FROM THE STANDS
By Trey McLean
•Then, what shall I call it? The “expert” factor was 10x higher in my section than it was last year. I’m all for expressing your opinion and if we aren’t on the same page, that’s fine. You are entitled to say and think whatever you want. But every single play? I mean, Every. Single. Play.
•Some people need to cut Garrett Gilbert some slack. I know he’s the face of the franchise and everyone expects a lot, but maybe booing him after the third offensive play and screaming “Case! Case! Case!” is a bit much. And when an offensive lineman gets a false start penalty yell at the offensive lineman if you feel they need to scream at your own team, not Garrett Gilbert. That’s just dumb.
•My favorite, though, was the girl behind me loudly complaining about Garrett Gilbert being “… so bad at quarterback that he’s playing defense now, too!” I told her that was the other No.7, Nolan Brewster, but I don’t think she believed me.
•Did anyone actually see the game on TV? How was the broadcast? I didn’t even see any highlights.
•The crowd at the game was HUGE.
•Rumors are out there that the BYU game could be moved to the Longhorn Network to “encourage” cable providers to get on board. Not sure if it’s true, but I’ve seen it mentioned.
•Bill Little called Emmanuel Acho “Manny Acho” on a tackle. Is that what he goes by? Is it me or does “Manny Acho” sound like the new centerfielder for the Yankees?
•Before the “Eyes of Texas” at the end of the game the band played T.I’s “Live Your Life” as the team gathered in the end zone. Everyone in the stadium under 25, including the football team, was into it and dancing around. I loved it. More of that for the kids, please, then we can all do the “Eyes” together.
•My attention immediately turned to the BYU Cougars and what adventures await this weekend.
The Horns got a solid win and have plenty to be pleased, a few things to be concerned with and plenty to work on going into week two. Let’s take a look at what went down on Saturday night.
Texas 34 Rice 9
This game went pretty much as I thought it would, although the path wasn’t exactly the way I expected. At the end of the day it’s better to be 1-0 then 0-1 and, as I said last week, I plan to enjoy all the victories and I assume nothing. I thought the energy, effort and intensity were all there and for the most part the execution was good. Still, there are a few areas of concern that Texas needs to address going forward. Here’s what I saw Saturday night:
Quarterbacks: I thought Garrett Gilbert looked a little nervous and a little tight to start the game. In fact, I thought the entire team looked a little nervous and a little tight. As a matter a fact, I think the entire stadium was nervous and a little tight at the beginning of the game. I’ve seen a lot of things written about GG’s performance Saturday night, from “uneven” to “serviceable” and all points in between. I’ve seen quarter given to the wide outs for some dropped balls in the first half, the defense for allowing some plays in the running game, but no one seems to give Gilbert that same benefit. I will and I am. He looked tight early and made some inaccurate throws, but once he settled down he looked good. He finished the day with 239 yards passing, going 13-23 with one touchdown. He certainly wasn’t perfect (what the heck was that lateral thing?) but once he settled down he was good. He moved his feet well, sliding out of the pocket to extend plays and finding receivers downfield for first downs, and he showed that Texas vs. Nebraska running ability, gashing the Rice Owls for 24 yards right up the middle, highlighted by an old school stiff arm. I am certainly no Garrett Gilbert apologist, but I saw some drops from the skill players as well as some less-than-great throws in the first half, but I thought Gilbert looked good and I loved that his confidence seems to be back. I thought it was a good start for Gilbert and as long as he improves on it in week two, I’m happy.
One thing is very clear to me- David Ash is the first quarterback off the bench if Gilbert has any injury of significance (or his play falls off). They had packages early in the game that got him on the field and I think he’s the one they see as the future of Texas. There isn’t a lot to evaluate from his play, but the fact he is playing tells me there are no plans to redshirt him.
