Archive for October, 2008

WVU, Pat White, The Big East (and brown paper packages tied up with string)

// October 31st, 2008 // 6 Comments » // Uncategorized

…these are a few of my favorite things.

This will be a quick post; heading to start pregame in about 30 minutes. So, after watching tape, and more tape, and more tape, everything I thought previously is true. White and Devine can score at anytime. Literally, anytime (even yesterday, when you thought scoring time was over). That and I don’t know where they recruit these guys, but Devine goes down last game and their freshman promptly rips off a 40-yard run down the sideline, as if to say, “Yeah, that just happened.” Don’t expect WVU dominance in the Big East to stop any time soon (take that Dick Rod!). But speaking of the Big East, the word in the media is that it’s a “down year” and that we are “Glorified Mid-Majors.”

To that, what do I say? We have teams in the Top 25, a Syracuse program in need of some serious help, and teams up and down the East Coast that are in the mix to pull top recruits every year (yes, even you, Rutgers). College football is a funny game (funny how? like ha-ha funny?….).

Traditional powers have their traditions and their alumni support, and their deep recruiting networks, but even storied programs can fall and rise ([cough Army cough Cuse cough]).

And others can come out of nowhere (enter Boise and Smurf Turf stage right). For someone to dismiss an entire conference for no apparent reason is not only stupid, it’s journalistically irresponsible (yeah, like we preach responsibility here at TFWG). The truth is that sports-media outlets want to run stories on what is comfortable, what is usually guaranteed (when all it is, is a guaranteed piece of sh*t). People don’t like anyone undermining the so called “natural order” of things. But the reality of college football is that parity is good and as recruiting and coaching get better (at every level) you’ll see more of it. Every team is vulnerable every week and there is no such thing as a guarantee (here’s looking at you, App State).

WVU v. UConn 12pm @ The ‘Rent.
ESPN U

-FWG-

p.s.
Got plugged at www.barstoolsports.com
Very cool.

West Virginia (Pat White and the Gang Come to Town)

// October 29th, 2008 // 6 Comments » // Uncategorized

Hey, Mountain Mama- Hit play and read the post


(sorry, I had to)

So it’s West Virginia week. No we aren’t traveling to the land of Slack-Jawed-Yokells (and you thought I was rough on Jersey?). WVU is coming to our house. Let’s break it down:

OFFENSE:
West Virginia’s offense is unparalleled in all the land. Quarterback (slash running back, slash super hero) Pat White makes the impossible seem possible. Behind him (or beside him) in that difficult to defend spread is running back Noelle Devine (gold frontz is back!). This year WVU has decided to incorporate White’s arm into the mix (”it’s not scrawny, it’s nice…”). Who better to catch his balls than Jock Sanders (yes, his name is Jock). All three of these weapons can slash opposing defenses, add that to an experienced and talented offensive line and it is something truly special. What separates this group from squads past is that their big-play capability is an every-down threat. No other group in the country can make a mundane 3rd and 2 on their own 25 a scoring opportunity. We have a tremendous challenge ahead of us. This week it really comes down to being able to play assignment-perfect football.

DEFENSE:
Saying WVU’s defense is unique is like saying superman was “gifted.” The 3-3-5 is like a mid-season migraine for all offensive coordinators: seven previous weeks of Lombardi-esque basics and all of a sudden someone is rocking the boat. Scheme is scheme, but when a team can put athletes on the field as good as WVU’s to execute, well, the task is just that much more challenging. What is the task you say? Well, for us (UConn) it is to be able to throw into that 5 deep coverage and being able to also effectively run the ball. Good thing we have a quarterback that can sling it, and a running back that is tops in the nation.

