College Football Coverage

Nebraska Blanks Arizona in the Holiday Bowl
Oklahoma Sooners Beat the Cardinal in Sun Bowl
Florida State Sends Bowden Out in Style with a Win
Boise State Edges TCU in the Fiesta Bowl
Leach-less Tech Holds off Michigan State for Alamo Bowl Win
Texas Loses McCoy Early and Lose a Shot at Number One

15 January 2010

Texas Loses McCoy Early and Lose a Shot at Number One

The second ranked Texas Longhorns, with high hopes of earning a national title, faced the number one ranked Alabama Crimson Tide in the BCS National Championship game and after just one quarter, you could tell that Texas would not win this game.  Why?  Because during the first quarter, their All-American quarterback Colt McCoy went down with a shoulder injury that took him out for the rest of the game.  Following his injury, the Longhorn offense seemed to deflate and they just couldn’t keep up with the Crimson Tide.

The Longhorns got the first points of the game when kicker Hunter Lawrence kicked an 18 yard field goal to make it 3-0 early.  Lawrence would make it 6-0 after he booted another field goal (42 yards) and the first quarter would end with the Longhorns up by six.  Alabama would get the first score of the second quarter when running back and Heisman Trophy winning running back Mark Ingram ran it in from two yards out to make it 7-6.  The Crimson Tide would get the next score of the game when running back Trent Richardson burst out for a 46 yard touchdown run to put the Tide up 14-6.  Alabama would make it 17-6 following a 26 yard field goal by Leigh Tiffin still in the second quarter.  The final score of the half came when Alabama’s Marcell Dareus intercepted Texas quarterback Garrett Gilbert and ran it back 28 yards to put Alabama up 24-6 at halftime.

The Longhorns would get the only score of the third quarter when wide receiver Jordan Shipley caught a 44 yard pass from Gilbert to make it 24-13.  It appeared as if the Longhorns were mounting a little bit of a comeback. Texas would get another touchdown early in the fourth quarter when Gilbert tossed another touchdown pass to Shipley and that would make it 24-21 (the two point conversion was successful) as the Longhorns got a bit closer to the Crimson Tide.  However, things were not meant to be for the Longhorns on this night as shortly after that score Alabama managed to score a touchdown on another run, this one yard by Ingram to make it 31-21.  Alabama would score again, the last score of the game, when Trent Richardson took it in from two yards out to make it 37-21 (the kick was missed).

Alabama is now the team that everyone will have to try to beat to take over the number one spot in 2010.  They will be returning a lot of their starters next season and should be able to continue their winning ways.  Texas will lose several key starters including McCoy and it may take a year or two for them to build back up to where they were at this season.

There were several potential NFL prospects that played in this game for both teams.  Here is a look at each of those prospects, how they did in this game and whether nor not they improved their draft stock in the game.

Rolando McClain-ILB-Alabama-McClain was, perhaps, the best player on the field in this game and increased his draft stock greatly in this game.  McClain did have a critical penalty at one point in the game but in the end, his play overshadowed that penalty.  He was all over the field making plays on defense and was a catalyst in their win.  He is a great leader on the field, is strong and very football “smart”.  He helped his draft stock out immensely.

Terrence Cody-DT-Alabama-The big man in the middle of the Crimson tide defense had himself a great game and really improved his draft stock.  He is a force in the middle and hard to move especially on running plays and the Longhorns didn’t run his way often.  He was tough for the Texas linemen to block and moves very well for a man of his size.  He did have one penalty but it didn’t cost the Crimson Tide that much.  He helped himself out a lot in this game.

Javier Arenas-CB-Alabama-Arenas followed up a good season with a decent BCS Championship game although he wasn’t the “outstanding” player that he had been earlier in the season.  He was put back on punt returns and at some points in the game the Longhorns kicked away from him.  He was also used on a blitz and proved that to be almost successful.  He had an interception in the game and was all over the field exhibiting his awareness and speed.  Arenas definitely helped himself out in this game and could end up moving up a lot after his performance.

Colin Peek-TE-Alabama-The Crimson Tide didn’t use their tight end that much in the passing game but one thing is sure about Peek and that is that he is an outstanding run blocker.  He wasn’t thrown to in this game but he proved that he can block and may have raised his draft stock as a result.  It will be interesting to see what happens to him leading up to the draft.

