The "Logic" of SystemsDude

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Sioux and PSU Football - Week 3: As Per the Script

Week 3: Sioux 49, Winona State 2.

OK, what else does this team have to do? Sure, every D-II pollster loves Grand Valley State. Sure, they are clearly number one until somebody beats them. But what about #2? has the Sioux ranked #3, behind Northwest Missouri. The AFCA polls has them at #4, behind #2 Northwest Missouri and #3 North Alabama.

I'm sorry, but what the fuck is that? Who the hell have either those teams beat? Consensus #2 Northwest Missouri has gotten fat on the milk-fed veal known as Minnesota State and an over-rated Nebraska-Omaha. Meanwhile, North Alabama has imploded such dynasties as Tusculum and Harding.

One of the few Winona State possessions that didn't end in a punt

Meanwhile, North Dakota has beaten last year's D-IAA runner-up, and #13 Winona State. Are these pollsters the same who run Guatemalan elections? Are these pollsters currently residing on the dark side of the moon? Seriously, how this team can't be at least #2 is a joke.

Now that I've had my rant, here's the re-cap of the beatdown, from

A week after one of the biggest wins in the University of North Dakota football team’s history, there was no letdown. There was no letup, either.

The Fighting Sioux, ranked No. 4 in the country, pummeled Winona State 49-2 this afternoon in front of 10,333 at the Alerus Center.

The win comes one week after UND defeated NCAA Division I-AA powerhouse Northern Iowa in Ceder Falls, Iowa. This week, the Sioux once again proved they are still one of the best teams in Division II by beating a Winona State team that was ranked No. 13 in Division II coming into the game.

Everything was working well for UND in the first half. The Sioux scored on their first offense possession – a drive that went 49 yards in four plays. Chris Beatty capped the drive, rushing in from 11 yards for the touchdown. It was Beatty’s only carry in the game.

That scoring drive was set up by blocked field goal the UND defense. Will Kusler, among other defensive linemen, pushed through the line of scrimmage and got a hand on the 48-yard attempt by Mike Salerno.

It was plays like that – UND’s defensive line causing havoc in the Winona State backfield – which gave the Warriors problems all day. The Sioux had 10 sacks in the game. Four sacks came at the hands of senior defensive lineman Jared Enger. All four of Enger’s sacks, which ties a school single-game record, came in the first half.

Enger’s final two sacks set up for UND’s next scoring drive. Deep in their own territory, Enger sacked Winona State quarterback Drew Aber on second and third down for losses of six and 11 yards, respectively. The Warriors punted to junior Weston Dressler, who fair caught the ball on Winona’s 49-yard line.

Three plays later Dressler and Sioux were in the end zone, giving the Sioux a 14-0 lead with 16 seconds remaining in the first half. Sioux quarterback Reed Manke found Dressler, who sped 44 yards for a touchdown. It was one of the many long passes for Manke, who went 20-of-27 for 294 yards. Manke also led the Sioux rushers, garnering 31 yards on four carriers.

The Sioux continued to roll in the second quarter. Manke and Dressler connected for two more touchdowns in the quarter. The first one, a 14-yard reception, came with 10:26 remaining in the second quarter, while the second came with 25 seconds remaining in the half. That touchdown reception was for three yards. Dressler ended with 109 yards on nine receptions.

Manke also connected for a touchdown with freshman wide receiver Brady Trenbeath in the second quarter. The reception, an 87-yarder, was also the longest touchdown pass in school history. On second down on UND's own 13-yard line, Manke rolled right and found Trenbeath streaking down the sideline near midfield. Trenbeath caught it and outran the defense into the end zone. Trenbeath ended with five receptions for 108 yards.

Defensively, the Sioux continued to dominate in the second half, holding Winona State offense scoreless. The Warriors best offensive opportunity came midway through the third quarter. Quarterback Aaron Boettcher connected with Scott Peters for a 56-yard reception down to the UND 14-yard line. The Warriors
moved down to the four-yard line and had a first-and-goal, but couldn’t moved
the ball any farther.

On second-and-goal Boettcher was sacked for a loss of two yards by Steve Brennan. On the next play, Boettcher was sacked again. Nose tackle Adam Wolff came from behind and tackled Boettcher, swatting the ball from his hand for a loss of 15 yards. On fourth-and-goal from the 27-yard line, Boettcher threw and incomplete pass, turning the ball over to the Sioux.

In the fourth quarter, the defense also scored some points. Brandon Jordan intercepted a Boettcher pass and returned it 28 yards for a touchdown.

Danny Freund capped the scoring with a seven-yard run with 2:50 remaining in the game.

Defensively, the Sioux were led by Dononvan Alexander, who ended with a team-high eight tackles. Brennan and Bobby Stroup had two sacks each.

Game notes: The Manke-Trenbeath touchdown reception was UND’s longest pass play for a score, however, it was not UND’s longest-ever passing play. On Sept. 28, 1985, Kurt Otto connected with Tracy Martin for an 89-yard pass that was not a touchdown … The Manke-Trenbeath touchdown was also the longest pass play in six years at the Alerus Center … Enger’s four sacks ties Eric Schmidt (vs. New Haven, 9/21/01), Mike Skadeland (vs. South Dakota State, 9/22/84), and Mark Turgeon (vs. Portland State, 9/5/81) for sacks in a single game… Manke’s first incomplete pass came with 6:17 remaining in the second quarter. One play later Manke threw his second incomplete pass, overthrowing Troy Ott on a fake field goal attempt.

Week 3: Penn State 20, Youngstown State 3.

Completing the double defeats of States that aren't really states, the Nittany Lions cruise against a D-IAA team, as per the script. I really can't add much to the following; I'l admit I'm looking forward to next week's trip to the Ohio State Penitentiary.

Because we were way overdue for a Levi Brown reference.

Really, there wasn't much noteworthy to this game, but Alex Grier over at The Nittany Network offers some salient points on the the season so far.

Monday, September 18, 2006

Maurice Clarett: Convicted Felon

We knew it would happen, but now it's official. According to the Detroit Free Press, Clarett plead guilty to aggravated robbery and carrying a concealed weapon charges stemming from an incident in January outside a Columbus bar.

Maybe it's time for Ohio State to get some new helmet stickers.

Sunday, September 17, 2006

The Best Headline EVER!

Click this link. Come back when you are done laughing.

If you clicked and came back, I'm hoping the lustre of the headline didn't obscure this gem of sports writing. Peep the following paragraph and count the "cock" jokes.

That's as may be, but the International Badminton Federation (IBF) has decided not to take the Black Cocks lying down. Skelt admitted: "They don't want to see the game lose its composure for the want of a gimmicky name. If you're over in China and you get introduced as the Black Cocks, it raises some issues." Ah yes, the sticky "we'd rather not entertain Black Cocks in the People's Republic of China" problem. Badminton NZ will now wait for feedback from its 27 regional associations at its November AGM before deciding on whether or not to let the Black Cocks stand.

I bet Ava Devine would swallow "Black Cocks."

Notes From Week 3 - Not So Live Blogging of the Godzillathon

Saturday, 12:01 A.M: At a poker game trying to recoup the $30 I had on Kansas and four points at Toledo. I should have bet the over/under on the combined weights of Tom Amstutz and Mark Mangino. Hello, Vegas? Give me over 750 for a honeybee.

Today's word boys and girls: Bariatric.

1:03 A.M:
Through pure treachery and a couple of possible felonies, I make a haul at the aforementioned poker game. I hit a full house at exactly the right time, and a nut flush another, both of which assure I won't be worried about where the milk money is coming from for a while. I call a late-night buddy of mine to whom I owe a debt, ummm...on a completely non-gambling related matter. That's our story, and we're sticking to it.

1:39 A.M:
Stop by a friends' house to drop him the $50 owed him on a completely non-gambling related matter. And for the first, long overdue, and certainly not last Nathan Thurm reference on this blog:

Our attorney: "Of course, I know gambling is illegal. Why do you think I wouldn't know that?"

2:20 A.M:
I'm driving home, in what is normally a very quiet neighborhood. In the span of two minutes, I see a couple clearly en flagrante delicto on a bus bench in full view of a total of twelve intersecting lanes of traffic, and a full-blown, "15 cops with guns drawn" arrest. Believe it or not, this isn't the days biggest "What the Fuck?" moment.

11:15 A.M:
Is there some sort of cosmic rule saying that Mike "Waterhead Baby" Gottfried and Pam "Big Wally" Ward have to be the booth crew for any early game interesting to me? Today's example; Iowa State at Iowa.

We're not even five minutes in and we hit the Gottfried Gem of the Week: "Well, this team can do a lot of things better because the team is better." Frankly, we're becoming amazed that Gottfried is actually paid for simply grasping the obvious.

Even better was Waterhead and Big Wally's praise of Iowa QB Drew Tate nack for making tackles after he throws interceptions. I'm sure NFL scouts love that.