Wide Outs/Tight Ends: There were some drops early on that I attribute to nerves, but it’s crystal clear that Texas has some serious talent at wide out. Mike Davis was every bit the No.1 wide out, catching three passes for 115 yards and he was inches away from two more that would have put that total at closer to 200 yards receiving. True freshman Jaxon Shipley got the start beside Davis and did not disappoint, finishing with three rushes for 25 yards and two catches for 54 yards and a score. About that score- that was awesome. Stagnating some with 13-9 third quarter lead, did something many assumed would never happen at Texas- they got creative. At the Rice 36, Texas ran a double-reverse with wide out John Harris getting the second pitch. Harris, running to his right, threw a deep ball into the end zone, where Shipley out-jumped the Rice db for a spectacular touchdown reception. It was the sort of play Texas fans used to see on TV and say “why can’t we do that?” Well now we do. The result was a score and it seemed to ignite the entire team. This game is supposed to be fun and the sort of play is the kind of thing that reminds everyone of that, including the team. If Shipley could have managed the sideline-tiptoe-dance better he has three touchdowns on the day, but the one was plenty. Reports all summer and fall camp were he could play and he proved them right Saturday night. How about that pass from Harris? He did it on the run with someone in his face and he put it in a place where Shipley could make the catch. He’s taken over the No.9 from the departed Malcolm Williams and looks just like Mal did. He and Darius White weren’t the headliners, but they looked sharp and blocked well. I like what I see from White a lot and expect him to be the beneficiary of the attention Shipley and Davis are going to get as the season progresses.
Dominique Jones had a nice catch and Blaine Irby should have had a nice catch, but he dropped it. I didn’t think the tight end was the focus on Saturday night, so it’s hard to evaluate how they played. It was cool seeing Irby out there, though, and I liked seeing him in the backfield lining up at tailback before moving to the h-back/tight end spot. I think you will see much from them in the coming weeks.
It was an excellent day from the wide outs once they settled down and you can see why everyone that followed them through the summer and fall camp was so excited about them.
Running Backs: Fozzy Whittaker had a great summer and spring and could well be a team captain with his portrait on the wall of the hallway outside the weight room when his career is over. He earned the start in game one and probably should be the starter in game two. With that being said, the best running back on the team is Malcolm Brown. I thought everyone looked great in the roles: Whittaker (not D.J. Monroe as I predicted) looked good in the Wildcat formation, scoring on a 7-yard run, and looked super catching the ball out of the backfield, scoring on a 26-yard screen pass and catching four passes for 51 yards. Monroe got loose outside on some wide runs, totaling 41 yards on just five carries and Cody Johnson was Cody Johnson, scoring a touchdown and converting a 4th down with tough short-yardage runs. True freshman Joe Bergeron also looked good, adding 28 yards on six carries, but the star of the day was Brown. They worked him in slowly, but by the second half he was the go-to back and he only got stronger as the game went on. He finished the day with 86 yards on 16 carries, the second most ever by a freshman in the season opener (Jamaal Charles, 135 vs. Louisiana-Lafayette 2005) and seems to be the punishing closer that Texas hasn’t had since Cedric Benson was wearing orange (burnt orange, not the picking-up-trash-for-community-service orange). He is the complete package and I fully expect him to be the feature back as early as right now. In this motion offense that moves people around via different formations and schemes, all the backs are going to see time. Applewhite’s guys were super Saturday night, totaling 195 yards and two scores on 40 carries. That’s 4.87 yards per carry and that’s outstanding. Their ability to run the ball was the reason the play-action passing was so successful…
Offensive Line: …and you have to give the boys up front credit for that. It didn’t start as everyone hoped with a pair of runs up the middle for nothing and an incomplete pass, but as they settled down they got better. I was impressed with Dominic Espinosa starting at center and I loved that there were no turnovers or terrible snaps, like Rice had on their first drive. I didn’t expect them to be five All-Americans from the first play of the game and they weren’t. They looked tight and a little uncomfortable to start the game, but they settled down and played well. They had their moments where the protection broke down and there were times when the offense couldn’t get the push that the staff wanted, but all in all I was happy with the effort and two things make me feel very confident going forward: First, Brian Harsin has shown the ability to move and scheme to create space and ways for the offense to run the ball (the Wildcat, the motion, etc.). There is nothing wrong with manufacturing ways to produce offense: Augie Garrido has been doing it for 40 + years. Texas will do the same with HarsinWhite calling the shots. Secondly, Malcolm Brown is the type of back that will make o-lines look good and can compensate for inconsistent play by breaking tackles and making people miss.
But I didn’t see much inconsistent play outside of a slow start. I also didn’t see any holding penalties and I didn’t see much of Rice’s potential NFL defensive end Scott Solomon. Well done, fellas, more of that please.
