49ers Week 3

So about that optimism…

Yeah, Kaepernick isn’t very good. Neither are the 49ers. 

The Arizona Cardinals’ secondary is exceptional. So are the Cardinals. 

Unstoppable force meets very moveable object-Niners vs Cards Week Three. 

Going to be a long season in Santa Clara.

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Week 4 in the Big 10 (B1G)

Let’s just skip over the bottom feeders such as Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan. We all know they’re not going anywhere, right?

Iowa Builds on Impressive Start in Glorified Scrimmage

Most coaches will take a 62-16 final score in their favor, and Kirk Ferentz is no exception. There’s a good vibe in Iowa City, as the Hawkeyes are exceeding expectations with a 4-0 start this season. Wins over rival Iowa State and a talented Pittsburgh squad are perhaps more impressive than a thrashing of North Texas, but it’s important not to understate the positive aspects of the win. CJ Beathard had the best game of his career and is finding his rhythm heading into Big 10 play. He started 15 for 15 and the passing game was smooth all day long. Running back Jordan Canzeri already has eight touchdowns, and the offense is feeling upbeat headed into a crucial matchup with Wisconsin on the road next week. The defense still needs work, as evidenced by the Pittsburgh game, but you can’t fault Iowa for taking an opponent they were supposed to pulverize and doing so.  They took care of business against an inferior opponent, but far tougher challenges lay ahead for Iowa. Grade: A-

Beathard leads the offense.

Herky’s ready for B1G action. Are you?

Up Next: At Wisconsin

If Iowa wants to make some noise this year in the Big 10 or on the national level, this is the place to start. No, Wisconsin isn’t Alabama, but they did start off the year ranked and were favored to win the Big 10 West. A victory here would go a long way.Iowa certainly has the ability to win this game if they play their A-game. The key will be containing running back Corey Clement and putting pressure on QB Joel Stave to force him into bad decisions. Beathard’s performance against a Big 10 defense will be key in this match up. Remember, this will be his first taste of Big 10 football. It’s time to see if Iowa is for real.

Hoosier Sleeper Team in the East? Indiana, of Course

IU held off a late rally from the Demon Deacons of Wake Forest down in Winston-Salem, collecting a quality win over a Power 5 opponent. Indiana’s theme this year has been finding their groove in the third quarter, and it was no different today. They now have outscored opponents 51-0 in the third quarter this year. Indiana was hindered by a sluggish start and a late defensive collapse, but still managed to come out with a 31-24 victory. The game appeared to be in the bag with the Hoosiers leading 31-10 late in the fourth, but Wake Forest managed to make it interesting by scoring quickly, recovering an onside kick, and scoring again. Eventually Indiana’s defense put some steel in their spine and ended the comeback bid, but they had IU fans nervous for a while at the end of that game. Wake Forest isn’t exactly a Powerhouse, but they are a solid ACC team that shouldn’t be taken for granted. Indiana has put together some quality wins to start off this season, most notably a narrow victory over Western Kentucky. WKU QB Brandon Doughty led the nation in passing yards in 2014, but the defense managed to hold up and the offense came through for a 38-35 victory. University of Alabama-Birmingham, also known as UAB, cancelled their football program last year (before reinstating it for 2016), and no one has benefited more than Indiana. UAB transfer Jordan Howard has nearly replicated the production of former Hoosiers superstar Tevin Coleman, who broke the record for most rushing yards in a game last year and was drafted by the Atlanta Falcons last April. Howard currently leads the nation in rushing yards and has largely carried this offense. QB Nate Sudfeld has done a nice job of game managing, but he’ll need to do more than that next week. Grade: B+

Jordan Howard, B-Town hero.

The third quarter has been Indiana’s bread and butter, as they have yet to allow a single point in the third.

Up Next: The Elephant in the Room.