SPECIAL TEAMS:

WVU kicker Pat McAfee is probably the best in college football. But I’d venture that our own “kick squad” could do some damage of their own on the field. I’ve been trying to sell this for years: “Kicker Board Drills” (basically the football practice equivalent of cage fighting). Put a bunch of kickers in the octagon and last man standing wins…the respect of his teammates.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS:

Maybe my final thoughts are becoming a rip-off of Jim Rome’s “Final Burn.” But, I like to think that I am a lot less cynical (and I’m also a lot fatter than Romey).

I bet Rich Rodriguez—mind if i call you Dick Rod?—I bet Dick Rod would trade the bitter winters of Michigan for… the bitter winters of West Virginia right now. The football Gods are NOT happy with Dick Rod right now.

I’ve come to terms with using blog as a verb, blogger (the noun), even Blogosphere. How about Blogomy?

Blogomy: [blah-goh-mi] noun: The practice of having more than one favorite blog. Not being exclusive or loyal to one blogger.
Did you see that? He’s bouncing from Thoughts From a Fat White Guy to SBnation, to BON, and back again. He’s committing blogomy. (He’s a blogomist.)”
(We see most cases of this in Utah.)

I’ve been to West Virginia. C’mon John Denver, almost heaven??? Yeah, almost. And I almost have all my hair.
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“That John Denver was full of shit, man…”

Check back later,
FWG

Cincy Loses…YOU WIN! (and we nickname Brian Kelly)

// October 27th, 2008 // 6 Comments » // Uncategorized

Ahhh, back to the good ol’ days. Blogging after a win. Where do I start?

Sorry to get this out to you so late, trying to recover from my “Upper-Extremity” injury has left me a little weary and without free time to blog. (Alright, you called my bluff…a touch of laziness, too.)

But on to the game; let’s break it down:

OFFENSE:
I’m wondering where all the haters of our offensive game plan are now? Especially Frank, who I now wish was called Fred, to fit certain pop culture references. (Fred? If you’re real, Fred, you better tell me right now…) We dismantled Cincinnati’s defense (even with their future-NFL-filled defensive line). They didn’t have an answer (”No means no!”) for our ground game, which opened up our passing game, which again they couldn’t stop (”I said no, dammit!”)

150 yards by Downtown Donny Brown (DDB). DDB is only one man; DDB has one dream. DDB may be in the running (Get it…running?) for the most humble running back of all time (sorry Travis Henry, you lose). It is only this blogger who implies that DDB might ever consider talking in the third person. DDB does not read this blog.

Cody Endres didn’t turn the ball over once, even during an air assault so comprehensive I may use the phrase “carpet bombing.” (Duck and cover, Cincinnati secondary! — that actually might have been more effective.)

I’ve received a few emails asking why we didn’t go for it on the goal line on 4th down. I can see both sides of this argument– you get it, you go up by seven and kick off. If we didn’t get it, we still had them pinned deep. It’s the opinion of this blogger (first verb, now noun… I know, I’m getting myself in too deep) that we needed to kick that field goal, take the delay of game (time off the clock), improve the angle, and make it a two-possession game. But again, these calls aren’t mine to make.

Our offense showed poise, even after getting skunked on the opening drive. That is the mark of a well-oiled, well-led team. Our offensive players are certainly not “front runners” and they do everything with “Juice.” Whats “Juice,” you say? Ask Coach Jon Wholley (he’s single, ladieeeeees).

DEFENSE:

Well, I was wrong about their offensive line. I regarded Trevor Canfield as the heart of the O-line. Two reasons for this: First, on film he really seems to be the guy that is finishing plays and a term that most NFL scouts use is that he’s always “showing up on the film.” Secondly, after playing against him last year I personally thought he was one tough S.O.B. (in a good way). Kid must have got himself a girlfriend or a hobby (coin collecting, perhaps?) but he seems to have lost his mean-streak. It’s always easier to make a mean man nice than a nice guy mean (you’re just a big Teddy-Bear, aren’t you?). Did I just refer to another grown man as a Teddy-Bear? Yes.

