Skip to content

Manning Academy helped propel CSU’s Grayson through rehab

Garrett Grayson AP

A freak accident in late April led to Garrett Grayson reinjuring his left (non-throwing) shoulder.  And by freak accident we mean “was injured moving a couch down a flight of steps.”

There was little danger that Grayson would the start of summer camp let alone any part of the regular season, but the quarterback used a little exterior motivation to help him plow through rehab.

July 9, a who’s who of college football quarterbacks will join forces for the 19th annual Manning Passing Academy.  Among those scheduled to be a part of the Thibodaux, La., camp put on by Archie, Peyton and Eli Manning include Florida State’s Jameis Winston, Oregon’s Marcus Mariota, Baylor’s Bryce Petty and UCLA’s Brett Hundley.

Also among the 30 or so FBS signal-callers expected to attend is Grayson.  The Rams’ fourth-year senior said it was the opportunity to participate in the academy — and mingle with one of his idols — played a role in pushing through what was ofttimes multiple rehab sessions a day.

Oh, and the exposure from participating in the camp didn’t hurt the thought process either.

“Peyton has been my favorite quarterback, and it’s always been my dream to meet him, so obviously that’s pushed me really hard to get in there and do multiple rehabs if I can,” Grayson said according to the Loveland Reporter-Herald. “Just make sure it’s healthy and good to go, because I know scouts go to that camp and that’s kind of where (former San Jose State quarterback) David Fales‘ name kind of took off. I want to go down there as healthy as possible and do the best for myself.”

Grayson is one of the more underrated quarterbacks in the country, having thrown for 3,696 yards and 23 touchdowns in 2013.  Both of those totals stand as single-season school records.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Auburn’s Dee Ford leads South defense to 20-10 victory in Senior Bowl

Dee Ford Senior Bowl AP

Auburn defensive end Dee Ford had been recognized by the Senior Bowl earlier in the week for his efforts in practice all week, and he capped it off by helping to lead the South defense to a 20-10 victory over the North. Ford recorded a pair of sacks and earned Senior Bowl MVP honors to continue to build momentum heading closer to the NFL Draft.

Practices leading up to the actual game tend to carry more weight in player evaluations, but here are six players who made the most of their performance in the Senior Bowl, in no particular order.

1. DE Dee Ford, Auburn

Ford was difficult to slow down in this one. Much like his impact in the BCS Championship Game, Ford brought constant pressure in the North backfield and recorded a pair of sacks and batted down a pass. If any defensive lineman helped his draft profile with this game, it was Ford. Ford was named the Senior Bowl MVP.

2. RB James White, Wisconsin

Wisconsin’s running back led all players in the game with 61 rushing yards on 11 rushing attempts. He was the lone highlight for the game for the North squad as he scored the North’s only touchdown.

3. RB Lorenzo Taliaferro, Coastal Carolina

One of the top names from the FCS ranks playing this weekend handled himself well for the South team, leading the team in rushing with 31 yards.

4. QB David Fales, San Jose State

He did throw an interception, but he also had the arm that threw two of the biggest offensive plays in the game. Fales completed six of seven passes for a game high 104 passing yards and a touchdown.

5. DB Pierre Desir, Lindenwood

One of the biggest questions about Desir was how he would perform on the field against all of those big receivers from the big time programs. He did quite well, coming down with an interception in the end zone late in the game.

6. TE Crockett Gillmore, Colorado State

Colorado State tight end Crockett Gillmore made some nice plays when on the field, including two of the better catches of the game for the South. He also led all players with 61 receiving yards and snagged a touchdown catch from Fresno State’s Derek Carr on a pass that was slightly behind him on the run.

And here are three who left something to be desired in the game.

1. QB Logan Thomas, Virginia Tech

For all of the talk about potential for Logan Thomas, the Senior Bowl showed much of what Hokies fans have witnessed the past few years. He did complete four of five passes, but for just 18 yards. Thomas took a handful of sacks as well for a loss of 38 yards.

2. QB Tajh Boyd, Clemson

Boyd failed to make any special plays in the game, completing a little less than half of his passes (7 for 16) for 31 yards. He was also intercepted once.