Indiana’s got a real chance to do something historical for their program next weekend. Beating the defending national champion would change IU Football forever. Ohio State has looked vulnerable at times, switching between quarterbacks and seeming off kilter at times. A narrow victory over Northern Illinois and a sloppy win against Western Michigan leaves Ohio State open to a potential upset against a young and confident Indiana team, who’s feeling it right now after their 4-0 start. But let’s not kid ourselves. IU had trouble dealing with Kendall Hillton’s mobility, and he’s only a true freshman making his first career start. If Hilton was able to find easy success against IU’s front seven, imagine what JT Barrett would do to them. As for the young secondary that was torched by Southern Illinois in Week One, they better pray Cardale is off his game next Saturday. Any of that slow start, late capitulation, won’t cut it against the Buckeyes. The opportunity for a statement is tremendous. But so are the odds.

Enjoy This One, Rutgers…

The difference between a Rut(gers) and a groove is attitude, right? Mhm. Rutgers brought out the classic red and white home jerseys, which harken back to the good ‘ol days of 2006 and 2007, when Rutgers was ranked. There was reason for optimism last year in New Brunswick, as RU went 8-5, wiped the floor with North Carolina in the Quick Lane Bowl, and won three games in the Big 10, including one over Michigan, a long time iconic college football program. As for this season…let’s just leave it at Murphy’s Law. Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong. No reason to get into that. Rutgers beat Kansas by 13 this weekend, which would be a lot more impressive if this were basketball and if Kansas wasn’t on the edge of being the worst Power Five team of all time. Kansas lost to South Dakota State Week 1 (and haven’t won since, if you’re wondering), which should tell you all you need to know about them. Rutgers is .500 which is great, considering this is likely to be the last time that’s true. It’s not my intention to bash on Rutgers, but the future looks bleak with superstar receiver Leonte Carroo suspended indefinitely, 5 other players kicked off the team,  and Head Coach Kyle Flood suspended (when he should have been fired). The coaching staff is determined to stick with turnover machine Chris Laviano at QB, while fans call for cannon-armed high school stud and LSU transfer Hayden Rettig.  Oh, and Rutgers’ best recruit in years, DT Darius Hamilton (who is also the best player on a bad defense), is out for the season. Just remember, it could always be worse…they could be Kansas. Good for Laviano throwing two TD’s along with his two picks, and it’s good to see that Paul James is still healthy after suffering season ending injuries the last two season.

Grade: C

Happier Times.

Do you believe in miracles?

Up Next: Bye Week, then 300.

Rutgers stands about just as much of a chance against Michigan State as the original Spartans did at the Battle of Thermopylae. But hey, stranger things have happened.

Since in this hypothetical world, Indiana beats Ohio State, Michigan State ends up ranked number one and Rutgers knocks them off some how, some way (I’m trying to go easy on the cynicism), Rutgers ends up ranked number one and ESPN loses their minds. We can all dream.

Pictures:

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=775&q=iowa+football&oq=iowa+football&gs_l=img.3..0l10.1321.3827.0.4138.13.6.0.7.7.0.83.403.6.6.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.13.442.bKzuGvknwr4#tbm=isch&q=cj+beathard+and+the+iowa+hawkeyes&imgrc=ErW3fBFEVgzjgM%3A

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=775&q=iowa+footall&oq=iowa+footall&gs_l=img.3..0i10i24.2743.4517.0.4773.12.9.0.3.3.0.82.476.9.9.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..0.12.492.4oO6LjurEW0#tbm=isch&q=iowa+football+2015&imgrc=Pqiq_0mmFA7I_M%3A

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=775&q=indiana+vs+wake+forest&oq=indiana+vs+wake+forest&gs_l=img.3…1583.6205.0.6410.22.14.0.8.1.0.123.975.13j1.14.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..9.13.797.djnxSz-O01s#imgrc=Jy5vGri3QPexdM%3A

https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=775&q=indiana+vs+wake+forest&oq=indiana+vs+wake+forest&gs_l=img.12…9735.9735.0.11121.1.1.0.0.0.0.65.65.1.1.0….0…1ac.2.64.img..1.0.0.9lDmwXCco1Y#imgrc=DUOmEBJ9ya5xgM%3A

https://www.google.com/search?q=harken+back+definition&biw=1600&bih=775&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&sqi=2&ved=0CAcQ_AUoAmoVChMIw7_N7IKWyAIViZmICh21KAvR#tbm=isch&q=rutgers+football+players+in+game&imgrc=vlusPvg6-cgSlM%3A

I do not own any of these pictures and all credit goes to the website and photographer.

