You are using an old web browser. Such browsers do not support modern web technologies and do not offer proper security. Please update your browser or download one of the others suggested for free.
Mozilla Firefox |
Google Chrome |
Internet Explorer |
10) State College, PA (Sports Network) - Penn State head football coach Joe
Paterno has announced he will retire at the end of the season.
Paterno has come under pressure in recent days as details emerged about the
sexual child abuse charges against former Nittany Lions assistant Jerry
Specifically, he has been criticized by some for his apparent inaction when
made aware of an alleged incident of sexual assault that took place in 2002 in
the showers of Penn State's football building. Paterno said in his statement
that "I wish I had done more" and called the entire case "one of the great
sorrows of my life."
9) Baton Rouge, LA (Sports Network) - The top-ranked LSU Tigers recently survived
their stiffest challenge of the season, and they will attempt to avoid a
letdown this weekend when non-conference foe Western Kentucky invades Baton
The Hilltoppers are not to be taken lightly, as they have captured five
consecutive victories, the longest winning streak for the program since 2004.
This string of strong play has caught many off guard, as Western Kentucky lost
its first four games this season and looked downright awful in a couple of
those affairs. Now at 5-4 overall and 4-1 in Sun Belt Conference play, the
Hilltoppers are in contention for the league crown and just one win away from
8) Los Angeles, CA (Sports Network) - The 18th-ranked USC Trojans and Washington
Huskies are prepared for what figures to be a highly-competitive Pac-12
Conference showdown in Los Angeles.
Washington opened the season with wins in five of its first six games, but the
team has suffered setbacks in two of the last three outings. Last weekend, the
Huskies dropped a 34-17 decision to Oregon in front of the home crowd, and the
only other defeat came against conference and national power Stanford. Still,
Steve Sarkisian's squad is already bowl eligible and would certainly
strengthen its postseason prospects with a win this weekend.
"This team has come to the point where they truly expect to win," said
Sarkisian after last weekend's loss. "For the game to go the way it did, they
This game marks Homecoming for USC, which owns a 7-2 mark thanks to wins in
four of the last five outings. Lane Kiffin's group is locked in a three-way
tie atop the Pac-12 South Division standings at 4-2, and they are coming off a
42-17 romp over Colorado on the road last time out. Because of NCAA sanctions,
the Trojans aren't eligible for the postseason, though the players are
certainly deserving of a strong bowl bid based on their play to date.
USC owns a 49-28-4 series lead over Washington, though the 2005 win for the
Trojans was recently vacated due to NCAA penalty. Last season, the Huskies
earned a thrilling 32-31 triumph over the Trojans on a last-second field goal.
Through nine outings, Washington is posting 33.6 ppg and 412.8 total ypg, and
the man at the helm of the offense is quarterback Keith Price. In his first
season as the start, Price has been tremendous, completing 66.8 percent of his
passes for 2,133 yards and 25 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. His top
target, Jermaine Kearse, has hauled in 34 receptions to date, but it remains
to be seen if he will be able to shake off an ankle injury and be effective
this weekend. As for the ground attack, Chris Polk has been tremendous for
Washington, rushing for 1,096 yards and nine scores already.
While the Husky offense can certainly move the ball and score points, the
defense simply hasn't been good enough. Opponents are posting 33.4 ppg and
424.9 total ypg against Washington, which has given up twice as many yards
through the air than on the ground. Opposing quarterbacks are passing for
283.1 ypg with 15 TDs and eight INTs to date.
Against Oregon last week, Washington only managed 278 total yards and made a
wealth of mistakes. Price, who tossed a pair of interceptions, was sacked six
times in the affair.
"Six sacks is a crazy number to me. That's embarrassing," said Sarkisian.
Defensively, Washington surrendered four touchdowns, through two of the TD
drives for the Ducks covered fewer than 40 yards. The Huskies gave up 212
rushing yards on 39 attempts, an average of 5.4 yards per run.
