I know this is an OVC website, but what happened to Michigan? Michigan couldn’t have beaten an FCS team the way they played against the Crimson Tide in the first half.
The OVC’s day against the FBS went about as expected, and most teams avoiding big injuries.
Sadly most, not all. Here’s tonight’s Final Word.
Eastern Kentucky 6, Purdue 48
This one proved to be one of the more disappointing games in my book. Purdue was missing 3 starters on offense due to suspension, and aside from 5 turnovers, moved the ball at will against Eastern Kentucky. Turnovers helped keep the game manageable early, and are one of the very few encouraging signs I saw from this game.
But worse than the play on the field, WR Tyrone Goard left the game with a head injury, and tight end Matt Lengel left with a knee injury. Both will be reevaluated on Monday.
T.J. Pryor missing the game as he recovers from a hamstring injury didn’t do the Colonels any favors, but 8 of 22 passing from Jared McClain is troubling. Yes, I know Purdue’s defense won’t be seen in the OVC, but when you’re mostly throwing dump down passes and screens, you should at least complete a higher percentage.
Special teams play was solid. Great punting, blocking a Purdue punt, and good kickoff returns are great signs for the Colonels.
Murray State 3, No. 7 Florida State 69
Short summary here because there’s just not a lot to say. Murray got whooped. As is somewhat typical with these types of matchups, things really got worse late. Not that it was going that well early…
One odd positive is that the time of possession was about equal…despite the fact that the Racers struggled to move the ball and the Seminoles were running clock through much of the 4th quarter.
And QB Casey Brockman only threw 1 pick in 36 attempts. That’s good. Allowing 606 yards, not so good. But Florida State is a top-10 ranked team for a reason.
Austin Peay 10, Western Kentucky 49
2 for 11 passing. No seriously, that’s the final numbers from this one: 2 for 11 passing, for 11 yards. Um…what?
And here’s the thing, the second number concerns me almost as much as the first. 11 passes versus 37 runs? That is not a gameplan to win a game against this caliber of opponent. That’s not a gameplan to win against most opponents. Of course, when you complete just 2 passes, I guess passing it more might not be the solution.
Aside from a 68-yard touchdown run from Wes Kitts, there’s not a whole lot of immediate positives. The offense struggled, the defense.
Another good day from the punter. Small victories…
Jacksonville State 24, No. 10 Arkansas 49
Let me be clear, (as if I wasn’t already) I’m still not a fan of using 2 quarterbacks, even limited as Coty Blanchard was used. But it’s hard for me to seriously question an offensive gameplan that put up 335 yards of total offense against the number 10 team in the nation. Sure, the defense gave up over 500 yards, as did almost every other OVC team today, but unlike EKU, Murray State, or Austin Peay, the Gamecocks actually moved the football.
All in all, it was a great return for Marques Ivory in his first game back from injury. 14 for 28, 160 yards and 2 touchdowns against this level of team isn’t shabby.
The big question is the status of Washaun Ealey. Just 4 rushes before being knocked out of the game. They could use him in the backfield to make a run at the OVC crown.
And if anyone today proved they’re going to make a run, it has to be the gamecocks.
Florida A&M 14, Tennessee State 17
First the good. Huge goal line stand to secure the victory. Solid games from Michael German and Trabis Ward, and great job staying poised as a whole as the Rattlers made a run during the 2nd half.
Of course, if the Tigers didn’t commit 20 penalties, it might not have been that big a deal. Seriously, 20 penalties, just 3 short of the all time record. Those penalties added up to 178 yards. How badly disciplined must a team be for this to happen?
The Rattlers are a solid team, and this is a good win for the Tigers. But if they’re going to make the next step forward, tonight can’t happen again. I can all but guarantee the offenses in the OVC will take advantage of 178 penalty yards, something Florida A&M failed to do. (Mostly)
UT Martin 20, Memphis 17
Memphis hasn’t exactly had a good run with money games lately. First they lose to the Racers in basketball, then they find a way to lose to UT Martin in football.
And these aren’t necessarily aberration: Murray State basketball was better than Memphis basketball last season, and UT Martin football is better than Memphis football. So are about 200 other football programs. (And yes, I realize there are just 124 in FBS football. That’s my point)
But this shouldn’t be about Memphis, it should be about UT Martin, who on the leg of their kicker with 4-seconds left in the game, pulled off the first ever FBS upset for the Skyhawks. It only took about 6 hours, thanks to a lengthy storm delay during the 3rd quarter, in the middle of a Skyhawks drive.
Now, they get to turn around and try to do it again, when they face Northern Illinois next week.