That said, when it comes to Derek Wolfe, I told all of you people. (Here's the May 4 Breakfast) Maybe not you people that read this blog specifically, because you were well aware of Wolfe's ability. This is more directed to all the pundits that buried him on the third or fourth or even off the All Big East teams.
Let's call out the sinners!
Athlon placed him on the third team.
CBSsports' Chip Patterson didn't place him on the first team and Wolfe was the seventh DT he mentioned.
There was Andrea Adelson ranking him fourth among DTs.
Phil Steele had him on the second team.
Rightfully, SI and the Big East media placed Wolfe on the first team.
I would continue, but my Googles are about to explode. You get the point. While the evidence was out there, people ignored it. And they ignored DWolfe.
Maybe Louisville swiped their scouting report from Chip Patterson.
Wolfe had 11 tackles, 3 TFL and a sack on Saturday. That's 11 tackles for a defensive tackle. Is that even possible?
His 1.67 TFL per game (10 total) are now tied for 8th in the country and lead the Big East. His 0.83 sacks per game (5 total) also lead the Big East (tied for 12th nationally).
As for total tackles per game? Yep, he also leads Big East defensive lineman with five per.
Let's see, what else could we judge a defensive tackle by? Fumbles forced? Yeah, he's done that twice -- tied for the most in the conference. Actually, he hasn't blocked a kick yet this year, so I guess that's ammunition for Patterson, Steele, Adelson and all the rest.
There were a list of four or five players consistently ranked ahead of Wolfe in the preseason rankings. Let's see how they stack up:
Player/School T/Gm TFL/Gm Sacks/Gm
Derek Wolfe, UC 5.0 1.7 0.83
Chas Alecxhi, Pitt 4.7 1.1 0.43
Kendall Reyes, UConn 3.7 1.6 0.57
Bruce Irvin, WVU 3.5 1.2 0.42
Julian Miller, WVU 2.8 0.5 0.25
Jesse Joseph, UConn 2.4 0.2 0.00
He leads in every category and for the most part by a wide margin. Nobody has been better than Wolfe this season and Saturday was his signature game.
JK Schaffer enjoyed best view in the house for Wolfe-fest:
"He was unreal," Schaffer said. "To see a D-tackle dominate like he did...I could feel him out there dominating because the lineman weren't surging to me."
Wolfe is supposed to be clearing the way for Schaffer to make all the tackles, but it didn't quite work that way.
Apologies on the audio issues on this interview, I'm not exactly working with the latest in Sony entertainment here, but here's Wolfe after the game.
--- In case you missed my postgame column, here you go. It also includes video of my interview with Schaffer.
--- Butch Jones committed news after the game with an interesting comment. He was sure to praise all the fans that showed up at Paul Brown Stadium (40,971), but for the first time made a call to more folks to support the team, specifically at PBS.
Bill Koch had a piece on his comments here. He covers it pretty thoroughly.
The next opportunity for a home game will be Nov. 12 against West Virginia. Should be hopping.
UC heads to USF this week then another bye, then to Pittsburgh on Nov. 5.
--- The Bearcats received some love in the national polls. They received four votes in the AP poll, to leave them 31st overall. They were 31st overall in the coaches poll with 14 votes.
West Virginia continued to hold steady as the lone Big East team in the Top 25 at No. 11. If UC beats both USF and Pitt both teams will be ranked for the showdown on Nov. 12.
--- Speaking of USF, their dramatic fall continued with a loss at struggling UConn. The Bulls are looking like a fraud with their only quality win more of an indictment on the sloppy play of Notre Dame than the Bulls taking any significant step forward.
The 16-10 defeat came to a Connecticut team that's 3-4 overall with losses to Vandy, Iowa State and Western Michigan. Also, USF's thumping at the hands of Pitt looks even worse after the Panthers first season under Todd Graham spiraled deeper into the abyss with a 26-14 loss at home against Utah.
After averaging 45 points a game the first four weeks of the season, USF totaled 27 points the first two weeks of Big East play.
QB B.J. Daniels, who looked like the star USF hoped he would develop into, looked rather pedestrian in two Big East games. After four consecutive games with a completion percentage better than 60 percent, both games dipped below that threshold, hitting 52 percent of his passes.
--- Isaiah Pead was named the Big East Offensive Player of the Week.
The yards per carry watch: 6.78. That's good for sixth in the country among running backs (min. 10 carries per game).
As for those above him:
Player/School Rush Yds Yds/carry
Henry Josey, Mizzou 74 717 9.69
LaMichael James, Oregon 95 852 8.97
Asher Clark, Air Force 68 556 8.18
Robert Turbin, Utah State 109 754 6.92
Trent Richardson, Bama 132 912 6.91
Isaiah Pead, Cincinnati 92 624 6.78
You always know it's just a matter of time until he pops one deep. Pead loves using the line, "we took their will away" referring to how UC's offensive line wears people down into the fourth quarter. It certainly looked true again Saturday.
Take into consideration his numbers the first three quarters versus the fourth.
First three quarters: 12 rushes, 52 yards, long of 12, 4.3 per carry
Fourth quarter: 8 rushes, 99 yards, long of 50, 12.4 per carry.
Even take away the 50-yard burst and you have seven rushes for 49 yards.
Take Pead's splits on first half/second half this year into consideration:
First half: 61 rushes, 360 yards, 5.9 ypc
Second half: 31 rushes, 264 yards, 8.5 ypc
As the game goes along, Pead and this offensive line grow stronger -- or at the very least, stay the same as the opposing defense wears down. And that was no slouch defense they ran up 151 yards against. Louisville entered the game 10th in the country in rushing defense.
--- Doc wrote a column on Pead following Saturday's game.
--- Here is some more video with my phone camera being inundated with audio malfunctions Saturday. This time talking with Zach Collaros.
--- Here was Butch Jones after the win.
--- If you want to re-live the action, here are the highlights of Saturday's game from the Big East Network.
--- UC sits at second in the ESPN Big East power rankings just ahead of Rutgers. Adelson points out UC hasn't beaten a team with a winning record yet this year. That opportunity comes Saturday at USF (4-2).
--- Rutgers plays at Louisville Friday night. If they combine for more than 20 points, I will call it the upset of the season.
--- Also, Friday afternoon I posted Part I of the preseason conversation I had with Mick Cronin. It's pretty interesting stuff, he talks about the non-conference schedule, the misinformed rhetoric of Doug Gottlieb and a possible future series with Indiana among other things.
Look for Parts II and III coming this week.
--- What was your favorite part of the Charlie's Angels remake era? The first episode or the fourth?
--- We have a true story that can be the basis for Horrible Bosses, Part II. I order you to stop trying to save your co-workers life!
--- The story of Indy 500 winner Dan Wheldon is just heartbreaking.
--- LeSean McCoy was probably paid by a fan to punch his coach in the doughy middle.
--- I don't know if I want to live in a world where the Footloose remake is No. 1 in the box office.
--- UC has found a niche with players from Senegal. First, Ibrahima Thomas and now Cheikh Mbodj. There is a great biography that follows four Senegalese players on their journey to play hoops in the US. Great stuff. Here is the trailer.