Steveo’s Salvos – September 17, 2015

Interesting game that we will be attending this weekend will be between Penn State, one-year off of sanctions resulting from the hideous actions by an ex-coach who had access to football facilities to take advantage of young boys and now is trying to rebuild, and Rutgers who comes to Happy Valley without their HC Kyle Flood who the university suspended for three games and a $50,000 fine. Associate HC Norries Wilson will take his place during his suspension. Flood was suspended for the next three games (PSU, Kansas, and Michigan State) and $50,000 for illicitly contacting a professor directly about how his player could change his grade and actually helping that player edit his paper. The suspension has nothing to do with that player and the five others facing criminal charges who have been suspended from the team. We will see if Flood will still hold this position at the end of the season whether he wins most of his games or not. The incidents that have occurred indicate that he and his staff have little control of this team. Recruiting and financial support will take a hit from these incidents. The blemish on the university will dictate that he won’t be there beyond this year if it truly wants to compete in the FBS…The last player suspended, All-conference WR Leonte Caroo, was suspended indefinitely for domestic violence right outside the locker room committed after Saturday’s loss to Washington State. Rutgers comes into Beaver Stadium without its top receiver and several starters from their secondary. The inexperienced players in the RU secondary are taking this season on as a learning experience. DE Darius Hamilton has not yet played and without him last week, we saw that the pass defense was of no consequence (one sack). Penn State replaced junior OT Paris Palmer after the Temple game (10 sacks) and shifted some other players on the O-line to positions each was supposedly better suited for. They defeated Buffalo and improved last week winning, 27-14. We look for Penn State to throw the short passes for long pick-ups which Washington State did so successfully last week against RU. The question is if QB Christian Hackenberg is suited for this offense. He has not impressed with any accuracy so far this year. We give the Lions an edge here though as the 100,000 Blue and White faithful will be looking for some continuous improvement since the first game. A couple of first year RBs were effective last week. Saquon Barkley carried 12 times for 115 yards and 9-yard run for a TD. Brandon Polk carried only three times for 45 yards and a 22-yard touchdown. With improved line play, PSU should dominate the decimated defense that RU will throw at them. If they can’t, HC James Franklin needs to stop recruiting better players and make the ones he has play better…

Rutgers may need a Knight in shining armor upon a noble steed to shore up their defensive secondary against Penn State.

Rutgers may need a Knight in shining armor upon a noble steed to shore up their defensive secondary against Penn State.

We are considering some schedule changes to improve the quality of the games we will see as we monitor the results of certain teams we penciled in prior to the season. Rivals Lafayette (0-2) and Lehigh (1-1) aren’t themselves this year. The Leopards fell to Delaware, 19-9. The Mountain Hawks were crushed last week by James Madison, 55-17. We will keep an eye out for their two games we considered as options on November 7, but we will now also consider Princeton at Penn, NC State at Boston College, and the alma mater, Juniata, at Moravian who we saw play last season. Duke at Army is looming as a bust. We may cancel that one out and look at going to Notre Dame visiting Temple at the Linc on Oct. 31. If it’s a night game, we can still possibly see USF at Navy in Annapolis since it’s scheduled at noon.   If the game at the Linc is earlier, we may look into East Carolina at UConn of Friday night. We’re watching some key results among these various teams over the next few weeks to come up with the most interesting and competitive games possible …

We’re interested in the Georgia Tech-Notre Dame game this weekend as we selected the Yellow Jackets as our “dark horse” final four team. ND is already going through the injury bug but on the offensive side instead of the defensive side this year. Tech scored 66 points and 65 points in their first two game respectively albeit they scored them against Alcorn State and Tulane, neither on par with Notre Dame’s defense. However, GT’s HC Paul Johnson has gone up against the Irish before while at Navy. In 2007, he snapped ND’s 44-game winning streak against Navy. He had some close games as well in the previous seasons that resulted in losses, but two of the three years after he left, the triple option he left behind in the capable hands of HC Ken Niumatalolo defeated the Irish twice. With better athletes at Georgia Tech and with skillful Justin Thomas running his offense at QB, we’re looking for Tech to win this one. One week of preparation is sometimes not enough to be prepared for this offense, and with some key offensive players sidelined for the Irish, the odds look to be in the Yellow Jackets’ favor…Boston College set a scoring record las week against Howard, 76-0. Duke and UNC also pummeled in-state HBC rivals NC Central and NC A&T 55-0 and 53-14 respectively. These results combined with the average scores of the FBS vs the HBCs (61-7) the weekend before indicate the demise of these FCS programs and that it makes no sense to schedule such games for either group’s benefit in the future. Oh, excuse me. I forgot about those little pay days that the HBCs are guaranteed…

The Georgia Tech line returns some experience after their Orange Bowl victory last season.

The Georgia Tech line returns some experience after their Orange Bowl victory last season.

