The Pigksin Stew Blog

Synagogue Shooting in Pittsburgh Requires A Timeout From Writing About Football

10/28/2018: Normally I write about football every Monday and Friday--but the events of this weekend require a Time Out for things that are far more important.... "This is a case where if they had an armed guard inside they may have been able to stop him immediately, maybe there would have been nobody killed, except for him maybe.” --President Trump 10/27/2018 317 years ago today William Penn’s Pennsylvania Charter of Privileges established an idea of religious freedom in this new colony. He had come to the new world to flee religious intolerance and to worship free from the threat of persecution and violence. Now the President of the United States suggests that perhaps some should have armed

Four Down Territory: First Place Battles in SEC East & Pac 12 North plus PSU-Iowa & Other Ke

First Down: The SEC Still Open For Business This Week: Unless you've been living under a rock you know that #1 Alabama and #4 LSU are off this weekend…but #9 Florida and #7 Georgia are playing in Jacksonville in a game with huge SEC East implications. With just 3 conference games left, Georgia, Florida and Kentucky are all 4-1 in the SEC with Kentucky owning the head to head tie-breaker over Florida. Florida's defense is 3rd in the country with 18 turnovers and that was crucial in the big win against LSU. In Georgia's loss to LSU, they were -4 in turnovers and struggled to run the football. Saturday if the Bulldogs hold onto the football they could finish the world’s largest outdoor cocktail

Under The Radar: Big Ten East vs West, Inside PSU Numbers, Hoos' Rising & Quick Playoff Hits

Big Ten East Dominance? Not so Much: With all the preseason hype about whether the Big Ten East was the best division in college football, now they may not even be the best division in their conference. This past weekend the West swept all three crossover games and now Iowa and Purdue are surging to give the West strength and depth. For the season the series is tied 6-6 with 9 games to go. Of the remaining games the West team would be a favorite to win 4, the East team 2 with 3 toss-ups. More Big Ten--Inside The Numbers for Penn State: Penn State’s defense played 100 plays on Saturday and yielded 554 yards of offense. They were strong in the red zone and helped get a 33-28 win. But inside th

Four Down Territory: All You Need To Know--Quick Hits From The Weekend's Big Games

First Down: Is Michigan Really Back? #6 Michigan at #24 Michigan State: The Wolverines got a vote of confidence from the former President of Iran (the tweet is real). One has to assume that as a Persian he would loathe the Spartans. MSU has been an injury-plagued team but they won at #8 Penn State last week. They'll need another big game from WR Felton Davis. Their defense looked good defending the pass last week and will need to tackle well again this week. Michigan must avoid turnovers and play the same swarming defense that helped them handle #15 Wisconsin. We’ll know if the Wolverines are for real on Saturday if they can upend the Spartans who are 8-3 against Michigan under Mark Dantonio

Under The Radar Week 7:

October is a time when upsets happen because that is when the conference match-ups start to heat up. For 5 or 6 weeks teams may not play a demanding schedule and may be over-ranked. That certainly was evident this past weekend as several Top 10 teams were upset. 1. Georgia’s soft schedule masked some real issues: Conventional wisdom was that Georgia was one of the elite teams in the country…but it was based on last year’s performance and a top 4 preseason ranking. After a big loss to LSU we’ll see how they respond. 2. Reports of Michigan State’s Demise Were Premature: After a surprising loss to Northwestern most had written off Michigan State. They tackled well most of the game holding #8 Pe

Four Down Territory: Georgia Steps up, Huskies Ducking No One, Ann Arbor Features two "Ds"

First Down: #2 Georgia at #13 LSU: Has there ever been a #2 team that has flown so unnoticed through 6 weeks like Georgia? Yeah they beat South Carolina in week 2 but since then it has been a pedestrian slate of unranked teams that they’ve dispatched by an average margin of 27.5 points. So how sure are we that they're a great team? We’ll know more after Saturday’s trip to #13 LSU that kicks off a 4-game stretch against ranked teams that includes #14 Florida, #18 Kentucky and #21 Auburn. As for LSU after Florida last week and Georgia this week their next 2 games are #24Mississippi State and #1 Alabama. The daunting schedules alone make this a must-win for both teams. Second Down: #7 Washingto

Under The Radar: 6 Weeks In--Things That Are Now True

Things That Are True in Week 6…That Would’ve Surprised Us in August: 1. The Big Ten’s Signature Non-Conference Win This Year is….. Maryland 34 Texas 29. First not many gave Maryland a chance to win that game. Second most thought Texas would be a fringe Top 25 team…which brings us to…. 2. Texas Is a Playoff Contender: Among the 1-loss teams Texas has a strong resume. Yes we know Maryland beat Texas in week one but since then Texas has wins over #22 USC, #17 TCU and #7 Oklahoma. Texas also gets points for scheduling 2 power-5 non-conference games to go with 9 conference games. With games against Oklahoma State, West Virginia and a potential Big 12 Title Game the Longhorns have all the things t

Four Down Territory: OU-Texas, Notre Dame in Blacksburg, LSU's Tough Schedule Continues & Ot

First Down: The Red River War/Shootout/Rivalry: Texas is playing solid defense right now (30th in Total Defense) and faces an explosive attack in Oklahoma. Last year Texas’ blitz scheme slowed down the eventual Heisman Trophy winner Baker Mayfield. This year they’ve used timely blitzes to get turnovers and key stops in wins over #22 USC and #17 TCU. Texas QB Sam Ehlinger has eliminated turnovers after the season opening loss at Maryland. He will need help from the running game to rack up enough points against an Oklahoma defense yielding 405 yards per game. On offense Oklahoma QB Kyler Murray will be playing in his first big test. He is second nationally in passing efficiency but OU has yet

Under The Radar: Why Downfield Blocks Matter, OSU QB in Baton Rouge, Seattle's Best & Near M

While most of the eyeballs of the country were on the two big prime time match-ups of #4 Ohio State at #9 Penn State and #7 Stanford at #8 Notre Dame here are some things from one of those games and from the other games that you may not have noticed….. Downfield Blocking: While there were big plays in a lot of places in # 4 Ohio State’s road win over #9 Penn State what you may not have noticed was the level of blocking downfield by both team’s receivers. The one overlooked but vitally important element of Spread offenses is the blocking of those receivers. On run plays, on screen passes, on jet sweeps they have to block safeties, corners or even linebackers. On pass plays when the ball is co

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