Welcome to the 82nd edition of Tuesdays With Mitch, where last-second field goals and record breaking touchdowns are commonplace. Big post this week. Let’s get into it…
I’ll start– again– with some thoughts on the Colorado State Rams. I keep planning on focusing on something else in these posts, but they just keep winning in dramatic fashion. They leave me no choice.
This one started with a bang. On the first play from scrimmage Rashard Higgins took a short pass and turned it into a 69-yard gain. CSU would score three plays later. The sellout (no, really!) crowd at Hughes was rockin’.
A couple series later, Utah State answered with a 59 yard touchdown run from Joe Hill.
From that point until the fourth quarter the game was… actually pretty boring. Lots of punts. Lots of penalties. A couple field goals. A couple injuries. A missed field goal. That was pretty much it.
In fact, the second and third quarters saw a combined total of three points.
So credit goes to both defenses for stepping up. Even though there wasn’t a lot of flash, the game was intense throughout.
Things became particularly intense when the fourth quarter started. Let’s break that down a bit.
The final frame began with Utah State at the CSU 22 and driving with a little bit of momentum. But CSU held them to a field goal. 13-10 Aggies.
Colorado State then moved the ball, but the drive stalled and Jared Roberts missed a 47-yard field goal that seemed like it could be a back-breaker. But the CSU defense forced a quick three-and-out and the Rams took over down by three with nine minutes left.
The Rams moved the ball and chewed a lot of clock, which set up a huge third and five at the Aggie 30 with about two minutes remaining. McElwain surprised me with a conservative play call on what could have been the Rams’ final drive. A Jason Oden run up the middle went for no gain. When I saw the running play I thought maybe McElwain was in “four down territory” mode. And perhaps he would have gone for the first down if the prior play had led to a fourth and short. Instead, on fourth and five he trusted his kicker to make one from 46. It worked. Tie game. 1:40 left.
That moment was pretty damn dramatic. The final 1:40 wasn’t too bad either.
Utah State took over at the 26 and Hughes came alive like I’ve never seen before. It was a pretty cool moment for me personally to take a step back and glance around the stadium and listen to that sellout crowd roar in the game’s biggest moment. The students, who often leave to go increase their B.A.C. sometime in the third quarter, were still loud as hell and focused. Pretty good stuff.
After one first down, the Rams’ D stepped up again and forced another punt from the Aggies.
CSU took over on the twelve. Most of us assumed they would play for overtime, which is what they did initially. Handoff to Hart for a couple yards. Let the clock run. Handoff to Hart… Except this one went for 17 yards and a clock-stopping first down.
Well shoot, now you might as well take a shot right?
(You’re welcome for that very technologically advanced and professional multimedia presentation I created by holding my phone in front of my TV. Via CBS Sports.)
So that pretty, majestic, dramatic, stalwart 46-yard bomb to Higgins blew the roof off Hughes and set up a last-second 46-yard field goal from Roberts, who COMPLETELY REDEEMED HIMSELF after his miss earlier in the fourth quarter.
Colorado State is 6-1.
I think I’ve said this before, but this was a big win for CSU.
Utah State is another good team and they came to play. Yes, CSU caught a break when quarterback Darrell Garrettson went down for the Aggies. But honestly, the USU offense wasn’t doing much with him in there either.
It was not the prettiest of wins. The Rams’ offensive line line was completely outplayed by Utah State’s strong front seven, which recorded three sacks in the first half and five more in the second. Colorado State had to overcome a whole crapload of big penalties, too (11 for 116 yards). But they did.
So the bottom line from Saturday is that Colorado State won yet another game they could have easily lost against a quality opponent.
Hey let’s update these numbers, which I enjoy doing every week (apparently). Colorado State is now 10-2 in their last 12 games going back to last season. 12-3 in their last 15; 13-4 in their last 17.
Before the season, I said Colorado State’s schedule had one “maybe” game, three “probably not” games, and 9 “should win” games. CSU won the “maybe” (Colorado) and went 2-1 in the “probably nots” (Wins over Boston College and Utah State). It’s been an impressive seven weeks.
The Rams will be favored in every game for the remainder of the regular season. If they can take care of business against lesser teams, this could turn into a very special year.
And while we’re at it, go ahead and jump to the 1:56 mark of this video to bypass a bunch of screaming hooligans who rushed the field and some interesting(?) locker room dancing and enjoy some awesome locker room Fight Song-ing.
Off to the weekly departments…
Stud of the week:
I’ll use this space to share some thoughts on the Broncos, because their quarterback is kind of a stud. Did you know that Peyton Manning broke that record for touchdown passes or whatever? He totally did.
