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[Game Preview] Week 11 - Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-4)

Philadelphia Eagles (8-1) at Dallas Cowboys (5-4)
The Eagles won their bye within the division as all three of their divisional opponents suffered losses in week 10 while the Eagles took a much needed break to get healthy. Doug Pederson will try to use some of his mentor’s bye week magic to come out and get another win at AT&T Stadium. Philadelphia is 5-4 at AT&T Stadium, winning 3 of its last 4 games at the venue and they will look to improve upon that record on Sunday Night Football in Arlington. The Eagles are rode a 7 game win streak into the bye after dropping a 50 burger on the stout Denver defense and they will look to do the same against a Cowboys team that is on the ropes. Though the Eagles have lost some key players this season to injury they should get one back when cornerback Ronald Darby returns to action after being injured in week 1. The Cowboys are coming off a rough loss vs. the Falcons where Dak Prescott was sacked 8 times and the team struggled missing Ezekiel Elliott, Tyron Smith, Sean Lee and Dan Bailey. The Cowboys will be desperate for a win to keep their division hopes alive, a as a loss would all lock up the division for the Eagles pending an unlikely collapse. Two of the last three games against these teams have ended up in overtime, so I would expect some fireworks in this one.
General Information
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Date
Sunday, November 19th, 2017
Game Time Game Location
8:30 PM - Eastern AT&T Stadium
7:30 PM - Central 1 AT&T Way
6:30 PM - Mountain Dallas, TX, 76011
5:30 PM - Pacific Wikipedia - Map
Weather Forecast
Stadium Type: Retractable Roof
Surface: Grass
Temperature: 55°F
Feels Like: 55F
Forecast: Some clouds in the morning. Clear overnight.
Chance of Precipitation: 0%
Cloud Coverage: 0%
Wind: ENE 2 MPH
Betting Odds
Oddsshark Information
Favorite/Opening Line: Philadelphia by -4.5
OveUnder: 48
Record VS. Spread: Philadelphia 7-2, Dallas 5-4
Where to Watch on TV
NBC will broadcast Sunday’s game to a national audience. Al Michaels will handle the play-by-play duties and Cris Collinsworth will provide analysis. Michele Tafoya will report from the sidelines.
TV Map - Week 11 TV Coverage Map
Internet Streams
NFL Streams - Look here 30 minutes before the game for Streams
Radio Streams
Disclaimer: Subscription Based Official NFL Radio Streams available via TuneIn
List of Eagles Radio network member stations with internet broadcast availability
Radio.com 94.1 Desktop Streaming
Listen to Merrill Reese and Mike Quick
Calling the game on 94WIP and the Eagles Radio Network will be Merrill Reese, the NFL’s longest-tenured play-by-play announcer (41st season). Joining Reese in the radio booth will be former Eagles All-Pro wide receiver Mike Quick, while Howard Eskin will report from the sidelines.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA WIP-FM 94.1 FM and 610 AM
Allentown, PA WCTO-FM 96.1 FM
Atlantic City/South Jersey WENJ-FM 97.3 FM
Levittown, PA WBCB-AM 1490 AM
Northumberland, PA WEGH-FM 107.3 FM
Pottsville, PA WPPA-AM 1360 AM
Reading, PA WEEU-AM 830 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Wilkes-Barre/Scranton, PA WEJL-FM 96.1 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WAFL-FM 97.7 FM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WEJL-AM 630 AM
Salisbury/Ocean City, MD WBAX-AM 1240 AM
Williamsport, PA WBZD-FM 93.3 FM
Wilmington, DE WDEL-FM/AM 101.7 FM
York/LancasteHarrisburg, PA WSOX-FM 96.1 FM
Philadelphia Spanish Radio
Rickie Ricardo, Macu Berral and Gus Salazar will handle the broadcast in Spanish on Mega 105.7 FM in Philadelphia and the Eagles Spanish Radio Network.
Location Station Frequency
Philadelphia, PA LA MEGA 105.7 FM
Allentown, PA WSAN 1470 AM
Atlantic City, NJ WIBG 1020 AM; 101.3 FM
Dallas Radio
Dallas Cowboys Radio Network Brad Sham returns for his 39th season in the Dallas Cowboys radio booth. Beloved by Cowboys fans, Sham's award winning play-by-play has provided the soundtrack to many of the most memorable moments in Dallas Cowboys history. Babe Laufenberg returns as the Network's full-time color analyst. A fixture on the sideline, veteran reporter Kristi Scales provides instant updates from the field.
National Radio
Kevin Kugler (play-by-play) and Jason Taylor (analyst) will call the game for Westwood One’s national broadcast.
Satellite Radio
Station Eagles Channel Cowboys Channel
Sirius Radio SIRI 81 (Internet 825) SIRI 83 (Internet 808)
XM Radio XM 81 (Internet 825) SIRI 83 (Internet 808)
Sirius XM Radio SXM 81 (Internet 825) SIRI 83 (Internet 808)
Eagles Social Media Cowboys Social Media
Website Website
Facebook Facebook
Twitter Twitter
Instagram Instagram
Snapchat: Eagles Snapchat: cowboys
NFC East Standings
Team Record Pct Home Away Div Conf PF PA Strk
Eagles 8-1 .889 5-0 3-1 3-0 6-0 283 179 7W
Cowboys 5-4 .556 2-2 3-2 2-0 4-3 233 205 1L
Redskins 4-5 .444 2-3 2-2 0-3 3-4 207 232 1L
Giants 1-8 .111 0-4 1-4 0-2 0-7 150 238 3L
Series Information
The Dallas Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles (65-51)
Series History
Head to Head Box Scores
First Game Played
September 30th, 1960 at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. Dallas Cowboys 25 - Philadelphia Eagles 27
Points Leader
The Dallas Cowboys lead the Philadelphia Eagles (2533-2292)
Coaches Record
Doug Pederson: 1-1 against the Cowboys
Jason Garrett: 7-7 against Eagles
Coaches Head to Head
Doug Pederson vs Jason Garrett:Series tied 1-1
Quarterback Record
Carson Wentz: Against Cowboys: 1-1
Dak Prescott: Against Eagles: 1-1
Quarterbacks Head to Head
Carson Wentz vs Dak Prescott: Series tied 1-1
Records per Stadium
Record @ Lincoln Financial Field: Cowboys lead the Eagles: 8-6
Record @ AT&T Stadium: Eagles lead the Cowboys: 5-4
Rankings and Last Meeting Information
AP Pro 32 Ranking
Eagles No. 1 - Cowboys No. 14
Record
Eagles:8-1
Cowboys 5-4
Last Meeting
Sunday, January 1st, 2017
Eagles 27 - Cowboys 13
Wentz and Ertz finally gelled at the end of the season as they connected for 2 TDs against a Cowboys team that already had things wrapped up and rested many key starters. Tony Romo threw the final touchdown pass of his career in relief of Dak Prescott.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last Meeting at Site
Sunday, Oct 30, 2016
Cowboys 29 - Eagles 23
Dallas WR Dez Bryant has 4 catches for 113 yards & TD. Cowboys TE Jason Witten has the game winning 5-yard TD catch in OT.
Click here to view the Video Recap
Click here to view the Stats Recap
Last 10 Meetings
Date Winner Loser Score
1/1/2017 Eagles Cowboys 27-13
10/30/2016 Cowboys Eagles 29-23
11/8/2015 Eagles Cowboys 33-27
9/20/2015 Cowboys Eagles 20-10
12/14/2014 Cowboys Eagles 38-27
11/27/2014 Eagles Cowboys 33-10
12/29/2013 Eagles Cowboys 24-22
10/20/2013 Cowboys Eagles 17-3
12/2/2012 Cowboys Eagles 38-33
11/11/2012 Cowboys Eagles 38-23
Injury Reports Depth Charts
Eagles Eagles
Cowboys Cowboys
2017 Weekly Matchup
Week 11 - Iron Rank Matchup
Week 11 - "Expert" Picks
2017 Team Stats
Eagles Season Stats
Cowboys Season Stats
2017 Stats (Starters/Leaders)
Passing
Name CMP ATT PCT YDS TD INT RAT
Wentz 176 291 60.5% 2262 23 5 104.1
Prescott 183 289 63.3% 1994 16 4 96.3
Rushing
Name ATT YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Blount 109 504 56.0 4.7 2
Ajayi 8 77 77 9.6 1
Elliott(SSPD) 191 783 97.9 4.1 7
Prescott 32 237 26.3 7.4 5
Morris 25 169 24.1 6.8 0
Receiving
Name REC YDS YDS/G AVG TD
Ertz 43 528 66.0 12.3 6
Bryant 42 478 53.1 11.4 4
Sacks
Name Sacks Team Total
Graham 5.0 25.0
Lawrence 11.5 28.0
Tackles
Name Total Solo Assist Sacks
Bradham 50 34 16 1.0
Smith 53 30 23 1.0
Interceptions
Name Ints Team Total
Mills/Robinson 3 11
Brown/Heath/Jones/Lewis/Woods 1 5
Punting
Name ATT YDS LONG AVG NET IN 20 TB BP
D. Jones 34 1586 59 46.6 41.0 9 3 0
C. Jones 35 1523 62 43.5 40.8 20 2 0
Kicking
Name ATT MADE % LONG PAT
Elliot 20 17 85% 61 24/27
Bailey(INJ) 7 7 100% 56 16/16
Nugent 6 4 66.7% 48 8/8
Kick Returns
Name ATT YDS AVG LONG TD
Smallwood 4 93 23.3 28 0
Switzer 10 220 22.0 33 0
Punt Returns
Name RET YDS AVG LONG TD FC
Barner 6 183 11.4 76 0 6
Switzer 14 92 6.6 21 0 6
League Rankings 2017
Offense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Total Offense 377.0 4th 355.2 11th
Rush Offense 136.8 4th 143.6 2nd
Pass Offense 240.2 14th 211.7 20th
Points Per Game 31.4 2nd 25.9 8th
3rd-Down Offense 47% 3rd 46% 4th
4th-Down Offense 70% 3rd 56% 10th
Red Zone Offense (TD%) 68.0% 2nd 44% 28th
Defense Rankings
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Total Defense 315.9 10th 325.9 15th
Rush Defense 66.4 1st 104.7 12th
Pass Defense 249.4 26th 221.2 14th
Points Per Game 19.9 10th 22.8 17th
3rd-Down Defense 30% 3rd 44% 27th
4th-Down Defense 36% 14th 38% 15th
Red Zone Defense (TD%) 52.4% 15th 46.7% 9th
Team
Category Eagles Stat Eagles Rank Cowboys Stat Cowboys Rank
Turnover Diff. +6 T-6th +2 T-12th
Penalty Per Game 7.00 T-19th 6.2 8th
Penalty Yards Per Game 64.2 27th 61.6 T-22nd
Recap from Last Week’s Games.
Eagles - Video – The Eagles were on the bye week 10, but dropped a 50 burger on the usually stout Broncos defense in week 9. The Eagles dominated every aspect of the game Wentz was 15 of 27 for 199 yards and 4 touchdowns and the Eagles added 197 and 3 TDs on the ground including a 44 yard rumble by Jay Ajayi who joined the Eagles earlier in the week in a trade from the Miami Dolphins. The defense did their part as well holding the Broncos rushing attack to just 35 yards and forcing Brock Osweiler into two interceptions while sacking him three times. Overall a dominate performance by the Eagles.
Cowboys - Video – The Cowboys struggled against the Falcons in their first game without Ezekiel Elliot as he serves his 6 game suspension. The Cowboys were also out All-Pro left tackle Tyron Smith and All-Pro Kicker Dan Bailey and lost Pro Bowl MLB Sean Lee in the first half. The Cowboys struggled block the Falcon’s pass rushers particularly DE Adrian Clayborn who sacked Dak Prescott 6 times on the day and the Falcons got him 8 times overall. The Cowboys defense also struggled without Sean Lee in the middle as Tevin Coleman was able to run for 83 yards and a TD and Matt Ryan tossed two more TDs as the Falcons dominated most of the day.
Connections
Eagles RT Halapoulivaati Vaitai is a native of Haltom, TX and went to Haltom High School. Vaitai played collegiately at TCU in Fort Worth, TX
Eagles S Jalen Mills was born in Dallas and grew up in DeSoto, TX and went to Desoto High School.
Eagles LB Jordan Hicks played collegiately for Texas.
Cowboys Safeties Coach Greg Jackson played for the Eagles during the 1994-95 season.
Cowboys Director of Pro Scouting Judd Garrett was selected in the 12th round of the 1990 NFL Draft by the Philadelphia Eagles but was released before the season began.
Cowboys Assistant Director of Video Stephen Gagliardino began his NFL career in 1995 as a ball boy with the Philadelphia Eagles when he was 16 years old, working training camp and game days at Veterans Stadium. He did that for four seasons before moving over to the Eagles video department in 1999, where he worked full time as an intern for three seasons (1999-2001).
Many Cowboys fans were born and raised in the Greater Philadelphia Area, however have no ties to Dallas nor have ever been to the city.
Cowboys head coach Jason Garrett was born in Abington, PA, located roughly 15 miles north of Philadelphia
Eagles DT Fletcher Cox and Cowboys QB Dak Prescott played together at Mississippi State University when Prescott was a red shirt freshman.
Eagles OT Lane Johnson is from Groveton, TX and has family who are Cowboys fans including his grandmother who has told “Shut up, if you want to see 75” while she was routing for the Cowboys.
Eagles WR Mack Hollins and Cowboys WR Ryan Switzer played WR together at University of North Carolina the last 4 seasons.
