After losing 24-straight games (now 25) to one team, getting one’s hopes up for a road win in said team’s house is probably asking a little much, but is asking a team to play like they aren’t scared? Apparently. Kentucky went down to Gainesville, after some hype of an upset special, and laid an absolute egg, losing 48-14. Kentucky’s “defense” (I’m hesitant to call it that after their performance against the Gators, perhaps tackling dummies is more appropriate) essentially played dead against a Florida team who had been struggling on the offensive end.
Well, six Trey Burton touchdowns later, and the Mildcats showed they still have a long way to go to compete with the Florida Gators of the world, no matter how much their offense struggles in the previous weeks. There was one play that summed up Kentucky’s efforts quite well, something I’m sure you’ve seen by now, but thanks to 30fps, we’ve got it in animated gif form:
Alabama and Arkansas get at it on Saturday in Fayetteville, and on one side, you have Bobby Petrino and his Ryan Mallett-led aerial attack, and on the other, you have Alabama, a team that might have the most explosive running back tandem, maybe ever. Of course, Alabama, with Greg McElroy and Julio Jones, can pass the ball just fine, and Nick Saban isn’t afraid to use it, either.
The Tide isn’t as prolific as Arkansas with the pass, but with Trent Richardson and Mark Ingram on the roster — who looks like he’s right back into Heisman form after missing two games because of knee surgery — heavy reliance on the pass by Alabama would be foolhardy.
Conversely, Arkansas uses the running game to set up their dangerous passing attack, and when you have the nation’s leader in passing yards — Mallett (who also has 9 touchdowns and only 2 interceptions and a QB rating of 186.5) — and three legitimate receiving threats in Greg Childs, Joe Adams, and D.J. Williams, it would be foolish not to throw the ball downfield. Clearly, the Petrino/Mallett marriage is a match made in heaven.
Here’s what we can expect out of both teams. First off, Arkansas:
As for Alabama:
The video starts at the 1:11 mark, but if you want an idea of their passing game, rewind it.
As for Saturday’s game, can either team take away what the other wants to do on offense? Can Bama stop Ryan Mallett from throwing the ball all over the field? Can Arkansas stop Bama’s two dynamic running backs and get their offense back on the field? That’ll be the real trick, because the Tide have questions in their secondary. As for Arkansas, they’ve done well against the rush so far this season, but then again, they haven’t been up against one as powerful as Alabama’s either.
Saturday will be a true test for the Razorbacks, obviously, but if they commit too much to stopping the run, McElroy and Jones will make them pay for it.
Other areas of interest are the fans. Both teams are pretty damn awesome supporters. Observe:
Got to get them started early.
And then there’s the “Ryan Mallett for Heisman” ditty we featured earlier this week, made, of course, by Arkansas fans:
Pure, unadulterated fan brilliance.
With that in mind, who wins? Arkansas gets a nod for being at home, but then again, Alabama is road-tested, battle-tested and test-tested (just to cover all “tested” bases), so it’s hard to see them wilting in the face of a loud opposing crowd. My pick:
Guesses such as final scores are subject to change at any moment and without notification.
One of the many college football traditions is for schools to promote certain players for the Heisman Trophy. Whether it’s a Joey Heisman ad in New York City, or a DVD of highlights sent to the Heisman committee, there are various ways to pump a potential candidate up. Thanks the Internet/YouTube/Twitter era of society, fans are getting in on the action with some creative ideas.
Once such fan campaign is brewing for Ryan Mallett, quarterback for the Arkansas Razorbacks, and boy, it doesn’t disappoint — as long as you like MC Hammer:
My snarky side wants to make lots of fun of this video, but then again, there’s another side that actually appreciates the effort. Whatever the case, one thing’s for sure, when it comes to fan love, you can’t touch Ryan Mallett.
Not sure which was worse: my weak pun or the video. I’m going with the pun. At least the video makes creative use of a horrible MC Hammer song.
Of course, if the Razorbacks beat Alabama this upcoming Saturday, “Mallett for Heisman” won’t be just an Arkansas fan’s dream anymore.
A hearty good morning and happy Monday to all of you from all of us, including the cutie in the lead pic. I’m not certain which Oregon cheerleader she is, I’m thinking Kristen (although, Amanda is a possibility too), but really, are names that important? If so, feel free to further your investigation. Whatever the case, I’m sure her pleasant demeanor helped Oregon when they shellacked Portland State, 69-0.
