Friday, September 23, 2005

Weekend Preview - 9/23/2005

Apologies for not posting yesterday. Bunch of stuff to do to get ready to host stuff this weekend. (Thankfully Rita's just going to rain on us here in Austin. Plus, it's indoor stuff.)

For the second time this season, we've had a major storm wreck the weekend football schedule. Fortunately, some of the schools planned ahead this time, and were able to reschedule some of the games.

Several Big XII Programs are off this week as conference play starts next week, but there are a couple interesting storylines among the remaining games. Colorado takes a roadie to Miami, Texas Tech wants triple digits against Indiana State, and Iowa State gets to play Army

Colleges

Games Postponed due to Hurricane Rita
Southern Miss at Houston
Navy at Rice

Starting their weekend off early

Texas A&M 44, Texas State 31
This was a bizarre game to watch. If you tuned into FSN last night, The play-by-play was basically the radio broadcast from A&M, meaning many fans were treated to A&M broadcaster Dave South for the first time, an experience not recommended for the faint of heart, weak of stomach, those who are nursing or pregnant, or fans of teams other than A&M. Dude is a serious homer.

The other oddity about the game is how empty the stands were. I know they had a sell out, technically, but the announced attendance had to be based on ticket sales. Part of that's because out-of-town fans were told to stay home. Part of that is because a lot of people drive in from Houston to see the game and they were stuck trying to get out of town. Whatever the case, it wasn't the same Kyle Field atmosphere we're used to seeing.

The only oddity about the actual game play was the fact that A&M let Texas State hang around so long.

Texas State QB Barrick Nealy threw 379 yards, which should scare A&M fans, or at least the level-headed ones not going to the "two days of preparation" card. It's one thing to allow Clemson to go pass-happy, they are at least a I-A team with a pretty good QB in Charlie Whitehurst. This is a I-AA team.

The Aggie offense, however, showed up as expected and saved A&M's bacon. Texas A&M had a 300 yard passer (Reggie McNeal), a 200-yard reciever (Jason Carter), and a 100 yard rusher (Courtney Lewis) in the same game for the first time in their history. (That's right, it took them 129 years to have this kind of offensive success in a single game.)

Big 12/Texas Game of the Week
Colorado vs. Miami
11:00 AM ABC (KVUE 24)
Regional Coverage: Austin, Dallas, San Antonio, Amarillo, Abilene, Lubbock, Midland, El Paso, Tyler, Lufkin, Corpus Christi, Rio Grande Valley, Albuquerque, Topeka, Wichita, Western Kansas, plus all markets in Colorado and Oklahoma.*
Stations Recieving Iowa-Ohio State instead: Kansas City, Texarkana, Shreveport, Ft. Smith, Sioux Falls, plus all markets in Nebraska, Missouri and Iowa.

Key Matchup
Joel Klopfenstein vs. Miami linebackers
Can the Miami linebackers stop one of the nation's best tight ends on passing downs? We'll see.

Key Player for Colorado
Hugh Charles
With back to back 100 yard games, Charles is establishing himself as an offensive threat.

Key Player for Miami
Kyle Wright
Wright has been chastized for his play at Florida State, but seemed to redeem himself leading Miami to an overtime victory over Clemson. Which Kyle Wright will show up this week?

Tale of the Tape

CategoryEdgeNotes
Colorado offense vs. Miami defenseMiamiThis is about the weakest group of recievers Miami has faced all year. Miami can key on the run game.
Miami offense vs. Colorado defenseColoradoI don't trust Kyle Wright to run this offense, yet.
Special TeamsColoradoColorado: Mason Crosby; Miami: botched field goal.
CoachingMiamiEven though we suspect Gary Barnett may somehow be immortal because he manages to keep his job despite mediocre results, Larry Coker is the better game coach.
IntangiblesMiamiBoth teams have proven they can win close games, but Miami has done it against better competition

Big XII Games

Iowa State at Army
Friday 7:00 PM ESPN2
The Cyclones have had a week to cool down from their big victory over Iowa, so expect them to be focused for this game at Army

North Texas at Kansas State
Saturday 2:10 PM
Former Kansas State quarterback Darrell Dickey leads the team he now head coaches, North Texas, into battle with his alma mater. Both teams come off bad losses. K-State did not look impressive in their last outing at Marshall. North Texas was dismantled by Tulsa.