Justin Woodall-S-Alabama-Woodall is a big safety that plays the run very well and hits very hard.  He is always around the ball and hustles to make plays all over the field.  His coverage skills are a little lacking but with some good coaching in the NFL he has some promise.  While Woodall may not be one of the most sought after players at the position he should get some notice and could make his way onto an NFL team by playing special teams but he definitely made a name for himself in this game.

Sergio Kindle-OLB/DE-Texas-Kindle has had as good a year as most any linebacker/defensive end in college football and may not get some of the credit that he deserves for his play.  Kindle exhibited some strong skill in this game including the ability to drop from the defensive end position (or at times linebacker) to cover backs and tight ends going out into pass patterns.  Kindle is highly productive, a big time playmaker and a potential Brian Orakpo-like sack artist in the NFL (Orakpo even played for the Longhorns).  He did have an offsides penalty and an illegal hands to the face penalty in this game but overall he had a good strong game and raised his draft stock quite a bit.

Jordan Shipley-WR-Texas-Shipley didn’t have as good of a game as he might have had with McCoy in the game throwing the ball to him but he did catch two touchdown passes and was the most reliable receiver on the field.  Shipley did do well on punt returns at times and was kicked away from showing that the Crimson Tide was somewhat wary of his return ability.  He has deceptive speed and ran solid routes during this game but he was a victim of a poor passing game.  He may have helped himself out a little bit but would have helped himself out more had McCoy been able to play the whole game.

Lamarr Houston-DT-Texas-Of all the players featured in this game that could be drafted this offseason, Houston looked like the player who helped himself the most in this game.  Houston made plays at the line almost all the time and was in the Alabama backfield often.  He had a sack and displayed a lot of speed coming off the line.  The Longhorns even used him as a blocking back on offense (a la William Perry) and he did very good job with that.  He was very productive and a big time playmaker and he helped himself out a lot in this game.

Adam Ulatoski-OT-Texas-Ulatoski has quietly had a good season and he had a good game although he did have some problems blocking some of the Alabama’s faster linemen and linebackers.  He also got himself a penalty in this game but overall he is a solid prospect who moves around well but needs to work on his technique.  He may have helped himself out a little bit in this game but will have to rely on the scouting combine and other tests to improve his draft stock even more.

Colt McCoy-QB-Texas-McCoy didn’t get a chance to prove much because he was injured in the first quarter and failed to return.  One thing this did show was that scouts will be a little wary of McCoy because of this injury (termed as a stinger that didn’t allow him to feel his arm for the entire game) and this may downgrade him a little bit in the eyes of NFL scouts.

By Bryan Dietzler

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12 January 2010

Leach-less Tech Holds off Michigan State for Alamo Bowl Win

After a controversy filled week leading up to the Alamo Bowl, the Texas Tech Red Raiders managed to hold off the upstart Michigan State Spartans and beat them 41-31.  The Red Raiders didn’t seemingly suffer a letdown despite the fact that their former head coach, Mike Leach, had been fired shortly before the game and they came out and played like nothing was bothering them.

The Red Raiders were the first team to score as Baron Batch ran into the end zone from three yards out to make it 7-0.  The Spartans tied it up when Edwin Baker ran 46 yards for a touchdown late in the first quarter.  Early in the second quarter the Red Raiders added a field goal to put them up 10-7.  Texas Tech’s Taylor Potts tossed a two yard touchdown pass to Lyle Leong to put the Red Raiders up 17-7.  Michigan State kept it close after quarterback Kirk Cousins threw a 48 yard touchdown pass to Keshawn Martin to make it 17-14 still in favor of the Red Raiders.  Texas Tech would add a 38 yard field goal by kicker Matt Williams to make it 20-14.

In the second half, the Spartans scored first when Keith Nichol burst into the end zone from seven yards out to put Michigan State up 21-20.  The Red Raiders made it 27-21 when Potts hit Jacoby Franks for a 14 yard touchdown pass for their first score of the half.  Michigan State’s Keshawn Martin hit Blair White on an eight yard touchdown pass to make it 28-21 and put the Spartans back in the lead. 

In the fourth quarter, Michigan State kicker Brett Swenson kicked a 44 yard field goal to increase the Spartan’s lead to 31-21.  The Red Raiders made it 31-28 when Detron Lewis snagged an 11 yard touchdown pass from Stephen Sheffield to make it 35-31 still in the fourth quarter.  The Red Raiders would get the last score of the game when Baron Batch ran it into the end zone from 13 yards out to make it 41-31.  That is how the game would end.