Pro Bowlers
Eagles Cowboys
OT Jason Peters (Starter) QB Dak Prescott(Starter)
DT Fletcher Cox (Starter) RB Ezekiel Elliott (Starter)
DE Brandon Graham (1st Alt) OT Tyron Smith (Starter)
FS Rodney McLeod (1st Alt) OG Zack Martin (Starter)
PR Darren Sproles (1st Alt) C Travis Fredrick (Starter)
C Jason Kelce (2nd Alt)
ST Chris Maragos (2nd Alt)
General
Referee: Bill Vinovich
Philadelphia has produced 20 points or more in thirteen consecutive contests dating back to Week 14 in 2016, which is the longest active streak in the NFL.
The Eagles currently hold the best record in the NFL (8-1)this season. Philadelphia has started 8-1 for just the fifth time in franchise history (tied for the Eagles’ best start all-time through 9 games), having previously done so in 2004, 1980, 1960 and 1949
Philadelphia is the only NFL team to score 20+ points in every game in 2017.
The Eagles have won 7 consecutive games, which is tied with New Orleans for the longest active streak in the NFL. The last time Philadelphia posted a 7+ game winning streak was from 12/27/03-10/31/04 (8 games)
Philadelphia’s 283 points this season are the club’s 3rd most through 9 games in franchise history, behind 1948 (300) and 1949 (289)
The Eagles have scored 25+ points in 7 consecutive games, which is the longest active streak in the NFL and tied for the the club’s 2nd longest streak in team history.
The Eagles lead the NFL in 10+ yard plays (137).
Philadelphia leads the NFL in 20+ yard rushing plays (12).
Philadelphia has scored on 13 of 14 goal-to-go drives and lead the NFL in goal-to-go TD efficiency (92.9%)
Philadelphia leads the NFL in rushing defense (66.4). The Eagles have allowed just 598 rushing yards this season, which are their fewest allowed through 9 games since 1944(518). Philadelphia has not allowed a 100+ yard rusher since Week 6 vs. Washington in 2016 (Matt Jones - 135 yards).
The Eagles rank 3rd in the NFL in third-down defense (30.1%), behind Denver (27.6%) and Minnesota (28.7%).
Carson Wentz is the youngest NFL QB since 1950 to throw 23+ TDs and no more than 5 INTs through 9 games. Only three other NFL QBs have accomplished that feat since 2014: Matt Ryan in 2016 (23-4), Tom Brady in 2015 (24-3) and Aaron Rodgers in 2014 (25-3).
Zach Ertz has caught a TD in 4 consecutive games, which is the longest streak by an Eagles TE since Charle Young from 12/1/74-9/21/75 (also 4).
Philadelphia ranks 3rd in the NFL in punt return average (11.2), trailing only Detroit (17.9) and Baltimore (11.8).
Philadelphia ranks 2nd in the NFL in average time of possession (33:12), trailing only Carolina (33:42). The Eagles also rank 2nd in the NFL in 5+ minute drives (17), behind Carolina (19).
Draft Picks
Eagles Cowboys
DE Derek Barnett DE Taco Charlton
CB Sidney Jones CB Chidobe Awuzie
CB Rasul Douglas CB Jourdan Lewis
WR Mack Hollins WR Ryan Switzer
RB Donnel Pumphrey S Xavior Woods
WR Shelton Gibson CB Marquez White
LB Nathan Gerry DT Joey Ivie
DT Elijah Qualls WR Noah Brown
DE Jordan Carrell
Notable Off-season Additions
Eagles Cowboys
WR Torrey Smith OG Byron Bell
WR Alshon Jeffery OG Jonathan Cooper
DE Chris Long
DT Timmy Jernigan
RB LaGarrett Blount
CB Patrick Robinson
G Chance Warmack
QB Nick Foles
S Corey Graham
CB Ronald Darby
K Jake Elliott
LB Dannell Ellerbe OT Will Beatty| |
Notable Off-season Free-Agent Departures
Eagles Cowboys
CB Nolan Carroll QB Tony Romo
DE Connor Barwin OG Ronald Leary
DT Bennie Logan OG Emmett Cleary
QB Chase Daniel DT Jack Crawford
CB Leodis McKelvin DT Terrell McClain
WR Dorial Green-Beckham CB Brandon Carr
DE Marcus Smith CB Morris Claiborne
RB Ryan Mathews SS Barry Church
FS JJ Wilcox
Milestones
QB Carson Wentz (5845) needs 160 yards to move up to 12th on the Eagles all-time passing list passing Adrian Burk.
QB Carson Wentz (39) needs 1 more passing TD for 40 career passing TDs.
TE Brent Celek (4,940) needs 60 more yards to reach 5000 career receiving yards.
TE Brent Celek (392) needs 8 more receptions to reach 400 career receptions.
TE Zach Ertz (3368) needs 126 yards to move up to 16th on the Eagles all-time receiving list receiving list passing WR Harold Jackson
TE Zach Ertz (19) needs 1 more receiving TDs for 20 career receiving TDs which would tie him with Keith Jackson and Terrell Owens for 20th all-time in Eagles history.
DE Brandon Graham (34 – 9th) needs 1.5 sacks to move up to 8th on the Eagles all-time sack list tying William Fuller. He needs two sacks to move up to 8th passing William Fuller*.
DE Fletcher Cox (33 - 13th) needs 1 sack move into a tie for 10th all-time on the Eagles sack list with Brandon Graham and Dennis Harrison.
S Malcolm Jenkins's (4) needs 1 more Interception for a TD to tie CB Eric Allen (5) for most Interceptions for a TD by an Eagles player. Jenkins is the only Eagles player to have a pick 6 in 3 straight seasons
DE Demarcus Lawrence(21.5) needs 1 sack to move into a tie for 13th on the Cowboys all-time sack list with LA'Roi Glover
DE Tyrone Crawford(16.5) needs 1.5 sacks to move into a tie for 17th on the Cowboys all-time sack list with John Dutton
QB Dak Prescott (5661) needs 179 passing yards to move up to 8th on the Cowboys all-time passing list passing Quincy Carter.
QB Dak Prescott (39) needs 1 more passing TD for 40 career passing TDs.
QB Dak Prescott (494) needs 6 more completions for 500 career completions.
Pro Football Focus Matchup Charts courtesy of PFF Edge

WDB Matchups (CAPS = Shadow Coverage)

Eagles WRs vs. Dallas DBs
Tm Rec/DB Pos H Wt Sp Rt L% S% R% %TaRt Cat% YPRC Gr Adv
PHI Alshon Jeffery LWR 75 218 4.48 322 47 17 36 23 50 1.66 74.2 +5
DAL Jourdan Lewis RCB 70 170 4.54 266 9 9 82 14 63 1.05 76.7
PHI Nelson Agholor Slot 72 198 4.42 260 6 87 8 16 74 1.74 79 +27
DAL Orlando Scandrick Slot 70 196 4.32 257 5 69 26 19 66 1.55 70.2
PHI Torrey Smith RWR 72 205 4.41 266 35 20 45 12 53 0.91 42.7 -44
DAL Anthony Brown LCB 71 196 4.33 361 71 16 13 14 57 0.85 60
Dallas WRs vs. Eagles DBs
Tm Rec/DB Pos H Wt Sp Rt L% S% R% %TaRt Cat% YPRC Gr Adv
DAL Cole Beasley Slot 68 180 250 6 86 8 16 67 0.83 73.6 +12
PHI Patrick Robinson Slot 71 191 4.46 296 8 70 22 17 56 1.35 90.7
DAL Dez Bryant LWR 74 220 4.52 335 49 26 25 25 55 1.56 81 +24
PHI Ronald Darby RCB 71 193 4.38 12 100 0 0 17 61 1.27 *45.1
DAL Terrance Williams RWR 74 210 4.52 266 37 9 53 17 74 1.45 68.3 -16
PHI Jalen Mills LCB 72 191 4.61 399 81 5 15 20 61 1.2 69.8
TE Matchups
Tm TE/Def H Wt Rt Bl% Inl% S% W% %TaRt Cat% YPRC Gr Adv
DAL Jason Witten 78 263 355 14 39 54 8 29 82 2.13 69.9 -1
PHI Nigel Bradham (LB) 74 241 36 3 100 0.31 78.6
PHI Zach Ertz 77 250 299 9 44 38 18 27 75 2.51 85.8 -5
DAL Byron Jones 72 199 102 12 25 0.41 81.8
OL/DL Matchups
Note: Pressure Rate and Yards Before Contact are projected numbers based on the starters' grades and are adjusted for injuries. All other stats are based on this season's data
Tm Pr% SackConv YBCon Runs ins. 5 yd ln/gm D ins. 5 yd ln% PB Adv RB Adv
DAL (OL) 5.9 15 1.98 1.3 42 -27 -16
PHI (DL) 7.3 18 1.35 0.7 17
PHI (OL) 4.8 21 2.41 1.3 33 +6 +38
DAL (DL) 6.6 17 1.87 0.7 33
Stats to Know
The Cowboys' Edge Defenders
[DeMarcus Lawrence has been playing lights-out in 2017. He's generated the 4th-most number of pressures (46) for Edge Defenders and has the 5th-best Pass Rush Productivity Score of them, too (14.4). In their last game, the Eagles game-planned around negating/mitigating Von Miller--who also primarily rushes from the left side--and it largely worked, despite him coming up with 5 pressures on the day. The trouble for the Cowboys could come if the Eagles are also able to slow/mitigate Lawrence's pass rush because their next best pass-rushing ED, Tyrone Crawford, ranks 67th in PRP and 45th in total pressures. For comparison, the Eagles, who heavily rotate their EDs--and sometimes use Graham at DT--spread the wealth, with the 4 primaries ranked 8th, 32nd, 35th, and 38th in pressures. (Courtesy of PFF Elite)
Matchups to Watch
Eagles Offensive Line vs. Cowboys Pass Rush
It wasn’t that long ago that the phrase “Cowboys Defensive Line” was actually referring to their defense of Greg Hardy. A few years later, their defensive line is actually playing quite good on an otherwise lackluster unit. They are led by Demarcus Lawrence, one of the leagues leaders in sacks, who almost exclusively lines up at LDE. Lawrence has posted a sack in nearly every game this season. The Cowboys defensive line also features David Irving, who returned from early season injury and has posted 6 sacks on the season. Irving is tall and has the length to keep opposing offensive linemen off him. This unit has done a lot of damage to opposing offenses and will be the key component in stopping the Eagles offense, especially since All Pro LB and Eagles killer Sean Lee will be missing this game. The Eagles offensive line has been one of the best units in football this season even without future Hall of Fame tackle Jason Peters. Lane Johnson has another tough task this weekend in Demarcus Lawrence. Fans should have a lot of faith in Lane to play well since he has neutralized virtually everyone he has gone up against this season. Irving is a tough matchup on the interior and will pose some issues throughout the game. If the Cowboys want to win they need to win this matchup considering Lee’s absence. The difference between the Cowboys defense with and without Lee is appalling. The Eagles offense will look to further exploit that weakness.
Eagles Defensive Front vs. Cowboys Offensive Line
For a long time, we heard how great the Cowboys offensive line is. Under the microscope, in their first game without Zeke and future Hall of Famer Tyron Smith, the Cowboys offensive line collapsed on itself like a dying star. Cowboys’ replacement tackle Chaz Green went out on the field in Atlanta and made former Eagles tackle Winston Justice look like an All Pro. Keeping that offensive line together over the long term was always going to be a challenge considering Tyron, Frederick, and Martin are all among the tops at their positions and will require (and have required) sizeable investments in them for their services while remaining in good health for long stretches of their careers. Doug Free retired in the offseason and was replaced by their former guard La’el Collins. As of week 11, Collins ranks as PFFs 60th ranked right tackle. Last week, per NEXGEN stats, the Cowboys ran the ball almost exclusively to their right side, which is smart considering Collins is at least better than Chaz Green and Zach Martin is an All Pro. Left tackle, and really the entire left side of the Dallas offensive line without Tyron Smith, is a huge liability for the offense. As of today, the status of Tyron Smith for Sunday isn’t resolved, though he likely won’t play. Sunday presents a big challenge for Dallas as the Eagles have one of the best defensive fronts in the NFL from top to bottom. The Eagles are made in the trenches and are built to be able to combat what Dallas brings. The Cowboys coaching staff has to be able to adjust if Tyron Smith is out again. Zach Martin and Travis Frederick are as good as ever but they cannot carry the line without adjustments. The Eagles defensive line is full of game wreckers. How can Dallas combat this with the lack of real depth on their roster?
Dak Prescott vs. Eagles Defense
Ezekiel Elliott’s suspension will loom large again this week while Dallas figures out a way forward without last year’s rushing leader and fashion nobody. What everyone knew but what was finally understood last week was Elliott’s ability as a runner and pass blocker would surely be missed. The Dallas offensive line is one of the better run units in the league and Elliott is a load to bring down without litigation. He has excellent patience, vision, and strength in between the tackles and on stretch runs. He’s a true bell cow, 3 down back, whose absence really forces the Dallas coaching staff back to the drawing board. While he is not the best player on that offense – Tyron Smith is – his loss changes the effectiveness of the Cowboys offense. Now they have to rely on their second year signal caller, which did not go well last week. Make no mistake; regardless of who you think is better, Dak Prescott is a franchise QB. This isn’t to say he is flawless but he’s no scrub. Prescott is lethal in the running game, especially if the Cowboys are in the red zone. Additionally, he is a very good QB throwing on the run. The Cowboys would be wise to incorporate more read option looks and boots to try and slow down the Eagles pass rush and keep them off balance – especially if Tyron Smith is out. Cole Beasley hasn’t played to the level of last year’s production but is an effective receiver from the slot. They still have their stud CB and PBU leader Dez Bryant outside. And Jason Witten still somehow walks. While their offense has taken a step back some from last year’s pace, they Eagles still have a lot to game plan for. It’ll be up to the Eagles defense to play smart and contain Prescott. If the Eagles are up to the task, it could be a long night for Dallas.
