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Pac-12 Notes – New Hampshire Week

September 15th

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Pac-12 South goes 2-4 on Saturday, leaving CU as the only undefeated team in the Pac-12 South

UCLA falls to 0-3 … “McMaryion scores 4 touchdowns to lead Fresno State over UCLA” … Game recap from ESPN

Related … “UCLA loses to Fresno State, off to first 0-3 football start since 1971” … From the Orange County Register

Utah loses first conference game … “No. 10 Washington shuts down Utah in 21-7 victory” … Game recap from ESPN

Related … “Utes left with regrets after hurting their own cause in 21-7 loss to No. 10 Washington” … from the Salt Lake City Tribune

No. 23 Arizona State falls to San Diego State … “San Diego State upsets No. 23 Arizona State after wild ending” … Game recap from ESPN

Related … “San Diego State wears down ASU football for Herm Edwards’ first loss” … From the Arizona Republic

No. 22 USC struggling … “Ehlinger 2 touchdown passes lead Texas over No. 22 USC 37-14” … Game recap from ESPN

Related … “USC collapses at Texas, suffering second straight defeat” … from the Orange County Register

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September 14th

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Jon Wilner: “Herm Train” bringing eyeballs to the Pac-12

From the San Jose Mercury News … Based on very, very … VERY … early returns, Herm Edwards is having the dual impact Arizona State hoped:

Not only is he winning games, he’s raising the profile of the program.

ASU’s victory over Michigan State drew a 1.6 rating for ESPN, making it the most-watched game in the late window (7:30/7:45 p.m.) since Nov. ’16.

The 1.6 represented a 100 percent increase over ESPN’s late game in Week Two last season: Washington State-Boise State, which went overtime.

Obviously, it helped immensely that Arizona State played a close game against a ranked Big Ten opponent from a populous state. But is there any doubt that some viewers tuned in because of Edwards.

A few more wins, and the Herm Train won’t have an empty seat. He’s churning toward phenomenon territory, folks.

Or should we say: #Hermomenon.

Continue reading story here

 

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September 13th

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Behind CU’s 25 votes in the Associated Press poll

From CollegePollTracker.com … Here’s how CU picked 25 votes in the most recent poll (six points for the one vote for No. 20; four points for the vote for No. 22, etc.). Interesting names include Jon Wilner from the San Jose Mercury News and Rece Davis from ESPN …

20  –Michael Lev

22 – Mike Barber

23 – Jon Wilner , Neill Ostrout

24 – Kellis Robinett, Marc Weiszer, Rece Davis, Tom Murphy

25 – Aaron McMann

Click here, and you can see the papers/television companies the voters represent …

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September 12th

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Washington on upset alert against Utah

From CBS Sports … Each week, I’ll give you the top five upset alert games based on matchups, injuries/suspensions and other factors. Remember: “upset” is defined first and foremost by the point spread, not perception or rankings, though they are both taken into consideration. On that note, I generally avoid games whose lines are within a touchdown with exceptions being made for cases that warrant them. To make things more interesting, I’m also going on the record with the picks and keeping tabs. The scoring system is exactly the same as it is for our weekly expert picks with season-long tallies against the spread (ATS) and straight-up (SU).

No. 10 Washington at Utah

When: Saturday, 10 p.m. ET | Where: Salt Lake City, Utah | Line: Washington -6.5

Why it’s listed: The Huskies are just under a full touchdown favorite on the road against an unranked team. Rice-Eccles is a tough stadium to get a conference win. First one to 20 might do it.

Utah’s key to the game: Running the ball effectively and finishing drives were problems against Northern Illinois. Washington’s defense won’t make anything easy, either. Both defenses, in fact, have been excellent in the red zone, so making the most of limited chances will be paramount.

Washington’s key to the game: Jake Browning is a darn good quarterback, but we’ve seen the Huskies’ offense completely fall apart when he doesn’t have protection. He’s not a guy who’s going to create a ton on his own, try as he may. When he has time to survey the field, though, he’s excellent at dropping dimes.