Defensive Line: I wasn’t impressed. I thought they would dominate the line of scrimmage based on reports from the summer, but they just didn’t. On the night the starting four totaled five tackles with one for loss. I know Rice has a veteran offensive line and they came out throwing more than anyone expected, but I didn’t see any of the starters stop the option or make any big plays in that Rice passing game. The defense didn’t allow a touchdown and they held Rice to 224 total yards, but I didn’t see enough from the collection of All-Conference players that I expected. I did like what I saw from Cedric Reed (broken up pass) and Reggie Wilson (annihilation of Rice quarterback), but on the whole I wasn’t impressed with what I thought would be the most impressive unit on the team.
Again, it’s game one of a new defense, so I’ll give the benefit of the doubt.
Linebacker: I thought the biggest issue of the day for Texas was the inability to stop the dive play. When Rice ran up the middle, the nose guard and middle linebacker had far, far, far too much trouble making the play. I thought with freshman Steve Edmond in the game at mike linebacker Texas was better at stopping that dive, but the Horns need more from the nose guard and the middle linebacker or there is going to be trouble with teams like UCLA and A&M, among others. Again, it is a new scheme and the staff is still sorting out who plays where so I’ll allow them the time to sort it out. As long as it gets sorted out. I expect to see personnel in different places next week against BYU and I hope to see more production out of the future NFL players at linebacker.
Secondary: I was very impressed with the secondary. In fact I’d say it was the good surprise of the day. Freshman Quandre Diggs got the start opposite sophomore Carrington Byndom at corner and they did an excellent job shutting down Rice’s plan to attack the young secondary at the start of the game. They held Rice to 94 yards passing with a long completion of 15 yards and zero touchdowns. I thought there were times that the option seemed to get into Byndom and Rice was having some success, but it wasn’t enough to be consistent and much of the issue with that was the Texas front seven. The entire secondary was terrific; however, if it’s me I am having a come-to-Jesus meeting with Blake Gideon. You cannot continue to get personal fouls and extend opponent’s drives. You are going to get a rep like Chuck Cecil if you keep doing that. We can’t have it. It was good start from the secondary, the few penalties not withstanding.
Special Teams: I expected more? No big returns and no big plays expect the Adrian Phillips recovery of a muffed punt. Texas didn’t play badly, just not as good as I hoped. Justin Tucker was nails on extra points (4-4) and field goals (2-2) but should never ever, ever punt left-footed again. I was expecting spectacular, but I got serviceable. Not the worst thing ever, but not as good as I wanted.
The biggest improvement is between weeks one and two in football, so expect to see Texas better in all phases on Saturday against BYU. Of course that means BYU will also be better in all phases against Texas. Let’s see what they bring to Austin with them.
BYU Cougars (1-0) @ No. 24 TEXAS (1-0)
Saturday, September 10th
BYU out-uglied Ole Miss in Oxford for a 14-13 win in a defensive game that saw the Cougars rally from a 13-0 fourth deficit. I’m still not sure exactly how that happened. The Cougars had much trouble punching it for points on the road, but you can be sure they will be better this week. They can’t be much worse, can they?
I don’t know, maybe they can be worse. The Cougars are a veteran team that will not be concerned or bothered by the crowd, the weather or the stage. They return plenty of experience and are coming to town not to compete with Texas, but to beat them. Can they? Sure they can. Will they? No they won’t.
As I say every week, you are only as good as your offensive line. That means BYU is going to be good. They return four of five starters up front and three of them are All-Conference and/or All-American candidates. The leader is Matt Reynolds, a 6-foot-6, 305-pound senior that will be pulling an NFL check this time next year. He has all the attributes- size, strength, feet, attitude, desire- to be playing on Sundays and that will be on display Saturday night in Austin. These guys are big, strong and talented and remember because of the ability to leave for missionary work, some of the guys are two years older than your average college kid. An example is three-year starting center Terence Brown, who started college in 2005 and is now a senior in 2011. If they establish run and control the line of scrimmage, it will allow their skill guys more room to operate. If they cannot, there will be trouble.
