Tuesday, September 26, 2006

SportsVlog - Episode 2

Allright, here we go with episode number two! I look forward to hearing any feedback, and please, no comments on the hair. I know I need a haircut.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

SportsVlog - Episode 1

Well sportsfans, here it is - the inagural episode
of The SportsVlog. Take a look and let me know what you think.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Game of the Week - Iowa vs. Syracuse College Football

Well, Iowa did it. They finally won without Drew Tate.

Being an Iowa fan, it's easy to be happy about yesterday's win over Syracuse - the Hawkeyes prevailing over the scrappy, never-say-die Orangemen who didn't quit at any time during the nearly four-hour contest.

However, despite the win, as an Iowa fan I can say that today's game didn't inspire a lot of confidence in this 14th-ranked squad. No one will tell you the rating systems are perfect, but watching a team as high-ranked as the Hawkeyes have as much trouble as they did against an unranked opponent that was 0-10 for their last 10 going into yesterday makes one a little bit wary of the rest of the season, when Iowa will face even tougher tests.

Looking at relevant stats from Iowa's game, one could deduce an entirely different script than the one that really transpired on Saturday afternoon. Iowa had fewer yards passing, fewer passing attempts and completions, four interceptions to Syracuse's zero, and was nearly seven minutes down in time of possession, a stat many consider to be critical. Yet, somehow the Hawkeyes managed to win it 20-13 in double overtime.

I think what a lot of people will do is simply look at the end of the game, where Iowa's defense was truly outstanding; stopping short-yardage rushing attempts by Syracuse several consecutive times before capping their performance with a 4th down stop to secure the win. However, the real story was during regulation, when top-15 ranked Iowa allowed itself to fall into a position where they had to contend for the win in overtime. With Drew Tate out, Iowa looked to its virtually untested quarterback Jason Manson. While Manson did have several good drives (the first-half TD drive and Iowa's field goal campaign in the 3rd quarter), he did much to jeopardize the win for the Hawkeyes as well - going to the endzone a little too much and throwing four picks.

One of those interceptions was not Manson's fault, to be fair. Four interceptions is a tiny bit misleading - one was tipped by another Iowa player into the hands of a Syracuse defender. However, the Hawkeyes' three other interceptions could be looked at as quarterback mistakes; mistakes that no doubt fueled the other team's confidence. It's fortunate that Iowa was able to come away with a win, but it's also obvious that a proven quarterback such as Drew Tate brings more to the field than someone with much less experience. Manson did quite an admirable job for what I believe was his first full college game, and under the pressure of any Division I football game everybody is bound to make mistakes, but when you watch a team turn the ball over four times via interceptions, you may find yourself wishing for a more experienced quarterback than one who makes several costly plays throughout a game.

If Iowa thinks they're ready to face the Big 10 after today's game, they're not. Defense saved the game in the second overtime despite two potentially dangerous passing interference calls, and occasionally Iowa made the big play when they needed it. But, if the Hawkeyes want to beat the teams in their upcoming schedule (who aren't 0-10 for their last 10), they'll need to bring their game to an even higher level. Even with the help Syracuse gave the Hawkeyes by amassing six penalties for 50 yards, Iowa converted too few third downs early in the game while allowing Syracuse to convert too many, something the Orangemen couldn't do last week in their game against Wake Forest (they went 1-11 in that game on third down).

If the Hawkeyes hope to win next week, they will need to focus more on retaining the ball and gaining yards on the all-important third down. They escaped New York with a win, but a performance like today's later in the season may not prove as fortunate for Iowa.

Tuesday, September 05, 2006

Sports Vlogs Coming Soon

I realize how prefab and horribly advertistic that sounds of me. It looks like one of those "portal pages" you find on the internet all the time. You know, for all those website names you think you've figured out. "Oh I'm so clever" you tell yourself; only to be frustrated when you find that your genius name has been taken up by a page with links to...what? News, sports, and entertainment, of course.

Well, if things go as planned you will be finding sports on this page pretty soon. But not the uninteresting kind. No sir. You'll find a sports video blog. The mediocrity of a blog combined with the mediocrity of homemade video. But aha! In this case -2 + -2 doesn't equal -4 OR zero. It equals a million. A million reasons to say, "I want my sports vlogs!"

Check back soon. And when I say soon, I don't mean "this page is under construction, check back soon" kind of soon. I mean a couple weeks here.
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