The Spread, Week Nine: The Urban Meyer Revenge Tour Rolls On

MUCH PURDUE ABOUT NOTHING

According to some unverified and unacademic research (read: the first thing that popped up on a Google search), the longest drive, in terms of clock time,  in NCAA history was by Navy in the 2004 Emerald Bowl. It lasted 14:26 and produced a field goal. I’d be willing to bet Danny Hope’s mustache budget that Purdue’s 10:38 first/second quarter effort that ended in an interception is the longest scoreless college drive. If anyone can find a longer one, I’d love to see it.

AN OVERTIME THOUGHT

I know the conventional wisdom is to always start on defense if you win the OT coin toss. The reasoning behind the strategy is sound. But after Saturday, I think you’ll agree with me that there are other approaches that might make as much sense. When Purdue won the toss, I commented that starting on defense might not be the best thing for them. They had just given up a touchdown and a two-point conversion. The Ohio State offense was jacked up. The crowd was exploding with excitement over Kenny G’s smooth, smooth football jazz. And now you want your D to go out and try to stop that with no rest or recovery time at all? Not to mention that you’re also giving OSU’s D even more time to rest.

The momentum was so clearly in Ohio State’s favor here that giving the ball to Kenny Guiton at that point should have been unthinkable. Maybe it wouldn’t have made a difference, but even a few run plays and a field goal would have settled the crowd down a little bit. Sometimes you have to forget what the charts and trends and statistics say and just play the game you’re in.

DEFENSIVE PROPS

Yeah, I remember the first play and the bubble screen drive, and they were absolutely atrocious. But you’ve got to admit that the defense stepped up when we needed it this week. After Miller went down, Purdue didn’t score another point. Sure, there was the safety but it wasn’t even the cool kind of safety. In fact, it was the lamest kind of safety you can get.

So, go ahead and give Guiton love for his heroic play, but don’t forget the contribution from the other side of the ball.

JUST THROWING THIS OUT THERE

I don’t know if this is the sort of thing Urban Meyer goes for, but if it was up to me, Kenny Guiton would take the first snap this week against Penn State. He would be flanked by Carlos Hyde and Braxton Miller. Jeff Heuerman, Chris Fields, and Devin Smith would also be in the formation.

THERE ARE BETTER THINGS YOU COULD BE DOING

TUESDAY – FRIDAY

Do not turn on a football game. You have been warned.

SATURDAY

Florida vs. Georgia: CBS and ESPN will hype the crap out of this game and try to convince you that the outcome is in doubt, because the teams only have one loss between them. But, in reality, there’s almost no way this game is going to be entertaining. That loss is Georgia’s 35-7 beatdown at the hands of the Gamecocks, a team Florida just beat by 33. Georgia’s best win? Beats me. Vanderbilt? The six teams the Bulldogs beat are a combined 12-31. The seven teams the Gators have beaten are 30-23.

Texas Tech @ Kansas State: The teams that spent the last two weeks ensuring that every couch in the state of West Virginia went up in flames are facing off in a game that you’ll have to watch to see what it does. Both teams are in the top 25 in total defense and they are conveniently tied for #10 in scoring offense. Literally any outcome you can imagine is possible here.

Ohio State @ Penn State: I don’t usually put Buckeye games here, because of course you’re watching them, but this one is of particular interest. Two very good teams will battle it out for the only thing beyond individual games either of them is allowed to win this year: the Leaders division championship.

Michigan @ Nebraska: This game will likely decide the Legends division and it ought to be a good one too. Michigan destroyed Nebraska last year and the Huskers want revenge. I honestly can’t tell if either of these teams is better than their respective 2011 editions because I thought they were both a little overrated then too. Oh well. GO NEBRASKA!

Notre Dame @ Oklahoma: I’ve really got to hand it to Notre Dame for playing a pretty killer schedule this year. To be going into this game undefeated is remarkable. If the Irish can keep it close, they’ve got a good chance of getting to 8-0, but the Sooners have been curbstomping opponents for a few weeks now so it could get ugly if Notre Dame struggles on defense.

Comments

  1. Solid points here, as usual. I hadn’t thought about the defense not giving up points. My opinion of their effort has definitely changed since I watched them give up some big plays with my own eyes.

    And mark it down: Texas Tech begins the mess that will be the 2012 BCS standings.

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