28 November 2010

Upon Further Review: The Gift

All charitable donations must be accounted for on all tax forms including the gift that was handed to the yewts on saturday. Apparently Christmas was rescheduled and arrived early for Whittingham and the yewts who were simply handed the W so conveniently wrapped in holiday paper and a red bow saturday. This year's Holy War matchup was yet another epic nail biter on paper and possibly anything but holy or even a pure win. It was the 12th time of 14 meetings where the outcome was by a touchdown or less. In this case possibly even decided in a replay booth and controversial call rather than what actually occurred on the field. Unfortunately, never overturned one can still clearly see Bradley's knee is clearly down and change of possession has not occurred.

Saturday's contest began with even the coin toss being delayed with a pre-game scuffle and even ended with more scraps having to be broken up by team north's coaching staff. In fact, during post game interviews where Bronco stood yewt fans per Jay Drews blog threw snow and ice while hurling derogatory slurs. Yeah. Way to stay classy yewts.

Heaps may have been a freshman academically but was clearly the more poised and composed like a true senior quarterback than his two couterparts combined. Jake finished the day 22 of 37 for 228 yards 1 TD and 1 INT. On the other sidelines Wynn was only 13 of 30 and between their two quarterback system the yewts together threw for 3 INTs on the day.

The jerseys in blue played their hearts out like a band of brothers. Putnam fired up the defensive engines with the first play sacking Wynn untouched forcing the yewts into a 2nd and 19. In the first half the jerseys in blue held Eddie Wide on 7 attempts to only 11 yards. Yes, thats 1.6 per carry. Asiata didn't find much success either on his mere 3 attempts for only 7 yards. The cougs held the yewts in the half to 6 possessions with 5 punts and a missed FG. The band of brothers stood strong holding team up north to 4 of 15 on third down conversions for the day even clearly owning the field of position in the first half. The cougs average first half position was the 33 yd line while team up north could only muster the 18 yard line which also took the crowd out of the game.

On paper the yewts may have gotten the Wynn on the scoreboard but the cougs clearly come out ahead by a Heap of a margin in class, confidence and composure. Next season the matchup week might change but the cougs will have their opportunity at payback reclaiming what was rightfully theirs to obtain the last laugh concerning the gift.

23 November 2010

Two Different Directions

It's the game of the year. It's that matchup that seperates the church and state. It's the game that divides families. Two schools heading in two different directions. One last season in the MWC together. School up north heads to the Pac10 and the other going independent. Individuals will remember last season that Andrew George was still running. We also heard the true feelings of Max Hall about the yewts. In year's past we've seen that magic happens. We've witnessed that Harline is still open. What will this year's experience be remembered as? Regardless, when the fans have cleared the stadium and turned off the tv sets both schools will head in two different directions.

Both teams went through a QB change midseason in respective years. Sophomore Jordan Wynn, a business major took over the reins last season and handled things smoothly with 8 TDs and over 1300 yards. This season Wynn has been all business throwing for 16 TDs 9 INTs and 2135 yards. On the ground the yewts average 163 yards a game. The senior led backfield offers servings of Eddie Wide and Matt Asiata (not necessarily in that order). Wide has 11 TDs with 610 yards. Asiata brings 7 TDs and 650 yards to the table.

Team up north can score in bunches and average 37.3 a game. Last season's top performer David Reed might be gone but Wynn still has a number of receiving plans available who have performed admirably spreading the wealth. He has connected with 6 receivers who all have over 225 yards each and Wynn has averaged 251 yards a contest. Wynn's top two options have included sophomore DeVonte Christopher and senior Jereme Brooks. Christopher has 5 TDs and 623 yards while Brooks has 4 TD receptions for 556 yards.

On the season team up north's defense is currently ranked 55th against the pass. The schools best returning current cover corner is junior Brandon Burton who runs a 4.35 forty. Last season the yewts lost a school record 6 NFL draft picks and now that could be costing them. The yewt pass defense in the last 5 games have given up roughly 284 yards a game. Could prove to be rather intriguing and possibly the cougs strength to see if Heaps can carve up the yewt secondary. When the Holy War game is on the line look for the cougs to pull together as a band of brothers before both schools head in two different directions.

