Category Archives: College FB

Is Bud Dupree One of the Greatest Wildcats Ever?

Back in August there seemed to be about three people on the planet who had high expectations for University of Kentucky football.  One of them was Mark Stoops.  A good part of Stoops’ optimism centered around senior outside linebacker, Alvin “Bud” Dupree.

“I’d be very shocked if Bud (Dupree) was not a first-round draft pick.” ~ Stoops, August 2014

Mel Kiper, never one to be on time for the party, recently added Dupree to his big board of top 25 players.  However, as Mel says, “Alvin “Bud” Dupree is a player I’ve known about since he enrolled at Kentucky. He’s the kind of kid who can be really intriguing to follow because he’s such a phenomenal athlete. You never know what he’ll become.” Mel keeps a few surprises close to the vest to keep you off guard.  With insider information like that, why wouldn’t I just send ESPN all of my subscription money?

Anyway, Stoops believes Dupree is just as good standing up at outside linebacker as he is with his hand on the turf as a defensive end.  Much of that is murky in the NFL these days anyway, as teams start adding to what they already have.  Defense in the NFL is very personnel oriented. So how good  was Dupree at UK?

First, he was named All-SEC.  That, in and of itself, puts Dupree in a special class of Kentucky football players.  Dupree joins the punter, Landon Foster to be named All-SEC in 2014.

The Wildcats named all conference over the last 10 seasons:

2005 Rafael Little All-Purpose
2006 Keenan Burton All-Purpose
2006 Jacob Tamme Tight End
2006 Wesley Woodyard Linebacker
2007 Jacob Tamme Tight End
2007 Wesley Woodyard Linebacker
2008 Micah Johnson Linebacker
2008 Trevard Lindley Defensive Back
2008 Tim Masthay Punter
2009 Randall Cobb All-Purpose
2010 Randall Cobb All-Purpose
2010 Danny Trevathan Linebacker
2011 Danny Trevathan Linebacker
2014 Alvin Dupree Defensive End
2014 Landon Foster

If Dupree gets drafted in the first round, he will be the first and only from the list above to do so.  He would join a short list that includes: Dwayne Robertson ’03, Tim Couch ’99, Art Still ’78, Warren Bryant ’77, Randy Burke ’77, Sam Ball ’66, Tom Hutchinson ’63, Irv Goode ’62, Lou Michaels ’58, Steve Meilinger ’54, Babe Parilli ’52, and Bob Gain ’51.   That is a pretty elite list.

#859Sports: Irv Goode, born in Newport, graduated from Boone County High School, the Rebels play on Irv Goode field.

The 6’4, 264 Dupree finished in the top 10 in the SEC in sacks for 3 straight seasons.  He is strong, fast, and has a knack for the big play.  Looking a little odd in the #2 jersey, the reason behind wearing that number is simple: “If I want to be No. 1, I always have to work like I’m No. 2,”  Dupree said about his jersey number earlier this season.  Dupree finished 2.5 sacks short of being UK’s all time leader in sacks.  That is a pretty amazing fact once you consider where the UK defense has been in the last four seasons.  There haven’t been a lot of reasons for opponents not to double up on Dupree in key situations.

Dupree is capable of bringing a lot of violence to the point of collision but then can also make plays like this in key situations:

If the last four seasons would’ve seen a few bowl appearances out of UK, I think we would be hearing a lot more about Dupree.  But the truth is, if you can play, they will find you.  Mark Stoops has coached 9 first round draft picks. I’m with him on this one.  Dupree leaves UK as one of the top three or four to ever play in Lexington.

Its Official: Ohio State Is the Worst National Champion Ever

Virginia Tech was so shitty that they had to beat a five-win Virginia team in the last week of the season just to gain bowl eligibility. And while ACC daytime games are generally unwatchable, they took it to another level in their game against Wake Forest, which was the first scoreless through regulation contest in nearly a decade. They lost that game after only scoring threepoints in double overtime.  ~ Deadspin

To read the rest of the analysis click here.

