Embrace the Pace. This should be the University of Tulsa's motto for the season. The athletic department can print this across tickets and slap this credo on every Go Blue billboard across town.
A rough afternoon of college football this past Saturday afternoon derailed my original plans. The goal was to break down the Golden Hurricane defense (like so many opposing offenses have).
Three issues arose. First, the CBS Game of the Week lasted, well, about a week. Kentucky outlasted LSU in three overtimes. This was another in the long list of upsets in college football this year. But don't fall for the "this is just a wacky season" talk. It happens every year.
By the time the game was complete, TU and Marshall were underway. Another problem? Can one truly gain knowledge of a team's defensive 'issues' when they are facing off against an 0-fer team?
The final straw? Tulsa's offense is mesmerizing. You like number? You'll love these: 523, 694, 398, 695, 648 and 578. Those are the total yards Tulsa has racked up in each game this year. Not too shabby.
The coaching staff also appears fixated on the offense because something is askew on the defensive side of the ball. When you average 572.8 yards per game on offense - that's good. When you give up 490.3 - that's bad.
There are several likely causes to the poor play. Lack of size up front.
Lack of overall depth on the unit. Lack of playmakers in the backfield. The 3-3-5 scheme is faulty but perhaps a necessary evil until coach Graham can recruit a few more players on the defensive side of the ball.
One thing is certain. The boys in Blue know how to entertain. Their gimmicky trickeration is equal parts magnificent and equal parts abomination.
One series Paul "Sneaky" Smith will spread the field and carve up a defense like a young Joe Montana. A couple of three-and-outs later and fans are left wondering how this offense scored 30 points on the season much less in the first half.
Next up? The University of Central Florida. The Knights are fresh off of two "butt-paddlings". Will Tulsa make it a third beatdown or will UCF remain undefeated in conference play at home.
For the record, George O'Leary is still coaching the Knights. Remember when he was hired for the Notre Dame gig? Remember when he was canned shortly thereafter for falsifying his resume? Let this be a lesson to all the kids out there. Cheaters never win -- they end up in Orlando. Hmmm, on second thought.
We rarely dive into the National Football League. However, when the undefeated New England Patriots visit the undefeated Dallas Cowboys, someone has to take notes. The times listed were taken from my laptop. Tulsa time.
3:15 -- Kansas City Chiefs beating Cinncinati Bengals 27-17 with 1:53 left in game. These teams are 4-7 combined yet someone at CBS decided it needed to be shown to conclusion. The NFL and all football web sites pumped up Dallas versus New England all week and we are stuck with two sub par teams. I hate clueless network executives.
3:28 -- With 8:37 left in the 1st quarter, we join Jim Nantz and Phil Simms. I am convinced Nantz is cloned. Is there an event CBS produces that he doesn't cover? Let's just call him Dolly.
3:31 -- 7-0 Patriots take the lead on a Tom "That's my baby" Brady to Randy Moss strike. I hate both players. I hate the Patriots. This will be the only game all year I am pulling for the Cowboys.
3:38 -- Patriots safety, Rodney Harrison sacks Tony Romo for another 3-and-out. Middle-aged Harrison was suspended the first four weeks of the season for HGH (human growth hormone) usage. If you were at the end of your career, would you risk missing four games to load your body with illegal supplements? Me too.
3:54 -- Touchdown Wes Welker. Welker was recently on my guilty pleasure "SportsNight Oklahoma" via phone. I don't think it can be overstated that Welker wasn't offered a scholarship by an Oklahoma school even though he played in Oklahoma City at Heritage Hall. 14-0 Pats.
4:00 -- Marion Barber III rumbles for Dallas' initial first down of the game. Have you ever met someone with the III moniker after their name? I bet greatness followed them. In fact, I think I'll name my first boy Dwayne Davis III regardless of the fact he'd only be number two. Greatness.
4:07 -- Dallas kicker Nick Folk brings the Cowboys to within 11. 14-3. Folk should have retired after his Monday night game. He boomed two game winning field goals in a row. He can only go down from here.
4:15 -- Sack, fumble, recovery, TD Dallas. 14-10 as Dallas pulls closer. Brady has been sacked three times all year. The Cowboys have nailed him twice in the first half. Brady hasn't had this much pressure on him since Bridget Moynahan called him with her good news.
4:35 -- 4th down and a foot. New England on Dallas 14 yard line. You be the coach. First down run.
4:36 -- Oklahoma's own Wes Welker finds the end zone again. 21-10 Patriots. Did I mention OU and OSU didn't . . . never mind.
4:54 -- Terrell Owens catches a Romo laser and hangs on for a touchdown. His celebration was some statuesque pose. Then again, anything he comes up with will be criticized at this point in his tumultuous career. He's a pariah. 21-17 and we're headed to the lamest halftime show on earth. Feel the excitement.
Halftime -- Typical breakdown of the first half. Marino and Sharpe provide noise pollution and Boomer Esiason brings the meat. The Vikings beat the Bears and it looks like this Adrian Peterson kid might be pretty good. Twenty carries for 224 yards and three scores.
5:17 -- The Cowboys corral Brady for the third time in the game. Solid defense against the luckiest man alive. Pats punt to start the 3rd quarter.
5:24 -- The 'Boys immediately pick apart the Patriots defense. Patrick Crayton, Northwestern Oklahoma State alum, grabs another Romo TD pass. 24-21 Dallas pulls ahead in a true Middleweight slugfest. Heavyweights are atrocious this decade so Middleweight is an upgrade. The new "Heavyweight" if you will.
5:37 -- The Patriots take a gift/phantom pass interference call and score from the 1-yard line to make it 28-24, Pats. I am pretty sure there was a trench coat patrolling the end zone giving the Beli-cheats the Dallas signals.
5:38 -- The trench coat guy was actually starring at the Dallas Cowboys cheerleaders.
5:43 -- MB III runs for the most electric 2-yards you will ever see. He was pushed into his end zone and danced around and through about seven defenders.
5:55 -- Stephen Gostkowski is the kicker for the Patriots. He gives the Pats a 31-24 lead. This has been a well-coached and well-officiated game. Rarely will you hear those words uttered during a big game. It likely will not last for the duration.
6:00 -- End of 3rd quarter. I think they are bringing in the fourth cloned Jim Nantz robot for the end of the game.
6:03 -- MB III scats for a first down on a crucial 4th down. Holding on the offense brings the play back. Boom goes the punt. I said well-coached, not well-played.
6:09 -- Game over. Brady to Donte Stallworth covers 69 yards and puts the Evil Pats up 14 with 12 minutes left in the game. Too many weapons. The Colts are our only hope. 38-24 and I'm out.
Unfortunately, New England looks pretty good.
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