I’ll start with the elephant in the room.
As of now, Geno Smith of West Virginia has thrown twenty touchdowns passes and no interceptions on the year thus far after throwing for eight yesterday against Baylor. Going 45 of 51 in a skeleton drill against air in practice is hard enough, but to do it against a Top-25 team is unbelievable. I watched the game, and by the end of it I couldn’t remember the six incompletions. What I like about Smith’s game on Saturday is the same thing that impressed me about Taylor Heinicke’s record-breaking performance last week: It was necessary to win. Smith and Heinicke were throwing the ball and putting up video game-like numbers because their respective defenses were playing so miserably that they had to score 70 and 64 points to win, not because they were padding their numbers for the sake of a record.
With all of that being said, I wouldn’t necessarily pencil his name in for the Heisman just yet, but it’s definitely on the list. The Big 12 is a conference that isn’t exactly renowned for their defense, and West Virginia isn’t the sexiest school to be from (then again, I may be wrong because RG3 won it at Baylor last year and Sam Bradford and Jason White [who?] won it at Oklahoma in 2008 and 2003). Let’s let the season play itself out before handing out the Heisman.
It is very rarely that I get angry at the way a team is playing while watching a football game. I get angry at the refs occasionally, and I get frustrated or disappointed with how my various teams are playing because I know they are capable of playing better or just need to catch a break, but I almost never get angry while watching a game.
I was flat-out pissed off at South Carolina during the first half of their game at Kentucky last night.
After knocking Kentucky’s starting quarterback out of the game on their first series, Kentucky put in a true freshman who the announcers immediately said didn’t know much of the offense. With that being said, South Carolina proceeded to piss away most of the rest of the first half with bad execution, lackadaisical play, and mistakes that would embarrass most high school teams. The Gamecocks had a punt blocked which led to one Kentucky score, and they snapped the ball over Connor Shaw’s head on a 4th and 1 (shotgun on a 4th and 1?) which was about two seconds away from resulting in another Kentucky score, and they seemed to forget all about running Marcus Lattimore altogether. South Carolina was in real danger of going into halftime being down 24-7 to a team that is arguably the worst in the SEC.
Thankfully, my sanity was restored when South Carolina started playing like they should have been playing from the start. SC scored 31 second-half points while holding Kentucky scoreless in a 38-17 win.
According to the Detroit Free Press, Michigan State received game film (an antiquated term; film projectors haven’t been used in decades) from Ohio State that had been edited to only include game action from the snap to the whistle, meaning that pre-snap motions and shifts were not at all shown. What happens during pre-snap is so important to the defensive players’ assignments, and if that was left out it would give Ohio State a huge advantage in an evenly-matched game.
Michigan State ended up getting film from Ohio State’s first four opponents. Michigan State reportedly complained to the Big Ten office, but I would be curious as to what the rule actually states. If the rules state that only actual plays are required to be on film, then OSU would have found an effective loophole in the rule, then good for them. If there is a pre-snap time requirement for the films, I am anxious to see what the punishment would be for Ohio State (assuming the allegations are true) considering their current probationary status.
With that being said, I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a rule-change during the offseason if there isn’t currently a pre-snap time requirement for opponent game films. Also, the story was originally published at 8:21 PM Saturday. I really don’t think we would have heard much about this if Michigan State would have won, but they didn’t, and we’ll never know.