Our defensive ends (cough, Cody Brown, cough) had career days. I think that’s a testament to coaching and game preparation (no more spinning, Julius). Not to mention Robert “Reggie” McClain with his two picks (one for six), and Jasper Howard with a pick as well (c’mon D-Butt, catch up!).

Solid play by our linebackers (Scott Lutrus handing out De-Cleaters like they are going out of style) and Lawrence Wilson upending quarterbacks (ouch!). That’s some physical play and it is a reflection of how our defense plays as a whole. Speaking of reflections…

Cincinnati head coach Brian Kelly needs a nickname, something with street cred that will carry him through the blog-bashing I’m about to deliver. How about BK? Yeah, BK! (”Where you at BK?”) So, BK says that a team is a reflection of their coach. He then proceeded to stroke his ego like a Swedish Masseuse (”ohhh Inga, easy on the lats”), saying they’re hardworking and talented because he is. Joke’s on you, BK. Because if that’s true, then we’re a reflection of our head coach, and I don’t have enough hair to pull off that cut. (Sorry, Coach.)

UConn’s defense was so stout, Cincinnati did not convert one third down. Not one. (Oh, and neither of those 4th down attempts, either). Bad BK, bad!

I almost forgot…
SPECIAL TEAMS:
Dave Teggart. Phenomenal. I regret exposing your man-crush on me on the Huskies All-Access show (no I don’t). Congrats on drilling 4 FG’s, not to mention a 48 yarder into the wind. But don’t think I am gonna let you get off that easy. It’s time I exposed to everyone that you actually look like Joe Lo Truglio. Take a look:
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(So, you guys on MySpace?)

Blocked punt in the first quarter: Bad. The way the defense stepped up and held Cincy to only three? Amazing.

SOME FINAL THOUGHTS:

Porkfully is actually becoming a word. How porkful.

Kevin Youkilis was at the game. (YOUUUUUUUUKKKK!!) They put him on the big screen and he promptly threw up the “U-C.”

Dear Kevin,
You looked like a ridiculous goatee-ed member of the Village People acting in such a way. I wanna love you, Kevin, I do. I’m willing to believe that your “U-C” was meant for UConn and not your sub-par alma mater. All is forgiven if you win a World Series title in 2009 (and tell me you love me).
Sincerely,
Scorned in Storrs

Maybe I should take back the slogan for Cincy (”Hey, at least we’re not Rutgers!”). At this point, you might be wishing you were like our blowout-friendly fans on the shore. (God help me.)

Pat White and the gang are coming to the ‘Rent this weekend. Should be a lovely reunion. I don’t need to sell you on how important or good this game will be. Tune in.

A Slow Week…Means More Fun for You

// October 24th, 2008 // 7 Comments » // Uncategorized

Not much to write about as far as UConn v. Cincinnati.
Keys to this game (as far as UConn is concerned) will be running and stopping the run. People have been speculating about the health of Zach Frazer. Let me say this, where he is now is far better than where he was. Where was he you ask? (I’ll be asking the questions here, sir…) After the Rutgers game, not even Zach knew.

Other utterances in the post-game havoc?

“Did I throw a pick?”
“Did we win?”
“Where’s Rob Lunn, I wanna give him a back rub.”
(The answers to said questions? No, No, and “A little easier on the shoulders next time, Champ.”)

So with Zach’s relative wellbeing assured, fans of UConn football are probably asking, “Are we gonna air it out? Or will it be good ol’ three yards and a cloud of dust?” With either Cody Endres or Zach in the game the threat of accurate passing is a very real one. But like the previous post, Cinci’s pass rush is nothing to take lightly; I’d argue it’s one of the best in all of college football.

I think that’s it for now.

Oh, what the hell, time for…

Some Final Thoughts:

I’m contemplating writing a strongly worded letter to the pork industry. How would it go? Dear Pork Industry, Delicious. Baked, barbecued, broiled…friiiiied? They all please me equally. With such consistent performance, my stomach thanks you (and my arteries hate you). Love always, and porkfully yours, FWG

Did Lou Holtz really compare Rich Rodriguez to Hitler? C’mon Lou, you’re making this almost too easy for me.