And their skill guys are very good and Texas cannot afford to give them that room to operate. The trigger is quarterback Jake Heaps, who as a freshman last year started 10 games and was the MVP of the New Mexico Bowl. He isn’t the biggest or strongest quarterback on the team, but he has a good arm and knows how to win. The problem in 2010 was accuracy and decision making as he completed only 57% of his passes and had nine interceptions and only 15 touchdowns. He answered a lot of those questions last week, going 24-38 for 225 yards with a score and a pick at Ole Miss. I think they’d still like more than a 1-to-1 td/interception ratio and 63% completion rate, but it’s an improvement. He isn’t a runner, so the o-line will need to maintain the pocket to give him time to throw. If he has time he’ll find his targets.
His favorite targets are running back J.J. Di Luigi and wide out Ross Apo. The 6-foot-3, 206-pound Apo is a freshman from Arlington with great size and has the ability to get over the middle and make the big catch, much like Dan Buckner did for Texas back in the day. He isn’t a true deep threat, but he has good speed and can make plays if Heaps has time to get him the ball. Di Luigi was 2nd- Team All MWC in 2010 and led BYU in rushing, touchdowns, all-purpose yards and receptions last year. At 5-foot-9, 185 pounds, he’s used like Baron Batch was at Tech. He’ll catch the ball on a swing pass or screen as often as he’ll get the ball on the run and he is equally adept at both, evidenced by his five catches for 32 yards and 12 rushes for 56 yards last week against Ole Miss
He’s the focus of the offense, but the Cougars run a two-back set with Di Luigi and Bryan Kariya. BYU doesn’t really use a fullback, but at 6-feet, 217 pounds Kariya can play that role. Last week he had a modest 11 carries for 35 yards, but he can burn a defense up the middle if they are looking for Di Luigi outside. Yes, Texas, I am talking to you.
What BYU wants to do is establish the run and short passing game and get Texas thinking running backs first, and then take their shots downfield with Apo and other weapons like McKay Jacobson and Cody Hoffman. And the tight ends. If you think about the recent success of BYU offensively, you think of successful tight ends like Dennis Pitta. When they can dink and dunk with their running and screen/dump off game, it opens up the middle for tight ends to make plays. Last week they didn’t really do much of that, but you can bet it’s the game plan this week.
No doubt they saw Texas’ struggles with the interior running game and the option, so you can expect some of that this week. The difference is while they aren’t going to be better at the option than Rice was, BYU is going to be a more athletic, better all-around team than Rice was. The big, strong and experienced offensive line is the key: they want them dictating tempo and giving Heaps time and holes for the back. Expect a similar spread out, quick-strike attack with runs up the middle to control the clock and keep the crowd out of it like Rice tried. I don’t see the talented pool of backs that Rice had, but I see an offensive line that has the ability to take over a game if given the chance.
No one is going to confuse Ole Miss with an offensive juggernaut, but the Cougars did go into an SEC house and hold them to one offensive touchdown, 208 total yards and 2.2 yards per carry. Again, no one expects Ole Miss to be the SEC West Champs, but impressive nonetheless. BYU runs a 3-4 defense (three down linemen, four linebackers) and traditionally this sort of defense has bothered Texas (think Kansas State) in the past, but to be fair it usually bothers everyone because it just isn’t something offenses see very often. Ask Ole Miss. The three defensive linemen are solid and built like small cars. They don’t have a ton of production as far as stats go, but they do a good job of controlling the line of scrimmage and letting their linebackers make plays. The stars of the defense are two of those linebackers, Jordan Pendleton and Kyle Van Noy. Both are huge at 6-foot-3, 236 or so pounds and both play outside and are used as pass rushers as often as they drop into coverage. Last week Van Noy was the star of the game as he sacked the Ole Miss quarterback, forced a fumble and returned said fumble for a touchdown and a 14-13 lead. They are going to stunt and blitz and come from all angles to get into the backfield and disrupt plays before they start, just like they did last week. The question is will they be able to? We will get back to that in a second.
In the secondary BYU looked to be untested with several new starters, but you wouldn’t know against Ole Miss. Cornerback Corby Eason can fly off the edge on the corner blitz with a career 5 ½ sacks, but at 5-foot-8 there is no doubt teams are going to see if he has trouble with the size of bigger receivers. They are huge at safety and no doubt excellent at run support, but how will these linebacker-sized safeties (6-foot-2, 206 pounds and 6-foot-2, 200 pounds) be able to cover the Shipleys and Monroes in the slot? Last week they did fine, but that was last week.
