Tom Brady threw 5 touchdown passes, 3 to Rob Gronkowski, and the New England Patriots pulverized the Chicago Bears 51-23. Even the final score is misleading as the Patriots held 45-7 lead late into the third quarter.
The first Brady to Gronkowski pass came early in the first quarter form 6 yards out. The first quarter saw the Pats end up on the Bears one yard line and faced with a fourth and goal. The Patriots went for it and Jonas Gray was stuffed for a two yard loss, but New England was called for a false start. It was a blessing in disguise because the Pats kicked a 23 yard field goal to go up 10-0.
The New England offense continued to roll after a Chicago three and out. Brady hit Tim Wright from a yard out to make it 17-0. The Bears would finally muster a response with Jay Cutler finding Matt Forte on the wheel route out of the backfield to make it 17-7. However, the Bears would soon be faced with an onslaught to end the first half.
With under two minutes remaining, Brady and Gronkowski hooked up again with Gronkowski tapping both feet in bounds. The play was reviewed to determine if Gronkowski maintained possession and the official ruling was the call on the field stood.
After forcing a three and out, Julian Edelman returned the punt to Chicago 19 yard line for a 42 yard gain. On top of that return, a holding penalty was called against Chicago to put the ball on the 9 yard line. It took only one play for Brady to hit Brandon LaFell for the 9 yard touchdown strike and the Pats led 31-7.
The disaster continued for Chicago on the next play. Cutler was being sacked when he fumbled the ball with Rob Ninkovich picking the ball up and running it back 15 yard for a touchdown. It took a total of 57 seconds for the Patriots to go from a 17-7 lead to a 38-7 lead. Cutler’s desperation have on the final play was intercepted by Darrelle Revis to end the nightmare opening 30 minutes for Chicago.
The New England offense would not be stopped on the opening series of the second half. Brady hit Gronkowski, who shrugged off a defender and then ran into the end zone for his third score. The pass play was from 46 yards out and the Pats now led 45-7.
The Bears did manage to get to the Patriots’ 26 yard line, but Cutler’s fourth down pass to Alshon Jeffrey was incomplete. The Bears would get a second touchdown with Martellus Bennett‘s 20 yard touchdown catch on his back. The two point conversion was converted and the Bears only trailed 45-15 late in the third quarter.
The Pats opened the final quarter with Stephen Gostkowski‘s second field goal of the day before Cutler and Jeffrey hooked up for a touchdown. The Bears converted the two-point conversion again but were down 48-23. Following an onside kick, Gostkowski drilled home his third field goal of the day to cap the scoring at 51-23.
The thoroughness of New England’s domination over the Bears cannot be understated. The Patriots were 7 of 11 on third down and completed 87% of their passes. The receivers had little trouble getting open or being stopped.
Jay Cutler went 20 of 30 for 227 yards with 3 touchdowns and an interception. He also had the fumble that was returned for a touchdown late in the first half.
Matt Forte had 114 yards rushing on 19 carries while also catching 6 passes for 54 yards and a score. Martellus Bennett caught 6 passes for 95 yards and a touchdown. Alshon Jeffrey had 5 catches for 59 yards and a score and Brandon Marshall was held to only 3 catches for 35 yards.
Tom Brady was incredibly effective. He went 30 of 35 for 354 yards and 5 touchdowns. Rob Gronkowski caught 9 passes for 149 yards and 3 touchdowns while Brandon LaFell had 11 catches for 124 yards and a score. Tim Wright had 7 catches for 61 yards and a touchdown.
Julian Edelman had a quiet day with only 1 catch for 14 yards. He was targeted four times, but it did not matter with the plethora of chance his teammates were getting.
Jonas Gray had the bulk of the carries with 17 for 86 yards. Shane Vereen ran only 5 times for 22 yards, but added 3 catches for 23 yards. James White had 6 carries for 17 yards.
Chicago (3-5) has lost four of their last 5 games with the last two against Miami and New England looking especially poor. They have a bye next week before traveling to face the Green Bay Packers for Sunday Night Football on November 9 in Week 10.
New England (6-2) are on a four game win streak after the poor showing in Kansas City in Week 4. There is no doubt that the talk in the aftermath of that game has spurred them to this point. They have a massive game next Sunday at home against Denver (6-1) before a bye in week 10.
We are fast approaching the end of October and by the time the bulk of week 10 action is here, it will already by November. Below is the week 10 college football schedule.
There are no games before Thursday this week, but that is just a temporary reprieve as MACtion gets started on Tuesday and Wednesday of Week 11.
