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On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
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I'm not sure how I feel about this game. On one hand, I feel pretty optimistic that we have the tale...
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Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
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Yeah, sorry one of our teams had to lose. I've come to appreciate Penn State as a classy and sympath...
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Hey Ken, congratulations on the win yesterday! Some really odd choices by our coaching staff in that...


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College Football 2022: Week 9 Recap and Week 10 Preview
Monday, 2022 October 31 - 2:52 pm
Michigan soundly beats Michigan State; Penn State falls to Ohio State; NC State wins a thriller.

Michigan 29, Michigan State 7
This game didn't feel comfortable until the fourth quarter, as Michigan squandered numerous red zone opportunities and had to settle for field goals. Michigan was largely content to hammer MSU with the rushing attack, despite MSU's weaknesses in the secondary. It was fine, I suppose, as Michigan had another eye-popping on the ground day with 276 yards rushing at 5.3 YPC. For the most part, MSU had no answer to the Michigan rushing attack, until Michigan reached the red zone. I think I speak for most Michigan fans when I say it'd be nice to see a little more creativity in the goal-to-go play calling. JJ McCarthy had a bit of an off day too, at just 15 for 25 for 167 yards, but in total Michigan had seven scoring possessions, one turnover, and one punt. Not too shabby.

The defense was stout. MSU found some early success throwing to their giant talented wideout Keon Coleman, to the point where MSU coach Mel Tucker said at halftime, "They can't cover our receivers." But Michigan was quick to prove him wrong, as the passing game was shut down after Michigan DC Jesse Minter made a few halftime adjustments. Aside from a 51-yard pass in garbage time on a coverage bust, Coleman did not have a second half reception. And the MSU rushing attack was nonexistent; MSU ended up with just 37 yards rushing. Part of that was a 21 yard loss when the MSU punter couldn't handle a high snap, and there's just a bit of karmic justice in that.

Near the end of the game, there was a bit of rub-it-in-your-face from Jim Harbaugh, as he dialed up an attempted double-pass trick play with the score firmly out of reach. Was it just because it's a rivalry game? Was it to run up the score to impress the playoff committee? Was it because MSU was playing dirty all day (as usual)? I dunno man, it seemed a little like plain old spite, a sense of little-brother payback after losing the last couple of years.

And speaking of dirty, in the tunnel after the game, MSU players ganged up on two Michigan players and assaulted them. As of this writing, four MSU players have been suspended and further university and police investigations are under way. Lack of sportsmanship has been endemic to the MSU program for decades.

Michigan at Rutgers, 7:30 PM BTN
Michigan next travels to Piscataway to face 4-4 Rutgers. Aside from Rutgers surprise win against a decent Indiana team and a win against cupcake Wagner, they've been blown out by Iowa, Minnesota, and Ohio State; they had narrow wins against a bad Boston College team and a worse Temple team; and they lost to cursed Nebraska. They're not a good team.

Rutgers has benched QB Noah Vedral in favor of Gavin Wimsatt in the past couple of days, but we might see Vedral back after Wimsatt was injured late in the game, or perhaps third-stringer Evan Simon will get some run. They're also without their top running back, Samuel Brown, who is having season-ending surgery for a foot injury. They are 228th in the NCAA in scoring offense. And they fired their offensive coordinator three weeks ago. It is not pretty.

If there's any hope for Rutgers (and frankly, there probably isn't), it's that the defense has played well at times, holding Indiana and Nebraska to 62 and 72 yards rushing, respectively. But then again, Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim just gashed them for 159 yards, so I dunno man. If I were Rutgers, I'd try Indiana's trick of committing heavily to stopping the frontside run and hope that Michigan decides not to do anything different.

Prediction: Michigan 56, Rutgers 0.

Penn State 31, Ohio State 44
Okay, I know there are no moral victories. But Penn State led in this game 21-16 in the fourth quarter, with the defense largely suffocating the OSU run game. But OSU struck quickly after that, then Clifford fumbled and OSU scored again, and that's when the game started to feel out of reach. Penn State managed to tack on 10 more points after that, but OSU scored another 14, one on an atrocious pick six from Clifford, and that was that.

The encouraging thing was that Penn State seemed like it had the athletes to compete with OSU. But four turnovers from Clifford erased what was otherwise a heroic day: he had 371 yards and three touchdown passes, and made some impressive downfield throws.

It's important for PSU not to feel too let down after this loss. They played well against a very good opponent (and Jesus, that OSU DT, JT Tuimoloau, is a monster). Penn State's remaining schedule is soft, with games against Indiana, Maryland, Rutgers, and Michigan State. Only Maryland stands out as a team that might give PSU some trouble, but that's a home game. 10-2 is firmly still on the table here, likely good enough for a New Year's Day bowl. But down the road, Penn State needs to get better on the offensive line to remain competitive in the tough Big Ten East.