Rich Future

Saturday the cougs steamrolled 40-7 over the Lobo's becoming bowl eligible with a rich future. Four out of five touchdowns scored were made by freshman. Heap's ran one in for a TD and finished with a 137.5 efficiency rating against New Mexico. Freshman Cody Hoffman caught two TD passes on the day. Was really nice to finally see the ball thrown around to at least three different tight ends and over 236 total receiving yards. Quezada is also definately making himself a known commodity rushing for a TD and 107 yards. The defense also had an absolutely solid performance with sophomore Eathyn Manumaleuna's INT, Shane Hunter's 11 tackles, Brandon Bradley's fumble recovery, freshman Van Noy's sack, and of course Andrew Rich's 2 interceptions. Yes, the cougs might have have struggled earlier in the season and have some abundance of inexperience on paper. On the other hand the jerseys in blue have a newfound attitude and are peaking at the right time. They have become like a band of brothers with a rich future.

18 November 2010

Coming To A Head

Pretty much all football fans have seen at some point one player or another become the recipient of a concussion. Concussions are fast becoming the more common type of injuries sustained in the sport. Once an individual has sustained one the likelihood of reoccurance is significantly increased and can have lingering effects. They are often afterwards associated with dizziness, fatigue, headaches, sleep problems, even sometimes long term memory loss.

We've seen it in the news much more lately. We recently saw former coug great Austin Collie horrifically sprawled out unconscious laying on the field. This past week cougs Steven Thomas called it a career over the subject. Team up north lost possible future starter Sausan Shakerin as well hanging up the cleats. Texas RB Tre Newton, son of former Dallas Cowboy lineman Nate Newton recently decided to give up football after receiving one on November 6th. Junior defensive tackle from Rutgers Eric LeGrand is now even paralyzed from a violent hit. What does it take? At what costs? The NFL has begun cracking down on the matter issuing large fines. Is this the necessary first step? Or when do things come to a head? Does the entertainment value outweigh the possible long term consequences? When do individuals and groups start to look at its ramifications, possible rule changes, better equipment, or some other options? Thoughts? Would love to hear.

17 November 2010

Saturday's A Lobo and a W

Mention Lobo football alumns and one might name Brian Urlacher, Hank Baskett or Stoney Case. Unfortunately, those greats are gone and won't be coming back with any eligiblity anytime soon. Saturday's matchup against head coach Mike's Locksley and his 1-9 Lobo's likely won't be as close as last years 24-19 victory with the cougs favored (per sagarin) by 28.5 points. New Mexico come's into LES with the 115th ranked offense and 117th ranked defense.

This season's lobo backfield include Kasey Carrier a young shifty sophomore and junior power back James Wright. Carrier, who also acts as the kick returner has rushed for 290 yards and 2 TDs. Wright maintains a low center of gravity often making him hard to tackle. On the season he has 275 yards on the ground with 2 TDs.

The lobo receiving corps is led by sophomore TE Lucas Reed who is the most reliable pass catcher with 418 yards and 5 TDs on the year. New Mexico's wideouts include sophomore Ty Kirk, senior Chris Hernandez, and Bryant Williams. Kirk is an athletic receiver who has 410 yards and 2 TDs. Hernandez has 236 receiving yards while Williams has 288 yards. Williams has 3 TDs who can catch in traffic but is possibly questionable for saturday who is dealing with the aftermath of a concussion.

Second year coach Lockley went 1-11 last season and the outlook doesn't seem much better. In the last three seasons the lobo's have only won 6 games combined. The last lobo league title was in 1964 (WAC co-camps) and a post season appearance is already out of the question. Saturday's contest for the cougs should by all means essentially be a bye week and punch out a W for the jerseys in blue securing a bowl appearance.