Has any body ever seen a sideline shot of Dan McCarney that doesn't involve him pacing the sideline like a caged hyena? He must be disturbed by the fact that Iowa State obviously doesn't have much of a promotional budget.

2:21 P.M:
Channel-surfed into South Florida at Central Florida. This is D-I football? Really? Hmmm, no shit. Well, it'll kill nine minutes until LSU at Auburn.

Central Florida may not be noted for much, but they could have the fattest kicker in Florida since Sebastian Janikowski. His name is Michael Torres, and his bio lists him as 5'9", 215 pounds. That's gotta be on the same scale that shows 375 pound lineman as 330. This guy's jersey is stuffed exclusively with shoulder pads, Twinkies, and Budweiser.

2:54 P.M: LSU at Auburn
This what those good old-fashioned SEC bloodwars are all about. Halfway through the first quarter, and I 've ready seen seen several broken chinstraps and facemasks, and two helmets popped completely off.

But first, CBS's Jim Nantz has crossed a line. During Craig Steltz' return of his interception in the first quarter, Nantzy Boy actually said "He's rumblin' stumblin' along the sideline." Jim, no more Bermanisms. Ever. You've been warned.

Kenny Irons: Yeah, he's good.

LSU lost this game largely from their own undisciplined play. Talk all you want about the pass interference call, or even why Craig Davis wasn't in the end zone instead of the six-yard line on the game's last play. A routine false start penalty in the first quarter told me LSU had a problem.

LSU RT Peter Dyakowski jumps early, drawing the flag. That's going to happen, especially in a place as loud as Jordan-Hare Stadium. The funny part is what Dyakowski did after he jumped. He resets in the neutral zone as if nobody is going notice a 300-pound plus lineman who is clearly at least 3 feet offsides. That's just plain stupid. I wonder what LSU offensive line coach and 2005 Award winner Stacey Searels reacted to that?

4:20 P.M:
How is it possible that Notre Dame could have been over-rated? I mean, where has the media hype been about how good this team is? It's not like NBC has been promoting the shit out of this team. It's not like 3/4ths of the writers in this country are shining Charlie Weis' knob at any given moment. It's not like this team has been dominated in three of it's last four encounters with Big Ten teams.

6:27 P.M:
Today's "What the Fuck?" moment. Goes to another two-minute span of this day, this one being those at the end of the Oregon-Oklahoma game. Oregon score tw0 touchdowns in the last two minutes to take a 34-33 lead with :46 left on the clock.

Yeah, the refs gave it to Oklahoma prison-style. Yeah, they "blew" two calls that killed Oklahoma (checking the bank accounts of the officiating and replay crew). But Oklahoma is still squealing on it's knees, which is somehow quite satisfying.

The ensuing squibber kick-off gets returned by Oklahoma's Reggie Smith to the Oregon 27-yard line. The Sooners run one play off-tackle right to put the ball on the right hash-mark for kicker Garrett Hartley, spike the ball, and set up for the winning 44-yard field goal. With two seconds left, the Sooners snap the ball, and Hartley drills the kick straight into the waiting paws of the Oregon defensive line. Ducks win by one, but it proves to be a theme for me, they don't cover the spread.

7:22 P.M:
The joys of hating Florida State:
1) Wide receiver De'Cody Fagg. Sometimes, the jokes write themselves. You just can't help but snicker everytime you hear an annoucer utter such gems as:
"That ball was too high for Fagg."
"As far as shots go, Fagg really took a hard one."
"Fagg goes down hard."
"With his height, nobody gets up quite like Fagg."

2) Bobby Bowden. The road sign says it all.

10:58 P.M:
Welcome to the Night of the Living Dead. Here's the cavalcade that killed me, all no-cover winners.
Arkansas -6 at Vanderbilt - final score Arkansas 21, Vanderbilt 19
Oklahoma at Oregon -3.5 - final score Oregon 34, Oklahoma 33
Florida -4 at Tennessee - final score Florida 21, Tennessee 20
Nebraska At Southern Cal -18.5 - final score USC 28, Nebraska 10

Well, that's why they call it gambling, which we weren't doing, because gambling is illegal. Why would you think I wouldn't know that.

Saturday, September 16, 2006

Sioux and PSU Football - Week 3

Frankly, due to last minute work emergencies, and the fact they chose to abut the upcoming "Tivo Explodes in WestSide Suburb; Hundreds Killed, Thousands Feared Missing" college football Saturday, we honestly did not get a chance to give these games a preview. But frankly, these games are both tune-ups. Penn State faces up against I-AA Youngstown State, while North Dakota opens at home with Winona State (MN). The Nittany Lions need to beat up on somebody before they go to Ohio State next week, and UND is knocking off I-AA talent.

Expect both to relegated to the small end of picture-in-picture before the end of the third quarter. However, we will partake in the usual post-game nonsense.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Larry Kinging, Part 4

Every once in a while, for whatever reason, I haven’t either the time or the motivation to develop a complex thought. When that happens, my thought process becomes a rapid-fire stream of unrelated mush. It’s a ramble in much the same manner as CNN living fossilized lizard and Monty Burns look-alike Larry King, hence this being titled with a needless, yet very identifying noun-to-verb conversion.

Who could imagine a football brawl in the state that gave us Woody Hayes?

When Ron Zook made that comment about using a punter as weapon...well, stuff that comes out his mouth usually goes wrong somehow, but we never imagined this. Another telling commentary on the Zook-ster...ESPN butt-loaf extaordinaire Mike Gottfried loves him.

"Ron works at one speed -- 100 miles an hour and he goes at that speed all the time. From the time that he wakes up to the time that he goes to sleep, if he goes to sleep, he is going to be doing anything he can to make his players and football team better."

We don't want to lose respect for Emmitt Smith, but...

Bobby Bowden Senility Update: You really have to read the whole article to understand fully how the Human Liver Spot is losing touch with reality, but considering his perenially over-rated Seminoles had to resort to fourth-quarter heroics to beat Troy in Tallahassee, the following excerpt is particulary prime:

Now, I sure would like to run the ball better. When do you have to run? Why do you even have to run? Well, third-and-1 you better be able to run. We ran and we were successful. Now when you get on the goal-line you better be able to run. We got on the goal line and we ran. So who says you have to run it on first down? Now third-and-short we were able to run the darn ball. We were able to do that. Now we ain't happy yet. It's not alarming me that much.

Which has more turnstile jumps? The NYC Subway or Doak Campbell Stadium?

The Joe Cullen saga: We honestly don't know which we love more about this story:
1) The fact that the guy went to a Wendy's naked. You know if it were a Burger King, the "Whopper" jokes would be flying.
2) The authors seem to be shocked that Cullen might have a drinking problem.
3) Is there a better name for a Wendy's manager than Jethro Lett? Please share with us if you have one.

Koren Robinson signs with the Packers. Hmmm...a guy with a track record of alcohol-related problems moves to Green Bay... gentlemen, start your joking. In a related story, Art Schlichter plans to move to Las Vegas after he's paroled in 2008.

How does Joe Theismann do it? He has managed to have a lengthy career as a player and an announcer, yet seems to have no knowledge of football what so ever. When he's combined with Paul Maguire, it's like watching two frieght trains, one loaded with idiocy, the other with pure cholesterol colliding at high speed. 20 years later, this is still the best thing he's ever done on television.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Terry Tate Runs afoul of HR

When you are a linebacker, eventually you will be penalized. When you are an office linebacker, you're going to run afoul of those bloodsuckers in Human Resources.

But when you are Terry Tate, revenge will be yours.

Monday, September 11, 2006

Sioux and PSU Football, Week 2 - One Tectonic Victory, One Seal-Clubbing

Week 2 - North Dakota 35, Northern Iowa 31.

Did you feel it? The earth is shaking today, as there has been a tectonic shift in the small college football world. Going into Cedar Rapids and knocking off the #3 Panthers of Northern Iowa sends the message to the D-1AA world that a new force is coming in 2008, and you better be ready for it.

Since his arrival in 1999, Sioux head football coach Dale Lennon has built North Dakota into one of the premier small-college programs, with a national championship in 2001, two appearances in the last five championship games, and now a signature win over a very good 1-AA program. Plus, the guy just looks like a serious badass.

Lennon: Grand Forks' answer to Chuck Norris.
UND will build a statue of him as soon as they find stone hard enough.

You can read the list of Chuck Norris facts, and just replace the words "Chuck Norris" with "Dale Lennon," and you get the idea. But don't get me wrong; this guy has facts of his own.

1) The Red River hasn't flooded Grand Forks since Dale Lennon's arrival, because the river knows better.
2) NDSU left the NCC just because of the power of Dale Lennon's stare.
3) Dale Lennon doesn't wear condoms. He explodes them.
4) Dale Lennon doesn't "coach" football. Football obeys him.
5) The Red River Valley is flat because Dale Lennon wants it that way.
6) Dale Lennon has not walked on the moon, because the moon is not worthy.
7) Superman fears Dale Lennon, and for good reasons.
8) Simultaneously, I saw Dale Lennon heal an injured swan with one hand, resuscitate a heart-attack victim with the other, all while text messaging a recruit on the Blackberry in his front pants pocket.
9) My cell phone kicked the shit out of three guys just because Dale Lennon called it once.
10) Enzyte is made from Dale Lennon's sweat.

