Well friends, we made it. Many times, it felt like this day would never come. We’ve lived with fear, uncertainty, sadness, anger and confusion. Through it all though, hope remained and today, finally, we can breathe a little easier, the sun shines a little brighter, the birds chirp a little happier and food tastes a little sweeter. That’s right, it’s Masters Week.
We’ll have plenty of coverage throughout the week and answer all the burning questions – can a November Masters help Rory exorcise his Augusta demons? Can DJ avoid falling down the stairs? How will the lack of roars affect the outcome? Does the Augusta National clubhouse have enough protein shakes for Bryson? Do they put Sergio and Patrick Reed at a table in a different room during the Champions Dinner?
If you couldn’t tell, we’re a little excited. But before we go into Masters mega-coverage, let’s take a quick stroll around the rest of the sports landscape and see what happened this past week.
After last week’s beating at the hands of Michigan State, it felt like rock bottom for the Wolverines. Then Saturday happened. Not only did Michigan lose to Indiana for the first time since 1987, but Michigan State lost 49-7 to previously winless Iowa. And it’s not like Michigan lost on a controversial two-point conversion in overtime. They got beat. Bad. Other than Ronnie Bell, it didn’t appear to the casual observer that many members of the Wolverines football team even wanted to be out there. Especially on defense. While Don Brown’s aggressive defensive philosophy has been overwhelmingly successful over the past few years when taken at the macro level, it appears the Big Ten has figured him out. Or, that he no longer has the players to successful execute his preferred defense, which might mean that Brady Hoke was a better recruiter than he was given credit for…and perhaps better than Harbaugh?
In our State of the Program post last week, we wrote that Harbaugh either ends up in the NFL or back with a contract extension at Michigan because we just don’t see Warde Manuel firing him. That said, changes will need to be made, and the biggest just might be Don Brown.
At least Michigan has a win on their resume so far this year, as the same cannot be said for Penn State. In many ways, this feels more like an aberration for the Nittany Lions than it does for Michigan with the rash of opt-outs and injuries that Coach Franklin has been dealing with this season. That said, we don’t think Sean Clifford is the answer. He consistently missed open throws on Saturday and doesn’t seem to have the playmaking ability that the Penn State offense requires at the quarterback position.
On the bright side, the Heels bounced back from a disaster in Charlottesville by taking Duke out to the woodshed. Granted, Duke is terrible (that’s not even just our Carolina Blue bias, that’s just a fact). That said, the Heels did manage to score touchdowns on their first 7 possessions, which we’re pretty sure is good.
The real highlight of the game came midway through the third quarter, when Carolina punter Ben Kiernan came on for his first action in two weeks. Never one to miss an opportunity, Kiernan started trash talking a Duke defensive lineman, and ultimately drew a 15 yard unsportsmanlike penalty when said defensive lineman shoved him. We’d like to be in the Duke film room when the special teams coach goes over this play and asks why his player got so angry at the UNC punter. To be clear, he won’t actually ask that question. He’ll just openly mock him in front of the entire team. We have to think it’s equivalent to a pesky little brother who always asks to play with you and your friends. You finally let him, and he makes one decent play and runs his mouth, so you just punch him in the face to get him to shut up. It’s one thing when our brother does it in our driveway, but mom didn’t believe you – not that we’re bitter in any way whatsoever – but it’s another when it’s on national TV for the whole world to see. And by world, we mean the small collection of degenerates who were still watching a 49-17 game with 6 minutes to go in the third quarter.
The game of the week was Clemson-Notre Dame, with the Irish pulling out a double overtime win. It was a statement win for the Irish and a cause for concern for the Tigers. We realize that Clemson didn’t have Trevor Lawrence, but the passing game wasn’t an issue. The major issues were an inability to contain the Irish running game and an inability to establish its own running game.
Offensively, the Irish did enough to prevent the Clemson coaching staff from
cheating strategically analyzing the opposing teams signals to effectively set their defense. Defensively, the Irish consistently stuffed Travis Etienne in the running game, holding him to 28 yards. Fortunately for all of us, the Irish don’t have much of a following and rarely get any media coverage, so we won’t have to hear about the Echoes being Awakened at all this week. Or every other week until they lose, which we’re planning on happening soon. Remember the last time they beat a #1 team? It was a mere 27 years ago. And remember who they played the following week? Obviously, it was Boston College. By the way, who do the Irish play next week? Boston College. Uh oh…
The runner-up for game of the week came in Southwest Virginia as Liberty beat Virginia Tech in a thriller. When Liberty scored a touchdown with 1:41 left, the victory seemed secure. Then Virginia Tech managed to drive 75 yards in 49 seconds to tie the game. Between COVID and Liberty’s strict rules we know the Flames are a little shy about close personal contact, but they should know they are allowed to tackle someone.
Not to be deterred, Liberty found itself in position for a 59-yard game winner. Which got blocked and the Hokies ran it back for a touchdown. Except, the brain trust on the Hokie sideline had called a timeout to ice the kicker right before the kick. Keep in mind, this kicker had never kicked a field goal longer than 42 yards.
With an opportunity to think things through, Liberty ran an additional play to try to get a little closer, and Virginia Tech graciously decided not to play defense, giving up an easy 9 yards. And sure enough, the kicker drilled the 50-yarder to win the game. Maybe Tech should have iced him?
Elsewhere in college football, Southern Cal won a game before most people in LA were awake, Florida dominated Georgia, and BYU, Cincy, Coastal Carolina and Liberty staked their claims to the playoff, which frankly would be much more interesting than watching Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson and Notre Dame play.
Meanwhile, in the NFL, The Football Team is currently losing to the New York Giants a loss which would drop them into a 3-way tie for second in the NFC East at 2-7. Someone take this division out to the farm and put it out of its misery.
Ok friends, let’s put the frustration of the past behind us. Let’s tear down the walls, stop calling each other childish names and focus on coming together for a common goal. We know some of you believe that Bryson is ruining golf and some of you feel he’s an innovator. However, we can all agree that if it takes Bryson eating bags of steroids every day to prevent Patrick Reed from winning another Masters, then point us to the GoFundMe Steroid Acquisition page.