Two games were not announced at the time of this original post, but have been since. times yet to be announced and both are from the Big 12. Texas (3-5, 2-3) at Texas Tech (3-5, 1-4) will be at 7:30 PM ET and Oklahoma (5-2, 2-2) at Iowa State (2-5, 0-4) will be at 12:00 PM ET.
Bo Wallace‘s interception at the LSU two-yard line with two seconds left broke the hears of Mississippi fans, but it may call into question the decision by head coach Hugh Freeze to go for extra yards instead of trying a 47 yard field goal. The interception preserved a 10-7 LSU victory.
LSU’s first drive went well, but stalled at the Ole Miss 12 yard. Colby Delahoussaye’s 28 yard field goal was wide left and the game remained scoreless. Ole Miss faced a fourth and two at the LSU 30 yard following the miss, but Wallace’s pass fell incomplete.
LSU appeared headed for a touchdown, but Leonard Fournette fumble right as he neared the goal line and Cody Prewitt recovered in the end zone for a touchback. That turnover proved costly as the Rebels went back down the field and Wallace’s short pass to Cody Core ended up in the end zone for a 15 yard score.
LSU was moving the ball to start the second quarter, by Prewitt forced a fumble on Terrance Magee catch and run. However, the Rebels would not capitalize on the turnover and LSU would hit a field goal on their next drive to make it 7-3. That would be the score after the first 30 minutes as both offense struggled to move into the opponent’s red zone.
The third quarter featured more of the same with both offense struggling to get past midfield or deep into each other’s territory. Anthony Jennings threw an interception at the Ole Miss 49 yard line, but nothing would come of it.
Jennings threw another interception early in the fourth quarter, but the LSU defense came up big once more by forcing another punt. Following the punt, LSU would embark on a 13 play, 95 yard drive. On second and goal from the Ole Miss 3, Jennings hit Logan Stokes for a touchdown and a 10-7 lead for LSU.
Following the touchdown, Ole Miss was faced with a fourth and one on the LSU 47 yard line, but Wallace was stopped cold for no gain and LSU took over at that spot. The Ole Miss defense stopped the Tigers on the following three plays, but had to burn all of their timeouts.
The Rebels had one last chance with 1:19 left on the clock. On fourth and 8 from their own 27, Wallace hit Markell Pack for 12 yards on a check down to keep the game alive. LSU’s Jalen Mills was called for pass interference to give the Rebels the ball at the LSU 33 yard line. On third and 2 at the LSU 25 yard line, Hugh Freeze put the kicking team on the field, but a delay of game penalty backed them up.
After an LSU timeout, Freeze put the offense on the field and decided to try and pick up more yards for a better field goal. Wallace tried to go for the end zone, but the ball was underthrown and Ronald Martin was there to intercept the ball and win the game for LSU.
Overall, Bo Wallace had a rough night. He went 14 of 33 for 176 yards with a touchdown and an interception while also running for 40 yards on 12 carries to lead the Rebels. Laquon Treadwell caught 4 passes for 71 yards, Cody Core had 4 catches for 45 yards and a touchdown, and Jaylen Walton caught 4 passes for 41 yards.
Anthony Jennings also had a rough night going 8 of 16 for 142 yards with a touchdown and two interceptions. Leonard Fournette ran 23 times for 113 yards while Terrance Magee had 74 yards on 12 carries. Kenny Hilliard ran 12 times for 63 yards.
Magee also caught 2 passes for 45 yards to lead the Tigers in receiving. Trey Quinn had two catches for 42 yards and Fournette also had 2 catches for 41 yards.
Ole Miss (7-1, 4-1) will not have an undefeated season, but they have a big chance next Saturday to pick themselves up. They face Auburn (6-1, 3-1) at home.
LSU (7-2, 3-2) has a bye next week before a home game against Alabama (7-1, 4-1) on November 8. Unfortunately for the Tigers, Alabama has a bye next week as well.
Despite winning 45-31, Mississippi State was never comfortable in their victory over Kentucky. Dak Prescott threw for 216 yards and a touchdown and ran for another 88 yards and 2 touchdowns to lead the Bulldogs.
The Bulldogs started strong with a 12 yard touchdown run from Josh Robinson, but the lead would not last long. Five plays into their drive, the Wildcats responded with Patrick Towles hitting Demarco Robinson for a 67 yard touchdown that featured a few nice moves along the sideline and blazing speed from Robinson to tie the game at 7.
Later in the first quarter, Braylon Heard was stripped and Benardrick McKinney recovered the ball, which turned into a field goal for the Bulldogs. The lead was extended to 17-7 on the next drive with Prescott’s two yard run. Kentucky responded with a 34 yard field goal from Austin MacGinnis from 34 yards to make it a 17-10 game.
The final four minutes of the second quarter showcased two missed field goals, one from each team, as well as a Prescott interception. However, that would not turn into points and the Bulldogs held a 17-10 lead after 30 minutes.
