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Alabama Crimson Tide (3-0) @ Arkansas Razorbacks (3-0)
Key SEC West Division matchup
TE D.J. Williams – Arkansas
QB Ryan Mallett Faces SEC Acid Test vs #1 Alabama
QB Ryan Mallett leads nation with 360 yards passing per game with 9 TDs to 2 interceptions on a 70% completion rate. McElroy again has the best passing efficiency in the nation in 2010. He has not lost a game since pre high school. Last year vs Arkansas, he went 17 of 24 passes for 291 yards and 0 interceptions. This kid just does not make mistakes and clearly outplayed Mallett in last year’s matchup. He manages a game flawlessly and allows his club to gain field position over the course of a game even when drives stall and they have to punt. McElroy also outplayed both Tim Tebow and Colts McCoy in SEC and national title games that were instrumental in the Tides national title last season. Arkansas has averaged just under 116 yards rushing vs 111 yards rushing allowed per game. They have scored 5 TDs rushing this year with 6 fumbles losing 3 in three games, a disturbing fact. While averaging 116 yards per game, their 5 rushing TDs came from 5 different runners.
Arkansas totaled only 63 yards rushing vs Alabama last season for less than 3 yards per carry. They got behind 14-0 into the 3rd Q that forced Arkansas to abandon the ground game and throw the ball 41 times. Mallett was only 12 of 35 passing for 160 yards and 1 interception and 1 TD in Bama lost last season. Last week, the Hogs rushed for only 53 yards on 23 carries in win over Georgia. Last year, Arkansas had only a 3-5 SEC record and overall scored 234 points while surrendered 233 points over the schedule.
Arkansas has been almost perfect in the Red Zone with TDs in 9 of 10 opportunities and a FG in other time. He has been sacked 4 times while the Arkansas defense has 12 sacks from 9 different defenders. They also have 26 TFL from 12 defenders, though only 1 FR and 3 FF this season.
QB Ryan Mallett is one of the premier passers in the nation and enters his second season as the Razorback starter. He is off to a fast start and showcases the premier passing arm in the collegiate game. He missed spring drills after breaking his foot last winter and had toe surgery. He returned 100% for summer camp and has had a hot hand over the first three games. He makes all the throws, the complete route tree, displaying a powerful arm with touch, accuracy and timing. He gets the ball into tight windows with fast improving decision-making. He shows fine pocket presence and has learned to go through his progressions better and the ability to locate secondary receivers quicker. He has shown progress in his initial reads and looking off the safety. He goes through his progressions quicker and better along with better decisions and few attempts to force the ball into heavy coverage. Last season, he forced the ball too much, attempting to do too much especially when the Hogs got behind.
After playing one season at Michigan, Mallett transferred to Arkansas with the arrival of HC Bobby Petrino. After sitting sat out the ’08 season, Mallett had a huge ’09 performance that included throwing for over 3400 yards, 29 TD passes and just 7 interceptions. They are very impressive statistics for a first year starter vs a very high level of competition. Unfortunately, he struggled vs the top SEC clubs, Alabama, LSU and Florida, failing to complete 50% of his passes in each of those key losses. In each of those losses, they were behind at halftime and their opponents rushed for at least 134 yards in those games. Mallett struggled in each of those defeats, facing a strong pass rush especially as the game progressed and the Hogs were down by more than two scores by mid game.
Nevertheless, Mallett is a big time player and capable of being a difference maker in this conference. He has a full array of weapons and will use them regularly, in what is an explosive high scoring attack and probably more balanced than most observers expect. This offense is in great hands, and the numbers should reflect his talented passing skills and well-rounded group of highly developed weapons. His big game performance has been questioned off a few subpar key ’09 games. This matchup with the defending champions can be a signature game for Mallett who has yet to beat a top ranked club over his short career. His maturation as a leader and passer will determine if he can take a good club to the next level on smarts, leadership and toughness that utilizes both his and teammates chip physical skills to the fullest.
The Tides QB Greg McElroy directs a potent offense that can beat a defense both on the ground and through the air. McElroy manages a game flawlessly and rarely forces the ball into difficult situations. He has fine accuracy and goes through his progressions quickly with sound decision making. His record is perfect over his HS and college career and his level of maturity is rare for a senior starting passer. He is very dangerous on the play action with most defenses loading the box to stop runners Ingram and Richardson regularly.
