36-10. OK State's first drive stalled but AZ fumbled the punt return at their own 26 and the 'Boys made em pay. Six plays later OK State was up 7-0 and the BBofG
8 game string of opponents scoring first was finally over. Arizona then drove to OK St 34 but blew it on 4th down. The 'Boys made em pay again with a bomb to a wide - I mean wiiiiiide open Justin Blackmon (who took it all in by running right in front of the goal line for about 40 yds
before stepping in). But AZ was not about to give in yet as they took their next drive to the house to close the gap to 14-7. OK St got a FG to end the 1st quarter and a 17-7 lead.
expected to be a lot of offense from both teams never materialized. OK State got one more TD in the third quarter and their defense kept AZ out of the end zone for the rest of the game. In what is expected to be his last game as a Poke - Justin Blackmon set a record 12th straight game of 100 yds and 1TD every game. It was also the last game for OC Dana Hologren as he takes his high powered offensive schemes to Morgantown WV. WIN
For Today's games I'll take -
North Carolina -1 vs Tennessee - Both teams overcame a ton of adversity this year. UNC's main problem was that they were not OSU or Auburn when it comes to dealing with the NCAA (sell stuff for money - go ahead and play - will suspend you when you go pro; get some academic help - take the season off). Tennessee has their third coach in as many years. The Vols started out slow (going 2-6) until they placed true FR QB Tyler Bray under center - who won all four of his starts resulting in a bowl bid. UNC had 15 players suspended including 7 for the entire 2010 campaign. But under the next man up motto - some players flourished. DT Quintin Coples went from likely backup to 1st team all ACC.
Looking at a couple of angles here in taking the 'Heels. Bray may be on a 4 game win streak with a TD to INT ratio of 14/5 but it was against the terrible defenses - Memphis, Ole Miss, Vandy and Kentucky. UNC may not have had the
spectacular defense that was expected due to the suspensions but it was solid all year long. I like UNC's DL and LB corp going up against a young Vol offensive line that starts 2 frosh. 'Heels SR QB TJ Yates has also been solid and takes care of the ball. Set aside a bad game against Va Tech - and he has had only 4 picks over 11 games. Tenn has a young ball hawking secondary but Yates will be careful and get his yards. He threw for 439 and 412 against Fla St and LSU respectively - not bad defenses.
The game is in Nashville - a near home game for Tenn. But near home teams are not doing so well this year as Hawaii, Baylor and Toledo all lost. SDST was had a near home win but Navy has a huge base in SD too so call it a neutral field. Maryland won a near home game but it was also Ralphy's last game.
Tenn and UNC had home and home game scheduled but Tenn wimped out. UNC will make them pay.
Not quite as sure in the other 3 games today -
I think Kansas State will win a Pick em game against Syracuse but I took the Orange under the very expanded Big Al rules - Kayla chapter. Syracuse will have to overcome the near home team jinx (game is in Yankee stadium) but has
dramatically improved their defense this year and is not the utter joke they have been in years past.
I liked SMU covering the 7 point spread against Army but another trend I have noticed is that teams relying on high powered aerial attacks have struggled so far including Hawaii, ECU and Arizona while more balanced teams have won - OK St, BSU MY and SD ST. Army isn't balanced so I will stay away.
And finally - thums down to the selection committee of the Holiday Bowl. Rematches of exciting games can be fun but Nebraska blew out Washington earlier this year 56-21. I actually would consider taking the Huskies as 14 point dogs given the revenge factor and the ongoing pissing match between Husker QB Martinez and hot head HC Bo Pellini. But I took Nebraska in my pool so.... That factor saved me from making a bad pick on Baylor last night. Some of the best picks are the ones you don't make.