FWG has already ordered his Halloween costume. Being bald limits your options considerably (don’t judge me). It’s either cue ball, Judge Mills-Lane, or anyone 65 years of age or older. We’ll see.
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UConn has a planetarium. I’ve never been, but I hear it’s real nice. (If you’ve been, please contact me, TheFatWhiteGuy@gmail.com.)

If your girlfriend ever tells you she is comfortable with you farting in front of her… approach this situation with caution (extreme caution if you are 285lbs+). Let’s chalk it up to me taking one for the “team.” Don’t do it. It will only end badly (”the type of fart that could end a marriage…“).

Bring on the ‘Nati…

// October 23rd, 2008 // 3 Comments » // Uncategorized

Before I address this week’s coming game, Cincinnati, please let me first issue an apology for not getting this post up sooner. I know you were all bursting at the seams with anticipation (no you weren’t).

So, Cincinnati. This summer, observing the mess that Ben Mauk was creating in Ohio (more appeals than O.J. Simpson) trying to get his eligibility restored for some time-warp he observed in his transfer from Wake Forest (didn’t he know only Jason White can play for 7 years?), I figured Cinci would be a mess, rotted from the inside out by distractions and lack of leadership.

I was wrong.
Let’s break it down:

Offense:

After 6 games, they’ve suffered only one loss, to a very stout Oklahoma team. They’ve also managed to overcome a quarterback position that has seen more change than Barack’s campaign policy (heyyy–ohhhh!). This week 6′5″ gunslinger Tony Pike returns, after having suffered a broken left arm playing Akron (well done, Zips). Despite apparently interchangeable quarterbacks, the Bearcats have managed to consistently perform. This is for two reasons:
1) They don’t “beat themselves” (well maybe they do, but that’s a personal issue). They execute soundly in all phases.
2) They have a veteran offensive line. Led by strong and athletic (and handsome!) Chris Cantfield. He shows up on film as probably the heart of an experienced and talented O-line.
But before I go giving any offense too much credit, I have to say their defense is incredibly talented too.

Defense:

Conner Barwin should probably be the focus of this post. Who is Conner Barwin, you say? Well, he’s the envy of this FWG. So athletic that the kid has caught touchdowns at TE, blocked punts, and played 18 games on the UC basketball team in ‘05 (all the free Jordans you could ever want…). Beside his expanding shoe collection, he’s also leading the Big East in sacks this year. He will provide a tremendous challenge for our offensive line (get your minds right, Mike Hicks and Will Beatty). But it is the opinion of this blogger that there is no one in the country the UConn offense can’t block (except for me).

Another force on their D-line is Terill Byrd (I only fly away?). Pre-season All-America, All-Big East, and a host of other accolades. He’s a player, so stay tuned.

That’s all for now, I’ll check in later (I promise) with more. But before I sign off…

Some Final Thoughts:

I received an e-mail asking if I hated Cincinnati. I mean, they’re not Rutgers, so the answer is “No.” Actually, feel free to use that as your recruiting slogan: Cincinnati: Hey, at least we’re not Rutgers.

I have already addressed how I feel about homecoming. Yes, this is our homecoming. No, it doesn’t mean we scheduled Cinci because we think they are an easy win and want to please students and alumni (and donors, wink-wink). It’s simply the next game on our schedule, meaning it’s the most important one.

Not often do I talk about our coaching staff (aside from Coach Edsall’s self-cutting hair). But today at the end of practice (and I know my teammates will agree), Coach reminded me why I signed at UConn and what it means to be a UConn football player, beyond the gridiron. Having played for UConn I will always have my “forever friendships” and carry a set of values that have become an inherent part of the man I am. These values include putting family above all else. So thank you, Coach, for reminding me of just how far we’ve come and for being a shining example of these things in our lives.