The Red Raiders did much better than many thought that they would because of the turbulent few days leading up to their game.  They managed to preserve through all of the distractions and win this game.

There were a few players that will be NFL Draft prospects who played in this game.  Here is a quick look at a few of those players and some insight into whether or not they improved their draft stock in this game.

Brandon Carter-OG-Texas Tech-Carter had a decent game but didn’t do anything spectacular.  He does have decent mobility and is a fine run blocker but he had some trouble handling quicker interior linemen on pass rushes and needs to work on his footwork more.  He may have upped his draft stock a little bit in this game but didn’t make a big impact.

Jamaar Wall-CB-Texas Tech-Wall had a good but not a great game against the Spartans and may not have helped his draft stock that much in this game.  He missed a couple of assignments in pass defense and doesn’t look good in run support at times.  He might have hurt his draft stock some in this game.

Blair White-WR-Michigan State-White had a pretty decent game for the Spartans catching a touchdown pass but he was the victim of some problems at quarterback for the Spartans.  White is fast and runs decent routes and can also block in the running game which is important for today’s wide receivers.  With a little bit of polish White could become a second wide receiver in the NFL depending on where he lands.  He definitely helped himself out in this game.

By Bryan Dietzler

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12 January 2010

Boise State Edges TCU in the Fiesta Bowl

After losing to TCU in the Poinsettia Bowl last season the Boise State Broncos were hungry for a rematch against their 2009 rival and to prove to the country that they are a true BCS contender. This game could have gone either way as some thought that it would be a blowout by either team but in the end, the Broncos held off the Horned Frogs and remained a perfect 14-0 on the season.  Boise State may not get a shot at the number one ranking this season but after being consistent for the past few seasons, they should have earned the respect that they deserve.

The Broncos were the first team to score as Brandyn Thompson intercepted an Andy Dalton pass and ran it back 51 yards for a touchdown to put the Broncos up by seven.  Boise State would add a 40 yard field goal by kicker Kyle Brotzman to make it 10-0 in the second quarter.  TCU would make it 10-7 when Curtis Clay caught a 30 yard pass from Dalton towards the end of the first half.  The score at halftime was 10-7.

TCU was the first team to score in the second half as kicker Ross Evans connected on a 29 yard field goal to make it 10-10.  Boise State would get the final score of the game when Doug Martin took it in from two yards to make it 17-10.  The Broncos managed to stave off a last ditch effort by the Horned Frogs to come back and tie the game and ended up winning 17-10.

Boise State has been a consistent winner for the past few years and deserves some respect as does TCU a team that can be considered a smaller school program that doesn’t really get a lot of notice from college football experts and coaches.  Look for both of these schools to continue to be part of the conversation as a top ten school and a BCS possibility for several more seasons.

Both teams had some NFL draft eligible talent playing in this game and we got a chance to take a look at these players up close.  Here is a quick look at some of the guys who will be part of the 2010 NFL draft, how they looked and whether or not they improved their draft stock in their bowl game.

Kyle Wilson-CB-Boise State-Wilson had an impressive game both playing cornerback and returning punts.  He averaged almost ten yards on punt returns while batting balls down at times.  The Horned Frogs didn’t throw to his way too often during the game.  He should have raised his draft stock with this game.

Jerry Hughes-OLB-TCU-Hughes had some difficulty at first during this game and was even caught going offsides at one point but he did a pretty good job of keeping containment on his side of the field when Boise State chose to run the ball.  Hughes is a power rusher when he is called upon to rush the passer and he can get up the field quickly.  He got good pressure on the quarterback most of the time and improved himself in the eyes of any NFL scouts that were watching.

Daryl Washington-ILB-TCU-Washington played pretty well but quietly in this game but appears to be the kind of guy that could make some NFL clubs very interested in his ability.  He does get blocked easily at times and can be taken out of the play but he tackles with a lot of power and authority and plays from sideline to sideline.  He probably improved his draft stock in this game.

By Bryan Dietzler

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8 January 2010

Florida State Sends Bowden Out in Style with a Win

Gator Bowl:

The Florida State Seminoles and the West Virginia Mountaineers met in the 2010 Gator Bowl and on its face it promised to be a great game with a lot of potential for scoring.  This was to be the last game that Seminole’s head coach Bobby Bowden would coach after coaching in the college ranks for many years.  It would be assured that his team would want to send him out on top and they did do that by beating the Mountaineers 33-21.