Pick: There might be some offense in between the 20s, but this one has a strong field goal vibe. Who can get that one unexpected touchdown to push their team over the edge? Utes quarterback Tyler Huntley has 18 red zone touchdowns dating back to last season and is more of a threat to run. ATS: Utah, SU: Utah

Read full story here

Stanford’s Bryce Love out with undisclosed injury

From YardBarker … Star running back Bryce Love won’t play the No. 9 Stanford Cardinal’s home game against UC Davis on Saturday because of an undisclosed injury.

Head coach David Shaw made the announcement Tuesday, per ESPN.com’s Kyle Bonagura.

Love suffered the injury at some point during last Saturday’s 17-3 victory over USC at Stanford Stadium. He had 136 rushing yards and one touchdown on 22 carries before leaving the game in the fourth quarter.

This isn’t the first time the 5’10”, 196-pound running back has been hit by the injury bug. He missed a game in 2017 because of an ankle injury, but he was able to return the next week and play in the final six contests.

Love proved last year that he is one of the most dynamic playmakers in the nation. He had a breakout season as a junior, piling up 2,118 yards and 19 touchdowns on the ground. Even having missed a game, Love finished second in the 2017 Heisman Trophy voting.

There’s no question that Stanford isn’t the same team without Love. He ran for 162.9 yards per game last season and averaged 8.1 yards per carry. When he was sidelined, the Cardinal ran for 81 yards on 27 carries (3.0 yards per carry) and had to rally for a 15-14 victory—against a 1-6 Oregon State squad.

Cameron Scarlett turned into the feature back against the Beavers, and Bonagura noted the senior will likely be the first in line to receive the bulk of the carries with Love out of action.

Jon Wilner bowl projections: Buffs heading to San Francisco

From the San Jose Mercury News … Of course it’s early for bowl projections, at least for accurate bowl projections. But if that’s the standard, we’d have to wait until the middle of November. And we’re not waiting until the middle of November.

There’s more to this column — and the 11 that will follow on Tuesday mornings throughout the season — than nailing the postseason assignments.

We’ll use this space to survey the big picture for each team, to look up from the weekly grind and make note of key games, soft stretches and pressure points.

The outlook changes by the week, not only because of a win or loss but because of wins and losses by upcoming opponents.

This time last year, for instance, UCLA was ranked 25th, fresh off the miracle comeback over Texas A&M and drubbing of Hawaii and headed to Memphis to continue a first-class season.

Five-losses-in-seven-games later …

Here we go …

San Francisco Bowl: Colorado (2-0) – Remaining games: six home/four road – Key dates: Oct. 6 vs. Arizona State, Oct. 13 at USC, Nov. 2 at Arizona, Nov. 17 vs. Utah … Comment: Given the apparent parity in the South, location is all-important. Edge to the Buffs in that regard with both Utah and ASU visiting Boulder.

Continue reading story here

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September 11th

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Pac-12 lines for Week Three – CU one of the heaviest favorites

From 5 Dimes … Betting odds for Week Three:

— Stanford – a 28.5- point favorite at home against UC-Davis … 12:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

— Oregon – a 41.5-point favorite at home against San Jose State … 3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

Colorado – a 35.5-point favorite at home against New Hampshire … 3:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Mountain

— California – a 36.5 -point favorite at home against Idaho State … 4:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Bay Area

— Oregon State – a 4.5-point underdog on the road against Nevada … 5:00 p.m., MT, ESPN3

— USC – a 3.0-point underdog on the road against Texas … 6:00 p.m., MT, Fox

— Utah – a 6.5-point underdog at home against Washington … 8:00 p.m., MT, ESPN

— Washington State – a 16.5-point favorite at home against Eastern Washington … 6:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

— UCLA – a 1.5-point favorite at home against Fresno State … 8:30 p.m., MT, FS1

— Arizona State – a 4.5-point favorite on the road against San Diego State … 8:30 p.m., CBS Sports Network

— Arizona – a 21.0-point favorite at home against Southern Utah … 9:00 p.m., MT, Pac-12 Networks

and … Colorado State – a 20.0-point underdog on the road against Florida

and … Nebraska – an 11.5-point favorite at home against Troy

New Hampshire defense (214 total yards allowed last weekend) is the Wildcats’ best unit

From New Hampshire athletics … The University of New Hampshire football dropped its second straight game on the young season with a 10-3 loss at home to Colgate University on Saturday night and things don’t get any easier from here: The Wildcats are headed to the mountains this week to face an FBS opponent, the University of Colorado from the Pac-12 Conference.