For the second year in a row Syracuse QB Terrel Hunt suffered an early season injury putting him out of action. In the Orange’s 30-17 victory at home against Wake Forest, Syracuse freshman quarterback Eric Dungey was named ECAC rookie of the week for his first collegiate start. Dungey completed 8-of-13 passes for 221 yards and two touchdowns. He stepped in successfully against FCS Rhode Island the previous week when Hunt was lost for the game. The Orange stand at 2-0 and will host Central Michigan followed by LSU the next two weeks… We thought Fordham (1-1) would be struggling in their start this year and that Chase Edmonds would not have the support around him that got him off to such a great start his freshman year as the Rams won the Patriot League and made the FCS playoffs. The win over Army disproved this enough in their opener, but their 14-7 loss to No. 3 FCS Villanova is even greater proof that the Rams are on their way to another successful season. Last year, they lost to the Wildcats, who return many key players to make a run at this year’s national championship, by a score of 50-7! The Rams look like they will dominate a weakened Patriot League this year despite all schools now awarding football scholarships. Credit the Cats defense though for holding Edmonds to 74 yards and no TDs on 16 carries…Charlotte won its second game as an FBS team though it was against D-2 Presbyterian, 34-10. Next up is Middle Tennessee fresh off a loss to No. 2 FBS Alabama, 37-10…All four teams we saw the first week won the second week including Delaware over Lehigh, Jacksonville over Newberry, and Penn State over Buffalo. But Temple came up with the biggest win overall defeating AAC favorite Cincinnati on the road, 34-26. They look good to win over their next three opponents before hosting Central Florida and then visiting ECU. If they can run the table to that point, that’s why we are thinking of going to Philly the following week to see what they will do against the Fighting Irish…

The 2-0 Temple Owls impressed us against Penn State. We may go see them again when they host Notre Dame.

The 2-0 Temple Owls impressed us against Penn State. We may go see them again when they host Notre Dame.

Another good win for the 12-team American Athletic Conference was Houston’s’ 34-31 win over Louisville. HC Tom Herman, Ohio State’s coordinator last year will have his Cougars in a fight with Memphis and Navy to win the West. Memphis has a key game this week against Bowling Green who played Tennessee tough at Neyland and beat up Maryland at Byrd Stadium, 48-27. They will play Cincinnati the week after. This conference has some great coaches to consider for bigger programs in the near future…The Military Bowl to be played in Annapolis give home team Navy the automatic bid if it achieves a winning record and is not invited to play as the mid-major rep among six CFP games. We will get tickets soon figuring we can see Navy play again in a bowl game we are already planning to see… With a loss to BYU, 35-24, Boise is probably out of the picture for that particular honor to play in the CFP. BYU could be considered now as an FBS independent. Key games ahead for them are at UCLA this weekend, at Michigan the week after, later at East Carolina, and against Missouri on November 14… Overall last Saturday, teams on our schedule this year went 16-7. Navy had a week off to prepare for its first ever AAC/conference game at home against East Carolina. Air Force (2-0) plays at No. 4 Michigan State (2-0) this Saturday in East Lansing. We will see these teams both play later this season. ODU is 2-0 after defeating local rival Norfolk, 24-10. The Monarchs step up a few notches to host NC State at Foreman Field this Saturday…Hapless Eastern Michigan dumped Wyoming, 48-29. That seems like a setback for Craig Bohl who stepped up to take over an FBS program after leading North Dakota State to three national FCS championships…Toledo who we will see late this season pulled off the biggest upset of the week beating Arkansas in Little Rock, 16-12. Did I hear someone on ESPN say what a detriment it is for the Razorbacks to be playing in Little Rock instead of Fayetteville? Boo-hoo! We plan to see the Rockets host Western Michigan (0-2) who fell to Georgia Southern down in Statesboro, 43-17. It’s one thing to lose to now No. 4 Michigan State the Saturday before, but GSU got whacked by West Virginia in their opener, 44-0…In D-3, the season is off to a typical start. No. 1 Wisconsin-Whitewater nuked Belhaven, 62-6. They play football newcomer Finlandia this week. No. 2 Mount Union (1-0) had a week off and open their Ohio Athletic Conference play against Muskingum. Typical D-3 challengers to the unofficial Big Two follow: Linfield, May Hardin-Baylor, Wesley, etc…On to Happy Valley!

Navy may get another "home game" this season with a bid to play in this year's Military Bowl.

Navy may get another “home game” this season with a bid to play in this year’s Military Bowl.

About Steveo

This website is dedicated to my unique and ongoing adventure to continue to see every major Division 1A (I despise the moniker "FBS") football team play in person at least once. I've seen all 124 teams in existence as of 2013 play and plan to attend games with the five newest editions in the next few years. This also records my ongoing adventures attending as many college football games as possible every season. I "officially" started this crazy goal in 1979. The upcoming 2014 season will be the 35th straight year of sharing this fun endeavor with others in person and through weekly reviews about each game I attend. Entering 2014, I have attended 459 NCAA football games at all levels. My book, Tales from the Tailgate: From the Fan who's seen 'em all! published in 2011, tells my story over 30 years of when I attended a game in person played by each D1A team for the first time. Now, I haven't attended a game at every major stadium on each campus (yet) because I'd probably be unemployed and definitely divorced by now. However, I'm proud to report that I remain gainfully employed and have been married to the same woman ("Saint Laurie") for almost 25 years. We have two kids that have recently ventured away from our home in Byram Township, NJ over the last few few years. Our daughter Alex is a junior at the University of South Carolina (Go Gamecocks!), and our son Eric is now enlisted in the United States Navy (Go Navy!). You will find that my site and my book focus on enjoying a passion for college football and great opportunities to have fun with friends and family around the country.

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