That Washington defense will have its hands full with the USC offense, led by
the tremendous combination of Matt Barkley and Robert Woods. Last week against
Colorado, Barkley set a USC record with six TD passes and finished with 318
yards, while Woods scored twice and posted 130 yards on his nine grabs.
"We knew our receiving corps was much better than their secondary and it
definitely showed tonight," said Barkley. "We were a little off on a couple of
throws but I mean, we were throwing the ball all over the place. Thank you,
Coach Kiffin, for the calls."
The Trojans may be without tailback Marc Tyler this weekend because of a
shoulder injury, and he will obviously be limited if he does play. Still,
there is plenty of talent in the backfield to pick of the slack for a team
that is posting 33.4 ppg and 446.8 total ypg. Barkley has completed 67.0
percent of his passes for 2,608 yards and 28 TDs with only six INTs. As for
Woods, a serious Biletnikoff Award candidate, he leads the nation with 90
catches and on pace to break the Pac-12 single season receptions record. He
has scored 11touchdowns and has 1,121 receiving yards.
Opponents are posting 25.7 ppg against USC, which is permitting 377.1 total
ypg. Stopping the run has been a strength of the Trojans, who are allowing
only 106.4 ypg at a clip of 3.7 yards per carry. There are yards to be gained
through the air against USC, which is permitting 270.7 on average. Opponents
are making good on 42 percent of their third-down conversion attempts against
the Trojans, an average that simply must improve. Dion Bailey continues to
pace USC with 67 tackles, but he missed the last game with a concussion and is
questionable for Saturday.
7) Manhattan, KS (Sports Network) - A physical Big 12 battle is expected this
weekend in Manhattan, as the 17th-ranked Kansas State Wildcats play host to
the Texas A&M Aggies.
Texas A&M opened the season with a 5-2 record, but the last two outings have
resulted in defeat. Last weekend, the Aggies were simply overpowered by
Oklahoma in a 41-25 setback, leaving them one win shy of bowl eligibility.
There are three games remaining, including this weekend's tilt, to notch that
lone victory, and the next two will take place at home.
"We just have to know that we're so close," said Texas A&M defensive lineman
Tony Jerod-Eddie after last weekend's defeat. "It's frustrating because we are
so close but we just got to know that we are still a team that we say we are.
That we don't let outside people determine who we are. We have to let our play
As for Kansas State, it opened the season with seven consecutive wins to
emerge as a darkhorse contender for the national title and a major contender
for the Big 12 crown. Unfortunately, back-to-back losses to Oklahoma and
Oklahoma State have dashed those hopes. Last weekend, the Wildcats fell to the
Cowboys in dramatic fashion by a 52-45 final in Stillwater.
"We've played a lot of crazy games this year and this certainly fits the bill;
it may top it," said Kansas State head coach Bill Snyder after Saturday's
loss. "The fact that they played hard throughout, I'm proud of them, but we
just have a lot to learn."
Texas A&M owns an 8-6 series advantage over Kansas State, but the Wildcats
have won the last two meetings.
The Aggies surrendered five touchdowns to the Oklahoma offense last weekend,
including three rushing TDs despite only surrendering 3.2 yards per run
attempt. The pass defense yielded 14.2 yards per completion, an unacceptable
average, but OU's star quarterback was held below 50 percent completions. As
for the Texas A&M offense, it gained 527 total yards, including 379 through
the air from QB Ryan Tannehill. Ryan Swope made eight catches for 149 yards
and a score, but the receivers dropped far too many passes and Tannehill was
intercepted three times.
"It's not something we do, but we have done it in the past and it has not been
a part of us," said Texas A&M head coach Mike Sherman in regard to the
numerous dropped passes against Oklahoma. "It certainly is right now and we
have to get that fixed, there is no question about that, among other things
Texas A&M lost more than just the game last weekend, as tailback Christine
Michael suffered a season-ending knee injury. Having rushed for 899 yards and
eight touchdowns through the nine games he played in, there is no doubt that
Michael will be missed. Cyrus Gray is a solid RB as well, but he isn't as
explosive as Michael. Swope, who will play through injury on Saturday, has 60
catches for 874 yards and eight TDs, while Tannehill has completed 62.9
percent of his passes for 2,701 yards and 20 TDs with 10 INTs.
