My College Football Saturday

Sports No Comment

I’ve had the Big Ten Network for two weeks now but Verizon either chooses to only show one game or can’t handle the overflow channels. I expected to receive the national game: Ohio St/Troy but instead got the Purdue/Central Michigan game. I would have rather have had the Penn State game but out of all the games on BTN at noon yesterday, the Purdue one wound up being the best. A fantastic finish as CMU scored with 1:30 left in the 4th and decided to go for 2 (and the win?) and were successful. Purdue didn’t waste anytime and got their own TD 20 seconds later. They also went for 2 to go up 7. After both scores I thought they had left too much time on the clock. CMU threw a pick with 37 seconds left to give Purdue the win.

Purdue/CMU Highlights
Hey BTN, I like that you have the highlights on the site. I also like that you give a useful link. But could you start with some larger video and then figure out how to let me embed the clip? I’m curious to see how long the videos stay active.

BTN was nice enough to replay the Penn State/Temple game this morning. I was able to speed through it rather quickly. I was curious if the game would be edited to fit into their schedule, it was scheduled to be three hours long. It was edited, but I’m not sure who did the editing. A chunk was pulled out of the 3rd quarter. I realized because the score jumped from 31-3 to 38-3. I thought I’d gone crazy and forgotten the score that got it to 38. I jumped back and saw the score jump back to 31 with no one reaching the end zone. It wasn’t like there was non-stop action and they couldn’t edit around the scoring. The last points were scored with 13:57 left in the 4th. It can’t take that much effort. Just glance at the scoring summary.

Penn State/Temple HighlightsPenn State Game Notes (The game notes are my second favorite thing after every PSU game, behind the Football Story. All sorts of random facts about the game.)

The afternoon game I was most looking forward too, Florida/Tennessee, wound up not being close. The top game wound up being Virginia Tech/North Carolina. I was shocked to see UNC up 17-3 midway through the 3rd. VT came back to go up 20-17. One thing I noticed a few defenses doing yesterday was intercepting the ball on fourth down. Do they not realize they will get the ball at the line of scrimmage if they just let it drop? The biggest offender was VT. UNC got the ball back at their own 10 with 3 minutes to go. On 4th & 15 from the 5, Mike Paulus (UNC QB) was picked off by VT. If that ball hits the ground, VT has the ball at the 5 with about 1:20 left. The clock is all that matters there, they are just going to knell. Instead Stephan Virgil intercepts the ball at the 30. He manages to run it back to the 16 and nearly fumbles at the end of the play. The play had to be reviewed. There wasn’t enough to show that it was a fumble, so VT kept the ball. Had the refs ruled it a fumbled on the field, I don’t think the replay would have overturned that and UNC would have had a fresh set of downs and another shot. One concern I had for VT is that Tyrod Taylor went down in the game. He says he’ll be ready for Nebraska next week.

I got into the night games while they were into the second half. The Phillies were in a tight game against the Marlins and I fired up mlb.tv to root for the Braves over the Mets. Thing fell right for the Phils as they regained 1st in the NL East over the Mets and their magic number for the playoffs over the Brewers is 5.

Here was the lineup for the night games available to me:
ABC: Georgia @ Arizona St
ESPN: LSU @ Auburn
ESPN2: Wake Forest @ Florida St
ESPNU: Fresno St @ Toledo
BTN: Ball State @ Indiana
CSN: Rice @ Texas
For the sake of being complete, FCS Pacific: Portland St @ Washington St (the only one on the list not in HD)
I’ll save you from looking into what was on ESPN360, I haven’t put that on yet this season.

Stressful, no doubt. I need to start investing in my wall of TVs. I thought it was odd for Georgia/Arizona St to get the ABC coverage. The game of the night was LSU/Auburn.

Georgia/Arizona St – This game felt like ASU was just a play away from making it interesting. That play never happened so this game never held my attention too long. Highlights

LSU/Auburn – These two teams just seemed to be a level above all the others. A whole lot more scoring than I had expected. Once LSU went ahead on that halfback pass I didn’t think Auburn had enough to get any more points. They managed to get another TD. LSU came back and scored a TD with a minute left to get the win. I don’t think you can drop Auburn out of the top 10 after that loss. Although I did like Kirk suggesting that Penn State deserved that #10 ranking. I’m in no hurry to get to the top 10, we have some big games to go. Talk to me if we are still unbeaten after Wisconsin. Highlights

Wake Forest/Florida St – If you like defensive battles and FG misses, this was for you. With the other options available, I only focused on this game for the last two minutes. I only got to see Sam Swank’s (Wake Forest K) last FG, which he made to go 4/7 on the day. The poor announcers covered the 3-2 Auburn/Mississippi St game last week. They don’t remember what a TD looked like. The FSU loss put JoePa back into the coaching wins lead. Highlights

Fresno St/Toledo – For me, this wound up being the game of the night. Toledo had a 4-point lead at the half, but that was just the warm up half. The D didn’t come out for the 2nd half. I thought Fresno St had figured things out as they were up 34-24 at the end of the 3rd. Fresno St was up 41-31 when Toledo scored a TD with 3 minutes left. Toledo went on to recover the on-side kick and hit a FG to send the game to OT. I thought OT would go on forever except that in OT #2 Toledo decided the game was ending there. After scoring to make it 55-54 they decided to go for 2. Fresno St stopped them for the win. Highlights

ESPNU has a lot of good match-ups yesterday: UCF-BC, USF/FIU (which was a lot closer than anyone thought), and the Fresno St/Toledo game. I also find I learn a lot more random facts from watching games on ESPNU. Earlier in the season I watched Connecticut/Temple. During the game they brought in a Temple student who was a sports reporter for the school paper. He obviously knows the program and is able to give insight into the team that the announcers can’t. That isn’t a shot at the announcers, they don’t spend everyday following the Owls. My favorite fact of yesterday came while they were discussing the Toledo Stadium. First, its called the Glass Bowl, which is an excellent name to begin with. Outside of the stadium there is a rocket, apparently they actually got it from the Army. The rocket is aimed at the 50 yard line of Bowling Green’s stadium, which is their rival and only 20 miles away. I could only find information about it at Wikipedia and there are a few pictures if you search flickr. Is there a more intense rivalry? They have a rocket pointed at their stadium!

Does anyone wonder why I don’t have too much desire to watch the NFL all day on Sunday? A College Football Saturday liveblog may be in order someday, but I fear it will just be constant complaining about officials and commercials. I’d also be slower on the remote if I have to type too.

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