Penn State at Indiana, 3:30 PM ABC
By this point we know what Indiana is: a team that thrives on chaos. They'll play unsound football and hope the gambles pay off. Most of the time they'll be wrong. They'll try to fool the defense with up-tempo play calling. QB Connor Bazelak is just as likely to throw an interception as a touchdown. They won't be able to run the ball. Is that enough to beat Penn State? Unlikely.

It should be a good chance for Penn State to practice getting back to fundamentals. I'm expecting a good day for Nick Singleton. Just don't fall for Indiana's tricks and everything should be fine.

Prediction: Penn State 41, Indiana 12.

NC State 22, Virginia Tech 21
The first quarter of this game: Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Punt, Fumble, Punt, Punt, Field Goal. Neither team could do much of anything. But then VT scored touchdowns on three of their next four possessions, and it was starting to look grim for NCSU as they neared the end of the third quarter down 21-3.

But here's where NCSU freshman QB MJ Morris started to take over. (Morris entered the game in the second quarter, after Jack Chambers was benched with 6 of 13 completions for 31 yards.) Finding open receivers downfield, Morris led NCSU to three straight touchdowns, and with that, the Wolfpack found a way to survive.

It was not pretty. VT is a terrible team and NCSU was down by three scores to them. But when you're playing your third-string QB, any win is welcome. Morris is probably going to be the starter the remainder of the season, and he looks very much like the NCSU quarterback of the future.

NC State vs Wake Forest, 8:00 PM ACCN
Wake Forest was looking like a juggernaut until last week. They were 6-1 with only a narrow 2OT loss to Clemson. But then they lost badly to a mediocre Louisville squad, so now I don't know what to think. Wake Forest is certainly capable of putting up big numbers on offense, but they're around 70th in the country on defense.

I don't know if NCSU, in its current state, has the ability to win a shootout. Morris might be coming in with some confidence, and RB Demie Sumo-Karngbaye might return for this game. ESPN has NCSU with a 58% chance to win, but the betting markets disagree: Wake Forest is a 5 point favorite. I think NCSU will struggle to keep up with Wake Forest, and despite what's likely to be another lively nighttime home atmosphere, I don't see State getting it done.

Prediction: NC State 33, Wake Forest 48.

Notable Results
#1 Georgia beat Florida 42-20. Florida was competitive in this game, but ultimately had no answer for the Georgia passing attack. #3 Tennessee demolished #19 Kentucky 44-6. #22 Kansas State shocked #9 Oklahoma State with a 48-0 shutout. With that, the Big 12's playoff hopes rest on 8-0 TCU.

#10 USC squeaked by unremarkable Arizona 45-37. Notre Dame beat #16 and decidedly overrated Syracuse 41-24. #17 Illinois beat Nebraska 26-9 and is in the driver's seat for the Big Ten West, though their remaining schedule is fairly tough. UCF beat #20 Cincinnati 25-21. #21 UNC beat Pitt 42-21; UNC has a firm lead in the ACC Coastal now. Missouri upset #25 South Carolina 23-10. Iowa finally found a team they could beat with their offense; they took down Northwestern 33-13. Minnesota crushed Rutgers 31-0.

Games to Watch on TV
On Thursday at 7:30 PM, App State is at Coastal Carolina on ESPN, which is of some local interest here in NC. On Friday at 10:30 PM, #24 Oregon State is at Washington; these teams are both 6-2 and still have an outside chance of winning the Pac-12.

On Saturday at noon, Iowa is at Purdue on FS1, which is of some interest in the Big Ten West. #17 UNC is at Virginia on ACCN.

Your obvious Game of the Week is at 3:30 on CBS, where #2 Tennessee faces #1 Georgia in what is likely to be an entertaining and high-scoring affair. On ABC, #16 Penn State is at Indiana, while on BTN, Michigan State is at #14 Illinois.

At 7:00 PM, #6 Alabama faces a hot #15 LSU team; both teams have had an extra week to prepare for this one. Texas is at #13 Kansas State on FS1.

At 7:30 PM, #4 Michigan is at Rutgers on on BTN, though that game is probably only of interest to you if you're a Michigan fan. #5 Clemson is at Notre Dame on NBC, a big test of legitimacy for both teams. Florida State is at Miami on ABC, though this matchup doesn't have much luster this season.

At 8:00 PM, #20 Wake Forest is at #21 NC State on ACCN.
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Posted by Ken in: sports

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