Indiana State at Texas Tech
Saturday 7:00 PM Free Webcast (on foxsports.com)
A number of people are predicting Texas Tech will hit 100. It will be a huge blowout, and I'd love to see it happen as a Red Raider alumnus, but I have my doubts about Tech hitting the century mark.

Bye Week
Texas, Baylor, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Kansas, Missouri

Our Adopted Team

Tulane at SMU
Saturday 1:00 PM
After a heartbreaking loss to Mississippi State, Tulane takes on SMU, a team which has lost to Baylor, upset TCU, and gotten run out of Kyle Field. Which SMU team that shows up this week is anyone's guess. Hopefully for Tulane, it will be the squad that showed up in SMU jerseys last week.

Other Texas Teams

New Mexico at UTEP
Saturday 8:05 PM CSTV
This is probably the most dangerous game on UTEP schedule to date. New Mexico already has a win over Big 12 team Missouri, and UTEP is coming off a close overtime win over Houston.

TCU at BYU
Saturday 2:00 PM PPV
After their Thursday win over Utah, TCU takes its first high-altitude road trip to Provo, Utah.

National Games of Note
Cal at New Mexico State (Friday) - 9:00 PM ESPN. - The first game ever broadcast in Navajo language. (Currently looking for an internet link to the actual broadcast)
Iowa at Ohio State - 11:00 AM ABC (see above for regional coverage) - Loser can kiss their Big 10 title hopes goodbye
Georgia Tech at Virginia Tech - 3:30 PM ABC/PPV - Those lucky Hokies don't have to face Reggie Ball, thanks to Ball's viral meningitis.
Notre Dame at Washington - 3:30 PM ABC/PPV - Ty Willingham doesn't want to get revenge on Notre Dame, but there's a lot of people pulling for him anyway.
USC at Oregon - 7:00 ABC - The first of 3 dangerous Pac-10 games for Oregon.
Tennessee at LSU - (Monday) 6:30 PM ESPN - Finally, LSU opens it's home schedule. Tennessee, coming off a bad loss to Florida, is walking into a hornets' nest.

NFL

We're running short on time, so I'm just going to go to the "Tale of the Tape"

Bye Week: Houston
That's not a cancelled game. Fortunately for the Texans, their bye week is this week. However, the Texans are reportedly making preparations for a three-week roadie.
Lost in all the hurricane news: Phillip Buchanon, the Texans' big offseason signing at CB, was demoted.

New Orleans at Minnesota
Sunday 12:00 PM FOX (KTBC 7)
Tale of the Tape

CategoryEdgeNotes
Saints offense vs. Vikings defenseMinnesotaMinnesota's defense has improved, and is probably the only working part of this game right now.
Vikings offense vs. Saints defenseNew OrleansPurple jerseys, Daunte! Throw to the Purple jerseys!
Special TeamsNew OrleansAgain: John Carney... Good night everyone!
CoachingNew OrleansI wouldn't trust Captain Tice with a dinghy, let alone this Viking ship, in a storm.
IntangiblesNew OrleansThe hurricane vagabonds are ticked off. I wouldn't want to line up against them after the NFL did them wrong.

By the way, my mother sent me the following joke via e-mail:

I read that the Vikings are going to tear up the artificial surface in the Metrodome and replace it with cardboard.

Apparently, the Vikings always look better on paper

Dallas at San Francisco
Sunday 12:00 PM FOX (KTBC 7)
Tale of the Tape

CategoryEdgeNotes
Cowboys offense vs. 49ers defenseDallasIt doesn't look like the 49ers have the tools to stop Julius Jones or get pressure on Drew Bledsoe.
49ers offense vs. Cowboys defenseDallasTim Rattay, meet DeMarcus Ware.
Special TeamsDallas Neither team has great special teams, but Mat McBriar gives Dallas the edge since he can create field position for Dallas with his leg
CoachingDallasGotta take Parcells over the rookie coach
IntangiblesSan Francisco Neither team is real sure of themselves going into this week, but I think Dallas has the most recovering to do after that heartbreaker against Washington.

* - This game will also be shown in the Houston, Beaumont, Tyler, and Lufkin markets, but if you're planning on watching TV on Saturday in one of those markets, WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU DOING? GET OUT!
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