Sunday, November 30, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Auburn

As far as highly anticipated games go, this one ranked up there with the Florida rematch in the 2009 SEC Championship. 

Even though Alabama had secured the West division after Ole Miss beat State that afternoon, after the horrifying "kick-six" in last year's Iron Bowl, Tide fans surely wanted to win this game really badly. 

And what a crappy first half for the Tide. I was worried whether the defense would hold up because they were on the field so long. The major difference in the game was Alabama's red-zone defense. They held Auburn to four field goals with good defense and a smidge of luck thrown in.

Blake Sims threw three atrocious interceptions in the middle of the game, which led the coaching staff to get Jacob Coker ready just in case he right the QB ship. Sims did, and the Tide defense played much better in the second half. 

Amari Cooper had a record-setting game: 13 receptions for 224 yards and 3 TDs, an Iron Bowl record for yards received. T.J. Yeldon garnered 127 yards on 19 carries and 2 touchdowns. Derrick Henry had some great runs later in the game and gained 72 yards on five carries and had a touchdown. 

Senior Nick Perry had a key interception in the second half. After Eddie Jackson got torched repeatedly, which was a surprise, senior Bradley Sylve came in and played well. I expected freshman speedster Tony Brown to replace Jackson, so it was satisfying to see him step up, especially because Sylve didn't play well in a number of games last season. 

So up next is the SEC Championship against Mizzou, a team that finds a way to win games. 

Saturday, November 29, 2014

Music Friday: "Down in a Hole"

I've been so out of it that I forgot to do my regular Music Friday post. 

As I sit here angry and befuddled during halftime of the Auburn-Alabama game, this song seems appropriate. 

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Western Carolina

Yesterday's game is one fans always worry about. 

And Crimson Tide fans got some scares. Amari Cooper went out early with a bruised knee, and both A'Shawn Robinson (starting DT) and Cam Robinson (starting LT) went out of the game with twisted ankles. Thankfully, it sounds like all three will be fine for the Iron Bowl. Unfortunately, it sounds like Brian Vogler and ArDarius Stewart won't be available for the next game. Stewart has looked good recently. He's a deep threat.

While pundits might nod disapprovingly at giving up 14 points to Western Carolina, the first score was a gift because Alabama clearly recovered a fumble, but the officials didn't deem it so. And then Henry fumbled deep in Alabama's territory, which gave the Catamounts great field position, and they then got a touchdown on a back-shoulder pass. There should have been review on it because the receiver bobbled the ball. 

But whatever. 

The Tide offense came out flat, but the D played well. When they ran the ball, Henry and Fowler looked good in place of the usual tandem of Yeldon and Henry. Yeldon was held out because of his slightly gimpy ankle. Besides the stupid fumble, Henry looked great. And I always enjoy when they line up Fowler at running back. 

This is the type of game a fan watches to see how the youngsters play. Of the younger guys, here are some pertinent stats:
  • RB Tyren Jones: 11 carries for 75 yards, 1 touchdown
  • RB Altee Tenpenny: 11 carries for 66 yards
  • WR Chris Black: 6 catches for 101 yards
  • WR ArDarius Stewart: 5 catches for 51 yards
  • WR Robert Foster: 4 catches for 40 yards
  • WR Cam Sims: 3 catches for 33 yards, 1 touchdown
Blake Sims only played the first half, so we got to see the offense under the guidance of Jacob Coker. I wasn't all that impressed. He did an okay job. 

But I was impressed by the play of Tyren Jones. He's reminds me of Mark Ingram, but he's probably a a bit shorter and slimmer. His legs are always chugging. 

Friday, November 21, 2014

Music Friday: "Green Machine"

This week I've been playing the heck out of an old album, Kyuss's Blues for the Red Sun circa 1992. 

Back in the 90s, my buddy Roy and I went to a show in Columbia, MO and saw a triple bill of these bands: Kyuss, Biohazard, and Fishbone. It was excellent, and as much as I'm a huge fan of Fishbone, Kyuss was the band that really impressed both Roy and me. 

So today I offer up "Green Machine." Listen to it, and you can thank me later. 

Sunday, November 16, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Mississippi State

One of the knocks against Alabama's strong defense this season is that they haven't created a lot of turnovers. That changed yesterday. 

Though State dominated the game from a statistical standpoint, the Tide dominated the game from a realistic standpoint. Key interceptions from Nick Perry, Cyrus Jones, and Landon Collins deflated the Bulldogs yesterday. And the D's ability to shut down State's fine running back Josh Robinson made their offense pretty predictable ~ either Prescott was throwing or running. 

I hadn't seen a safety in a while, so it was fun to witness one of those in the first quarter. 