So back to the lb’s- the goal is for the defensive line to be stationary enough to keep the Texas offensive line occupied and allow the inside linebackers and safeties room to make tackles by staying clean (no blockers on them). They are going to move around their two big outside backers and create ways to get pressure on the Texas backfield. The idea is to create turnovers, but that isn’t something this defense has done very well as of late. They only produced 11 interceptions last year and none last week, but they did force two turnovers, both fumbles, including the game-winning touchdown.
These lb’s are the real deal and the Texas ol will need to be on their A-game to keep them at bay. Will they be?
The kickers are solid but the coverage is not. They don’t have a punter like Rice, but he’s pretty good and while their coverage was not very good last year (23 yards allowed per kick return) it wasn’t any better last week as they allowed a 44-yarder against Ole Miss. J.D. Falslev is an excellent punt returner, averaging 9.7 per return last week, and has the ability to change a game; of course, Texas has those guys as well and the BYU coverage will give them the chance to do that.
The Cougars need to be very careful with the Texas return game. If they can slow them down, that will be considered a success.
Texas showed some things last week that most in the stands did not expect. Right now BYU is watching film and wondering what, exactly, Texas will unveil this week. The goal will be the same- establish the run to open up the passing game- but the way it will be accomplished will be a little different. I expect more David Ash packages, more Malcolm Brown and some draws to account for the outside rush coming from the BYU linebackers.
Stacy Searels and his boys know what BYU brings to the table and I’m very interested to see how they handle this week. These are NFL-type linebackers that will be coming off the edge and the interior guys are going to be a hard to handle; but this is a new day in Texas football and while the last few years I was hoping that the o-line would handle the pressure, now I am more confident they will. They aren’t going to win every play, but with Brian Harsin calling the plays and Malcolm Brown toting the rock, this offense is going to mature and progress and have success.
I think GG makes plays with his feet this week and burns the BYU defense and I think Blaine Irby/D.J. Grant make some big plays over the middle as the defense focuses on the wide outs.
You know the front seven can’t be happy with their individual performances last week. They were solid but not nearly as dynamic as we expected and that will definitely be a point of emphasis for Manny Diaz and company this week in practice. Texas needs the pass rush to be effective and force Heaps into bad decisions, which he is prone to do. BYU brings in a great offensive line and a solid cast of skill players, but I don’t see too many big time playmakers. I think Texas is going to dial up the heat on BYU and try and overwhelm the line of scrimmage and disrupt everything before it starts. If Texas can get to Heaps or get into his passing lanes they can take this game over by forcing turnovers.
The interior defense should be better with return of Ashton Dorsey from a one-game suspension at tackle and I expect to see more Steve Edmond on the field in obvious running downs and more rotating of the linebackers inside at Mike. Texas simply has to be better at stopping the run inside of they are to win this game.
I think they will be better inside and I think the secondary makes Heaps pay for those bad decisions at least twice and one goes back for six or sets up the offense with a very short field.
Watch those tight ends, boys, because they are going to get a lot of passes on Saturday night.
Time for a game-changing play. A turnover was forced on a punt last week, setting Texas up for a touchdown, and I want more this week. Jaxon Shipley and D.J. Monroe are electric with the ball in their hands and I think the odds are high the leaky BYU coverage leads to a big play by one of them.
Texas needs to tighten up their own coverage and keep BYU locked down. It is a must. No left-footed punts, please.
I liked what I saw last week. I thought Texas played a clean game and I was impressed the way they closed Rice out. That’s a testament to Bennie Wylie and the new conditioning program that has transformed their minds and bodies. Texas took care of business against an inferior foe, expect it to be 34-9, but I think Texas wins this game fairly convincingly and handles their business.
LAST WEEK IN THE BIG 12
No. 14 TCU Horned Frogs 48 BAYLOR 50
That was the best game of the week and one of the best games of the year, to be sure. The Bears raced out to a huge lead on the arm and legs of Robert Griffin only to blow a 23-point lead in the fourth quarter. In the end a field goal for Baylor and an interception iced it. Huge statement win for Baylor, but I don’t know if it’s a testament to how good Baylor is or how not good TCU is. I could easily see the Frogs being 7-5 this year and that was just the beginning. Still, great win, Bears.