Statement Made: 49ers Smack Vikings on Monday Night Football.

I am pumped. Take that, Niners haters. All offseason, Niner fans had to endure countless predictions of an abysmal season and a team cobbled together of NFL Europe players and duct tape. Conversely, the Vikings were hyped as the next big thing in the NFC.

Of course, it’s Week 1, which means absolutely nothing most of the time. Last year, the Niners thumped Dallas on the road and Vernon Davis was looking like the team’s offensive MVP. That didn’t turn out so well. The Vikings are undoubtedly still a very good team. And the Niners may finish 6-10, but they probably deserve an apology for being lumped in with Tampa Bay, Jacksonville, and Washington as NFL doormats.

But just awesome stuff all around from Monday. Carlos Hyde looked even better than Frank Gore. He was quick, powerful, and flashy, blending style and substance into a Carlos Hyde performance akin to his days tearing but the Big 10 as a Buckeye.

All of the frustrating delay of game penalties, burned timeouts, and defenses jumping the line of scrimage by timing the play clock-gone. God bless Geep Chryst. It was the most nerve wracking thing in the world to watch the 49ers waltz to the line, call around 40 audibles, and get the play off by the skin of their teeth last year. To top it off, it wasn’t effective last year either. Colin Kaepernick did a nice job of managing the game and using his legs to get first downs when necessary. He wasn’t Aaron Rodgers, but he wasn’t JaMarcus Russel either. They got the win-and that’s really all that matters.

And how about that defense! NaVorro Bowman played great for his first game back. JaQuaski Tartt was an unknown when the 49ers picked him in the second round, but people will be hearing his name soon enough. Defense was studly all around, but this wasn’t the Patriots, Packers, or Seahawks. If they limit Pittsburgh to 14 or less, then the Top 10 D talk can start. Great start though.

And what the heck, the black jerseys are awesome.

Sure. special teams were awful. Straight up bad. But who cares. The 49ers won. It’s been too long.

The Niners won this game because they attacked Minnesota’s biggest weaknesses, the offensive and defensive lines of the Vikings. The Niners won this game in the trenches with a great game plan and scheme. Jimmy T can coach people. Watching Harbaugh lose his head in Michigan while the Niners blow out a quality opponent in prime-time…

Happy Daze, San Francisco edition, starring Carlos Hyde, NaVorro Bowman, and Jim Tomsula.

Picture: https://www.google.com/search?site=&tbm=isch&source=hp&biw=1600&bih=775&q=49ers+black+uniforms&oq=49ers+black+uniforms&gs_l=img.3..0l2j0i5i30l2.1060.6456.0.6882.22.19.0.3.3.0.171.1205.16j1.17.0….0…1ac.1.64.img..3.19.1158.uZ9QMg7_0gU#tbm=isch&q=monday+night+football+49ers+vs+vikings&imgrc=Rr1BVsgBPLXyXM%3A

NC Double A-The One’s Who Never Quite Made it in the Bigs

As another avenue to NFL dreams closes off for Tim Tebow, it seems prudent to look at some of the biggest collegiate stars that never quite cut it in their respective professional leagues in the last ten years. These guys aren’t draft busts-often times professional GM’s have been shrewd enough to recognize that these athletes peaked in college. Often times, these guys have still made it into the first round based off their name recognition alone. For whatever reason, they weren’t the same type of transcendent talent as professional athlete as they were as an amateur.

Tyler Hansbrough, North Carolina

One of the toughest players college basketball has ever seen, Hansbrough was as good as any power forward in the history of college basketball during his time as a Tar Heel. A National Player of the Year Award was followed by a National Championship, and he is UNC’s all time leading scorer. Sports Illustrated covers and ESPN Interviews made him a national icon. Still, when it came to the NBA, Hansbrough was two picks away from falling out of the lottery due to concerns about how his lack of athleticism would translate to the NBA game.Turns out those concerns were valid. If Hansbrough were a second round pick out of Northeastern Oklahoma Tech, he would have been considered to have carved out a nice little career for himself. But as one of the best college basketball players of all time, his career has been a disappointment. His scoring average has declined every year in the league since his second season,(his career average stands at a paltry 7.2 per game, at it stood at just 3.6 last year) and he will turn 30 this fall. Hansbrough is still in the league, and can be considered a success in that regard, but his days as the face of a sport are long gone.