Eagles Offense vs Cowboys Defense
The Eagles will march into Dallas with the 5th ranked offense per DVOA, 5th through the air and 10th on the ground. They will face a Dallas defense that is ranked 22nd per DVOA, 19th against the pass and 26th against the run… and this time it will be without Sean Lee. The Cowboys defense is an average at best unit with Mr. End the Talking Horse playing but drops off more quickly than Jaylon Smith’s foot when he is out of the lineup. Unfortunately for the Cowboys, this has been a vicious cycle with Lee throughout his career. Lee is excellent in run and pass defense and has made it habit to stomp the Eagles with his hooves when he plays. After Lee, the Cowboys will trot out Anthony Hitchens and the ghost of whatever Jaylon Smith used to be in college. Hitchens is currently PFFs 24th ranked LB. He is solid in run defense but is nowhere near as good as Lee is in coverage. The Cowboys will likely lean on second year but basically a rookie LB Jaylon Smith. Smith was a stud LB at Notre Dame and likely top 5 pick in the 2016 draft who suffered a major injury in his final college game. This dropped him into the second round where the Cowboys took a major gamble on him. So far, Smith has struggled to look like he belongs in the league, registering only a few bad ass tackles and generally being a liability on the field. He has had to overcome a lot just to see the field again for what is basically his rookie season. Time will tell if he improves. Right now, Cowboys fans must be nervous. Lastly, the Cowboys remade their entire starting secondary outside of second year CB Anthony Brown. The CBs have been decent as the season has gone on – they’ve certainly taken their share of L’s. Jourdan Lewis, one of the few Cowboys to ever win in court, avoiding a conviction, has had a solid rookie season at CB. The same could be said for fellow rookie Xavier Woods. The Cowboys will likely be without Safety Jeff Heath, much to the joy of Cowboys fans. Rookie Chidobe Awuzie may get the start alongside PFFs 43rd ranked Safety Byron Jones. Long story short, the Cowboys secondary has dropped off from last year’s average pace when 3/4ths of their starters walked in free agency. Additionally, their run defense is very weak. Enter the Eagles, who have a diverse offensive scheme that is difficult to game plan for and can beat you in many ways. Lead by MVP Front Runner and the best QB of the 2016 NFL Draft Class Carson Wentz, the Eagles will look to establish dominance over a young and struggling defensive unit. The Eagles won’t take this match up for granted and neither will the Cowboys. This is a huge rivalry game that could effectively end the NFC East race should the Eagles win. The Eagles offense has a number of match up advantages against the Cowboys defense in this game that may likely prove to be too much, especially considering the Eagles have put up at least 20 points in every game this season.
Special thanks to MikeTysonChicken and abenyishay for their help in creating this Game Preview.
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gpngc's 2018 Draft Review: Analysis and career predictions for each team's first round pick

Every year I write a long draft review after spending hundreds of hours studying film of prospects. Instead of draft grades, I use my evaluations to make predictions about the careers of the draftees. Of course, this is next to impossible, but I think it’s more fun than draft grades and I love to differentiate from the majority opinion and give fresh insights. Two major changes to my review this year to make it hopefully better received:
I’m only doing the first round, so now it’s way shorter. I’m scratching the corny headlines.
So that’s what this is. A coach/amateur scout who’s been a draftnik since 2004 predicting the careers of 21 year-old prospects. It’s a ridiculous exercise, but I enjoy it, and hopefully you do too.
Each draftee will receive a career projection grade from a 1-5 scale: 5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive.
In my draft reviews the past two years I’ve started to predict this exact grade for drafted players, and as these grades become clear in reality, I’ll begin to evaluate my predictions. I only go back to 2016 with this scale though, so we can’t laugh at the results just yet (although you can go back and read my thoughts from drafts dating back to 2013 at Draft32.com, just without the number scale). I absolutely believe this is a more interesting way to discuss post-draft and hopefully you agree.
My studies have also shown how the grades have broken down in each section of the draft. For example, from 2005-2012 the top 5 broke down like this: Picks 1-5 All-Pro: 25% Above Average: 17.5% Solid: 17.5% Replacement level: 22.5% Bust: 17.5%
I have these numbers all the way throughout the draft and you can read about it here: https://www.draft32.com/true-pick-values
I’ve also started to grade the early returns of 2013-2016 just to get more data. It’s stupid I know, but here’s the conclusion I drew: it would be extremely silly for me to hand out a bunch of 5s and 4s. Just going over the top ten of those four years, there were 3 busts in 2013, 2 busts in 2014, 3 busts in 2015, and 1 (early returns) in 2016 (shaping up to be one of the best top tens of all time). Basically, it would be unwise for me to NOT pick at least one bust in the top ten of this class. So just understand that I’m not randomly tossing numbers around. I’m projecting careers rooted in film study, fit, AND past history of how picks in those ranges have turned out. I’m way more negative (read: realistic) than other post-draft articles.
Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Proj. Grade 1 1 Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma 1 Mayfield’s positives are obvious and legitimate. Analytics and PFF love him because of his numbers and he really does have all the tools. He threw the best at the combine of all the QBs. There are real flashes of brilliance on tape. But there are reasons he wasn’t thought of as the number one QB by a ton of draft media types, including well-researched Mike Mayock (who will probably get a GM job one day). His tape simply doesn’t show a top QB prospect. His struggles versus Texas have been well documented but I won’t even go there. His tape against tOSU (and his signature advantage over Darnold) did not show a top QB prospect. From my notes: “two missed throws, skittish, threw a slant behind someone, an absolutely atrocious deep ball, everything is RAC.” To his credit, he is really good at getting the ball out quickly and accurately on perimeter screens. That will translate. However, I can’t ignore the rest. From my notes from other games “I do not see his improv translating, not very accurate.” Then of course the obvious negative notes from the Texas game. One interesting thing about both Mayfield and Allen is that they seemed to get “hot” more than past QBs I’ve evaluated. For both of them, when things were working well (and against TCU’s defense he was great), the accuracy and decision-making snowballed in a positive way. So it comes down to getting this flawed player comfortable, which is why fit is so important. The Browns have a future star at TE, a talented duo at WR, and a deep backfield. They’ll definitely be better on offense. However, Mayfield will likely have a second offensive coordinator at this time next year starting over from scratch. I also do not trust Josh Gordon. Njouku is only 21 and Landry might just be a stat-stuffer. I can’t pick a Hue Jackson QB to become a star right now, especially one with Mayfield’s game. For all the talk about temperament and leadership I think the improvisational skills are way overrated and won’t play in the league, and those were really the things that made him a Heisman winner. He’s not a Russell Wilson or even Johnny Manziel-level athlete. Beneath the hype you have a short, spread-system, decent QB prospect going into a lameduck coaching situation. I’ll say he busts. 1 2 New York Giants: Saquon Barkley RB Penn State 5 Barkley’s 2017 film was not always pretty. He dances too much, tries to bounce everything outside, and projects to take a lot of TFLs in the pros. He’s not a grinder or someone you want to give 25 touches to a la Elliot or Fournette. He’s simply not that great between the tackles. I could give you a scorching hot take and say that he’ll fail to live up to his hype and settle in as a 1B speed back and kick returner. I’m not that dumb. I really did have some doubts about his can’t-miss status but those were washed away each time I watched a defensive prospect versus Penn State. I saw more power runs, went back to watch more Barkley and just conceded to the fact that he simply has too many incredible traits to NOT be a special back. Maybe he doesn’t pound between the tackles 20 times a game, and maybe he does need a complement (J-Stew seems kinda perfect), but if he’s not scoring 12+ TDs a year, you aren’t coaching him right. It’s important to understand the difference between evaluating a college player’s performance versus evaluating a college prospects traits. I would bet that the Penn State RBs coach didn’t grade out Barkley amazingly every single week based on the tape. But for the purpose of the draft, that doesn’t really matter. Anyway, he’s a star and learning from great pro’s like J-Stew and Eli put him in a wonderful situation. Somewhat surprisingly, I expect him to return kicks early in his career as well.
OK. I must address the sentiment that the Giants should have taken a QB instead of the best RB. I am not an Eli apologist, and I think Eli is closer to done right now than having two full good years left. I’d be happy for him to prove me wrong. I also didn’t like Davis Webb coming out.
I feel very strongly about this issue and at times it’s hard to articulate it.
First, football is unlike any other sport in that it takes more to win a game. And by that I don’t mean it’s more difficult. It’s just different. It just takes MORE. When you are involved with a team you spend an entire week or longer preparing for one opponent, and all of your preparation, not to mention all the work you put in during the offseason, is put to the test in 60 minutes. It is a BIG freaking accomplishment to win a single football game. What fans often get caught up in, partially due to the NBA situation, is that winning a Super Bowl is the ONLY goal. It is assuredly not. NFL teams have 16 goals throughout the season and each win does have meaning. Winning a title is the ULTIMATE goal but it is not the ONLY goal. That’s why tanking will never work - the team-wide investment it takes to win. Coaches and players cannot afford to put out poor film - their livelihood depends on performance in games, practices, and meetings. Because of this, BPA also means the objective is to make your team better right now. Coaches and players will be very excited to get to work with Barkley. It’s good for the culture, and increases their chances of winning right away.
“That’s so short-sighted.”
It is, but this league promises nothing. I laugh when people throw around the “starting X for the next 10 years” stuff, usually talking about an OL or QB. You don’t even know who’s going to be starting in Week 2 of THIS SEASON let alone 10 years down the line. You don’t know who’s going to suffer a catastrophic injury, what late-rounder blooms into a star, or what UDFAs might give your team. You might find a third-round HOF QB or an all-time great might choose to extend his career for you. Then there’s free agency that changes everything each year. You just don’t know. So while it’s important to have an overarching plan - you must understand that plans change quickly in the NFL and that everything is fluid. Which is why adding the BPA when you can is more important than trying to fit something into a plan that may be ripped up and re-done in a year or less.
One line of thinking is that Barkley makes the Giants just good enough to be in that 7-9/8-8 range for the next handful of years, which doesn’t allow them to draft a top QB. The idea being that it’s worse to be mediocre than it is to be flat-out bad and get a top pick. This line of thinking is supremely flawed. First, it is much better for your young players to experience winning. It builds culture and expectation, which is what you want your young QB to walk into. Second, just because you’re picking 16th-ish overall doesn’t mean you can’t land a top QB (see Rams and Eagles).
This leads me to my next point. The most aggravating part of this whole discussion is that the “MUST TAKE A QB” crowd didn’t pinpoint a QB they want. They’ll be able to cherry-pick whichever of the three works out as the reason the Giants shouldn’t have gone RB. That’s not fair. You can’t have that opinion and not say which one you wanted. So the issue is much less GENERAL position than it is SPECIFIC player. Deep-diving into this class shows four highly flawed but talented QB prospects with a ton of question marks. It also reveals an absolute diamond at the top in Barkley. The Giants clearly didn’t believe any of these QBs projected to be franchise guys for them - I agree with that opinion as I will not pick any of these three to reach All-Pro status. So they pick a no-brainer who makes their team better RIGHT NOW.
Others argue against drafting any RB high. I could point to how Zeke and Fournette were huge parts of putting their teams in the playoffs, but how about Todd Gurley? The Rams took the RB before the franchise QB and that has worked out well so far. There’s no reason the Giants can’t do the same, which leads me to my next point.
“They are never going to be picking high enough to take a franchise QB - they have to do it now.” So, how do you get a franchise QB? The easiest way is to get a top pick and draft one. I’ve already covered the Rams and Eagles who simply traded up, something the Giants can definitely do. It will be costly, but if you believe in the guy (and they clearly didn’t truly believe in any of the QBs this year), it is worth it. But is using a high draft pick the only way?
Here’s how the (subjective) top 12 QBs in the NFL were acquired and how many SB appearances they’ve had (remember many of who I’m speaking to are in the SBs MATTER MOST AND QBS MATTER FOR SBs MOST crowd):
1- Tom Brady, 6th Round, 6 SBs 2 - Aaron Rodgers, 24th overall, 1 SB 3 - Drew Brees, 2nd Round, 1 SB 4 - Ben Roethlisberger, 11th overall, 3 SBs 5 - Carson Wentz, 2nd Overall, 1 SB* 6 - Russell Wilson, 3rd Round, 2 SBs 7 - Matt Ryan, 3rd Overall, 1 SB 8 - Cam Newton, 1st Overall, 1 SB 9 - Philip Rivers, 4th Overall, 0 SB 10 - Matt Stafford, 1st Overall, 0 SB 11 - Kirk Cousins, 4th Round, 0 SB 12 - Jared Goff, 1st Overall, 0 SB
Two other ways to win it all:
Joe Flacco, 16th overall, 1 SB Peyton Manning, Free Agent signing to Broncos, 2 SBs
Set up for the future: Derek Carr, 2nd Round DeShaun Watson, 12th overall Jimmy Garropolo, Trade (and was drafted in the 2nd)
Finally, a few top draft picks:
Eli Manning, 1st overall, 2 SBs - WORTH IT Andrew Luck, 1st overall, 0 SBs - WORTH IT (injured) Jameis Winston, 1st overall - jury still out Marcus Mariota, 2nd overall - jury still out Blake Bortles, 3rd overall - jury still out
And this list doesn’t include all of the busts taken over the years at the top of the draft. Or the curious case of Alex Smith, someone who has been acquired twice via trade.
