Tuesday, October 12, 2004

Index Week 7

360: Degrees in backflip executed by Michigan's Braylon Edwards in the Michigan backfield after the final kneedown against Minnesota. Michigan had just scored a - well, let's use the word - fluke TD to beat Minnesota, 27-24, in Saturday's first. A perfect outburst of joy as one of the nation's best 5 players was momentarily reduced to the poise of a benchwarming freshman by the enormity of what he'd just seen. The perfect way to start what quickly became college football's best weekend since 2001.
6: Games last Saturday between Top 25 teams.
4: Of those, games whose final two minutes saw one offense throwing into the opponent's endzone for the win. LSU and Michigan made good, coming back to beat Florida and Minnesota by 3 each, while Cal and Georgia saw win-or-lose passes fall into the endzone incomplete.
58.5: Average number of seconds remaining when decisive pass thrown in those games- Michigan scored on a 31 yard slant with 2:10 left, Cal's Aaron Rodger's missed a fourth-down pass in the endzone pass with 76 seconds to go, LSU's Marcus Randall finished a brilliant length-of-the-field drive with a short TD pass at Florida with 27 seconds to go and UGA's David Greene snapped the ball for a desperate heave into the endzone with exactly 1 second showing.
Not bad.
219: Yards by which Cal's O outgained SC's, 465-219, probably the weekend's most quoted stat behind Aaron Rodger's insane personal numbers (leading to headlines like "California dominates all but final score" in that notorious anti-SC rag... the Daily Trojan) Or if you prefer...
28: Cal first downs.
12: SC first downs. OK, we get it.
102: Yards by which Cal outgained SC including kick returns, 472-370, a much more representative number of how the game went. SC didn't go as far, but SC didn't need to. Now, as Chingy might put it forget wha'cha hurd'bout Aaron Rodgers. Here's his key number.
33: Consecutive Throws by Rodgers that went exactly where he wanted them - 29 to receivers for completions, 2 intentionally out of bounds, 2 just-as-important crossfield swing passes to receivers that were ruled 'laterals'. You call'em laterals - I call'em on balance throws that are catastrophic fumbles if they're not on the money. 33.
3: After a Greatest Performances Of All Time Short List day, consecutive do-or-die incompletions in SC's endzone.
But let's make mention right now....
11: Yards in pass from Matt Leinhart to Dwayne Jarrett pass that was, pound for pound, THE play of the day. It came a) on the first drive (ie: tone-setter) b) on fourth down c) on 4th-and-10 d) was caught by Jarrett who was instantly hit so hard, high and low, that he spun 180 degrees in the air and landed on his shoulders... and hung on. Drive alive, and 5 plays later, SC scored it's first TD.
The other tone-setter that didn't get much attention:
2: Yardline on which Cal had a first-and-goal in the third, and, in three snaps, went backwards five yards... until the refs whistled SC for a particularly soft pass interference, giving Cal first at the 2, which they then turned into a TD.
4-4: SC-Cal series in last 8 meetings.
18: USC's lead in first-place votes over OU, it's smallest of the season. I'm only surprised that OU didn't take over #1.
18: Consecutive Ohio State wins at home prior to losing 24-13 to Wisconsin.
48: Wisconsin yardline Ohio State failed to cross in the second half.
105,090: Attendence figure announced by Ohio State - fifth-largest in Stadium history! - in that school's bid to join Michigan and Tennessee in the fiction-writing business.
3: Overtime games for Northwestern this year in which QB Brett Basanez has performed flawlessly, including Saturday's 31-24 win over Indiana. Basanez picked up a 4th-and-6 in the OT, and was 28-of-48 for 254 yards and a touchdown on the day. Last week, the Cats beat Ohio State, and Basanez did everything necessary to beat TCU in the season-opener, only to watch his kicker miss an extra-point to lose.
It's a banner year for gutty Qbs - sort of like last year and receivers - but Basanez is right there.
2: Consecutive years that NU has beat IU in OT.
5: Sacks against UGA's David Green by Tennessee.
4: Sacks UGA had given up all season prior.
12: Penalties committed by UGA.
82: Officially, the yardage UGA was penalized.
93: Yards in a late-game UGA kick-off return, to UT's 2 yardline, wiped out by a holding penalty (officially recorded as only a 10-yard penalty).
2: Number of UGA drives that went more than 5 plays prior to falling behind 19-7 in the 4th.
27: Combined plays in UGA's last two do-or-die drives, separated only by a 3-and-out for UT.
6: Combined 4th downs and 3rd downs of 10 or more faced in those final two drives, including a 4th-and-goal touchdown run by Dante Ware where he literally bounced off a would-be tackler to get into the endzone and pull UGA to 19-14.
9: Spots UGA dropped in the polls.
14: difference, in seconds, in time of possession between Texas Tech and Nebraska, .
60:difference, in points.
43: Yardline on which Nebraska went for it on a 4th-and-3 in the second quarter. And they threw it, incomplete. But even that horrible idea - going for it on the 43? Passing? - wasn't the trigger. NU got it back 4 plays later on an interception.
No, here's your Money Maker:
7: Number of snaps Nebraska took in a 7 minute span in the late third/early fourth.
5: Turnovers in those 7 plays.
4: Of those 5, turnovers in it's own redzone.
2: Inside it's own 10.
35: TT points off those turnovers.
1: Rank, in Quotes of the weekend, for Nebraska offensive coordinator Jay Norvell ``We lost a game that we had a chance to win. . . I can't make anything more of it than that.''
Coming up:
Louisville at Miami on Thursday (if it was at Louisville, we might be in a for a show, but at Miami...); North Carolina AT Utah; Notre Dame-Navy. Unbeaten and rolling UVA at damn-near-lost-to-Syracuse Florida State; UCLA at Cal... beware the letdown.

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