DEL OLALEYE

The college football report: A cocktail party and trouble at Ohio State

Things are getting rocky for Urban Meyer. Tom Pennington/Getty Images

The weekly college football report:

Florida vs Georgia means something again

We’re into Week 9 of the college football season and the path to the College Football Playoff has become much clearer for some teams and has been completely shut off for others. Unless you are in the SEC, losing from here on out pretty much means you’re done. Everyone is waiting for Alabama vs. LSU next week in Death Valley but another SEC matchup this week may be just as important to the national title picture. Florida vs. Georgia is once again part of the national conversation. I didn’t remember the last time these two teams had national title hopes at the same time so I had to look it up. It was 2008, both teams were ranked inside the top 10 and Urban Meyer was leading the Gator program at the time. Florida won the 2008 game 49-10 on their way to the program’s third national title. Dan Mullen was the offensive coordinator on that Florida team, which was why he was such a natural fit when Florida started looking for a new head coach after firing Jim McElwain.

Florida fans love offense thanks to Steve Spurrier’s successful run there and Mullen is expected light up the scoreboard eventually. For now the Gators are a defense-first football team. That defense gets its biggest test of the season against a Georgia squad trying to bounce back from a blowout loss at the hands of LSU. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm was awful against LSU which makes sense because he has not been good in true road game starts against defenses who can minimize Georgia's rushing attack. Lucky for Fromm and Georgia this game is at a neutral site. Kirby Smart’s Bulldogs bounced back from a similar defeat at Auburn last year and almost won the national title. Their road back to the title game begins in Jacksonville this Saturday against the hated Gators.

Things are less than ideal in Columbus

Urban Meyer’s run in Gainesville ended with him losing control of the program and begging out due to illness. We’re not hearing the same kind of stories about Buckeyes players that we heard about Florida players, but the talk of his current health status sounds similar. Amazing what a blowout loss on the road at Purdue will do to get pundits talking. Former Buckeyes player and current ESPN analyst Kirk Herbstreit says Meyer isn’t the same on the sidelines. The Buckeyes head coach is apparently dealing with headaches and the tension between him and the Buckeyes administration hasn’t exactly subsided since Meyer’s three-game suspension ended for his part in the Zach Smith scandal.

I imagine Ohio State fans aren’t thrilled about getting blown out by a middling Big Ten team for the second year in a row either. Iowa took Ohio State’s soul last year too. Winning solves all ills though. Michigan comes to Columbus to end the year; potentially a top 5 Wolverines team. If Urban Meyer beats another Michigan team that has hopes for a national title like he did in 2016 all of this will be forgotten. Ohio State could very well be 11-1 with the win and on its way to the Big Ten title game. Nothing matters more in Columbus than winning. They’ve proven that time and again.

Hate Watch Game of the Week

It is pretty simple. Gators fans have dreams of winning the SEC. I want those dreams to end. Bulldogs by ruthlessness in the Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party is the play. To be honest my hope is that the SEC cannibalizes itself and none of their teams make the College Football Playoff. This is just one step of many in a very unlikely dream of mine.  I can dream, can’t I?


 

Most Popular

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome

Listen Live

Houston couldn't keep up

Astros fall to Blue Jays as Toronto gets homer-happy

Houston's bats couldn't keep up with Toronto's Saturday night. Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

With an offensive clinic in the opener on Friday night, which helped them handily defeat the Blue Jays, the Astros returned to Minute Maid Park Saturday with a chance to secure another series. Toronto had other plans, though, reversing roles with Houston by getting big home runs to even the series.

Final Score: Blue Jays 8, Astros 4

Astros' Record: 17-16, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Steven Matz (5-2)

Losing Pitcher: Cristian Javier (3-1)

Toronto flips the script and turns on their offense against Javier

Toronto flipped the script from the night before early in this middle game of the series, dealing damage to Cristian Javier, who so far in 2021 had been able to limit his amount of earned runs. After retiring the first four batters he faced, a one-out walk in the top of the second set up the Blue Jays' first hit of the night, a two-run home run by Cavan Biggio, giving them a 2-0 lead over Houston.

After a leadoff home run made it a 3-0 score, Javier would deal with the fallout of more walks in the top of the third, issuing two to set up a two-out two-RBI double to give the Jays a commanding 5-0 advantage. Javier would battle back and complete five full innings, getting one out into the sixth before a walk would prompt Dusty Baker to make the call to the bullpen. His final line: 5.1 IP, 4 H, 5 ER, 4 BB, 8 K, 2 HR, 91 P.

Alvarez keeps mashing as Houston tries to claw back into it

Javier would exit with at least some runs on the board in support of him, with Yordan Alvarez hitting a two-run opposite-field homer in the bottom of the fourth to cut the lead to three runs. Alvarez accounted for another run in the next inning, coming through with an RBI-single to make it 5-3, which is where the game stood as Andre Scrubb would take over in the top of the sixth.

Scrubb finished that inning for Javier and returned for a 1-2-3 seventh to keep it a two-run game. Bryan Abreu was the next reliever, and he, too, was able to retire the Blue Jays in order in the top of the eighth. The Astros continued to chip away at Toronto's lead, getting another run in the bottom of the inning on an RBI by Yuli Gurriel to make it 5-4 heading to the ninth.

Toronto evens the series

Brooks Raley entered to try and keep it a one-run game with a clean inning, but instead, two runners would reach on a walk and error before Joe Smith would enter to try and strand them. Instead, a two-out home run put the game back out of reach at 8-4, with Houston coming up empty in the bottom of the inning, setting up a rubber match in the finale.

Up Next: This series's third and final game will be an afternoon start of 1:10 PM Central on Sunday. Zack Greinke (2-1, 3.76 ERA) will try to add more wins to his record for Houston, while Nate Pearson will be making his 2021 debut for Toronto.

SportsMap Emails
Are Awesome