Jimmer Fredette, BYU

Everybody misses Jimmer Range. That is, pulling up from anywhere inside half-court and having it be a quality shot.

Before the 2009 NBA draft, there were concerns about the skinny point guard from Davidson who had hit up March Madness with his sweet shooting. NBA teams were concerned that he wasn’t quick enough to get past NBA defenders, not strong enough to guard big point guards, and not savvy enough to become a good enough passer to become a true point guard.

Well, today Stephen Curry’s life is about as good as it gets, coming off an MVP Award and an NBA Championship. The Timberwolves are probably sorry they drafted Ricky Rubio and Johnny Flynn over him.

Clearly, Steph has proven the doubters wrong. But what if they had been correct in thinking he was too slow, too weak, and not athletic enough for the NBA?

Well, Steph’s detractors were basically worried that he would become what Jimmer Fredette is. That is, a point guard with oodles of three point range and…not much else.

Jimmer gave us one of the most exciting years of college basketball in recent memory and has a National College Player of the Year Award to show for it. Since then, zilch. Jimmer’s main problem is that even with all that range defenses have to respect, he’s not quick enough to beat most NBA power forwards off the dribble, let alone the world class athletes that are NBA point guards. Perhaps Gregg Popovich can turn his career around-he certainly has an excellent track record in that regard-but Fredette, like Hansbrough, has gone from national sensation to NBA afterthought.

Tim Tebow, Florida

We have arrived at our destination. Everybody either loves or hates Tebow-though I can’t understand why anyone would hate him. He seems to be a great guy-though perhaps not a great quarterback.

Tebow has what many believe to be an hitch in his throwing motion that would be impossible to correct. Twenty four teams were wise enough to pass on him during the 2010 NFL Draft, but the Denver Broncos just couldn’t resist the thought of Mile High Tebow Time and snagged him with the 25th overall pick.

Tebow has the typical song and dance for this type of player. Heisman, National Championship, yada, yada. But Tebow was seen as a great athlete who played quarterback-not a great quarterback who was athletic.

But what about that playoff game? Tebow won a playoff game! His playoff winning percentage is better than Peyton Manning’s! Tebow’s clutch! He wins games!

It’s true, Tebow Time during the 2011 NFL season was a lot of fun. And yes, he did play the best game of his life in a playoff win against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But the throw that won the game wasn’t exactly tightest window a QB has ever had to throw through. Tebow played out the play action fake, stepped up, and chucked it as far as he could to one of the best and fastest receivers in the league. Certainly a good throw. But one 30 other quarterbacks in the NFL can make, and more consistently at that.

As for the next game, the one everyone forgets-oh yeah, Tebow didn’t win the Super Bowl-9 for 26 for 136 yards, no touchdowns. That’s a completion percentage of 35. Yikes. Maybe that’s why he didn’t make it.

Tebow’s saga was far from over. Stints with the Jets, Patriots, and most recently the Eagles have all ended unsuccessfully for Tebow. If Bill Belichick, the league’s best talent evaluator, and Chip Kelly, whose offense has made Nick Foles look elite and every other QB at least above average, can’t find a place for you on their team, it’s probably time to hang them up.

A tough running style, an insane work ethic, and a plethora of success in college wasn’t enough for Tebow in the NFL. It’s not the first time, nor will it be the last, that a highly successful mobile QB in college isn’t NFL material. Troy Smith, Terrelle Pryor, Johnny Manziel (may be too early to label him a bust), Dennis Dixon, Nick Marshall…the list goes on and on. Stand up guy. Below average QB. He’s got a nice gig working SEC TV though, so don’t feel too bad for him.

Even those of us whose peaks are higher than most can fall prey to peaking in college. Historically, Herschel Walker, Christian Laettner, and Jason White stand out as players who were all that in college and nothing much in the pros