Before we get into the Monster Saturday running diary, I first want to acknowledge that 9 years ago today was a true tragedy that changed the face of this nation, and the world. I still remember being told in the lunchroom by one of my classmates that “the twin towers fell over.” Thousands of innocent lives were lost on this day, and since then our troops have been doing whatever they can to keep us safe. I want to thank them for protecting us and giving us an opportunity to watch these athletic competitions.
Welcome to the Monster Saturday running diary part 1! This is being conducted live from the living room in my new Florida condo. I’m very excited that this is the first Saturday of college football that this living room and I are having together. It’s a good start to what will hopefully be a good relationship. Frankly, this is the best September weekend of football I can remember. An absolutely loaded slate of college football (not just quality, but quantity too as you will soon see) and then the first Sunday of NFL. As great as the Thursday night game is, I feel like NFL doesn’t really start until Sunday. I need Sunday NFL Countdown with CBS and FOX pregame shows as the sidekicks to begin my season. Needless to say, I couldn’t be more excited for tomorrow. However, it’s Monster Saturday! Get ready folks, because I’m going to be here for about 12 hours giving my take on everything I watch today. All games are viewed in High Definition.
A few thoughts on ESPN College Gameday:
1. Erin Andrews is pretty… Pretty hot!
2. There are 2 signs in the Alabama crowd that I find to be very funny. The first says, “Joe Pa fathered the cast members of Jersey Shore” and the second one says “Joe Pa has Bieber Fever.” Kudos to the Crimson Tide crowd. I think the last fever Joe Pa had was Typhoid Fever.
3. Lee Corso’s “Not so fast my friend!” has to be one of the most iconic sports quotes ever. It makes me laugh every time.
Noon: I have no idea where to start! Check out the early slate we have!
On channel 396 we have FAU at Michigan St…. 401-Georgia Tech at Kansas…. 403-San Jose St. at Wisconsin…. 404-Georgia at South Carolina…. 431-Duke at Wake Forest…. 433-U.S. Open Semifinals…. 436-South Florida at Florida….726-Lithuania vs. United States
12:02: Guess we’ll start with SEC Football. Georgia at South Carolina. Winner of this game establishes themselves as the main contender to Florida’s SEC East crown. Usually a close game between these 2 teams, I expect the same story today.
12:05: Quick flip already to USA vs. Lithuania… Love the green uniforms Lithuania is rocking. Not quite as good as VT the other night though. USA -17 is my imaginary line for this game by the way.
12:12: Over on channel 403 (that’s ESPN HD aka The Visual Orgasm) Wisconsin has taken a 7-0 lead on San Jose St.
12:15: South Carolina running back Brian Maddox makes himself look like a fool as he drops an open pass in the endzone. South Carolina punches it in 2 plays later. 7-0 South Carolina. Very good opening drive for the Gamecocks.
12:20: USA leads 23-12 at the end of the 1st quarter. I think the line I set may be too low. I didn’t factor in the fact that today is 9/11 and Lithuania’s best player is Linas Kleiza.
12:22: Flip to the kickoff of South Florida at Florida. Interesting to see if the snap problems between Mike Pouncey and Jonathan Brantley are fixed. There had to be at least 10 low snaps last week vs. Miami OH. Over/under on bad snap exchanges is 3.5. FYI: Michigan St. is up 10-0 over Florida Atlantic.
12:25: Whoops! Good snap, but Brantley fumbles it and throws the ball right at the refs head. That was high comedy.
12:26: My god South Florida fumbled the snap on their first play! This is stuff we learned how to do in Pop Warner.
12:45 : Quick run through of all scores- USA 42 Lithuania 27 (half time), USF 7 Florida 0 (Impressive 17 play 96 yard drive for USF), Georgia 3 South Carolina 7, Georgia Tech 7 Kansas 7, San Jose St. 0 Wisconsin 14, FAU 7 Michigan St. 10, Duke 7 Wake Forest 7, Nadal leads 3-1.
12:47: This European fella’ Youzhny is wearing shorts that are too short. I’ll go back to tennis when Federer steps on the court. Back to Georgia vs. South Carolina.
12:55: South Carolina kicker Spencer Lanning can’t convert on a 51 yard field goal. He was born to be a kicker with a name like Spencer Lanning.
1:00: Duke and Wake Forest are in a shoot-out. 14-14 early in the 2nd quarter. Quietly emerging as a potential “end of the early games” game to watch. Duke’s uniforms look very similar to the Colts uniforms. And their Quarterback is wearing number 19. Johnny Unitas is back ladies and gentlemen!
1:03: One of THE craziest interceptions I’ve ever seen. Off the hands of the Duke receiver, off the right hand of a Wake Forest linebacker as he is falling to his back, and scooped up right before the ball hits the ground by a Wake Forest defensive back. My words don’t do it justice. That’s bad ACC football for you.