OK, enough of's a rundown of the game, the biggest victory in the history of this program since the championship win in 2001.


Junior Weston Dressler’s 50-yard touchdown reception with 54 seconds remaining gave UND a stunning 35-31 victory tonight over Northern Iowa, the third-ranked team in Division I-AA football and last year’s I-AA national runner-up.

It was UND’s first victory over a I-AA opponent since clipping Montana 28-27 back on September 11, 1982. Dressler’s 50-yard catch and run capped a wild final five minutes that saw the lead change four times and 29 points scored between the two teams.

The Sioux, ranked fourth in Division II, led for much of the game and were hanging on to a 21-16 lead late in the fourth quarter when then the fireworks began.

UNI running back Corey Lewis scored on a nine-yard touchdown run and the Panthers converted the two-point attempt with 4:53 remaining in the game to take a 24-21 lead. It was UNI’s first lead since kicking a 33-yard field goal on the game’s first drive.

But the Sioux quickly answered with a six-play, 80-yard march that was punctuated with a 17-yard TD run by freshman running back Ryan Chappell, his second of the game. With 2:31 remaining, UND had a 28-24 lead.

Northern Iowa, however, came charging back one more time, marching to UND’s 20 yard line in just four plays. With UND defensive end Alex Cadwell all over him, UNI quarterback Eric Sanders hit receiver Johnny Gray on a slant pattern, and just like that the Panthers had the lead at 31-28 with just 1:27 to play.

After UNI’s ensuing kickoff went out of bounds to give UND the ball at their own 35, UND senior quarterback Reed Manke found Dressler over the middle for a 20-yard gain at the UNI 45. After a UND false start penalty, Manke again connected with Dressler across the middle, and the junior speedster outraced several Panther defenders to the end zone.

The see-saw final moments were in stark contrast to the first three quarters, during which time UND was able to lead for most of the game despite a distinct UNI advantage in time of possession. The Panthers had the ball for a total of 37:21, compared to just 22:39 for the Sioux.

But UND was able to make enough plays on both sides of the ball – and on special teams – to pull out the victory.

UNI did open the scoring on the game’s first drive, with Brian Wingert’s 33-yard field goal capping a six-play, 41-yard series.

UND looked poised to answer on its second possession after a 59-yard Dressler punt return gave the Sioux the ball at the UNI 12. However, on a fourth down gamble from the one, a bad exchange between Manke and running back Brandon Strouth caused a fumble and the Panthers pounced on the loose ball to snuff out a potential score.

The Sioux once again marched inside the Panther five later in the first quarter and again faced fourth and goal from the one. This time Manke kept for himself and plunged straight ahead to give the Sioux the 7-3 lead on the second play of the second quarter.

UND hit paydirt again on its next possession, this time with senior quarterback Chris Belmore directing the offense. Belmore hit fullback Trent Christensen out of the backfield for a six-yard touchdown and a 14-3 lead. One play earlier, Chappell ripped off a 41-yard run on his first collegiate carry, setting up the scoring play.

The Panthers were able to drive inside UND’s 15 on the next series, but back-to-back sacks by freshman linebacker Bobby Stroup pushed UNI back to the 41 and forced a punt.

After a UND three-and-out, UNI took over at the Sioux 41, setting up a 56-yard field goal by Wingert with 16 seconds left in the half.

The Panthers offense finally asserted itself on its first series of the third quarter, putting together a 12-play, 65-yard drive that chewed up nearly five minutes. UNI quarterback Eric Sanders found receiver James Lindgren all alone in the back corner of the end zone for a six-yard touchdown, and the extra point cut the UND lead to 14-13 with 8:48 left in the quarter.

But the Sioux responded immediately, marching 80 yards on just four plays, including two runs each by Chappell and Manke. Chappell’s two runs covered the final 47 yards of the drive, his 12-yard scoring scamper extending the Sioux lead to 21-13.

The Panthers countered with another scoring drive on the next series, though this one only netted three points. Wingert capped a five-and-a-half minute drive with a 35-yard field goal that made it 21-16 UND with 1:37 remaining in the third.

Brent Halfmann’s punt was blocked by Clifford Waters, allowing UNI to take over at the UND 45 with just over seven minutes left in the game. The Panthers re-gained the lead on the ensuing drive when running back Corey Lewis found the end zone from nine yards out with 4:53 left on the clock. UNI converted the two-point conversion for a 24-21 lead.

Chappell led all rushers with 121 yards and two scores on just nine carries, while Manke added 60 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. Manke also completed 13-of-25 passes for 207 yards and on touchdown.

Dressler finished with five catches for 96 yards.

The Sioux held vaunted UNI quarterback Eric Sanders to just 18-of-31 passing for 208 yards and the two touchdowns. He was also sacked five times, including two each by linebackers Steve Brennan and Bobby Stroup.

Stroup, not Troup. But we're still Getting Our Kicks on Route 66 (or 44, in this case).

UND is now 2-0 overall (1-0 NCC) heading into next week’s home opener against Winona State. It is UND’s final non-conference tilt of the 2006 season.

Week 2 - Notre Dame 41, Penn State 17

Sure, it was a seal-clubbing. Sure, the Nittany Lions not only got beat, but got beat in a way that guaranteed my enjoyment, thanks to a Notre Dame alum/drinking buddy, of a 2:30 A.M. drunken phone rendition of the Notre Dame Victory March, played at a level slighty lower than a B-52 engine start.

Screw it. Glean the positives from this beat-down in this synopsis from the The Nittany Notebook, the best Penn State blog around.

The Good: Was there actually any good that came out of this debacle? The answer is yes but obviously it isn’t much. The running game was good after causing Penn State fans some panic after last week’s struggles against Akron. Tony Hunt rushed 12 times for 74 yards and also had 3 catches for 26 yards. It should have been more if not for the bogus clipping call that called back his big gainer in the second uarter. Anthony Morelli played pretty well for his first road start in a hostile environment going 21-33 for 189 yards and a touchdown and one interception. Morelli made some mistakes, as expected of an inexperienced QB, but he didn’t do anything that should be a cause of concern. He’s only going to get better with experience. The offensive line was solid, opening plenty of holes for Tony Hunt and also did a good job at protecting Morelli as he was only sacked once. Jordan Norwood has the best hands on the team. He caught 6 balls for 91 yards and is a good compliment to the big play threats that Butler and Williams present.

The Bad: Just about everything else fits in here. Jason Ganter is a horrible holder. Absolutely horrible. There is no excuse this week for botching that snap. I was hoping that it was just the rain that caused the two failed field goal opportunities against Akron. Unfortunately, I was wrong. For the record, Ganter has botched three field goal situations so far this season- out of six. At least Kevin Kelly gets the job done when he gets a clean hold, nailing all three of his field goal attempts so far this season. Derrick Williams was invisible for most of the game. Unfortunately, when he did show up it was at quarterback with Morelli split out wide. Did the staff not learn from the Michael Robinson/Zack Mills era that this DOES NOT work? The formation isn’t fooling anyone. Hopefully Galen Hall smartens up and puts it on the shelf for a couple of weeks. If the staff wants a change of pace at quarterback, stick Daryll Clark in. At least he presents the threat of actually throwing the ball. With Williams at QB, the defense knows exactly what is coming. Williams also dropped some big passes that could have changed the game, the most notable being the one that slipped through his hands on the play before the Morelli fumble. Speaking of that play, Anthony Morelli should not be running the option. I really don’t blame Morelli for that play. The blame for that goes squarely on the coaches for being so foolish to call it in the first place. The play-calling on offense was classic Paterno big game conservatism for most of the game. Morelli was hitting all of his receivers early on but Paterno tried too hard to run the ball, especially near the goal line on the first possession. The defensive line couldn’t establish a pass rush and Brady Quinn made them pay. If he had been under pressure, this game would have been much closer even with all of the other mistakes. On too many plays Quinn had all the time in the world to make a good pass. Tim Shaw at DE against Akron may have worked but teams with quality tackles are going to shut him down. Paul Posluszny needs to regain his inner fire. He tied Dan Connor for the team lead today with 12 total tackles but clearly is not playing on the same level that he was at last season. Maybe he’s still feeling the effects of the knee injury but he is clearly not playing at 100%. Tony Davis is a good hitter but he looked lost out there at times and got beaten badly because of it. Penn State just shot themselves in the foot all game long. The Nittany Lions had plenty of opportunities to put points on the board in the first half and every time they found a way to stay out of the end-zone. Some fans are going to complain about the officiating in this one but they only made two very bad calls- the phantom clip that negated Hunt’s big gainer and not reviewing Chris Bell’s onside recovery at the end of the game.

