Tuesday, September 5, 2017

Rosen And Olson

The college football season is underway, in case you didn't happen to stumble on one of the approximately 1,000 games that were on TV this past weekend.

Once the Ivy League football season starts, and with all of the games that Princeton's fall teams play on your average Saturday for the next two-plus months, TigerBlog won't get a chance to watch endless college football, like he could this past weekend.

Not that he watched all that much. The point is that he could have.

College football was everywhere on television. Are the powers that be worried about over-saturation of their product? If they are, you can't tell by the schedule in Week 1, and it'll only get bigger and bigger as the season goes along.

It all started at noon Saturday, when there were nine games on TB's television. That doesn't even count all the games that were on ESPN3 or streamed elsewhere.

For all of the college football this weekend, there were really only two players who stood out. One was Josh Rosen. The other was Jake Olson.

Let's start with Rosen, UCLA's quarterback. Are these good passing numbers: 19 for 26, 294 yards, four touchdowns?

Yeah? Because that was Rosen's fourth quarter against Texas A&M Sunday night. yeah. His fourth quarter.

Of course, UCLA needed all of those yards and TDs. The Bruins trailed 44-10 in the third quarter before Rosen brought the Bruins back, all the way back, for a 45-44 victory.

The largest comeback in college football history was 35 points. This was only 34. Of course, any conversation about comebacks has to include Princeton's 50-49 win over Penn in men's basketball at the Palestra in 1999, but hey, why digress right now?

TigerBlog was hardly paying attention to the UCLA game after it become a blowout. He was mostly seeing Rosen being pitied on Twitter for having to stand out there and get beaten up like that.

Then all of the sudden, he started the comeback. TB didn't even turn it on until it was 44-38 and Rosen with the ball for the last time as he took his team to the win, converting a fourth-and-6 along the way after a sure, certain first-down pass on third down had been dropped. He even did the fake spike on the game winner.

It's going to be hard to top that one as the best individual performance of the year by a player. In fact, TB will go out on a wild limb and say nobody will.

The play of the year might also have happened in Week 1, and it also happened in Southern California. That's where Olson comes in.

Olson was the long snapper for USC. The Trojans scored a late touchdown against Western Michigan to go up 48-31, and Olson came on to be the snapper for the extra point for the first time in his career. And his snap was good, leading to a 49-31 final.

Play of the year? Well, if you consider that Olson is completely blind, yes, it is. Read about it HERE.

You probably already heard about that of course. There's more to the story than just the USC part, of course. The official who started the play deserves a lot of credit for how he handled it, as do the Western Michigan coaches and players, especially the ones on the field at the time.

It'll make you teary a bit if you watch it again.

Anyway, that was a big Week 1 for college football.

For Princeton, Week 1 for the football season is in two Saturdays. This is always the toughest week for Ivy League players, TB supposes, in that now everyone is playing, but you still have another non-game week to go.

Princeton opens its season against San Diego, on Sept. 16 an Powers Field at noon.

If you want to buy tickets in person, by the way, you have to go out to the football stadium to do it. The ticket office in Jadwin Gym is now closed, as part of the Jadwin lobby renovation project. As a result, the ticket office has been relocated for the time being to the ticket booth in the football stadium.

San Diego opened its season this past weekend with a 34-20 win over Western New Mexico. Up next is UC-Davis, before the trip to Princeton the following weekend.

Lafayette, Princeton's Week 2 opponent, lost 31-12 to Monmouth this weekend. The Leopards next host Sacred Heart this Saturday and then are at Villanova before hosting the Tigers. By the way, TigerBlog will be rooting for Sacred Heart in this weekend's game, for obvious reasons.

Georgetown, the other non-league opponent for Princeton, opens this weekend.

The later start for Ivy League football is part of the culture of the league. It's just how it is.

Besides, the 2017 season at Princeton should be worth waiting for. The Tigers were the best team in the league last year, earning a share of the title with Penn but owning a 28-0 win over the Quakers. Princeton also had the No. 1 offense and No. 1 defense in the league.

With the start of a new season will come a chance to see whatever new wrinkles will be part of what is already the most unique offense in the sport, with its multiple quarterbacks on pretty much every play.

Besides, a week from Saturday will be here soon enough.

In the meantime, you can watch the next 1,000 games on TV next weekend. 

1 comment:

Nassau83 said...

Josh Rosen's mom is a tiger! Elizabeth "Wiz" Lippincott is a member of Princeton's Class of 1982. She was a 4X Letterwinner in Lacrosse, captained the team in 1982 (sole captain) and received the Emily Goodfellow and Women's Lacrosse Awards her senior year. She was also an outstanding figure skater who spent many nights practicing in Baker Rink with the University's current Executive Vice President, Treby McLaughlin Williams '84. Both Wiz and Treby are outstanding individuals with the high character and exemplary values that are hallmarks of Princeton athletics.