Keeping track of how the 10 programs vying for this year's Lambert-Meadowlands trophy fared last week, and a look ahead to next weekend's action.
|1. Boston College Eagles||6-4||3-3||Idle|
|2t. Temple Owls||5-4||3-4||@ Penn State|
|2t. Rutgers Scarlet Knights||5-4||1-4||Indiana|
|2t. Penn State Nittany Lions||5-4||2-4||Temple|
|5. Pittsburgh Panthers||4-5||2-3||@ North Carolina|
|6t. Buffalo Bulls||3-6||1-4||Akron|
|6t. Army Black Knights||3-6||--||@ Western Kentucky|
|X - Syracuse Orange||3-7||1-5||Idle|
|X - Connecticut Huskies||2-7||1-4||Idle|
|X - Massachusetts Minutemen||2-7||2-3||Ball State|
Week 11 Results
Louisville 38, Boston College 19
Memphis 16, Temple 13
Penn State 13, Indiana 7
Ohio 37, Buffalo 14
Duke 27, Syracuse 10
Army 35, Connecticut 21
Only a few games this week, but these teams are starting to gain a little separation with just a few weeks left in the season. Lambert Meadowlands teams went 2-5 in week 11, with one win--Army--coming against a fellow Lambert Meadowlands team in UConn.
Let's start in Happy Valley, where Penn State engaged Indiana in what was believed to be a college football game.
I have previously called other games, games earlier this season and games from years before, sloppy, ugly, painful to watch. That was only because I did not have this one as a frame of reference. If those other games were messy affairs, this was the sloppiest, the ugliest, the puntingest, even, at times, the stupidest. The least logical. By the second quarter, this game transcended football to become performance art. To call this football is to call Too Many Cooks a credits sequence: Technically true, but only by the slimmest of margins.
After trading touchdowns in the second quarter, Penn State tacked on a pair of Sam Ficken field goals to knock off the Hoosiers, 13-7. B1g, if true.
Memphis and Temple also allegedly played a football game. Allegedly.
There's nothing nice to say about this game, structurally. The offenses were responsible for more than the requisite number of mistakes you'd expect from the American. What follows is a recap of the game that edits out the embarrassing number of dropped passes, missed tackles and blocks, and generally sloppy play. I did that for you. Each team's defense deserves credit for coming up with a solid performance, but these were offenses (more-so Temple) that appeared to protest the very idea of success.
The Owls jumped out to a quick 10-0 start, but the Tigers chipped away, connecting on a 31-yard game-winning field goal late in the fourth quarter. With the 16-13 win, Memphis clinches bowl eligibility and manages to keep pace with the other American Athletic Conference leaders. Temple, meanwhile, is fading fast. At just 5-4, the Owls will need to find one more win to clinch bowl eligibility. With road games at Penn State and Tulane and a home game against Cincinnati, it's unclear where that sixth win will come from.
Meanwhile, in the Carrier Dome, Syracuse played Duke to a 10-10 tie through three quarters before Jamison Crowder blew the game open with a 52-yard punt return for a touchdown. Duke would tack on a field goal and another fourth quarter TD to get past the Orange, 27-10.
So to be honest with you, I don't really know how to feel about the Orange's 27-10 loss to the Duke Blue Devils. It's frustrating. Frustrating to see that we're officially going to have a losing season. Frustrating to know Syracuse absolutely could have won with Mitch Kimble (MITCH KIMBLE!) at the helm. Frustrating to watch a school like Duke (and upcoming opponent Boston College) succeed where we can't.
Syracuse Football: It's Frustrating.
Elsewhere, Ohio made quick work of Buffalo, winning 37-14 in the rare Saturday afternoon #MACtion affair.
And finally, down 14 points, UConn mounted a furious fourth quarter comeback, scoring a touchdown with just 2:06 remaining in the game, recovering the onside kick, driving to the Army 6 yard line and right when you think the Huskies are going in for the game-tying score...99-yard pick 6 ACHIEVEMENT UNLOCKED. lol
Nice work on that transitive property loss to Yale, UConn.
So with only a few weeks left in the season, we'll officially eliminate three teams sitting at 7 wins (and bowl in-eligibility)--Syracuse (3-7), Connecticut (2-7) and Massachusetts (2-7). Given strength of schedule is one of the criteria, this thing is probably gonna come down to BC, Penn State and Rutgers over the final few weeks of the season, with Pittsburgh having an outside shot to get back in this thing over the Panthers' final three games of the season.
Wouldn't it be something if BC faces either Penn State or Rutgers in Detroit or the Bronx for a de facto Lambert Meadowlands Trophy championship game?
Week 12 Schedule
Temple at Penn State
Indiana at Rutgers
Pittsburgh at North Carolina
Akron at Buffalo (Tues.)
Army at Western Kentucky
Ball State at Massachusetts (Wed.)
Temple visits Penn State--two teams that are tied for second in this week's standings. Indiana visits Rutgers, Pittsburgh travels to North Carolina and Army visits Western Kentucky. Two mid-week games this week, starting on Tuesday night with Akron visiting Buffalo. Ball State at Massachusetts is your Wednesday night #MACtion special. Catch the excitement.