3. QB Stephen Morris, Miami

It must be an ACC thing. Morris joined his conference mates in having a rough afternoon in Mobile. Miami’s quarterback completed 9 of 16 passes for 84 yards and two interceptions in a game when no quarterback for the North team (yes, the North) struggled to move the offense against the South defense.

Permalink 6 Comments Back to top

South dominating North in Senior Bowl, 20-3 at half

Dee Ford, Kolton Browning AP

As if you needed another example of just how good the college football talent is in the south, the South is leading the North 20-3 at halftime in the Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama.

Alabama wide receiver Kevin Norwood has 42 receiving yards and a touchdown, but Colorado State’s Crockett Gillmore leads all players with 51 yards and a touchdown and two of the better catches in the half. Auburn defensive lineman Dee Ford has been having a productive game on the line, always finding his way in the backfield regardless of the North quarterback. Ford has a pair of sacks and a deflected pass right back in the face of Miami quarterback Stephen Morris.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr had a great week of practice and has established some momentum heading closer to the NFL Draft, and he tossed the first touchdown of the game midway through the first quarter. Carr’s pass was slightly behind Gillmore on the run, but the Rams standout managed to get his hands on the football and run the rest of the way to the end zone on a 17-yard scoring play. The other touchdown of the half was tossed by another Mountain West quarterback, San Jose State’s David Fales. Fales managed to find a wide open Norwood while on the move to get away from pressure midway through the second quarter.

Auburn kicker Cody Parkey has kicked two field goals, one from 50 yards and a second from 39 yards, to help pad the South lead.

Permalink 5 Comments Back to top

As expected, AJ McCarron will skip Senior Bowl

Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images Getty Images

Feeling as though he has shown enough over the past three seasons as Alabama’s starting quarterback with nothing more to prove, AJ McCarron has decided to pass on participating in next week’s Senior Bowl in Mobile, Alabama. Leading up to Alabama’s appearance in the Sugar Bowl it was reported McCarron was not likely to participate in the senior showcase in his hometown.

As reported by AL.com, McCarron officially declined his invitation to the Senior Bowl. His absence leaves one roster spot open for a quarterback. Clemson’s Tajh Boyd, Fresno State’s Derek Carr, San Jose State’s David Fales, Miami’s Stephen Morris and Virginia Tech’s Logan Thomas are already on the roster. Underclassmen leaving for the NFL early such as Louisville’s Teddy Bridgewater and Texas A&M’s Johnny Manziel are not eligible to participate.

Th Senior Bowl offers a chance for players to work out and practice in front of NFL coaches and scouts under the instruction of NFL coaches. For many, the Senior Bowl and similar games also give players a chance to improve their NFL Draft stock or grab a scout’s eye for a potential undrafted free agent contract down the line. McCarron’s draft stock is particularly interesting, and his decision to not participate in the biggest offseason event for NFL Draft eligible players outside of the scouting combine is a tad puzzling.

McCarron is likely to be a third-round draft pick at best according to various NFL draft scouts and rankings. Would a good week at the Senior Bowl do much to change that? Perhaps not, but given the way his season ended it would have been a positive to see him get in to as close to an NFL environment as he has been in among other future NFL players. The flip side of that of course is the question about what a poor or less than impressive showing at the Senior Bowl would do his draft profile. Would it sink him to the fourth or fifth round?

Keep in mind there will be plenty of opportunities for McCarron to show off what he can do in front of NFL scouts. The scouting combine will continue to be the top event to look forward to, so McCarron is likely setting his sights on that moving forward.

Permalink 7 Comments Back to top

SJSU’s Fales, Iowa’s Kirksey claim Camp honors

David Fales AP

The penultimate weekly Walter Camp honors are in, and an astounding offensive performance headlines Week 14’s honorees.

The Camp Foundation announced that San Jose State quarterback David Fales and Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey have been named the National Offensive and Defensive Players of the Week.

Fales passed for 547 yards and threw six touchdowns as SJSU handed unbeaten Fresno State its first loss of the 2013 season.  The senior added 33 yards rushing and a touchdown on the ground in leading the Spartans to bowl eligibility.