Lastly, make sure you sign the petition to raise awareness for Childhood Cancer.
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/CureChildhoodCancer

Living in the Past…

// October 23rd, 2008 // 1 Comment » // Uncategorized

Someone emailed this to me today. Prior to Rutgers week. Thought I’d throw it up there for the die-hards.
Enjoy.

FWG for a Good Cause

// October 22nd, 2008 // 5 Comments » // Uncategorized

I am the last person to shamelessly plug products or people (sorry Dad). Something was brought to my attention today that I think needs mentioning and more importantly, needs your help. So often as college football players we are unable to address social issues or important causes. I have been afforded the opportunity to reach people on a medium that individuals seem to respond to. Childhood cancer robs children of their innocence every year:

1 in 300 children will be diagnosed with cancer before age 20.
Each year 3,000 children die and 40,000 remain in treatment.
Please help cure Childhood Cancer.

Please add your signature to this petition:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/CureChildhoodCancer

The objective of this site is to raise awareness of the problem and show how special these kids are. The goal is to reach 1,000,000 signatures, do your part. It will only take a minute.

Beating Yourself…(no, not like that)

// October 20th, 2008 // 11 Comments » // Uncategorized

We lost. And it hurt. There’s something about giving your best effort and coming up short that drains you. It’s the truest sense of not measuring up. You are found wanting, feeling almost inadequate. Every loss hurts, and I’ve been fortunate that in my time as a starter there have been very few, but losing to the boys across the river, well, that hurts just a little more. Did I just insinuate that Rutgers-UConn is a rivalry? You betcha. We don’t like them, they don’t like us. Bottom line.

Perhaps as the final seconds ticked off the game clock, the entire state of New Jersey simultaneously rejoiced, saying, “Take that FWG. Rutgers wins!” Well, there’s a problem with this theory. At 30,000 hits, this blog could not nearly have entertained even a fraction of NJ’s population. Then again there are not enough Springsteen and ‘Jovi cover (excuse me, “tribute”) bands to entertain all of Jersey, so I don’t feel too bad. (Actually, I don’t feel bad at all.)

That being said, maybe I should actually make an attempt to talk about the loss to Rutgers. A lot of media types and casual fans have been getting on Coach Edsall about the play calling. I need to remind people that after the Temple and Baylor games the plays were called into question and then after the Virginia game people were singing the praises of our “genius coordinator and head coach.” Well, I’ll tell you what’s changed– absolutely nothing. The play calling is based on game conditions and opponent tendencies.

So that brings us to Rutgers. I normally don’t like taking anything away from teams, but (I’m not sayin’, I’m just sayin…) we are a much better team than we showed Saturday afternoon. We left a lot of points on the field (driving and only coming away with 3 when we should have had 21). That is the heart of the matter. Doing things like that, we beat ourselves. Statistically speaking, we were more than sound in the running game (Downtown Donny Brown for Heisman), and the passing game was on point (well done, Zach Frazer). In fact we out gained Rutgers in both, and won the time of possession. But, I am the first to say there is only one statistic that matters: Won and Lost. Points on the board. Scoring more and giving up less. [Other overused sports cliche.]

We gave Mike Teel too much time in the pocket (when he was on the field, not being booed off. What was up with that?) and we made uncharacteristic drops in the secondary. I’ve watched the tape (three times now) and it’s like a movie and you just can’t change the ending (Go outside, and tie the yearling to the tree…). Everything says we’ll win and we don’t. I guess we should start believing, ’cause it’s one bad dream I won’t wake up from.