While the Aggies are generating 37.7 ppg and 520.6 total ypg, they are
allowing 28.6 ppg and 421.4 total ypg to opponents. They have been solid
against the run, yielding a mere 110.2 total ypg at a clip of 3.0 ypc, but the
pass defense has been weak, surrendering 16 TDs and 311.2 ypg while notching
just four INTs.
That defense will be challenged by a Kansas State offense that posted 507
total yards against Oklahoma State last week. The Wildcats rushed for 276
yards and four touchdowns while gaining 5.4 ypc, and quarterback Collin Klein
led the way with 144 rushing yards and three TDs. As a passer, he threw for
231 yards and one score, yet his team lost despite holding the ball for nearly
"We hung tough, and fought together through the whole game, but ultimately we
just came up short," said a disappointed Klein after the game.
Klein has put up staggering numbers this season, as he has run for 906 yards
and 19 touchdowns while passing for 1,223 yards and nine scores with just four
interceptions. Thanks in large part to that one individual, KSU is averaging
The Wildcats limited OSU to 73 rushing yards last week, but the Cowboys are a
passing team and racked up 502 yards and four TDs through the air. KSU is now
surrendering 27.6 ppg and 402.8 total ypg, numbers that could certainly be
better. The pass defense has proven to be most problematic, yielding 302.8
6) === Badgers and Gophers add another chapter to long-standing rivalry ===
Minneapolis, MN (Sports Network) - The 16th-ranked Wisconsin Badgers have lost
both of their true road games this season, and they hope for a better result
as they travel to Minnesota this weekend for a Big Ten Conference clash with
the Golden Gophers.
Through the first six games of the season, Wisconsin looked like a legitimate
national title contender, having beaten all six of its opponents by 31 points.
Unfortunately, back-to-back single-digit losses to Michigan State and Ohio
State in enemy territory crushed the hopes of the Badgers. They are two games
back in their Big Ten's Leaders Division with three to play. The club did
rally for a 62-17 romp over Purdue last weekend, proving that it remains
"Two weeks that seemed like an eternity have come to an end," Badgers' head
coach Bret Bielema said.
As for Minnesota, it played Michigan State tough last weekend but fell on the
road by a 31-24 final. That defeat dropped the Golden Gophers to 2-7 overall,
and they stand at just 1-4 in conference action under head coach Jerry Kill.
"We wanted to take a few shots," Minnesota coach Jerry Kill said after the
thriller at Michigan State. "Game plan-wise, I think we gave ourselves a
chance to win."
Minnesota leads the all-time series with Wisconsin by a 58-54-8 margin in the
most-played FBS rivalry, but the Badgers posted a 41-23 win in last season's
Against Purdue last week, Montee Ball was downright dominant for the Badgers,
as the stud tailback gained a career-high 223 yards and reached the end zone
"We needed this," Ball said. "Badly."
Quarterback Russell Wilson completed 15-of-20 passes for 205 yards and two
TDs, and the versatile performer ran for a score as well. James White pitched
in two rushing scores for Wisconsin, which posted 605 total yards of offense
while limiting Purdue to 284 yards. A pair of interceptions were notched by
the Badgers, and they permitted only 2-of-10 third-down conversion attempts to
Through nine outings, Wisconsin is generating 47.0 ppg and 503.2 total ypg,
outstanding numbers for a well-balanced offensive team. Sure, the run is the
bread-and-butter for the Badgers, accounting for 34 touchdowns and 5.7 yards
per attempt, but they have actually posted more passing yards and rushing
yards to date because of Wilson. He has completed 71.6 percent of his passes
for 2,238 yards and 21 TDs with only three INTs. Ball has run for 21 scores of
his own and has 1,076 rushing yards under his belt.