On the defensive side, Kirksey was credited with 11 tackles, three tackles for loss, a sack, a forced fumble and a quarterback hurry in the Hawkeyes’ 21-point win over Nebraska.

Below is the year-to-date list of weekly 2013 Camp honorees:

WEEK 1: Alabama wide receiver Christion Jones, Virginia safety Anthony Harris
WEEK 2: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, Michigan State defensive end Shilique Calhoun
WEEK 3: Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton, UCLA linebacker Anthony Barr
WEEK 4: Pittsburgh quarterback Tom Savage, Maryland safety A.J. Hendy
Week 5: Georgia quarterback Aaron Murray, TCU safety Sam Carter
Week 6
: Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston, Florida cornerback Loucheiz Purifoy
Week 7
: Army running back Terry Baggett, Louisiana-Monroe safety Isaiah Newsome
Week 8: NIU quarterback Jordan Lynch, Florida State cornerback Lamarcus Joyner
Week 9: SMU quarterback Garrett Gilbert, Duke linebacker Kelby Brown
Week 10
: Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr, Michigan State linebacker Denicos Allen
Week 11
: Colorado State running back Kapri Bibbs, Duke defensive back Devon Edwards
Week 12
: Boston College running back Andre Williams, North Carolina defensive end Kareem Martin
Week 13
: Oklahoma State quarterback Clint Chelf, Pittsburgh defensive tackleAaron Donald
Week 14
: San Jose State quarterback David Fales, Iowa linebacker Christian Kirksey

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

San Jose State upsets Fresno State 62-52, spoils BCS plans

David Fales AP

No. 16 Fresno State (10-1, 7-1 MWC) will not be going to a BCS bowl game this season. San Jose State (6-6, 5-3 MWC) made sure of that with a resounding and wild 62-52 victory in San Jose Friday afternoon, handing the Bulldogs their first loss of the season at the worst possible time. The win for the Spartans makes San Jose State eligible for postseason play.

Fresno State’s defense was shredded by San Jose State quarterback David Fales for 549 passing yards and six touchdowns. It was the first 500-yard game of his career for Fales. the Spartans also had three different wide receivers record at least 140 yards with Tyler Winston, Kyle Nunn and Chandler Jones all pacing the offense. The Spartans rolled up 736 yards of offense in the game. It was quite the turnaround for San Jose State as well. San Jose State lost at home in overtime last week to Navy. That loss meant San Jose State had to win this week to gain postseason eligibility and to do that against the top team in the conference.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr did just about everything you could have wanted him to do with a potential BCS bid within sight. Carr completed 38 pass attempts for 519 yards and six touchdowns. Receiver Davanta Adams accounted for 264 receiving yards and three touchdowns.

Fresno State had been chasing Northern Illinois for an automatic BCS invite despite playing in a conference without an automatic bid. Ranking in the top 16 of the BCS standings and ahead of a conference champion from a conference with an automatic bid was what Fresno State needed, but that is far out of reach this late in the season no matter what happens in next week’s Mountain West Conference championship game, which will be hosted by Fresno State. Northern Illinois completed a 12-0 regular season and now is likely one win away from clinching a second straight BCS trip if they can win the MAC Championship Game against Bowling Green next week in Detroit. The Huskies played Florida State in last year’s Orange Bowl. Northern Illinois needs to stay ranked ahead of Central Florida, who can wrap up the American Athletic Conference championship tonight with a win against South Florida.

Fresno State will host either Utah State or Boise State in the Mountain West Conference Championship Game next week. If Utah State wins their home game against Wyoming, they will advance to the conference championship game. A loss to Wyoming by Utah State would set up a rematch between Fresno State and Boise State. Fresno State defeated Boise State earlier this season in Fresno, 41-40.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

Fresno State, San Jose State put up 1,006 yards and 83 points in first half

Fresno State v Idaho Getty Images

Fresno State needs to prove they are a better overall team than Northern Illinois to voters, but the first half of the regular season finale at San Jose State may not be helping them with that cause. So far defense has been optional, and neither team has chosen to play any in the first half. San Jose State holds a 42-41 lead at the half.

Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr has completed 22 of 29 pass attempts for 354 yards and six touchdowns. His counterpart for San Jose State, David Fales, has completed 27 of 32 attempts for 451 yards and six touchdowns. Fresno State receiver Davante Adams leads the Bulldogs with 157 yards and three touchdowns, while Tyler Winston of San Jose State leads all players with 158 yards. San Jose State’s Kyle Nunn (139 yards, 2 touchdowns) and Chandler Jones (115 yards, 3 touchdowns) also have put together 100-yard games after just one half of play.

The teams have combined for 1,006 yards of total offense. Records are going to fall quickly if this pace keeps up in the second half. The question is, has the damage already been done, win or lose, for Fresno State’s BCS argument after being passed by Northern Illinois?

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

The Fifth Quarter: Week 13 Rewind

Daniel Rodriguez AP

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

THUMBS UP

A righteous salute
Daniel Rodriguez earned a Purple Heart and was awarded the Bronze Star for his military service in Afghanistan several years ago.  Rodriguez moved on to become  a wide receiver at Clemson, walking on to the Tigers football team after serving two tours of duty.  For those of you who aren’t familiar with his heartwarming story, you should be.  For those who are, there’s another chapter to add to it.  In the Tigers’ home finale Saturday, Rodriguez caught the first touchdown of his career, a two-yarder from backup Cole Stoudt less than a minute into the fourth quarter.  The best part?  The touchdown came on a Senior Day that also doubled as Military Appreciation Day.  A bona-fide war hero scores a touchdown on a day that honors the military?  It doesn’t get much better than that.  And, dammit, it got dusty in here when that highlight came across my television screen.  God bless Rodriguez for his service.  And God bless Dabo Swinney for not only giving Rodriguez the opportunity to write this story, but for allowing him to add this on-field chapter to it.

OSU wins, as does OSU
Thanks to a team with the same acronym, Ohio State can stuff the phrase “style points” back in the closet for at least another year.  With Oklahoma State’s win over Baylor, the Buckeyes are now the clear-cut No. 3 team in the country, perched just outside of the Top Two and awaiting a stumble — either on the field or off — by Alabama or Florida State to clear a spot in the BCS title game — provided they remain perfect, of course.  The Bears had been poised to leapfrog the Buckeyes in the BCS rankings with a win over the No. 10 Cowboys, standing just .0013 percentage points behind OSU entering Week 13.  Now, not only has BU lost out on what most certainly would’ve been a No. 3 slotting in this week’s BCS rankings, but they’ve given up control of the conference as well.  That honor, of course, now falls to the “other” OSU.  If the Cowboys can upend Oklahoma in the annual Bedlam matchup Dec. 7, they would claim the Big 12’s automatic BCS bid.  If the Cowboys loses, the winner of the Texas-Baylor game the same weekend — if the Longhorns handle Texas Tech on Thanksgiving and the Bears do the same with TCU two days later — would claim the conference title and the BCS berth.  And if there were a three-way tie?  Oklahoma State, on the strength of head-to-head wins over Baylor and Texas, would win the tiebreaker and the conference title.

Continue reading »

Permalink 12 Comments Back to top

The Fifth Quarter: Week 7 Rewind

Missouri v Georgia Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

WINNERS

Missouri: The Showed You State
Everybody who thought that, after Week 7 of the season, Missouri would be unbeaten and all alone in first place in the SEC East raise your hands.  Now, put ‘em down as all y’all are lying.  Yet that’s exactly where Gary Pinkel‘s Tigers find themselves Sunday morning, sporting a spotless 6-0 record overall and an East-best 2-0 mark in SEC play thanks to their win over Georgia coupled with Florida’s loss to LSU.  Yes, Mizzou’s win came at the expense of the injury-ravaged Bulldogs, but it was huge for the Tigers regardless of the circumstances and how it’s couched as the win over No. 7 UGA was the program’s first against a Top-10 team on the road since dropping No. 9 Mississippi State in October of 1981.  Let’s not pop any SEC East champagne for Mizzou quite yet, however.  The next two weeks — without starting quarterback James Franklin — the Tigers will host Florida and South Carolina in back-to-back games that could very well determine the division’s representative in the SEC championship game.  And, no, I never thought I’d be typing that sentence in relation to Mizzou, especially after a debut season in the SEC that saw the Tigers win just two conference games (Kentucky, Tennessee).