“Going into Colorado, 0-2 is not the way you want to go into it,” said senior linebacker and captain Jared Kuehl. “We have to have good practices this coming week and just regroup as a team and go back to the basics that we were at this summer and go from there.”

The Wildcat defense made significant strides from the team’s season-opening setback at Maine and led the way against Colgate.

Junior linebacker Quinlen Dean, who led the team in tackles as a sophomore last season, had a career-high 16 tackles and forced a fumble against Colgate.

Head coach Sean McDonnell noted the play of junior safety Rick Ellison and senior defensive tackle Ryan Sosnak, too.

“The defense is awesome, definitely led by Quinlen Dean,” said senior running back and captain Trevon Bryant. “He’s a true leader on the defense. I mean, he picks them up. Those guys really have an energy that lasts an entire game. As an offense we have to try to match the defense to keep the defense motivated to continue to keep making those big stops that they do for us.”

Sophomore safety Evan Horn collected the offense’s first turnover of the season with an interception and senior defensive end Jae’Wuan Horton and Sosnak each had two of the team’s five quarterback sacks.

Continue reading story here

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September 10th

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Jon Wilner interviews Darrin Chiaverini, breaks down game-winning touchdown pass

From the San Jose Mercury News … Welcome to a new feature on the Hotline: An inside look, film-room style, at a key play from one of the top games of the weekend.

Ideally, ‘One Play’ will appear in this space each Monday, but it requires 1) a decisive play, 2) a taut finish and 3) a willing offensive or defensive coordinator.

Colorado quarterback Steven Montez’ 40-yard touchdown pass to receiver Laviska Shenault with 66 seconds remaining to beat hated Nebraska seemed like a good sequence to examine.

Fortunately, CU co-offensive coordinator Darrin Chiaverini was kind enough to spend a few minutes with the Hotline, explaining the background and details of the play the Buffaloes call Deuce Vegas Glance.

Let’s first set the scene for those unfamiliar:

Trailing by one point and facing third-and-24 near midfield, Montez threw an incomplete pass across the middle to receiver Jay MacIntyre.

But Nebraska safety Antonio Reed was called for a personal foul (unnecessary roughness) on MacIntyre that gave the Buffaloes new life:

Instead of fourth-and-forever, they had first-and-10 from the Cornhuskers’ 40 with 1:14 remaining.

“We feel really good about our kicker, but he had missed a couple,” Chiaverini said of James Stefanou, who had missed from 43 and 37 yards earlier in the fourth quarter.

“So I felt like we needed to score a touchdown, like we needed to be aggressive at that moment. And we felt like first down was the down to do it.”

Continue reading story here

CBS puts CU into its Top 25 nationally

From CBS Sports … It’s early, but it’s also not a surprise.

The young season is on track to be the most explosive in history. Through the first full two weeks, teams averaging 32.8 points per game. That would obliterate the record of 30.08 points per team in 2016.

There’s a long way to go but all the indicators are there. There are already two 1,000-yard passers in K.J. Carta-Samuels of Colorado State and Cole McDonald of Hawaii. Wisconsin’s Jonathan Taylor is on pace to challenge Barry Sanders’ single-season rushing record (2,628). (If he keeps going this way, Taylor will reach 2,587 yards.)

Twelve teams are averaging 50 points per game. The last teams to do that over a full season were Florida State and Baylor in 2013. You won’t find the Noles or Bears in this week’s Power Rankings, however.

