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The Good, Bad and Ugly of college football Saturday

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The Cougs were even part of it!

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COLLEGE FOOTBALL: AUG 31 New Mexico State at Washington State Photo by Robert Johnson/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Good morning, and welcome to another edition of “Saturday college football, as told through Twitter, and other stuff.” While Saturday’s action wasn’t as dramatic and tumultuous as last weekend, there were still some great plays, as well as a head-turning upset and another edition of #college kickers. And it was quite spicy!

First, though, we’d be remiss if we didn’t kick things off with some news about the home team. And since there are actual developments regarding your Washington State Cougars, the other stuff will be kept to a minimum, at least in comparison to weeks past.

The Good

  • Cougar Football! Kinda!

The Cougs held their first full-contact scrimmage of the fall on Saturday, and even though no media members could attend (seriously, this is dumb but whatever), it was great to read about actual players doing actual things that took place outside of the weight room or a Zoom call.

As with most scrimmages, and anything else involving football, the quarterbacks took center stage. Nick Rolovich was complimentary of both Cammon Cooper and Jayden de Laura, with Cooper earning the bulk of the plaudits. In a post-scrimmage interview, Rolovich said this about Cooper:

“I thought he was consistent, I thought he was in command, I thought he knew where to go with the ball,” Rolovich said. “I think we can still get balls out quicker, but for the opportunities he had, I thought he performed well. Now we can see (it) on film, but that’s just my gut coming out of the practice. I thought Jayden did some good things, too.”

According to the stats published on the school’s website, Cooper completed nine of 15 passes for 147 yards, with one touchdown and one interception. In all, according to those same statistics, quarterbacks went 38-63 for 419 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

It was also a good day for the running backs, as bellcow Max Borghi tallied 70 yards on just five carries and redshirt freshman Jouvensly Bazil recorded an astounding 93 yards on another five rush attempts. That seems great! Ok, it does unless competent defense is among your preferences. As far as receivers, it looks like freshman Joey Hobert is taking to the offense quite well, as he caught six passes for 113 yards and caught both touchdown passes. Five different receivers caught at least five passes.

I don’t even know what to make of that defensive stat sheet, as it appears there are some serious formatting issues. The Cougs take the field again Sunday for another practice.

  • SEC Road Triumphs

Hats off to the South Carolina Gamecocks and Kentucky Wildcats, as they both ended years of misery on Saturday. We’ll start with Big Blue, who went into Neyland Stadium and thumped the unbelievably overrated Tennessee Volunteers, 34-7. UK hadn’t won in Neyland since David Lee Roth was fronting Van Halen and I’m not talking about those ill-fated reunions. Related: RIP Eddie.

Watching these highlights, it didn’t take me long to realize the Kentucky has its own version of Jim Walden in the analyst role.

If 1984 seems like a long time ago, 1933 would like a word. Before Saturday, that was the last time the ‘Cocks beat the Auburn Tigers. It appears they were a tad excited afterward.

Now, you might be thinking, “Damn, South Carolina hadn’t beaten a conference opponent in over 80 years? That losing streak must have been in the 40s!” Well thanks to the absurdity that is SEC scheduling, and the fact that South Carolina didn’t start playing in the SEC until 1992, they’d only faced each other eight times since then. Ridiculous.

  • How ‘bout them Arkansas Razorbacks! They were outclassed in the second half of their opener against the Georgia Bulldogs, but they should be 3-0 since then if not for getting ref’d against Auburn. The turnaround continued on Saturday with a defeat of the Ole Miss Rebels. This is the same school that hadn’t won a conference game in what seemed like decades. Congrats, Hogs, and this belongs in the Twitter Hall of Fame.

Sir Topham Hatt can not be happy with the Lane Train!

As in several other instances so far in 2020, there was probably only one real winner at FSU.

  • A few great catches out there! Let’s lead with those same Razorbacks.

Does Thayer Thomas have velcro on his helmet?

Finally, once again from Auburn-Sakerlina, Shi Smith was not to be outdone.

The Bad

  • You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting multiple four-and-five stars on the Georgia Bulldogs roster, and the best they have to offer at quarterback is Stetson Bennett, IV? Really? Bennett is symptomatic of overall SEC quarterback incompetence. Looking at you Bo Nix, and you K.J. Costello, and you Justin Guarantano, and...I’m getting tired. Mac Jones seems to be the only guy who didn’t stink on Saturday.
  • Hey 76, what you doin’?