The point of laying out this landscape is simple: there’s more than one way to find a franchise QB. And an even more important point: there’s more than one way to build a Championship team. I think Saquon Barkley is an important piece of that foundation for the Giants. It’s up to them to figure out the QB position, but this wasn’t the year to do it.
1 3 New York Jets: Sam Darnold QB USC 3 Sam Darnold is 20 years old right now and will be 21 when the season starts. He’s played QB for four seasons of his life (two in HS, two at USC). I say we don’t judge a single second of his career until the start of the 2020 season. While that won’t happen, it probably should. His tape simply wasn’t great, but knowing his history, it’s not that surprising. There is just so much projection with a prospect like this that it’s almost foolish to even evaluate the results and decision-making that much. But that’s all I have. The bottom line with all of these QBs is that they are going to have to do something unlike anything they have ever done. Despite the similarities to the untrained eye, playing QB at the college level is so far and beyond different than being an NFL QB. I actually didn’t know Darnold was so young while scouting him so I went back for a second look from a different perspective and liked him more. Like Mayfield, he wasn’t good against Texas or tOSU. He also struggled against Cal, especially down the field. I don’t like his circular release but it’s not a game-changer. LIke another recent highly touted QB, Jameis Winston, I expect his turnover issues to continue, at least through the early part of his career. However, I don’t think it’s in his mentality and DNA like it is with Winston as much as due to inexperience. Becoming more careful with the football without losing his playmaking ability will define his career. Darnold’s creativity is his best attribute right now, which is a good sign. Those instincts can absolutely translate. He’s a sneaky mover and the Stanford tape shows some anticipation. He’s also adept at working the middle of the field. He’ll have to get better throwing outside the numbers. Overall, there’s a ton to work with but legitimate concerns as well. He has super bust risk and doesn’t go to a great situation but all outcomes are on the table for his talent and quick-study demeanor. His situation isn’t great as far as weapons go, but Josh McCown will be a terrific mentor. Macagnan made one of the worst second-round picks in the history of the NFL Draft with Hackenburg (only 2nd-rounder to not appear in a game through three seasons), and has lucked into some no-brainers at the top of each draft, but give him credit for those picks. I see it like this: they got the QB of their defense last year, the QB of their offense this year, retain Leonard Williams to be their best DL and will suck for one more year to add that game-changing weapon at WR or RB. I’m big on BPA because the draft is about finding young, cheap building blocks to set the foundation of your franchise. Especially at the top. Then you fill out your roster with steals and free agents. My Darnold pick is that he’s a good starter in the Stafford mold and develops a nice rapport with a WR they take at 7 overall next year.
1 4 Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward CB Ohio State 4
Ward at four was a surprise to many, but it was clear what the Browns were thinking. They saw what Lattimore did last year and filled their biggest need. My philosophy, especially at the top of the draft, is to go BPA. I understand the Browns thought process in regards to passing on Chubb. They have their two edge rushers and needed a CB badly. The problem with this line of thinking is that you can never have too many defensive linemen, and having three terrorizing pass rushers, Chubb on the inside, makes your third-down front very scary. There is a very good chance Ward and Chubb become stars and no one really remembers this as the wrong pick, but if Chubb becomes a star and Ward is average, this will not age well for the Browns. From my evaluations, Ward is not far behind Chubb, so I’m not even going to get caught up in it. Yes, I would stay true to my board and draft Chubb, but Ward has HOF potential, as evidenced by his draft spot. I was a bit surprised when I heard how many top-five picks were spent on corners in the past. It rarely happens. On the field, his game projects as some sort of Asante Samuel/Darrelle Revis/Darrell Green hybrid. Anyone who has coached DBs knows the most difficult thing to do is get your head around to find the ball when playing man. He does it as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s feisty, he’s quick, and he will hit you, like he showed versus Maryland. His size might be an issue at times but he can tackle and jump so I don’t view it as that much of a liability. A few years ago I banged the table for Jason Verrett and he’s been stellar when on the field (unfortunately he hasn’t been able to stay healthy). Ward is better. Great pick, outstanding career, with Darrell Green upside.
1 5 Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb DE NC State 4
The Broncos went BPA and there’s really not much insight can offer. I like the Bosa comparison and he’s kind of a smaller Mario Williams as well. The one thing that pops out at you is the power in his hands. Handwork is crucial for a DL and he has extremely strong hands. BC and Marshall simply couldn’t block him. His tape wasn’t always pretty and he did get shut out by some tackles, including at South Carolina. He doesn’t have the bend or quickness of an elite pass-rusher so I’d be surprised to see him lead the league in sacks. His poor 3cone kinda shows up but so does his ridiculous speed - as it often leads to power. My final thought on Chubb is this: in today’s college game teams often choose to read (RPO or option) the best player on the defense so you don’t have to block him. When teams did that he was excellent, confusing QBs and making plays that were designed to read him. It shows he’s coachable and one of those “just a football player” types. Solid Mario Williams-ish career. 1 6 Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame 5
I’m just gonna go ahead and echo what everyone else is saying about Nelson. Also, he injured a tough Stanford kid, made one of the most WTF plays I’ve ever seen coming from his LG spot to the opposite edge and crushing a blitzer. He’s stout and doesn’t get moved. And he delivers contact, doesn’t take it. He’s going to be good for a long time. How insane would I have to be to claim that Nelson would go to the Hall of Fame and yet they didn’t make the right pick? WHAT?!? I think Roquan Smith would have changed the entire culture of their defense. While I seriously do prefer Smith, I have no major issues with Nelson obviously. 1 7 Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen QB Wyoming 2 I didn’t hate Josh Allen’s tape. I think he has a ton of upside. He made some extraordinary plays outside the structure of the offense, breaking tackles, and making crazy throws down the field. The most incredible play was actually a sack he somehow avoided to throw the ball away against Boise. He absolutely has some Big Ben in him. He got hot early in the Bowl game and those are the same highlights shown on the networks. In the Iowa game, his WRs did him no favors dropping three passes including a TD against a decent defense. He’s really tough to bring down and we all know the arm. It really comes down to the intangibles for me. I don’t think he’ll ever be very accurate but I don’t think he’s as inaccurate as his 56% suggests. There really is a ton of great stuff on tape. He was pretty good against New Mexico. I just can’t get over his inconsistent footwork, the fact that he’s late a ton (although that was my critique of Wentz too…), and that he doesn’t even throw that nice of a ball. He’s going to a place without much talent around him. I can’t predict great things for him but I think he can be Bortles-y.
1 8 Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith LB Georgia 5 Roquan Smith can be Derrick Brooks. He was the No. 1 player on my board easily. As an offensive coach one of my core philosophies is to NOT allow defensive gamebreakers to break games. There’s a pass concept that Bama and Oklahoma both tried where you run the boundary receiver on a snag route to pick the boundary LB, freeing up the RB on a swing or wheel. I have no idea why these offensive coordinators tried to do that to Roquan Smith and it ended poorly for both teams. He doesn’t miss tackles, he makes plays in coverage, he’s an adept blitzer, and he’s damn explosive. He dominates games. His presence is infectious. The Bears just added the DROY to a team that has some talent. Their OL should be a bit better and with a healthy Allen Robinson, they have a legit No. 1 WR. I was higher on Trubisky (didn’t love his rookie year but that’s OK) than most last year and I’m going to stick to it - the Bears will be my sleeper team to win 10 games (will be tough in that division). It comes down to the QB of course.
1 9 San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame 1
There were some glaring lowlights in Mike McGlinchey’s tape. He was absolutely torched by Bradley Chubb and really struggled with speed. He was more of angle-blocker in the run-game and didn’t flash much power. Patriots fans lowkey hated Nate Solder for years and I think that’s McGlinchey’s upside. I think he has potential to be solid, but I definitely don’t think he was worthy of the ninth overall pick in a good draft. My final guess is that he underwhelms and settles in a RT.
1 10 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Rosen QB UCLA 2
There seems to be a lot of romanticizing about Josh Rosen among the internet draft community. People seem to think he “fell” due to personality question marks and whatnot. If you really study the tape, he simply isn’t that great of a prospect. And for a guy that was supposed to be the best pure passer, he was outshined by Baker Mayfield at the combine in throwing drills. The built-in excuse Rosen has is his coaching situation, where he played for a new OC every season. That can’t be easy and he deserves credit for producing as he did. But there are a lot of issues on tape. He was straight-up bad versus Colorado, at one point missing four throws in a row and throwing a terrible INT. He’s a rhythm passer with some flashes but I swear threw some of the luckiest TDs I’ve ever seen, including two in the classic comeback versus TAMU. He throws high sometimes but he’s generally accurate, moreso than the other QBs on tape. And he’s a crafty tennis player moving around, a strength he shares with all the QBs. Like all these QBs, there’s definitely a lot to like, but the tape has glaring flaws. So while he does have the best footwork and accuracy of all the QBs, he’s also thin with injury concerns. To have two documented (key word) concussions and shoulder surgery on your resume is beyond alarming, and if he “fell” at all those were the reasons. It’s ironic he’s now on a roster with Palmer and Bradford. Unfortunately, I see his career going down a similar path. I just don’t trust him to stay healthy and I don’t think he’s really THAT good.
1 11 Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick S Alabama 3 This is an interesting fit. Minkah Fitzpatrick is without a doubt a special football player but I do wonder where he’ll play in the NFL. The Dolphins have two safeties already so the only question mark I have about the pick is exactly where he’ll line up. You need to be put somewhere on the depth chart even if you can line up in various alignments. My guess is that he can play anywhere, but him finding a home that suits him is key. Is he an outside corner at all? That’s an interesting debate. We know from the film that he can play nickel and LB, so using him outside would be a transition. It’s up to the coaching staff. While his tape was excellent I struggle finding a place where he can be as ball-hawky as he was at Bama. From my notes: communicates, plasters, blitzes, closing burst, lots of pick sixes, breaks on an angled post vs Watson NCG WOW. High football character. Don’t see a bust but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a solid rather than spectacular pro. Blocked punts and numerous pick sixes happen to very few guys at the pro level. He’ll be good, but not Ed Reed or anything.
1 12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vita Vea DT Washington 4
This is where most thought Derwin James would go but the Bucs went DL with probably their BPA in Vita Vea. Vea didn’t make a play against Penn State but his highlight plays in other games were WOW. He’s not really twitchy but he’s more just fast which obviously plays in the NFL. One of his underrated traits is his knack for getting his hands up and deflecting passes. He can anchor against the run and push the pocket. Is he a true impact pro? Depends on your definition. I think he ends up being a dominant interior player. It will translate to sacks and splash plays but also stretches of games where he’s invisible. He’ll be an inconsistently impactful pro bowler.
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gpngc's 2018 Draft Review: Analysis and career predictions for each team's first round pick

Every year I write a long draft review after spending hundreds of hours studying film of prospects. Instead of draft grades, I use my evaluations to make predictions about the careers of the draftees. Of course, this is next to impossible, but I think it’s more fun than draft grades and I love to differentiate from the majority opinion and give fresh insights. Two major changes to my review this year to make it hopefully better received:
I’m only doing the first round, so now it’s way shorter. I’m scratching the corny headlines.
So that’s what this is. A coach/amateur scout who’s been a draftnik since 2004 predicting the careers of 21 year-old prospects. It’s a ridiculous exercise, but I enjoy it, and hopefully you do too.
Each draftee will receive a career projection grade from a 1-5 scale: 5 – All-Pro: Starter who has performed at an elite level at his position. 4 – Above Average: Starter who has been among the best at his position. 3 – Solid: Starter or valuable back-up with significant positive production. 2 – Replacement Level: Below average starter or back-up who made minor contributions. 1 – Bust: Player who didn’t amount to anything positive.
In my draft reviews the past two years I’ve started to predict this exact grade for drafted players, and as these grades become clear in reality, I’ll begin to evaluate my predictions. I only go back to 2016 with this scale though, so we can’t laugh at the results just yet (although you can go back and read my thoughts from drafts dating back to 2013 at Draft32.com, just without the number scale). I absolutely believe this is a more interesting way to discuss post-draft and hopefully you agree.
My studies have also shown how the grades have broken down in each section of the draft. For example, from 2005-2012 the top 5 broke down like this: Picks 1-5 All-Pro: 25% Above Average: 17.5% Solid: 17.5% Replacement level: 22.5% Bust: 17.5%
I have these numbers all the way throughout the draft and you can read about it here: https://www.draft32.com/true-pick-values
I’ve also started to grade the early returns of 2013-2016 just to get more data. It’s stupid I know, but here’s the conclusion I drew: it would be extremely silly for me to hand out a bunch of 5s and 4s. Just going over the top ten of those four years, there were 3 busts in 2013, 2 busts in 2014, 3 busts in 2015, and 1 (early returns) in 2016 (shaping up to be one of the best top tens of all time). Basically, it would be unwise for me to NOT pick at least one bust in the top ten of this class. So just understand that I’m not randomly tossing numbers around. I’m projecting careers rooted in film study, fit, AND past history of how picks in those ranges have turned out. I’m way more negative (read: realistic) than other post-draft articles.