MVP: Jordan Norwood. Williams and Butler were pretty quiet all day but Norwood stepped up and made some big catches for Penn State. The most underrated of the top three receivers had his coming out party on the day that Williams was supposed to have his.Best Play- Tony Hunt’s 30-yard run in the first quarter. It really showed the improvement that the running game and offensive line made between the Akron game and this one. It also should have step up the tying or go ahead score.

Worst Play: Morelli’s fumbled option that Tom Zbikowski returned for a TD. I will not blame Morelli for this one. He should not have been running an option play for any reason. This one falls squarely on the coaching staff. The game still could have been salvaged at 20-0. 27-0 put it out of reach for good.

1-AA Youngstown State rolls into Happy Valley next week. A guaranteed victory and warm up for Ohio State is about all it is. Penn State fans should also enjoy being ranked in the polls for one last night tonight. Chances are when the new ones come out tomorrow, we’ll be most likely be buried in the not so spectacular “Others Receiving Votes” category. And unless the Nittany Lions pull off an amazing upset against Ohio State, Penn State won’t be back in the polls for several weeks.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Notes From Week 2

Terrible Game of the Day - Army 17, Kent State 14 (OT)
How bad is the Kent State defense? Last week, they gave up 44 points to a depleted Minnesota squad, and this week, they made an Army offense that required two overtimes to score in it's own spring game look like General Patton rolling across France. Granted, needing overtime to score 17 points seems a bit anemic, but when you consider the Black Knights could only muster two lousy field goals against Arkansas State, 17 points is a veritable blitzkrieg.

(Sound of dialing phone, ringing...Bobby Ross picks up to his Ludacris ringtone...)

Coach Ross? SystemsDude here. Just wanted to make sure you know you aren't coaching Georgia Tech anymore. Just wondering because you keep trying to run that single-back pro-set offense with a team that doesn't have the requisite talent for it...Let me tell you something. You are coaching a service academy team, which means you don't get top-rung athletes. But you are stocked with kids who are tough, smart, gutsy, and disciplined; exactly the kind of players that can compete if you build an offense geared to their strong points. Call Paul Johnson or Fisher DeBerry, they could give you a few pointers. Just make the damn call, or you'll be seeing me at the press conference in two years when you are accepting the East TreeStump State job.

We would have named the Rutgers seal-clubbing of Illinois here, but we simply couldn't watch it. Why? Mike Gottfried and Pam Ward are the worst carbon-based annoucing combination in the universe. Thankfully, ESPN stuck them on this fat, bunger-strecthing turd, making them easily avoidable. The game was forgettable, unlike the sweet Ramada Inn love you know those two made the night before; Ward's thick, meaty penis ensconsed snugly in Gottfried's semi-moist vagina. Oh, baby...

As Long as We Are on the Subject of Terrible Offenses...
Any bets on how long it will take Mississippi State to score an offensive point? Two games into the season, and they haven't touched the scoreboard yet. Tip for you Vegas types: There's already a lot of money on "not in my lifetime."

More importantly, let's not forget the connection between what is happening in Starkville and West Point right now. Mississippi State head coach Sylvester Croom spent a lot of years in the NFL as an offensive coordinator, working under none other than Bobby Ross in both San Diego and Detroit. Together, they created an offense that featured a lot of complex blocking schemes, big offensive line spreads, and (gasp) single-back pro-sets.

This was the offense that allowed Natrone Means (remember him?) to set a San Diego Charger team record by rushing for 1,350 yards in a single season. This was the offense that allowed Barry Sanders to rush for nearly 1,500 yards in Detroit in 1998.

Croom didn't stop there, he took that offense to Green Bay where he turned Ahman Green into a fantasy football stud, leading the Packers in rushing and receptions for two consecutive seasons. There's no denying that it was a very effective NFL offense.

The problem is he took that offense to Starkville, where it is has only been successful if you enjoy watching your quarterback writhing on the turf clutching a newly-shattered bone. NFL offenses require NFL talent to work, which for a host of reasons, Croom just doesn't have. The offensive line can't pull off the blocking schemes, which ever live body is carrying the football can't handle 50 touches a game, and thanks to "I'll still respect you in the morning" treatment Jackie Sherill gave Mississippi State, Croom's got no chance of recruiting that kind of talent.

MSU's latest quarterback: Listed as "probable" for the Tulane game.

Hell, who are we kidding? Croom can't even get recruits to read mail post-marked Starkville. For those of you not familiar with it's bucolic splendor, just start with what you mind's eye view of rural Mississippi is, and you've almost got it. Add the following to your view (if they aren't already there).

1) Starkville isn't even really a town. It's not even really a village. It's really just a wide spot in the road with a bar, a gas station, a post office, a Burger King, a blinking yellow light at "the intersection," and a university.

2) Starkville is the perfect place to find a guy in bib overalls and no shirt, wearing only one shoe. If you meet a guy like that, and you ask him "Did you lose a shoe," his answer is likely to be "Nope, I found one."

3) The parking lot of the aforementioned Burger King seems to be the center for the area's night life, judging by its Saturday night population of Trans Ams blaring Lynyrd Skynyrd through their open T-tops. Not to mention on Sunday morning, that parking lot looks like it has been hit by a spot-blizzard of empty beer cans.

Wisconsin: Closer to the South than You Might Think
Expect Camp Randall Stadium to be empty for their Big Ten opener, thanks to a new disciplinary policy cooked by the University of Wisconsin. It seems a bit excessive to ban public urination in a state where indoor plumbing wasn't available until the mid 1990's.

On a completely unrelated, yet very illustrative note, apparently it is legal in Wisconsin to have sex with dead people.

1 vs. 2...Because We Have To...
After all the hype, after all the talk, and after a full day of football and drinking, the nightcap of Ohio State at Texas proved to be more of an anti-climax. It became very apparent midway through the second quarter that the Buckeyes were going to win this game. And frankly, we were bored silly by it. So, I'm going to go back to bashing tOSU.

Is it just me, or does this guy sound like an Ohio State recruit? And since we brought it up, federal law mandates we mention this as well. The good news: Maurice Clarett was determined to be competent at something. The bad news: he's only competent to stand trial.

My Impending Trip to the Plasma Center:
While certainly not the only tale of woe, this one really serves as a microcosm of the swirling vortex of pain known as my college football betting weekend. The Iowa Hawkeyes were an 18-point favorite going into Syacuse, which I thought was a bit fat. Instead, the over/under was 39.5, which seemed easy enough, until Iowa QB Drew Tate went down with menstrual cramps or something like that. However, this game manages to get into the nirvana of overtime, great news for a guy whose got the over.

Juice and Cookies: Breakfast of Losers.

Iowa leads Syracuse 20-13 in the second overtime. Syracuse has the ball inside the Iowa five-yard line, and Iowa gives away not one, but two gift pass interference penalties, ultimately giving the Orange about 50 cracks at scoring from inside the two. Of course, they can't do it, leaving me literally 12 inches from solvency.

Here's to another Sunday morning spent bleeding into a bottle.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Bert Blyleven - Cool Even When He Fucks Up

I gotta write this fucking thing all over again, because I fucked it up.

Now, if we could get the fucking Hall of Fame to quit fucking around and induct this fucking guy...

Friday, September 08, 2006

Is An Intervention Needed at Texas Tech?

The following video clips kinda make you wonder. The first involves a clearly drunken Texas Tech fan hassling a everybody involved in a post-game interview.

Things we noticed about this video:

1) Is there something about fans of any team using any variant of "Raiders" as a mascot? The guy in the video is just a rural Texas version of this guy:

Despite the bay, Oakland is as intellectually dry as the Texas Panhandle. Forearm decor courtesy of Rob Halford.

2) How the hell can these guys be shocked that they are a) encountering drunks at a football game, b) encountering drunks in Texas, and c) encountering drunks at a football game in Texas? The video doesn't show their heads up their asses, so we're begging for explanations.

3) This was shot after the last-second Texas Tech victory over Oklahoma last season. How stupid do you have to be to try to shoot a post-game interview in the tunnel under the stands not five minutes after this controversial finish?

Now, on the the simply disturbing. The Bell Ringer is a long-standing tradition at Texas Tech. We would never disrespect tradition; it is one of the things that makes college football the best sporting experience one could possibly have. But, like all things, tradition must be observed with care, otherwise it turns into this...

Bringing new meaning to "Choking the Big 12."

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Sioux and PSU Football - Week 2

Week 2 - North Dakota @ Northern Iowa

In a nutshell:
Northern Iowa is a D-1AA team which came within five points of winning a national championship last season, they are ranked 3rd in the nation and, they have a notorious noisy dome-field advantage. In other words, this is exactly the sort of test the Sioux need in order to discover the direction the program needs for the transition to D-1AA to go. This is one the few times you will see the Sioux as an underdog this season, but UND is not without a chance to win this game.