The third quarter was action packed with a total of 28 points. Prescott’s athletic 11 yard run was the first score and that made it 24-10. Not to be outdone, Towles ran in from 10 yards to bring the game back to 24-17. After each team punted, the Bulldogs go the ball back and Prescott’s 8 yard touchdown pass to Brandon Hill made it 31-17. Hill was injured on the play with a thigh injury. Towles responded with a 58 yard touchdown to Javess Blue and it was 31-24 at the end of the third quarter.
The Bulldogs extended their lead back to 14 points when Josh Robinson outran the Kentucky defense for a 73 yard score and the Wildcats did not have a response until late in the fourth quarter. Towles ran the ball in from 4 yards out to make it 38-31, but that small hope of a comeback was erased when Christian Holmes rumbled for a 61 yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a final score of 45-31.
Dak Prescott went 18 of 33 for 216 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He also ran 18 times for 88 yards and 2 scores. Prescott could be seen limping at various times in the game, which may have come from his 11 yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
Josh Robinson had another big game with 23 carries for 198 yards and two scores. The Bulldogs ran for 324 yards and 4 touchdowns on 53 carries as a team. Fred Ross was the leading receiver with 5 catches for 51 yards and Robert Johnson caught 2 passes for 44 yards.
Patrick Towles looked good during the game by completing 24 of 43 for 390 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also ran 23 times for 76 yards and two more scores to account for all 4 touchdowns.
Ryan Timmons was the leading receiver for Kentucky with 5 catches for 114 yards. Demarco Robinson had 4 catches for 86 yards and a touchdown while Javess Blue caught 2 passes for 81 yards and a touchdown.
Mississippi State (7-0, 4-0) continues their impressive run next week with a home game against Arkansas (4-4, 0-4). Should they beat Arkansas next week, they will surely be 9-0 heading into the November 15 showdown at Alabama. However, they must take of business the next week.
Kentucky (5-3, 2-3) has dropped two in a row after starting 5-1. They face Missouri (6-2, 3-1) next week on the road with a chance to become bowl-eligible.
It was an ugly game between the Kansas State Wildcats and Texas Longhorns, but the Wildcats will not care as they won 23-0. It was Texas’ first shutout loss since 2004 when they were blanked 12-0 by Oklahoma. It was Kansas State’s first shut out since 2003 when they beat Iowa State 45-0 on November 8.
Texas began the game with two false start penalties on their first drive and ended up punting. The Wildcats had a first and goal from the Texas two yard line, but were unable to punch the ball in and settled for a 19 yard field goal from Matthew McCrane. McCrane added a second field goal on the next drive from 30 yards to make it 6-0 Wildcats.
Texas’ first series in the second quarter was their best chance to get points. They started at the Wildcats’ 40 yard line and quickly moved to the 16 yard line. However, a holding penalty and sack took them out of field goal range and they punted it away.
With less than three minutes to go, DeMarcus Robinson ran in from 3 yards out when he bounced to the outside after finding no room up the middle. That made it 13-0 and was more than enough on a day when Texas’ offense could not get anything going.
Kansas State was forced to punt on their first drive of the third quarter and Texas appeared to finally have some continuity on offense. They were at the Wildcats’ 43 yard line when D’Onta Foreman’s pitch to Jaxon Shipley on the reverse was fumbled and recovered by Valentino Coleman of K-State. The Wildcats settled for a field goal from 38 yards out, courtesy of McCrane, and a 16-0 lead.
The ensuing drive by Texas had the chance to get them back in the game. On fourth and one from the K-State 14 yard line, Johnathan Gray ran to the left and was called down for no gain. The call looked incredibly egregious, but it stood and the Wildcats would take over. They ended up going 86 yards in 10 plays with Charles Jones running in from a yard out to make it 23-0.
It was a long day for Tyrone Swoopes, who had looked excellent in the previous two games. He was 13 of 25 passing for 106 yards and was the leading rusher with 31 yards on 8 carries. Johnathan Gray had 10 carries for 24 yards while Malcolm Brown ran 6 times for 21 yards. Freshman D’Onta Freeman had 3 catches for 14 yards.
John Harris was the leading receiver with 3 catches for 42 yards while Jaxon Shipley had 4 catches for 25 yards.
Jake Waters went 19 of 30 for 224 yards and no turnovers. He ran 7 times for -1 yard, but that was due to a sore shoulder he suffered last week against Oklahoma. DeMarcus Robinson ran 16 times for 50 yards and a touchdown while Charles Jones had 13 carries for 49 yards and a score. Backup quarterback Joe Hubener had 5 runs for 46 yards late in the fourth quarter with the game well in hand.
