Monday, October 25, 2010

Weekend Wrap

OMG Moment of the Weekend

There was certainly no shortage of moments to pick from.
Texas' loss to Iowa State (a team that was coming off a 52-0 drumming at the hands of Oklahoma) for the first time in...uh...history.
Oklahoma losing to Missouri, becoming the third No.1 team in as many weeks to lose on the road against a ranked opponent.
Michigan State erasing a 17-0 deficit and coming back to beat Northwestern (35-27) to remain undefeated.
All of these made their impact, but none of them made the EKG monitor jump like a certain moment that transpired in "the prettiest little village on the plains" on Saturday.
Lined up at midfield with 11:25 to go in the third quarter of a 10-10 deadlock with LSU, Auburn QB Cam Newton not only weaved his way 49 yards for a touchdown, but he also ran right to the front of the Heisman Trophy race - maybe by a wide margin.
If for some reason you haven't seen it, watch this link (but, before you do, consider that this is a 6-foot-6, 260-pound QB running against one of the best defenses in the nation):
Few players come to a program and make a difference in the entire team's performance, and even fewer have done it as impressively as Newton has done at Auburn.


Newton's Law

Isaac Newton once theorized that an object at rest tends to stay at rest and that an object in uniform motion tends to stay in uniform motion unless acted upon by a net external force.
If that is true, then Auburn's Cam Newton has met very little external force lately, or on Saturday as the junior transfer from Florida led the Tigers to a 24-17 win over LSU and an eventual No.1 ranking when the BCS standings were released Sunday.
Even though he came into the game ranked No.1 in pass efficiency in the SEC and No.2 in the country, as a QB, Newton had very pedestrian-like numbers (10-of-16 for 86 yards) against LSU.
But, as an "object in uniform motion," Newton hoisted Auburn onto his back and took over the game.
Newton rushed for 217 yards and two TDs, giving him 1,077 yards on the season (with a minimum of five games remaining on the schedule), the most in a single season by a QB in SEC history.
Additionally, the 217 yards may have Newton's career high for rushing yards in a game, but it marked the fifth time this season he had rushed for more than 170 yards in a game.

The Gift of Gabbert

Not only did Missouri Tigers' QB Blaine Gabbert lead Mizzou to a 36-27 upset of then No.1-ranked Oklahoma, the 6-foot-5, 235-pound junior also delivered when his team needed him the most.
Gabbert eventually completed 30-of-42 pass attempts for 308 yards and a TD, but the fourth quarter is where he did his best work.
Trailing the Sooners 21-20 at the end of the third quarter, Gabbert completed eight of his nine fourth quarter passes, including a 38-yard TD strike to Jerrell Jackson that gave Missouri the lead for good with 12:43 left.

D Fence!

TCU holding Air Force to just one TD was impressive enough, but if you take that result along with their body of work, the Horned Frogs defense is reshaping how we look at modern day defensive dominance.
Air Force's TD run in the first quarter was not only the first conference TD run TCU has given up this season, it also marked the first TD of any kind the Horned Frogs had given up since the fourth quarter of their game against SMU back on September 24th.
That's a span of 12-plus quarters without surrendering a TD, which is hard to do no matter what level you're competing on.
If that streak wasn't impressive enough, try this one on for size.
The Horned Frogs D still hasn't allowed a TD pass since the first quarter of that same game against SMU on September 24th.
That brings their current streak of not surrendering a TD pass to 19 quarters and counting.


Benevolent Bevo

Take a look at the box score and it's difficult to believe former No.19 Texas lost to Iowa State on Saturday.
The Longhorns gained 25 first downs, compared with Iowa State's 16.
The Longhorns piled up 440 total yards, compared with Iowa State's 335.
But, other than the score (in this case, 28-21 Iowa State), the one stat that points directly at the reason why Texas lost to a team that had just been humiliated 52-0 by Oklahoma last week, was in the turnover department.
The Longhorns turned the ball over a putrid four times, gift-wrapping Iowa State's first win ever over Texas.
In their three losses this season (to UCLA, Oklahoma and Iowa State), the Longhorns have committed 11 turnovers.

Karma Calling

We all knew Les Miles luck would eventually run out, it had to.
Time and again, as long as he's been the head coach at LSU, Miles has played with fire - in the form fake field goals, time and gambling on whether Tennessee players could successfully count to 11.
Fourth down gambles also USED to be a part of Miles' repertoire, until the fourth quarter against Auburn on Saturday, that is.
With 3:27 to go, down 24-17 and facing a fourth-and-six from their own 30 yard line, Miles called for a timeout to - one would assume - gather his thoughts and get a firm grasp on what to do next.
Well, the decision was made that LSU would go for it, which wasn't the problem.
The problem was that when LSU's offense trotted back onto the field after the timeout (to - one would assume - gather their thoughts and get a firm grasp on what to do next) they immediately started scrambling around to get into position, looking as though they had NO IDEA what to do next.
The play - and Miles' laundry list of lucky escapes - failed, and Auburn never looked back.

Home Sweet Schizo

Is there a more schizophrenic team in America than the California Golden Bears?
At 4-3, the Bears have looked equally ultra impressive and ultra impotent at times this year, and apparently it all depends on where they are playing the games.
At home, Cal is a spotless 4-0, thrashing teams by an average score of 47-8, including their 50-17 win over Arizona State on Saturday.
But, on the road, the Bears are 0-3, losing by an average score of 37-18. 

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