Opponents are scoring 16.1 ppg and 294.2 total ypg against Wisconsin, numbers
that would obviously be even better if not for the two poor showings against
Michigan State and Ohio State. If can certainly be argued with validity that
it was the defense, and not Wilson's offense, that let the Badgers down
against both Michigan State and Ohio State.
Challenging that Wisconsin defense this week will be a Minnesota offense that
posted 415 total yards against Michigan State last week. MarQueis Gray put
forth a tremendous effort under center, passing for a career-high 295 yards
and three TDs while rushing for team-high 71 yards. Sure, he did throw a pair
of costly interceptions, but the good did outweigh the bad.
"He played awfully good," said Kill of Gray. "He gave us an opportunity," Kill
said. "I think at the end of the game, the kid was physically exhausted. He
gave everything he had but that's how you learn."
All three touchdowns went to JaJon McKnight, who finished with 173 yards on
nine catches. He leads the club with 41 catches for 628 yards and had just one
score before last week's outburst. Gray owns a team-best 571 rushing yards
with three TDs, and he has thrown for 1,235 yards with seven scores and six
INTs. Still, there is plenty of room for improvement offensively, as the
Badgers are averaging just 18.7 ppg and 315.8 total ypg. Defensively, they are
giving up 33.7 ppg and 427.6 total ypg, so there is plenty of opportunity to
get better on that side of the ball as well.
Minnesota is yielding 5.1 yards per rushing attempt, and the pass defense has
been weak as well, permitting opposing quarterbacks to toss 17 TDs with a mere
three INTs. The fact that Kill's club has just six takeaways in nine games is
a major reason for the 2-7 record.
5) === Big East brawl pits Mountaineers against Bearcats ===
Cincinnati, OH (Sports Network) - No longer part of the national rankings, the
West Virginia Mountaineers must again earn respect this weekend as they
challenge the 23rd-ranked Cincinnati Bearcats in Big East Conference play at
Paul Brown Stadium in Ohio.
Not only are the Mountaineers on the outside looking in when it comes to
national recognition, the team is now locked in a three-way tie for fourth
place in the conference standings at 2-2 with the likes of Pittsburgh and
Connecticut. Last week, WVU got caught up in a high-scoring affair with
Louisville at home and wasn't able to keep up, eventually dropping a 38-35
final in Morgantown. The defeat was the second in the last three outings for a
WVU program which is now 6-3 overall.
As for the Bearcats, they were locked up in a similar type of battle with the
Pittsburgh Panthers on the road the same day, but in their case they were able
to squeak by with a 26-23 triumph, marking the team's sixth straight win and
the seventh in eight tries this season. A perfect 3-0 in conference play, the
Bearcats are the only team in the Big East yet to experience a league loss.
As far as the all-time series is concerned, WVU has put up a 15-3-1 mark
versus the Bearcats dating back to 1921 when the Mountaineers crushed Cincy in
a 50-0 final in Morgantown. More recently, West Virginia secured a 37-10 win
last year at home to snap what had been a two-game win streak by the Bearcats,
although those two triumphs came by a combined six points. In fact, all three
of the wins for Cincinnati have come by just eight total points.
WVU quarterback Geno Smith had another outstanding game last Saturday, at
least from a statistical standpoint, as he completed 31-of-44 passes for 410
yards and three touchdowns, while Stedman Bailey recorded his sixth 100-yard
receiving game with eight catches for 118 yards for a squad that drummed up
533 yards of total offense in a loss to Louisville at home.
"I don't care about the number of yards," WVU head coach Dana Holgorsen said
afterwards. "We had the ball in the red zone and didn't convert."
Coach Holgorsen was likely referring to a pair of field goal chances that
Tyler Bitancurt failed to convert, the first missed from 32 yards out in the
third quarter and the other a 23-yard attempt in the fourth that was blocked
and returned 82 yards the other way for a touchdown.