I didn’t have a humor contingency plan (…in the event of a loss, a New Jersey joke will drop from the overhead compartment). It’s a lot easier to make jokes when you’re winning and they don’t seem as filled with bitterness and hate. (They are. You’ll see…)

So as of the end of this blog post, I will officially be done with talking about Rutgers and we (the proverbial “we,” the royal “we”) will only focus on Cincinnati and the threat they bring to the table. But until then…

Some Final Thoughts:

Fall foliage tour? NO! New name for this: “leaf-peeping.” And the bus ride from CT to NJ? I imagine it’s some version of Leaf-Peeping Heaven. Or if you’re bothered by this sort of thing (which I’m sure you are) the bus ride is like a slow-motion sick ride through a bright yellow and burnt orange hell. Whichever analogy works.

We watched “The Program” on the bus ride there. I would have been fine with a nice romantic comedy (27 Dresses, anyone?). Kidding. Sort of. I hereby designate this movie, MEATHEAD-MOVIE OF THE MONTH. Steroids? College Football? Overacting? Yes, Yes, and Yes. Never mind I literally lived by this movie in high school (senior football nickname = Lattimer).Maybe not the most honest portrayal of the life of a college football player (no, I’ve never jumped my motorcycle or painted my face like a skeleton).
But who could resist offensive linemen named “Bud-light Kazinsky” or defensive play calling like “Razor-Bearclaw-stinger…kill ‘em all, let the paramedics sort ‘em out”?

Fans wanna say that it’s a sign of disrespect when we schedule teams for homecoming. Well which “we” are we talking about? Players don’t have any say in the scheduling (well, nobody asked me anyway). The next team on our schedule is the next on our schedule.

To the fan who wrote “GO UCONN!” on a napkin and held it against the window as he drove next to the bus as we traversed down the highway. You sir, (yes, you!) have a fanhood that does NOT need questioning. Tremendous.

I hate that we lost. I also hate that we lost to Greg Schiano. Not because he’s a bad guy or a bad coach. I’m sure he’s a lovely person. But how could we lose to someone who looks like he just walked off the set of Spin City? (Anyone else think he bears a strong resemblance to Paul Lassiter aka Richard King?)
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Just a thought.

I’ve had enough of kids telling me New Jersey is the best.* It’s like when a salesman knows he has an inferior product (hurry up and push the fish, it’s about to turn…) and does his best to convince you otherwise. You never hear people from Kansas being like, “Yes, Dorothy, AND Toto– both from here. There is no place like home!” (It’s a metaphor– Dorothy and Toto, Springsteen and Jovi…) “Jersey is the best!” (Best what? Smelling? Definitely not.) Maybe if they repeat it enough, it will come true (it won’t).

*To be specific, arguing about high school football domination state to state is exempt from this hatred. This sort of pride is to be expected.

Cincinnati up next. Well coached, great executors. Let see what we can do.

Jersey Jokes Wearing Thin? …fuhgeddaboudit

// October 17th, 2008 // 11 Comments » // Uncategorized

As you know it’s Rutgers week. Which means the time to crack on Jersey is at hand. After being featured on NJ.Com for the previous post, I feel a little bad that some of it might have been taken out of context. On the other hand, if you cant take a joke, please hit “ALT + F4″ and this problem will solve itself (thanks Bill Gates).

So, Rutgers week. Something I’ve noticed by watching the film is that their confidence and play execution is getting increasingly better every week. Their center, Ryan Blaszczyk provides some senior leadership and on film he’s out there making plays. Never mind that he went to Shawnee High School with Ryan Wirth (we’ll forgive him for that). Wirth confirms it: “Hes a good kid, hard worker…he can play.” We should have our hands full (metaphorically and literally– they’re averaging about 305 on the O-line. Keep on keepin’ on, fellow FWGs).

We’re finally all healthy on the D-Line. No thanks to OT (Louisville) George Bussey (not to be confused with Gary), who claimed two ankles and a head trauma from the UConn Defense.

Not much more on Rutgers until after the game on Saturday.

Expect a battle.