The Series:
Northern Iowa leads the series, which began in the 1936 season, 25-12. The teams have not met since the 1978 season when the Panthers scored a 35-17 win over the Fighting Sioux in the UNI-Dome. UNI has won three straight games in the series.

The Coaches:
Northern Iowa head coach Mark Farley (Northern Iowa `86) begins his sixth year at the Panther helm with an overall mark of 45-20. Farley guided the Panthers to their first-ever appearance in the NCAA D-IAA national title game in 2005, losing to Appalachian State 21-16. Dale Lennon (UND '85) is beginning his eighth season with the Fighting Sioux. Lennon has compiled a 69-20 mark at UND, winning the NCAA D-II national championship in 2001.

The Full Story:
From The Grand Forks Herald - Be warned, the following text contains a high-amount of coaches' knob-shining of each other to avoid giving the other side the dreaded "locker room material," but if you filter that out...

Northern Iowa cleared a major hurdle last season, advancing to the NCAA Division I-AA title game after losing in the semifinal round five previous times.

“That was the one game that haunted us,” UNI coach Mark Farley said of the national semifinal. The Panthers didn't win the national title. Appalachian State downed the Panthers 21-16 to win the national Division I-AA championship. Now that UNI has reached a national title game, the Panthers are hoping they won't have to endure another long wait.

UNI returns a number of players from last year's national runner-up team, including quarterback Eric Sanders - a player being considered for the Walter Payton Award. The Panthers also have added two big-time Division I-A transfers - kick return specialist Terrell Allen (Pittsburgh) and running back Whitney Lewis
(USC). A return trip to the national title game, however, isn't on the UNI radar. Not yet, anyway.

“We don't talk about it,” Farley said. “We have a lot of work to do. We had a lot of errors last week in our first game. We had some typical first-game mistakes.”

This week, UNI's focus is on UND, which will play the Panthers on Saturday in the UNI Dome. The Sioux, a Division II power, will play a Division I-AA school for the first time since 1985, when Northern Arizona beat UND 41-0. UND's first game against a Division I-AA team in more than 20 years comes against one of the best in the country. UNI was 11-4 last season, getting a share of the Gateway Conference title and two impressive playoff road wins.

UND will be a decided underdog as UNI offers 63 scholarships - the Division I-AA maximum - while the Sioux allow the Division II limit of 36. Regardless, Farley isn't expecting a cakewalk because of the differences in classification or scholarships.

“They're most definitely a Division I-AA-style football team,” Farley said of the Sioux. “They're a very disciplined team and a well-coached team. They're much like ourselves in that they play hard and they're confident.”

UNI opened the 2006 season last week with a 48-7 win against Drake, a non-scholarship Division I-AA team. UNI's first play against Drake could say plenty about the Panthers' chances of returning to the playoffs and making a strong run at a national title. Allen returned the opening kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against Drake. At Pittsburgh last season, Allen returned a kickoff 97 yards for a touchdown against Louisville.

“There were a lot of good blocks along the way,” Farley said of Allen's return. But Allen's speed as a return specialist and at wide receiver gives the Panthers an advantage against nearly every team they'll face. Lewis is another speedster, one who spent three years in the Southern Cal program. Farley, however, isn't counting on the two transfers to immediately take UNI to the top.

“When you bring in a junior college player or a transfer, they still have to earn the right to play,” Farley said. “There are some pretty good players who have developed here over the years. A new player has to learn what his role is, and once he accepts and understands his role, he can grow as a player.”

UNI's marquee player - so far - is Sanders, one of 16 players who is being considered for the Walter Payton Award, which is presented annually to the top player in Division I-AA. Sanders threw for 2,929 yards and 23 touchdowns last season. His completed 68.3 percent of his passes. And he's playing behind an offensive line that started in last year's national title game. UND coach Dale Lennon said Sanders is the real deal.

“The key to their offense is Sanders,” Lennon said. “He's the complete package. The passes he completes aren't the low-percentage ones, either. He throws the ball downfield. And he has high mobility.”

UNI's offense behind Sanders was productive as it averaged 29.9 points in 15 games last season, which included a game against Iowa. The Hawkeyes beat UNI 45-21.

UNI plays at Iowa State this season, two weeks after UND pays a visit to Cedar Falls. By that time, UNI hopes to have a better understanding of what it needs to do to make another run at the playoffs.

“The hunger is still there,” Farley said.

The full PDF of the UND press release can be found here.

Week 2 - Penn State @ Notre Dame

If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, will Notre Dame still be over-hyped?

Probably. Notre Dame clearly got too much credit last week, being an eight-point favorite over a very good (despite Chan Gailey) Georgia Tech team, a spread any good gambler knew they weren't going to cover. That being said, one would expect the lads from Our Lady of Money to be the touchdown favorites that they are. For some reason, Vegas loves pedophile priests-in-training.

The Good:
PSU LB Dan Connor was named Big Ten Defensive player of the week; he was a one-man wrecking crew against Akron, racking up 13 tackles (3 for lost yardage), two sacks and a forced fumble. Cohorts Tim Shaw and uber-linebacker Paul Posluszny definitely are in mid-season form. In short, the Nitanny Lion defense is much more formidable than the Georgia Tech defense which stymied the Irish. and that's not taking away anything from the Yellow Jackets, they are a solid (despite Chan Gailey) defensive unit.

The Bad:
The Notre Dame offense; even ND's own QB Brady Quinn tacitly says it sucks. From USA Today:

Notre Dame quarterback Brady Quinn stood in a weight room under the south stands of Bobby Dodd Stadium late Saturday night irritated that the Irish had to
labor in a 14-10 victory against Georgia Tech.

Quinn, an early Heisman Trophy contender, was supposed to light up the scoreboard in the season opener, but the game was more grind than circus.

"This game could have been a lot more wide open if I had fulfilled my job," said Quinn, who completed 23 of 38 passes for 246 yards against Tech. "I was just a little bit off tonight. A lot of people can say it was the first game, but we've been
practicing for a while now."

There is some very subtle code in this statement. Quinn's stats aren't that bad, especially since he didn't throw any picks. Chances are his sister did more sucking that night (see The Ugly). The real key to this statement lies in his point-of-view change, where suddenly, the aim of the hairy eyeball goes from "I" to "we."

Of course, "we" comprises the two most pregnant letters possible in the English language; as you read this, "we" is in it's 58th hour of labor, delivering a litter of dropped passes, badly run routes, and missed blocking assignments. And the OB/GYN still hasn't given Quinn his epidural and episiotomy.

The two-touchdown game in the opener for an offense that averaged 36 points in 2005 and returned seven starters brought chants of "overrated" from the Georgia Tech stands. Despite the victory, Notre Dame dropped two spots this week in the USA TODAY Coaches' Poll. The Irish are tied for fifth with West Virginia after opening the season tied for third with Southern California.

Translation Straight From Brady Quinn:
Just because we have a "Special Olympians Offense" that could only bamboozle shitty defenses like Michigan, Southern Cal, and Stanford, every one of you media knob-shiners wants to rate Notre Dame high. So what if we deserved to lose all three of those games last year? Don't forget, we lost to Michigan State at home. Don't forget, we were helplessly on the recieving end of prison-love from Ohio State. And don't forget, thanks to my fucking sister, I get to have Thanksgiving dinner with A.J. Fucking Hawk, the one man who personalized my prison-rape analogy in the Fiesta Bowl. It would have been much worse, except his dick is really small, even for an Ohio State type.

The Ugly:
The Quinn's Mouth -Linebacker's Cock corollary.

Of course, since this is a home game for Our Lady of Money, it will only be available on the Notre-dame Butt-fuck Crack-whore network (NBC), which will be officially be re-named the Horseface-Quinn Network in 2008.

Straight guys would only hit this mess from behind. Regardless, that may be A.J. Hawk's preferred route of entry.

Cheap shots aside, Saturday's game should provide ample opportunity for yet another Quinn to spend a lot of quality time under another stud Big Ten linebacker. Expect some quality four-way action when Tim Shaw, Dan Connor, and Paul Posluszny all "meat" Brady "Bunch" Quinn.

So, it's up to you to say "Fuck Notre Dame." Somebody has to...Laura Quinn is already fucking everybody else.

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Terry Tate, Office Linebacker

Sure, it's an old bit. But we don't care. We love this guy. We want to be this guy. We wish our office had a guy like this. More importantly, we wish your office had a guy like this, because we know you are one of those guys who needs to get owned.

You can't bring that weak-ass shit up in this humpty-bumpty...

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Penn State Bans Alcohol - Sort of...

From the Associated Press:

STATE COLLEGE, Pa. (AP) - Hoping to cut down on underage drinking and create a safer post-game environment, Penn State is banning alcohol at parking lot tailgate parties during football games inside Beaver Stadium. Imbibing before
kickoff and after the final whistle, though is still OK.

Who the hell hangs out in the parking lot during the game? If you aren't in the stadium you watching the game somewhere. If there is a large crowd of people in the parking lot while the game is being played, they are likely Ohio State fans who are too drunk or stupid to know where they should be.