Rnd. Pick # NFL team Player Pos. College Proj. Grade 1 1 Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield QB Oklahoma 1 Mayfield’s positives are obvious and legitimate. Analytics and PFF love him because of his numbers and he really does have all the tools. He threw the best at the combine of all the QBs. There are real flashes of brilliance on tape. But there are reasons he wasn’t thought of as the number one QB by a ton of draft media types, including well-researched Mike Mayock (who will probably get a GM job one day). His tape simply doesn’t show a top QB prospect. His struggles versus Texas have been well documented but I won’t even go there. His tape against tOSU (and his signature advantage over Darnold) did not show a top QB prospect. From my notes: “two missed throws, skittish, threw a slant behind someone, an absolutely atrocious deep ball, everything is RAC.” To his credit, he is really good at getting the ball out quickly and accurately on perimeter screens. That will translate. However, I can’t ignore the rest. From my notes from other games “I do not see his improv translating, not very accurate.” Then of course the obvious negative notes from the Texas game. One interesting thing about both Mayfield and Allen is that they seemed to get “hot” more than past QBs I’ve evaluated. For both of them, when things were working well (and against TCU’s defense he was great), the accuracy and decision-making snowballed in a positive way. So it comes down to getting this flawed player comfortable, which is why fit is so important. The Browns have a future star at TE, a talented duo at WR, and a deep backfield. They’ll definitely be better on offense. However, Mayfield will likely have a second offensive coordinator at this time next year starting over from scratch. I also do not trust Josh Gordon. Njouku is only 21 and Landry might just be a stat-stuffer. I can’t pick a Hue Jackson QB to become a star right now, especially one with Mayfield’s game. For all the talk about temperament and leadership I think the improvisational skills are way overrated and won’t play in the league, and those were really the things that made him a Heisman winner. He’s not a Russell Wilson or even Johnny Manziel-level athlete. Beneath the hype you have a short, spread-system, decent QB prospect going into a lameduck coaching situation. I’ll say he busts. 1 2 New York Giants: Saquon Barkley RB Penn State 5 Barkley’s 2017 film was not always pretty. He dances too much, tries to bounce everything outside, and projects to take a lot of TFLs in the pros. He’s not a grinder or someone you want to give 25 touches to a la Elliot or Fournette. He’s simply not that great between the tackles. I could give you a scorching hot take and say that he’ll fail to live up to his hype and settle in as a 1B speed back and kick returner. I’m not that dumb. I really did have some doubts about his can’t-miss status but those were washed away each time I watched a defensive prospect versus Penn State. I saw more power runs, went back to watch more Barkley and just conceded to the fact that he simply has too many incredible traits to NOT be a special back. Maybe he doesn’t pound between the tackles 20 times a game, and maybe he does need a complement (J-Stew seems kinda perfect), but if he’s not scoring 12+ TDs a year, you aren’t coaching him right. It’s important to understand the difference between evaluating a college player’s performance versus evaluating a college prospects traits. I would bet that the Penn State RBs coach didn’t grade out Barkley amazingly every single week based on the tape. But for the purpose of the draft, that doesn’t really matter. Anyway, he’s a star and learning from great pro’s like J-Stew and Eli put him in a wonderful situation. Somewhat surprisingly, I expect him to return kicks early in his career as well.
OK. I must address the sentiment that the Giants should have taken a QB instead of the best RB. I am not an Eli apologist, and I think Eli is closer to done right now than having two full good years left. I’d be happy for him to prove me wrong. I also didn’t like Davis Webb coming out.
I feel very strongly about this issue and at times it’s hard to articulate it.
First, football is unlike any other sport in that it takes more to win a game. And by that I don’t mean it’s more difficult. It’s just different. It just takes MORE. When you are involved with a team you spend an entire week or longer preparing for one opponent, and all of your preparation, not to mention all the work you put in during the offseason, is put to the test in 60 minutes. It is a BIG freaking accomplishment to win a single football game. What fans often get caught up in, partially due to the NBA situation, is that winning a Super Bowl is the ONLY goal. It is assuredly not. NFL teams have 16 goals throughout the season and each win does have meaning. Winning a title is the ULTIMATE goal but it is not the ONLY goal. That’s why tanking will never work - the team-wide investment it takes to win. Coaches and players cannot afford to put out poor film - their livelihood depends on performance in games, practices, and meetings. Because of this, BPA also means the objective is to make your team better right now. Coaches and players will be very excited to get to work with Barkley. It’s good for the culture, and increases their chances of winning right away.
“That’s so short-sighted.”
It is, but this league promises nothing. I laugh when people throw around the “starting X for the next 10 years” stuff, usually talking about an OL or QB. You don’t even know who’s going to be starting in Week 2 of THIS SEASON let alone 10 years down the line. You don’t know who’s going to suffer a catastrophic injury, what late-rounder blooms into a star, or what UDFAs might give your team. You might find a third-round HOF QB or an all-time great might choose to extend his career for you. Then there’s free agency that changes everything each year. You just don’t know. So while it’s important to have an overarching plan - you must understand that plans change quickly in the NFL and that everything is fluid. Which is why adding the BPA when you can is more important than trying to fit something into a plan that may be ripped up and re-done in a year or less.
One line of thinking is that Barkley makes the Giants just good enough to be in that 7-9/8-8 range for the next handful of years, which doesn’t allow them to draft a top QB. The idea being that it’s worse to be mediocre than it is to be flat-out bad and get a top pick. This line of thinking is supremely flawed. First, it is much better for your young players to experience winning. It builds culture and expectation, which is what you want your young QB to walk into. Second, just because you’re picking 16th-ish overall doesn’t mean you can’t land a top QB (see Rams and Eagles).
This leads me to my next point. The most aggravating part of this whole discussion is that the “MUST TAKE A QB” crowd didn’t pinpoint a QB they want. They’ll be able to cherry-pick whichever of the three works out as the reason the Giants shouldn’t have gone RB. That’s not fair. You can’t have that opinion and not say which one you wanted. So the issue is much less GENERAL position than it is SPECIFIC player. Deep-diving into this class shows four highly flawed but talented QB prospects with a ton of question marks. It also reveals an absolute diamond at the top in Barkley. The Giants clearly didn’t believe any of these QBs projected to be franchise guys for them - I agree with that opinion as I will not pick any of these three to reach All-Pro status. So they pick a no-brainer who makes their team better RIGHT NOW.
Others argue against drafting any RB high. I could point to how Zeke and Fournette were huge parts of putting their teams in the playoffs, but how about Todd Gurley? The Rams took the RB before the franchise QB and that has worked out well so far. There’s no reason the Giants can’t do the same, which leads me to my next point.
“They are never going to be picking high enough to take a franchise QB - they have to do it now.” So, how do you get a franchise QB? The easiest way is to get a top pick and draft one. I’ve already covered the Rams and Eagles who simply traded up, something the Giants can definitely do. It will be costly, but if you believe in the guy (and they clearly didn’t truly believe in any of the QBs this year), it is worth it. But is using a high draft pick the only way?
Here’s how the (subjective) top 12 QBs in the NFL were acquired and how many SB appearances they’ve had (remember many of who I’m speaking to are in the SBs MATTER MOST AND QBS MATTER FOR SBs MOST crowd):
1- Tom Brady, 6th Round, 6 SBs 2 - Aaron Rodgers, 24th overall, 1 SB 3 - Drew Brees, 2nd Round, 1 SB 4 - Ben Roethlisberger, 11th overall, 3 SBs 5 - Carson Wentz, 2nd Overall, 1 SB* 6 - Russell Wilson, 3rd Round, 2 SBs 7 - Matt Ryan, 3rd Overall, 1 SB 8 - Cam Newton, 1st Overall, 1 SB 9 - Philip Rivers, 4th Overall, 0 SB 10 - Matt Stafford, 1st Overall, 0 SB 11 - Kirk Cousins, 4th Round, 0 SB 12 - Jared Goff, 1st Overall, 0 SB
Two other ways to win it all:
Joe Flacco, 16th overall, 1 SB Peyton Manning, Free Agent signing to Broncos, 2 SBs
Set up for the future: Derek Carr, 2nd Round DeShaun Watson, 12th overall Jimmy Garropolo, Trade (and was drafted in the 2nd)
Finally, a few top draft picks:
Eli Manning, 1st overall, 2 SBs - WORTH IT Andrew Luck, 1st overall, 0 SBs - WORTH IT (injured) Jameis Winston, 1st overall - jury still out Marcus Mariota, 2nd overall - jury still out Blake Bortles, 3rd overall - jury still out
And this list doesn’t include all of the busts taken over the years at the top of the draft. Or the curious case of Alex Smith, someone who has been acquired twice via trade.
The point of laying out this landscape is simple: there’s more than one way to find a franchise QB. And an even more important point: there’s more than one way to build a Championship team. I think Saquon Barkley is an important piece of that foundation for the Giants. It’s up to them to figure out the QB position, but this wasn’t the year to do it.
1 3 New York Jets: Sam Darnold QB USC 3 Sam Darnold is 20 years old right now and will be 21 when the season starts. He’s played QB for four seasons of his life (two in HS, two at USC). I say we don’t judge a single second of his career until the start of the 2020 season. While that won’t happen, it probably should. His tape simply wasn’t great, but knowing his history, it’s not that surprising. There is just so much projection with a prospect like this that it’s almost foolish to even evaluate the results and decision-making that much. But that’s all I have. The bottom line with all of these QBs is that they are going to have to do something unlike anything they have ever done. Despite the similarities to the untrained eye, playing QB at the college level is so far and beyond different than being an NFL QB. I actually didn’t know Darnold was so young while scouting him so I went back for a second look from a different perspective and liked him more. Like Mayfield, he wasn’t good against Texas or tOSU. He also struggled against Cal, especially down the field. I don’t like his circular release but it’s not a game-changer. LIke another recent highly touted QB, Jameis Winston, I expect his turnover issues to continue, at least through the early part of his career. However, I don’t think it’s in his mentality and DNA like it is with Winston as much as due to inexperience. Becoming more careful with the football without losing his playmaking ability will define his career. Darnold’s creativity is his best attribute right now, which is a good sign. Those instincts can absolutely translate. He’s a sneaky mover and the Stanford tape shows some anticipation. He’s also adept at working the middle of the field. He’ll have to get better throwing outside the numbers. Overall, there’s a ton to work with but legitimate concerns as well. He has super bust risk and doesn’t go to a great situation but all outcomes are on the table for his talent and quick-study demeanor. His situation isn’t great as far as weapons go, but Josh McCown will be a terrific mentor. Macagnan made one of the worst second-round picks in the history of the NFL Draft with Hackenburg (only 2nd-rounder to not appear in a game through three seasons), and has lucked into some no-brainers at the top of each draft, but give him credit for those picks. I see it like this: they got the QB of their defense last year, the QB of their offense this year, retain Leonard Williams to be their best DL and will suck for one more year to add that game-changing weapon at WR or RB. I’m big on BPA because the draft is about finding young, cheap building blocks to set the foundation of your franchise. Especially at the top. Then you fill out your roster with steals and free agents. My Darnold pick is that he’s a good starter in the Stafford mold and develops a nice rapport with a WR they take at 7 overall next year.
1 4 Cleveland Browns: Denzel Ward CB Ohio State 4
Ward at four was a surprise to many, but it was clear what the Browns were thinking. They saw what Lattimore did last year and filled their biggest need. My philosophy, especially at the top of the draft, is to go BPA. I understand the Browns thought process in regards to passing on Chubb. They have their two edge rushers and needed a CB badly. The problem with this line of thinking is that you can never have too many defensive linemen, and having three terrorizing pass rushers, Chubb on the inside, makes your third-down front very scary. There is a very good chance Ward and Chubb become stars and no one really remembers this as the wrong pick, but if Chubb becomes a star and Ward is average, this will not age well for the Browns. From my evaluations, Ward is not far behind Chubb, so I’m not even going to get caught up in it. Yes, I would stay true to my board and draft Chubb, but Ward has HOF potential, as evidenced by his draft spot. I was a bit surprised when I heard how many top-five picks were spent on corners in the past. It rarely happens. On the field, his game projects as some sort of Asante Samuel/Darrelle Revis/Darrell Green hybrid. Anyone who has coached DBs knows the most difficult thing to do is get your head around to find the ball when playing man. He does it as well as anyone I’ve ever seen. He’s feisty, he’s quick, and he will hit you, like he showed versus Maryland. His size might be an issue at times but he can tackle and jump so I don’t view it as that much of a liability. A few years ago I banged the table for Jason Verrett and he’s been stellar when on the field (unfortunately he hasn’t been able to stay healthy). Ward is better. Great pick, outstanding career, with Darrell Green upside.