Oregon vs. Ohio State Preview: Ducks Over Ohio State

I nearly drove off the road this morning when I heard a sports talk radio host say that the Bengals should draft Cardale Jones, if and when he enters the NFL draft.  Jones was 18-of-35 passing against the Crimson Tide, with one interception and should have thrown a second pick (Cardale Jones gets away with one).  Ohio State beat Alabama by doing what no one had done against Alabama in recent memory and that was rush for 287 yards on 47 carries.  Ezekiel Elliot had 230 of those yards.  The week prior, Elliot had 220 yards rushing against Wisconsin.

No one saw Elliot coming.  Even after the Wisconsin game, it was dismissed as a stat padding game against a middle of the road Big 10 opponent.  Then Wisconsin beat Auburn in the Outback Bowl, and in hindsight the 450 yards rushing Elliot amassed over his last two games is a very credible resume.  Back to back games with runs of 80 yards or longer is tough to do when the opponents are Wisconsin and Alabama.  But still, the outbursts of a recently explosive running came as a surprise.

For instance, against Cincinnati back on September 27, Elliot rushed 28 times for 182 yards, averaging 6.5 yards per carry.  His longest run was 14 yards.  In fact, up until the Wisconsin game, Elliot had runs of over 28 yards only three times.  The first 8 games of the season, he had only surpassed 60 yards rushing, 3 times; including a horrible 8 for 32 performance in the loss against Virginia Tech.  Whatever happened over the last month of the season, has changed the outlook of Elliot and the Buckeyes.

Those predicting Ohio State’s demise deserve reprieve.  The Buckeyes just hadn’t earned the respect of the college football world enough to be taken as a serious threat to Alabama, who up until ten days ago, had the top rushing defense in the nation.  The Buckeyes are going to have to have a three-peat performance out of Elliot against Oregon to become national champions.

Elliot’s outburst has opened up opportunities down the field for Jones, who can throw the ball as far as anyone can run.  Buckeye receiver, Devon Smith, has benefited from the explosive running.  Smith had two catches for 87 yards versus Alabama.  While he hasn’t been Ohio State’s favorite target, he has clearly established himself as the legitimate deep threat that the Buckeyes haven’t had in a while.  Smith is averaging an amazing 27.7 yards per catch and has 12 TDs in only 32 receptions.

Alabama only lost to Ohio State by one score despite Ohio State’s record breaking rushing performance.  In fact, there were points during the Sugar Bowl matchup that Alabama looked to be in control and ready to takeover.  I don’t want to sound like Paul Finebaum here, but lets put that game into perspective; Alabama was running all over Ohio State and chose to try to beat them another way.  In 2011 and 2012, Alabama just crushed the spirit of their opponents by suffocating them on defense and letting their physical dominance prevail on offense.  It was really boring football but it won.  When you are the most talented team on the field, your goal should be to be as boring as possible.

This season Alabama had the mark of Lane Kiffin.  Kiffin turned what should’ve been a controlled execution of a weaker opponent (as witnessed against LSU in 2011 and again against Notre Dame 2012)  into an old-fashioned donnybrook. Ohio State cracked a beer bottle over Saban’s head and the Crimson Tide got lost in the chaos. We see this kind of thing time after time in pro wrestling; the heel has the hero beaten but stops for a moment to showboat to the crowd; thereby, allowing the hero to roll away and recover.

The Ducks are a different animal altogether.  They smother opponents a different way.  Oregon has played and handled 5 top 20 teams thus far. The Ducks have averaged 52.3 points per game over their last three games. For the season, they are ranked first in the country in points per road game with 49.6.  In scoring margin, the Ducks are at +23 on the road compared to Ohio State’s +19.6 away from Columbus.  Oregon has outscored opponents by an average of 23.1 points compared to Ohio State’s almost identical 22.9.  Alabama was lagging both at +17.

