Week 9 Open Thread
Another glorious weekend full of football and your favorite refreshment. Get a peek at the action around the nation.
Lots of interesting matchups today. Feel free to discuss them all below.
On to the links:
Kansas University football coach Charlie Weis has made no secret of the fact that the best plan of attack when facing Baylor’s incredibly potent offense is to grind the clock by running the ball and play keep-away. “That’s what we’re going to do,” Weis said. “They know it. We know it.”
“That was my goal was to complete the cycle,” Howard said with a laugh, “and I finally did it.” The “cycle” is exactly what one might think: After starting at center for KU in the last two weeks, Howard now has played every offensive-line position for KU in his career.
So talented is the Baylor offense that an entire page of the Bears’ weekly game notes — third from the front, no doubt for effect — is dedicated to the dozens of categories in which Baylor leads either the country or the Big 12.
A few of the highlights include: first in the country in total offense (714 yards), scoring offense (65 points), passing efficiency (213.22), yards per completion (19.41), yards per play (9.06), fewest three-and-outs (5) and fewest punts (16).
Baylor rush offense vs. Kansas rush defense
Junior tailback Lache Seastrunk, who made headlines this offseason for his bold and open claim that he was going after the Heisman Trophy, has gained 760 yards and 10 touchdowns in six games this season. That’s good for 127 yards per game on the ground, but the more impressive number is his yards-per-carry average of 9.2 and the fact that he’s been on the bench during the second half quite often this season as the Bears have rolled over opponents by an average margin of 65-16, which has cleared the way for Seastrunk’s back-ups Shock Linwood (337 yards and 5 touchdowns) and Glasco Martin (251, 4) to do their share of damage. With a monster offensive line and a potent passing game that keeps opposing defenses from stacking the box, the Bears have run wild over everyone. Edge: Baylor.
I asked Coach what KU's options were in the second half once OU started to run blitz more. "There are different ways to adjust to it. There are different formations you can line up in. When they’re bringing that edge blitz, it’s harder to bring that edge blitz if you put an extra wing in there to block the edge blitzer, or if you have a two-tight-end formation. But the same thing is, then if you bring more guys into the box, then they have a chance to bring more guys into the box. So it’s kind of tough there.
No matter how big Baylor gets up or how early it happens, I don't think you'll see KU change who it is just to try to win a shootout. I think they'll stick to their philosophies that center on running the ball, grinding the clock, trying to force turnovers and letting the defense and even punting and field position jockeying take a starring role. Whether that works or not remains to be seen. And, let's be honest, Baylor is so talented that KU could play its gameplan perfectly and still get rocked. But, the idea here is that, as long as you're executing your gameplan and having some success in the areas that you want to emphasize, that gives you your best shot and also gives you something positive you can take out of the game, even if what's on the scoreboard isn't pretty.
KU’s defense hasn’t allowed a opponent to score on its first drive this season after forcing OU to punt last Saturday.
KU held the Sooners scoreless until the 7:05 mark in the second quarter, the longest the Jayhawks have held an opposing team scoreless this season.
Next time you leave Allen Fieldhouse, try to make your ear zero in on the name Wayne Selden. Here are words I predict you won’t hear: “Potential.” “Flashes.” “As soon as he figures it out.” “You can tell he’s going to be really good.”
Instead, you’ll hear discussions about how hard he played, how good he was tonight, how many different things he did well that contributed to a victory. Selden is all about right now, and that as much as anything is why he has such a bright basketball future.
If all of the above were true, and Wiggins wasn't so naturally gifted at the game of basketball, I'd still hold the highest of hopes for the coming season. But his presence, like Batman's, changes things. It has sent, and will send, NBA franchises racing to the bottom. It brings everyone to the table: NBA fans fostering obsessions; causal observers who'd normally just wait for March; that dude you know who only watches the NBA when LeBron James is playing; GIF enthusiasts; people who don't care about basketball at all. You name it. College basketball can often be confused for a niche sport. Sometimes it is. Not this season. Not with Wiggins. If the monoculture still exists, it will be watching.
The legend begins: Joel Embiid, KU’s 7-foot freshman from Cameroon, on Oct. 18 posted on Twitter that he was a lion hunter as a youth.
“Hey y all I KILLED A LION when I was young and my teammates don t believe me,” Embiid tweeted.
Indeed, senior teammate Niko Roberts re-tweeted Embiid’s boast post with the hashtag, #LiesToldByAfricans.