Tyler Lockett was the leading receiver with 8 receptions for 103 yards. Deante Burton caught 4 passes for 55 yards and Curry Sexton had 4 catches for 36 yards.
Neither team was impressive, but Texas looked horrendous on offense. They finished with 196 yards of total offense while Kansas State had 367 yards. There was little continuity for Texas and never got in rhythm.
Texas (3-5, 2-3) needs to win three of their last four games to reach bowl eligibility. They face Texas Tech next week on the road before playing WestVirginia (11/8), going to Oklahoma State (11/15), and facing TCU at home on Thanksgiving (11/27). Texas is facing the stark reality of not playing in a bowl game for the first time since 2010.
Kansas State (6-1, 4-0) continues to make their case for a possible spot in the playoffs. However, they have plenty of hurdles left in TCU, West Virginia, and Baylor all on the road before they should even begin to think about that. They have another home game next week against Oklahoma State on Saturday.
The Breeders’ Cup announced the pre-entries for 2014 Breeders’ Cup event to be held October 31 and November 1 at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. There will be 13 races over the two days next weekend.
Entries were taken on Monday, but the pre-entries were not released until Wednesday. 201 individual horses were entered for the prestigious year-end event and that does not include occasions when horses were cross-entered for multiple races.
Horses will be entered in only one race on Monday, October 27 with a maximum of two also-eligibles allowed per race. Every race with the exception of the Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, which has a maximum number of 12 horses allowed to enter, has a maximum number of 14 entries.
All the pre-entries can be found here at the official Breeders’ Cup website. Past performances are also included.
The wagering menu for both days was also announced. Friday’s wagering menu is below. Clicking on the pictures will enlarge them.
Saturday’s wagering menu is below as well.
Friday’s action can be seen live on NBC Sports Network starting at 4 PM Eastern Time. Saturday’s coverage starts at 3:30 PM Eastern Time on NBC Sports Network and continues on that channel until 8 PM Eastern Time. The Breeders’ Cup Classic will be shown live on NBC with the 8 to 9 PM Eastern time slot.
Louisiana-Lafayette’s Alonzo Harris and Elijah McGuire ran for 372 yards combined to lead the Ragin’ Cajuns past Arkansas State on Tuesday night. McGuire was especially impressive with 265 yards and 4 touchdowns rushing on 19 carries in the 55-40 win.
The fireworks started early with Arkansas State’s Fredi Knighten outrunning the defense to the end zone on a quarterback keeper to make it 6-0. The extra point would be no good, as it hit off the goal post.
The Ragin’ Cajuns came down the field with a touchdown of their own courtesy of Alonzo Harris from 4 yards out to make it 6-6. Hunter Stover had his extra point blocked in an odd beginning for both kickers.
Arkansas State ended up getting a field goal on the next possession to take a 9-6 lead, but they would soon find themselves trailing after another touchdown run from Harris (22 yards) to make it 13-9 in favor of Louisiana-Lafayette.
The Red Wolves had a fantastic chance to at least get a field goal, but J.D. McKissic’s pass for Tres Houston on the trick play was a bit too long. Several plays later, Knighten threw an interception on a screen pass that was brought back to the one yard line. Harris pounded the ball on the next play and it became a 20-9 lead.
The Ragin’ Cajuns extended the lead even further after forcing a punt. On the fourth play of the drive, McGuire burst through the opening in the line and no one was going to catch as he ran for a 74 yard touchdown. McGuire would add his second touchdown on the following drive with a punishing 13 yard run and UL-Lafayette had a commanding 34-9 lead with less than 9 minutes left in the first half.
The Red Wolves began the comeback with Michael Gordon’s 70 yard touchdown run to make it 34-16. The play was very odd looking as Gordon landed on top of his own lineman and then ran into the end zone. The officials ruled he never was not down and replay confirmed the call. After forcing a punt, Arkansas State cut the lead to 34-23 when Knighten found Dijon Paschal behind the defense for an 87 yard touchdown pass.
Despite all the fireworks, there would not be any scoring in the final 4:29 of the second quarter.
The third quarter, and most of the second half, would lack the same amount of offensive firepower that was showcased in the first twenty-five minutes of the game. The only touchdown of the third quarter came as a result of an odd playcall by Blake Anderson of Arkansas State. On fourth and 11 from his own 8 yard line, he called a fake punt that resulted in a two yard loss. Two plays later, Harris ran in for his fourth touchdown from four yards out and the Ragin’ Cajuns extended their lead to 41-23.
