In a swerve that might be as annoying as the one to suddenly not do a blog for the week, I’m taking off my early game live-blogging of games most people want to see and throwing on a more acerbic pick that makes me very excited. This is probably the biggest non-playoff week of the season for our friends at the Football Championship Subdivision, so I want to veer into even more foreign territory by covering an FCS war. At 5:00 PM Central (admittedly during the Bama/Mizzou game), we’ll dive into the Wofford vs. Georgia Southern battle. By the way, the Georgia Southern website is airing this game for free, so you can follow along this way as well.
Wofford (5-0, 3-0 Southern) The Terriers have mostly demolished teams throughout the 2012 season, although a bit of luck also has averted them from facing an FBS opponent yet (their season finale is against current FBS #3 South Carolina, so the unbeaten record will probably fall regardless of today). Last week, they barely survived Furman. Wofford’s run on an insane rushing attack from running back Eric Breitenstein, who already broke a Southern conference record for rushing in a single game. Also, their starting quarterback has FOUR pass attempts in the Furman win. Nick Saban would be proud.
Georgia Southern (4-1, 3-1 Southern) Speaking of Nick Saban, Bama fans remember the weirdness that was the Georgia Southern game against the Tide last season, where a triple option mystified us for a good quarter and a half. Nothing’s all that different about GSU this year, despite a surprising loss to The Citadel early in the year. GSU ALSO doesn’t throw the ball much, as starting QB Jerick McKinnon threw the ball also exactly four times in their win last week against Western Carolina. The double option powers explode!
I’ll try to make this a little more interesting than usual because I’m expecting most folks won’t be watching the game even remotely live, but come back around here just before 5PM and we’ll have some FCS fun.
I can only see the side of the hard camera on the stream, but the crowd looks pretty good for this battle. I know I’d heard before the game that this is a pretty big rivalry.
Georgia Southern 0, Wofford 0 Let’s go! SOMETHING DROP BACK GIMME GIMME DROP. By the way, for the college layman like myself, the school is pronounced “WHOF-FORD.” Also, while it’s probably silly info to give, I do like that the announcers named all of the refs. And then the stream died briefly on the first run attempt. Dominique Swope and whatnot.
Oh shit, Swope fumbled early and Wofford has the ball at GSU’s 26. Nice action start. I know nothing about these teams, but this feels like a “the team that fumbles the most loses” game, although these rushing offenses haven’t done anything so far.
Aww, the poor guys running the production truck don’t know how to turn on ads at the right time or keep and take away the score box. Ah well. Wofford made a field goal, but with the offense going offsides, the team just decided to screw it and go for the touchdown. It’s a crazy option world. And then the one time Wofford throws, it’s intercepted. But again, it’s called off because of a flag. I’m feeling like I’m watching the wrong game because these option stops feel an awful lot like Alabama’s defense (although a few more flags against the GSU defense). Nice little defensive efforts so far, though. There’s been a lot of solid effort there.
Wofford 3, Georgia Southern 0 Wofford gets a field goal, which you already know. But what you don’t know is…umm…a lot? I’m all out of analysis, here’s a Pixies song:
GSU does a three and out, and neither of these option offenses have been able to properly contain solid defenses that probably are all too familiar with the other’s style.
It’s a little harder but more fun to watch this game without the bloat of television timeouts. And the GSU announcer sums up this Wofford drive by saying, “It’s about third and a cabride now.” And for the second time today, Wofford tries to throw and for their attempt, they get sacked.
The GSU stream uses an American flag as a transition. I assume their American bald eagle appreciation is mighty. Of course, I say that and immediately remember this is GSU’s Military Appreciation Day and “digital blue camouflage” uniforms. Another 3 and out, y’all!
AH SHIT, BREITENSTEIN GOES LOOSE. “Spoke too soon” said the color guy who criticized (rightly) the offenses for not looking too well before the lone bit of offensive majesty in this game so far, with a 56 yard run. Still, it looks like a few lone great runs are going to offset what is becoming a three and out war so far.
End of the 1st Quarter
Wofford 6, Georgia Southern 0 By the way, general comment on the bloat of FBS television contracts, but god, it’s a fresh change for a quarter to end after a half hour of real time. It’s probably also because of the mostly rushing offenses of both teams keeping the clock running, but damn, that’s a nice change of pace.
Oh damn, Breichenstein is Wofford’s FULLBACK. That’s ridiculous when a fullback is as good as he is. Don’t want to jinx him, but the NFL isn’t exactly known for their surplus of fullbacks.
And of course, as I typed this, McKinnon gets a 40 yard run. Again, he hasn’t thrown a single pass all day so far.
Wofford 6, Georgia Southern 3 The GSU kicker’s career peak was 32 yards and he made a 48 yard kick (with a little wind aid) with no problem. Other programs should study his lack of infection with the kickeraids. Also, noticed how very solid the announcing is and then realized the audio stream is directly from the GSU Radio Network where they almost have to sound decent. Says a lot about TV announcing, sadly.