You will find big mover Georgia, up two spots to No. 4 after blowing out South Carolina. You will find Alabama holding down the No. 1 spot two weeks in. That’s not a surprise either.

From the Pac-12 …

10. Stanford

15. Washington

18. Oregon

20. Arizona State

24. Colorado … Mike MacIntyre’s tears were enough for me. The Buffs’ coach guided CU to an historic win over Nebraska while watching his son Jay catch eight balls including two touchdowns. Spoiling Scott Frost’s Nebraska debut moved Colorado to 2-0 for the third straight year.

Continue reading story here

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September 9th

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Bowl projections – CU takes another step forward (and backward?)

From ESPN … Our bowl experts still see an Alabama-Clemson rematch for the College Football Playoff National Championship, but they also have Oklahoma as one of the final four teams.

Here are the bowl lineups after Week 2.

From the Pac-12:

Rose Bowl Game Presented by Northwestern Mutual (Pac-12 No. 1)

Bonagura: Wisconsin vs. Stanford
Sherman: Ohio State vs. Washington

PlayStation Fiesta Bowl (New Year’s Six)

Bonagura: Boise State vs. Washington
Sherman: Boise State vs. Stanford

Valero Alamo Bowl (Pac-12 No. 2)

Bonagura: Oregon vs. West Virginia
Sherman: Oklahoma State vs. Oregon

San Diego County Credit Union Holiday Bowl (Pac-12 No. 3)

Bonagura: Colorado v. Iowa
Sherman: Iowa vs. USC

San Francisco Bowl (Pac-12 No. 4)

Bonagura: Arizona State v. Michigan State
Sherman: Northwestern v. Arizona State

Hyundai Sun Bowl (Pac-12 No. 5)

Bonagura: USC v. Boston College
Sherman: Utah v. Duke

Mitsubishi Motors Las Vegas Bowl (Pac-12 No. 6)

Bonagura: California vs. Utah State
Sherman: California vs. Fresno State

Cheez-It Bowl (Pac-12 No. 7)

Bonagura: Washington State v. Iowa State
Sherman: Iowa State vs. Washington State

SERVPRO First Responder Bowl

Bonagura: Nebraska vs. Marshall
Sherman: Minnesota vs. Colorado (as a replacement)

(the Sherman placement is curious. Last week, he had CU playing in the Las Vegas Bowl, which goes to Pac-12 team No. 6. After beating Nebraska, the Buffs dropped down to, in essence, the 8th Pac-12 qualifier)

CBS Bowl projections – CU moves up from Las Vegas Bowl to Sun Bowl

From CBS Sports … There is no change among the teams in projected to be in the College Football Playoff or the other New Year’s Six games this week.  Those 12 teams mostly dominated their games, winning by an average of 39 points.

That includes No. 2 Clemson’s two point win at Texas A&M.  The Tigers were the only team that got challenged in any significant way.  In fact, if not for a few mistakes by the Aggies, we would be talking about the most important upset of the early season.  Clemson survived though, and there really isn’t any reason to be concerned about the Tigers yet.  Rarely does anyone win a championship wire-to-wire without being challenged once or twice during the regular season.

Even Stanford had it relatively easy in the best game on paper among the teams projected for the New Year’s Six.  The No. 10 Cardinal downed No. 17 USC  and were never seriously threatened by the Trojans in a 17-3 win.

From the Pac-12 … 

Rose BowlJan. 1Pasadena, Calif.Big Ten vs. Pac-12Wisconsin vs. Washington
Fiesta BowlJan. 1Glendale, Ariz.at-large vs. at-largeStanford vs. Boise State
Holiday BowlDec. 31San Diego, Calif.Big Ten vs. Pac-12Michigan vs. USC
Alamo BowlDec. 28San Antonio, Tex.Big 12 vs. Pac-12Texas vs. Utah

 

San Francisco BowlDec. 31Santa Clara, Calif.Big Ten vs. Pac-12Minnesota vs. Oregon
Sun BowlDec. 31El Paso, Tex.ACC vs. Pac-12Louisville vs. Colorado
Las Vegas BowlDec. 15Las Vegas, Nev.Mountain West vs. Pac-12Fresno State vs. California
Cheez-It BowlDec. 26Tempe, Ariz.Big 12 vs. Pac-12UNLV+ vs. Wash. State

 

ESPN Power rankings has CU at No. 20 in the nation

From ESPN … Defending national champion Alabama continues to look head and shoulders above everyone else through two weeks of the 2018 season.