Super Mariota… again
I’m fully aware of the fact that the Heisman is not handed out in the middle of October, but, dayum.  In six games this season, Marcus Mariota has thrown for 17 touchdowns, ran for another eight… and has thrown zero interceptions in 165 attempts.  And, as if tossing down the stiff-armed gauntlet, Mariota went out Saturday and had his finest performance of the season, all things considered.  Against a Washington defense that came into the game with Oregon ranked No. 3 nationally in passing efficiency defense, Mariota carved said defense to the tune of 24-of-31 passing for 366 yards and three touchdowns.  For good measure, he added 88 yards rushing and another score.  Again, they don’t hand out the Heisman at this time of the year.  The award does, though, have a front-runner and Mariota is decidedly that.

Continue reading »

Permalink 12 Comments Back to top

Can we look ahead on Utah State’s schedule already?

Chuckie Keeton AP

Utah State is in firm control in San Jose Friday evening, leading the Spartans by a score of 23-6. Chuckie Keeton has completed 16 of 24 passes for 147 yards and two touchdowns and the defense has kept San Jose State quarterback David Fales from doing too much damage, holding Fales to 168 yards and an interception.

If the game follows this theme in the second half, Utah State should cruise to a Mountain West Conference victory. Because San Jose State does not appear to be much of a threat tonight, I took it upon myself to start looking ahead on Utah State’s schedule and reminded myself just how big the next two games will be for the Aggies.

Next week Utah State gets BYU, who has managed to reach halftime with a lead in their home game against Middle Tennessee State at the half in Provo. The week after that? Boise State.

Talk about a chance to make a statement for Utah State. This program had their early opportunities to make some noise on the road but ultimately came up on the wrong side of the scoreboard at Utah and at USC. Those losses pretty much eliminate Utah State from any BCS Busting possibilities, but the next two weeks will offer a chance for some in-state bragging rights against BYU and to take a lead in the Mountain West Mountain Division against Boise State. Have I mentioned yet Utah State gets these two crucial games at home? They do.

Playing in a state that has Utah in the Pac 12 and BYU enjoying life as an independent, scoring a season split is a pretty big deal for a Utah State program that has grown so much in a relatively short period of time. Winning both games would have been better of course, but a split should be another positive step for the program.

An even bigger step could come when Utah State hosts Boise State, the program all BCS Buster programs aspire to be. The Broncos could be ripe for a loss as well. This year’s Boise State team has played well on offense outside of the week one loss at Washington, but Boise State has already taken a hit on the road (last week at Fresno State) and Utah State looks to have the ingredients needed to give a good challenge to Boise State – a talented quarterback and a solid defense.

Of course, now that I have tempted the college football gods, I may have just jinxed Utah State and rendered all of the above commentary pointless.

Permalink 1 Comment Back to top

National spotlight for Mountain West QBs

V.J. Fehoko, Chuckie Keeton AP

The Friday night match-up between Utah State and San Jose State may not be on most radars among casual college football fans, but it certainly has importance in the Mountain West Conference. The two newest members of the Mountain West Conference get a chance to showcase their programs on the national stage Friday night, giving the nation tuning in a chance to check out their quarterbacks.

By now most casual fans may be aware of Utah State’s Chuckie Keeton. Keeton emerged on the scene last year for the Aggies and entered this season as a dark-horse candidate for the Heisman Trophy. The Heisman campaign may be out of gas already after Utah State has dropped two games to Pac 12 opponents on the road (Utah, USC) but Keeton still has plenty of reasons for fans to tune in and catch a glimpse. Keeton has a way to extend plays and has already proven to be a valuable piece in Utah State’s offense. Keeton has thrown 14 touchdown passes to just one interception and his pass accuracy is still over 70 percent after completing just 53 percent of his passes last weekend at USC.