Manning breaking the record was a special moment for the Broncos and their fans, even if Manning did throw 399 of his touchdowns in a Colts uniform. Simply put, I am constantly in a state of awe at what Manning has done in the two and a half years he’s been in Denver. It has to be the most remarkable story of my generation, right? Coming back from those surgeries and being released by Indianopolis and missing an entire season to achieve all of this is just unbelievable. All he needs is a Super Bowl (or two) to cement his story as one of the all-time best in sports history.
And while I’m on the topic here are some non-Manning-record Broncos thoughts:
- They currently look like the best team in the NATIONAL FOOTBALL LEAGUE! by a wide margin. Vegas agrees, listing them as heavy favorites to win the Super Bowl at 3-1.
- They just pounded a pretty darn good 49ers team, albeit one that is depleted by injuries. Sunday night was the biggest statement the Broncos have made all year.
- We might be entering the part of the season when the Broncos just beat the crap out of whoever they play and we’re all bored by halftime. It is not okay to complain about this.
- That said, they lost a Thursday night home game to San Diego last year. They play San Diego at home on Thursday night. Thursday night football is stupid and this game concerns me.
- Against the 49ers the Broncos used the pass to set up an effective run game instead of trying to set up the run from the outset. This is how it should work every week.
- When Von Miller steps on the field, he is the best football player out there. A healthy and active Miller is a huge game-changer.
- The sweetest play of the night might not have involved Peyton Manning. It may have been this fake spin move sack from DeMarcus Ware.
And as a quick aside, if you didn’t assume this was scripted and planned out (which it was) from the moment you saw it, you’re far less cynical than me. This was classic, goofy, aren’t-we-cute? Peyton.
Tweet of the week:
The lady who received Brett Favre’s now infamous picture message had some advice for Peyton on Sunday night.
Well played, even though I hate the term “prolly”.
Douche of the week:
I’ll use this space to talk about some baseball because I hate the Giants so damn much. Travis Ishikawa is a douche for doing this.
Although… I also hate the Cardinals so he’s kind of a stud too.
A quick thought on Joe Buck’s call there… It was perfect. He knew the ball was gone and jumped in immediately. Perfect timing. “The Giants win the pennant!” has historical significance. He quickly made the call with exuberance followed by silence from the whole booth for 46 seconds. Perfect. If you don’t like Joe Buck calling a baseball game, you’re trying too hard to find something to complain about.
Anyway, I can’t believe the Giants are in the World Series again. I’m convinced they’re just not that talented. It does not add up. Their starting pitching isn’t even that good this year outside of the postseason version of Madison Bumgarner. But I suppose there is something to be said for a team that finds ways to win. Even if those wins come on wild pitches, errors on bunts, and routine fielders choices.
Over in the ALCS, the
2007 Rockies 2014 Royals swept the Orioles and haven’t lost a postseason game yet. They’re the first team in history to start a Postseason 8-0. Though, to be clear, that statement is a bit of a misnomer. The ’07 Rockies did the exact same thing, but their Wild Card play-in game was considered game 163 of the regular season and not a Postseason game. Same exact thing though.
Also, this is a thing that happened.
Here was the awesome scene in Kansas City on Wednesday afternoon:
The MLB Postseason has been awesome– even with all of the short series– and I’m geeked for the Fall Classic, which starts tonight on Fox.
I’ll pick the talentless and hatable Giants to win it all for the third time in five years. I have no idea how San Fransisco will score late runs off the Royals’ bullpen and that outfield defense (Gordon and Cain are simply a treat to watch out there), but they will probably find a way on some flukey garbage nonsense. Giants in six. Hope I’m wrong.
Vines of the week:
More good stuff this week, but I have to warn you, nothing as funny as that Longhorn punch from last week, which I still haven’t stopped laughing at.
…But Lou Holtz saying this sentence is pretty darn close:
I’m not the Mike! This is just awesome audio.
I’ve never heard a ref say this.
Here’s Tubby Smith falling on a mortorcycle.
Madison Bumgarner Wasting Beer, Volume III
We’re up to 66 oz. of waste this week.
A couple other cool things:
The Ohio State marching band is amazing. Keep an eye out for the pin ball session.
I am told those are people moving around out there, presumably playing instruments.
This lady is just too damn much:
A couple links worth sharing:
- Gregg Doyel’s final column at CBS is worth your time. He writes about a veteran walking across America to honor fallen soldiers. Good stuff.
- I really enjoyed Jeff Passan’s column from Kansas City after the Royals won the American League.
- The latest episode of “The Grind” came out on Thursday. As the season rolls on and increases in significance, all these videos are turning into a pretty cool project from the university.
And finally, Katie Nolan is on the same page as me when it comes to Madison Bumgarner’s celbratory antics. This video is great, but I’m really just putting this in here because Nolan is one of my favorite people on the internet. She’s a star in the making. And… you know… I think we’d probably get along.
Happy Tuesday everybody. Thanks for reading. Enjoy the Fall Classic. See ya next week.
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