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stormstopper

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stormstopper last won the day on December 15

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About stormstopper

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  1. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - Saturday Afternoon

    Tulsa did WHAT? Edit: Tulsa's coming off of getting jackhammered by a 1-5 ECU, and SMU's coming off three straight routs including a 13-point win over Temple. I don't think I posted betting lines this week, but SMU was a 22.5-point favorite entering the week (up to 23.5 points entering the afternoon slate). I think this might be the upset of the year so far.
  2. Editor's note: Week 6 and 7 in Review will be combined and presented in a different format Saturday Afternoon Baylor (2-2) at #11 Oklahoma State (3-1) (-21.5)* After stumbling out of the gate in nonconference play, Baylor has recovered to win back-to-back games against Western Kentucky and Kansas State. Now, they face their biggest challenge yet: an Oklahoma State offense that's firing on just about all cylinders through four games so far. The Cowboys rank 6th in the country in scoring entering Saturday and a point ahead of rival Oklahoma for first in the Big XII. In theory, though, this Baylor defense should be able to match up well against the hard-charging, table-setting runningback Amral Brown. He's averaging over 6.1 yards per carry and 141.5 yards per game with 7 rushing touchdowns and zero lost fumbles nearly 100 carries into the season, and his success blows things wide open for Ian Baldwin (who's completing 77.9% of his passes for 298.5 yards per game with 11 touchdowns to 2 interceptions, every bit of which is absurdly good). But Baylor's interior defense is their putative strength. Ezekiel Sewell's had 3 tackles for loss from his nose tackle spot. Thomas Morton and Garrett Powers are two of the most talented inside linebackers in the country--but they also haven't made all that much of an impact yet this year. Is this their opportunity? And can Alexander Talbert on Baylor's left and Zachary McHale on Baylor's right fill and attack the gaps to keep Brown contained? Baylor's also got at least two lines of defense against the devastating passing game: Charles Brock has been monstrous with 5.5 sacks and 6 tackles for loss, so his matchup with left tackle Benjamin Driver should be interesting. And cornerback William Travis has been a ballhawk with 4 picks already--though that probably just means more Samuel Barfield than Jeremy Bridges if Baldwin doesn't like what he sees on that side of the field. It's plausible for Baylor to slow down Oklahoma State. Not necessarily likely, but plausible. Is it plausible for Baylor to score in return? Sure, Oklahoma State's given up 38 and 34 points in their last two, and Baylor's scored 30 and 34 in their own last two. Caleb Olmsted's completion percentage toiled in the high 50s to start the season; he's been in the 60s and 70s in the last two games, and his yardage has jumped from the low 200s to the 250s as a result. And Miles Street has rushed for 228 yards and 3 touchdowns in his last two games, which is better than his total from the previous five combined. But that was against Western Kentucky and Kansas State, and this is against Oklahoma State. Make no mistake: if Street gets loose and Olmsted stays steady, this is going to be a real ballgame. But I expect both teams to revert somewhat to the mean, and that mean favors Oklahoma State by quite a bit. #11 Oklahoma State 38, Baylor 20 #22 Texas Tech (3-1) at Iowa State (1-3) (+13.5)* There have been sixteen occasions in Big XII history in which a player has carried the ball 300 times in a single season. In the three combined full seasons that the starting runningbacks in this game have played, they have gone for 300 carries all three times. McCullough reached 300 on the dot last season with 1548 yards and 15 touchdowns; McLaughlin's rushed 364 times for 1784 yards and 27 touchdowns as a freshman and 348 times for 1892 yards and 23 touchdowns as a sophomore. McCullough isn't on quite the same pace this year, but he's still been fantastic with 110.3 yards per game on the ground and 4 touchdowns on 5.4 yards per carry. Of course, all rushing numbers look pedestrian next to McLaughlin, who is averaging 189.0 yards on the ground on 7.1 yards per carry and has already scored 11 touchdowns in 4 games. That's despite coming off of a career-low total of 100 yards. (Yes, career-low.) The two defenses' tasks may not be easy, but they sure are simple: kill the run. For Iowa State, that starts at the linebacker level, because quite honestly their defensive line is outclassed by Texas Tech's offensive line. Inside linebacker Ian Johnson is their leading tackler with 17 (he also has 3 picks, but that's less relevant today), but they need to find someone who can get into the backfield and stop McLaughlin behind the line. No Cyclone has recorded more than 1 tackle for loss or more than 1 sack in the entire season, and they weren't particularly explosive in the backfield last season either. And you just plain can't let McLaughlin rev up his engine and find even the slightest bit of space because he's got breakaway speed like a Prohibition-era bootlegger. On the other side of the ball, Texas Tech's big advantage on defense is their own line. Curtis Jones has 6 sacks (which is twice Iowa State's season total by himself) and 3 tackles for loss; Samir Sample "only" has 2 sacks to go with his 5 tackles for loss. Whereas Texas Tech blocks better than most of the Big XII, Iowa State's offensive line has been horrendous--though the reinsertion of D'Neal Norris into the lineup after a mysterious absence should help matters a bit. But that might be the only bright spot in the trenches on either end of the field, and that's where a game like this is typically won. Unless McCullough evades tackles like he's in The Matrix or Vaughn Sheppard randomly pulls a rabbit out of his hat, this is going to be a Texas Tech win. #22 Texas Tech 31, Iowa State 14 Saturday Evening #3 Oklahoma (4-0) (-6.5) at #16 Stanford (3-1) One of the nation's best offenses with an exciting dual-threat quarterback determined to set records this season...hits the road to play Troy McMurray and the Stanford Cardinal. The Cardinal were coming off of a 1-11 season, their