The policy change had been under discussion since the end of last football season, and one impetus was the increasing number of alcohol-related trips to the emergency room by students, university spokesman Bill Mahon said Friday.

Last year, 353 students went to the emergency room for treatment, up from 229 in 2004 and 175 the previous year, Mahon said.

"Home football Saturdays are among the heaviest days for emergency room visits," he said. Twenty-five students were taken to the hospital after Penn State's home win last October over Ohio State, which ended late at night.

See, Ohio State fans. I told you so.

This also has to do with the fact that State College's population often quadruples on a football Saturday.

Police services director Steve Shelow said many underage fans leave a game early because of too much alcohol - or they may not even make it into the stadium at all. Penn State got complaints from some fans and visitors. School officials met with borough and campus leaders "trying to figure out what we could to do bring a little more sanity" to game days, Mahon said.

"With increasing frequency ... a number of fans are coming to the tailgate areas with no intention of attending the football game. They have no interest in supporting the team inside the stadium and are simply utilizing the parking lot areas for group parties," athletic director Tim Curley said in a statement.

Yeah, it's called tailgating, and it's been happening for decades. By the way, did you hear we put on man on the moon?

Good luck, boys. Stopping drinking on a football Saturday is like trying to bail the ocean.

Monday, September 04, 2006

Notes From Week 1

Fastest Trip from Dawghouse to Penthouse:
Georgia kick returner Mikey Henderson, who cost the Dawgs six as he was hot-dogging a return for what was a sure touchdown, fumbling the ball out of the back of the end zone before he crossed the goal line.

Somebody got a crash-course in proper ball-carrying techniques.

So what does he do the next time he touches the ball? Just takes a punt 67-yards to the house. But the football gods got him; he popped a hamstring on the touchdown that counted and had to leave the game.

Can you hear the drums, Fernando?
I'm so jazzed on the first Saturday of the season the first time I hear a band cranking up their fight song, I get goosebumps. The band is what makes the atmosphere of college football, and the Michigan band belting out Led Zeppelin classic "Kashmir" was classic. Even if it had to happen in such a sub-par game.

But you can't deny the band is where the action is, whether its the Auburn band doing "Iron Man," any band playing "Lord Vader's Theme" from Star Wars, or the Stanford band playing free safety.

Announcer Gem of the Week:
Goes to ESPN's Chris Spielman, for bringing the Ed Orgeron (more on dement-Ed below)coaching mentality to youth football. During the slop-fest known as Vanderbilt at Michigan. Speilman, the prototypical cro-magnon linebacker-turned-announcer, engaged in a diatribe due to the sloppy pass catching of the recievers.

You don't want to know what this reminds me of...

"I coach youth football and when I teach those kids to catch the ball, I throw it at their faces so they learn real fast not to catch the ball against their bodies. Couple of balls in the face and they learn to get their hands up."

But, to be honest, there was another strong contender, ESPN's own waterhead baby, Mike Gottfried. While commenting on the Akron-Penn State game, which was played during a torrential rain storm, he actually said of Akron QB Luke Getsy "He (Getsy) gets a lot of practice handling wet balls."

Just how exactly do you know that, Mike? Never mind, I really don't want to know.

Holly Rowe Update:
I was so looking forward to USC at Arkansas, for no other reason than it put together two of my favorite things about college football; Holly Rowe and the completely insane Houston Nutt. Rowe is the only sideline reporter that doesn't ask vapid, pointless questions, any game with her on the sidelines will be on my TV. You guys can have the trowel-painted, boob-jobbed Erin Andrews. I'll take Holly any day.

But I could not believe that Nutt didn't have that stroke we've all been waiting for. I thought for sure that he would burst an artery during his spastic gyrations after the third crucial Razorback turnover. But it was not to be. The Trojans stick it to the Razorbacks once again, Nutt doesn't have a dramatic public meltdown, and Holly is just awesome...

Nutt attributes his new-found confidence to Enzyte.

By the way, do you have any idea how much completely juvenile snickering I'm doing anytime an announcer mentions "Booty" and "Trojan" in the same breath? No joke, one of the joys of college football is that it allows guys nudging 40 to spend a few fall Saturdays being completely juvenile, and "Booty," "Trojan," and "Nutt" comprises the Beavis and Butthead trifecta. It's not quite as good as the South Carolina Gamecocks having a quarterback with the same name as a porn star, but we'll take it.

College Football Sunday???
We'll take it. Especially since it's a rainy Sunday in TLOS-land, and ESPN is giving Mississppi head coach Ed Orgeron ample opportunity to display his wares to a national TV audience. Will he demolish a concrete wall with his bare hands? Will he dismember and eat an assisstant coach on the sideline? Will he rip the spine out of an official over a simple holding call? Your guess is as good as ours; that's the beauty of it.

I guess when you call all the defensive plays, rekindle excitement about Ole Miss football, and speak French with the voice of a Marine sergeant, you can sell any goddamn thing you want. Who really wants to risk the bone-crushing one would recieve from telling the coach he can't?

Coach O says: Buy a Hummer or I'll kill you.

Stuff we love about this commercial:

1) Sure, Oxford is a college town, but we associate Hummers with disposable income, which ain't exactly flowing in rural Mississippi.

2) The over-the-top hoe-down-ish quality of the background music.

3) The guy from the dealership isn't allowed in the same shot with the coach. Reasons for this become apparent when Coach O orders "Joe-Joe" to "Tell 'em about it," with or "I'll snap your neck like a fucking twig" oozing from his non-verbals.

Of course, the other part of this College Football Sunday involves the University of Kentucky. In and of itself, UK football isn't that interesting, but it always brings us back to memories of the most fun guy to watch ever in the history of college football, the "Pillsbury Throw Boy" Jared Lorenzen. How can you not love a 300-pound quarterback who could throw a football 70 yards from his knees?

The Battleship Lorenzen, or Why Is That Lineman Wearing #22?

We saw a bit of J. Load during a Giants pre-season game, Lorenzen looks as though he has the third string QB job nailed down. But the thing we noticed was the disparity between the stated weight from the Giants media guide (285 lbs.), and what he actually hefts (we're guessing more like 310).

This begs the question: What do footballers over three bills and swimsuit models have in common? They both like to lie about their weight. And it so completely pointless to do so. What difference does it make if a website says some lineman weighs 330 or 370? And what difference does it make if the guy actually weighs 330 or 370? A number in a media guide somehow helps you figure out this guy is literally twice your size and could squash you underfoot? Puh-leeze.

Sunday, September 03, 2006

Sioux and PSU Football: Week 1 - Hail State!

Week One - Penn State 34, Akron 16

The pre-game analysis, from The Nittany Notebook, the pre-eminent Penn State football blog.

Akron Zips Offense: The Zips have the potential to be one of the MAC’s best offenses this season. They are led by Luke Getsy at quarterback, a player many feel will be the next great MAC QB in the NFL. Getsy threw for 3455 yards and 23 TD’s last season. However, Getsy will have some new faces to throw to this season with the departure of his top targets - WR’s Domenik Hixon and Jason Montgomery and tailback Brett Biggs, who was also the Zips’ leading rusher last season.

I thought the praise for the Akron offense was a bit much. Let's not forget, this is the same offense that got shut out by a terrible Army last season. Granted, the torrential rain didn't help, but this offense just couldn't execute, rain or shine.

However, Getsy will have Jabari Arthur, a converted QB, back as his top target. Arthur made 30 catches last season including 8 in the Motor City Bowl against Memphis. Former Ohio State tailback Dennis Kennedy will take over as the starting running back. Kennedy had 45 carries for 150 yards last season. The entire offensive line returns intact from 2005 and is led by left tackle Tim Crouch.

Despite losing almost all of his top targets from a year ago, Getsy should be able to get the ball to his wideouts behind an offensive line that will get the benefit of facing two new starting defensive ends for Penn State in addition to an inexperienced secondary. Another player to keep an eye on is wide receiver David Harvey, a former Penn State recruit who played with Anthony Morelli in high school.

Akron Zips Defense: The Zips run a version of the 3-3-5 defense that should give Anthony Morelli a challenge as the Zips return nine starters on defense. Akron’s defense is led by mammoth defensive tackle Kiki Gonzalez and defensive end Jermaine Reid, who recorded 7 sacks in 2005. Kevin Grant, John Mackey and Brion Stokes bring a solid veteran presence to the linebacking corps. The only new starter the secondary returns intact with Dionte Henry possibly starting at strong safety over Chevin Pace.

Tony Hunt found the Akron defense to be rather accomodating.

Akron has a lot of talent in the secondary, including former West Virginia defensive back Davanzo Tate. While the Zips bring a lot of experience into the game, how will the defense perform when matched against Penn State superior athletes?

Well, we got the answer to that question 5 minutes into the first quarter, when Deion Butler roasted two members of that secondary for a long scoring strike.