San Jose state has their own quarterback weapon of course. David Fales has faced stiffer competition and has not had quite the offensive production of his Utah State counterpart, but few are suggesting Fales is not a competent quarterback just yet. Optimum Scouting ranks Fales as the fifth best quarterback in the 2014 NFL Draft, just ahead of Fresno State’s Derek Carr, and predicts a second round draft selection for the Spartans quarterback. Fales completed 67.4 percent of his passes for 216 yards against Stanford in week two, in Palo Alto.

Both quarterbacks are probably trailing Fresno State’s Carr right now for conference MVP honors, largely in part because Fresno State is undefeated, but Keeton and Fales have an opportunity Friday night to prove their teams are going to be in the mix moving forward in to October.

The two have combined for nearly 2,000 passing yards, exactly 20 touchdowns and just four interceptions in the first few weeks of the season. Think we will see some offense in San Jose this evening? Oh yes. There will be offense.

Permalink 0 Comments Back to top

The Fifth Quarter: Week 4 Rewind

Kansas State v Texas Getty Images

As is the case each and every season, each and every week, any omission below is not on purpose, it’s merely intentional.

WINNERS

Mack’s back?
At least for the time being, the Longhorn Nation mob can put away its pitchforks and torches.  After a week that saw even more speculation about his job and the confirmation of rumors that Texas was indeed very interested in Nick Saban, Mack Brown was staring square in the face of Texas’ first 1-3 start since 1954.  Instead, the Longhorn players stepped above the ineptness of the past couple of weeks and moved to 2-2 with a 31-21 win over Kansas State.  Whether it was the increased heat on their coach or just the fact that the Wildcats aren’t that good, the players seemed to play with a spark, an enthusiasm, a sense of urgency that hasn’t been seen at all in 2013  Certainly one win doesn’t change all that’s gone wrong over the past three-plus years, and K-State 2013 is not the K-State of recent years, but it’s definitely a baby step in the right direction.

Hilluva football player
Forget about whether or not Jeremy Hill should even be on a football field; that’s another argument for another day.  When he is on the playing surface, the LSU running back is one helluva football player.  Hill rushed for a career-high 151 yards… and then headed back onto the field for the start of the third quarter.  Hill finished with 183 yards and three touchdowns in the Tigers’ 35-21 win over previously unbeaten Auburn.  The Bayou Bengals certainly have a stable full of high-quality runners, but Hill is clearly the class of the backfield and will continue to serve as an important piece of the offensive puzzle as LSU continues its run toward what should be another epic showdown with Alabama.

Johnny be good at football
If someone other than Johnny Manziel is going to win the 2013 Heisman, they’re going to have to rip it from his cold, dead hands.  Or something.  In less than three-and-a-half quarters of playing time against SMU, Manziel passed for 244 yards and a touchdown while rushing for another 102 and two more scores.  Through four games this season, Manziel has accounted for 1,483 yards of total offense (1,228 passing, 255 rushing) and 15 touchdowns; in the first four games of the 2012 season, the numbers were 1,460 (1,094 passing, 466 rushing) and 16 touchdowns.  Whether or not voters, given the Texas A&M’s rocky offseason, give him serious consideration again this December remains to be seen.  Based on his play on the field this year, though, he damn well should be given just that.

Continue reading »

Permalink 16 Comments Back to top

Fresno State nearly blows BCS opportunity, rallies to save it vs Boise State

Air Force Fresno St Football AP

Boise State has been the little engine that could that all programs not associated with a power conference have been aspiring to be. Fresno State used to be there before Boise State emerged, and Friday night the Bulldogs took a giant step in getting back to that level. In a back-and-forth game from start to finish, Fresno State ended the night with a 41-40 victory in what could be a preview of the first Mountain West Conference championship game later this year.

Boise State mounted a furious comeback in the fourth quarter, scoring two touchdowns to cap a 21-point rally and take a lead after trailing 34-19 late in the third quarter, but Derek Carr guided the fresno state offense down field to retake the lead on a short touchdown pass to Josh Quedaza. The defense held Boise State on a fourth down around midfield to takeover on downs and run out the clock.

