The Grantland profile on Nate Boyer is one of the best I’ve ever read. Jordan Conn does a great job of delving into Boyer’s life story and his journey to becoming Texas’ long snapper. I think part of what makes this piece so special is Boyer’s story. He has faced adversity at many points throughout his life and also fought for his country. In the end, this profile is great because it makes me want to continue to follow his story.
This profile on Oklahoma QB Blake Bell is definitely different than Boyer’s. It’s written by Pete Volk of SB Nation and focuses more on Bell’s athletic success and struggles. Also, Volk incorporates an element of Bell having to overcome adversity, which is common in profiles. Volk incorporates video to portray Bell’s on-the-field success as well and the story is more succinct. Nevertheless, both profiles are good examples and good to learn from when spotlighting athletes and any individual.
The Baylor Bears football team has continuously gained momentum each week this year. Following last week’s 71-7 rout against Iowa State, Baylor extended it’s winning streak to 10 games dating back to last season. Baylor currently leads the nation in points scored per game at 64.7 and is seventh in points allowed per game at 16.2. In fact, Baylor averages more than a point-per-minute in each game, as supported by CBS. Baylor averages 414 yards passing and 300.3 yards rushing per game as well. They rank third and seventh in the nation in those categories, respectively. Also, Baylor had its 33rd straight game of 400 yards or more in its game against Iowa State on Saturday, according to ESPN.
Baylor has risen in the AP poll every week this year. They started the season unranked and are now the No. 6 team in the country. The Bears jumped up six spots from the previous week, their largest change in ranking this year. The first BCS rankings were released this week as well and Baylor is No. 8, the highest ranking of any Big 12 team.
Baylor plays at unranked Kansas this weekend before it begins a slate of three top-25 Big 12 teams to begin November. Baylor has proven that its offense can stick to the game plan and its defense can give the team a chance to win in every game this season. The Bears should be able to handle the Jayhawks on both sides of the ball, but will have to be efficient and smart with their play. As seen with many schools around the country, especially in the SEC, injuries have ruined team’s BCS and even conference title hopes. As long as Baylor can avoid any mishaps and continue its strong play, then it should find itself confident and ready to show the country why it deserves to represent the Big 12 in a BCS bowl game.
Tables Turn for Cardinals as Knights Take Control of the Big East
By Elizabeth Grimsley
When looking at the Louisville Cardinals’ schedule before the season began, it was thought that the team had one of the best chances in college football to go undefeated. With opponents like University of Central Florida and Eastern Kentucky as opponents, it looked like smooth sailing for the Cardinals to make their way to another top bowl game.
However, that all changed Friday night when unranked Central Florida upset the No. 8 Cardinals 38-35 on Louisville’s home turf.
Everything was going as planned for Louisville at the half as they were leading the game by 21 points. But it all came down to quarterback Blake Bortles who managed an 11-play, 75-yard drive that put the Knights on top with only 23 seconds for the Cardinals to respond.
The win didn’t come out of nowhere, though, and Central Florida can’t be called a complete surprise. Just three weeks ago, the Knights came a mere three points away from stunning the then-No. 13 South Carolina team by capitalizing on the Gamecocks’ mistakes. The Knights continued the same approach in Friday night’s game where they capitalized on a Louisville fumble that was recovered by Central Florida on the Cardinals’ 15.
Now the tables seem to have turned, and it’s the Knights that have found their way into the rankings at No. 21 — while the Cardinals dropped to No. 18 — with a chance at not only a good bowl game but also the Big East title as they lead the conference alongside Houston and South Florida.
Central Florida still has five conference games remaining with games against both co-leaders still on tap, so there’s plenty of time to either continue to dominate or let the lead slip form its grasp. The coming weeks will be important for all of the teams in the running for not only the title but for moving up in the overall national rankings as well.
This article is a great second-day game story covering the Baylor and Iowa State football game. I think it’s especially good because of the amount of statistics used to support the analysis. The stats aren’t overloaded but help the reader truly understand how well Baylor is playing this year. I like how the writer emphasized the number of school records Baylor set in the game as well. There is a good amount of game summary, but not too much. It definitely wasn’t easy to limit the narrating of scoring drives since Baylor scored at least 70 points for the fourth time this season. Also, I like how the writer didn’t focus solely on Baylor, even though many of the story lines surrounded their success. The story has a good ending that focuses on the Iowa State QB situation with a reaction from the backup.