Bottom Line: Penn State fans seem split with this game. There are those, like myself, who think that Penn State’s superior talent and athleticism will trump Akron’s experience, resulting in a blow out win. Then there are those who expect Penn State to start the season a little sluggish similiar to Temple and Boston College in 2003 and South Florida in 2005.

While Akron certainly presents a challenge for Penn State as they have a tremendous QB in Getsy who will get to throw the ball against an inexperienced Penn State secondary. Akron’s defense returns a lot of experienced players and if they get to Morelli early, the Zips could force Penn State to rely on the running game. While I can certainly see a game like last year’s with South Florida, I think this Penn State team will surprise some of the doubters and beat the Zips soundly. At least with a Joe Paterno coached team, we know he won’t have them looking past Akron with the Notre Dame game looming just a week later.

Prediction- Penn State 42, Akron 17

Leave it to ESPN to find a way to blow the coverage of a Penn State home opener. First of all, they were more than willing to cost me the first quarter of this game so they could show me the overtime finish between two D-IAA teams nobody cares about. Then, they gave me the worst booth crew ESPN can possibly offer, Pam Ward and Mike Gottfried.

Don't get me wrong here, we don't dislike Ward because of her hairy knuckles and the fact she has the forehead of a caveman. We dislike her because she has the football knowledge of a caveman. She spent three and a half hours basically parroting Gottfried's lame shit, except with a deeper voice.

Ward: Your football frightens and confuses her.

Speaking of Gottfried, is it just me, or has he found a way to become even more annoying? Not only is he still stupid, but he now delivers his verbal diarrhea with a slur that suggests a couple of scotches before the broadcast, or a warning sign of an impending stroke. If we see reports that he swept Ward into his arms and gave her a Namath-esque "I wanna kiss you," we know it was the scotch.

Serioulsy, we wouldn't want anything to happen to Gottfried, although losing his ability to speak has its appeal. But then, we would miss those Gottfried moments, the ones where it seems he has just grasped the signifcance of a fact twenty years after the rest of us have already taken it for granted. During this telecast, the Gott-ster spent at least two minutes telling a story about how Joe Paterno got a kid to come to Penn State by offering him a scholarship.

But that first Morelli TD pass to Deion Butler took away the grate of the voices of those two butt-loafs. Or the reverse in the 2nd quarter to A.J. Wallace. Or when The Poz lit up his first running back.

The Poz doesn't sleep; he waits...

In short, even in the rain, the doubters should be releived. The offense under Morelli played clean, mistake-free football, and showed that Deion Butler, Derrick Williams, and A.J Wallace give it quick strike capability. The defense was never really tested, but more importantly, Paul Posluszny looked every bit recovered from the torn knee ligament suffered in the Orange Bowl.

Next Week: at Notre Dame

Friday, September 01, 2006

College Football Drinking Games - You Know You Want To...

Just in time for your football Saturday enjoyment...

1) The College GameDay Drinking Game

From Kyle over at, it is only fitting to lead off with this one, since GameDay kicks off your Saturday alcohol-fest at 9 A.M.

And we deleted Rule #16, because I love Holly Rowe, and there will be no ill spoken of her on this blog, ever. And if you try to comment something negative about my Holly, I will come to your house and smash your face with a shovel.

What's not to love?

Rule No. 1: "My Friend."
At the beginning of the game, someone must be designated as "My Friend." The host will choose which participant is My Friend and My Friend must sit to the host's immediate right. Whenever Lee Corso says, "Not so fast, my friend!" everyone except "My Friend" must finish his drink as quickly as possible. Whichever participant takes the longest to finish his drink becomes the new "My Friend," because he followed Lee Corso's direction by being "not so fast."

The new "My Friend" and the old "My Friend" then trade seats. Whenever Lee Corso says, "Not so fast, my friend, ___________-style," "My Friend" must put on an appropriate item of team-specific headgear (if the "not so fast" was "[team name]-style"), speak in an appropriate fake accent (if the "not so fast" was "[cultural or geographic reference]-style"), or do an impersonation of an appropriate coach or player (if the "not so fast" was "[coach or player name]-style").

Rule No. 2: "The Runt."
Former "GameDay Final" panelist Trev Alberts landed himself in hot water by describing Ole Miss as "the runt of the litter." At the beginning of the game, in honor of Trev Alberts, someone must be designated as "The Runt." If there is one Ole Miss fan present, he automatically becomes "The Runt." If there are two or more Ole Miss fans present, the most diminutive Ole Miss fan present is "The Runt." If there are no Ole Miss fans present, the shortest fan of the school with the smallest enrollment is "The Runt." Anytime a "GameDay" panelist makes a comment so asinine that it makes you reflect back wistfully on Trev Alberts's competence and sanity, you must announce, "I miss Trev," at which point The Runt gets to choose between (a) punching you in the arm or (b) making you take two drinks.

Rule No. 3: "Meeeechigan"/"Warshington."
When Chris Fowler refers to Michigan as "Meeeechigan," everyone takes one drink. When Lee Corso refers to Washington as "Warshington" or to Washington State as "Warshington State," everyone takes one drink, except "My Friend." However, if "Meeeechigan" and "Warshington" are referred to in the same segment (if, for instance, the subject of the 1992 Rose Bowl comes up), "My Friend" must finish his drink.

Rule No. 4: "The Greatest Ever."
If any contemporary player, team, or game is declared "The Greatest _________ Ever," everyone takes one drink, except "The Runt," who gets to punch anyone who is a fan of the player or team, or who watched the game, being touted as "The Greatest Ever." If the discussion of "The Greatest Ever" involves an interview with Pete Carroll or a Southern Cal player, everyone must finish his drink, except "The Runt," who gets to punch everyone in the arm once.

Rule No. 5: "The Lean."
If, prior to predicting the outcome of a particular game, Chris Fowler, Lee Corso, or Kirk Herbstreit makes reference to a given statement being indicative of a "lean," everyone must lean 45 degrees to the right and take one drink. If anyone falls over while leaning, "My Friend" drinks what is left of his drink, because, hey, what are friends for?

Rule No. 6: Lou Holtz.
Anytime Lou Holtz mentions Notre Dame while discussing a game in which Notre Dame is not playing, everyone takes one drink. If he does it twice in the same segment, everyone takes two drinks, and so on until the end of the segment. If you try to speak and you find that you sound like Lou Holtz, stop drinking and have someone call you a cab.

Rule No. 7: Rece Davis.
When Rece Davis says a player has logged on and is "part of the gone network," everyone takes one drink. When Rece Davis makes a popular culture reference that you don't get, you must announce, "I don't get it!" then take three drinks. The first person to explain the reference to you takes one drink. All other players take two drinks.

Rule No. 8: Jim Donnan.
Anytime Jim Donnan appears on screen, all Georgia fans present must finish their drinks and all Florida, Georgia Tech, or Tennessee fans must raise their glasses in salute to Jim Donnan before taking one drink. Anyone who is not a Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, or Tennessee fan must listen to Jim Donnan's analysis and take as many drinks as necessary to feel as drunk as Jim Donnan sounds.

Rule No. 9: Shillin'.
Whenever Chris Fowler previews an E.S.P.N. noon game between middle-of-the-pack Big Ten teams before previewing a more significant game on C.B.S. or N.B.C., everyone takes one drink during each commercial break until the more important game on another network is discussed.

Rule No. 10: Mark May.
Whenever Mark May attributes a substantial degree of a team's success to its offensive line, everyone takes one drink. Whenever Mark May says something and Lou Holtz replies, "That's a good point," everyone takes one drink. Whenever Mark May says something and Lou Holtz replies, "That's a good point," then goes on to disagree with Mark May's point, everyone takes two drinks. Whenever Mark May predicts that Georgia will lose its next football game, all Georgia fans present must finish their drinks.

Rule No. 11: Desmond Howard.
If you can't understand what Desmond Howard is saying, take one drink. If you're pretty sure he's making a good point, despite your inability to understand what he is saying, take two drinks.

Rule No. 12: Kirk Herbstreit.
If your wife or girlfriend comments on how good looking Kirk Herbstreit is, you must take one drink and your wife or girlfriend must take two drinks. If your wife or girlfriend expounds upon this in greater detail (e.g., "I like it better when he's calling the Thursday night games with Mike Tirico, 'cause he looks so cute when he's wearing his glasses!"), you and your wife or girlfriend must each finish your drinks and you must ask, "Do any of you know a good therapist for couples' counseling?" If anyone knows a good therapist for couples' counseling, that person automatically becomes "My Friend" and "The Runt" gets to punch the new "My Friend" in the arm once.

Rule No. 13: Keith Jackson.
Whenever Chris Fowler sends the show out to Keith Jackson for a preview, everyone must do a Keith Jackson impersonation. The last person to say, "Whoa, Nellie!" must take one drink.