Carr finished the night with 460 passing yards and four touchdowns. Isaiah Burse and Davante Adams each had 100 receiving yards, and Adams extended his scoring streak to 11 games.

Boise State quarterback Joe Southwick had his up and down moments, passing for 313 yards and one interception. Southwick made some plays to help the Broncos come back in the fourth quarter but was lucky a video review went in his favor after losing the football on a run down toward the Fresno State end zone. On Boise State’s final possession of the night Southwick succumbed to the pressure brought by Fresno State’s defense and failed to pick up one last first down.

Fresno State moves to 4-0 and now can begin putting together whatever kind of BCS Buster profile they can manage while taking things one game at a time.

Fresno State’s path to an undefeated team has few road blocks standing in the way. With two of the toughest games now behind them (Rutgers, Boise State), the Bulldogs should be in a favorable position moving forward against a relatively weak schedule. Next week Fresno State heads to Hawaii and the final game of the regular season at San Jose State could be another shootout to be cautious of. The Spartans have another of the top quarterbacks in the conference with David Fales. Fresno State should be considered a strong favorite to advance to the conference championship game, and with this win they could very well be hosting Boise State in a rematch, or Utah State.

Permalink 12 Comments Back to top

Stanford’s Shaw doesn’t take SEC comparisons as compliment

David Shaw AP

The Stanford Cardinal have emerged as a respectable force in the college football world over the last few years. The changing of the culture and approach to Stanford football started with Jim Harbaugh turning things around and David Shaw has continued to lead Stanford on the same path. The Cardinal play a physical style that manages to slow down high-powered offensive systems, including Oregon, which has led some to compare Stanford’s style to those typically found in the SEC. Any comparison to the SEC would normally be well received given the conference’s string of success on the big stage, but that is not something Shaw apparently wants to hear.

“I don’t necessarily take it as a compliment,” Shaw said this week, according to San Jose Mercury News. “We play the style of football I grew up with. It’s not because that’s the way they play at Alabama or LSU. That means nothing to us.”

The style of football Stanford plays would fit in with almost any generation of football. Shaw likes to draw comparisons to the teams that played in the 1980s, including the Joe Montana-era San Francisco 49er. Those are the similarities Stanford aims for, and it makes perfect sense given the connection between the Cardinal and 49ers. Not only is Harbaugh now coaching the 49ers, but Bill Walsh previously coached both teams as well.

“It’s the right way for them to play because they can’t recruit speed the way other teams recruit speed,” former UCLA coach Rick Neuheisel said, according to San Jose Mercury Times. “David would never tip his hat to the SEC. He and Jim went back to drawing board, and this style is the best fit. They built it brilliantly.”

Stanford opens their 2013 season this weekend after not having a game scheduled last week. The defending Pac 12 champions host San Jose State in a bit of a local rivalry game. Stanford enters the game as a favorite of course, but will have to use that physical style defense to shut down the Spartans’ passing game led by David Fales. Stanford narrowly escaped against San Jose State last season, winning 20-17. Fales passed for 217 yards and a touchdown in the game, which was tied at 17-17 entering the fourth quarter.

Permalink 11 Comments Back to top

Quick look at key Week 2 games

Al Golden AP

The second week of the college football season has some entertaining games on the schedule. Maybe there are not any games of the kind of magnitude of Clemson vs. Georgia, but there are some good rivalry games worth paying attention to this weekend.

Florida travels to Miami to briefly revive a series that really should be played on an annual basis. The Gators overcame some adversity against Toledo and Miami had little problem with Florida Atlantic. Notre Dame visits Michigan in prime time before this rivalry goes on the shelf (in case you have not heard yet). And one other game that may surprise you as an honorable mention is Stanford’s season opener against quarterback David Fales and the high-flying pass attack of San Jose State.

San Jose State could be a pesky opening opponent for Stanford, but the odds are pretty good the Cardinal will be able to overcome that potent San Jose pass offense. Should Stanford already be on upset alert though? If last week was any indication, nobody is truly safe. Division foe Oregon State suffered a home loss to FCS Eastern Washington last week, so anything is certainly possible.

Permalink 11 Comments Back to top