Sunday, September 30, 2012
On This September Saturday: Football > Baseball
Despite my professional responsibilities, I consider myself a baseball guy first. And September baseball is high drama, but yesterday it was swallowed up by an dynamic week of college football as conference races are off to a booming start.
Let's go through the epic battles yesterday, in order of finish.
Miami 44 NC State 37 How did Phillip Dorsett get behind the defense for a 62-yard TD with 19 seconds left? Stephen Morris passed for 566 yards and he and Mike Glennon combined for over 1,000 pass yards.
West Virginia 70 Baylor 63 Yes both defenses were non-existent, but an incredible game to watch in the Mountaineers' Big 12 debut. Geno Smith's numbers (45-51, 656 yds, 8 TD/0 INT) were unprecedented in our lifetime, and they weren't just dinks and dunks. His passes had air under them and they always landed on their target. The WVU WRs and Baylor Offense guys were also statistically off the charts, but too many to mention here.
Cincinnati 27 Virginia Tech 24 It was a pretty pedestrian 13-7 game going into the 4th Qtr, but then the laser tag game broke out with four lead changes in the last 9 minutes. It was highlighted by Cincinnati's heroic 85 yard drive in final 1:49, capped by a sensational 39-yard TD from Munchie Legaux to Damon Julian.
Georgia 51 Tennessee 44 Lots of big plays and 95 points on the board, but the teams still had time to combine for 7 turnovers. UT QB Tyler Bray's 3 INT proved to be too much to overcome, as well as Georgia's 282 rush yards.
Texas 41 Oklahoma State 36 Another game with 4 final quarter lead changes, and gutsy Texas Soph QB David Ash took his team 75 yards down the field for the win in Stillwater. This sets up the showdown with West Virginia next week in Austin.
Nebraska 30 Wisconsin 27 Huskers were down 27-10 in the 2nd half, and finished with 20 unanswered points. Bo Pelini's defense forced a Monte Ball fumble on 4th & 1 to seal it. In Nebraska's storied history, I've never heard Memorial Stadium so loud or raucous.
I fell asleep before Oregon State came down the field to upend Arizona on the road 38-35, or it certainly would be detailed as well.
I had one eye on the baseball action as well, and there was plenty of compelling stuff it just didn't reach the magnitude of the events on the gridiron.
AL East Yankees blew a lead at Toronto and lost 3-2. Orioles blew a lead but got a Manny Machado HR in the 7th and Jim Johnson nailed down his 49th save in a 4-3 win over Boston. The AL East is tied again.
AL Wild Card The amazing A's trailed Seattle 4-1 late. They got one in the 8th, they tying 2-run HR by Josh Donaldson in the 9th, then winning 3-run HR by Brandon Moss in the 10th. Unfortunately only 21,517 were in Oakland to enjoy it.
The A's crept within one game of the Yankees/O's for the Wild Card lead, and put more distance between the trailing Angels, who were rained out in Arlington and now need to play two there today.
AL Central The Tigers big money guys earned it. Justin Verlander won his 17th. Miguel Cabrera hit another HR and is closing in on Triple Crown (.327, 43, 136) in a 6-4 win over Minnesota. Meanwhile White Sox ace Chris Sale had his worst start of the season in a 10-4 home loss to the mathematically-still-breathing Rays. Detroit now leads by 2 with 4 to go.
NL Wild Card The Cardinals came back from 4-0 down to force extra innings, but lost to Washington. The Dodgers got 2 taters from Matt Kemp in a combined shutout of Colorado. LA inched closer to STL, and are 2 back with 4 left.
Ultimately there was plenty of TV to go around yesterday, just not enough TVs in the house. Maybe baseball wasn't better in one particular snapshot, but that's the thing about baseball. It goes every day, 162 of them. While football may win any given day, baseball wins day after day.