Rule No. 14: Brent Musburger.
Whenever Chris Fowler sends the show out to Brent Musburger for a preview, the rules of The Brent Musburger Drinking Game (see below) apply during the preview, with "My Friend" serving as "Gary My Man" and "The Runt" serving as "The Pardner."

Rule No. 15: Theme Song.
While the "College GameDay" theme song is playing, the first person to say, "I miss Bubba Sparxxx," must take one drink. Anyone who voices his disagreement must take one drink while "The Runt" punches him in the arm.

Rule No. 16: Deleted.
Kyle, you know how I feel about Holly Rowe. Next time I'm in Georgia, I'm gonna deck your ass.

Rule No. 17: Lee Corso.
If Lee Corso predicts that your team will win its next football game, you must finish your drink, pour yourself another drink, finish that drink, and let "The Runt" punch you in the arm nine times. If Lee Corso says something that makes sense to you, stop drinking immediately and never drink again.

2) The Brent Musburger Drinking Game

This one comes to us from the good people at I think you'll find yourself, much like I did, astonished that two games with such similarites would stem from southern football fans. Say what you will, southerners have perfected the art of inebriated football mania, and God bless them for it.

*Note: Partner is spelled "Pardner," because that's the way Brent says it.

Rule #1: "The Pardner"
A person is picked to be "the Pardner" at the beginning of the game. The first time Brent says "Pardner," "the Pardner" has to take 1 drink, and then picks someone else to be "the Pardner." The next time Brent says it, the new "Pardner" has to take 2 drinks, and then pick a new "Pardner," and so on and so on. "The Pardner" must wear a special "Pardner" hat.

Rule #2: "Folks"
Everyone drinks 1 when Brent says "Folks." However, if Brent says "Hold on Folks", everyone must drink once but the first person to drink has to finish their drink for not holding on.

Rule #3: "It's a foot race!"
Whenever Brent says "It's a foot race" everyone has to finish their drink. The first one done becomes "That Man" and gets to punch "the Pardner" in the arm.

Rule #4: "There's that man again"
After someone becomes "That Man," they get to give away 3 drinks to someone of their choosing the next time Brent says "That Man." That person then becomes "That Man." If Brent says "That Man" before "It's a footrace," "The Pardner" becomes "That Man." If "The Pardner" becomes "That Man" first, he gets to punch the new "That Man" in the arm twice after giving away the 3 drinks. There must also be a special hat for "That Man."

Rule #5: "Dr. Pepper"
Every time Brent says "Dr. Pepper" everyone has to yell out "I'M A PEPPER!" and take 2 drinks. Afterwards, each person must give out a satisfied "AAAAAAAHHHHH!" as if in a Dr. Pepper commercial. Anyone who fails to do so must drink again.

Rule #6: "Jack Arute"
Whenever Brent says "Our ol' buddy Jack Arute" everyone has to say "AROOOOOOT!" Last one to do it has to do a shot. If everyone does it simultaneously, "the Pardner" must do a shot.

Rule #7: "In the college game"
Whenever Brent says this little gem, everyone must say "Shut the **** up Brent", drink 2, and punch "the Pardner" in the arm.

Rule #8: Mentioning a Big 10 school during a Big 12 game
Whenever Brent does this, the first person who names the Big 10 school's mascot gets to make somebody drink for 11 seconds, since there's 11 schools in the Big 10.

Rule #9: Calling a touchdown before the player actually scores
For example, during an interception return, Brent says "It's a touchdown!" before the player actually scores. In this case, everyone must start drinking and continue to drink until the player actually does score. If by some odd event, the player does NOT score, everyone must finish their drink.

Rule #10: "Gary, my man"
Whenever Brent says "Gary, my man", "the Pardner" gets to choose someone to be "Gary." From that point on, that person must be referred to as "Gary, my man" until the game is over. "Gary, my man" gets to give away 5 drinks the rest of the game any time Brent says "Gary, my man." If someone talks to "Gary, my man" without calling him that, they have to do a shot. If there is someone playing the game actually named Gary, that person is automatically "Gary, my man."

Rule #11: "The Major"
If Brent has a pet nickname for one of the players during the game, for example calling Major Applewhite "The Major", everyone must drink 5 anytime Brent uses this nickname. However, "Gary, my man" does not drink but gets to give away 5 drinks since this person already has a nickname of their own.

Rule #12: "John Saunders"
The first time Brent quips with John Saunders, everyone must drink 1. The next time, everyone must drink 2, and so on and so on.

Rule #13: In the booth
Whenever there's a camera shot of Brent in the booth, the Pardner must make a toast to Brent. After the toast, everyone must drink 1.

Rule #14: "My Friend"
Every "Pardner" gets to choose a "Friend." The friend must always get up to get the Pardner another drink (since "the Pardner" will be doing quite a bit of that). However, when Brent utters "My Friend," "the Friend" gets to punch "the Pardner" in the arm for making him get up so much.

Penn State 2006: Mission Impossible?

In other words, can Penn State win another Big Ten title this year? To me, it all comes down to PSU at Ohio State on September 23rd.

Everybody has already annoited Ohio State as the best team in the country, which I find a bit puzzling. Sure, the Buckeyes still have that high-powered offensive trio of QB Troy Smith, RB Antonio Pittman, and WR Ted Ginn, Jr. but the defense has nine new starters. That's a whole lot of question marks for such an early pronouncement of supremacy.

In fact, it is entirely possible Ohio State could lose to both Penn State and Michigan, and both games are in Columbus. If enough of those defensive question marks for tOSU go south, the pounding running games of the Nittany Lions and the Wolverines could easily dominate.

Choke on that, Buckeyes. We're Penn State, and we're coming for you.

Sioux and PSU Football: One Down, One to Go

Sioux 28, Central Washington 14.

Whew! Thought we had a problem there for a minute.

Despite spotting Central Washington a quick 14, the Sioux strung together 28 unanswered points to win by the two touchdowns predicted by this very blog.

But, we have to admit, the sphincters started tighening in the second quarter when the Wildcats pulled in front 14-0. Was their QB Mike Reily really the best in the conference? Was this team really that improved? Was this self-doubt gone by the third quarter. Damn right...


Senior quarterback Reed Manke threw for four touchdowns and younger brother Rory made two critical second-half interceptions, as the Fighting Sioux rallied for a season-opening 28-14 win at Central Washington this afternoon.

Reed’s four touchdown passes were a career high, while Rory’s interceptions were the first of his career. The Sioux were trailing 14-0 late in the second half, when the offense started to click, first on a five play, 67-yard drive that was keyed by a pair of Weston Dressler receptions.

First, facing 3rd-and-nine, Reed Manke eluded pressure in the pocket, stepped up and found Dressler over the middle for a 24-yard gain to the Central Washington 21. Then one play later, Manke hit Dressler on a screen pass, and Dressler used a Lee Groeshl block to race up the sideline for the score, cutting the Wildcat lead in half.

UND took over for its next possession on it’s own 39 with 1:27 left on the clock in the second half, and three plays later Manke connected with freshman Brady Trenbeath for a 37-yard touchdown with exactly one minute left in the half.

The Sioux grabbed their first lead of the game with an impressive 11-play, 90-yard drive that covered more than five-and-a-half minutes of the third quarter. On second and goal from the Wildcat nine, Manke was forced to roll left, then avoided a sack before rolling back to the right, where he found Dressler at the end zone marker for his second TD catch of the game. Brandon Hellevang’s extra point was blocked, keeping the Sioux lead at 20-14.

On the ensuing Central Washington drive, Rory Manke intercepted a deflected pass and the Wildcat 25-yard line and returned it inside the five-yard line. Four plays later on fourth-and-goal from the one, Reed Manke spotted fullback Trent Christensen all alone in the end zone on a play-action pass. The Sioux were successful on the two-point try with Manke hitting Christensen again for a 28-14 lead to complete the comeback.

The Wildcats were poised to answer on their drive, marching inside the UND 40, but Rory Manke snuffed out another drive with his second straight interception. This time a leaping, one-handed grab at the back of his end zone.

Reed Manke completed 22-of-30 for 261 and four scores. His favorite target was Dressler, who had 10 receptions for 141 yards and two touchdowns. All were career highs for Dressler. Brandon Strouth was UND’s top rusher, going for 51 yards on 20 carries.

The Sioux defense had five sacks, two of which from senior nose tackle Adam Wolff.

The Sioux will face Northern Iowa in Cedar Falls, Iowa, in a non-conference game next Saturday.

Penn State:

We still have to wait for Saturday for the opener at Happy Valley (2:30 Central, ESPN2). Until then we are still getting our fix with retro video from last season, particulary QB Micheal Robinson absolutely shit-hammering Minnesota's Brandon Owen.

Remember, that's a quarterback knocking the taste out of the mouth of a strong safety, who also spent time as part of the Gopher's linebacking corps. Regardless, Robinson damn near made him a corpse.

Sometimes, retro video is like cocktails...sometimes, you can't have just one.

In the words of the immortal Jimi Hendrix, just "Wait Until Tomorrow."