Thursday, September 18, 2014

NCAA Football Weekend Primer: Jameis Football?

By Joe Parello (@HerewegoJoe)

A year after following in Johnny Manziel's footsteps as a redshirt freshman Heisman Trophy winner, the beginning of Florida State quarterback Jameis Winston's sophomore campaign is looking eerily similar to Johnny Football's.

The only difference is, Winston is worse.

While Johnny spent the summer after his Heisman season trolling folks on the internet, partying around the country and pulling all the co-eds he wanted, Jameis was accused of rape and, on a MUCH lighter note, written a citation for stealing crab legs from a Tallahassee grocery store.

The rape allegation ultimately yielded no charges, and the crab leg fiasco made for better internet jokes than actual outrage, but Winston came back louder, more boisterous and more confident that ever at ACC media day. Not exactly what most people wanted to see from the outspoken signal caller.

Now Winston has gotten himself suspended for the first half of this Saturday night's home game against Clemson. What did the reigning Heisman Trophy winner do?

I cover high school sports, so I will leave the coverage of loud and lewd statements to the good fellas over at Deadspin. You can read all about Winston's moronic, and not actually funny, antics here.

Now, onto football.

Game of the Week

Auburn at Kansas State, Thursday at 7:30 pm

It's crazy that there are only two games between ranked opponents this week. One is Clemson's trip to Tallahassee, and the other is tonight's SEC-Big 12 battle in the Little Apple.

Auburn comes in with the nation's fifth ranked scoring offense, averaging a healthy 52 points per game, and the Tigers' 330 yards rushing per game put them in the Top-10 in the country.

It will be interesting to see how Bill Snyder's Wildcats contain the explosive Auburn ground game, especially after a scare at Iowa State two weeks back. But, with an extra week to prepare for Gus Malzahn's complex ground and screen game, Kansas State should at least be able to slow Auburn down.

Once they do that, it will fall on quarterback Jake Waters, who's been decent as a game-managing passer, but surprsingly effective as a runner in K-State's option game. It could come down to whether Waters or Auburn's Nick Marshall manage the game better both through the air and on the ground.

With a slightly better defense on his side, and play-making receiver Sammie Coates at his disposal, look for Marshall and the Tigers to come out on top.

Sneaky Good Game of the Week

Bowling Green at Wisconsin, Saturday at noon

Look, I'm not saying that Bowling Green is going into Camp Randall and coming out with the win over a pretty good Badgers team, but the Falcons have to be riding high after last week's come-from-behind win over Indiana.

While they're both in the Big Ten, Indiana and Wisconsin really could not be more different, with the Hoosiers running a high-octane spread offense and the Badgers pounding opponents on the ground, but BGSU at least has a Big Ten win on its resume already.

In fact, the MAC already has three wins in eight games against the Big Ten this season, and if the Big Ten/MAC had a relegation system similar to international soccer, let's just say that Purdue, Illinois and Northwestern would all be booking trips to Akron, Muncie and every corner of the state of Michigan for next fall.

The Falcons have been pretty weak on defense, and I would look for Wisconsin to run it at will, but BGSU quarterback James Knapke and his explosive group of receivers could put some pressure on the Badgers and, ultimately, make this an interesting game in the second half.


But first, here is your Stone Cold video of the week.

Marshall (-9) over AKRON

Not much to say about this one, except that I love Marshall's explosive offense, especially after Akron gave up 21 to a Penn State offense that didn't seem to know the difference between right and left last week.

Rakeem Cato should be able to move the Thundering Heard up and down the field and, though I would expect Akron's offense to be a little better at home against Marshall, they still won't be able to keep up. Just ask Ohio, a MAC team far better on both sides of the ball than Akron who fell to Marshall 44-14 last week.

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