For the most part this season the Mountaineers have been productive in the red
zone, scoring on 87 percent of their opportunities, but a closer look inside
the numbers shows that only 65 percent of the time have the Mountaineers
scored TDs when they've been inside the 20-yard line, and that's tough to
Smith is obviously putting up remarkable numbers this season with his 23 TDs,
against just five interceptions, and 347.2 ypg through the air, but clearly
there's a problem when the team settles in closer to the goal line and the
play options become more condensed. Bailey is one of the nation's leaders in
yards per game (103.7) and he has nine TD catches, while Shawne Alston and
Dustin Garrison have continued to carry on the tradition of WVU's productive
running attack with a combined 12 TDs through nine games. However, the
difference these days is that the team is averaging just 126.8 rushing ypg and
that ranks fifth in the conference and 90th nationally.
It may not have been a last-second field goal, but Tony Miliano's 41-yard
conversion for the Bearcats just seconds into the fourth quarter still served
the same purpose on Saturday as it gave his team the three-point edge it
needed against the Panthers. Miliano tied a single-game school record and set
a personal best with four field goals in the victory over the Panthers.
"We had very little wind tonight and it wasn't that cold so the conditions
were pretty much optimal for a kicker," Miliano said after his performance.
"Overall it was fun being out there and it was exciting to have the game come
down to field goals."
Quarterback Zach Collaros contributed for the Bearcats by converting 19-of-32
passes for 214 yards, but he was sacked twice and tossed a couple of
interceptions. On the ground the signal-caller ran for two TDs, while Isaiah
Pead registered a game-high 118 yards rushing to help move the ball along.
Collaros has completed 63.4 percent of his pass attempts this season for 14
TDs, against eight interceptions, and while it is important for him to give
Cincinnati a realistic passing attack, the truth is he is perhaps more valued
as a runner who is tied for the team lead with eight rushing scores with Pead.
Although, the difference between he and Pead is that Collaros is averaging
just 3.4 yards per carry, and Pead is picking up six yards a pop and is one of
the nation's top ground gainers with 102.6 ypg.
Even though they've had their share of high-scoring games this season, the
Bearcat defense has been one of the best in the country in both sacks (3.1 per
game to rank eighth in the nation) and tackles for loss (8.1 per game, fifth
nationally). Better still, the team's turnover margin is decidedly in their
favor with a plus-1.63 per outing, ranking them third in the country at this
point in the season.
4) === ACC clash features Top-25 foes in Atlanta ===
Atlanta, GA (Sports Network) - Two of the ACC's best collide in Atlanta on
Thursday evening, as the 10th-ranked Virginia Tech Hokies take on the 20th-
ranked Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in what may very well determine the Coastal
Frank Beamer's Hokies are in the divisional driver's seat, boasting a 4-1
conference record. Virginia Tech enters this contest with a four-game win
streak in tow, following a harder-than-expected 14-10 win over Duke last time
out. It certainly wasn't pretty, but a win nonetheless.
"Every week is not going to be magnificent, and this week certainly wasn't
magnificent for us," said Beamer following the Duke win. "But sometimes, when
you can get through a game when it wasn't so good, that's big in the big
Paul Johnson's Yellow Jackets are very much in the hunt for the Coastal
Division crown, sitting at 4-2 in league play. Tech halted a two-game skid
last time out, posting its most impressive win of the season, handing
previously unbeaten Clemson its only loss of the season, 31-17.
These two schools have combined for all six ACC Coastal Division titles.
Virginia Tech holds a 5-3 advantage in this series. The Hokies have won three
of the last four meetings, including a 28-21 victory in Blacksburg last
As has been the case for awhile in Blacksburg, the Hokies rely heavily on a
potent ground game. The team's workhorse this season is junior David Wilson.
The 5-10, 205-pounder leads the ACC in rushing at 1,185 yards, averaging just
over 130 yards per game. He also leads the team with seven rushing TDs, one
ahead of quarterback Logan Thomas (6).
