NCAA Football Report (Week 10)

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A football team is made up of many different parts like the lineman, skilled players, linebackers and defensive backs. There is also a bigger division with all of these players put into larger categories like the Offence and Defence. Then there is the Special Teams that seems to be a separate part of the team and one that gets little respect. Kickers and special teams players get little to no focus as they do not get a lot of love. There is a clear division with these players from the team but there is also a divide within the special teams. There are the Special Teams players who seem to be a separate entity to the bigger names like the kickers and returners. Special Teams players are a unique batch of guys as they do not want to be a special teams player and instead would like to start at their natural position. Of course not everyone can do that and when players show some great potential but are not yet ready for the position they are given to the Special Teams. With an entire section of the team slated for these type of players an attitude is formed. Special Teams players that just play special teams are some of the hardest working players on the team as they are fighting every week for their job. These players are just trying to stay on the team and find their place and some are very talented at what they do. They still get no respect as do most of the special Teams but there is some more focus on the other members of these teams. The glory positions in the Special Teams are the ones who touch the ball. The Punt and Kick Returners get a lot of focus as they participate in one of the most exciting aspects of the game. A return is always exciting and the skill it takes to do this job is noticed. These returners are not purely returners as they generally play other positions that give them more notoriety. Meanwhile the centerpiece of the Special Teams is probably the most loved and hated figure in football. Kickers are considered by many fans to be soccer players and not football players as they do not hit and are only on the field for a few seconds at a time. Although they are not out there all the time they do play a big role in football although they are not noticed for it all the time. Kickers are sent out in the game when the offence fails and the kicker needs to save the drive from garnering 0 points. Kickers are also put out there to win games with one kick that can put their team ahead for good or lose the game by missing it. This pressure makes kickers both loved and hated but also makes them extremely important members of a team. The importance of kickers was never shown more than the biggest game in the NCAA schedule before the bowl season. The #1 and #2 ranked teams faced off this weekend and both teams had two of the best defences in the nation. This was shown in the game as both offences were shut down and because of that the special teams took focus. The difference in this game came down to who had the better special teams and it turned out to be LSU. Alabama had the most issues in the game with a two kicker system that faltered when they needed it the most. Bama tired to go ahead in the game early by bringing out their long distance kicker Cade Foster who missed two key kicks that could have put Alabama ahead of LSU early in the game. Bama finally got on the board with a kick by their short-range kicker Jeremy Shelley who put the Tide ahead 3-0. Meanwhile the Tigers kicker Drew Alleman helped LSU to keep up. By the end of the game the score was tied 6-6 with the only scoring coming from the kickers although LSU’s Alleman had gone 2/2 while Alabama went 2/5 between both of their kickers. Going into overtime it seemed like the Special Teams would be the way to win this game and that was the case as Alabama got the ball first but missed their kick while LSU got the ball back and made their kick. This game displayed some great defence but expressed the real need for a solid special teams squad. The defences were the story but the game was won by the LSU special teams who outperformed the Alabama special Teams. Although they get little respect the Special Teams are an essential part to the football team and as was shown on Saturday can win a game.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)

Andrew Luck might be beginning to slip as he almost lost the game against USC last week and did not have a great performance in Oregon this week. Luck underperformed this week going 20/30, 206 yds, 3 TDs, and 1 INT against the Oregon State Beavers. These number are not awful but they are pedestrian especially for Luck who has been held to a higher standard for the last two years. The performance was not his best but he still guided his team to the win and remained undefeated. Luck seems like he is beginning to slip in the Heisman race as his performances have not matched his hype. Of course it will still take some great performances for Luck to be knocked off and if he can pick his game back up he will remain the favorite.

Stats (9 games):

71.3 cmp%

2,424 yds

26 TD

5 INT

174.1 rtg

 

2. Trent Richardson, RB (Alabama)

The Alabama Crimson Tide had their biggest game of the season against #1 LSU for a shot at the National Championship. The Tide could not get much on offence but what they could muster came from Richardson who had 169 total yards. Richardson was only 30 yards away from QB A.J. McCarron with 80 of those yards going to Richardson. Although Richardson did not win he did do as much as he could possibly do for his team. Because of his performance Richardson remains in the hunt for the Heisman as he continues to lead his team through the schedule. If Luck does falter and Richardson can recover from the loss to earn his 100+ yard performances over the end of the schedule Richardson may have a good shot at the Heisman.

