Hawkeyes 21-17. Persa thrice ran for first downs on third down in the winning drive, then threw the touchdown pass that got the "W" for Northwestern. Sadly, as Persa pushed off to join the celebration, he ripped his Achilles tendon and was lost for the remainder of the season.
  • In a truly bizarre and mind-blowing stat, Iowa and Northwestern combined for -1 return yards. That was on for 21 kickoffs and punts! Specialists, take a bow.
  • Leonard Hankerson of Miami has been on our All-Drool team all season, and he had another breakaway touchdown Saturday. The Hurricanes beat Georgia Tech in the Backup Bowl 35-10. Hankerson's touchdown was his 11th, tying the fabled Michael Irvin for the school record.
  • My Syracuse Orange are now bowl eligible, thanks to a 13-10 win over Rutgers that was the football equivalent of a trip to the DMV. Whatever. 7-3 baby!

The OFI Top 25

1. Oregon
2. TCU
3. Auburn
4. Boise State
5. Wisconsin
6. Ohio State
7. Stanford
8. Nebraska
9. LSU
10. Arkansas
11. Michigan State
12. Alabama
13. Virginia Tech
14. Oklahoma State
15. Oklahoma
16. South Carolina
17. Missouri
18. Nevada
19. Northern Illinois
20. Iowa
21. Texas A&M
22. Temple
23. Miami
24. Mississippi State
25. Utah

The Lowsman Watch

1. Gabe Carimi, left tackle, Wisconsin. See above.

2. Ryan Kerrigan, defensive end, Purdue. Kerrigan destroyed the edge of Michigan's line, with four sacks, five tackles for loss, and two forced fumbles (he recovered one). Kerrigan has 14 forced fumbles in his stalwart career in anonymity, which is the Big Ten record. His next strip will be the national record.

3. Cliff Harris, return specialist, Oregon. On a night when the Quack Attack was stuck in neutral, Harris made things happen on special teams, returning a punt 64 yards for a score, his fourth on the season.

4. Marco Nelson, safety, Tulsa. The true freshman had three picks in Tulsa's 28-25 win over Houston. Nelson has six on the season.

5. Dustin Hopkins, kicker, Florida State. He made a 55-yard field goal, his third of the game, as time expired and FSU won a dogged fight with Clemson 16-13. Hopkins missed a chance to win the game last Saturday against UNC, so this felt doubly good.

Posted by: Robert Weintraub on 14 Nov 2010

18 comments, Last at 15 Nov 2010, 9:38pm by Jeff Fogle

Comments

1
by Umm.. (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 12:34am

Hey, I love Carami, too, but he only played the first half.

2
by cfn_ms :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 1:54am

NIU at 19th? The best team BY FAR they played was Iowa St, and they've already logged two losses. Garbage schedule, two losses, MAYBE they're a top 60 team. MAYBE.

PS Temple's schedule is just as atrocious, they also have two losses, and they're #22 to boot? This is even worse than the Syracuse throwaway #25 votes dude.

3
by Alexander :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 2:27am

Much too much Big Ten respect in that top 25.

Actually on 2nd though, I just don't respect that many teams.

7
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:24am

Obviously I am a Big Ten guy and I agree with the first part of your post.

I will comment that the least flawed of the three top teams in the Big Ten is Wisconsin. They were in some kind of malaise to begin the season but woke up against the Buckeyes and are now firing on all cylinders.

Though Wisky's coach is definitely going for Jerk of the Year. It's not just Indy. He piled on against Minny. He has antagonized Jo Pa for heaven's sake.

He can coach. But Barry should teach that boy some manners.

14
by Will Allen :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 5:40pm

I'll cut Bielima (sp?) some slack for hanging 83. Yeah, there was one long pass that could have been skipped, and he coulda' pulled the starters sooner, but I think this was mostly a case of the Hoosiers deciding that competing in the nasty weather was too much of a bother. I've rarely seen a more half-assed attempt at run defense.

4
by Thok :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 5:18am

The key play in the game was a rare illegal motion penalty against a kicker.

While it didn't help, Cal probably loses whether or not they make that kick, since Oregon obviously left some points on the field on the last drive and Cal's offense isn't strong enough to go for a "Let them score so we can get the ball back" option on the final drive.

While I was wrong about Oregon just having their way with Cal, I was right about Mansion just not being particularly good. Next year is going to be scary at Cal on offense if they don't figure out what they are doing at QB.

5
by Spielman :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 7:59am

"it was quarterback Stephen Garcia who had the signature run of the day, barreling over Will Hill at the goal line in the second half."
Not surprising. His goal line nemesis isn't the strong safety, it's the umpire.

6
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 8:59am

I don't know what to think of Iowa. The defense is not as good as folks claim but nor is it bad. The special teams seem ok but have moments of ugliness. The offense is the strength of the team but manage to fail as the goal line approaches.

Ryan Kerrigan is the best player in the Big Ten. This has been true for about a year and a half. Strong, quick, nasty and technically sound.

Carimi is right behind him. Same attributes apply.

Adrian Clayborne of Iowa has to have cost himself about ten million dollars this season. Just seems to be spinning his wheels out there. There has been some double teaming early but later in the season he has been handled one on one.

8
by ChaosOnion :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:43am

If you are up by 40+ points in the 4th quarter, why are you still throwing 74 yard bombs for TDs? Did someone from the Hoosier state sleep with Coach Bielema's daughter? Or his wife?