I’m sure it gave her plenty to cheer about, just like her picture does for us.
Speaking of images, hers is courtesy of 30fps, a site of screenshots that’s clearly becoming a favorite resource of sports bloggers everywhere, me included.
When the Alabama Crimson Tide travel to play the Duke Blue Devils this weekend, it will be with a full team. Word is, last season’s Heisman trophy winner, Mark Ingram, will take the field for the first time this season, after recovering from recent knee surgery. Yes, that’s right: Alabama’s workhorse running back had knee surgery a couple of weeks ago and is still going to play. This season.
Balls, son. Balls.
Nick Saban addressed the return of his stud running back at his weekly press conference and he sounds quite confident Ingram will be ready to roll:
The important quote follows:
“Mark is doing extremely well, hadn’t had any issues or problems has done quite a bit in practice”
While Duke’s chances probably weren’t that good before the news of Ingram’s return broke, I’d say they’re even worse now. But hey, does Saban get credit for going on the road to play a team that has been historically terrible, but under David Cutcliffe’s tutelage, has improved over the last few seasons? Or is this a case of Alabama scheduling out-of-conference cream puffs? It should be noted that in the first two games of the season, the Blue Devils have put 89 combined points on the board.
Granted, they haven’t played a defense as talented as Alabama’s, but you never know. Maybe Sean Renfree has the game of his lifetime and puts a ton of pressure on the Crimson Tide to score. Unfortunately for Renfree, Bama defensive end Marcell Dareus is also returning to the field after serving a two-game suspension. Ingram or no, the fact that Dareus will be on the field can’t be good news for the Blue Devils.
Previous USC Trojans and current New Orleans Saints running back, Reggie Bush, has decided to forfeit his 2005 Heisman Trophy, amid speculation the Heisman committee would strip him of it as punishment for his decisions while attending USC. Bush, the first Heisman winner to forfeit his trophy, made his decision known by releasing the following statement to Nola.com:
Remember yesterday when I listed a few reasons why I was happy college football was back? Here’s another: fights between fans in the stadium. By now, you’ve either seen and/or heard about the Miami/Florida A&M game and the brawl that ensued in the stands. Don’t not what started, nor do I care. Watching folks get thrown around, all in the name of college football fandom — although, I doubt it was a “my team’s better than yours” argument that started the fracas.
It was probably over a girl; although, if it was over any of the ladies in the lead image, completely understandable.
What to watch for: Pony-tailed guy getting tossed (13-second mark) and the slap-fight that directly follows it when the camera pans up. I’m not sure any of those “punches” connected:
As for Part 2, I’m just impressed with the guy in the wife-beater. Even with a bunch of folks piled on top of and blows raining down around him, he just wants to be left alone to enjoy the beatdown Miami was putting on FAMU.
Did I mention how happy I am now that college football is back?
USC and Hawaii provided us late-night viewers something of an entertaining football game, as long as you aren’t a fan of great defenses. While it was surprising to watch a Monte Kiffin-coached defense to give up big play after big play, USC was never in any serious trouble because Hawaii’s defense couldn’t tackle worth a damn. The result: a video game-like 49-36 final score, complete with a heaping pile of offensive yards (524 for the Trojans and 588 for Hawaii — like I said, video game offenses).
Hawaii’s best chance to pull the upset, however, probably ended when starting quarterback, Bryant Moniz, got absolutely destroyed by USC linebacker, Michael Morgan. Moniz had broken the pocket and was trying to get all the yards he could when he ran, head-first, into the forearm/shoulder area of Morgan, who delivered a knock-out blow that took Hawaii’s quarterback out of the game.
Granted, considering Hawaii’s just-as-poor-as-USC’s defense, an upset was never really something the Trojans had to worry about — Matt Barkley’s stellar game had a lot to do with that — but you can guaran-damn-tee Lane Kiffin’s defense will be put through their paces in USC’s upcoming practices.
“Defensively, we didn’t play very well, obviously,” Kiffin said. “I’m really disappointed with everything in general.”
That sounds like a recipe for long Labor Day weekend workouts and practices for all involved.