After a 17 play drive, the Red Wolves hit a field goal with 10:10 remaining to make it a 41-26 game, but there was still plenty of work left to do. They would, however, force a punt and get the ball back with 7:56 left on the clock. The Red Wolves would get another touchdown with Knighten hitting Pachal for a 6 yard touchdown. However, with the score at 41-32, Anderson decided to go for two and it would go horribly wrong. That left the Red Wolves down by 9 points with 5:37 left.
In the end, the two point try would be a moot point. McGuire once again burned the Red Wolves’ defense with a 43 yard streak to the end zone and a 48-32 lead. The Red Wolves would answer with a touchdown. On fourth and goal from the 12, Knighten hit Houston for the score on the edge of the end zone. They would convert the two point conversion to make it 48-40 in favor of UL-Lafayette, but the running game would put this game beyond doubt.
On third and 10 from the UL-Lafayette 46 yard line, McGuire went off the right side and once again ran away from the defense, just as he had done so many times previously in this game. That would cap the scoring at 55-40 and a big win for Louisiana-Lafayette.
Fredi Knighten went 26 of 37 for 344 yards with 3 touchdown passes and an interception. He also carried the ball 15 times for 72 yards and a touchdown.
Michael Gordon had 134 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. J.D. McKissic had one carry for 55 yards, but he was electric throughout the night. McKissic also caught 7 passes for 99 yards. The leading receiver was Dijon Paschal with 8 catches for 141 yards and 2 touchdowns. Tres Houston also caught 5 passes for 58 yards and a touchdown.
Terrance Broadway had a quiet night at quarterback, but with the running game he was provided it was expected. Broadway went 9 of 17 for 102 yards with no touchdowns and no turnovers. He also ran 8 times for 38 yards. His top receiver was JamesButler with one catch for 34 yards. C.J. Bates caught two passes for 28 yards.
The true story of this game was the Louisiana-Lafayette running game. Elijah McGuire ran for 265 yards and 4 rushing touchdowns on 19 carries. He had an average of 13.9 yards per carry. Alonzo Harris ran 27 times for 107 yards and 4 touchdowns. The entire team ran for 419 yards and 8 touchdowns on 56 carries for an average of 7.5 yards per carry.
Arkansas State (4-3, 2-1) has extra time off to prepare for their next opponent in Idaho. They will travel to face them on November 1.
Louisiana-Lafayette (4-3, 3-0) is now on a three game winning streak. They have their homecoming game on November 1 against South Alabama.
There is no doubt that Harvard’s success in the Ivy League and the NCAA Tournament has helped the entire conference. However, those teams now want to dethrone the champ and make their own name in March Madness. This preview begins with the top dog and the Harvard Crimson.
Harvard’s defense of their Ivy League crown begins with Wesley Saunders. Saunders was named the Ivy League Player of the Year and for good reason. He averaged 14.2 points, 4.6 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.7 steals per game last season. His partnership with Siyani Chambers, who averaged 11.1 points, 2.4 rebounds, 4.6 assists, and 1.3 steals per game, makes this a tough backcourt. However, there is not a lot of depth behind them if one, or both, of them get into any kind of foul trouble.
Another player to watch on Harvard is Cameroon born Steve Moundou-Missi. He averaged 10.5 points, 6 rebounds, 0.6 assists, 0.8 steals, and 1.3 blocks per game in 2013-14. He has been named the captain for Harvard due to his growth as a player over the past three seasons.
The schedule for the Crimson is not too imposing. Their toughest non-conference foes are Massachusetts (home), Virginia (road), Arizona State (road), and Boston College (road).
Harvard’s top challenger is Yale. Yale was the only team to beat Harvard in the Ivy last year and they did it in Lavietes Pavilion on the road. The Bulldogs will be led by forward Justin Sears. Sears averaged 16.9 points, 6.9 rebounds, 1.4 assists, 1.2 steals, and 1.9 blocks last year to lead Yale to a 9-5 Ivy League record and second place finish. It will not hurt Yale to have senior guards Javier Duren and Armani Cotton to challenge Harvard. Duren averaged 13.6 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.1 assists, and 1.5 steals while Cotton had 8.5 points, 5.4 rebounds, 1 assist, and 0.9 steals per game.
Yale has a few tests out of conference including Southern Illinois (neutral site), Providence (road), Connecticut (road), Florida (road), and Vanderbilt (road). Those games should be sufficient enough to test them to face a team like Harvard.
Another team who could challenge Harvard’s supremacy is Columbia. The Lions finished 8-6 in the Ivy League last season, which was good enough for a joint third-place finish. The Lions return their entire team from last year including the top three scorers in Alex Rosenberg, Maodo Lo, and Grant Mullins. Rosenberg finished with averages of 16 points, 3.7 rebounds, 1.3 assists, and 0.7 steals. Lo came on strong last year with 14.7 points, 3.8 rebounds, 2.1 assists, and 1.2 steals. Mullins added in 11.7 points, 2.9 rebounds, 2.4 assists, and 0.7 steals. With the entire roster coming back intact, this team looms very dangerous with the depth and experience they have.
