Sunday, December 8, 2013

Top Ten Before Bowl Play

1) Florida State Seminoles (beat No. 20 Duke Blue Devils 45-7 to win ACC Title)
Duke was able to force Jameis Winston into two interceptions, but Florida State just had superior players in this game and was able to completely dominate the Blue Devils. Winston was able to make up for the turnovers by throwing for three touchdowns and 330 yards. Kelvin Benjamin continues to emerge as one of the biggest home run threats in college football. He was the recipient of five passes and two touchdowns. Florida State ran the ball at will against Duke, averaging 5.6 yards per carry and tacking on another three touchdowns to the total. Their defense is just as efficient as their offense. They held Duke to 239 yards and forced them into three turnovers and seven points. They have allowed a league leading 10.7 points per game, and only two teams have been able to score more than 14 points on them all season. Their defense matches up very well against their presumed championship foe, Auburn.

2) Auburn Tigers (beat No. 5 Missouri Tigers 59-42 to win SEC Title)
As usual, the SEC stole the show with an incredible offensive explosion by both teams. Auburn fed running back Tre Mason a grueling 46 times, but he turned that into 303 yards and 4 touchdowns, often shredding the Missouri defense at will. For the second straight game, Auburn's offensive line was able to generate a dominant effort and opened up running lanes for Mason and Nick Marshall all night. Marshall ran for 101 yards himself, often not even getting touched until he had reached the linebackers. Auburn is going to have to rely on its offense to carry them against Florida State, because their defense gets torched on a regular basis. Missouri was almost as effective on the ground, running for 230 yards on an average of 6.8 yards. Their secondary was also very leaky, allowing James Franklin to throw for 303 yards and three touchdowns. Their cornerbacks were almost helpless against Dorial Green-Beckham. Auburn is going to have to shore up their defense before the title game if they want to have a shot at Florida State.

3) Alabama Crimson Tide (no game this week)

4) Stanford Cardinal (beat No. 11 Arizona State Sundevils 38-14 to win Pac-12 Title)
Stanford won this game in a similar fashion to the regular season match they played. Tyler Gaffney carried the ball 22 times for 133 yards and three touchdowns as Stanford ran for a total of 240 yards and was able to control the tempo of the game from start to finish. The biggest difference had to be how Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan converted 12 completions into 277 yards. Stanford's receivers were home run threats all night, although Hogan did only throw for one touchdown. Defensively, Stanford played a much better game than I anticipated them to against an Arizona State team with a very powerful aerial attack. The Cardinal limited opposing quarterback Taylor Kelly to only 173 yards on 17 completions, well below what he has been used to all season long. Stanford was also very strong against the run, allowing the Sun Devils to gain only 138 yards and never really allowing too much running room. Stanford is in good shape going into the Rose Bowl.

5) Michigan State Spartans (beat No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes 34-24 to win B1G Title)
The Spartans rose well above the challenge that was presented to them and will be rewarded with a Rose Bowl berth. Michigan State's defense did a great job of only allowing the Buckeyes to score 24 points despite Ohio State still racking up almost 400 yards of offense. The cornerbacks did a fantastic job of limiting Braxton through the air, forcing Ohio State to run the ball even when a pass was more warranted. Their defensive line and linebackers had their hands full all day, but they were again able to limit the big explosive plays of Ohio State. Offensively, the Spartans were the biggest surprise as Connor Cook picked apart the Ohio State secondary all night to the tune of 304 yards, three touchdowns and a pick. Jeremy Langford also found a lot of success running the ball late in the game when it mattered the most. Hats off the Michigan State, who was intimidated and outcoached one of the best in the country.

6) Baylor Bears (beat No. 25 Texas Longhorns 30-10 to clinch Big 12 Title)
With Oklahoma State losing to their instate rivals earlier in the day, this game basically became a championship game. This game was tied at 3 until the start of the second half when Baylor was able to open up their offense and move the ball much more effectively against Texas. Bryce Petty threw for two touchdowns and Glasco Martin ran for another touchdown to put this game well out of reach. Baylor played a great game defensively as well, holding quarterback Case McCoy to a putrid 54 yards on 16 completions. Texas found more success on the ground, but it was not even close to enough to keep them in the game against the Bears. Baylor will now be rewarded with their first BCS Bowl berth with an invite to the Fiesta Bowl, although their opponent could be a bit lackluster this year.

7) Ohio State Buckeyes (lost 24-34 to No. 10 Michigan State Spartans)
Urban Meyer has to make changes on the defensive front this year. It has been a liability all year long and Michigan State was finally the team to capitalize on it. The secondary simply could never make a big play when they had to, save an interception by CJ Barnett. The run defense played very well at the beginning of the game, with Shazier assuming his normal role as the enforcer, but by the end of the game they were getting run over. Offensively, Braxton struggled to throw the ball, as he only completed 8 of 23 passes for 101 yards and touchdown. None of his receivers had much success getting separation either, but the offensive line was able to get a lot of push and open up room for Braxton and Carlos Hyde. They combined for 260 yards against a defensive front that had been allowing a quarter of that. This was a crushing loss, but Ohio State will still probably get an BCS at large bid against Clemson at the Orange Bowl which could turn into a real shootout.

8) South Carolina Gamecocks (no game this week)

9) Missouri Tigers (lost 42-59 to No. 3 Auburn Tigers)
I had no idea that the Missouri front seven was going to get torn apart like that against the run. They had done very well all year long against some great rushing threats and had performed admirably, but this time they simply couldn't do anything. Missouri tried to challenge Marshall to throw early, but after he showed that he was up to the challenge they had to honor that and not commit as many men to the run. The results are obvious. Offensively, Mizzou performed about as well as I though they were capable of, and it really should have been enough if their defense was any bit competent. Dorial Green-Beckham is going to be a great receiver as a junior next year and whenever he enters the pros. He has insane body control and a fantastic burst after the catch despite towering at 6'6. James Franklin looks like he is back to his early season, non-injured form. They should match up favorably against whomever they draw in their bowl game.

10) Oregon Ducks (no game this week)

No comments:

Post a Comment