1 5 Denver Broncos: Bradley Chubb DE NC State 4
The Broncos went BPA and there’s really not much insight can offer. I like the Bosa comparison and he’s kind of a smaller Mario Williams as well. The one thing that pops out at you is the power in his hands. Handwork is crucial for a DL and he has extremely strong hands. BC and Marshall simply couldn’t block him. His tape wasn’t always pretty and he did get shut out by some tackles, including at South Carolina. He doesn’t have the bend or quickness of an elite pass-rusher so I’d be surprised to see him lead the league in sacks. His poor 3cone kinda shows up but so does his ridiculous speed - as it often leads to power. My final thought on Chubb is this: in today’s college game teams often choose to read (RPO or option) the best player on the defense so you don’t have to block him. When teams did that he was excellent, confusing QBs and making plays that were designed to read him. It shows he’s coachable and one of those “just a football player” types. Solid Mario Williams-ish career. 1 6 Indianapolis Colts: Quenton Nelson G Notre Dame 5
I’m just gonna go ahead and echo what everyone else is saying about Nelson. Also, he injured a tough Stanford kid, made one of the most WTF plays I’ve ever seen coming from his LG spot to the opposite edge and crushing a blitzer. He’s stout and doesn’t get moved. And he delivers contact, doesn’t take it. He’s going to be good for a long time. How insane would I have to be to claim that Nelson would go to the Hall of Fame and yet they didn’t make the right pick? WHAT?!? I think Roquan Smith would have changed the entire culture of their defense. While I seriously do prefer Smith, I have no major issues with Nelson obviously. 1 7 Buffalo Bills: Josh Allen QB Wyoming 2 I didn’t hate Josh Allen’s tape. I think he has a ton of upside. He made some extraordinary plays outside the structure of the offense, breaking tackles, and making crazy throws down the field. The most incredible play was actually a sack he somehow avoided to throw the ball away against Boise. He absolutely has some Big Ben in him. He got hot early in the Bowl game and those are the same highlights shown on the networks. In the Iowa game, his WRs did him no favors dropping three passes including a TD against a decent defense. He’s really tough to bring down and we all know the arm. It really comes down to the intangibles for me. I don’t think he’ll ever be very accurate but I don’t think he’s as inaccurate as his 56% suggests. There really is a ton of great stuff on tape. He was pretty good against New Mexico. I just can’t get over his inconsistent footwork, the fact that he’s late a ton (although that was my critique of Wentz too…), and that he doesn’t even throw that nice of a ball. He’s going to a place without much talent around him. I can’t predict great things for him but I think he can be Bortles-y.
1 8 Chicago Bears: Roquan Smith LB Georgia 5 Roquan Smith can be Derrick Brooks. He was the No. 1 player on my board easily. As an offensive coach one of my core philosophies is to NOT allow defensive gamebreakers to break games. There’s a pass concept that Bama and Oklahoma both tried where you run the boundary receiver on a snag route to pick the boundary LB, freeing up the RB on a swing or wheel. I have no idea why these offensive coordinators tried to do that to Roquan Smith and it ended poorly for both teams. He doesn’t miss tackles, he makes plays in coverage, he’s an adept blitzer, and he’s damn explosive. He dominates games. His presence is infectious. The Bears just added the DROY to a team that has some talent. Their OL should be a bit better and with a healthy Allen Robinson, they have a legit No. 1 WR. I was higher on Trubisky (didn’t love his rookie year but that’s OK) than most last year and I’m going to stick to it - the Bears will be my sleeper team to win 10 games (will be tough in that division). It comes down to the QB of course.
1 9 San Francisco 49ers: Mike McGlinchey OT Notre Dame 1
There were some glaring lowlights in Mike McGlinchey’s tape. He was absolutely torched by Bradley Chubb and really struggled with speed. He was more of angle-blocker in the run-game and didn’t flash much power. Patriots fans lowkey hated Nate Solder for years and I think that’s McGlinchey’s upside. I think he has potential to be solid, but I definitely don’t think he was worthy of the ninth overall pick in a good draft. My final guess is that he underwhelms and settles in a RT.
1 10 Arizona Cardinals: Josh Rosen QB UCLA 2
There seems to be a lot of romanticizing about Josh Rosen among the internet draft community. People seem to think he “fell” due to personality question marks and whatnot. If you really study the tape, he simply isn’t that great of a prospect. And for a guy that was supposed to be the best pure passer, he was outshined by Baker Mayfield at the combine in throwing drills. The built-in excuse Rosen has is his coaching situation, where he played for a new OC every season. That can’t be easy and he deserves credit for producing as he did. But there are a lot of issues on tape. He was straight-up bad versus Colorado, at one point missing four throws in a row and throwing a terrible INT. He’s a rhythm passer with some flashes but I swear threw some of the luckiest TDs I’ve ever seen, including two in the classic comeback versus TAMU. He throws high sometimes but he’s generally accurate, moreso than the other QBs on tape. And he’s a crafty tennis player moving around, a strength he shares with all the QBs. Like all these QBs, there’s definitely a lot to like, but the tape has glaring flaws. So while he does have the best footwork and accuracy of all the QBs, he’s also thin with injury concerns. To have two documented (key word) concussions and shoulder surgery on your resume is beyond alarming, and if he “fell” at all those were the reasons. It’s ironic he’s now on a roster with Palmer and Bradford. Unfortunately, I see his career going down a similar path. I just don’t trust him to stay healthy and I don’t think he’s really THAT good.
1 11 Miami Dolphins: Minkah Fitzpatrick S Alabama 3 This is an interesting fit. Minkah Fitzpatrick is without a doubt a special football player but I do wonder where he’ll play in the NFL. The Dolphins have two safeties already so the only question mark I have about the pick is exactly where he’ll line up. You need to be put somewhere on the depth chart even if you can line up in various alignments. My guess is that he can play anywhere, but him finding a home that suits him is key. Is he an outside corner at all? That’s an interesting debate. We know from the film that he can play nickel and LB, so using him outside would be a transition. It’s up to the coaching staff. While his tape was excellent I struggle finding a place where he can be as ball-hawky as he was at Bama. From my notes: communicates, plasters, blitzes, closing burst, lots of pick sixes, breaks on an angled post vs Watson NCG WOW. High football character. Don’t see a bust but I wouldn’t be surprised to see him as a solid rather than spectacular pro. Blocked punts and numerous pick sixes happen to very few guys at the pro level. He’ll be good, but not Ed Reed or anything.
1 12 Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Vita Vea DT Washington 4
This is where most thought Derwin James would go but the Bucs went DL with probably their BPA in Vita Vea. Vea didn’t make a play against Penn State but his highlight plays in other games were WOW. He’s not really twitchy but he’s more just fast which obviously plays in the NFL. One of his underrated traits is his knack for getting his hands up and deflecting passes. He can anchor against the run and push the pocket. Is he a true impact pro? Depends on your definition. I think he ends up being a dominant interior player. It will translate to sacks and splash plays but also stretches of games where he’s invisible. He’ll be an inconsistently impactful pro bowler.
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132+ Teams in 132+ Days: Washington State University

Welcome to Washington State University! Orientation will begin now, so please take a moment to observe the first minute of our finely edited video! Once the classic Palouse radio single is firmly stuck in your head, continue on down the page and learn about the wonders of Ol’ Wazzu!
WASHINGTON STATE UNIVERSITY
Pac-12 North
YEAR FOUNDED: 1890
Location: Pullman, WA
Total Attendance: Total - 27,008, Undergrad - 21,016
Mascot: 2006 Mascot of the Year Butch T. Cougar
Live Mascot: Represented by a live Cougar from 1927 - 1978. In 2008, the “Cougar Pride” Statue was placed in honor of our live mascots
Cheerleaders: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
WSU PSA against TV Violence
WSU Fight Song:
Stadium: Martin Stadium, Capacity: 33,552 Record Attendence: 40,306
Stadium Location: 1775 NE Stadium Way Pullman, WA 99164
All-Time Record: 500-526-45
Conference Championships(4): 1917, 1930, 1997, 2002
Number of Bowl Games (10): 6-4 record.
  • Rose Bowl : 1916 (W) Video (WSU v Brown in the first ANNUAL Rose Bowl), 1931 (L) Video, 1998 (L), 2003 (L)
  • Holiday Bowl: 1981(L) , 2003 (W, against #5 Texas) (WSU went to Rose and Holiday in 03)
  • Aloha Bowl: 1988 (W)
  • Copper Bowl: 1992 (W)
  • Alamo Bowl: 1994 (W)
  • Sun Bowl: 2001 (W)
National Titles: Soon...
Rivals
  • U of Washington: The Apple Cup
From the Cougar standpoint, the annual Apple Cup against the loathed in-state rival
University of Washington is the most heated game on the schedule each year. This
classic rivalry first met way back in 1900 which resulted in what I am sure was a
killer match ending in a 5-5 tie.
The game became the "Apple Cup" in 1962. Since then both sides have fought whole
heartedly for the right to display the trophy and to have bragging rights that year. This
electrifying game occurs around Thanksgiving, often setting the mood for the offseason.
Holding the advantage, the Huskies lead the all time series 67-32-6. However, it seems
ultimately whenever one side has a strong year, the opposing team finds a way to
shut down their dreams. One of these games happened in 1982 when a considerably
klutzy 2-7-1 Cougar team hosted the 5th ranked Huskies who were poised to enter
into their third straight Rose Bowl. The Cougs dug deep and pulled out a 24-20 win. An
ecstatic cougar fan base stormed the field, tore down the goal posts, and marched across town
slinging them into the Palouse river. Since then, the rivalry continues to be a bitter battle between the schools.
  • Idaho: The Battle For The Palouse
The University of Idaho is located only 8 miles away from the WSU campus and thus a natural rivalry was born. The overall record is 70-18-3 in favor of the Cougs but we still take the rivalry very seriously. The proximity of the rivalry has spawned at least one funny tradition over the years, if the visiting team loses it’s said the fans have to walk home from the game. The last Battle between these two school was in 2007 while the next is set for 2013. This will be the first “Battle for the Palouse” in 6 seasons!
2012 Season
Record: 3-9
Coach: Mike Leach
2012 Roster
Key Players:
  • Andrew Furney #49 K - nuff said. While you often don't hear much about a teams kicker, Andrew Furney has developed a cult following at WSU. This individuals leg has produced 42 points this season alone, including one amazing 60 yard field goal and two crucial field goals during the 2012 Apple Cup - one of which brought the game into overtime, and a the second leading us to victory.
  • Deone Bucannon #20 S - 98 TOT, 59 SOLO, 39 AST, 1 Sack, 3 INT While notorious for his collection of penalties this season, Deone boasts an outstanding record compared to his under performing team. Deone is an integral part of WSU’s defense as both a play stopper and play maker. Bucannon vs Oregon interception
  • Ioane Gauta #95 NT – 29 TOT, 15 SOLO, 14 AST, 3 Sack, 1 INT Dubbed, “the Monster in the Middle”, Gauta’s rugged presence in the middle has helped the Cougars climb to 30th in the nation in rushing defense. Gauta can often be identified by his hair exploding from the rear of his helmet. Gauta and Sagote team sack on Keith Price
  • Travis Long #89 LB – 61 TOT, 44 Solo, 19 ast, 9.5 sack, 1 int Before his injury, Travis managed an impressive senior year. He was named to the Pac-12 All-Academic Second Team and also was named WSU's defensive MVP following his Senior season.He was the recipient of the Laurie Niemi Award in his Senior season. Travis Long vs BYU
  • Gabe Marks #84 WR 49 Rec, 560 YDS, 11.4 AVG, 52 LONG, 2 TD and Isiah Myers #88 WR 42 Rec, 438 YDS, 10.4 AVG, 36 LONG, 4 TD - Both receivers had to step up last season to fill the void left by Marquess Wilson. While each has their own particular talents - according to CougarNation - Myers may be the most prominent receiver on the Cougars current roster.
Honorable Mentions
  • Jeff Tuel #10 QB – 221 CMP, 332 ATT, 2087 YDS, 8TD, 8INT, 119.5 Rating (Could’ve used an O line)
Dishonorable Mentions
  • Marquess Wilson #86 WR - Both a star and smudge on WSU’s history. over 3200 yards on 189 receptions totaling 25 TD’s... then this crap
  • The Whole O Line - 35 Sacks on Jeff Tuel, 22 on Connor Halliday Basically this video...
2013 Season:
Poster
2013 Schedule
@ 8/31
@ 9/7
9/14
9/21
9/28
@ 10/5
10/12
@ 10/19
BYE
10/31 (Halloween Thursday Night on ESPN in Pullman. You’re going to want to watch this one)
BYE
@ 11/16
11/23
@ 11/24
THE GREATS:
Greatest Games:
  • 1992 Apple Cup - the Snow Bowl: One of the most cherished moments by our fan base occurred in what possibly might have been the worst weather conditions the Apple Cup has even seen. The Cougs, who hadn't won an Apple Cup since 1988, were hosting the 5th ranked, defending national champion husky team led by Mark Brunell. However, neither the huskies or the fierce -18 degree wind whipping weather could stop Drew Bledsoe and the Cougars as they put together a 29-point third quarter. This barrage of scoring included one of the most replayed highlights of cougar football.. The lead provided a cushion that UW would not be able to overcome the rest of the game resulting in a 42-23 victory for the Cougs. The win led to a berth to the Copper Bowl where the Cougs maintained their momentum and defeated Utah.
  • 2003 Holiday Bowl: The 15th ranked Cougars entered the Holiday Bowl heavily unfavored against the 5th ranked Texas Longhorns. Battling a team that contained RB Cedric Benson and RS QB freshman Vince Young, the Cougs stumbled early and ended the first half down to the Horns 10-7. In the second half, the defense decided to show up in a huge way, allowing the Cougs to go on a 19-0 run in the third quarter. Texas responded in the fourth quarter with two scores to pull within 8 points, but the cougar defense displayed their dominance once again denying the Longhorns on two separate drives late in the game to secure a victory. The comeback allowed the cougars to hit the 10-win plateau for the third straight year, going 30-8 in that time span.
  • 1997 Apple Cup: Entering the game, WSU was on the verge of it's first Rose Bowl berth in 67 years. Led by Ryan Leaf, the cougars battled back and forth with an unrelenting husky team looking to smash any hopes the Cougs had for roses. It was a tight 7-7 game in the middle of the second quarter when Leaf connected with Chris Jackson who took it 57 yards to the endzone. This play was the beginning of 17 unanswered cougar points. Refusing to quit, the huskies crawled back to within 3 and threatened the cougar’s lead. Leaf then connected once again with Jackson for a 50-yard TD pass showing he had his sights set on the Rose bowl. The Cougs held on til the end eventually winning 41-35. They then went to Pasadena where they unfortunately fell to #1 Michigan.