A 6-6 sophomore, Thomas has also provided Tech's offense with balance,
completing 60.9 percent of his throws, for 1,934 yards and 11 TDs. A full
arsenal is at Thomas' disposal downfield, in the form of wideouts like Danny
Coale, Jarrett Boykin, D.J. Coles and Marcus Davis. Coale leads the team in
receptions (42) and receiving yards (627).
Paul Johnson is certainly concerned with Thomas' ability to make plays.
"I think that you've got to try to get him off his spot where he throws and
contain him and not let him hurt you throwing the ball because he's a good
athlete and he can pull it down and run it. Rush lanes are important and you
hope that he doesn't get hot, because when he gets hot, he goes in streaks. He
got hot in the Miami game and he was unbelievable. You've got to change some
things up and not let him get comfortable and hope that you can do some things
that maybe he hasn't seen."
The Hokies are once again one of the premier defensive teams in the nation,
allowing just 15.4 ppg. Opponents are averaging under 300 yards of total
offense and Tech has been extremely stingy against the run (86.3 ypg).
The unit took a hit a few weeks ago when leading tackler Bruce Taylor went
down with a season-ending injury. There is still plenty of playmakers on the
roster, highlighted by players like defensive end J.R. Collins (31 tackles,
six sacks), cornerback Jayron Hosley (31 tackles, three INTs) and linebackers
Tariq Edwards (43 tackles, 8.0 TFLs, two INTs) and Kyle Fuller (43 tackles,
9.5 TFLs, 2.5 sacks).
It will be strength against strength, when Georgia Tech's prolific ground game
will attempt to find running room against the stingy Hokies. Not many teams do
it better than the Yellow Jackets, who are putting up 474.6 yards of total
offense, including 328.0 ypg on the ground.
The triple option is spearheaded by quarterback Tevin Washington, who leads
the team with 636 yards and 10 rushing scores. Running backs David Sims (564
yards, four TDs) and Orwin Smith (553 yards, 10 TDs) are certainly capable of
moving the chains as well. Georgia Tech is averaging nearly six yards per
carry and has scored 34 rushing TDs to date.
The Yellow Jackets have had some problems with consistency on the defensive
side of things. The team has played the pass well (185.0 ypg), but has been
vulnerable against the run (162.4 ypg).
Junior linebacker Julian Burnett is the most active defender, leading the team
with 81 total tackles. Safety Isaiah Johnson is a distant second with 48
tackles and tied with cornerback Rod Sweeting (38 tackles) with three INTs.
3) === Longhorns battle Tigers in Columbia ===
Columbia, MO (Sports Network) - The No. 21 Texas Longhorns look to keep pace
in the Big 12 race this weekend with a crucial road test in Columbia, where
the Missouri Tigers await.
Texas became bowl eligible with a dominant 52-20 win over Texas Tech last
weekend, which showcased the Longhorns' ability to run the football. The Texas
defense is a proud unit this season, ranking among the best in college
football and has played a key role in the Longhorns outscoring opponents 95-20
the past two weeks. Texas will close the season with Kansas State, Texas A&M
and Baylor following Saturday's matchup with the Tigers. Those games present
problems for the one-dimensional nature Texas currently has on offense,
according to head coach Mack Brown.
"We need to continue to grow and develop in our passing game," said Brown at
his weekly press conference on Monday. "The next four defenses that we play,
and three of those games on the road we probably will not be able to line up
and run the ball like we have the last two weeks."
Missouri pushed Baylor to the limit in a 42-39 loss last weekend, in perhaps
the wildest Big 12 game of the year. Both teams featured run-and-gun
philosophies, but it was Missouri's inability to shut down Robert Griffin III
and the Bears vaunted attack that became the difference. Missouri has plenty
of work to do to become bowl eligible, needing to win two of its final three
in order to qualify. Following the Longhorns' visit, the Tigers will host
Texas Tech and play Kansas to close the season.