Stats (9 games):

172 rsh

1,078 yds

6.3 avg

17 TD

 

3. Kellen Moore, QB (Boise State)

Kellen Moore has made his mark on the NCAA and now that mark will remain in the record books. Moore became all time wins leader in the NCAA surpassing Colt McCoy with his 46th win as the starting QB of Boise State. He earned this win against UNLV when he passed for 219 yards and 5 TDs in a game that was a bit of revenge for their loss last year. Moore has been one of the most accurate passers in the NCAA and this continues with his toughest test coming next week against conference rivals TCU. If Moore can continue to dominate the rest of his schedule he will solidify his spot in the top three of the Heisman Watch. Moore will need the top two to falter down the stretch, which is a lot to ask, if he hopes to win this year but it is still possible

Stats (8 games):

74.1 cmp%

2,229 yds

29 TD

5 INT

179.5 rtg

 

Notable Challengers:

4. Case Keenum, QB (Houston)

74.1 cmp%

3,626 yds

34 TD

3 INT

192.4 rtg

 

5. Brandon Weeden, QB (Oklahoma State)

72.1 cmp%

3,212 yds

26 TD

9 INT

158.5 rtg

 

BCS Rankings:

1. LSU Tigers (1)

2. Oklahoma Stat Cowboys (3)

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)

4. Stanford Cardinal (4)

5. Boise State Broncos (5)

6. Oklahoma Sooners (6)

7. Oregon Ducks (8)

8. Arkansas Razorbacks (7)

9. Clemson Tigers (11)

10. Virginia Tech Hokies (12)

11. Houston Cougars (13)

12. Penn State Nittany Lions (16)

13. South Carolina Gamecocks (9)

14. Kansas State Wildcats (14)

15. Georgia Bulldogs (18)

16. Texas Longhorns (21)

17. Michigan State Spartans (17)

18. Wisconsin Badgers (20)

19. Nebraska Cornhuskers (10)

20. Auburn Tigers (22)

21. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (23)

22. Southern Miss. Golden Eagles (25)

23. Cincinnati Bearcats (–)

24. Michigan Wolverines (15)

25. Baylor Bears (–)

 

Key Scores:

#1 LSU Tigers 9 – 6 Alabama Crimson Tide #2

– In the biggest game in the NCAA schedule the defences took charge with LSU taking the win thanks to their kicker who kept them at #1

 

#3 Oklahoma State Cowboys 52 – 45 Kansas State Wildcats #14

– Oklahoma State was poised to take the second spot in the rankings if they could get by K-State and after a struggle at the beginning of the game they did just that

 

Northwestern Wildcats 28 – 25 Nebraska Cornhuskers #10

– Nebraska continued to slid with a loss to the unranked Northwestern Wildcats as their hope at moving up the rankings to a BCS bowl has been halted

 

Iowa Hawkeyes 24 – 16 Michigan Wolverines #15

– Michigan was looking to come back to the top of the rankings but the Iowa defnece shutdown Denard Robinson ending their hopes of a big bowl

 

Key Matchups Next Week:

#19 Nebraska Cornhuskers vs. #12 Penn State Nittany Lions (Nov. 12th; 12:00 pm)

– Penn State is embroiled in controversy over a harassment claim against an assistant coach and they will try to overcome this and win against the sliding Nebraska Cornhuskers

 

#20 Auburn Tigers vs. #15 Georgia Bulldogs (Nov. 12th; 3:30 pm)

– In another close rankings matchup the Tigers will try to move back up into the top of the rankings while Georgia looks to continue their climb

 

TCU Horned Frogs vs. #5 Boise State Broncos (Nov. 12th; 3:30 pm)

– The rivalry of the BCS busters continues this week with Boise State trying to make a case for the National Championship but they will have face one of their toughest conference challenges in TCU

 

#7 Oregon Ducks vs. #7 Stanford Cardinal (Nov. 12th; 8:00 pm)

– Stanford won their first game in Oregon last weekend and they will look to sweep the Oregon teams while Andrew Luck looks to add to his Heisman candidacy

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