Also, more three and outs! Again, that’s the limitation of both teams doing the same exact style of offense. The GSU color man brings up the great conceptual conundrum: “Either the offenses are playing poorly or these defenses are so darn good tonight.” Also of note, Georgia Southern has a PINTEREST PAGE. Amazing.
The rough parts about watching option offenses are that while they have good consistency rates of avoiding turnovers and a fine ability to break loose, but most drives look the same and always have a weird ability to get hit on 3rd and 3. Or I just didn’t pick the right week to judge the option playbook. Another three and out! And oh look, the quarter’s almost done. This is like soccer with a running clock. I like it.
And the biggest GSU play of this half is Dareon(?) Robinson returning for 40 yards. And the announcer made a quip that Wofford looked injured but they were probably out of breath (and then he said a guy was helped off the field). And again, the game started at 5PM Central and the quarter is almost over. And GSU finally bursts some rushing plays and there ya go.
Georgia Southern 10, Wofford 6 Dominique Swope has seven consecutive games with a touchdown and this game’s looking to have a nice second half. There’s been so much action that I haven’t been able to quip or post jpegs or anything I usually do, but I like the game not feeling like a slog, either. And the half’s just over. Again, this is entering HALFTIME at under an hour from kickoff. Nice. I can get used to this.
End of the 2nd Quarter
I’ve had playlists longer than this game will be, so I’m just going to post another YouTube link to a song. This is unrelated, but the Dum Dum Girls’ cover of “Baby Don’t Go” is one of my favorite songs of the last few years. And you’re not going to hear that on a stadium playlist:
“Neither team has shown that we could throw the ball, though.” I imagine it’s an inner hell for this color guy when there’s all of four pass attempts in an average GSU offense in 60 minutes. The other funny thing about this game is that the sacks are SPONSORED BY STEAK N SHAKE. And a pass attempt! And almost an interception. This explains everything.
The color guy said that the stream was very popular, listed cities, and then didn’t say “AND THEY’RE LISTENING IN TUSCALOOSA WHERE SOME SHIRTLESS DUDE IS BLOGGING THIS WHILE PACKING CHEEZ-ITS IN HIS MOUTH.” Another 3 and out from Wofford, and we’ll see if GSU can finally break out a nice big play and begin some bloodletting. But they don’t. Let’s search for some alumni! There are two founders of Zaxby’s (this probably explains the constant ads for them tonight) and also Luke Bryan, who is some country fella.
You know, I’m a bit more crediting to the defense. Both defenses have done a solid job of taking down speedy guys and forcing them into relatively short yardage plays all night.
At the right time, GSU is getting some good little run plays. It’s looking a lot like if they put something in here, they’ve got the game, considering the tough defenses and the rapid pace. But it won’t matter because again, GSU will have to punt. I’ll have to see how many punts have been attempted today. It’s the anti-WVU/Baylor.
End of the 3rd Quarter
There’s been too much talk about the wind, so there. While I was jamming to School of Seven Bells, there was a rare pass attempt sighting. It also went incomplete. And on the final offensive play of that last drive, Wofford’s QB fumbled the ball and a Georgia Southern player ALMOST got it. They had to punt, so this is a difference of 35 yards. This could be the play of the game considering the way it’s going. That said, GSU has charged to the Wofford 42. Which is suddenly making that 35 yards of difference a bit important. Worryingly, Jerick McKinnon is down and he looks pretty rough. He is a solid running threat for this team at QB, and on a drive that’s moved to the Wofford 21 and can put away the game, no one wants to lose momentum. Though, he got up and the crowd went nuts. So, good deal.
Georgia Southern 17, Wofford 6 Looking like Dominique Swope has put this one potentially away outright, unless Breichtenstein can break out a massive run late here. Rare pass attempt alert! It’s still incomplete. Brian Kass of Wofford has thrown one complete pass and Georgia Southern has legitimately not attempted a pass play all game.
There’s been some injury timeouts suddenly afoot, but the play-by-play guy wisely assumes that this is probably cramping. There’s also been some flags late here as well, which has reminded me of how clean this game has been relatively. Good chance Wofford would get in under the Clean Draw in the Euro.
And Michael Weimer, the Wofford backup QB, throws a complete pass! Wofford’s developing an offensive drive that could give us a damn good finish.
Georgia Southern 17, Wofford 9 Wofford needs a crazy ass finish here, of course. Also of note to non-FCS folk, going into this game, Wofford is #5 and Georgia Southern is #7. The top three teams in the FCS have all lost tonight. Also, looked like Georgia Southern might win on a friendly ref spot for a first down or something, if I’m hearing the GSU Radio audio correctly. But yeah, GSU is probably about to be in the top three again barring an insane fluke of happenstance that sends this game to an overtime that Wofford wins.
And that’s it! Good times!
End of Game
(For those who don’t read blogs about FCS teams, I’m going to the Pink Box Burlesque show tonight, and might have a few good thoughts about that tomorrow. So stay tuned for that. Anyways, good night, everybody!)