  • 2008 Apple Cup - The Crapple Cup: It may not have been one of the greatest games, but it was definitely one of the most memorable ones recent history. Gaining national attention, these two teams met in Pullman with a combined 1-20 record on the season. The only win between the two schools was a 48-9 WSU victory over the powerhouse Portland State. Despite having the only win between the two schools, WSU entered the game as an 8.5 point underdog to the 0-10 Huskies. The match was a bit painful to watch for the first 59 minutes of game time, but with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter, QB Kevin Lopina hit WR Brandon Gibson to convert a third-and-1 and led the Cougs on a 69-yard drive that would result in a FG to send the game into overtime tied at 10. During the first OT, the Cougs went up a field goal only to be matched by the Huskies. In the second OT, Husky K Ryan Perkins missed wide right from 37 yards setting up a chance for victory for the Cougs. After only advancing a mere 5 yards, WSU K Nico Grasu drilled his attempt from 37 yards sending the team, and the fans, into a frenzy on the field. The defeated Huskies would eventually lose their final game against Cal to become the first team in the Pac-10 to go 0-12 and the only team in the country to finish the season without a win in 2008.
Greatest Plays:
Greatest Players:
  • Drew Bledsoe - 4x Pro Bowl, 2x All-Pro, 2x AFC Champ, Super Bowl Champion QB. Also the owner of Doubleback Winery in his hometown of Walla Walla in Eastern Washington (which is a great wine region) The only time I have seen this wine for sale, it was $100 a bottle at Wine World. So it’s likely quality.
  • Mark Rypien - Super Bowl MVP, 2x Super Bowl Champion, 2x Pro Bowl QB from Spokane. A local Cougar hero and legend. His daughter Angela played for the lingerie football league (NSFW?). And his nephew Brett Rypien is breaking his uncle’s records in the Greater Spokane League and already holds offers from Wazzu, Idaho and Colorado State going into his junior season.
  • Mel Hein - NFL Hall Of Fame, 4x Pro Bowl, 5x All-Pro, 2x NFL Champion, The only OL to win MVP, 1930s All-Decade Team, NFL 75th Anniversary Team. Mel Hein was a beast among men. He lead the Cougars to an undefeated 1931 season and into the Rose Bowl against Alabama. He was an All-American at WSU and also played Center on the WSU basketball team. His number is retired by both Washington State University and the New York Giants.
  • Marcus Trufant - The 11th overall pick by the Seattle Seahawks sealed Trufant’s legacy in history as not only an all time great for the Cougars and Seahawks, but as a Northwest sports hero in general. Trufant was born in raised in Tacoma, Washington and stayed here his entire football career until he signed with the Jacksonville Jaguars this offseason. He was Pac-10 All-Freshman, First-Team Pac-10 and Second-Team All-American during his years with the Cougs. He allowed zero TDs against him in his final two season at WSU.
  • Jason Hanson - Hanson is another Spokane native that played for WSU. He holds the record for longest kick in WSU history at 62 yards. An All-American in his Sophomore season he also holds the WSU records for points scored (328) and most field goal related records. He had one of the longest NFL careers of anybody and retired this year after 20 seasons. He is the #3 all time leader in points in the NFL as well as the #3 leader in field goals made. Hanson is a 2x Pro Bowler and 3x All-Pro.
  • Ryan Leaf had a magnificent career at WSU, but he is more widely known for being one of, if not the biggest, busts in NFL history. He was selected 2nd overall in the 1998 draft behind Peyton Manning by the San Diego Chargers. Once his NFL career ended, he entered into a coaching position at West Texas A&M. Here, not only his coaching career, but his life spiraled out of control as it became evident he had a serious drug addiction problem with painkillers. After years of probation, rehab, burglary, threats, and continued drug abuse, Leaf ran out of second chances and now resides in the Montana State Prison. It is definitely a darker side of cougar athletic history, and many fans are touchy about the subject, but Leaf remains one of the most prominent athletes to have played WSU. In his junior year, he averaged 330.6 yards passing per game and threw for a then Pac-10 conference record 33 touchdowns. Everyone hopes Leaf will pull his life together, but some wonder what more can even be done to help.
Greatest Coaches:
  • Mike Price (1989-2002) 83-78 - Price was good friends with Dennis Erickson and when Erickson left WSU for Miami he recommended Price for the job. Price rented Erickson’s home and ended up staying in Pullman for 13 years. During that span he won 3 bowl games and led two Rose Bowl squads in 1997 and 2002. Price coached many famous WSU players including Drew Bledsoe, Ryan Leaf, Jason Gesser and Marcus Trufant. Fuck you Alabama.
  • Jim Walden (1978-1986) 44-52-4 - Jim Walden will always be great in the eyes of Cougar fans because he loved spoiling the Huskies’ season. He also ended a bowless streak that had gone on for 51 years by leading to the Cougars to the 1981 Holiday Bowl against the BYU Cougars. He also coached Cougar greats Jack “The Throwing Samoan” Thompson, Mark Rypien. and Reuben Mayes.
  • ”You bet your ass I’ll be here someday!”
Cougs Currently in the NFL:
  • Husain Abdullah - Kansas City Chiefs - Safety
  • Chris Ivory - New York Jets - Running Back
  • Jed Collins - New Orleans Saints - Fullback
  • Eric Frampton - Dallas Cowboys - Safety
  • Brandon Gibson - Miami Dolphins - Wide Receiver
  • Rian Lindell - Buffalo Bills - Kicker
  • Ropati Pitoitua - Tennessee Titans - Defensive End
  • Marcus Trufant - Jacksonville Jaguars - Cornerback
  • Jeff Tuel - Buffalo Bills - QB
  • Zack Williams - Carolina Panthers - Guard
  • Marquees Wilson - Chicago Bears - Wide Receiver
Traditions:
Wave The Flag
The GameDay Wave The Flag movement first began back in 2003 when the Cougs were ranked 6th in the nation. It started off as a simple showing of school pride and spirit but quickly evolved into a campaign to bring GameDay to Pullman. It has since then become a tradition to have a cougar flag, nicknamed Ol' Crimson, to be a part of every broadcast until GameDay decides to grace Pullman with their presence. Ol' Crimson has not missed a GameDay since it first started and is looking to continue the streak (which currently sits at 132 consecutive shows) this upcoming season. The Flag has grown into something much bigger and has become a viral campaign with fans flying the flag in crazy places all over the world. You might have been here when avboden posted pictures flying the flag at a sunken ship.
Undefeated Fans/Wave the Flag Extra: GameDay with WSU Pirate Flag
Homecoming
As I assume it is with all college towns homecoming weekend is pretty special. Once you graduate there really aren’t a whole lot of reasons to go to back Pullman besides sporting events and homecoming, of which the latter draws a HUGE alumni crowd.
Homecoming day celebration and Bonfire
Students have been given the ability to choose our uniform combinations for both our Homecoming game and any home Apple Cup matchup.
Glenn Johnson
The man who has made himself tradition. Not only is Glenn Johnson the voice of Cougar football, he’s also a professor at WSU and the Mayor of Pullman. Every first down is met with “And that’s another Cougar first down!” with a Cougar growl at the end. He has been our voice since the 1980s and sadly he may be stepping down soon (they already have a new announcer for some of the more minor basketball games).
Campus and Surrounding Area:
City Population: 31,359
Iconic Campus Buildings/Skyline:
Local Dining:
  • Cougar County - While it is far from being on campus, Cougar Country Drive In is currently one of the most popular “fast food” restaurants in Pullman. With a menu ranging from the “Cougar Super Basket” (two ¼ lb patties with all the fixings), Chili Dogs, BBQ Beef sandwiches, and even Fish and Chips. The Store is completely manned by students, including many WSU athletes. Cougar Country has a great connection to the city of Pullman, and often uses their giant sign to advertise everything from “Important Sporting News” to Homecoming Proposals
  • The Coug - Located right off campus at the end of Greek Row, The Coug - or Cougar Cottage - contains good food, cold drinks, low prices and is a very popular game day attraction. Along the walls of the Coug, students have the opportunity to help contribute to the decorations. Fun Fact: The Coug was featured as a question on College Jeopardy
  • Sella’s Calzone and Pizza - Sella’s is located at the end of campus located closest to the dorms. Like many Italian restaurants, Sella’s has giant servings, of which many are reasonably priced. Sella’s leaves crayons and paper on the tables for kids to draw on. However, many students take advantage of the crayons to express their artistic side. The best of these artworks are posted on the walls throughout the Restaurant
  • Munchy’z - Munchy’z is a hookah bar located on Greek Row. While they are known for their hookahs, Munchy’z most popular contribution to Pullman would be their late night Hot Dogs. During the Weekends, Munchy’z opens an outdoor grill where they make their famous hot dogs (which are a must have if celebrating in Pullman!) Also they deliver cigarettes.
Random Trivia:
  • Mike Leach has an incentive in his contract for $25,000 every time he beats Washington home or away. Last year when the Cougs won, it was rumored Leach paid the entire bars tab for the night at Valhalla located on Greek Row a block away from The Coug.
  • The Palouse refers to the agricultural region that encompasses parts of southeastern Washington, north central Idaho, and extending into parts of northeast Oregon. The region was a popular end destination for those who did not die of dysentery along the Oregon trail. It is home to both WSU and U of Idaho.
  • The very first football game for our school took place on Nov 10, 1894 against University of Idaho. At that time, our school's name and mascot were the mighty Washington Agricultural College Farmers. We won 10-0
  • The first school colors were pink and blue, said to be chosen by the first WSU President when he was so in awe of the blue and pink sunsets of the Palouse. It is unknown when the official colors changed, though Crimson and Gray are thought to have been the colors by 1916, when we won the first annual Rose Bowl (thank god)
  • The cougar wasn't adopted to be our mascot until our 1919 victory over Cal when a San Francisco newspaper cartoonist depicted the game as a bear trying to free itself from a northwest cougar
  • Our logo was created by Randall Johnson, an art student at then called Washington State College in 1936, who wanted to incorporate his art in lettering to produce a logo that would include the letters WSC. Once the president saw it, he immediately decided to make it the official logo of the state college. In 1959 when the school became a university, the president sent a request to Johnson to revise the logo and change the C into a U. Johnson happily obliged and sold the rights for his logo to the school for $1.
  • On the weekend before classes begin each year at WSU, Pullman holds the annual National Lentil Festival, an event celebrating everyone’s favorite legumes. It was started back in 1989 to promote both tourism and the locally grown lentils. At the time of the original festival, 98% of the United States crop of lentils were grown in the Palouse.
  • Popular non-athlete alumni from WSU include Timothy Leary (acid icon who coined "turn on, tune in, drop out"), Bill Nye (the science guy), Paul Allen (co-founder of Microsoft and owner of the Seahawks and Trailblazers), Edward R. Murrow (father of broadcast journalism), and Gary Larson (author of the comic the Far Side) who created a mural that is currently displayed on campus in Beasley Coliseum
  • In the 1930's, the US government provided funds to WSU to research new ways to store cheese. WSU created a way to store cheese in tins and during the process, ended up creating a cheese so wonderful that they dubbed it "Cougar Gold." The WSU Creamery was established and currently produces over 250,000 cans of cheese each year, 80% of which being Cougar Gold (which is fucking delicious), as well as 18,000 gallons of ice cream.
  • Washington State University currently is the home of a 1MW Nuclear Reactor. The Reactor was the brainchild of Harold W. Dodgen, a former researcher on the Manhattan Project, and a WSU Alumnus. Video of a Reactor Pulse
  • WSU also boasts a Bear Center on campus, hosting both adult and cub grizzly bears. The bears cardiovascular systems are studied during their hibernation cycle due to the similarities to a resting bear heart and a human heart facing heart disease. Here is a delightful gif.
What Is and What Is to Come:
As the offseason lags on, the mood of the Cougar fan base for the upcoming season remains excited, yet a bit more reserved than it was last year ripe with the hiring of Mike Leach. The team will have quite the different feel to it with the departure of star senior athletes QB Jeff Tuel , linebacker Travis Long, and estranged WR Marquess Wilson. However, despite these losses, WSU will not be lacking in experience. Wazzu leads the PAC-12 in returning career starts with 359, including up and coming players such as QB Connor Halliday, WR Gabe Marks, WR Isiah Myers, S Deone Bucannon, and husky killer K Andrew Furney.
This recruiting season may not have been a flashy one (ranking between 9-11 with Rivals, Scout, ESPN, and 247) but Leach bulked up on where we needed improvement the most: both the offensive and defensive lines. One of the most exciting prospects 4* AZ QB Tyler Bruggman led WSU into a bit of a panic on signing day when he flip flopped between ASU and WSU, but he eventually confirmed his committed with the Cougs at the end of the day. When asked about the drama on signing day, Leach stated he was unaware of any offers to Bruggman from ASU, but that he did receive an excellent lasagna recipe from Bruggman's mother the night before.
The schedule this upcoming season provides WSU ample opportunity to improve on last years record of 3-9. The non-conference line up includes games at Auburn, and hosting both Southern Utah and old Palouse rival Idaho. This season's conference games will include home matches against Stanford, Oregon St, Arizona St, and Utah and will travel to play USC, Cal, Oregon, Arizona and UW. Worst case scenario would be a repeat 3-9 record, with only being able to scrounge a single conference win and having two close calls against nonconference foes S. Utah and U of I. Best case scenario (in my completely biased and homeristic opinion) would be a 10-3 record and an appearance in the Rose Bowl, as summarized here. However, becoming bowl eligible would be welcomed warmly by a fan base who hasn't seen the Cougs in a bowl for a decade.
