Thoughts from the Games I watch
Busy day on Friday....Looking forward to it.
RUTGERS @ LOUISVILLE - Early start to the day with the 11AM kick. We're not complaining. Rutgers seems to have shaken off the effects of the Syracuse beatdown last weekend. The Knights have a 21-7 first half lead approaching halftime....The Syracuse loss to Louisville the other week is one that really still bothers me....Louisville went for it on fourth down at midfield and didn't get it. Rutgers consequently converted a 3rd-and-10 and scored a TD on the next play to make it 28-7. Louisville may relieve Steve Kragthorpe of his coaching duties in the locker room....Louisville, ie Steve Kragthorpe is feeling the pressure, he went for it again on fourth down at midfield - and didn't convert - and now the crowd is booing the decision to call a timeout and force a Rutgers punt with 10 seconds left. I think if you've got Trent Guy to return a punt it makes sense. Dellaganna booted it into the endzone. I'm guessing the fans will boo again when he kneels on it with one second left from his own 20. Actually, they booed after an incomplete long heave....Dari Nowkhah sent it live to Cincinnati where the Bearcats have taken control. After Illinois scored, the Bearcats Mardy Gillyard returned the kick to tie it and UC has now taken the lead at 14-7 and forced an Illini punt. The thought by some that this might be a good game, is quickly going away....You can't help yourself but want to call Louisville Quarterback Adam Froman - Abe....Louisville is back within two scores. They hit a big pass play to Trent Guy - and scored a few plays later. Maybe this is going to become a game....Just realized that the consolation game late night in Anaheim has a lot of interest now with Butler and UCLA squaring off in the consy round....Louisville has been a different team defensively in the second half. Rutgers scored on 4 of 5 possessions in the first half. The only failure coming on a late first half situation, but have now shut the Scarlet Knights down in the second half. The 'Ville just needs the offense to respond....RUTGERS Won The Game 34-14
ILLINOIS @ CINCINNATI - The game has the potential to get close in the second half as Cincy has a 15-point break lead. But the Illini have done nothing to indicate they can keep Tony Pike, who has returned, and the Bearcats off the scoreboard....Jesse Palmer is back in the studio today, after watching Texas last night and thinks Nebraska might have a chance against the Horns next week, because of its defense. He's selling, I'm not buying....Illinois just had a wide open wide receiver, who was at least 10 yards behind the closest defender. And Juice Williams missed him. How long have Illini fans been waiting on Juice Williams?....So let's assume UC survives this one. And its still 35-20 midway through the third. Who wins the showdown at Heinz Field next week? I think it is all going to work like this. Pitt is going to lose tonight in Morgantown, and then beat UC in Pittsburgh next weekend. I don't know what that does to the BE standings, but it eliminates UC from any national title thoughts....BTW, Cincy has added another score. 5 TD passes for Tony Pike now....UC just muffed a punt and the Illini are going to have a very short field to work with....It only turns into three points though as the UC defense holds them to a field goal. 42-23 right now....Illinois has scored again and gotten the lead down to 12, typical Ron Zook not to got for 2....
ALABAMA @ AUBURN
I have a theory on the BCS - said it once or twice before. If you wait around long enough, everything will take care of itself. Is that what we are seeing in Auburn today? The Tigers lead 'Bama 14-0. It's early, but you might want to pull up a chair....The War Eagles holding nothing back in this one. Onside Kicks, Wildcat Flea Flickers (although we're not sure that is really the best name for it), Gene Chizik pulling out all the stops. For now it is working. Auburn always has those single digit tight ends....Alabama managed to tie things up before halftime. However, Auburn quickly went down the field to restore the lead to a touchdown after the break. 'Bama has gotten a pair of field goals to draw within one as the third quarter nears an end....Auburn has the ball across midfield with a one point lead and 10:30 left. They can't afford to be conservative. No way do they win this with 21 points....Alabama methodically moved down the field chewed up most of the clock, hit Julio Jones on key third down passes when they needed to and scored the go ahead touchdown. Auburn got an interception on the conversion, but Bama leads 26-21. 15 plays 79 yards 7+ minutes....Auburn has 1:24 to try to restore the upset. ALABAMA Won The Game 26-21.
MARQUETTE VS MICHIGAN - The Warriors (I know) showing the depth and strength of the Big East once again. They lead Michigan early in the semifinal in Orlando....They are going up and down the floor at the Milk House. Pretty exciting stuff. Tune it in, it is worth the watch, if you get the chance...The Wolverines didn't play poorly in the first half. Marquette was just phenomenal. Now the Wolverines are getting some defensive stops and getting back into the game. Michigan has drawn within one, there is still nearly 16 minutes to play. Waiting to see how the Golden Eagles respond....Marquette has weathered Michigan's run and is now back up by near double digits in Orlando. The continue to play with confidence and attack the Wolverines defense....Michigan is now starting to struggle a little bit offensively, maybe pressing a little as Marquette's lead has grown and the clock has shrunk. John Beilein called a timeout with just over 5 minutes left and down 10, but not sure it will matter much, it is a long way back from here....Marquette has pulled away late and will be another Big East team to play for a MTE championship....MARQUETTE Won The Game 79-65
WEST VIRGINIA vs TEXAS A&M
Pace has slowed a little bit in Anaheim. West Virginia has had the lead most of the way early. But neither team has really gained control....Ohio won the MAC East in football and will now face Central Michigan for the title. Tough luck for Al Golden and Temple - good story, but just couldn't get it done against the Bobcats today....A&M has now taken a 3-pt lead and is at the foul line as the WVU offense has taken a few possessions off. Another Big East team is in a final, as West Virginia broke things open in the 2nd half and then held off the Aggies down the stretch. Two big steals in the open court late by Devin Ebanks helped the Mountaineers hold on. WEST VIRGINIA Won The Game 73-66.
UCONN vs DUKE
They are underway at the Garden with yet another Big East/ACC matchup. We'll kindly remind you of Syracuse's win in the Coaches Vs. Cancer Classic last Friday on this same floor. The Orange dominated the defending national champ UNC, in case you forgot....Lots of intensity in this game early. Amazing stat that UCONN has led the nation in blocked shots the last eight years. Who does Stanley Robinson think he is? Alex Watson. The windmill slam off the two footed jump to give the Huskies the lead....UCONN has battled back from an early deficit to take a lead and Kyle Singler has picked up his second personal. The next dead ball should bring the Under 12 TO....UCONN by one with 11:22 left....Coach K sits on the bench more than any coach I can think of....They are really starting to call it close in this game and the fouls starting to accumulate....Duke seems to be taking control, they lead by 3 at the Under 8....DUKE Won The Game 68-59