TYLER MURPHY!!!! What did the five fingers say to USC's Playoff Hopes? SLAP!!!!!
Welp, I told y'all didn't I? Rhetorical question. Of course I did. USC came off of an emotional last second win against PAC-12 rival Stanford last week. Then they flew across the country to face Boston College in Chestnut Hill in a "Red Bandanna" game that honored 9/11 hero/ former BC lacrosse player Welles Crowther.
Crowther escorted people in the South Tower to safety running back and forth into the the burning sky scraper until it collapsed. He never made it out. Respect.
BC put forth its own heroic effort, albeit it on an extremely less significant scale, by upsetting the mighty Trojans 37-31. This is a major blow to USC's title hopes. They can still get to the PAC-12 Championship game if they can beat a tough Arizona State team (at home) and the Bruins (at UCLA) but this loss left a handprint on their chances.
The Pirates came into Blacksburg like Black Beard and plundered the Chokies 18th ranked booty. I hope Beamer's boys enjoyed their brief stay in the top 25 cause ... they gone. The vaunted Hokies secondary got toasted by Shane Carden for 427 yards and 3 touchdowns.
VT was down 21-7 going into the half after a horrendous display of all around ineptitude on both sides of the ball. They punted on their first 5 drives (the first three of which were 3 & outs) before Michael Brewer threw two picks on their next drives. For those not following that was 5 punts and 2 interception on the first seven drives. On there other side of the ball, the gave up three touchdowns on ECU's first 4 drives. But it gets even better. The Hokie D forced a turnover on downs on their own 11. Brewer turned around and gave the Pirates the ball right back three plays later as Josh Hawkins picked him giving ECU the ball on the VT 24. On the next play Shane Carden rumbled for 23 yards but pooped out his brown bible on the goal line. So what does the charitable Michael Brewer do? He found his favorite receiver, ECU safety Josh Hawkins, once again wide open for an interception. ECU would miss the subsequent FG attempt but the take away from these egregious errors was that the game should have been a lot worse than the 28-21 final score.
The Bourbon Trail:
So I'm sitting here typing this/listening to ESPN's Fantasy Football Now. I'm nursing a hang over, a sprained ankle, and a broken heart. ESPN "fantasy guru" Matthew Berry is saying that Kelvin Benjamin is the top waiver wire grab for the week. In what 6 team league is Kelvin Benjamin available in Matt? Sorry, my ADD is acting up anyway, I sprained my ankle jumping up and down during the Kentucky/Florida game. Then I drank my pain away. My heart is broken because I hate Florida more than any productive adult should hate something that really has no impact on his family, money, or health. But that's why I love college football. It allows me to ignore all the relevant things there are to hate in this world and hate something that doesn't really matter. Hate on haters.
KENTUCKY is better than people think.
I will go out on a limb here and say that Kentucky will make a bowl game this season. I see them being 4-2 going into the LSU game and finishing out the season with wins against Tennessee, Mississippi State, and Louisville. Call me crazy, but Stoops has these kids locked in, I see a ton of young explosive talent on this team, and they have a favorable SEC schedule.
Florida 36-Kentucky 30
This one hurt. I keep replaying the dropped pass by Jason Timmons that resulted in an interception that could have lead to a UK win. Florida's hectic fourth down scramble to get the play off in the first overtime that resulted in a Demarcus Robinson TD is also haunting. Here is what else I took away from this one:
This game started out as a tough physical defensive struggle in the first half that lead to a 3-3 halftime score. Both teams got going in the third quarter after some halftime adjustments and scored a combined 31 points. Then the defenses adjusted going into the fourth quarter with the lone score coming on a dramatic curve ball of a 51 yard Kentucky field goal. That crazy kick came after MacGinnnis had just nailed a 46 yarder that was called back because of an egregious delay of game penalty. Florida would move down the field after Kentucky knotted up the score only to see Austin Hardin miss a long 52 yard boot that looked to be deflected at the line of scrimmage.
Patrick Towles looked good at times and not so good at times. He was not on the same page with freshman Blake Bone on a few plays and two of them resulted in interceptions. I pointed out going into this game that they would not be able to make these kinds of mistakes against an opportunistic Gator defense. The most damning of the three Towles' picks was not his fault. In the fourth quarter driving for a game winning score, He launched a beautiful high velocity spiral over and threw the Gators which hit a striding Ryan Timmons in his face mask. The ball popped up in the air and florida snatched it up for a huge game saving Keanu Neal interception. Florida would eventually win this game as big burly Matt Jones capped a brutal OT possession with a 1 yard plunge for 6.
The star of this game was unheralded freshman wideout Garret Johnson how caught 6 passes for 154 yards and 2 TDs against a tough Gator secondary. Boom Williams looked explosive on an electrifying Reggie Bush style 25 yard touchdown reception. Boom caught a flare on the right hash mark ran towards the right sideline, ran into a blocker, reversed field and beat everyone to the left pylon for 6. The Gates answered with a controversial 4 and 7 touchdown pass from Driskell to Robinson. Driskell struggled to get the play from the sideline then rushed to get the ball snapped. It looked like the play clock expired before the snap but the referees are the official time keepers not the clock that we see on the field. The rest is history.
VIRGINIA 23 - Louisville 20
I told y'all that if Louisville could not run the ball effectively Will Garner was in for a long day against the Virginia defense. I was right. Will Garner got yanked for Reggie Bonnafon who was later yanked for Will Garner. A QB carousel in the third game of the season is not the sign of a stable team, nor the sign of a team that is ready to make a run at an ACC Championship. After a sloppy win against a sloppy Miami team the Virginia defense was the litmus test for Bobby P's O. The results were not indicative of a team that has found its identity.
The Cards offense came out with its scripted plays and put together a dominant 9 play 75 yard 5:12 opening drive. Then the UVA defense shut down the Louisville offensive on the next 10 drives which consisted of two picks, a fumble, and 5 three and outs. Garner would throw 16 straight incomplete ions before getting benched for Bonnafon. Also, in my not so humble opinion, the Cards' 12th drive should have ended with a Max Valles interception of an ill advised Will Garner pass but UVA got called for a highly questionable roughing the passer call. Garner hit James Quick on the next play for a 4 yard TD to take a 21-10 lead in the fourth quarter.
Quick would go from hero to goat in a matter of minutes. After his TD the Cards defense forced a Hoos punt. Quick proceeded to muff that point and give the ball back to UVA on the Louisville 25. Virginia would connect for a 42 yard field goal that would prove to be the decisive score. U of L badly needs Quick to step his game up and deliver on his 4 star recruit status in the absence of the great Devante Parker who is out for the season. The loss of Parker is showing as the Cards have virtually do down field receiving threat which makes the Cards offense predictable.
Max Valles was the player of the game for the Cavs. The converted safety has a unique skill set at line backer which makes him very dangerous pass rusher that can drop into the middle passing lanes. He deflected four passes against the Louisville offense and picked off a pass that was called back. Bobby P was outmanned and out coached by Mike London and Jon Tenuta.
I'm not sold on Louisville being a top team in the ACC as they still have Clemson and FSU on the schedule. I'm predicting 3 ACC loses. I also don't think they have a chance to beat Notre Dame this season as they have been very impressive in the early going this year. Finally as a said above, I have UK coming into Corporate America Stadium (AKA Papa John's Stadium) and driving a stake through the heart of the Louisville fan base. Not a good start for the Petrino 2.0 era.