Monday, December 11, 2017

Talking Football

TigerBlog watched more of "College Game Day" than he usually does the other morning, mostly because Army-Navy is one of his favorite games of the year and basically the whole show was about Army and Navy.

Basically. There was also some time spent talking about the Heisman Trophy presentation, and it included live interviews with the three finalists. The eventual winner was Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, and when he was on, there was a graphic underneath that basically said this:

"Led FBS in completion percentage at 71.0 percent."

TigerBlog's first thought was that of course he knew someone who had a better completion percentage than Mayfield.

In all of NCAA college football, all four divisions, there were only two quarterbacks who had a higher completion percentage than Mayfield. One was Grant Russell of Ohio Dominican, who led Division II with a .725 percentage.

Russell, by the way, went 25 for 35 for for 273 yards and two TDs in Ohio Domincan's 42-24 loss to Penn in September. That was a completion percentage of 71.2 for the day. 

The other was Chad Kanoff of Princeton.

Kanoff, who won the Bushnell Cup as the Ivy League Offensive Player of the Year, completed 73.2 percent of his passes. That's an Ivy League record, let alone the Princeton one. In other words, no quarterback who competed at an NCAA school and threw the minimum number of passes to be eligible for national rankings had a better completion percentage than Chad Kanoff.

The more you look at Kanoff's numbers from this year, the more impressive they get.

Kanoff actually threw more passes in Princeton's 10 game (388) than Mayfield has in 13 so far for the Sooners (369). Mayfield threw 41 touchdown passes and just four interceptions, by the way, which is remarkable as well.

The Army-Navy game had some amazing numbers of its own.

There were 98 plays from scrimmage in the game, including 95 rushes. That left just three passes. When was the last time you saw a game like that?

Malcolm Perry of Navy did not attempt a pass but did carry 30 times for 250 yards and never once was tackled for a loss. When was the last time you saw a quarterback do anything remotely close to that?

As for the game itself, the sheer intensity of every play is what makes that game what it is. There's no other game anywhere in any sport that can compare to it. The players on both teams know that they they are representing not just their school and friends and those who played there before them but also entire branches of the United States military.

Factor in that they are also military members themselves, with everything that comes with that, and they play so hard from start to finish. Because of all those reasons, there's just no other game quite like it, in any sport, anywhere.

You had to feel for the Navy kicker at the end of Army's 14-13 win. He was asked to kick a 48-yard field goal on a snowy day, with even the best kickers would struggle to do.

TigerBlog wrote all the way back in 2009 about how he thought Navy's football offense was similar to Princeton's basketball offense had been in the 1990s, back before basically everyone copied elements of it. The basic idea is that the teams were playing in a unique style, one that was next to impossible for opponents to prepare for on short notice, and they were doing so in a way that would maximize the team's strengths and minimize its weaknesses.

It was actually a pretty good comparison.

Speaking of football, there are the Giants.

As TigerBlog said, Eli Manning is up there with any professional athlete on TigerBlog's list of favorites. Having said that, one his streak of consecutive games started ended at 210 last week, what was the point of playing him anymore? Don't you want to see what Davis Webb can do if you're the Giants, especially since they figure to be in position to pick one of the quarterbacks in the draft this coming spring?

On top of which, the Giants lost anyway. If you're trying to get something for Eli next year (like from the Jaguars), it's better if he doesn't play the rest of this season.

Here's another football question - why didn't CBS put the Buffalo game (in the blizzard) on nationally? Everyone would have watched that. It would have been the most-viewed game ever.

The national radio team, by the way, was former Princeton play-by-play man Tom McCarthy and former Princeton and NFL player Ross Tucker. Their social media stuff was great. 

It was certainly better than the Giants-Cowboys game.

TigerBlog watched most of the Giants game. It's really difficult for TB, going back and forth between shots of Jason Garrett (Princeton alum, Cowboys' coach, great person) and Jerry Jones (er, not Jason Garrett). 

Lastly, Princeton alum Seth DeValve caught two passes in the Browns' game against Green Bay yesterday. TigerBlog didn't realize this, but DeValve has at least one catch in all 13 Browns games this year.

Unfortunately for the Browns, they've lost all 13 of those games, none more heartbreaking than yesterday's 27-21 overtime loss to Green Bay. Cleveland led 21-7 in the fourth quarter, but a late TD, a bad interception in the overtime and then the winning score on a TD that was mostly trying to set up a field goal left the team at 0-13.

Heartbreaking, yes.

Though nothing on the level of what Navy was feeling.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

When was the last time you saw a quarterback do anything remotely close to that? The last game of the Princeton season. The Dartmouth wildcat quarterback ran 32 times for 203 yards and four touchdowns with just one lost yard.