Texas showed just how strong its running attack was last weekend against Texas
Tech, amassing 439 yards and six rushing touchdowns in a win over the Red
Raiders. Joe Bergeron ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 29 carries,
while Fozzy Whittaker had 83 yards and two touchdowns on just 10 rushes. It
was befitting of the Texas offense this season, as the Longhorns lead the Big
12 in rushing with 246.3 yards per game. Freshman phenom Malcolm Brown sat out
last weekend's game with an injury, but the Longhorns showed no signs of
slowing behind Bergeron and Whittaker. Brown averages 90.7 yards per game,
while Bergeron and Whittaker are posting 51.7 and 46,3 yards per outing,
respectively, and the two have combined for 11 touchdowns this season.
"Last two games we've rushed for 400 yards plus," said Mack Brown on Monday at
his press conference. "It's the first time we've rushed for 400-plus yards in
back-to-back games since 1977. So that's something we're really, really proud
The passing platoon of David Ash and Case McCoy is obviously taking a back
seat due to the commitment to the run, and the Longhorns threw just nine times
last week. Ash still threw for 125 yards, while McCoy completed his only pass
of the day for a 31-yard touchdown. Texas averages 190.7 yards passing per
game; Ash has thrown for 740 yards and three touchdowns against five
interceptions this season, while McCoy has posted 475 yards passing and three
scores with no interceptions. Texas averages 34.3 points per game.
The Longhorn defense has been a highly productive unit in the trenches. While
the pass-happy Texas Tech Raiders compiled 381 yards passing last weekend, it
only strung together 30 yards rushing on 28 attempts. Texas leads the Big 12
in total defense (310.7), rushing defense (94.8), and pass efficiency defense
(108.2), and is second in scoring defense (21.5) and pass defense (215.8).
Those are high marks for the Longhorns, who have gotten big years out of
Emmanuel Acho and Jackson Jeffcoat. Acho leads the team with 7.5 tackles per
game, while Jeffcoat registers at least one tackle for loss per outing.
Missouri will be quite the test for the vaunted Texas defense, however. The
Tigers rolled up 578 yards of total offense against Baylor last weekend, with
quarterback James Franklin throwing for 325 yards and three touchdowns in the
loss. Henry Josey added 132 yards rushing on just 15 attempts, and scored two
touchdowns on the ground.
Missouri averages 500 yards per game on offense, which is ranked fifth in the
league. The Tigers are sixth in scoring at 34.8 points per game.
Bottling up Franklin and Josey will be the top priorities for the Longhorns,
especially considering both have big play ability in the open field (Franklin
also rushed for 57 yards last weekend on 16 carries). Franklin is sixth in the
Big 12 in total offense (310.4), and has passed for 2,195 yards and 16
touchdowns against seven interceptions this season. Josey leads the Big 12 in
rushing with 127.6 per game, and has scored nine touchdowns this season. Out
wide, T.J. Moe leads the team receiving with 4.8 catches and 60.7 yards per
game. Michael Egnew, who had 12 catches for 69 yards last weekend, averages
4.6 catches for 48 yards per game. Moe and Egnew have combined for six
touchdown receptions this season.
Missouri's defense didn't have much of an answer for Baylor's high octane
offense last weekend, as the Bears put up nearly 700 yards of total offense on
the Tigers. Missouri has fared pretty well against the powerful offenses of
the Big 12 this season, ranking fourth in the league in total defense (417.4)
and third in scoring defense (26.6). Missouri is surrendering 267.6 yards
passing and 149.7 yards rushing per game. The Tigers have been an aggressive
unit, ranking fourth ins sacks (two) and second in tackles for loss per game
(7.4). Andrew Wilson leads the club in tackles with 75, and has 6.5 tackles
for loss. E.J. Gaines is second with 58 stops, and leads the team with two
interceptions this year.
2) === Tigers welcome Demon Deacons to Death Valley ===
Clemson, SC (Sports Network) - The ninth-ranked Clemson Tigers set out to
secure the ACC's Atlantic Division title and subsequent spot in the ACC
Championship Game, when they play host to the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in the
key conference clash in Death Valley this weekend.