As for the offense, it sustained some drives, but it wasn't clicking like it could have. Sure, Amari Cooper was out there doing Amari Cooper things, but State's D is pretty salty, especially in the red zone. The offense and Yeldon got it going in the fourth quarter to finally put the game away even though State came back in the fourth, scored a touchdown late, and didn't succeed with an onside kick.  

If I'm getting this right, the SEC West breaks down this way: 

  • If Alabama wins against Auburn, it goes to the SEC Championship.
  • If Alabama loses to Auburn and State beats Ole Miss in the Egg Bowl, State goes to the SEC Championship.
  • If Alabama loses to Auburn and Ole Miss beats State in the Egg Bowl, Ole Miss goes to the SEC Championship.
The East breaks down this way:
  • If Mizzou loses a game, Georgia goes the SEC Championship.
  • If Mizzou wins the rest of its SEC matches (Tennessee and Arkansas), they go to the SEC Championship.

Friday, November 14, 2014

Music Friday: "In the Meantime"

I've been in a musical rut lately. However, I purchased the new Foo Fighters album this week after having watched the first four episodes of their HBO series Sonic Highways.

It's the only album I have from the Foo Fighters. I don't know why I never got into them. I like uptempo hard rock, so you think they'd appeal to me. The band usually employs three different guitars at a time. I like that. And they have a good drummer. 

I'll ponder this all while in the meantime, I'll give you a classic song circa 1992, Helmet's "In the Meantime."  

Sunday, November 9, 2014

Sunday Hangover: LSU

Last night in Baton Rouge we watched a typical Alabama-LSU slugfest. None of this spread-you-out, soft, finesse football. Hard hits abounded. No bullshit football. 

Besides a few drives by the Crimson Tide, LSU dominated the the game in regulation. Alabama beat the Tigers in total offensive yards - 315 to 259 - but LSU had the ball the most on offense: 38:16 to Alabama's 21:44. That's a huge difference in ball control. 

Credit the Tide D for hanging in there and sustaining a pounding. 

Credit the offense for waking up with 50 seconds to go in regulation. Sims came alive, and so did the receiving corps. 

On defense, DL Jarran Reed and LB Reggie Ragland accounted for 28 total tackles:
  • Reed: 2 solos, 13 assists, one of which was a tackle for loss
  • Ragland: 4 solos, 9 assists, one of which was a tackle for loss
The great catch and run by Cooper for a TD and the beautiful fade pass to White for the winning touchdown in overtime are plays to remember from this game. 

As much as I'm happy about the win, I'm concerned about the Tide's running game. The Tide will get tested by Mississippi State's "Psycho Defense" this coming Saturday. 

Friday, November 7, 2014

Stay Positive: How To Suck at Your Religion

I'm not as huge of a fan of The Oatmeal as I'm sure other people are, but the recent offering of "How to Suck at Your Religion" hits my sweet spot. Check it out. 

Music Friday: "Talkin' Loud and Sayin' Nothing"

After watching the Mr. Dynamite documentary (mentioned in my previous post), this week trips in my car have been funkified by listening to James Brown's 50th Anniversary Collection, which is a two-CD set of fifty songs. 

One of my favorite songs is the one below. That video is an extended version of the song. And I've linked the song as covered by Living Colour

Thursday, November 6, 2014

Stay Positive: James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party

Earlier this week I watched the HBO documentary Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown. It's quite a good one if you're interested in music documentaries. 

But since I grew up watching SNL, anything about James Brown reminds me of Eddie Murphy's great skit, James Brown's Celebrity Hot Tub Party. It's below for your viewing pleasure. 

James brown celebrity hottub by codordog

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Sunday Hangover: Bye Week

Saturday night was a disappointing night. 

Mrs. Nasty went to Ole Miss, so the Rebels' loss to Auburn was difficult. Their best WR broke his ankle on a play that would have had Ole Miss go ahead in the game (if I remember right). He released the ball in pain before the ball crossed the plane, and Auburn recovered the fumble in the end zone. 

At right around the same time, the Razorbacks drove in the waning moments of their game against State. The Arkansas QB threw up a ball short in the end zone, and a Bulldog made an interception to seal a victory in Starkville. Arkansas will upset someone in the SEC this season, and they only have a few games left to do so. 

The annual cocktail party in Jacksonville was really interesting to watch though. Georgia having two losses has put the East up for grabs, and Mizzou is leading it now. 

I didn't watch much of the Notre Dame-Navy game, but I would imagine a service academy putting up all kinds of points on the Fightin' Irish isn't going to impress the AP voters and the selection committee. 

In Morgantown, West Virginia lost at the end when they probably should have won that game against TCU.

Kansas State continues to roll along. They demolished Oklahoma State last night.

 Oregon soundly defeated its consistent nemesis Stanford. 

I suspect the top four teams the selection committee will have on its board this Tuesday are Mississippi State, Florida State, Auburn, and Oregon.