First Impressions From Yesterday

What a glorious Saturday it was!  I hope none of you are ruining it by watching the NFL.

—First image I saw from the Notre Dame-Michigan game was a Wolverine jersey with the name ‘Woolfolk’ on it.  For a split second, I thought I was eight years old again.

—Why is everyone raving about Matt Barkley?  He’s solid, no doubt, and his poise on USC’s last drive was impressive, but the freshman quarterback everyone should be raving about is Tate Forcier!  Remember what I wrote on Friday about how Barkley was being hyped for the wrong reasons and that he was better mentally than physically?  I think it showed against Ohio State.  For all the talk of Barkley being an ‘outlier’, the USC game plan was conservative and designed to minimize his shortcomings.  You don’t do that for true outliers. 

As for Forcier, what can you say?  He made plays with his arm and with his feet and showed just as much poise and savvy as Barkley.   Of course, we’ve liked him here at HP for quite a while.  He’s going to be fun to watch for the next four years.

—I feel bad for Jimmy Clausen.  He has clearly developed into an elite quarterback.  But it seems like his teammates just aren’t up to par.  They either drop his passes or can’t stop the other team’s offense.  And so his talent is squandered.

—Glad to see Michael Floyd is fine after that nasty spill he took.  I’ll say it now:  He’s the most dominant receiver in college football.  Reminds me of a mix between Larry Fitzgerald and Mike Williams.

—I told you Lane Kiffin was an insane hire.  Run the ball four straight times right at Brian Price?  Smart.  I didn’t think it was possible, but Jonathan Crompton looks like he has regressed since last season.  Gonna be a long season for the Vols and it only gets worse next week with a visit to the Swamp.

—There’s been a lot of talk of Eric Berry and Taylor Mays this offseason.  But the biggest playmaker at safety in the country wasn’t playing for Tennessee or USC on Saturday.  I’m talking about UCLA’s Rahim Moore, who already has five interceptions on the season, following up three picks against San Diego State with two against the Vols.  The scary thing is that he picked off a third pass against Tennessee, but had the play negated due to an offsides penalty.  I’m sure the NCAA historians would’ve been burning the midnight oil trying to find the last player to have back-to-back three-interception games.

—The USC-Ohio State game was a slugfest played on Jim Tressel’s terms, which is why the Buckeyes almost pulled it out.  Tressel Ball is all about defense, special teams, field position, ball control offense and turnovers.  USC got sucked into that style and was able to hang.  In the end, the team with the better talent won. 

—It still doesn’t seem like Ohio State uses Terrelle Pryor properly.  He just seems like a fish out of water playing for the Buckeyes.  I just don’t think you should run a ball control offense with a talent like that at quarterback.  Imagine if he were playing for Michigan in the spread….geez.

—I’m happy for Houston for getting that breakthrough win over Oklahoma State.  Some of you out there have been wondering why Case Keenum hasn’t been getting much Heisman love here.  Well, wins like this one can generate attention and I’m sure you’ll see Keenum on some Heisman lists soon.  He was fantastic and the Houston offense looked unstoppable at times.  Congrats to Kevin Sumlin, who made my list of underrated coaches over the summer. 

—I think Jimbo Fisher should be fired from his position as head coach-in-waiting at Florida State. 

—Don’t look now, but it looks like Gus Malzahn is starting to work some magic down on the Plains.

—I knew you couldn’t keep Dan LeFevour down for too long.  Nice win for the Chippewas.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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6 Responses to First Impressions From Yesterday

  1. orefh September 13, 2009 at 3:38 pm #

    Completely agree with you on Tate Forcier (and Matt Barkley). Forcier looked great both throwing and running in the game, and he showed a lot of poise at the end of the game. After his receiver drops what should have been a sure game winning td… he goes and throws another one?? This guy is going to be something special. Matt Barkley, on the other hand, seemed off the ENTIRE game. I hate how the press is giving him so much love. He did absolutely NOTHING in that game. It was all Joe McKnight and his offensive line on that last drive (which was pretty much the only drive where USC did anything at all). I really wish they’d give the right people the credit.

  2. Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 7:28 pm #

    Isnt this an apples to oranges argument? No idea how Ohio States D will end up, but I’m guessing at this point they are better than Notre Dames Defense and probably will be at the end of the season?

    That being said I was very impressed with Forcier. Gonna be an exciting few years with these two qbs at the helm

  3. Anonymous September 13, 2009 at 7:29 pm #

    on top of the fact barkely playing away in the largest crowd ever at Ohio State and Forcier played at home.

  4. philnotfil September 14, 2009 at 8:29 am #

    QB #1
    23 of 33 for 240 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT, 70 yards rushing with 1 TD. QB rating of 144.73
    On their team’s game winning drive they were 6 of 7 for 56 yards and the game winning TD, the running game contributed 7 yards.

    QB #2
    15 of 31 for 195 yards, 0 TD, 1 INT, 8 yards rushing with 0 TD. QB rating of 94.77
    On their team’s winning drive they were 3 of 5 for 55 yards, the running game contributed 40 yards and a TD (he did throw the successful 2 point conversion).

    Which one should be getting rave reviews? Which one is getting rave reviews?

    This really boggles my mind.

  5. Bucknut September 14, 2009 at 10:48 am #

    Couldn’t agree more with the utilization of Pryor. Though I will say he needs more work with throwing the long ball and zipping the ball in on short passes. Tressel will eventually need to open up his playbook more and let Pryor run with his feet. Offensive line didn’t show up when we needed them on the last drive. D played lights out. I really think you will see USC and OSU in a rematch in the Rose Bowl. This time though USC will have homefield advantage.

  6. Anonymous September 14, 2009 at 3:17 pm #

    orefh said it well. why all the hype for barkley after that game? maybe he is very good, but didn’t show it. completed a few dumps on the final drive but it was all mcknight.