Dabo Swinney's Tigers have had a very successful campaign to this point. The
team opened the season with eight straight victories and raced to a 5-0 mark
in the ACC before suffering its first loss of the season, a 31-17 setback at
Georgia Tech two weeks ago. Clemson was idle this past week and has had two
weeks to prepare for what could be a division-clinching contest.
Jim Grobe's Demon Deacons still control their own destiny and are 4-2 in the
Atlantic Division, a game behind the Tigers. Wake has been seeking bowl
eligibility for a couple of weeks now, but has failed in its bid for a sixth
victory on the season, instead dropping back-to-back decisions to North
Carolina (49-24) and most recently, Notre Dame (24-17).
Grobe addressed the recent skid.
"We're disappointed, but not down. I think we know that we still have a lot of
good things to play for. I think we're very disappointed in the opportunity
that we lost Saturday night (against Notre Dame). We had a great chance to
beat a really good football team and didn't get it done. So we're not great
mentally from the standpoint of being happy about the way that we played the
past couple weeks, but at the same time, we know that we can play better and
we know we have to this week."
Clemson holds a huge advantage in the all-time series with Wake Forest. The
Tigers are now 58-17-1, having won the last two meetings and seven of the last
There is nothing flashy about how Wake Forest conducts its business on the
offensive side of the ball. The team is averaging 28.3 ppg this year, fueled
by a passing attack that is generating 265.8 yards per game.
Quarterback Tanner Price has played well for the most part, connecting on 61.9
percent of his throws, for 2,154 yards, with 15 TDs against six INTs.
It has helped that veteran wideout Chris Givens has emerged as one of the
ACC's best receivers. The senior has hauled in 58 passes this year for 985
yards and eight TDs. He needs just 69 more yards to pass Ricky Proehl (1,053
in 1989) for the school's single-season record.
Coach Swinney is aware of the challenge that Wake's offense presents.
"They do a great job with formations. They know how to create advantages. We
have to try to make them one-dimensional. We have to stop the run and play
well in space. They're going to get their guys with as much space as
The ground game is not as productive on the year, but both Josh Harris (61.7
ypg, three TDs) and Brandon Pendergrass (46.3 ypg, five TDs) have the ability
to move the chains if need be.
The Demon Deacons have had their ups and downs on the defensive side of the
ball this year, as they are allowing 27.9 ppg. A lack of big play has
certainly been problematic, with Wake amassing just 10 sacks and 13 takeaways
in the first nine games.
Senior safety Cyhl Quarles has been the team's most active defender, leading
the way with 71 tackles and one fumble recovery. Fellow safety Josh Bush (37
tackles) has also played well in the secondary and is responsible for five
INTs thus far.
The Tigers haven't had many problems moving the football up and down the field
in 2011. The team is averaging a robust 473.2 yards per game, ripping off huge
chunks of real estate on the ground (169.6 ypg) and through the air (303.7
It all starts with sophomore QB Tahj Boyd. The young gunslinger is playing at
an All-American level, completing 61.3 percent of his passes, for 2,674 yards,
with 25 TDs. It helps to have a future All-American on the outside in Sammy
Watkins. Perhaps the best freshman in the entire nation, Watkins has already
hauled in 63 balls, for 972 yards and 10 TDs.
Tailback Andre Ellington keeps defenses honest with his 93.1 yards rushing per
The Clemson defense hasn't been as productive as the offense. The unit has
been gashed at times, especially by opponents' ground games at 193.1 yards per
game on almost five yards per carry (4.8).
Still, the Tigers possess some serious talent, starting with defensive end
Andre Branch. The 6-5, 260-pound senior ranks second on the team in tackles
(57), but leads the way in TFLs (12.5) and sacks (8.5).
1) I've received several emails from Marc and so far he's increased his intake by two hours every day, hoping to drink a full 24 hours before the end of the week! But right now he's just sitting at the pool and taking in all the rest and relaxation giving the hard work at BM a well deserved break. Then it's back to business as usual.
For the latest sports news, capper picks and tracker results, turn to JTG, the leader in BTB information