Thursday, October 9, 2014

Magnolia State Madness Sports Grits Chowdah Update- Mississippi Blues for Aggies, Crimson Tide; Royal Flush- Kansas City Sweeps Angels to Advance to 1st ALCS Since 1985; Patriots Bounce Back Against Cincinnati.

NCAA FOOTBALL- Every once in awhile, I'll encounter a subset of football fans who are outright dismissive of college football, sneering that REAL football is played on Sundays- as though their favorite NFL player was cultivated in some magic football orchard hidden off from the rest of the world until their product was ready. On Saturday, I genuinely felt bad for those people.

Where to start? Obviously the biggest story of Saturday afternoon was the Ole Miss vs #1 Alabama game in Oxford, MS. For the first time since 2003, when Eli Manning was the Rebels QB, Ole Miss bested the Alabama Crimson Tide thanks to a 4th quarter rally. This also marks the first time since 1962 that the Rebels have gotten out to a 5-0 start.

Midway through the 4th quarter, Mississippi trailed 17-10 before pulling even on a 34 yard TD pass from Bo Wallace to WR Vance Sanders with 5 and a half minutes remaining in regulation. With the ensuing kickoff, Alabama's Christion Jones fumbled and Mississippi recovered on the Alabama 31 yard line. It didn't take long for the Rebels to capitalize, with Wallace connecting with RB Jaylen Walton for a TD catch and run to put Ole Miss up 23-17 with just under 3:00 remaining in the 4th. The Rebels attempted to go for two, but were unsuccessful, giving Alabama one last chance to pull ahead for good in the final minutes.

With just 37 seconds to go, the Tide had one last shot at the end zone, but Rebels outfielder-turned-DB Senquez Golson managed to get his hands on a Blake Sims pass attempt in the end zone and after a lengthy review was able to corral it for a galme-clinching INT.

Wallace ended up throwing for 251 total yards and 3 TDs, including two in the fourth quarter. The victory propels Ole Miss to 3 in college football polling as well.

This Saturday, the Running Rebels will travel to College Station, TX to take on #14 Texas A&M.

ELSEWHERE IN THE SEC- Saturday's stunner in Oxford was by no means the only upset in the SEC, let alone NCAA Football. The only-slightly-less-favored Aggies fell to Mississippi State in Starkville by a 48-31 final in what ended up being a track meet. Like in-state rival Ole Miss, the Mississippi State Bulldogs are out to a 5-0 start and will host #2 Auburn this weekend.

ELSEWHERE IN NCAA FOOTBALL- The upsets actually began as early as Thursday night, with the Arizona Wildcats holding on against the #2 Oregon Ducks by a 31-24 final. On Firday night, the Utah State Aggies handed #18 BYU their first loss of the season, going on to win 35-20.

On Saturday, Texas Christian handed the Oklahoma Sooners their first loss in a wild one at Amon G Carter Stadium in Fort Worth that included Horned Frogs LB Paul Dawson picking off Sooners QB Trevor Knight's pass and running it back 41 yards for a TD early in the 4th quarter. On the point after attempt, it was successfully blocked before being run back for 2 points by Sooners DT Jordan Phillips to cut TCU's lead to 37-33. However, that would be the last of the scoring and #25 TCU remains undefeated and advances to #9 in the college football standings while #4 Oklahoma was handed their first loss and dropped down to #11 in the rankings.

But there was more......especially out on the West Coast. Utah ended up beating #8 UCLA by a final of 30-28 while Arizona State trailed #16 USC late in the fourth. The Sun Devils had the ball on the Trojans 46 and trailed 34-32 with just 7 seconds left in the game when this happened.

The Trojans would go on to lose by a 38-34 final, their second loss since playing Boston College at Chestnut Hill and their first loss of the season within the Pac 12 conference.

MEANWHILE IN THE ACC- The Boston College Eagles had the weekend off after their September 27th 24-21 loss to Colorado state, but will resume this weekend in Raleigh, NC as they take on the North Carolina State Wolfpack on Saturday. Kickoff is scheduled for 3:30 ET and the game will be broadcast on ESPN3 streaming.

NFL- And then there were none.

The last of the undefeated teams in the NFL this season turned out to be the Cincinnati Bengals, and that only lasted until Sunday night against New England at Gillette Stadium.

Heading into Sunday night's game there were a number of storylines- could the Pats and Brady bounce back after last week's fiasco at Arrowhead, not to mention the final remaining undefeated team in the NFL [Arizona also got out to a 3-0 start, had a bye and then lost to the Broncos earlier in the day- NANESB!]. But what really had people talking during and after the game was the Patriot's tribute to the cancer-stricken daughter of defensive lineman Devon Still in the 3rd quarter.

During a timeout in the third quarter on Sunday night, the Patriots let Still know that they were with him and his daughter during their battle. Patriots cheerleaders donned Still’s Bengals jersey as the music video played on the big screens, and Patriots owner Robert Kraft donated $25,000 to the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital and Medical Center in Leah’s name.