worst-ever, but have already tripled last year's win total thanks in very large part to the electrifying play of the Santa Maria Slinger. McMurray's stats so far: 88-110 for 1,271 yards, 11 touchdowns, and no interceptions, along with 32 rush attempts for 291 yards and 2 scores on the ground. If you're keeping score at home, that's a completion percentage of 79.3%, 11.6 yards per pass attempt, a passer rating of 210.1, 9.1 yards per rush attempt, and 390.5 all-purpose yards per game. Even the Notorious B.I.G. (not to be confused with notoriousbigej) would agree that this is sicker than your average. This is despite his top four wide receivers all being true freshmen. How do you slow him down? Nobody's figured it out yet; the next team to hold him under 300 all-purpose yards will be the first. But Oklahoma will try to do it the same way that they've done to most of their foes: blanket everything downfield. Jeremiah Melvin and David Kaiser have been playing well this season, combining for 6 sacks and 6 tackles for loss. Nobody else on the team has made a play behind the line of scrimmage of either kind. However, four different players have an interception, Julian Foster's batted down 4 passes, and Oklahoma's downfield defense hopes to be the best antidote against a quarterback with a rocket arm. If they fail to pressure McMurray, though, that could lead to broken plays and scramble drills with massive downside to them. However, Oklahoma's best shot at pulling out a tough road win goes back to that first sentence: they have the #11 scoring offense in the nation (even Stanford is "only" #13), Eric Pope has been low-key excellent this year with a passer rating of 179.9 (with Maurice White being high-key excellent at 148.3 yards per game on 6.2 per carry with 8 touchdowns), and Stanford's defense gives almost as good as it gets--which is to say, they rank 100th in the nation in scoring defense. Oregon State is the only team not to score at least 34 points on them so far. They have a pretty solid secondary led by a couple of really good safeties, but their front seven oscillates between youthful and untalented outside of defensive end. Get a hat on Jeffrey Russell and Damani Odom, and you've got good yardage ahead of you. That means Maurice White's going to have room to run between the tackles, and it means Lucas Dykes and Rangi Salanoa are going to be able to catch the ball in space over the middle and collect yards after the catch. Oklahoma should be able to put up points however it wants, and as long as they can get a few stops I like them to earn their second straight win over a Heisman contender on the road. #3 Oklahoma 45, #16 Stanford 40 Florida (3-2) at #25 Texas (4-1) (-5) Texas and Florida meet for the first time since 2017, when the top-ranked Longhorns rallied from a 14-0 deficit at home to get past the #5 Gators in an early showdown between contenders. They would just miss out on a playoff rematch as Boston College eliminated Florida in the quarterfinals before falling to Texas, who of course went on to win the national championship. This time around, we're not necessarily looking at a playoff preview--but we are looking at a test of Texas's veterans against Florida's youth. Most of the Gators' starters are freshmen and sophomores, including redshirt freshman Darion Harrison at quarterback and true freshman Robert Harden at runningback. They've had some growing pains so far, particularly on offense where they rank 75th in the country in scoring. Harrison has completed 66-111 passes for 854 yards, 5 touchdowns, and 4 interceptions so far this year in 5 games--that's 59.5% passing and a rating of 131.7, which is decent for a freshman but not going to put a lot of points on the board. Harden's been the bigger piece of the puzzle, with 607 rushing yards and 6 touchdowns on 112 carries (5.4 YPC). He's hit 111 or more on the ground in every game except his most recent one, which was a loss to Kentucky. A major piece of that is how well Florida's offensive line has held up, and undermining that is priority #1 for Texas. Ryan Morrison and Cyrus Naylor anchor the line on the left side; Tristan Priest will be lined up against the more vulnerable right side of the Florida line. He may be the most dangerous of the bunch (with Zion Gaines a close second), but the more help they shift to that side, the more room opens up for Thomas Sanders, who actually leads the team with 4.0 sacks. Disrupt the line, and that disrupts the ability of Florida to run the ball. Disrupt the line, and that gives Landon Scott and Danny Brantley Jr. less time to use their speed to get separation--and maybe causes Harrison to force a throw that isn't there only to find Devon Braxton (4 INT, 3 PD) waiting for the ball. But Florida's defense has more often than not made up for the offense's shortcomings. They give up just 21.0 points per game, the #33 mark in the country. And they're young on that side of the ball too, but they have a lot of different playmakers. Nine different Gators have recorded a sack, a tackle for loss, an interception, or a pass defended. True freshman Sam Fuller III has already recorded 3 sacks and 4 TFL, but senior linebacker Ryan Bailey has been devastating with a sack, 5 tackles for loss, and a fumble forced and recovered in a 17-15 loss to Tennessee. True freshman corners Lavonte Chatman and Darrelle Dickerson have each picked off 2 passes. There's nowhere on the Florida defense that's truly safe to attack, but there's also no single area of the Texas offense that's safe to ignore. The big question to me is whether or not Simeon Wells is going to bust out of the slump he's been in ever since Kyler Tackett replaced Lucas Beckwith as the starting quarterback. He's been held to just over 4.3 yards per carry in that time after averaging nearly 6.3 in his first two games. Tackett's been the definition of solid, but Wells is the explosive one who can make or break a game. While Florida hasn't allowed anybody to rush for more than 70 yards against them, they also haven't faced a team that likes to run as much as Texas does. That's going to stretch out Florida's resources more than they have any experience being stretched out, and I think that'll ultimately make the difference in this one. Texas by a nose. #25 Texas 16, Florida 10 Byes: Kansas (1-4), TCU (4-1)
  3. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - Saturday Morning

