Every year, there is that group of teams that disappoint. They don’t live up to expectations. The season doesn’t end well for these teams. There is usually a lot, but I’m only taking my top three. The last one, is quite embarrassing on my part.
Notre Dame Fighting Irish
Notre Dame may not have had a bad season is some eyes, but when it comes to expectations, they fell well short.
First, the defense didn’t play well at all. Ranked 84th overall, the Irish pulled away from what they’re known for. Run defense plagued them, giving up 4 yards a run. It got hammered this year, and it’s what pulled them down. The pass defense was much better than the run, ranked 21st in the Nation. They kept teams below 60% passing completion, but gave up lots of big plays down the field. The defense as a whole is what brought this team down.
On the offensive side, Everett Golson’s return was huge. The Irish finished 18th in passing offense, with 285 yards a game. Golson provided help in the running game too, with 8 TD’s, including a 61 yard run. Notre Dame didn’t run the ball much in 2014, which is okay. They relied on Golson’s return, and it panned out.
However, the record didn’t get enough support, and landed them against our next team, in the Music City Bowl, or as I called it, the All Disappointment Bowl.
As a team, maybe LSU didn’t let me down. They didn’t have a great quarterback, and even ran two, due to different systems and talents.
Anthony Jennings was never, like Blake Sims, a great QB in my eye. He’d had accuracy issues, and this just continued to show this season. He’s not a true passer, and only had 11 TD’s tosses this past season.
However, LSU didn’t want to rely on him this season. They knew his weaknesses. Instead, the relied on stud, freshman running back Leonard Fournette. This guy, coming out of high school, looked really, really good. And no doubt, he is. His season though, wasn’t as I expected. With just above 1,000 yards, I was disappointed. This was not what I expected from him. He was going off this year. I said it before the season. It didn’t happen.
Fournette had 10 TD’s, and still showed some studly moves this year, but it just wasn’t what I had in mind. I’m not saying it’s what brought them down, but if he lived up to the large expectations, it would have definitely helped the Tigers.
On the other side of the ball, LSU continued to do what they do best. The defense this year ranked 5th, with pass defense being the highlight. In the SEC, you have to play good defense. It’s what leads to the grudge-match games. LSU’s run defense took a slide this year, ranking 35th. The defense isn’t what brought this team down though. Bad QB play has a huge impact. A little more from the running game may have gave this team another win. I expect much better things from LSU next year.
This is really embarrassing writing about this team. I had them in the playoffs, at the No.4 seed. Let’s just say, that didn’t work out. So what happened?
This should have been a better team. Their running game was fantastic all year, ranking 11th in the nation. Samaje Perine had 1,713 yard season, including a NCAA record 427 yard game that featured five TD runs against Kansas. It came a week after Melvin Gordon broke the record. He’s was incredible, and will get better.
The QB position was a spot that we expected better from, but didn’t get it. Trevor Knight only threw for 2,300 yards and had a 56.6% completion rate. He also, got some attention from Katy Perry.
The Sooners lost that game to the rising TCU Horned Frogs. Knight ended suffering a major neck injury in a blowout loss to Baylor later in the year. That brought back the Sooners, and it didn’t get better from there.
The Oklahoma defense was never great in 2014, ranking 56th. The pass defense was really bad, giving up a stellar rating to opposing QB’s. The run defense was excellent, only allowing 3.2 yards a run.
This was a major let down for Oklahoma. Nobody saw this coming. Injuries and bad defense at bad times plagued them. The BIG 12 is really competitive, I understand that, but Oklahoma should be much better next year. This team is too talented to not be good.