Scoring started out in the first quarter and West Virginia struck first when quarterback Jarrett Brown (who was later injured and taken out of the game) rushed 32 yards into the end zone to put the Mountaineers up by seven.  The Seminoles would add three points after the West Virginia score on a 26 yard field goal by kicker Dustin Hopkins.  The Mountaineers would get the next score of the game when running back Noel Devine rushed one yard for a touchdown to put the Mountaineers up 14-3.  At this point it appeared as if the Mountaineers would run away with the game.

The Seminoles started off the scoring in the second quarter as Jermaine Thomas ran 12 yards into the end zone to make it 14-10.  Florida State would score again following a 42 yard field goal by kicker Dustin Hopkins to make it 14-13.  That is how the first half would end.

The Seminoles came out in the third quarter and scored three on a 22 yard Hopkins field goal to put Florida State up 16-14.  Florida State would score again, this time on a 19 yard run by Jermaine Thomas to make it 23-14.  In the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers would score one more time (their final score of the game) when Ryan Clark ran into the end zone five yards for a touchdown making it 23-21.  Florida State would get another touchdown when EJ Manuel ran two yards for a touchdown.  This made it 30-21.  The Seminoles would make it 33-21 after a 37 yard Hopkins field goal.  The game would end with Florida State winning 33-21.

As mentioned, it was Florida State head coach Bobby Bowden’s last game and his team played pretty well against a decent Mountaineer team.  Both teams have a lot of good younger talent that could help keep them winning in 2010 and get them back to a bowl game again next year.

There were a few future NFL prospects that played in this game.  Here is a quick look at some of those prospects and some insight into how well they played and how it might affect their draft stock.

Patrick Robinson-CB-Florida State-Robinson had a pretty good game and was active in the secondary.  He always seemed to be around the ball when they ran to and threw to his side and he made a couple of plays on receivers that helped the defense out.  He should have raised his value in the draft.

Willie Young-OLB-Florida State-Young did not play in this game.

Dakota Watson-OLB-Florida State-Watson was pretty active in this game and had five total tackles.  Watson gets around the field well and handles blockers with ease at times.  He did over pursue on a couple of plays and missed a couple of tackles but he has good speed and good range.  He should have improved his draft stock a little in this game.

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5 January 2010

Oklahoma Sooners Beat the Cardinal in Sun Bowl

The Oklahoma Sooners, after having a dismal season with injuries to their quarterback (Sam Bradford) and tight end (Jermaine Gresham) ended up finishing the 2009 season on a high note with a 31-27 defeat of Stanford in the Sun Bowl.  This game was a good one as both teams kept it close for the entire game but in the end head coach Bob Stoops and his group of players beat Stanford head coach Jim Harbaugh and a solid Stanford team.

Scoring started out in the first quarter and Oklahoma got the first score of the game when quarterback Landry Jones hit Ryan Broyles on a 30 yard touchdown pass to make it 7-0 in Oklahoma’s favor.  Stanford’s Owen Marecic made it 7-7 on a one yard touchdown run still in the first quarter.  The Sooners would go ahead 10-7 when kicker Patrick O’Hara nailed a 28 yard field goal to end the first quarter.  The Cardinal would get the first score of the second quarter when running back (and Heisman Trophy finalist) Toby Gerhart to make it 14-10 in Stanford’s favor.  Broyles caught another touchdown pass from Jones, this one 13 yards to make it 17-14 still in the second quarter.  Stanford would get the next two scores of the game, one a fumble recovery in the end zone by Gerhart to make it 21-17 and another when kicker Nate Whitaker booted a 35 yard field goal to make it 24-17 going into halftime.

The Sooner were the first to score in the second half and they made it 24-24 when Broyles caught his third touchdown pass of the game, this one a six yard pass from Landry.  Oklahoma would go up 31-24 when DeMarco Murray got the ball in the end zone on a one yard run.  The Cardinal would make it 31-27 following a 21 yard Whitaker field goal but their late rally fell short and the Sooners won the game.

There were several potential 2010 NFL Draft prospects playing in this game and they had some good moments and bad moments.  Here is a quick look at how some of the prospects did and whether or not they improved their draft stock playing in this game.