1:07: Over to the Georgia Tech vs Kansas game. Also tied at 14. A bit of a surprise considering Kansas only scored 3 points on North Dakota St last week. I wish Turner Gill would have stayed at UB. I think he was turning Buffalo into a decent MAC contender. Plus I miss seeing all of Mark Mangino’s girth on the sideline. You know someone is large when you type their name into the Yahoo search and the first 2 results of their name is “Mark Mangino Weight” and “Mark Mangino Fat”. I’m not even making this up.
1:13: Text message from my roommate Weston: “WTH (what the hell for all of you who aren’t up on cool texting lingo) is happening?” Weston is a Gators fan, and he is frustrated with their play. That’s understandable. Their defense is young and relatively inexperienced and they have to replace one of the best college football quarterbacks of the last decade. But USF is having their way with UF. A 10 minute 96 yard drive in the Swamp is damn impressive.
1:20: I’m impressed by South Carolina freshman running back Marcus Lattimore. His first half stats: 21 Carries, 103 yards with 2 touchdowns. He’s running really hard, I like that.
1:25: Over to Lithuania vs. USA, where USA only leads by 11 with a little under 7 minutes left to play. They keep using an overhead camera that makes me feel like I’m watching the game from the worst seat in the arena. Note to ESPN Classic… Stop doing that. Thank you.
1:30: Wake Forest is absolutely lighting Duke up. 35-21, and it’s still in the 2nd quarter. Johnny U is going to need to rally the troops for a comeback. Meanwhile, Florida still hasn’t found the scoreboard. Missed field goal from a usually reliable Caleb Sturgis. Still 7-0 there.
1:36: And what do you know, Duke scored again! 35-28 Wake leads. Who would have thought this game would be the leading candidate for which game I’ll be watching in the 4th quarter.
1:45: Score update with most games at halftime- USA 89 Lithuania 74 (Final score. My line of -17 was terrific!), USF 7 Florida 7, Georgia 3 South Carolina 14, Georgia Tech 17 Kansas 14 , San Jose St. 0 Wisconsin 17, FAU 7 Michigan St. 20, Duke 35 Wake Forest 35, Nadal leads 6-2, 3-3. Be back in 30 minutes.
2:21: Six minutes late, my apologies. Decided taking a shower at some point this weekend would be a good idea. Georgia, trailing 14-6 was about to march in for a potential game tying touchdown and extra point until they fumble and South Carolina recovers and takes over. Another drive killing fumble in Gainesville. USF was pounding the ball down the field until a bad handoff exchange between Quarterback BJ Daniels and runningback Demetris Murray gives the ball to Florida.
2:32: Imaginary line for the Turkey vs. Serbia game, which is a very pro Turkey crowd considering they are in Turkey, is Turkey -3. Just in case anyone was wondering.
2:45: Scores and summaries: USF 7 UF 14 (I’m not counting out USF yet. They were really close to leading 14-7 rather than trailing.) Georgia 6 South Carolina 14 (Georgia’s offense can’t get anything going. I expect to see some more Marcus Lattimore despite the fact he has already carried 28 times.) Georgia Tech 17 Kansas 28 (Upset of the week potential. I’m very surprised with this score. Turner Gill is a good coach, but I still miss Mangino.) San Jose St. 7 Wisconsin 27 (No surprise here, haven’t watched much.) Michigan St. 30 FAU 14 (Same story as the Wisconsin game.) Duke 38 Wake Forest 41 (Lack of points in the 2nd half thus far makes me upset. I was really hoping for a 73-70 game.) Nadal wins 6-2, 6-3, 6-4 (thankfully short shorts Youzhny is off the court now.) Serbia 15 Turkey 15 (The Turkey crowd is literally singing. This is awesome.)
2:51: So much for USF still being in the game. Florida leads 28-7. If you discount the 1st half of each game, Florida hasn’t looked that bad.
2:55: Someday Marcus Lattimore is going to be a good NFL back. I’m convinced. He just refuses to go down. It’s awesome to watch him run.
3:02: I love the blue outfit that Roger Federer is wearing. Don't judge me. I’m just saying it looks cool. That’s it.
3:05: First 2 final scores of the day: Michigan St. 30 FAU 17 and Wisconsin 27 San Jose St. 14.
3:08: Backhand return from Federer on the first serve. Djokovic has no answer… Not up in here!
3:15: Did not expect the two games I would be watching in the 4th quarter to be Duke at Wake Forest (41-48) and Georgia Tech at Kansas (25-28). Georgia Tech has the ball with 4 minutes left. This is what Monster Saturday is all about!
3:21: Well that wasn’t very dramatic. Wake Forest scored with 3 minutes left to extend the lead to 14 and Georgia Tech couldn’t convert on 4th down at the 50. That concludes part one of the Monster Saturday Running Diary. Be back in a little bit for part two.