Sam Draut of The Louisville Cardinal wrote this story after Louisville defeated Florida International University, making the team 4-0 for just the eleventh time in school history. I though it was a good story idea because it took an interesting stat and looked into some of the other Louisville teams that have managed the same feat as well as what they went on to accomplish that season. It gives the reader perspective on what this year’s Louisville team may be capable of doing. Although it’s not in a traditional story format with quotes and such, I still think it does a good job by analyzing a storyline that arose out of the game. This story was written on Sept. 30, and the Cardinals are still undefeated. It would be interesting to see a follow-up story as well about Louisville teams that went 5-0, 6-0, 7-0 and so on as well.
This Saturday, the No. 12 Oklahoma Sooners (5-0, 2-0) and unranked Texas Longhorns (3-2, 2-0) will face off for the 108th time in what has become known as the Red River Rivalry. The game will be played at the Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX. Both teams began the season with uncertainty surrounding their programs and both teams have taken different paths to reach this game.
Despite an early season battle at quarterback between Blake Bell and Trevor Knight, Bell has emerged as the top player and has provided consistency for the Sooners. Bell has thrown for 835 yards and six touchdowns with a 69.2% completion rate. Most importantly, Bell is yet to throw an interception. In addition to strong play from its starting QB, Oklahoma has rushed for over 1200 yards this season. Also, Oklahoma’s kicker Michael Hunnicutt has made every extra point and is 12 for 13 on field goals.
On the other side, Texas has struggled immensely and has even seen some coaching changes made this season. The Longhorns have been ridden with injuries to some of their key players and can’t seem to come up big late in the game. Texas’ difference makers are David Ash at quarterback and Johnathan Gray at running back. The Longhorns’ offense has improved each game, but their defense has struggled. They have given up more than 30 points in all but one game.
If Texas hopes to win on Saturday, its defense will have to contain Blake Bell early in the game and hope that its offensive starters stay healthy, as supported by ESPN. The game will have a bit different touch to it this year, as both teams will be sporting uniforms with gold in honor of the Golden Hat Trophy, according to the Houston Chronicle. Even though Oklahoma has dominated Texas in recent years, there are many implications surrounding this game for both teams and the game should be close. For Texas, head coach Mac Brown’s job security might change depending on the outcome. For Oklahoma, the Sooners will look to remain unbeaten and move into the top-10.
Cougars Sweep of Weekly Honors a First for Any AAC Team
By Elizabeth Grimsley
The Houston has swept its conference weekly awards, becoming the first team in the league to do so.
After its 59-28 win against University of Texas-San Antonio on Saturday, three Houston players were awarded player of the week honors by the American Athletic Conference.
Freshman quarterback John O’Korn was named Offensive Player of the Week, sophomore defensive back William Jackson received defensive recognition and redshirt freshman defensive back Brandon Wilson was awarded special teams honors.
The game against UTSA was only the second career start for O’Korn who completed 24 of 36 passes for 312 yards, including four touchdowns for the Cougars. Over the whole season, he has a 63.5 percent completion rate with just one interception.
Jackson made six tackles during the game and forces one fumble. He also returned a 96-yard interception for a touchdown. The 96-yard return is the second longest by any FBS player so far this season.
Wilson also had a touchdown on Saturday — a 78-yard return on a blocked field goal. It was his second block in as many weeks.
Houston was able to sweep the awards in a week that also featured University of Central Florida nearly overcoming No. 12 South Carolina — an impressive feat for a young Cougar team.
Houston’s ability to produce good results with such a young team could aid them in the long run. Looking at their results so far this season sets them up for a potentially steady rise in the rankings over the next few years.
Although Houston’s schedule is far from difficult — aside from a matchup against BYU — the Cougars are running with a four-game win streak. They will hope to take that streak into the next game against conference opponent Memphis and hopefully continue to rise up as a football program.