The schedule for Columbia is far from daunting. Their toughest games are both on the road and will surely result in losses. They travel to Rupp Arena to face Kentucky on 12/10 and then face UConn on 12/22.
Another team who is listed as a contender is the Brown Bears. However, they lost their top scorer from 2013-14 in guard Sean McGonagill, who averaged 17.4 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.8 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. Taking That loss means the Bears will rely on their frontcourt with CedricKuakumensah and Rafael Maia. Those two, who both stand at 6-9, will need to be enforcers on the inside to block and alter shots at the rim. Kuakumensah averaged 3.2 blocks a game last season and will need to replicate that form again if Brown are to seriously contend in the Ivy League.
Brown has a couple of noteworthy non-conference games against Northwestern (home) and Illinois (road). The two biggest games for Brown occur in the span of a week. The Bears will face Yale on 1/17/15 and 1/24/15 in two games that will determine whether or not they belong in the upper echelon of the Ivy League in 2014-15.
One team that is flying well under the radar is Dartmouth. They had a disappointing 2013-14 campaign when they finished 5-9 in the Ivy League and 12-16 overall. Their season was derailed with the ACL injury to Gabas Maldunas. He was well on his way to being the leading scorer for the Big Green and in 15 games he averaged 11.2 points, 8.5 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.6 steals, and 2 blocks per game. He is not expected back until December, but his return will undoubtedly give them a boost.
Without Maldunas, Alex Mitola and Connor Boehm stepped up to fill the void, but it was not enough. Mitola was the leading scorer with 11.8 points, but also added in 2.5 rebounds, 2.7 assists, and 0.6 steals per game. Boehm averaged 10.9 points, 5.6 rebounds, 1 assist, and 0.5 steals per game.
There are not any big name opponents for Dartmouth, but they do have some games they can use to measure up against the middle of the Ivy League. They face New Hampshire (home), Northern Illinois (home), and Penn State (road).
Another team looking to bounce back from a poor season is the Penn Quakers. They went 5-9 in the Ivy and 8-20 overall after being selected to finish second in the 2013-14 season. Penn returns their first and fourth leading scorers. Tony Hicks led the way with 14.9 points, 2.6 rebounds, 2.9 assists, and 0.6 steals per game. The fourth leading scorer was Darien Nelson-Henry with 10.6 points, 5.3 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 0.4 steals, and 0.9 blocks per game. Those two will be joined by Patrick Lucas-Perry, who played in only 5 games last year due to injuries.
Penn has several games that could point them in one direction or other. Those games are against Temple (road), Vanderbilt (road), La Salle (road), Villanova (home), and Saint Joseph’s (home).
Princeton is not to be lost in the shuffle, but they lost a humongous piece of their offense in T.J. Bray. Bray averaged 18 points, 4.8 rebounds, 5.1 assists, and 1.3 steals per game. One player who is a candidate to step up is Hans Brase. Brase averaged 11.2 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 0.7 steals, and 0.6 blocks a game.
For Princeton, they have several intriguing games. They face George Mason (road), UTEP (neutral site), California (road), and Wake Forest (road).
Finally, we come to the Cornell Big Red. They went 1-13 in the Ivy League and 2-26 overall in 2013-14. The only two wins for them came against Oberlin College and Dartmouth. The leading member of that squad was Nolan Cressler. who averaged 16.8 points, 4.2 rebounds, 1.6 assists, and 0.5 steals per game. However, Cressler has transferred to Vanderbilt leaving Cornell in an even bigger hurt.
The top returning scorer for Cornell is Devin Cherry. Cherry averaged 12.3 points, 4.3 rebounds, 3.5 assists, and 0.8 steals per game. Guard RobertHatter is a player to watch for the Big Red. He appeared in the first 20 games in 2013-14 as a freshman and averaged 9 points, 1.6 rebounds, and 2.1 assists per game. Injuries knocked him out of the remaining 8 games, but he should respond well with 20 games he played last year.
Perhaps the biggest return for Cornell is senior forward Shonn Miller. He missed all of 2013-14 will a shoulder injury, but in 2012-13 he put up averages of 11.5 points, 6.8 rebounds, 0.9 assists, 1.9 steals, and 1.9 blocks per game. His return will help the Big Red, but how much is another matter.
