I was going see what I thought of Ohio State, since I've only seen parts of their games against Wisconsin and Miami, but I was too depressed to watch football after what happened in Evanston. I was ready for a football free Saturday night as I headed to The Pit to watch some New Mexico basketball, but then found out that New Mexico does something weird for their basketball games: They sell them out. Iowa should really try that, but it did lead me to going back home and doing the only thing that could make me feel better about the world of football.
I decided to watch the last three quarters of Stanford and Arizona State.
Something I saw a couple times that amazed me about Andrew Luck was the way that he kept looking for his receivers downfield as the pocket was collapsing in on him, and then just before a defender is about to get a hand on him, he finally fires the ball to his safety valve in the flat. The guy's got ridiculous awareness.
Luck was not at his best in this game. He failed to properly read coverage a couple times in fourth quarter. First on a ball down the middle that he threw into heavy coverage where he just did not properly read the safeties. Then, on the next drive, saw that his receiver was going to make it by a guy in a zone, but didn’t see the other guy zoning right beyond him. "Luck"ily, his receiver got bumped, and the interception was called back on a defensive holding call. Despite these miscues, when the team needed to drive down the field and score, Luck was able to get the job done and lead his team to victory.
Near the end of the game with Stanford holding a lead, Stanford had a freshman running back that broke free and could have easily scored a touchdown with about a minute and a half left. After he had gotten the first down, he sat down at the 4-yard line to ensure that Arizona State would have no chance of getting the ball back and coming back. It made me feel funny in a very good way. I’m pretty sure I’m a straight up Stanford fan.
Since I didn't watch a whole lot of other football (and I'm certainly not going to write about the Iowa-Northwestern game), here are some other random football thoughts:
One thing that I really wish we could get going for sports is a way to find out what people said to get in trouble. If somebody gets an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, it’d be great to find out what they said. It works for technical fouls, baseball ejections, even yellow cards. We have the technology; we need to make this happen.
A route that I really like that I see a lot of from Oregon is that instead of running simple routes out to the flat, they get their guy going towards the sideline and then sprinting up the field. They throw the ball before they get deep enough, so I wouldn’t consider it a wheel, but it is definitely trending in that direction.
It’s time to express my opinion as a football snob. Announcers love to say that teams ran a double reverse. In all reality, a double reverse happens about as often as a double rainbow. What they call a double reverse is actually just a reverse. What they call a reverse is actually just an end around. Remember, the ball needs to “reverse” directions to be a reverse, not just a quarterback handing off to a receiver who lines up at one “end” and comes “around” to the other side; that’s an end around. Football is simple, I swear.
P.S. I'll be tailgating for the Iowa-Ohio State game tomorrow. Is 6 AM too early to get up for a 2:30 game? Just kidding, I know that there is no time that is too early to get up to drink.