Oregon and Ohio State have one common opponent, a very good Michigan State team.  Oregon defeated Michigan State 46 – 27 at home on September 6.  Ohio State went into East Lansing on November 8 and beat the Spartans 49 – 37.  By the way, Michigan State was the only team in college football to give up an average of less than 100 yards rushing per game (94).  Ohio State has been pretty good against the run, ranked 15th (191 rushing yards per game).  Oregon has not been so good, ranked 115th (271 rushing yards per game given up).

The wild card is Marcus Mariota.  He has been stellar all season long. In his only loss (vs. Arizona, Oct. 2), he was banged up after being sacked 7 times in a victory over Washington State the week before and still managed to throw for 181 yards and a touchdown.  He also caught a touchdown that game.  In the PAC 12 championship game, Oregon got revenge against Arizona by handing them a 51-13 drubbing on the back of Mariota’s 312 passing yards and 3 rushing touchdowns.

Mariota doesn’t throw interceptions and he can beat you with his feet.  So far, he has been unflappable.  The Heisman winner has stood tall on the big stage.  The key to Oregon beating Ohio State will be Mariota’s ability to control the tempo while keeping the pressure on Ohio State’s offense (not just their defense) to keep up with him. The Ducks need to put Cardale Jones in position to have to keep the ball moving for 4 quarters. Ohio State will need to get to Mariota and get him on the ground and do it consistently in order to win.   How well Oregon is able to handle Joey Bosa will be key.

If Oregon is having one of those 49 point nights, then Ohio State isn’t going to be able to hang in the game offensively like they did against Alabama.  The Buckeyes forced Alabama into throwing 3 interceptions; which is how and why they were ultimately able to beat Alabama.  I don’t see a situation where Mariota throws multiple interceptions against Ohio State. He has just been to unshakeable and smart week after week.

On the other hand, if Ohio State is getting to Mariota, its tough for anyone to throw touchdown passes from their backside.  Ohio State must dominate Oregon’s offensive line in the passing game.  Even when Washington State sacked Mariota 7 times, he still threw 5 touchdowns and 0 interceptions in a 38-30 win.  However, this is Ohio State and if the Buckeyes are getting to Mariota 7 times, they will probably be able to maintain great field position and outscore Oregon.

I think tonight’s match up will be a good one.  I am predicting a close game unless Ohio State starts laying the ball on the ground like Florida State did against the Ducks.  Once the Seminoles starting turning the ball over, they were done because Oregon is very tough to stop especially when the defense keeps having to return to field. If Oregon gets a couple turnovers, they will put Ohio State away. I think the Ducks win and I am basing my prediction 50% on the above and 50% on the following video:

Heisman Winners Set To Battle In Playoff

Quick thoughts on FSU vs Oregon in the Rose Bowl.

Jameis Winston, recently cleared of all charges, leads Florida State into their first Rose Bowl ever. However, the Seminoles did play in Pasadena last season when they beat Auburn in the BCS championship game.

Although Oregon is the higher seed, Florida State has a couple different things going for them that almost make them feel like they are the higher seed. First, they’ve been there before. The ‘noles are the defending national champions and have a spectacular pedigree. The last time they lost, Samantha Ponder was Samantha Steele.

It can’t be easy to win every game, especially when everyone is gunning for you and you play at least 3 pretty big rivalry games every season. Throw in the fact that your star player has had to deal with controversy after controversy and all the hoopla that came with the Heisman last year and the case for Florida State is strong.

Oregon probably has the best player in the game in qb Marcus Mariota. However, Mariota has never played in the Rose Bowl and has carried the media load of the Heisman this season. Either the attention has helped prepare him for the big stage or it has worn him down.

The only reason Florida State isn’t the number one seed is because they haven’t looked good while winning 29 in a row. That’s a little insane if you think about it.