The Bama tandem of Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson is the best collegiate backfield duo since the Auburn pair of runners Cadillac Williams and Ronnie Brown almost a decade ago. Ingram is coming off a Heisman Trophy season. He played in his first game last week and produced a 48 yard run on his very first rushing attempt. He can pound a defense with the burst of speed to go the distance. He has shown good ball security and the toughness to carry the weekly load. Richardson is an awesome 1A compliment and more diversified as a runner and athlete than Ingram. He is a terrific kickoff returner and receiver with both power and speed. As a runner, he puts his foot in the ground and explodes to the second level with the speed to go the distance. He usually comes in after Ingram takes a break and has the speed to shock a defense with his change of pace talent. He also can pound with a compact frame that delivers a blow to tacklers. In that aspect, Richardson and Ingram are very similar – compact strong runners with low centers of gravity to be difficult to tackle and capable of finishing rushing attempts well. Richardson started last year’s rout with the first score on a 52 yard TD run.
The Hogs rely on sophomore runner Ronnie Wingo who has build on a solid ’09 season finish that included a fine performance vs rival LSU. He is a big hard-hitting workhorse type back with fine natural abilities including receiving skills. Wingo heads an unheralded trio that includes punishing tailback Broderick Green and fast compact runner Dennis Johnson. This young trio of backs may be one of the deeper sets of runners this season. They have slow to produce this season with the air game providing the catalyst for the Hogs undefeated season. This trio is capable of giving this offense the power to run inside and control games plus some big play ability to keep defenses honest and not focused on QB Mallett. Wingo combines power and speed that gives him the inside edge on the starting job. Green is a former USC runner that cannot be minimized to play a key role in this offense. He finished the ’09 season with 7 TDs in the last five games and one of the better red zone runners in the SEC. He will push Wingo for touches especially in short yardage and goal line situations. As a receiver, he is still raw that puts Wingo in the starting 3rd down role. Johnson is a big play weapon with good kickoff return skills. He had one of the Hogs’ three 100 yard rushing game last season vs highly rated Florida. He needs some development as a receiver, but gives the Hogs an interesting feature runner in some games and a change of pace back that can be highly successful in this potent attack.
The Hogs return their top five receivers from last season to work with QB Ryan Mallett. Starters Greg Childs, Joe Adams and Jarius Wright are the best returning trio in a deep SEC group of pass catchers. Childs and Adams are big play specialists who have taken it up a notch with experience working with the fast emerging Mallett who has the talent to get them the ball. Childs will command double coverage after scoring another big TD last week vs Georgia. He scored in half of the Hogs games last season while beating double coverage at times. Adams is a burner with the ability to separate deep and hit the home run. He has scored a TD in 9 of the 12 regular season games he played in the past two years. He opens the offense up and forces the safeties to play deep and respect his speed and Mallett’s arm. The combination of Adams and Childs should guarantee an improving ground game with dual deep threats. Childs is the go to receiver but Adams is the home run hitter with a 22 yard average. Childs has fine run after the catch ability (winning TD vs Georgia) TE D.J. Williams is the best movement weapon in the nation. He lines up at tight end, H-back and fullback that give this offense one of the most versatile weapons in the nation. His ability to shift positions gives the Hogs offense the unique ability to run a diverse number of sets on the clock that they should be able to create many mismatches in coverage and run/pass play alignments. He probably faces premier strong safety Mark Barron in one of the critical matchups in the game. Mallett looks for him on the 2nd and 3rd and long in the intermediate zones where he shows excellent hands and run after the catch ability.
The Tides’ Julio Jones may be the best receiver in the nation. He has incredible raw talent that has developed nicely over his short career. McElroy looks for him in big situations especially after the ground game has been established and he faces an eight man front. McElroy works play action well with good ball handing and fine touch to give receivers a chance to make big plays. Jones is a very difficult matchup on size and speed and will probably command heavy double coverage in many situations, though McElroy will exploit any single coverage quickly using the ground attack to set him up.
The Hogs return four of their five starters including bookend tackles DeMarcus Love and Ray Dominguez. They are proficient pass protectors who were instrumental in the fast development of first year starting QB Mallett and the quick progress of their young receivers and runners. This unit helped the Hogs offense that led the SEC in scoring and passing offense and 2nd in overall offense. Center Seth Oxner is a savvy pivotman in the mold of former Hog Jonathan Luigs. He is an anchor inside and an unsung leader on this blue-collar unit. This unit looks to take another step up vs top SEC talent and further extensive over a fine ’09 experience.
The Bama line returns three starters and have been instrumental in the overall offensive success. They get a consistent strong push at the point of attack that has allowed Ingram and Richardson to pound defenses with the potential to break long gains consistently. With little fanfare, this unit has been the key unit that has allowed this ground game to dominant and QB Greg McElroy to be the most efficient passer in the nation over the past two seasons.
