So, the honeymoon is going well, and my lovely wife has allowed me time to write for the blog this week, even though we’re sitting and hanging out on the beach down in the Gulf of Mexico. I did get to watch football ALL DAY Saturday, so that allowed me to have a little bit of perspective… in weeks past, I’ve had to watch replays on Sunday to get to see all of the games I wanted to catch. I’ve been sleep depraved over the weekend trying to watch everything, but the beach has allowed me to catch back up.
So let’s get to it.
1. NC State and Notre Dame should have been canceled instead of FL/LSU… and Brian Kelly’s an idiot.
I could not take my eyes off of the NC State / Notre Dame game on Saturday morning. These two teams went out and played in the worst conditions I think I’ve ever seen on a football field in modern times. Hurricane Matthew was beating down on Raleigh, NC, and these two teams had to fight through it. The fact that there were people in the stands for this game was just amazing to me.
Talk about dedicated.
Neither team could actually do anything on offense, because the field was so bad nobody could really run. It was just sloppy. But, by God, it was entertaining to watch. Mud and rain… literally puddles all over the field. Nobody was quick in this mess. It was terrible and awesome to watch at the same time.
What I’m not understanding is Brian Kelly’s gameplan. Because, in situations like these, under these conditions, you have to ditch the gameplan.
Kelly had his QB, Kizer, drop back to pass 26 times. In the middle of a hurricane. Who in their right mind does that? Now, I understand that the running game was not working, but in this situation, you have a quarterback on the bench (Malik Zaire) that is more adept to running the football than Kizer. You have to find a way to move the football, and if what you’re doing is not working, then you change up what you’re doing. Kelly never changed it, to the point that it lost him a football game.
With ND now sitting at 1-4, the prospects of even a bowl game, in a season where they were preseason ranked top 10, are looking dire. Kelly has a lot of fixing to do, or he’ll be squarely on the hot seat before next season.
2. Tennessee almost did it again.
21 point deficit in the 4th quarter? No problem. 6 turnovers (at that point)? No big deal. Player running into the endzone for what appeared to be a victory clinching touchdown? Get outta here with that ish. 6 starters down with injuries in a 3rd straight game against a ranked opponent? Haha.
Butch Jones’ bunch from Knoxville almost did it again. This time in College Station. Down 35-14 in the 4th quarter, after turning the ball over what seemed like at least 10 times (it was 7 total for the game), they rallied back and dodged a late touchdown with a punch out fumble to the back of the endzone, giving them a touchback, and then dodging a last second 38-yd field goal before the game went to overtime.
But they eventually ran out of luck as Josh Dobbs made a terrible decision in the 2nd overtime and threw an interception on UT’s first play in the period, and that sealed the game.
This week, the Vols host #1 Alabama for the 3rd Saturday in October. This after 3 straight games against ranked teams, and 2 straight on the road, and a laundry list full of injured starters. Can Tennessee muster up one more emotional performance to make this a ballgame, or will it be a runaway, the same way Alabama went on the road and handled Arkansas last week? Vegas opened Bama at -13 on the road, so the oddsmakers think the Vols are just about out of gas.
Either way, Saturday at 2:30pm CT at Neyland Stadium is going to be interesting.
3. Dak Prescott says Alabama prepared him for the NFL.
Cowboys QB Dak Prescott got absolutely housed by Vontaze Burfict on a first down run in Sunday’s game against the Bengals. Prescott popped right up and went on with the next play.
He was asked about it in the postgame press conference:
“What about Vontaze Burfict’s hit?”
Dak: “I played in the SEC against Alabama.”
— Mark Lane (@therealmarklane) October 9, 2016
The SEC is NFL Lite. Period.