Under The Radar: Bizarro World Title Games, Hustle Plays, Miami Tropical Depressions & Best of t
Best Team & Player No One East of The Rockies Is Talking About? Washington State: The Cougars had their ESPN Gameday moment and nationally televised win over Oregon a few weeks ago. That game was on Fox and played during prime time on the East coast. Since then QB Gardner Minshew led a late game-winning drive to beat Stanford on the Pac-12 Network and Saturday night he threw a late TD pass to beat Cal in a game that started at 10:45 eastern. This guy just makes plays and drives to win games but it is going unnoticed out here. WSU is playing good defense and they just keep winning. If they win at Colorado and at home against Arizona and in the Apple Cup against Washington they will find themselves in the PAC 12 Title game.
Speaking of Conference Championship Games…: Outside of the SEC game (already set for an Alabama-Georgia matchup) this could be a bizarro world of title games. In the ACC Clemson looks like they will get there but their opponent could be Pitt (they control their own destiny). In the PAC 12 it looks like Washington State or Washington will come out of the North to face…..Arizona State controls tie-breakers over 2 of the other 3 co-division leaders (Utah & USC) and plays the other (Arizona) in the final week. The Big Ten looks like it will be the Michigan/Ohio State winner against potentially Northwestern. With just one conference loss they also own head to head wins over the 2-loss West Teams (Purdue, Wisconsin). And finally in the Big 12…..West Virginia and Oklahoma are on a collision course to play for first place in the season finale and play again one week later for the conference championship.
Speaking of Strange-- Hurricanes Now Tropical Depression?: Miami began last season 10-0 riding the wave of the turnover chain and getting the people of South Florida to buy all in that the ‘Canes were back. Then came a trip to Pitt and a surprise upset loss. Starting with that loss Miami is 5-7 in their last 12 games and after a home loss to Duke are all but eliminated from a shot at the ACC Title game.
Hustle Play of the Day: Michigan State versus Maryland: Situation: MSU leads 17-3, 11:27 to go in the game 3rd and 4 from their own 16 yard line: MSU's quick sprint out pass was batted up in the air and picked off by a Maryland defensive linemen who was rumbling to the end zone to close the score to 17-10…..BUT….Hustling MSU receiver Darrell Stewart chased him down to strip the football which rolled into the end zone and was recovered by hustling MSU TE Matt Dotson. The strip and recovery gave MSU a touchback and a first and 10 on their own 20. The very next play MSU RB Connor Heyward ran 80 yards for a TD and a 24-3 lead. In 2 plays the game swung from 17-10 to 24-3 because of two players’ great effort.
Coaches’ Comments: After the big loss to Alabama, LSU Coach Ed Orgeron mentioned the need to recruit better players to beat Alabama. He joins some other high profile coaches who’ve used post-game press conferences as a pass-through of sorts to send a message to future recruits. Orgeron’s comments raise an intriguing question….could the rest of the SEC West teams put together an All-Star team that would’ve beaten Alabama last Saturday night?
Screen Shot of the Day: This one-handed catch by Alabama WR Henry Ruggs just summarizes the Crimson Tide’s level of play compared to the rest of the country.