Miami (OH) RedHawks 6 No. 21 MISSOURI 17
Not the stellar start I thought the Missouri Tigers would have. They struggled to move the ball for most of the game and had nine penalties for 81 yards. The offense managed only 291 yards while the defense allowed Miami to keep the ball for 33 minutes. New Mizzou qb James Franklin had an inconsistent start, going 17-26 for 129 yards with a score and a pick through the air, but had a touchdown and 72 yards rushing on 14 carries. He’ll get better and so will Mizzou. Probably.
Louisiana Lafayette Ragin’ Cajuns 34 No. 8 OKLAHOMA STATE 61
Oklahoma State rolled up 666 yards and 61 points and head coach Mike Gundy said “our offense could have played better…” 666 and 61 isn’t enough? He must not trust his defense any more than I do. 34 points? Seems high, Pokes. I’m just sayin’.
McNeese State (I-AA team) 24 KANSAS 42
Eastern Kentucky (I-AA team) 7 KANSAS STATE 10
Northern Iowa (I-AA team) 19 IOWA STATE 20
Texas State (I-AA team) 10TEXAS TECH 50
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 14 No.1 oklahoma 47
You know what else I’m really getting into on F/X? Sons of Anarchy. It’s brutal and I can’t stop watching it. Thank you, Netflix.
SMU Mustangs 14 No.9 TEXAS A&M 46
I thought SMU would make this interesting and they did for most of the first half, but the Ags rolled them up in the second half. Here’s the weird thing- quarterback Ryan Tannehill played the entire game. With a senior at qb and the game well in hand, why in the world would you not get your back up some much needed game reps when you have the chance? When you are (probably) competing in the SEC West next year and you have any hopes of getting to the Title Game (you don’t) you might look back on your inexperienced qb and wonder “why didn’t we play this guy last year?” I will be wondering that, too. Not really, because I won’t be watching anything you do with anything but a passing interest. Go (everyone else in the) SEC!
THIS WEEK IN THE BIG 12
No.1 oklahoma (1-0) IDLE
No. 7 TEXAS A&M (1-0) IDLE
No. 20 BAYLOR (1-0) IDLE
TEXAS TECH (1-0) IDLE
KANSAS STATE (1-0) IDLE
Thursday, September 8th
Arizona Wildcats (1-0) @ No. 9 OKLAHOMA STATE (1-0) 6 pm ESPN
Let’s see how that defense is this week. It’s a rematch of the 2010 Alamo Bowl where Okie State pasted Arizona, 36-10. In this one I think OSU is going to move the ball well, but I don’t know if they are going to be able to slow down Nike Foles and the Wildcat offense. Probably. Or maybe they will. The last few times I’ve seen Arizona play they have been stomped, so that could very easily happen again. I think Oklahoma State wins, but it’s a bit of a shootout.
Friday, September 9th
No. 21 MISSOURI (1-0) @ Arizona State Sun Devils (1-0) 9:30 pm ESPN 2
I think Mizzou is in trouble Friday night. It’s late, it’s a time zone away and it’s going to be a raucous house in Tempe. The Sun Devils have a solid defense and the Missouri offense simply must be better if they are going to win this game on the road. I think this is a low scoring game with the defenses controlling most of it, but in the end I see the Sun Devils making a few more plays at home. Plus their new uniforms are pretty sharp.
Saturday, September 10th
Iowa Hawkeyes (1-0) @ IOWA STATE (1-0) 11 am FSN
It’s the CyHawk Trophy on the line! Both teams played I-AA teams last week, with Iowa winning big and Iowa State having to score 13 points including a touchdown with 40 seconds left to win, 20-19. I know these two teams play each other tough, but I think Iowa mops the floor with Iowa State’s face. Or they don’t. They win or they lose and I probably watch some of it. Okay, I’ll be watching it. I’ll do it so you don’t have to.
Northern Illinois Huskies (1-0) @ KANSAS (1-0) 6 pm FCS
Come on, Kansas. Don’t suck, okay? Just. Don’t. You make us all look bad if you lose games like this. So just don’t. In the battle of famous alumnae, this game is Paul Rudd vs. Kurt Sutter. Who doesn’t like Paul Rudd? No one, that’s who. But NIU’s Kurt Sutter is the writer and creator of Sons of Anarchy. He has a recurring role on the show and is married to Katy Seagal, who plays the matriarch Gemma. Paul Rudd is a funny guy, but he doesn’t stand a chance against SAMCRO. And neither does Kansas. NIU wins.