    If you don't like Iowa-Wisconsin, then you don't like Big Ten football.
  4. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - FNF

    UMass scored its first touchdown of the season.
  5. Thursday Night Kansas State (2-3) at West Virginia (2-2)* It's too early to say that this is a bowl elimination game, but whoever wins this game is sure going to do themselves a favor. West Virginia is looking for its third straight win, which would put them above .500 overall for the first time since the end of the 2020 season. And Kansas State wants to snap a two-game skid and win just their 5th conference game since the start of 2017. These two teams have different approaches in a lot of respects, but one thing that stands out is the way their defenses distribute the workload. It wouldn't quite be fair to say the Wildcats have a ton of solid players but no star (because Brendan Scherer does exist), and it would be fair to say the Mountaineers rely on only a few guys (because they're solid at most non-safety positions). But that's what the distribution of stats would have you believe. Kansas State will mix things up and hit you from a variety of directions. They have 6 different players with at least one sack or tackle for loss; Scherer is the only one with more than 3 of both combined. Their five interceptions have come from three different players, and none has more than 2 picks. And they've already had 10 different players make at least one statsheet, with none making more than 3 out of 5. West Virginia's had one fewer game, but the specialization of roles is eye-popping. Aaron Pagan has 3.5 sacks, Elvis Cornejo has 2.5, and the rest of the team has 1.0 combined. The pair has combined for 7 tackles for loss; Riley Reardon and Nathan Wilks have added another 6 and the rest of the team has 0. Lamont Carson has 3 interceptions; the rest of the team has 0. That plays interestingly with the style of offense both teams bring to the table as well. Kansas State's defense forces an offense to be more reactive and improvisational--and Martin Lake's shown an ability to make things happen with his arm (234.8 yards per game and 7 TD) and his legs (3 TD). Corey Easley and his 15.9 yards per catch are an especially dangerous asset on improv plays. Julius Minnow has his limits as a passer, his receiver corps doesn't have a top-end talent, and the offensive line is suspect, but Kansas State can afford to pay special attention to the more pressing threats and take advantage everywhere else. The receiver to watch for Kansas State is Jermaine Jordan, the speedy redshirt freshman slot receiver. After Lamont Carson and Harry Conner, West Virginia's corner depth takes a hit--and their corners are streets ahead of their safeties. With 426 yards, Jordan is the Big XII's third-leading receiver (two yards behind Corey Easley, in fact). The run game's going to be a wild card, because neither team really relies on it but would have a huge leg up if they can get it going. Ultimately, as much as I want to talk myself into Jermaine Jordan, I don't know that there's going to be enough time for his plays to develop considering how much better West Virginia's front is than Kansas State's offensive line. Pagan, Cornejo, Reardon, and Wilks are a force to be reckoned with, and I think they'll disrupt the run game, force Kansas State into third-and-long situations, and make life difficult for Julius Minnow. Give me the Mountaineers. West Virginia 23, Kansas State 17
  6. stormstopper