For Defensive Evaluation Click on Next Page
NFL 2010 NFL Dates
June 1 - Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned unrestricted free agents to receive exclusive negotiating rights for rest of season if player is not signed by another club by July 22. Deadline for old clubs to send tender to unsigned restricted free agents or to extend qualifying offer to retain exclusive negotiating rights.
June 15 - Deadline for old clubs to withdraw original qualifying offer to unsigned restricted free agents and still retain exclusive negotiating rights by substituting tender of 110 percent of previous years salary.
July 22 - Deadline for franchise players to sign new contracts. Signing period ends at 4 p.m. (ET) for unrestricted free agents who received June 1 tender.
Aug. 7 - Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony, Canton, Ohio
Aug. 8 - Hall of Fame Game (Cincinnati vs. Dallas)
Aug. 12-16 - First preseason weekend
Aug. 31 - Roster cut down to maximum of 75 players
Sept. 4 - Roster cut down to maximum of 53 players
Sept. 9-13 - NFL 2010 Kickoff Weekend
Oct. 19 - NFL Trading deadline
Oct. 31 - International Series, London, England - San Francisco 49ers vs. Denver Broncos
Nov. 16 - Signing deadline for franchise players
2011 NFL Dates
Jan. 2 - Regular season ends
Jan. 8-9 - Wild Card Weekend
Jan. 15-16 - Divisional Playoffs
Jan. 23 - NFC & AFC Conference Championships
Jan. 30 - Pro Bowl, Honolulu, Hawaii
Feb. 6 - Super Bowl XLV, Dallas,Texas
Legendary Bobby Bowden Retires
Photo – Coach Bobby Bowden
28 of Bobby Bowden's former players were selected in the first round of the NFL Draft over the last 20 years
One of the legendary college head coaches, Bobby Bowden retired yesterday after a 44 year coaching career. The great majority of his career was spent at Florida St where he won two national championships and competed for the title for two decades before recent problems. The 80-year-old coach retires as the second winningest head coach behind only Penn St’s Joe Paterno. He finishes with 388 career wins are second only to Paterno among major college.
What Bobby Bowden meant to Florida St and college football off the playing field cannot be measured. He is well respect, honest, humble man with a great sense of humor and integrity. It was a pleasure to meet him over 20 years ago. He always had time to discuss college football, Florida St and life. He has been one of the best examples of leadership in the country in any field of endeavor.
Bowden is in his 34th season at FSU and will finish his career after Florida St bowl game over the next month. He will be replaced by next season by offensive coordinator Jimbo Fisher. Bowden had been on a one-year rollover agreement with the university for several years, but that ends after the 2010 season. As the winningest coach in ACC history, Bowden teams put together the one of most dominant runs in college football history between 1987 and 2000 with 14 consecutive finishes in the nation’s top five and a pair of national titles. The 2001 Orange Bowl was the Seminole's third straight national title game.
The Seminoles’ fortunes have not been as good in recent years when they finished this year with a 6-6 record after starting the year with high expectations and a preseason No. 18 ranking. In 1993, despite a late-season loss at Notre Dame, Florida St won its 1st national title after near misses in 1987, 1988, 1991 and 1992 — because of losses to nemesis Miami, which won three national titles during that span. Since winning their 12th ACC championship in 2005, the Seminoles have been 16-16 over the past four seasons against league opponents.
In 2007, Bowden passed another truly remarkable milestone. With his victory over Maryland, he won his 300th game at Florida St. He is one of only two coaches in major college football history to win 300 games at one school. The victory gave him seven wins and he has now won at least seven games for 26 straight seasons. Bowden also ensured himself his 31st consecutive winning season in Tallahassee. He has won 10 or more games 18 times in his 32 years in Tallahassee and over the last 20 years no program in America has a higher winning percentage than Florida St. The man who is synonymous with Seminole football took Florida St to a bowl game for the 26th consecutive season when his team played in the 2007 Music City Bowl for the first time in school history. With the invitation he passed Tom Osborne and became the first coach in college football history to lead his team to 26 straight bowl games.
Bowden is the only coach in NCAA history to win 11 consecutive bowl games (1985-95) and the only coach ever with 14 consecutive bowl appearances (1982-95) without a loss (FSU tied Georgia 17-17 in the 1984 Citrus Bowl). Bowden and Florida State finished the 2006 season with an Emerald Bowl victory over UCLA marking the 20th bowl victory in his illustrious career. Among his many accomplishments, one of the most amazing has to be the remarkable 14 straight top five finishes in the AP poll from 1987-2000. During that run Florida St was 152-18-1 and captured national championships in 1993 and 1999. In 1999 the team became the first and only squad to ever go wire-to-wire as the No. 1 team in the AP poll. The Seminoles also played for the title three other times during that span and since 1993 no team in the FBS has played for more national titles than FSU.
