UT-MARTIN LAWRENCE AND THE RETURN OF DYLAN FAVRE
Five years ago, Dylan Favre was supposed to be the fuse for Mullen’s potent Mississippi State offense. The man who would be king flamed out and wound up at UT-Martin, where he made his return to Starkkville on Saturday. The current Hail State quarterback Dak Prescott didn't have the profiile of Brett Favre's nephew, but he's been the one to lift the Mississippi State program to unlikely heights.
UT Martin received a light beatdown, but for an FCS team things could have gone worse against the No. 1 FBS team in the nation. It’s not even the worst loss in school history compared to the time they faced Tommy Hearns.
ALWAYS BET ON JAMEIS
Maybe we should all bet against Jameis Winston in the first quarter. But when it counts, Winston is house money. Winston seems to be sleepwalking through the first half of games this season and the result has been a litany of first quarter interceptions. Opponents have scored 35 points off of his six interceptions in the past three games, but Florida State appears to have survived Winston’s bout with turnover-itis for now.
The plays he made with his feet this season have been what's put FSU over the top in 2014.
Winston was more fortunate than Everett Golson. The Notre Dame quarterback has been gushing turnovers this season and the levee broke against Arizona State's vaunted pass rush. After nearly overcoing three interceptions, one which was returned for a touchdown and a second that was plucked in the end zone, Golson's thrilling comeback attempt was halted by an inauspicious richochet and bounce that sealed the Fighting Catholics' L against the ninth-ranked Arizona State Sun Devils.
POORLY-TIMED TURNOVER(S) OF THE WEEK
Angels must have taken a bye week because up until Saturday, Gus Malzahn has lived a blessed life as the chief of Auburn’s War Eagles clan.
However, kismet isn’t perpetual. Eventually the chickens come home to roost.
Follwing an abysmal debut as a starter, true freshman Kyle Allen’s four first half touchdowns were buoyed by a blocked field goal wich TAMU returned for a fifth end zone deposit.
However, the second half presented Auburn with a slew of opportunities to take the lead on Texas A&M. However, Auburn squandered both opportunities to euthanize the Aggies upset bid in the final five minutes.
Marshall pitched and handed the ball off to his ballcarrriers 35 times, but the first crucial Auburn fumble occurred on a mishandled exchange in the final five minutes at the A&M 2-yard line.
Upon first glance, it appeared running back Cameron Artis-Payne pounced on the loose ball, but it was Texas A&M’s Julien Obioha who emerged from the scrum with the leather in hand.
Despite this cataclysmic mistake, Auburn still managed to regain possession and matriculate the ball into field goal position on their final drive. Unfortunately, center Reese Dismukes’ premature ejockulation resulted in a earlysnap to an unprepared Marshall.
With Auburn out of the mix that leaves Alabama and Mississippi State as the final potential playoff foes
Kaelin Clay isn’t wet around the gills when it comes to making lengthy jaunts into the end zone. As a return man, big plays are the currency he collects. However, on Utah’s second possession, Clay’s vanity got the better out of him and deflated the Utes ballooning confidence. After hauling in a bomb from Travis Wilson, Clay scampered untouched into the end zone before pulling up and dropping the ball short of passing the goal line which akin to doing donuts in the grass with a lead 499 laps into the Daytona 500.
To make matters worse, Oregon’s Joe Walker noticed the stillness of the officials, a beanbag indicated that despite the raucous Utah crowd and celebrating Utes players in the end zone, a fumble had taken place and took Clay’s gift back the other way.
The 14-point swing, shifted a two touchdown lead into a tie game and by the time, Utah had found its bearings, Oregon had a 24-7 lead on Utah.
Clay’s committed an egregious end zone faux pas before, but this was the most humiliating yet. On Sept. 20, Clay carried a punt return 66 yards to the end zone where he proceeded to do the Heisman pose.
Saturday night was actually the most outstanding performance of his career –at the receiver’s position. Half of Clay’s 302 receiving yards this season were gained against Oregon.But it will be marred by his primetime blooper.
Marrcus Mariota’s never done the Heisman pose before, but the unassuming Oregon quarterback did throw for 239, three touchdowns and gained 114, plus an additional score by ground.
JT BARRETT IS ALL GROWN UP
Here's LeBron skipping out after JT Barrett's INT. If LeBron leaves in free agency, blame JT pic.twitter.com/sGwhMq6tpL
— DJ Meta Dunson (@CerebralSportex) September 7, 2014
Ohio State’s JT Barrett has grown up quicker than Nicky Banks between Fresh Prince of Bel-Air’s third and fourth seasons. Barrett looked wet behind the ears and unprepeared against Virginia Tech back in Week 2, but since his 9-for-29 passing, interception triumvirate blooper reel on the night of Sept. 6 had LeBron James scurrying away, he’s become comfortable as the Buckeyes signal caller and has scored 30 more touchdowns.
Am I s'posed to take Ohio State seriously as a potential playoff team? They barely beat Penn State. Ignore the unis, this is a Sparty rout
— DJ Meta Dunson (@CerebralSportex) November 8, 2014
With Michigan State’s defense on the way, poor unenlightened fools were under the impression that Barrett would fold back into the same fetal position he took against Virginia Tech. Instead, Barrett took the control of the meat grinder and turned the Spartans green into Soylent green eating them alive by air and ground.
Five total touchdowns and 386 yards later, the point had been made and Ohio State had improved its national rank as well its perception nationally.
THE BIG 12 DEBACLE
This pretty much encapsulates the highlights of TCU TKO'ing Kansas State and Baylor highsteppin' over Oklahoma in a nutshell.
OK, moving on…
Baylor and TCU beat the living snot out of Kansas State and Oklahoma by a combined score of 89-34, which could set us up for one of multiple possible endings to the season. Either a) Baylor gets hosed despite the head-to-head result b) The committee decides they saw enough out of Baylor to push them into the top five c) Alabama beats Mississippi State next week, both teams (as well as FSU and Oregon) finish the season with one loss and neither TCU or Baylor are selected for the playoff or d) an unlikely scenario in which the Pac-12 and SEC cannibalize themselves resulting in the Big 12 sneaking two teams into the final four.
ALABAMA’s UNLIKELY HEROES
According to ESPN research, Amari Cooper has 98 targets this season, 22 more than any other SEC player and 65 more than any other Crimson Tide player. The most memorable catches weren't made by Cooper. Instead an offensive lineman stole the show. An Alabama game-winning catch in 2014 that doesn’t include Amari Cooper feels like a Marvel film without a post-credits scene. However, that’s exactly what happened when Blake Sims aka “Big Hero 6” (after the animated Disney film) and Lane Kiffin pulled a few tricks out the bag.
On their fnal drive in regulation, Sims pitched the ball 55 yards in 47 seconds to set Adam Griffith up for a game-tying field goal.
— Cecil Hurt (@CecilHurt) November 9, 2014
In OT, Sims completed the game-winning touchdown to DeAndrew White. But none of it would have happened without Kiffin devising an unorthodox play that involved freshman offensive tackle Cameron Robinson lining up as a decoy receiver and 6-4, 305 pounder Brandon Greene hunching over on the line of scrimmage as an eligible tight end, accelerating forward after the snap, catching a pass from Sims and barrelling upfield to the 1.
LSU had an opportunity to respond with Anthony Jennings. However, an afternoon that ended with Jennings completing just 8 of 26 passes was bound to end with LSU smoking a cigar in the end zone.
Coupling the transformations of JT Barrett and Kyle Allen after dispiriting first impressions with Jennings’ stagnant development, it should become clear for Les Miles that true freshman Brandon Harris deserves a second shot.