Also, TCU and Boise St. rankings are a wash. Boise St.'s marquis win (so far) is VaTech, and they followed up the defeat with a loss to James Madison. Think of James Madison as a Fresno St. from a lower level conference before they got famous. TCU's marquis win (so far) is Utah, who then lost to Notre Dame. Well...Notre Dame is popular? If Boise St. can hang one on Nevada, they might jump TCU. If they just win the game, probably not. Either way, the difference between 3 and 4, which is really just a wash, will be the difference between an at-large BCS bid and the Meineke Car Care Bowl.

I still think if a group of investors got enough money together to have a playoff, they could compete with the secondary bowl games. Alabama, Ohio St., UF, Boise St./TCU, Oregon St., USC (if they were eligible) and whoever loses to NEB in the Big 12 championship are all teams not getting an automatic bowl bid. That is a lot of juice. Sure, some will get invitations to the non-interconference bowl games, but there will be plenty of big names left over. Through in an ACC (FSU) and Big East (Pitt) team and an 8 team playoff is doable. Never happen.

9
by DisplacedPackerFan :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 11:54am


If you are up by 40+ points in the 4th quarter, why are you still throwing 74 yard bombs for TDs? Did someone from the Hoosier state sleep with Coach Bielema's daughter? Or his wife?

I agree that running up the score is rude, and I did question that call, but then again it was the back-up QB and the #4 receiver. I don't mind the back-ups actually playing the game when they are in there. The starters still being in late in the 3rd quarter is actually more questionable to me, but then I can live with starters through the 3rd, though when it's 59 - 13 at the end of the 3rd...

But in the 4th the Badgers scored on an interception return for a TD, the 74 yard pass play from the #2 QB to the #4 WR and a 17 yard run by the #3 QB. They were using their #3 RB for most of the 3rd and 4th quarter (though when he plays in the first quarter of most games it's hard to delineate the RBs).

They even had back up offensive linemen in for part of the 3rd and then the 4th quarter.

I mean it looks bad, but do you really put back-ups in there and ask them not to play?

10
by bigtencrazy (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 12:08pm

Which is why it isn't the talk of the Big Ten today.

Even though most everyone agrees that the Wisky coach is a jerk.

11
by zlionsfan :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 3:12pm

Yeah, there's ample evidence of that ... there were some spirited discussions here during the ill-fated timing rules changes about the Wisconsin-Penn State game, and it seems to have grown from there.

In this case, it's a Top 25 team against one of the worst teams in the conference, one with a terrible defense and a pass-heavy offense that was missing its top RB. When Chappell went down, they could pretty much have called the game right there, but they didn't. You've got to play it out somehow, and when you've got that much time left, the other team's going to know what you're doing if you just run the ball into the middle of the line three times and punt repeatedly. I don't think that's any less embarrassing than letting the second-stringers throw from time to time.

15
by Will Allen :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 5:44pm

Yeah, the pass was excessive perhaps, but I don't think I've ever seen a team simply not contest the opponent's running game like the Hoosiers did. It really was ridiculous.

12
by KD (not verified) :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 3:20pm

Amon Carter Stadium, not Aron.

13
by Jeff Fogle :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 4:31pm

Maybe the major renovation is going to change the m to an r, and RW is just ahead of the curve here...

Think most major conference teams in the BCS race would lose respect for a 5-point home win win as 27-point favorites over a mid-major foe in mid-November. This sentence seems way off base to me:

"If TCU were a power conference team, no one would punish them for their 40-35 win over San Diego State."

If Wisconsin only beat SDSU by 5 this week in Madison, would they have taken a hit in voting support and computer ratings?

Saw some interesting things in the yardage numbers this week:

Wisconsin: 598 yards, 338 rushing, 0 giveaways, 83 points
?????????: 580 yards, 341 rushing, 0 giveaways, 38 points
?????????: 577 yards, 326 rushing, 0 giveaways, 58 points
?????????: 503 yards, 291 rushing, 0 giveaways, LOST!

Will fill in the question marks later. Funny to me how second on the list was a virtual dead ringer for Wiscy, yet reversed the 83 with only 38. Not automatic that something like 598-338 is going to equal 80-something points. Must have been more going on than just the raw production...

16
by Jeff Fogle :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 6:54pm

Wisconsin: 598 yards, 338 rushing, 0 giveaways, 83 points
Kentucky 580 yards, 341 rushing, 0 giveaways, 38 points
Arkansas 577 yards, 326 rushing, 0 giveaways, 58 points
Baylor 503 yards, 291 rushing, 0 giveaways, LOST!

Kentucky must have been doing some fancy limbo to miss the end zone with that much production....

17
by Thok :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:08pm

Either field position or a faster pace can explain the points discrepancy. (More pace=more drives per game for both sides=more chances for yardage without scoring.)

18
by Jeff Fogle :: Mon, 11/15/2010 - 9:38pm

Would agree with you normally Thok.

Possessions
Kentucky 13 (if you exlude taking a knee at end)
Wisconsin 12

Average Starting Position
Kentucky: own 34.1
Wisconsin: own 35.8
(Did those by hand, might be off a smidge)

Looks more like limbo (lol). Kentucky had 5 punts and and two drives where they turned it over on downs. But...with horrible field position they went the distance for TD's a couple of times.