Bowden has won 12 ACC Championships since FSU joined the conference in 1992. Under Bowden's guidance, FSU has not only produced great teams but great players as well. Two Seminoles, Charlie Ward and Chris Weinke won the Heisman Trophy, 24 of his players have been named consensus All-Americans, three of his QB's have won the Johnny Unitas Award and two have won the Thorpe Award, the Butkus Award, the Davey O'Brien Award and the Lombardi Award.
Success on the field is not enough for Bobby Bowden as he expects his players to contribute more than just athletically. Two of Bowden's greatest players, Warrick Dunn and Derrick Brooks, went on to not only become phenomenal pros but both were honored as the NFL's Man of the Year. Florida St is one of just five schools to produce multiple players to win the NFL's top award for community service.
Continue to view Bobby Bowden’s career information
Yankees Win 27th World Title
Photo – Yankee Hideki Matsui
The New York Yankees won their 27th world championship with a victory over the Philadelphia Phillies in game six of the 2009 World Series. Veteran Hideki Matsui tied a World Series record with six RBIs, Andy Pettitte won on short rest and the Yankees beat the Philadelphia Phillies 7-3 in Game 6 seizing that elusive title — the most in all of sports. It marked a title in their first season at the new Yankee Stadium just as they did in their inaugural campaign in the original Yankee Stadium in 1923. It was the Yankees first world title since 2000 and their first WS appearance since 2003.
Hideki Matsui’s 6 RBI’s on his first three at-bats pushed New York to 7-1 lead, they never surrendered. With a 2-run HR, a 2-run single and a 2-run double, slugger Matsui gave the Yankees all they needed to insure their 27th championship.
Matsui won the Series MVP award for his heroics that began when he powered a quick rout of old foe Pedro Martinez. When Yankee longtime bullpen stopper Mariano Rivera got the final outs, it was celebration time in the Bronx for sports greatest team of all-time.
One season, one World Series crown — the team’s first since winning three straight titles from 1998-2000.
DraftInsiders.com and ProFootballDraftNetwork.com
will be collaborating on a weekly article posted mid week during the college football regular season to review the prior weeks most notable performances from a NFL Draft 2010 perspective.
NFL Draft 2010 Prospects - Week 8
Frank Coyle - www.draftinsiders.com
Draft Insiders’ Digest –19th Season
Jimmy Clausen - Fast Rising Prospect
Photo - QB Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame
QB Jimmy Clausen - Notre Dame
Talented junior passer has played brilliantly often this season, showing coolness and playmaking ability in weekly pressure situations. Clausen shows fast developing skills for this demanding position. He displays the talent to make all the throws with fine accuracy and timing, in addition to going through his progressions quickly. This prospect has the package NFL head coaches look for in a top flight starting QB, though there are certainly questions related to his readiness for the pro game. He has improved his accuracy in the intermediate game and the ability to pick up secondary receivers well with few mistakes for a young prospect. Though he is having a breakout season, he needs further development in all areas of lay. He will be tempted to consider entering the NFL Draft 2010, though his overall level of development would benefit from working with HC Charlie Weis for another season.
DE Jerry Hughes – Senior - Texas Christian
Explosive edge rusher has displayed impact ability over his MWC career and had another strong effort vs BYU in a key matchup. Hughes had only 4 tackles, but it did include 1 TFL with 1 sack and 1 FF. He commanded double team blocking throughout the huge TCU win. Over this season, he has 10.5 TFL with 9 sacks and 35 tackles and has been a major difference maker for this undefeated club. He relies on a very quick first step and good hand technique to separate from blockers with the upfield speed to sack the QB. He has the frame to fill out further to be an every down pro defender at end, though he also has the mobility to also play up in the 3-4 scheme. His ability to apply pressure off the edge will earn him invites to both the Senior Bowl and East-West Shrine All-star classics this postseason.
RB C.J. Spiller – Senior - Clemson
Clemson running back/kick returner set a school record for all-purpose yards with 310 yards as the Tigers defeated ACC-rival and 10th -ranked Miami, 40-37, in overtime. For the game, Spiller had 81 yards rushing (14 carries), 104 yards receiving (6 catches) and 125 kickoff return yards. He scored two TDs – a 56-yard reception and a 90-yard kickoff return. He is a versatile major playmaker with the power to run inside and the speed and quickness to be very dangerous on the perimeter or return game. His versatility to fill so many roles will earn him a high grade in this running back class. He is a difference maker as a kickoff returner.