Predicted Order of Finish
The 2014-15 season for the Ivy League should be an intriguing one. Harvard is the favorite to win, but they are not the overwhelming favorite by any means. Both Columbia and Yale will provide formidable challenges in an attempt to prevent the Crimson from winning a fifth straight Ivy League title. Battling for the fourth spot will come down to Penn, Princeton, Brown, and Dartmouth and all have a solid chance at claiming it. Cornell still appears to be at least one or two seasons from moving out of the Ivy League cellar.
Here is the predicted order of finish for the 2014-15 Ivy League Season:
Barring the improbable occurrence of two one-loss Ivy League teams, only the regular season winner will earn the Ivy League’s automatic berth to the NCAA Tournament. As usual, the Ivy League winner is not to be trifled with when March Madness rolls around.
Final scores do not always tell the tale of how a game truly went or how comprehensive a team performed. This article is intended to shed light on some of those discrepancies and highlight some stats put up by teams and individuals alike.
Virginia Tech Hokies at Pittsburgh Panthers (Pittsburgh won 21-16 on Thursday (10/16))
The Hokies ran for only 26 yards on 22 carries as a team against Pittsburgh. That comes out to an average of 1.2 yards per carry. Even worse, the offense was 2 of 14 on third down yet the Hokies managed to stay in the game until late in the fourth quarter.
For Pittsburgh, James Conner ran for 85 yards on 16 carries, but he did have two touchdowns. This marked his third straight game where he failed to eclipse the 100-yard mark. His first four games saw him run for at least 153 yards each game and total 699 rushing yards. In the last three games, Conner has produced 260 yards. That total is respectable, but it is quite a drop off from his early season output.
Temple Owls at Houston Cougars (Houston won 31-10 on Friday (10/17))
The story of this game was the four turnovers by Temple quarterback P.J. Walker. He had three interceptions and a fumble lost. One interception was returned for pick-six and another led to a Houston touchdown. The lost fumble came on the doorstep of Houston’s end zone at the one yard line. Those three turnovers combined were a 17 to 21 point swing, which undoubtedly cost the Owls a chance to win.
South Florida Bulls at Tulsa Golden Hurricane (South Florida won 38-30 on Saturday (10/18))
South Florida trailed 27-7 at halftime, but outscored Tulsa 31-3 in the final minutes to win the game. Outside of their first drive of the third quarter, Tulsa ran only 7 plays in South Florida territory and failed to score a point.
Baylor Bears at West Virginia Mountaineers (West Virginia won 41-27 on Saturday)
This game had several noticeable stats. First, Baylor committed 18 penalties for 215 yards!! West Virginia committed 14 penalties for 138 yards. Combined, the two teams had 32 penalties for 353 yards. Those 353 penalties yards are more than Baylor put up on offense (318 yards)!
As impressive (or pathetic) as those penalty yards are, the Mountaineers did everything they could early on to let Baylor put up points. Clint Trickett had a lost fumble and an interception that led to 10 Baylor points in the first quarter. Daryl Worley lost a fumble on a punt return, but Baylor could not take advantage of that turnover.
Kansas State Wildcats at Oklahoma Sooners (Kansas State won 31-30 on Saturday)
We will not dwell on this game too much because this is obvious why the Sooners lost. Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt missed two field goals (including a horrendous shank late in the game) and an extra point. One could also point to DanzelMcDaniel’s 5 yard pick-six as another reason.
Texas A&M Aggies at Alabama Crimson Tide (Alabama won 59-0 on Saturday)
This one has to be included for the way Alabama utterly dominated the Aggies. The Tide were up 45-0 at the break and held the high-flying Aggies offense to 172 yards for the entire game!! The Tide scored 35 second quarter points, the most ever in a single quarter for an Alabama team.
The shutout is even more impressive because it marks the first time Aggies head coach Kevin Sumlin has been shut out as a coach in 86 games at the FBS level.
We all know Nick Saban is looking for something to critique in this performance and there are few he can sheepishly use. The first is that the Aggies managed to convert two third downs… out of 13 attempts. In addition, the Tide only forced one turnover. There are your areas for improvement, coach Saban.
Michigan State Spartans at Indiana Hoosiers (Michigan State won 56-17 on Saturday)
Indiana actually led 17-14 with 5:25 left in the second quarter, but Michigan State quickly put an end to that. They scored 14 points in the final 4 minutes to take a 28-17 lead and then poured on 28 more points in the second half.
The most striking stat was that Indiana had 11 yards passing. Zander Diamont went 5 of 15 for all 11 yards in his first start as a true freshman. He has drawn comparisons to Johnny Manziel, but that is all hyperbole for a kid who had a total of one negative yard on the game (Diamont also ran 10 times for -12 yards).
The Hoosiers had 224 yards of offense, even without a passing game from Diamont, who was replacing the injured Nate Sudfeld. Tevin Coleman had 132 yards on 15 carries, which is excellent for a one-dimensional offense against the Spartans.
