I felt like crap earlier tonight, and therefore decided against going over to Virginia to watch the Arizona game with the local alumni group. Apparently what I missed was an SEC game.
Before the season started, I had the notion that Arizona would be something of a trap game. They played SC hard last year, and I thought that if their defense stayed strong and Tuitama had continued to improve, the Wildcats might catch SC not paying attention. I couldn’t draw any conclusion from their “proper” game against LSU because LSU’s offense is more experienced than SC’s and the LSU D took Tuitama out early.
Turns out I needn’t have worried.
In the meantime, I watched a little of the Washington – UCLA game, and came away thinking that — based on what I’d seen — UCLA was going to hang on 19 – 14. Their defense was looking strong, and both stretches that I saw involved Stanback getting caught while trying to pass — not showing much “court sense,” as Frau DC Trojan noted at the time. Turns out that there was a win to be had after all, whether or not you buy the supernatural explanation or not…
However, the great disappointment of the evening was watching Michigan State implode against Notre Dame. I didn’t have a dog in that hunt beyond the usual hope that Notre Dame loses, so I was enjoying the game during the second half… until Michigan State started to lose it. They came apart on offense just enough and give Notre Dame credit, they made the most of the opportunities that they had.
One thing remained clear to me however. One can’t fault the commitment of Zibikowski, and while I don’t like Brady Quinn for reasons I can’t articulate clearly, he keeps at it all game. However, I am really starting to dislike Samardzija: showboating into the end zone, and then a lot of catching and dropping when there’s a defender too close. Maybe he was just trying to ensure that he didn’t turn it over, but to my mind a real wide receiver takes the beating and keeps the ball. (cf Calvin Johnson, Dwayne Jarrett, Anthony Gonzalez, or possibly even Mario Manningham…)
Anyway, I think there was an object lesson to be learned from both the Michigan State – Notre Dame game, and the UCLA – Washington game, which is that even Tyrone Willingham is willing to admit that his teams might be in need of divine intervention.