But Saturday showed us the Crimson Tide might have some competition in the SEC West other than Auburn (hello, Mississippi State and Texas A&M), and defending SEC champion Georgia isn’t going away anytime soon.

While Alabama remains No. 1 in the ESPN Power Rankings after Week 2, Georgia and Ohio State climbed back into the coveted top four spots after impressive victories.

Remember, the Power Rankings are about how you look and whom you play each week. Forget the body of work or the brand name. These rankings drip with recency bias.

Here are the rankings after Week 2:

From the Pac-12 …

8. Stanford

16. Washington

18. Oregon

20. Colorado …

Week 2 result: Defeated Nebraska 33-28
What’s next: vs. New Hampshire (Saturday, 5 p.m. ET, Pac-12)

After an impressive opening win over rival Colorado State, the Buffaloes came from behind to spoil Scott Frost’s debut at Nebraska. Steven Montez has developed into one of the Pac-12’s best passers, and the Buffaloes seem ready to put last season’s 5-7 finish in the rearview mirror.

23. USC

Jon Wilner: CU and Arizona State the torch-bearers for the Pac-12 South?

From the San Jose Mercury News … Instant reaction to weekend developments in the Pac-12 …

1. The unlikely torchbearers.

If you pegged Colorado and Arizona State as the teams to defend the Pac-12’s honor … Come on down!

(If you had Tempe at 2-0 and Tucson at 0-2, please come down, as well.)

What began as a gray Saturday with breakfast-time blowout losses by Arizona and UCLA took on an even darker shade during the afternoon games.

Then came the unnecessary roughness penalty on Nebraska and a second chance for the Buffs … and Steven Montez-to-Laviska Shenault for a 40-yard go-ahead touchdown strike.

It was a finish befitting the rivalry and a victory vital to the Buffaloes’s postseason prospects: Beat New Hampshire, and they’re halfway to bowl eligibility.

Maybe Nebraska isn’t Ohio State or Wisconsin. Well, it’s not Indiana or Purdue or Minnesota, either.

The South, it seems, has become more muddled than it appeared prior to the season.

Could Colorado or Arizona State be the best team? Or is it Utah, despite the slog at Northern Illinois? And if USC is the team to beat, then it is only that by the length of the football.

I’d argue that the only certainty is that nobody in the South is elite — definitely not now and likely not in two months.

This could be a year the division champ is 6-3, with a handful just off the pace at 5-4.

No way anyone in the division gets to 7-2.

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13 Replies to “Pac-12 Notes – New Hampshire”

  1. upset alerts?
    Here I am going after the pundits again.
    Of course the Corn/Troy game was the first one that caught my eye. Granted I dont know much about Troy but I would think Mark Kisla could play QB for ….no, forget that…..Elton John could play QB for NE and they should still win. I hope they do anyway, in a blow out, to pump the Buffs victory up. Hate to see Frost get the death threats so early in his corn tenure even though I have yet to see him crack a smile on TV. Could he be the second coming of Bo Pelini?
    Moving on, why would the LSU/Auburn game be an upset either way?
    Same thing with Utah/ Washington with all the love these guys have been piling on Utah. They are supposed to win the south if USC loses a game or 2.

  2. Can I ask a question that is off topic. Why do you have one of the top punters in the nation running down the field to make a tackle? Now will Price be doing the same? Seems like a major risk and could prove to be a major loss, even though Price did fine against Nebraska.