Apparently it was a crazy day all around for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish offensive line.

  • Gary no
  • In a wild shootout, the Central Florida Golden Knights needed a 40-yard field goal to beat the Memphis Tigers. Let’s see how it went.

Somehow, that wasn’t even the worst part!

Should be a fun team meeting on Sunday!

The Ugly

  • Remember when Mike Leach and the Mississippi State Bulldogs were the toast of college football after the SEC’s opening weekend? Seems like 100 years ago. Much has been made of #clanga’s offensive ineptitude of late, so I thought I’d take a closer look. The results were, to put it lightly, ghastly.

The Bulldog offense scored a touchdown with 3:50 remaining in the third quarter against Arkansas. Their next offensive touchdown came with 11:11 to go against the Texas A&M Aggies. In between, Mississippi State had 28 offensive possessions. On those 28 possessions, they ran 128 plays, gained 491 yards (3.34 YPP), threw eight interceptions (one for a touchdown) and were outscored by their own defense 9-0. Hoo boy.

  • Things weren’t much better for the team in the northwest part of the state on Saturday.

Positively Wulffian.

Football

QBs Cammon Cooper, Jayden de Laura make solid impressions in Washington State's first fall scrimmage | The Spokesman-Review
When Nick Rolovich was asked a fairly generic question in the postscrimmage interview – “Did anyone in particular stick out to you today … that really just impressed you?” – the first-year coach made a request.

Cougars Hold First Scrimmage in Martin Stadium - Washington State University Athletics
The Washington State football team held its first scrimmage of preseason camp at Martin Stadium Saturday afternoon.

BFT Interview: Greg Biggins by John Canzano BFT Podcast | Free Listening on SoundCloud John Canzano talks with Greg Biggins about why recruiting has slowed down as of late, how the players getting an extra year of eligibility will affect future teams, and the lay of the recruiting land for Pac-12 football.

Beer

Best beer I had this week: It’s probably a good thing that I can’t regularly access selections from California’s The Bruery. If I could, I’d tip the scales somewhere north of three bills. But I do get it via mail every now and then, and Hold the Spoon: Black Chocolate Cake was nothing short of sensational.

Heineken fined £2m for making pubs sell 'unreasonable' amounts of its beer | Business | The Guardian
Regulator says Heineken’s pubs and bars business, Star, deterred pubs from stocking competitors’ drinks

This Week in Parenting

We wrapped up the Malta trip with a boat tour around the lovely island of Comino, which contains the famous Blue Lagoon. It was spectacular. Before we got there, our guide showed us around the island’s scenic rock formations, such as this one.

I remarked to the 12 year-old/WW II fanatic, “Lots of good sniper positions up there, buddy.” This prompted the reply, “Well yeah, obviously.” Tough crowd.

The kids also spent the long walks between our room and the lobby testing their (admittedly subpar) leaping ability at every opportunity. This included trying to slap every archway and exit sign. By Monday, the eight year-old finally found success.

It was a proud moment in his young life. He’s spying on me as I write this, and he reminded me that he is now a nine year-old. Oops!

Then on the flight home, I noticed that he was playing a game on his tablet that involved landing planes. He kept playing the portion that involved landing on the water, which doesn’t seem as challenging as setting down on hard surface (at least not when simulating it), so I said, “Why don’t you try landing a plane on the runway?” This was met with derision. “Uh, because this is a sea plane.” Well I guess he showed me.

This Week in Husbanding

Mrs. Kendall and I take part in an NFL picks pool. Despite my annual request that we team up, she is determined to maintain our gambling distance. As always, her decision-making is stronger than mine. Every week, we pick four games ATS, and apply a total of 10 confidence points among the four picks. Each weekly winner gets a cash reward. Over the first five weeks of the season, she’s gone 4-0 three different times. I haven’t gone 4-0 since the Coolidge Administration. Never gamble.

Non-Sports

He Thought We’d Be ‘Better Off’. Two years ago, my husband of 18 years… | by Jennifer B. Calder | Sep, 2020 | Human Parts
Two years ago, my husband of 18 years took his life. I'm still coming to terms with why.