Overtime
  • Steve Gleason - Former WSU LB that was a part of the 1998 Rose Bowl team who later become well known for his blocked punt while playing for the Saints in 2006 reviving a city’s fan base that was still recovering from hurricane Katrina. He also was a 4 year starter for the WSU Baseball team and continues to hold the school record for triples to this day. In 2011 he revealed he was battling ALS and launched his campaign Team Gleason No White Flags promoting public awareness and striving towards a cure. Check out his website http://www.teamgleason.org/ to find out more.
  • Whether it’s to escape the summer heat or blow off some stress, students often flock just outside of Pullman to hang out at dunes along the Snake River.
  • Hey Cougs in the Seattle area! There is a organization called CougsFirst that’s dedicated the spreading the word about Cougar owned and operated businesses. There is a yearly trade show in Bellevue with 60+ Cougar alum owned and operated business and they organize other events with the Alumni Association. Check them out on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Cougs-First/243934019073869
  • Also make sure to check out the WSU Alumni Association page for viewing parties and other events all around the country: http://alumni.wsu.edu/olc/pub/WHG/aevents/page_aevents_5.jsp
Well I sure hoped you enjoyed your stay here, and maybe even learned a little something or two about our home, Ol’ Wazzu! Have a safe trip home, enjoy the memories, and we look forward to having you again!
Subreddit: wsu
Contributors: jeedf, Hougie, Palonious
Special Thanks to cfb and the mods
Please upvote this thread even if you are not interested in the team so that users who are interested will see it For more information on the 132+ Teams in 132+ Days Project, see: This Thread
GO COUGS
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[35 Bowls in 17 Days] The BBVA Compass Bowl: Vanderbilt vs. Houston

BBVA Compass Bowl Vanderbilt vs. Houston
Bowl Information:
By: zomglolreddit
Date: January 4th, 2014
Time: 1:00 PM EST
Channel:
Broadcast Crew: TV: Dave Neal (@DaveNealSports), Andre Ware, and Dawn Davenport (@DawnDavenportTN) Radio: Adam Amin & Rene Ingoglia
Betting Odds:
Vanderbilt Houston
Game Line -2.5 +2.5
Money Line -133 -125
  • OveUnder: 53
Compass Bowl History: (by )
Year Founded: 2006
Location: Birmingham, AL
Stadium: Legion Filed
“Iron Bowl”: Let’s take a second to review some Iron Bowl history. Alabama and Auburn first played in Birmingham in 1893. After the series was canceled following disagreement about the officials, amongst other issues, the series returned in 1948 at the largest stadium in the state, Legion Field. The name of the rivalry, the Iron Bowl, is named after Birmingham’s involvement in the steel industry. The game has since moved to a home-and-home series at the respective schools.
“FREE UAB”: The University of Alabama at Birmingham, or UAB, currently plays its football games at Legion Field. The University made a plea to the Alabama System Board of Trustees, which is almost completely dominated by alumni of The University of Alabama main campus, to fund an on-campus stadium. On November 3, 2011, the board did not even allow this proposal to make the agenda. As a result, UAB and the “Birmingham Bowl” are chained to Legion Field. As a result, the future of the bowl and UAB football has been in serious question.
Conference Tie-ins: SEC #9 vs AAC #5
Payout: $1M (SEC) $900,000 (American) Sponsor: BBVA Compass – Interesting story here. Compass Bank was a regional bank located in Birmingham. In 2007, it was acquired by Banco Bilbao Vizcaya Argentaria (BBVA), a bank located in Spain. Since that time, the newly founded BBVA Compass bank has expanded to Houston, where a 312,000 square foot office building was recently opened. Last year, BBVA Compass announced that it would no longer be sponsoring the “Birmingham Bowl.”
Trophy
Tickets
Photos
Twitter
Current Logo
Old Logo
2012 Season Result: Ole Miss 38 – Pitt 17, attendance 59,326 (record)
Full Game If you aren’t an Ole Miss fan and hate your life, I suggest watching this whole game.
Photo
Bowl History: The BBVA Compass Bowl (or Birmingham Bowl) (srs_house: aka Pitt Postseason Game) was created in 2006. Its first working name was the PapaJohns.com bowl, but was dropped following the 2009 year. The following year, BBVA Compass began sponsoring the bowl. They recently announced that they would also be dropping sponsorship. As a result, the future of this bowl is in question with the plethora of better facilities options available for games. The game originally sought to match up a Conference USA team with a Big East team, but was recently changed to a SEC (when they have 9 bowl eligible teams) vs AAC matchup.
Vanderbilt Commodores: 132+ Teams in 132+ Days: Vanderbilt Commodores (by srs_house)
Bowl Record: 3-2-1, 0-1 in Birmingham
Historic Bowl Games: 1955 Gator Bowl: Vanderbilt’s first bowl, having been one of many Southern teams snubbed during the early bowl period despite posting excellent seasons. Vanderbilt upset #8 Auburn 25-13 to secure their first bowl victory, which served as their only bowl win until…
2008 Music City Bowl: the Commodores were able to secure their first winning season since 1982 with a 16-14 win over Boston College. Vanderbilt started the season 4-0 before hosting, and beating, #14 Auburn in front of a College GameDay crowd. The 5-0 Commodores would move up to #13 before losing the next four games and finishing the regular season 6-6. In true Vanderbilt fashion, the MVP was punter Brett Upson who averaged 42.6 yards on 9 punts, including a punt which was muffed and resulted in Vandy’s lone TD.
2013 Season Record: 8-4
Key Players this Season:
Jordan Matthews, WR, SR: 107 receptions, 1334 yards, 5 TD
Kenny Ladler, S, SR: 87 tackles, 60 solo, 5 interceptions, 5 forced fumbles
Jerron Seymour, RB, RS SO: 144 attempts, 627 yards, 13 TD
Austyn Carta-Samuels, QB, RS SR: 2268 yards, 11 TD, 9 INT
Patton Robinette, QB, RS FR: 488 yards, 2 TD, 3 INT; 56 rushes, 177 yards, 6 TD
Biggest Plays this Season:
Season Summary: This was supposed to be Franklin’s Great Leap Forward. The best receiving duo in the SEC, arguably the country, was returning, along with a secondary composed of seniors, a clutch kicker in Carey Spear, and former WAC Freshman of the Year Austyn Carta-Samuels at QB. That all changed with the suspension and dismissal of four players over the summer and WR #2 Chris Boyd’s dismissal from the team for his involvement. Jordan Matthews was chipped, double, and triple-teamed all season, but still made play after play. Seymour emerged as the every down back with a nose for the endzone, but missed the final two games, along with rising star DE Caleb “The Nigerian Nightmare” Azubike. RS SR Austyn Carta-Samuels went down with a knee injury against UGA and was replaced by RS FR Patton Robinette, who led the teams to wins against UGA and UF. ACS came back for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Wake Forest, but will miss the bowl game after finally undergoing surgery for his torn ACL. The season featured a gut-wrenching early loss to Ole Miss and more new records in the Franklin era – the first ever season with wins over Tennessee, Florida, and Georgia, and the first consecutive wins over Tennessee since 1925-6. Overall, a successful season with glimpses of what might have been.
If this season had to be summed up in three words, they’d be: players stepped up. Krause became a standout WR2, DT Adam Butler shifted from offense to defense and had made some huge plays, Seymour took the reins and helped make us one of the best red zone teams in the country, Matthews made catch after catch, freshmen Darrius Sims and Paris Head made the most of their opportunities, and Robinette and Carta-Samuels both took humble actions for the best of the team – sharing the spotlight, stepping up when their numbers were called, and putting the team on their backs. The team didn’t let last summer’s events define them, and I think that makes this a success no matter what happens Saturday.
Why we are going to win: Patton Robinette will have had a full month of starting practice to work with Jordan Matthews, who we know will be double and triple teamed. However, he also had time to work with WR #2 Jonathan Krause, who has thrived as a less-noticed deep threat (avg 17 ypr) and will be healthy. Azubike and Seymour will also return from injury after missing the last two games. Houston has a potent offense, but will facing an aggressive line and a veteran secondary that has gotten even better as the season went on. The deciding factor, however, may come down to kicker Carey Spear, who is coming after a game winner against Wake Forest. In a close game, Franklin trusts him. Look for lots of running, clutch catches, and probably a few more turnovers to pad Houston’s insane #1 forced turnover ranking.
The team will also be playing for the seniors – after a 2010 campaign that went 2-10 under an interim HC, the seniors are currently 25-25. A win will make them the first senior class to graduate with a winning record since the 1975 team finished 22-21-2.
Houston Cougars (by TheTurner
Bowl Record: 9-11-1
Year Bowl Opponent Result
1951 Salad Bowl Dayton W 26-21
1962 Tangerine Bowl Miami (OH) W 49-21
1969 Bluebonnet Bowl Auburn W 37-7
1971 Bluebonnet Bowl Colorado L 17-29
1973 Bluebonnet Bowl Tulane W 47-7
1974 Bluebonnet Bowl NC State T 31-31
1976 Cotton Bowl Maryland W 31-21
1978 Cotton Bowl Notre Dame L 34-35
1979 Cotton Bowl Nebraska W 17-14
1980 Garden State Bowl Navy W 35-0
1981 Sun Bowl Oklahoma L 14-40
1984 Cotton Bowl Boston College L 28-45
1988 Aloha Bowl Washington State L 22-24
1996 Liberty Bowl Syracuse L 17-30
2003 Hawaii Bowl Hawaii L 48-45
2005 Fort Worth Bowl Kansas L 13-42
2006 Liberty Bowl South Carolina L 36-44
2007 Texas Bowl TCU L 13-20
2008 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force W 34-28
2009 Armed Forces Bowl Air Force L 20-47
2011 TicketCity Bowl Penn State W 30-14
Historic Bowl Games:
1969 BlueBonnet Bowl Houston 37 - Auburn 7
1973 Bluebonnet Bowl Houston 47 - Tulane 7
1980 Cotton Bowl Houston 17 - Nebraska 14
2008 Armed Forces Bowl Houston 34 - Air Force 28
2013 Season Record: 8-4, 5-3 American
Week Opponent Result
1 vs. Southern W 62-13 Recap
2 @ Temple W 22-13 Recap
3 vs. BYE WEEK
4 vs. Rice W 31-26 Recap
5 @ UTSA W 59-28 Recap
6 @ OPEN DATE
7 vs. Memphis W 25-15 Recap
8 vs. BYU L 46-47 Recap
9 @ Rutgers W 49-14 Recap
10 vs. South Florida W 35-23 Recap
11 @ UCF L 17-24 Recap
12 @ Louisville L 13-20 Recap
13 vs. Cincinnati L 17-24 Recap
14 vs. SMU W 34-0 Recap
Bowl vs. Vanderbilt TBD
Key Players this Season:
Freshman QB John O'Korn:59.9% CMP, 2,889 yds, 26 TDs Best Performance: 24/30, 364 yds, 5 TDs, 0 INTs vs. Rutgers
Sophomore WR Deontay Greenberry:76 rec, 1106 yds, 10 TDs, 14.6 YPC Best Peformance: 8 rec, 168 yds, 3 TDs vs. Rutgers
Junior LB Derrick Matthews:110 total tackles, 7.0 sacks Best Peformance: 12 total tackles(10 solo), 3.0 sacks, 1 INT returned for TD vs. BYU
Biggest Plays this Season:
O'Korn hits Greenberry deep for this 46-yard TD vs. USF
O'Korn to Greenberry again for an 83-yard score
Derrick Matthews gives Houston the lead with this pick six
Season Summary:
-After not qualifying for a bowl game in 2012, Head Coach Tom Levine and the Houston Cougars were determined to get back into the postseason against the best the American Conference had to offer. After starting 5-0, the Cougars dropped a nail-biter to BYU at home, 46-47. The Cougars would win their next two to become bowl eligible before dropping their next three games, all by single digits. Houston capped off their regular season with a shutout victory over former SWC rival SMU, 34-0.
Why we are going to win: Although the Cougars are historically known for their high-powered offense, defense has been a key to their success this season, ranking in the Top 15 in Points Against this season. Their opponent, Vanderbilt, will test the Cougs through the air with Jordan Matthews as their deep threat, but if they are able to contain him, Houston could walk out of Birmingham for their second bowl win in a row.

Prediction: Vanderbilt 34 - Houston 30

Many thanks to zomglolreddit, srs_house, and TheTurner for contributing the information to this post! The other guys were on the money, I was the late one. (Sorry!)
For more info on the 35 Bowls Project, go here.
submitted by srs_house to CFB [link] [comments]

Book throws for 5 TDs as No. 7 Notre Dame routs New Mexico. Ian Book threw a career-high five touchdown passes and Notre Dame's defense came up with three first-half interceptions as the seventh Live betting odds for Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs Georgia Bulldogs - Saturday, September 21, 2019 at Sanford Stadium on Saturday, September 21, 2019. Up to date offshore betting odds of over 30 Betting on that favorite means the team must win by at least 26 points to cover the NCAA basketball point spread. The underdog team is able to lose by 25 points and still cover the spread. When you see a moneyline component linked with the spread, such as -25.5 (-115), it indicates how much you risk in order to place the wager. This section is showing information as of the end the 2019-20 season. To join our email list and get notified when we launch the 2020-21 College Football section (about a week before the season starts), register for a free account. One of the Week 7 college football picks the model is recommending: No. 9 Notre Dame (-10.5) covers at home against USC in a 7:30 p.m. ET matchup on Saturday in South Bend.

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