  3. Sounds like NH is going to rely on their D to hang with the Buffs. they may not start right away but I can see them risking missing a tackle trying to strip the ball if they get a ways behind. Hope the Hagan and Chev put the WRs and the RBs through a few possession retention drills

  4. In fairness to Wilner, he was in line with every other Conference or regional analyst who didn’t do their homework on our WR’s – only us in Buffnation knew they were going to be far better (or elite) than the past couple years’ and not a step back. Roper has been huge for Montez. To Rob’s point, I think that was an adjustment – during the 2Q string of 3 and outs Montez was dropping back, looking for receivers and waiting for plays to develop. I thought in the 2nd half they went to quicker timing throws. I’m hoping Nebraska’s corneaters will be 2 of the better lines we face this year (maybe USC and Washington will compare?) – we’ll have to wait until UCLA/ASU to know. It was disappointing seeing a couple of those long balls by Nebraska – Money Gang needs to shut that down.

    1. I had an email exchange with Wilner and told him:
      1. We got rid of Lindgren and had a new OC bred in the air raid at Tech.
      2. We had a new QB coach
      3. That this years starting receivers were going to be more athletic and hungry than last year’s .
      4. That Montez’ stats weren’t mediocre as he described them pointing out that they would have been 3rd best in the SEC and were better than those of the Utah QB who he thought was going to do better than Montez this year.

      Regardless I think his ego got the best of him and he arrogantly stood his ground about Montez and his “modest” expectations from our receivers. Hey, maybe its my ego thats riding him hard but thats how it goes with a fan

      1. That’s awesome EP. I really do like Wilner, and he is generally more comprehensive in his writing than most. And, of course, he’s a Pac 12 guy, which is friggin’ rare, as we know.

        Regardless I’m glad he at least responded to you. For Montez, if he hadn’t made the jump in his mental aspects of the game (reading/reacting) this season would’ve panned out a lot differently than I think it will. Yeah, he had potential, but was super erratic last year, as we all saw. The WR corps? Just totally under the radar to most people not closely watching our Buffs. Same w/ a lot of the new faces on offense, and defense. So, I didn’t begrudge him his opinion as much as you did. I was just looking for them to beat those – and everyone else’s – lowly expectations.

        Heck, I’m now starting to think they could walk into Husky stadium and steal a win. That would be huge. We’ll see. (And yes, I realize, it’s early, and saying they can topple the Huskies, in Seattle, after beating two mediocre teams may fall into the “overreaction” category, but? So what?) If they continue to progress as I think they can, they’ve absolutely got a puncher’s chance. For something like half the starters, they’re going into their third game in that role now. So, they’ve shown they’ve got the talent – earning those starting spots, and I do see a smattering of future NFL dudes on both sides – and they’re building their experience along the way.

        Go Buffs!

  5. Conference play hasn’t started yet and my confidence of the line play on both sides of the ball isnt solid yet. What we do have is one hot QB and several hot receivers. 2 things Wilner disparaged in his preseason evaluation of the Buffs. In his own words he can’t “come on down.”

    1. On the O-Line side I think that Chev has realized it and Montez is getting the ball out in less than 3 seconds. Go rewatch the last touchdown. The right guard I believe does a “watch out” block and Montez basically throws it before the guy can take two steps toward him. I bet we are going to see lots of fades, back shoulder timing routes as our deep plays as that is all the time Montez is going to get. The great news is between Shenault (all everything), Winfree (Back shoulder), Nixon (Fade), MacIntyre (possession) we have the tools in place to make do.

      I want to see a few more games before I say the D line is down again. I think that Frost and crew game planned very well and I think that our D really needs the game planning during the week. The way they came out in the second half gives me some hope.

    2. I don’t think either of you are giving enough credit to the Red’s trench guys. I wouldn’t be surprised if those were the best LOS teams we will see all year. Those guys were men that looked like they should be playing on Sunday. yes the o-line needs to improve and the D-line needs to be able to get more pressure on the QB, but the fact that they did what they did in the 2nd half (could be better conditioning) gives me a lot of confidence moving forward. Those guys will know what to expect with USC and UW. ep, you’ve been grilling Wilner lately, I wish he would listen to you.

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