Sunday, September 20, 2009

AK'SPORTS Weekend in Review

Notre Dame Football - 33-30 Win over Michigan State
Pitt Football- 27-14 Win over Navy
Eagles - 48-22 Loss to New Orleans
Phillies - 2/3 Wins over Atlanta

Notre Dame - Well, Notre Dame finally beat MSU in South Bend...since 1993. I was seven years old then, so this is basically the first time I remember seeing ND beat the Spartans at home. No matter how happy the Fightin' Irish fans may be about this win, the game came with a huge cost - Michael Floyd is out for the rest of the season after needing surgery on a broken collar bone.
-Jimmy Clausen is quickly showing why he was the #1 recruit in all of America. He is about 300 yards short of his freshman season total for passing yards after three games (remember how bad they were in 2007!?). He has thrown 9 TD"s and 0 INTs. Kyle McCarthy has three INTs this season, 1 in each game, and saved the game for the Irish this weekend with a redzone INT preventing back-to-back devastating losses for the Blue & Gold faithful. Armando Allen must have worked hard this off-season...thank God. So far, Allen has rushed for 326 yards and 3 TD's and is actually breaking tackles! Allen seems to have put in some work in the weight room - he is finishing his runs and getting past the first defender, something he has struggled with in the past.
-Golden Tate had a great game, 127 yards and a TD, but dropped another wipe-open TD..the ball hit his hands, giving him three dropped TD's on the season.
-The Domers take on Purdue next weekend who has the nation's leading rusher in Ralph Bolden. As always, Purdue should put up a great inner-state fight versus ND, but I really see a huge mismatch here, favoring the Domers. After this past weekend's devastating loss to NIU, Purdue will be hungry for a huge win...sorry, they won't get it. The Irish should be able to rush Armando Allen all day and destroy the Purdue secondary. Jimmy Clausen has another huge game.
Prediction - Notre Dame 41, Purdue 17.

Pitt - Looks like Dion Lewis is the replacement for the Panthers that they desperately needed after losing LeSean McCoy to the NFL draft. The Freshman ran for 79 yards and a TD - he has just under 500 yards rushing and 5 TD's in 3 weeks in the NCAA, very impressive. Bill Stull had a respectable game, throwing for 245 yards and a TD. Stull now has 6 TD's and only 1 INT so far this season - a great start to the season for a player who struggled down the finish last year. Another great showing by Jonathan Baldwin solidifies the Panther's offense as one of the best in the Big East - Baldwin had 6 catches for 111 yards.
-Next week the Panthers play at NC State who is 2-1. This will be the toughest competition that Pitt has seen so far, but the Panthers should be able to handle the pressure on both sides of the field.
Prediction - Pitt 27, NC State 17

Eagles - Ahhh..the worst 4 hours of my weekend - well, I guess I should say 2 hours. At the end of the first half, I really believed that the Eagles could pull out a win. But...about 5 minutes into the second half I was certain this "win" was not happening. While Kevin Kolb played significantly better than I thought he would, he still made some terrible decisions. He really seems to struggle throwing quick balls to wideouts near the sideline - two INTs on throws like this, one returned 97 yards for a TD...a great reminder of the Baltimore INT to Ed Reed last year. Essentially, the defense, special teams, and penalties killed the Eagles. Asante Samuel was abused by Marques Colston, (who would have thought? -sike) and Drew Brees picked apart the Eagles defense for 311 yards, 3 TD's and 1 INT. Every special teams play seemed like it was raining yellow flags - just giving the Saints yardage at every chance.
- I'd rather just forget about this game and hope that Donny is back next weekend. The defense better take a long look at themselves and hope Matt Cassel doesn't look anything like Drew Brees next week. I don't want to write about the Saints game anymore...too much to say at this point. Devastating.

Phillies - 14 games remaining/ Magic # at 6 - The Phils took 2 games out of 3 from the Braves and moved 8 games ahead of the Marlins for the division lead. Starting tomorrow night the Phils have a three game series in Miami with the Marlins. The Phils are 6-0 in LandShark Stadium this season and would love to extend that record with a series win. If the Phillies can win 2/3 or sweep the division is all wrapped up! We'll see how the bullpen can handle the next few games..
-More to come on Phillies in next post..

Weekend Rating - 3 1/2 out of 5 stars - only one loss overall, but a devastating loss! Otherwise, a great weekend in my sports world.

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