16 November 2010

Bowl Ram-ifications

The cougs visit to Fort Collins was certainly a treat for the jerseys in blue and its fans dismantling Colorado State 49-10. They say momentum is without question often the key in winning games. Just ask the school up north the last couple weeks. The cougs made things happen early and that swagger or shift whatever you like to call it took care of itself led by the duo of Ashworth and Heaps. The rams had their senior day but had no idea it truly was to become a monumental senior day.

Ashworth, the senior wide receiver couldn't have asked for a better ratio beginning with a flea flicker catch for 62 yards touchdown haul. Four receptions and four touchdowns on the day. The four first half touchdown hauls set a cougar record for most TDs in a single half by one player. Not a bad days worth of work. Saturday's matchup and avalanche was essentially over at halftime 35-0 with the rams dazed and confused as to where to begin and what to correct.

From the cougs official website game summary each team apparently had the ball 30 minutes which clearly shows that often time of possession means nothing. Its what you do with it when you have it. When the cougs had their opportunities on third downs they converted 12 of 13. On the other hand the rams had 5 turnovers on saturday. Yes 5. Not exactly a formula for success. Even freshman Kyle Van Noy got into the action with a 44 yard fumble recovery for a TD. Senior ram linebacker Ricky Brewer even mentioned "It happened so fast...we beat ourselves...obviously they are a great team...penalties and turnovers, those are a recipe for disaster and that's what we served up today".

Approximately two months ago things may have looked rather bleak for the bowl outlook with the jerseys in blue. With saturday's contest against a struggling 1-9 New Mexico team here at home by all means the cougs should finish no worse than 6-6 making a bowl game this season a very real possibility. Considering the shift in momentum for both school up north and the cougs in coming weeks it certainly makes the Holy War game rather intriguing of a matchup.

01 November 2010

Major Rebel-ding

Enter in Bobby Hauck, the 10th rebel coach in UNLV history. Hauck made some major waves in seven seasons leading Montana to three national championship games in the NCAA FB champion subdivision compiling a 80-17 record. Last season the rebels were 5-7. This season on paper looks like they may have gone in reverse. On the season UNLV is 1-7 but also has faced a brutal schedule according to the sagarin ratings this season with the 14th toughest schedule in the country. Games against Wisconsin, West Virginia, Air Force (Nov 18th), Nevada, and TCU certainly hasn't made the rebel life any easier. Nine of their opponents played in bowl games last season.

The rebels last league title was in 1994 (Big West co-champs) and likely won't be on the horizon anytime soon. Hauck certainly has a major rebuilding project on his hands. On the season UNLV has played over 23 freshman including having to shuffle in a replacement for starting center Andrew Mack hours before kickoff last week (appendicitus) against TCU. On defense the rebels have 10 true freshman on its two deep depth chart. The defense is ranked #96 in the nation while the offense is #113th which very well could also be reflective not only due to youth/inexperience but also the schedule.

Although, it might look rather bleak for the rebels the cupboard isn't exactly bare. Hauck will certainly have some tools to work with who should be active in saturdays matchup. The offense starts with dangerous dual threat senior QB Omar Clayton and was rated the best scrambler per Lindys. The political science major has thrown for over 1000 yards on the season with 4 INTs and 6 TDs. In the backfield is a pair of playmakers in freshman Tim Cornett and Channing Trotter. Cornett has rushed for 263 yards for 2 TDs and averages nearly 5 yards per game. Clayon's wideouts include juniors Phillip Payne and Michael Johnson. Payne a vegas native has 25 catches on the year with 416 yards and 2 TDs. Johnson is another explosive weapon who has 395 receiving yards with 35 receptions and 4 TDs. He also serves as the PR and KR specialist.

Hauck is a solid coach but certainly has his share of severe obstacles this season with all the inexperience, transition and the brutal rebel schedule. Give him a few solid recruiting rebuilding classes and the rebels should be back in the hunt. On saturday look for the jerseys in blue to post another cougar victory who are favored by 18 per usatoday marching towards a possible post season bowl.