Some Final Thoughts:

Desmond Conner of the Hartford Courant is writing a piece on social issues in college football. Look for it this week. Why is this relevant? ‘Cause today Cody Brown and I had to pose for photos. Why is this in the blog? For two reasons:

1) It cut my lunch short (enter FWG reference)
2) I had a thick, thick five o’clock shadow going, so I took my hair clippers to my cheeks to tone it down before the photos (don’t call me vain). I was looking in the mirror, noticed my sideburns needed trimming, and with the skill of an uncoordinated eight year old, promptly lopped off an inch of my right eye brow. (Attempts to “even it off” were equally as unsuccessful.) Look for it on ESPN-U this Saturday @ 12.

Scott Schultz (Jersey native) and I had a discussion on New Jersey today. He said that I had the wrong impression, along with a lot of other people. He said people only see Newark and the oil refineries. He said there’s actually “a lot of really nice areas” in the dirty-dirty. Sure Scott, and there’s a bridge in Brooklyn I’d like to sell you. The best part of Jersey? The “Welcome to New York” sign.

A shout out to Chris S. and his staff in the equipment room. I’ve noted that my clothes have turned from L to XXL, but also thanks to him and the “team issue”, my closet is now all navy and white with Nike Swoosh’s. Thanks big guy, (I’ll pick up my pull-over tomorrow)

Congrats to Chip Malafronte and Andy Staples, who today, each chalked up one reference to leg sweeping Aryans, bringing today’s 80’s movie references total to three. Unfortunately, the guy at Store24 did not know why when I asked how much the paper was, I answered my own question with “I WANT MY TWO DOLLARS!!” (If you know why, e-mail me. No, there’s not a prize. Yes, this is a shameless attempt to receive more mail).

Forgot to drop more NJ razz on you. Hair Gel, Glow Sticks, Camaro, Springsteen, Blowout, Newark, Jersey Girl.
(ahhh, much better)

TheFatWhiteGuy@gmail.com

Rutgers Week (Tony Soprano Rejoices!)

// October 13th, 2008 // 9 Comments » // Uncategorized

It’s back to college football. No more Martha Stewart, no more apple picking, no more Fall-Foliage-Popped-Collar-Fun (at least until next bye week). This week it’s back to grunting and sweating and watching film. This week we continue our Big East play; this week we play Rutgers.

This post is all Rutgers, making it all-Jersey. Meaning, pick one of these to play while reading.
Bon Jovi: Or The Boss:

The apparent birthplace of the prolate-spheroid (also the IROC Camero and Bon Jovi) is where we will find ourselves this Saturday. That’s right, the Garden State (if you’re growing smokestacks), the pride of New Jersey (sorry Bada-Bing), Rutgers University.

This week is going to provide a lot of tests for us, but before I get into that I want to breakdown a few things about Rutgers that the national media seems to be missing.

This is a team coached by Greg Schiano (of keep choppin’ fame). The past two seasons, he has done an excellent job of instilling a sense of unquestionable pride in his players regarding Rutgers football. Yet with only one win under his belt in 2008, the townsfolk are grabbing their pitchforks and torches (or is it hair gel and glowsticks?…ohhh), calling for his head. It is a testament to how fickle the mob can be (thanks Gladiator). A year ago Rutgers entered the season in the Top 25, the “experts” talking about this program having a permanent spot in the big time. But why is all this important? Because this is a team coached by Greg Schiano, with unquestionable pride. No team gives up mid-season. Especially his players– they certainly go into every game thinking they are going to win, and more importantly, preparing relentlessly to win. So I now issue a memo to all of the college football commentators: stating the obvious is not keen research or insight. Yes, their record is poor, especially compared to recent success. No, this game should not be taken lightly. Every game is a battle, especially in the “Black and Blue League,” so tune in, don’t tune out. This is the Big East, every game can change the season.

