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by Matt & Matthew Kupec

November 11, 2018

The 11th week was filled with some great football but only a few key conference battles.  Six Top #25 teams went down to defeat but the only upset was #11 Kentucky’s bad 24-7 loss to Tennessee

Alabama was held to under 30 points for the second time this year and its offense generated only 306 yards of offense, the first time the Crimson Time did not gain at least 500 yards in a game this year.  Clemson won on the road against #22 Boston College in a game which featured Clemson’s smothering defense holding BC to just 113 yards of total offense.  West Virginia followed up their big win against Texas with a trouncing win over TCU.  Oklahoma stopped a two-point conversion by in state rival Oklahoma State to win by one.  And Georgia registered another impressive win with their convincing victory over Auburn.

Some other takeaways from the games this week:

  • Oklahoma State’s great call to go for two and the win. Last week we applauded West Virginia Head Coach Dana Holgorson for his decision to go for two and the win on the road against Texas.  WV was successful as QB Will Grier ran into the end zone uncontested.  Everybody called Holgorson gutsy.  This week, in a similar situation on the road, Oklahoma State Coach Mike Gundy made a similar decision with 1:03 remaining in the game at Norman when the Cowboys scored to pull within one at 87-47.  In this case, the OSU pass attempt fell incomplete and the Cowboys lost.  Some of the pundits are saying that Coach Gundy should have kicked the extra point and settled for overtime.  We don’t agree!  We applaud Coach Gundy’s gutsy, and correct call!
  • What Is Going on With Alabama’s offense? We have been singing the praises of Alabama’s offense all year.   We even find ourselves looking forward to watching QB Tua Tagovailoa lead his offense as see if they could march up and down as the Crimson Tide had done through the first eight games of the season.  There was rarely an incomplete pass in those games and every pass felt like it might go for a touchdown.  However, these past two weeks the Crimson Tide have gone against two of the nation’s better defenses in LSU and Mississippi State.   Last week, the Tide piled up 576 yards but only generated 29 points.  Yesterday, against MSU the Crimson Tide could only gain 306 yards on offense and scored just 24 points.  Granted Tua is bothered by a bad knee and the Tide have won both games convincingly due to their two shutouts.  But, you can sense a bit of frustration from Tua and the offense as they have been forced to settle for shorter passes and runing the ball more.  Tua reminds me of the old AFL days when Oakland Raider QB Daryle Lamonica seemed to attempt a bomb on every play.  Let’s hope we get the bombs away Alabama offense back soon!
  • Auburn QB Jarret Stindham. It has been a tough season for the 6-4 Auburn Tigers and their pre-season Heisman Trophy candidate quarterback Jarrett Stidham.  In a season that started with so much promise after an opening game win against then #7 Washington Huskies, the Auburn offense has uncharacteristically been missing in action.  QB Stidham has completed his 61% of his passes for 2,166 yards and 10 TD’s but he looks nothing like the preseason hype we were fed.  It remains amazing to us that Auburn Head Coach Gus Malzan, who built his reputation as an offense genious, has struggled to push the right buttons with a QB so talented as Stidham.  Malzahn is rumored to be on the coaching hot seat but Auburn would have to pay him some $32 million in a buyout and we don’t see that happening.

You know the drill of this column, each week my son Matthew and I will review the weekend games and make a few observations and provide some thorough analysis.  If you have any comments, questions or perhaps disagree with our analysis, please send your comments by going to and submit through the contact section.  We’d love to hear from you!

Biggest Surprise

  • Matthew Kupec – how about those Tennessee Volunteers? Playing against a #11 ranked Kentucky squad the Vols came away with a solid home win. Now standing at 5-5 and with games left against Missouri and Vanderbilt, Tennessee has a chance for a seven win season under first year Head Coach Jeremy Pruitt.  Kentucky had a potential New Year’s Six Bowl appearance on the line put to rest as they were trounced by Tennessee.  Rocky Top was playing loud and often in Knoxville yesterday!
  • Matt Kupec –I am going with the Arizona State game vs. UCLA. What is surprising is that both teams hired new coaches this offseason with UCLA picking Chip Kelly and Arizona State choosing Herm Edwards.  Kelly’s selection was applauded universally and ASU’s choice was met with great skepticism.  But yet, Arizona State is 6-4 after defeating the 2-8 UCLA Bruins with a convincing 35-24 victory.  Many thought Coach Edwards might be a one and done at ASU and Kelly would quickly return UCLA to excellence.  One season may not provide the answer but the results to date have been surprising.

Best Performance

  • Matthew Kupec –Boise State’s impressive win over #16 Fresno State to end FSU’s hopes for a New Year’s Major Six Bowl appearance. Boise State QB Brett Rypien became the all-time leading passer in both yards and completions in the Mountain West Conference and helped engineer a fourth quarter comeback.  Boise State now stands at 8-2 and maintains its standing as one of the most powerful teams in the Group of Five conferences.
  • Matt Kupec in continuing to make a statement for the Heisman Trophy I am going with West Virginia’s Will Grier and Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray. Both quarterbacks were outstanding on Saturday.   West Vriginia’s Grier threw for 25-39-343 yards and 3 TD’s in the Mountaineers 47-10 trouncing of TCU.  Oklahoma’s Murray was 21-29-349 yards and 1 TD while also running for another 66 yards.  With Alabama’s QB Tua Tagovailoa bringing home decent but not spectacular numbers over the last two weeks, Grier and Murray have turned up the heat on the Heisman front.

Biggest Disappointment

  • Matthew Kupec – Houston. I have been on the Houston bandwagon all season long as the Cougars have recorded impressive wins over Arizona and  the at the time undefeated USF Bulls.  Many thought QB D’Eriq King was a legitimate Heisman Trophy Candidate along with preseason Outland Trophy candidate Ed Oliver.  But Houston has hit a rough spot losing consecutive games and has now dropped to 7-3 on the season.
  • Matt Kupec – Florida State. I just can’t get over how bad the Florida State Seminoles are as a football team.  It is painful to watch them play as they were totally out of their league in a lopsided loss to Notre Dame this weekend.  The only saving grace for Florida State is that they play in the pitiful Atlantic Coast Conference where they have a very favorable in-conference schedule.   Florida State is 4-6 and has games remaining with Boston College and Florida.  Getting two wins to become bowl eligible will be a challenge for 1st year Head Coach Willie Taggart.

Picks for the Final 4 Playoff Teams

  • Matthew – Alabama, Clemson, West Virginia, Georgia.
  • Matt – Alabama, Clemson, Michigan, Notre Dame.

About the Authors

Matt Kupec is a former record-breaking four year starting quarterback for the UNC Tar Heels.  During his career he set 19 passing records, two of which still exist (most consecutive games with a TD pass and most wins as a starting QB).  He was named MVP of the 1977 Liberty Bowl and the 1979 Gator Bowl becoming the 1st player in ACC history to be named MVP of two bowl games.

Matthew Kupec is a two-sport athlete who plays at East Chapel Hill School in Chapel Hill, NC.  Matthew is a cornerback for the East HS football squad and is a big hitter for the East HS baseball team.   Matthew suffered a concussion before East’s first game this year and was forced to sit out the first three games due to concussion protocol. Matthew returned to finish the final six games.  In a game against Union Press, Matthew set a school record by making three interceptions in a single game.