Oregon is a 7.5 point favorite. I’m picking Florida State despite the spread. Maybe it’s my east coast bias coming through but Florida State has won my respect. They play ugly pro-style offense, inconsistent defense and it’s hard to be Jameis fan. However, we never really know about the PAC12 and Oregon has lost all american corner Ifo Ekpre-Olomu.

Florida State has had several slow starts this season. A slow start against Oregon and Mariota, the Rose Bowl may be their Waterloo. I think they will be ready to play on defense and as long as Jameis doesn’t try to do too much, they have a real chance to squeak a win out, one more time.

Diabetes Is No Laughing Matter: The Sugar Bowl Preview

Ohio State is in the Sugar Bowl.  So is Alabama.  Both Ohio and Alabama frequent the top 10…in lists of fattest states.  Let’s face it, Ohio is the Alabama of the north.  I guess that makes Indiana the Mississippi of the north but without all the good music and food. I digress.

Besides Urban Meyer, Ohio State’s Sophomore defensive lineman Joey Bosa is really all that is worth mentioning about the Buckeyes.  Bosa was an obvious Meyer recruit out of St. Thomas Aquinas High School (STAHS) in Fort Lauderdale.  Twenty former STAHS “students” have played in the NFL; including, MIchael Irvin, Brian Piccolo, Daryl Porter, and Bengals Geno Atkins and Gio Bernard.

Bosa was named a unanimous first team All-American, the 27th Buckeye to be picked as such in 84 years.  At 6’5 285, he still has room to grow.  If Bosa stays healthy, he is probably going to be a top 3 NFL draft pick when he decides to be tired of living in Columbus and chasing around below average looking women.

Alabama right tackle, Austin Shepherd will be tasked with blocking Bosa.  Shepherd, while not looking like much of a monster, can play too. Shepherd’s resume this year includes holding Missouri defensive end Shane Ray, the SEC sacks leader, to one combined sack and the Texas A&M freshman defensive end Myles Garrett, who had 11 sacks, did not record a tackle for loss or sack against Alabama this season.

Ohio State will be starting a third string quarterback, whose name is not important. Alabama is favored by only 9, probably because all of the bad betting coming out of the delusional Big 10 fan base.  The spread should really be more like 14.  By the way, there are 14 teams in the Big 10.  I guess when a Columbus girl says she is a size 10, she’s really a size 14.

Ohio State cannot hold Alabama down enough on defense to win and they really have no one to cover WR Armani Cooper.  Urban Meyer had a very high scoring offense this year; especially considering the injuries he had to deal with.  But with that said, Arkansas has a better resume than Ohio State, especially in a playoff scenario.  Look people, Bosa is a stud but lets put that into perspective.  Alabama has had 60 unanimous All-Americans, 2 this season in Cooper and safety Landon Collins, and 20 over the LAST SEVEN YEARS.

That is all in the past, I know, but if Urban Meyer can bring a 3rd string quarterback to the Sugar Bowl and beat Alabama in the first playoff ever, Jim Harbaugh has no chance and he might as well quit right now.

Ohio State struggled against Navy.  Cincinnati exposed some weaknesses in the Buckeye defense.  Virginia Tech scored 35 and handed the Buckeyes a loss.  Penn State, Michigan State, and Minnesota gave OSU fits.  The Buckeye fans will travel well and keep every Red Lobster and Captain D’s in New Orleans busy this week.  But in the end, they are facing a very good team that is practically playing a home game.  There is no question that OSU is the 4 seed in this playoff and I believe they will once again be exposed.

Here is one quick note from Sports Illustrated:

Perhaps the most impressive number from Alabama’s sparkling season is Sims’ pass efficiency rating. His 161.9 mark ranks No. 7 in the FBS, ahead of stars like Dak Prescott, Brett Hundley and Connor Cook. Sims staying efficient and turnover free will be the key for Alabama. It’s really that simple.

My prediction: Alabama 42, Ohio State 16

The Sugar Bowl will be played on New Years Day night at 8:30 on ESPN.