Still was shown on the big screen following the music video, and got a little emotional when he received an ovation from the Gillette Stadium crowd. You could see tears stream down his face,

Reaction across Social Media was quick, with accolades for the Patriots as well as pledges of support from other NFL players and owners for Devon and Leah Still. Still was sporting a nose strip that had the hashtag #LeahStrong on the Sunday night game.

Meanwhile, on the field Brady seemed to have quieted his critics with a TD pass in the first half as well as a 1 yard Stevan Ridley TD run and 3 Gostkowski field goals to make it a 20-3 game at the half.

Cincinnati scored on their second possession of the second half with a 37 yard TD pass from QB Andy Dalton to WR Mohamed Sanu to make it a 20-10 lead for New England, but on the following possession, Brady capped an 86 yard drive with a 16 yard TD Pass to TE Rob Gronkowski to put New England up 27-10. Things only got worse for the Bengals when they fumbled the ensuing kickoff and it was recovered by Kyle Arrington on special teams and run back for the second Patriots TD in just 6 seconds of playing time.

Unlike Kansas City, the Patriots would go on to cruise to a 43-17 win, with all the scoring in the 4th quarter coming off the leg of Gostkowski. Tom Brady would go 23-35 with 292 yards and 2 TDs while Cincinnati's Andy Dalton would go 15-24 with 204 yards and 2 TDs. Stevan Ridley would lead New England's ground attack after rushing for a total of 113 yards and a TD.

This sets up only the second intra-conference matchup for New England this weekend when the Patriots travel to Orchard Park, NY to take on the Buffalo Bills, who are sporting a similar 3-2 record [but do have at least one win against an AFC East opponent this year- NANESB!]. Kickoff is at 1:00 ET and the game will be televised on CBS.

ELSEWHERE IN THE NFL- Week 6 gets underway with a Thursday night AFC South matchup between the Houston Texans and Indianapolis Colts. Kickoff is 8:25 PM and the game will be televised on the NFL Network.

MLB PLAYOFFS For the first time since 1985, the Kansas City Royals are advancing to the American League Championship Series. This comes after the team completed a sweep of the Anaheim Angels at Kauffman Stadium on Sunday night- a sweep of the team that could boast the best regular season in MLB, no less.

The only time the favored Angels led was in the first inning when outfielder Mike Trout belted a 412 foot solo homer to deep left center off of starter James Shields- I'm not talking just game 3, but the only time in the entire American League division series. In the bottom of the 3rd, a shaky CJ Wilson ended up loading the bases with singles to Nori Aoki and Lorenzo Cain and waling Billy Butler after striking out Eric Hosmer. That brought up the home-grown Alex Gordon, who belted a 2-2 offering off of the wall in left center field to clear the bases with a 3-RBI double and give the Royals the lead back as they led it 3-1.

Halos manager Mike Socia went to the bullpen early, but that wouldn't slow down the Royals as they got two more runs in the bottom of the 3rd thanks to a 2-run Eric Hosmer homer to make it a 5-1 game. The Angels would close the gap a little thanks to a 391 foot solo homer from Albert Pujols, but the Royals would start of pull away in the 4th thanks to a Mike Moustakas solo homer and Lorenzo Cain RBI sac fly to give KC a 7-2 lead.

The Royals would go on to cruise to an 8-3 win over the Angels, sweeping the team with the best record in the Majors. This sets up a meeting with the Baltimore Orioles, who put the finishing touches on a sweep of their own, bouncing the AL Central winning Detroit Tigers from the first round of the postseason.

NLDS- Meanwhile in the National League Division series, it will be a rematch of the 2012 NLCS after the St Louis Cardinals bested the LA Dodgers 3 games to 1 in the first round while the San Francisco Giants also got by the Washington Nationals by a similar margin, including an 18 inning marathon in the nation's capital last weekend.

That series gets underway on Saturday night and will be televised on FOX and FOX Sports One.

NHL- It's here! It's here!

The NHL regular season got underway on Wednesday night with the Bruins taking on the Flyers at the TD Garden.

Reilly Smith got the scoring started in the first with a power play tally midway through the first. Through 2 periods, Rask turned aside 13 shots from Philadelphia while Steve Mason turned aside 19 of 20 shots from the Bruins, keeping the Flyers very much in the game.

Just four minutes into the 3rd, the Flyer managed to tie the contest up at 1-1 thanks to a Sean Coutourier goal. However, Chris Kelly would notch the go-ahead goal for the B's with just a minute fifty to go. The Bruins hang on to win by a 2-1 final in their home opener and will immediately travel to Detroit to take on the Red Wings for Thursday night's game.

Puck is scheduled to drop at 7:30 ET at Joe Louis Arena and the game will be televised on NESN.

No comments:

Post a Comment