Gerald McCoy-DT-Oklahoma (Junior) McCoy had a good game to start but fell off a little bit as the game progressed and then got injured.  McCoy gets good pressure up the middle most of the time even if he is double teamed but Stanford offensive linemen were able to move him at times when they ran the ball.  McCoy has traditionally been good against the run in the past but he didn’t look so good in this game.  There were a few times he got washed out plays and he did get hurt but it was nothing serious.  His stock might have dropped a little as a result of his play in this game.

Jeremy Beal-DE-Oklahoma (Junior) Beal came into the game with 11 sacks and was one of the top defenders on this Oklahoma squad.   He was getting pushed around at times but Stanford started to shy away from running to his side of the line at points in the game.  He gets a good up field rush and appeared to have some power as well.  He needs to have a good combine to raise his draft stock.

Trent Williams-OL-Oklahoma-Williams got shaken up a little bit in the first quarter but when he was in he managed to get good leverage on opposing defenders and does block pretty well when the team is running the ball.  He appears to be a little light too and may not stand up well against typical NFL defensive linemen.  Let’s see how he does in the combine.

Keenan Clayton-LB-Oklahoma-The biggest problem with Clayton was that he kept on missing out on making plays and was easily washed out of the action.  The play that stood out the most happened early in the second quarter when Gerhart just blew right by him leaving him standing there wondering what was going on.  Clayton may have hurt any chance that he had of being drafted and may need to find his way onto an NFL team as a free agent.

Clinton Snyder-LB-Stanford-Snyder didn’t see any action in this game.

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3 January 2010

Nebraska Blanks Arizona in the Holiday Bowl

The Nebraska Cornhuskers, remembered for their near victory over the Texas Longhorns just a few weeks ago took the Holiday Bowl by storm and defeated the Arizona Wildcats 33-0.  Nebraska dominated on both sides of ball and several of their stars really put on a show for NFL scouts.

Scoring started in the first quarter following an interception by Nebraska safety Matt O’Hanlon as quarterback Zac Lee ran four yards into the end zone to put Nebraska up by seven.  Kicker Alex Henry would add a field goal (47 yards) to put the Cornhuskers up by 10 in the first quarter.  Nebraska made it 17-0 following a five yard run by running back Rex Burkhead.  Nebraska would score again when Henry kicked a 50 yard field goal to make it 20-0 still in the second quarter.  Henry would close out the scoring in the half by kicking a 41 yard field goal to put Nebraska up 23-0 at the end of the half.

The Cornhuskers would add another field goal by Henry (22 yards) to make it 26-0.  Nebraska would tack on a touchdown, their final score of the game, when Lee hit Niles Paul on a 74 yard touchdown pass.  The score made it 33-0 and that is how the game would end.

The Cornhuskers defense was as tough as it has been all season in this game and shutting out the Wildcats showed the rest of college football nation just how good they were.  Leading this defense was perennial All-American Ndamukong Suh who proved to many, including NFL scouts, just how good he is and what kind of impact he could have in the NFL.

Here is a quick look at how some of the NFL prospects did in the Holiday Bowl and whether or not they may have improved their draft stock.

Ndamukong Suh-DT-Nebraska-Suh, a Heisman Trophy finalist, played a solid game minus a roughing the passer penalty he managed to get in the game.  Suh was double teamed for most of the game but managed those double teams pretty well and put plenty of pressure on the quarterback while helping to stuff the Wildcat’s running game.  He is definitely the real deal.

Matt O’Hanlon-Safety-Nebraska-O’Hanlon helped the Sooners gain an early advantage with his interception to start the game and he is a hard hitting safety who plays all over the field.  No matter where they play is at O’Hanlon seems to be everywhere on the field and he greatly improved his draft stock in this game.

Larry Asante-Safety-Nebraska-Asante seemed to disappear at times in this game but had some tackles and played in coverage real well.  He is not a strong run supporter and can get blocked out of plays pretty easily.  He needs to do some more to help improve his positioning in the draft.

Earl Mitchell-DT-Arizona-Mitchell didn’t have a strong game by any means and he was taken out of the game often by the strong play of the Cornhuskers offensive line.  Mitchell does do well against the run however but his pass rushing skills aren’t as good as you would want in a top end defensive tackle.  He might end up being a later round pick or a free agent at this point.

By Bryan Dietzler

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