Monday, November 10, 2008

BYU gets Back on Track and the Packers Lose another Nail-Biter

The Cougars hosted the Aztecs of San Diego State this past Saturday. The players surely wanted to show the fans that they were ready to play this week and wouldn’t settle for another close finish. They finished off the Aztecs by a score of 41-12 making it a third consecutive unbeaten season at home. Max Hall was back at it throwing for 317 yards and 3 touchdowns with no interceptions. Austin Collie was yet again his favorite target catching 9 balls for 127 yards and 2 touchdowns. I doubt there is a better QB-WR combination in the league than Hall and Collie. They have been phenomenal this season.

BYU showed San Diego State no mercy by going up 20-0 at the end of the first half. At the end of the third quarter BYU was up 27-6 and then put up 14 more in the final quarter to end at 41-12. The Cougars running game looked impressive gaining over a hundred yards led by Harvey Unga with 37 yards. The Cougar defense also looked impressive with a first half shutout and holding the Aztecs to only 12 points for the entire game.

This was a game that BYU sorely needed to gain their confidence back. It was a great way to finish the last home game for the season. Three straight years without losing at home is very impressive and probably has not been accomplished by many other programs in college football. BYU has 2 more games left this season with next week at Air Force and then the big finale with the University of Utah, which looks to be one of the biggest and best games in years for this great rivalry. First, I need to pick the game against the Falcons of Air Force. This is a classic trap game for BYU after a big win at home and huge game coming up after this one against the Utes. Games like this are hard for teams because they look ahead to the big game and they might be coming down after the emotional win at home. I think Coach Mendenhall will keep his players focused and they will come out victorious against Air Force by a score of 31-20.

Green Bay fell short by a field goal for the second straight week. Last week they lost to Tennessee in overtime by a Tennessee field goal and this week was a similar fate but the Packers were the ones trying for the field goal and missing at the end of regulation losing to the Minnesota Vikings by a score of 28-27. The Packers offense struggled in this game and couldn’t get much going through the air or on the ground. Aaron Rodgers gave up 2 safeties in the opening half based largely on the Vikings ferocious defense led by Jared Allen. At the end of the first half Green Bay was trailing 14-10 in what was a classic defensive battle in the first. Green Bay had 2 interceptions in the first half and Minnesota had 2 safeties and a couple of sacks.

In the second half of the game Green Bay got 2 quick touchdowns- one on an interception return by safety Nick Collins and the other on a punt return by Will Blackmon. The Packers would take the lead by a score of 24-21 with only 1 quarter left.
Green Bay would score a field goal to go up 27-21 with only a few minutes left in the game. The Vikings marched down the field and scored on an Adrian Peterson 29 yard touchdown scamper to put the Vikings back up 28-27. Green Bay then got the ball with 2 minutes to go and moved it all the way to the Minnesota 35 yard line with seconds remaining on the clock. The packers kicker, Mason Crosby, lined up for the winning field goal and kicked the ball toward the goal post having it fade wide right by a few inches and missing the go ahead score for the Packers. This was an emotional loss for the Packers, but they must prepare for next week’s game against their other division rival, the Chicago Bears. If the packers can pull off the win against the Bears and the Vikings lose (playing in Tampa Bay) it will be a 3-way tie for 1st place in the NFC North division. I expect the Pack to come out and beat the Bears handily on the frosty field of Lambeau. The score will be Green Bay 27 Chicago 21.

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