Friday, November 04, 2011

Football Friday, Michigan Overrated, Bama/LSU Hype

(Zach)

With all the buildup over the rematches in the Class 4A quarterfinals, perhaps it was inevitable that we get a bit of a letdown.  After sneaking past Dowling 28-21 during Week 0 in August, Valley destroyed the defending state champs 45-20 this time.  It was 38-7 at half.  Trey Lewis gets most of the headlines running the ball, but Tyus Mason has emerged over the last few weeks with Lewis battling injuries.  They look nearly alike, but Mason is a sophomore.  He'll be a load the next two years.

Trey Lewis ran for a TD on the first play from scrimmage
Amara Darboh had all three touchdowns for Dowling, including an 80-yarder when the game was still in doubt.  Let the speculation about where he'll play his college downs begin.

Ankeny beat Southeast Polk 12-7 two months ago in a game that was overshadowed by Cy-Hawk week.  Offense not a problem this time, but the result mostly the same, with the Hawks winning 27-17.  Like Mason, another young sophomore emerging is Ankeny's Marshall Clark.  Down 10-7 late in the second, Clark made a one handed catch on a Joel Lanning bomb and raced 71 yards for the go-ahead score.  It was the pivotal play of the game as the Hawks also got a pick six and field goal in the closing moments of the half that put them ahead 24-10.

Ankeny kicker Cole Netten is headed for Iowa State next year, but he might already be better than either of the Cyclone kickers now.  Netten drilled field goals of 42 and 36 yards.  Into the wind. 

So we'll get Ankeny and Valley next Friday at the UNI Dome.  The Hawks have a strong defense, but the offensive line at Valley is massive.  Ankeny might have a little extra motivation though.  Longtime coach Jerry Pezzetti was very emotional after the win, and some have wondered if he'll continue coaching once the new Ankeny Centennial High School opens in 2013, thus splitting the school and potentially forcing him to coach against kids he once coached.  If the Hawks go all the way, perhaps he rides off into the sunset like Tony LaRussa with a title.

Elsewhere, Madrid is Madrid again.  They were buried early in the season playing a couple of bigger schools, but the Tigers are headed back to the UNI Dome after shutting out Bedford 22-0.  In 8-man, tough end to a fine season for Adair-Casey who lost 70-54 to Murray.

Hopefully Michigan leaves those ugly road unis in Ann Arbor
I think Michigan is overrated because, well, they're Michigan.  Anytime the Wolverines look like they're good people get visions of Bo Schembechler and anoint Michigan great again.  Looking at their resume, this team looks a lot like Iowa.  Their best win?  A miracle over an average Notre Dame.  They've only played two road games all year, and their home slate was almost as soft as Iowa at Kinnick.

Unlike Iowa, to their credit, the Wolverines do have a road win at a terrible team, beating Northwestern 42-24.  But that came after digging themselves a ten point hole at half.  All due respect to the Wildcats, the closest thing to a hostile environment like the one they'll see in Kinnick tomorrow was the game at Michigan State, and that turned into a 28-14 Sparty party.  Defensively Michigan gives up an average of 12 points per game at home and 26 on the road.  The Iowa defense will surely give up their share of points too, but Denard Robinson isn't perfect.  Get ahead of them, stuff the running game a bit, and force Robinson to throw more than he'd like, and he can be had (Example, three picks in the first half vs Northwestern).

It won't shock me if Iowa loses tomorrow either, but for some reason, this team plays like they're bullet proof at Kinnick, and tomorrow is a season defining game.  I think Iowa wins another shootout game with each team probably scoring in the 30s'.  Not exactly our father's Michigan-Iowa type of game eh?

Wasn't that easy last time.....
Iowa State has, in the past, struggled to follow up with solid games after their big signature road upsets.  In 2009 they were drilled at Texas A&M after the Nebraska win.  Last year following the Texas win the Clones were down at half to, ironically, Kansas before pulling away.  Looks like a sure thing for ISU but remember, before the Texas Tech game, KU probably looked at this game as their last, best chance to get a win.  I imagine they still do.

This also might be the Cyclones last chance for a win too.  Get it and they are 5-4 with three left to play.  Sound familiar?  It should, its the same scenario ISU had last year after beating Kansas.  ISU went on to lose a heartbreaker in OT to Nebraska, lay their biggest egg at Colorado, and get shutout at home by Mizzou.  This year the schedule's a lot tougher.  Oklahoma State after a bye at home, then at Oklahoma and Kansas State.

Are Alabama and LSU playing this weekend?  Sure seems like there has been a shortage of media coverage.  I mean, at least in the few seconds when I turn over to ESPN and Erin Andrews isn't chilling in the players lounge at LSU.  I'm sure it will be a good game, but two weeks of build up and hype from the Worldwide Leader for a game that isn't even on their family of networks seemed a bit much.

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