Now that the first week is over, here are some much deserved awards in The Official Candy Report style:
The Halloween Spice Drops Award for Excellence:
This is a tough one this week. I want to give it to Seth Collins for doing such a great job as a true freshman starting his first game ever as a Beaver. He would be a slam dunk any other week, but to be honest, I have to give this award to Rommel Mageo. We can talk about the offense, but Mageo, the elder statesman of the linebackers, played with such passion and fire, that I cannot give this to anyone else. While there were a lot of defensive stand-outs like Justin Strong, Bright Ugwoegbu and Kyle Peko, Rommel was just too good in too many ways. Whether he was rushing the passer, filling a lane on a run play or knocking down passes, Mageo was a force all game long.
His 11 tackles don’t lie, nor does holding any opponent to under 200 yards (178). The defense didn’t allow a single point and Rommel was everywhere all game long. Congratulations Rommel on your first Halloween Spice Drop Award!
The Jujifruit Award of Most Improved Player:
This is an award that is always difficult to give week one. I can say someone has improved since last year, but that is should be everyone. Fortunately for me, there was one player that I saw improve in a way that is hard to ignore. Isaac Seumalo was in a boot all of last year, and was unable to get past it. He had to have a second surgery to fix the first one and was forced to use his redshirt year. There is no saying what difference having Isaac last year would have made, but there is a quantifiable difference in having him this year. Isaac graded out as the best offensive lineman in The Candy Report Made Up Lineman Grades, and was the one player that consistently was able to root out his defenders. The world gets a heck of a lot harder this week with Michigan, but Isaac should have some more confidence in his foot and have gotten a lot of the rust kicked off his game this last week. Of course, if there was rust, it wasn’t super visible.
Great work Isaac, this will probably be your last Jujifruit award as you are on your way up to something special.
Good N’ Plenty Award of Shame and Misery to the game of Football:
Sometimes it is fun to be right. While it was just week one, Raju and I were saying that there were some suspect teams in the north and that it would be down. We also thought Cal would be improved on defense and offense. Looks like we were right, but didn’t realize how right.
There is no reason that two Pac-12 teams, each with more than two top 25 recruiting classes should score exactly 0 offensive touchdowns. Yet Stanford and UW did just that. Now I know that UW has issues, and honestly, so does Boise State. Stanford is inexcusable. All fall long we have listed to the media lie about their explosive offense and all their play makers that an improved Kevin Hogan would be getting the ball too. Instead, what we saw was the same old Hogans’ Heroes, with him making crucial mistakes at terrible times and a pedestrian offense that is so conservative and boring, it cannot even take advantage of four future NFL players on their offensive line. Defensively, Stanford wasn’t able to dominate with their front four, demanding multiple double teams like in years past. They had to bring a lot of pressure and that pressure felt easily blocked.
While Stanford’s inability to do anything was a little surprising, what wasn’t surprising was the total pile of garbage that WSU has become. The Portland State loss is one that we all know can ruin a fan base and ruin a season. Throw on top of that an injury to their starter, and you have a whole heap of trouble in the Palouse. While I think Oregon State has a ways to go, like the ducks, it is a good year to be down because there are at least three teams that are even farther down than you. I am not predicting a Stanford win yet, I need to see what happens in Michigan first, but they are susceptible. There is no reason that OSU cannot sweep Washington though.
Thanks Evergreen State and the Tree, for making us right in week one, while also making the north more competitive for the Beavers in year one of the Gary Andersen era. You have won the most shameful award in all of sports for the Pac-12 North.