I'm going to go ahead and apologize to Miami fan for the second week in a row. I didn't watch nor keep up with the Miami v UCF game because, well, it's UCF and it isn't exactly the most compelling match up. Congrats on your win though.
Now that that's out of the way...
Bulls fans...I told you so. Please stop with the National Championship nonsense. Please stop with the whole "Big 4" hoopla. You're not there. Yet.
I really think this USF football program is on the right track defensively, but it has been the offense that's holding this program back. Daniels looked like a superstar against two abysmal defenses. He did his Michael Vick impressions. He threw the football better from the FSU game to the 'Cuse game. He looked like a leader heading to stardom. Now, there's film on him and Cincinnati knew what to do against the young signal caller.
South Florida has some studs at running back, particularly Ford and Plancher. Neither saw the ball very much. Cincinnati is known for their explosive offense. In order to keep their offense off of the field and help protect a young quarterback in Daniels, USF needs to run the football and run it to the ground. I know, running the ball 50 times a game won't put butts in the stands, but it will win you football games. It is crucial to run the football in order to accelerate Daniels progress. BJ threw the ball way too many times and got caught in the backfield playing "high school quarterback" as well.
But the offense isn't all to blame. USF's defense did it's job by knocking out Cincinnati QB Tony Pike. It should've been a breeze after that, right? Wrong. Brian Kelly had his back-up well prepared and USF had no idea what to do. Yes, Bulls fans, Leavitt was out-coached in yet another big game.
Oh, and penalties were a slight factor too. Just sayin'.
South Florida is eventually going to get there, but not with Leavitt at the helm.
You're not going to like what I have to say, Gator fan, but it's not like I really care either...
You. Got. Lucky. Missed field goals and missed wide open touchdowns by the opposition. Nah, they weren't forced. Just overthrown. Sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
I'm still baffled over the difference between Arkansas' defensive tackle celebrating and Tim's celebrations. The 15 yard unsportsmanlike wouldn't have mattered as much if it was called both ways. I digress...
The refs helped the home team out and that's expected. They got suspended for multiple bad calls in this game and the LSU v UGA game as well. Se La Vie.
Enough of that. Let us get to the meat of this thing. The Gators came out lethargic and unprepared in the first half. Arkansas' front four was dominating at the point of attack with quick penetration and sure tackling. That recipe has worked in slowing the Gator offense in the past. Arkansas forced 4 fumbles, and no, Gator fan, your players didn't just accidentally drop the ball or fumble the ball away. They were forced meaning the Razorbacks caused those "mishaps" to happen. Give credit where credit's due.
I continue to believe Tebow has little faith in his receivers, other than Hernandez. Thompson was open many times and Tim clutched on tossing him the football. You can say he had little time to throw because he was under so much pressure, but there were times Deonte was wide open and he didn't throw to him. Although, that deep pass for the touchdown in the second half was textbook.
I'm beginning to like Cooper more and more too. He's a solid receiver, but his physical presence is what makes the difference. He'll take your head off.
I can't say the defense was the hero this time around. Spikes went out with a groin injury and never returned. Bobby Petrino is an excellent big game coach and exploited the middle of the defense by running up the gut on multiple occasions with tremendous gains. When Mallett had time, he hit his receivers deep. I will give the Gator D credit for manning up late in the game. I'm not exactly sure which player got the defense fired up, but they were a completely different 4th quarter team and championships are won in the 4th quarter.
The Gators stomp Mullen and Mississippi State, Clemson keeps it close, but Miami prevails, USF loses to a very physical Pitt team, and Florida State upsets UNC tonight in Chapel Hill (is it really an upset though?). Have a beautiful weekend, college football fans!