    [2022] Injured Reserve

    The Chicago Bears place WR Dwayne Maddox 6-2 180 1 LSU [Speed] [0] 77 on injured reserve. He suffered a severe ACL rupture week 7 and is out for the season. The Chicago Bears activate WR Peter Foster 6-1 174 5 Baylor [Speed] [0] 75 from injured reserve. He suffered a moderate shoulder rotator cuff injury in preseason week #2 and has recovered sufficiently to be questionable for week 8.
  7. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - SNF

    You're both 4-3, right? I know you have head to head but there's the rematch too.
  8. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - SNF

    That's 4 of 5 for Kansas City now. Ties them for first place in the AFC West and every non-divisional opponent the Raiders have remaining is over .500 right now. Gotta think KC's got a real shot as long as Harris keeps performing well.
  9. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - 4 PM

    Norris Brooksheer versus Eric Jennings for the first time ever, if I'm not mistaken. That makes me feel things.
  10. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - 1 PM

    Did our return TD belong to Dwayne Maddox before he got hurt? If not, who would it have been? Trying to figure out whether this special teams performance is the last of its kind for us this year or the first.
  11. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #7 - 1 PM

    I don't even know how to begin to react to that game
  12. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #6 - MNF

    This is the largest margin of defeat in Raiders history. Previous record was 21 points to Denver in 2019. Fifth time they've given up 35+ at home (1-4 in such games now). Ties the Raider record for fewest points scored at home with 10. And Nick Hall looked like a human being. Not as many Miami records to spotlight because they win big more than Vegas loses big, but they have not beaten a team that finished better than 6-10 like this since the 2018 playoffs when they thrashed the Bengals (then lost to the Jets in the divisional).
  13. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #6 - 4 PM

    I'm going to call it now: Seattle will win the NFC West.
  14. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #6 - 1 PM

    As we all predicted before the season, the Cardinals in week 6 became the first NFC West team with a non-divisional win this year. They are now tied for first in the division.
  15. stormstopper

    [2022] Week #6 - Saturday Evening

    Solid effort by Texas Tech, just stalled out just outside the red zone too often. Oklahoma is really impressive. Didn't even get as much as they would've liked from White, but Eric Pope is stepping up in a big way. He's already matched last season's pass TD total. TCU's receivers have really become difference-makers. And I think that's one of the things holding Texas back right now and has been a problem for the whole Tackett era. UTEP-BYU is quite possibly the most surprising result of the season so far. UTEP was a 26-point underdog, and for good reason! UTEP's coming off of a trouncing by Rice and their wins are all over Sun Belt and C-USA teams. Not that BYU's played a particularly tough schedule, either, but still. BYU had the 4th-best point differential in the country against the 86th-hardest schedule by point differential (excluding this game but including all others up to now). UTEP had the #82 point differential against the #139 schedule by point differential. BYU beat Wyoming by 49; UTEP beat Wyoming by 12. Massive upset, and hats off to the Miners.
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