Rutgers Offense:
Mike Teel has the rare quality of being able to get hot, even when the game seems to be on ice. A good leader, fifth year senior who has a strong, accurate arm. He’s also got some serious targets down field (enter Kenny Britt). Ken (insert Barbie joke) is a receiver with big play capability that can catch the under ball and take it long and the long ball (and…uh…take it longer?).
They are definitely hurting by not having Ray Rice, but that doesn’t take away anything from their current backs, but any college program from Texas to Towson would have trouble filling the shoes of a recordbreaking, NFL-caliber back like Ray-Ray.
I have to give a shout to the Big-Uglies. Their starting left tackle, Anthony Davis, is legit. He’s moved from guard (where I faced him last year), to fill the (big) shoes of now NFL O-linemen Pedro Sosa (who I want to call Pedro Sorano, remember Major League?). Anyway, on film Davis is mobile, with good feet, and a penchant for finishing off defenseless D-Linemen (like any good OT is taught). Get your minds right, Cody and Julius.

Rutgers Defense:
Their secondary is the strength of their team. They can all play man coverage as well as the zone and their closing speed is tremendous. I can personally attest to the athleticism of Courtney Greene; I played with him in the NY v. NJ All-Star Game (of course New York won). He was originally committed to ‘Cuse, but the college football gods work in mysterious ways, and bada-bing-bada-boop he’s in Piscataway making plays and climbing up draft boards.
Their defensive line, if we were to compare it to another, would most closely resemble UConn’s (minus the slow-fat-unathletic type). They are smaller, faster, and more agile than your typical defensive line.

Expect the game in the trenches to be a slug fest.

So now back to UConn.

24-hour rule in full effect, we analyzed, addressed, and corrected the mistakes we made in the UNC game. Did it hurt? Sure it did (you cut me deep Cameron Sexton, cut me deep). But it’s over, and we are focused on the Big East now, specifically our blow-out-friendly neighbors, Rutgers. (Rutgers/NJ jokes wearing thin? Too bad.)

Expect Zach Frazer to come out gun slinging. The kid is a focused competitor with a short memory. His most telling accolade though? Recipient of the Lunn-Sung Hero Award. He’s now famous.

Defensive line is back at full strength. And in later news, at about 1:00 yesterday afternoon, I caught my reflection in the mirror. I paused to enjoy the view (drink it in, ladies). There, amongst my flab I saw an “ab,” in the upper right corner of what was once the six-pack area… only for a moment, then he went back into hibernation. But I know he’s there. (I’ll see you in the spring, sucker!).

Some Final Thoughts:

There has been some speculation that (former defensive tackle turned Indianapolis Colt) Dan Davis is faster than me. Dear Dan, You are not. I still love you, -FWG

I met Ray Rice’s uncle this summer in New Rochelle. Couldn’t have been a bigger fan of college football and all things Ray Rice. I’d like to make some remarks about how his unabashed fanhood for his nephew was embarrassing. However, my mother’s dance moves are shown on the Jumbo-tron at games, proudly wearing her (custom made) Lunn-65 shirt. So, on this, you get a pass, sir.

Ever been to Pandora.com? I’ll skip explaining how that works, but do yourself a favor and go ahead and create “Pat Benatar Radio.” You’ll thank me later.

The Red Sox. Oh the Red Sox.

I saw “Body of Lies” last night. Might as well have been called “Body of Awesome.” Crowe, DiCaprio? Gladiator and Titanic? Ridley Scott directs? Lock of the century. Go see it now.

Just how many New Jersey digs were there in this post? Seven. Am I sorry? Sort of. Having dated a few Jersey girls (never again), there are some things I love from NJ. To name a few; Italian delis, the shore, and Pork Roll (Taylor Ham).
Processed pork product, best served fried…with cheese? Being fat, the best thing ever. So tasty. I can’t describe it; run (don’t walk) to get one. Too fat to run? Walk speedily, you’ll never view breakfast sandwiches the same.

Get back to you later this week,
(keep the e-mails comin!)
-FWG-