Monday, October 3, 2016

Tigers, Huskies And Tigers

If you want to look into a football stadium and see an incredible view, then it's hard to imagine beating Memorial Stadium at Clemson.

It certainly looked insane for the game Saturday night between Clemson and Louisville, which Clemson won 42-36 in what so far has been the best college football game of the season. It came down to a Clemson stop at the 5 yard line as time was running out, derailing Louisville's quick start to the season and perhaps the Heisman hopes of its quarterback, Lamar Jackson, at the same time.

TigerBlog never really figured out which team he wanted to win that game. He did figure out quickly that the atmosphere at that game was off the charts.

Can you imagine what that must be like? First, there's the build up all day. Then there's the game, wedging 82,000 people into the building. Even the arrival of the home team from the bus is nuts.

TigerBlog has never been to a game like that. What must it be like to walk around outside the stadium two hours before the kickoff, for that matter?

Maybe one day he will.

If you want to look out of a football stadium and see an incredible view, then it's hard to imagine beating Husky Stadium in Seattle. 

Make that Alaska Airlines Field at Husky Stadium.

It's the home field of the University of Washington. If you look out the open end, you'll see Lake Washington and beyond that the Cascade Mountains and Mt. Rainier. The stadium is famous for the boats that dock and let spectators off on game days.

TigerBlog has never seen a game there, though he's checked out the view, and it's quite impressive. The stadium is located on one end of the U-Dub campus; BrotherBlog's office in the law school is somewhere else on the campus.

Because the school is the employer of both BB and Joe, the official brother-in-law of TigerBlog, TB likes to root for the Huskies, who after an 18-53 stretch a decade ago have now been to six straight bowl games. The current head coach of the team is Chris Petersen, the man who built Boise State into a national power. Peterson, who is in his third season, is now 25-12.

The 25th win was the most impressive, as the Huskies destroyed No. 7 Stanford 44-6 to go to 5-0 on the year. Can Washington make a real run at a place in the college football playoffs? The rest of the regular season means Oregon, Oregon State, Utah, Cal, USC and Washington State.

Is there a bump in the road there somewhere?

Washington opened its season by defeating Rutgers 48-13. If that score is familiar to Princeton fans, it should be.

TigerBlog first checked out the score of Saturday's Princeton-Columbia game to find the Lions up 6-0. The next time he looked, it was 6-6.

Then he put the game on the Fox Sports Go app on his iPad just in time for it to be 13-6, but he wasn't sure who had scored. Then he realized it was Princeton.

And then Princeton, Princeton, Princeton, Princeton and Princeton again.

Seven possessions. Seven touchdowns. Final score, 48-13 Tigers.

Hey, if you're going to give up the first and last scores of a game, you might as well bang out seven touchdowns in between.

The key play of the game, if there can be one in a 35-point win, came in the second quarter, with the score 6-6 and Princeton with 4th and 1 at the Princeton 29. That's the Princeton 29, not the Columbia 29.

TigerBlog would like to think that Princeton head coach Bob Surace said to himself "what would TB do in this situation" and then had John Lovett run for the first down. It was a courageous call, since Surace would have been hammered for his decision had it failed, Columbia gotten possession, scored and changed the entire dynamic of the game.

Too many football coaches make decisions not to be second-guessed. This wasn't the time for that. This was the time to say "hey, we can get a yard, and even if we can't, I'm counting on my defense." It says a lot about the faith that the coach has in his guys.

Anyway, six plays later Princeton was in the end zone, on a 26-yard pass from Chad Kanoff to Trevor Osborne. Kanoff had a great day, going 21 for 25 for 230 yards and three scores.

Lovett also had a great day. Lovett is an incredible weapon, with six rushing touchdowns through three weeks, three of which came against the Lions. He's now carried the ball 22 times, and six of those 22 have ended up in the end zone.

Against Columbia Lovett had eight carries for 50 yards and three touchdowns. No carry of his was for negative yardage. For the year, only one of his carries has been for negative yardage - a loss of one.

Lovett completed 5 of 8 for 59 yards and a touchdown and also caught two passes for 42 more yards. Like the atmosphere at Clemson, Lovett's versatility is insane.

Princeton is 2-1, 1-0 in the Ivy League. The one loss is to Lehigh, who beat Penn and Yale worse than it did Princeton (not that that means anything). Still, it's not an awful loss. And Penn looked great the other night against Dartmouth.

Princeton is at Georgetown this week in the final non-league game. Then it's the key two-game stretch of the season, at home, against Brown and Harvard. Much more will be known by the time that ends.

In the meantime, TigerBlog can leave Bob Surace to call his own plays.

And if he needs any help, he and TB seem to be connected telepathically.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

"Mt. Rainier" is the correct spelling.