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Friday, September 12, 2008

Random thoughts after watching Rutgers slide into obscurity

Posted by on Fri, Sep 12, 2008 at 5:32 PM

  • Yowza. Is the Butch Davis plan working, or is Rutgers actually worse than they were before they were good before they were mediocre?
  • I didn’t realize UNC only has 11 scholarship seniors…
  • This game was even better for UNC than the final 44-12 score would suggest. For instance, Hakeem Nicks had two TDs, but they weren’t even his finest moments of the game. He made a fingertip catch in traffic early in the second that left Rutgers’ coaches barking at their players.
  • It’s hard to draw too many conclusions about UNC without knowing whether or not Rutgers sucks quite as badly as they seem to suck.

     Provisionally, though, the ‘Heels looked good on all fronts. Their nasty, physical defense had Rutgers QB Mike Teel running scared all night and the pressure they were able to apply with only four men led to a crowded backfield and four interceptions. And offensively they looked poised and confident, as evidenced by their decision to run a pass play on 3rd and 1 from deep in Rutgers territory early in the second quarter. They took Rutgers completely by surprise—there wasn’t a Scarlet Knight within 10 feet of Nicks when he caught the TD pass.

  • I was wondering how ESPN would handle the fact that the game was played on Sept. 11. I was especially wary, considering the announcers weren’t exactly the network’s A team (sample analysis from announcer Chris Fowler: “I think the positives right now, they’re playing physical on offense, they’re really establishing that run nice”). Grade: C. I don’t really see any reason to undermine the serious nature of the worst terrorist attack on American soil with 90 seconds of faux gravitas during a college football game, but given all that, they did OK. It was over quickly.
  • Has a college football team ever triumphed in pastel? Powder blue somehow suits basketball’s silky smoothness, but football is a different aesthetic animal. It’s about pageantry – witness the martial Crimson of Alabama, or regal gold and scarlet of FSU. Even UMiami’s brutal black suits football’s physicality better than powder blue. None of those colors would look good on an Easter egg. I’m not from here.
  • And I’m also no college football historian – there are probably scads of teams that have won national championships clad in lemon yellow and periwinkle.

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