Colorado Buffaloes at USC Trojans (USC won 56-28 on Saturday)
USC quarterback Cody Kessler went 19 of 26 for 391 yards and 7 touchdowns. Yes, 7 touchdowns for Cody Kessler. It is a pretty good day when 27% of your attempts go for a touchdown and 37% of your completions end up as a score. Unsurprisingly, Kessler is now the USC single game record holder for touchdown passes in a game. He also tied the Pac-12 record with 7 touchdown passes in a game with Mike Pagel of Arizona State in the 1981 season.
Tennessee Volunteers at Ole Miss Rebels (Ole Miss won 34-3 on Saturday)
Ole Miss gave up a total 191 yards of offense to Tennessee on Saturday night. All 191 yards came through the air, as the Volunteers did not gain a single yard via the ground game. Jalen Hurd had 40 yards rushing, but that was cancelled out by JustinWorley’s 8 rushes for -41 yards performance. One caveat, however, is that sack yardage goes against the rushing stats in college football.
Missouri Tigers at Florida Gators (Missouri won 42-13 on Saturday)
Most people probably heard this on Saturday night or Sunday morning, but it is worth repeating. Missouri had 119 yards of total offense (20 passing and 99 rushing), yet the won by 29 points over Florida. How? Turnovers and touchdown returns.
Missouri had a kickoff return for a touchdown, a punt return for a touchdown, a fumble return for a touchdown, and an interception return for a touchdown. Marcus Murphy had both the kickoff and punt returns for a touchdown from 96 and 86 yards respectively. Markus Golden had a 21 yard fumble return and Darvin Ruise had a 46 yard interception return.
The Gators committed 6 turnovers, three fumbles and three interceptions, which led to 24 points for Missouri.
Will Muschamp should start packing his bags now because he is well on his way out of Gainesville.
Utah State Aggies at Colorado State Rams (Colorado State won 16-13 on Saturday)
The highlight of this game was Colorado State’s Rashard Higgins. He caught 10 passes for 187 yards during the game while the Rams threw for 243 yards. That equates to Higgins accounting for 77% of the receiving yardage. Higgins managed to account for only 59% of the total offense for Colorado State.
Iowa State Cyclones at Texas Longhorns (Texas won 48-45 on Saturday)
This needs a bit of context to explain why it makes it here. According to Las Vegas Insider, the over/under of this game closed at 45.5 points, which makes them believe it would be a defensive game. Texas closed as an 11-point favorite so it was expected that Texas would not give up many points.
Boy, those expectations were way off.
The two teams combined for 1,036 yards of total offense with the yardage nearly split 50/50. Iowa State had 524 yards and Texas amassed 512 yards. By halftime, the score was 28-28, well over the 45.5 points expected for the ENTIRE GAME.
Both quarterbacks had over 300 yards passing with Sam B. Richardson (ISU) having 345 yards and Tyrone Swoopes (UT) throwing for 321 yards. Iowa State ran for 179 yards while the Longhorns had 191 yards on the ground.
This just goes to show that even Vegas can be way off once in a while.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish at Florida State Seminoles (Florida State won 31-27 on Saturday)
Controversial ending aside, this game did feature one incredible strength. That was the run defense of Notre Dame. They allowed only 50 yards rushing on 26 carries for the Seminoles.
There may be recipe in there to beat Florida State. By stopping the run, they put the pressure on Jameis Winston to lead the Seminoles offense with his arm. If a team can force Winston into mistakes and turnovers, they can pull the upset. However, it is far more difficult to force Jameis into mistakes on the football field as opposed to off of the field.
Nevada Wolf Pack at BYU Cougars (Nevada won 42-35 on Saturday)
This was a late night game, but it had plenty of fireworks and not a lot of defense. The two teams combined for 58 first downs, 1,012 yards of total offense, and 20 third down conversion out of 38 attempts.
BYU led 28-13 at the break, but saw their lead evaporate with four scoring drives by Nevada in the second half. All four of those scoring drives resulted in touchdowns and a 42-28 lead with less than 6 minutes remaining. The Wolf Pack held on for a 42-35 win to send BYU to their third straight loss without Taysom Hill.
Filling in for Hill has been Christian Stewart who looked excellent in this game until the fourth quarter. For the game, he went 39 of 63 for 408 yards with 4 passing touchdowns. He did not have a single interception, but he lost two fumbles in the final seven and a half minutes to dent BYU’s chances of winning. The first led to a touchdown by Nevada to take a 42-28 lead and the second occurred at the Nevada 34 yard line when the Cougars were driving for the game-tying score.
It was an unfitting end to a game in which Stewart played so well.