NGSC Sports

NCAA football, recaps of key games: Week 8

This week in NCAA football we visit more upsets. Upsets that really shook the landscape of the SEC and BCS. It was a weekend that saw losses by the likes of #3 Clemson, #6 LSU, #7 Texas A&M, #8 Louisville, #9 UCLA, #11 South Carolina, #15 Georgia, #20 Washington and #22 Florida. Yes, it was a weekend that would reshape the top 25. Let’s take a look at some of these games and what they mean in the big picture.

Tennessee 23 #11 South Carolina 21

It has been a seemingly long five years on the hill in Knoxville. After a year of Kiffin’s sins and three more misery filled ones with Dooley, Butch Jones has breathed life back into Volunteer football. In the fourth quarter of the Georgia loss, Vols fans were on the edge of their seat. They smelled a win, but came up short. On this Saturday, they would sit on edge again. Except this time, they found themselves feeling something they have so longed to feel. A win is just another win does not explain this feeling. This was a signature win that brings the Volunteers of Tennessee back into the world of college football. Good ole Rocky Top, Rocky Top Tennessee.

For all the flack Justin Worley has taken, there have been some times he has made some really good throws. He still has much to learn in a season that has games to play. He would finish 19-34 for 179 yards with one touchdown. That score was to Pig Howard that put the Vols up 10-7 at the time. You could feel a tone being set as early as that score.

The Gamecocks came into this one ready to take control of the East, pending whatever happened to Missouri. What they found was a Tennessee defense that came to play. QB Connor Shaw could not get off as he was harassed all game long. He would finish a rough 7-21 for 161 yards and a touchdown before going out with an injury. Their offense looked to be getting their groove on last week, but ran into a buzz-aw in the Vols defense.

Rajon Neal would get into the end zone as well to make it 17-7 in the first half, but the hero of the game was kicker Michael Palardy. He missed a field goal in the game, but it made no difference. He was responsible for the only points in the fourth quarter. The first was a 33-yarder that pulled the Vols to within one-point of the Gamecocks at 21-20. The second sent the crowd and all Volunteer fans across the nation into a frenzy. It was a short one at 19 yards, but it might as well have been from 65. It was bedlam in Neyland Stadium, as loud and as wild as it has been in years. Coach Jones looked around for a second as if to let the feeling sink in. He had just delivered the biggest win this school has seen in recent years. Once again Knoxville and the Vol nation could proudly sing, Good ole Rocky Top, whew, Rocky Top Tennessee.

Vanderbilt 31 #15 Georgia 27

So where were we on the last game? Oh yeah, upset specials and signature wins. It was a good college football day in the state of Tennessee. Over on West End Ave, the Dores of Vandy were trying to break through and get a win in the East. They were facing a decimated Georgia team looking to try to get back into the BCS picture. The mood has changed here at Vanderbilt, the losing tradition has been replaced by a new attitude. Everybody is ” all in” as the saying goes around these here parts.  Still, this place was in need of a signature win badly. In the end, after a bad start, it was exactly what the fans and the university got.

In the post game press conference, head coach James Franklin got emotional. He said it was not for the win, but for the school and the community. He is talking about the events that led to players being kicked off the team who are now facing the courts. He was talking about the dreaded feeling that was swallowing up this community and the school. Well, a win will take care of a lot of that and this one did just that.

In the game, the Dores lost starting QB Austyn Carta-Samuels and he was replaced by Patton Robinette. All he did was go 9-15 for 107 yards, and added a rushing touchdown that pulled Vandy to within 27-21. The momentum had now turned for Vandy with their backup doing the work.

For Georgia, it’s another year gone sour. Another year with so much hype that ends in a bust. For some football reason, the Dawgz find a way to lose that one game that finishes their season. Now players like Murray must make the most of a season gone bad. They are out of the running for a national title and on that door step for the East.

For the University of Vanderbilt, it was the signature win they have needed for so long. It was the end of a six-game losing streak against Georgia and now they can focus on the rest of the season and a bowl bid.

#14 Missouri 36 #22 Florida 17

In a season that has seen its share of turmoil, a bright spot grew from out of nowhere. If any of you readers out there said that the Tigers of Missouri would be 7-0 and in first place in the East, stand up and be recognized. It was a game that showcased their backup QB against one of the best defenses in the land. What it turned out to be was the Maty Mauk show, as he went 18-36 for 295 yards and a touchdown pass and one rushing.

The Gators came into this game hoping to take control of the East with a win. They were looking to make their case as the class of the division and ran into an offense that did not miss a beat. They gave up 24 first downs, 500 yards of offense and flat out got outplayed by the Tigers. Now it is back to the drawing board as they say. They are two games behind Missouri in the loss column and their chances are getting slimmer.

Missouri, on the other hand, find themselves in first place all alone and with three more consecutive wins, lock up the East. They are unbeaten and now look to climb the rankings in the BCS and with a little luck, may find themselves staring right into the face of the National Championship picture.

#5 Florida St. 51 #3 Clemson 14

Holy BleepCS football Batman, what happened in this one? What was billed as the latest game of the century, ended up the dud of the week. Clemson was at home and had a chance to move into solid consideration for the top two spots in the BleepCS race. What happened was, the always reliable breakdown from Clemson. They were out played from the start and were never in it.

Taj Boyd was to provide the leadership to his counter parts inexperience. Boyd would throw two picks and his fumble was returned 37 yards for a score. The Tigers’ failure to show up results in another blown season of hopes and dreams. Only a lot of help and  couple of miracles could get this team back in it.

For the Seminoles, it was about their freshman QB Jameis Winston. He played with the poise of a fifth-year senior. He controlled the line of scrimmage with his dynamic play. He would finish 22-34 for 444 yards three passing touchdowns and one rushing. Hey freshman, can you say Heisman? The Noles now find themselves in that #3 spot vacated by Clemson. They will face one more test in Miami and if they can pull that one off, Florida St. is back to familiar territory and maybe even a spot in the last BleepCS title game.
































photo by: Joelk75

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Ralph Garcia


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