WR Terrance Toliver – Junior - LSU
Smooth junior receiver has been instrumental in the Tigers passing offense this season. He is a fast rising highly rated prospect who flashes impact ability at times despite some erratic QB play. He combines very good size, speed, agility and hands along with a fine level of development that will make him highly valuable for the pro game. He displays a well developed skill set for the position that has allowed him to make an impact at times over this season. He could be one of the top junior playmakers in this draft class with a consistent strong finish and he decides to turn pro.
LB Jesse Smith – Senior - Iowa St
Savvy senior linebacker recorded a game-high 12 tackles (7 solo), including two TFLs, as the Cyclones upset Big 12-rival Nebraska, 9-7. Smith also forced a fumble, broke up a pass, and made one interception as Iowa St earned its 1st win in Lincoln since 1977. He is a smart undersized Mike backer who flows nicely to the ball and finishes with sure tackling. Though not considered a highly regarded prospect he has been productive in many areas that should earn him a niche in the NFL game.
Denis Krusos - Editor
Pro Football Draft Network
TE Andrew Quarless, Senior, Penn State
Quarless only caught 2 passes in Penn State’s 35-10 win at Michigan, but they were for 91 yards. He displayed excellent speed on his 60-yard touchdown catch and run shortly before the 1st half. Quarless is not the typical Penn State blocking tight end that does not run particularly well. He can run and get down the field and catch the ball. Quarless is a good-sized target (6’5” and 254 lbs) and continues to work on improving his blocking. He has 23 receptions for 315 yards (13.7 per) and a touchdown in 8 games this season.
RB Noel Devine, Junior, West Virginia
The West Virginia junior running back exploded against Connecticut for 178 yards on 23 carries (7.7 per). His 56-yard touchdown run in the 4th quarter helped clinch the 28-24 win over an emotional Huskies team. Devine went outside and used his terrific speed to make big plays. He possesses great balance and is tough to knock off his feet with his low center of gravity. Devine added a 13-yard reception against Connecticut and can catch the ball. He is one of college football’s most exciting players and will garner significant interest in the 2010 NFL Draft should he choose to declare early.
LB Daryl Washington, Senior, TCU
TCU remained undefeated with a resounding 38-7 victory at BYU. The Horned Frogs’ defense was too quick and fast for QB Max Hall and the BYU offense. Washington had 9 tackles and snagged an interception (his 2nd of the season). Washington’s speed fits well in TCU’s 4-2-5 defense and he has the range to cover backs and tight ends in pass coverage. He is undersized for an NFL linebacker, but packs a wallop for his size. BYU gained only 110 yards on the ground (3.0 per carry) and Hall finished 18-28 for 162 yards (5.8 per attempt) with 1 touchdown pass. Washington’s athleticism and versatility should make him an attractive special teams contributor at the next level.
LB Navorro Bowman, Junior, Penn State
Penn State’s defense dismantled Michigan in a 35-10 rout. Bowman has rounded into form after returning recently from a groin injury. He led Penn State with 11 tackles (1 tackle for loss) and also had an interception, a fumble recovery and a sack. The Wolverines were held to a season-low in yards gained (250) and points scored. Bowman plays with tremendous speed, instincts and aggressiveness. It is extremely difficult to run outside on Bowman and he does not shy away from taking on blocks. He is a do-everything linebacker with a very bright future. PFDN considers Bowman to be the Nittany Lions’ best player the past two years. Bowman is a junior, but he is expected to graduate in December. He should be a 1st round draft choice should he decide to enter the 2010 NFL Draft.
QB Tony Pike, Senior, Cincinnati
Pike did not play in the Bearcats’ 41-10 rout of Louisville. Pike had surgery (2nd straight year) on his left (non-throwing) forearm. He had a plate inserted in the same forearm last year and it was dislodged on a sack against South Florida. Zach Collaros, a sophomore, stepped right in and completed 15 passes in 17 attempts for 253 yards (14.9 yards per attempt), 3 touchdowns and no interceptions. Pike is tall, but skinny and NFL teams have to be concerned about how much punishment he could take in the pocket. Cincinnati’s head coach, Brian Kelly, has done a masterful job since taking over the program in December of 2006. His offense did not miss a beat with Pike on the sideline. This will cause many to wonder how much of Pike’s success stems from Brian Kelly’s imaginative offense.