Chip Patterson, Cover 3 Podcast moderator, CBSSports.com, not wearing a jacket today or a collared, or a button down.
He's wearing a collared shirt, but it's a polo, which I appreciate. Let's talk about Matt Ruhl. Let's talk about, I know I saw on CBS Sports, they're talking about Matt Ruhl to Nebraska. If I were Matt Ruhl, that's certainly a big job, but is it a good job? Yes, definitely a good job.
And honestly, it's a perfect fit. I mean, just consider it. If you're looking at the landscape of college football and everything that we know about Matt Ruhl, Matt Ruhl was 10-0 when the Carolina Panthers held their opponents to 17 or less points. It was 1-27 when the opponent scored more than 17 points. So you know what you need to do is you need to go play Iowa and Wisconsin. Come on down to the Big Ten West.
Do you struggle when all these high-scoring offenses are out there? Well, listen, the Big Ten is here for you. So Nebraska is the best fit for Matt Ruhl because that's where you can go and win games 13-10. How dare you slam Wisconsin? You know I'm a huge Wisconsiner. Last week's conversation about Wisconsin, which by the way, I'm not done with the research on that yet. I'm still digging into the numbers about Wisconsin versus good teams. I understand why Nebraska would be interested in Matt Ruhl.
I get that. If you're Nebraska, I honestly wonder if your program, we talk about Miami being back or Florida State being back. Miami will never be back to what that was back in the 80s, 90s, and to the early part of the 2000s.
They'll never get back to that where they were the needle in college football. It's because everybody recruits South Florida. South Florida is no longer owned by Miami.
It's no longer owned by the state of Florida. It is now the place where every single school east of the Mississippi is trying to go get somebody off the American Heritage roster. Everybody is trying to go and even if you aren't getting the four and five stars, you know that the way that those programs have built up over time, that you're going to try and go get somebody that you think you can develop. And that's where the Matt Ruhl thing comes into consideration because when he was at Baylor, he would go around Texas and he would say, I don't care if you don't know the game of football. If you run a 4-3, then I think you can be this position.
If you are 6'4 with a 6'7 wingspan, then I think you can go and do this position. And there's a lot of coaches in college football that believe that they can teach the game to some of these physically gifted prospects, but Matt Ruhl actually did it. And that's why I do look at Nebraska and I think, look, there's not a great built-in pipeline of talent. You are going to have to go to California.
You are going to have to go to Texas. And you're going to have to get players that the top programs are not getting and you're going to have to develop them. And that's why I do think that a place where that kind of approach can work and backed up by what I think can be a very strong name, image and likeness sort of operation with all the support that they have around Nebraska. I mean, Adam, they've got millionaires that are just dropping money to buy 21,000 tickets to make sure that they keep this dumb sellout on a lame duck season. There are dollars to be spent on NIL deals. And if Matt Ruhl can step in, take some of the recruiting that he did at Baylor where he teaches the game of football to physically gifted players who aren't as sharp with those skills, and then is also able to use a transfer portal with NIL on his back, then I think it's a good fit for him.
All right. The only reason I disagree is I just don't know that Nebraska is going to be able to separate itself from basically every other major institution. And I just I think Nebraska being back to me, I think their ceiling is like eight wins and I have so little faith in. It's been so long since Nebraska has been good that I just don't know if they can ever be anything other than like a poor man's Minnesota.
And I just don't know that that works. So like I understand Nebraska being interested in Matt Ruhl. What I don't understand necessarily is Matt Ruhl being interested in Nebraska. So if I were Matt Ruhl, the job I would go after, because I think there is a major room for improvement, is Arizona State.
I'm not sure Arizona State would be after him, but I think that's a place where you can win big, especially as the Pac-12 evolves out of Southern California and Arizona becomes the new Southern Cal. Yeah, I do not think that your ceiling is higher at Arizona State than it is at Nebraska. I think that Big Ten membership, Big Ten paydays, the resources that are going to be there for you to build out a huge support staff are at Nebraska in a way that they aren't.
You know, I was talking about the booster support, the community support, NIL. Well, just even the university support in terms of what they're going to be able to give you in terms of resources is so much, so much higher at Nebraska. And the proof of concept that while it has been so long, a generation since we saw Nebraska competing for national championships, they were in the Big Ten title game a decade ago.
No, they were running off nine, ten win seasons ten to fifteen years ago. I think that there's more of a proof of concept of high level success at Nebraska. And I think that all these Big Ten West jobs are less attractive when we totally move away from divisions. The Big Ten has not decided when it's going to happen, but clearly the addition of USC and UCLA will be adding that to the picture. But I still think that Nebraska can look at itself and say, we're not Ohio State, we're not Michigan, we're not Penn State, but there's no reason that Nebraska can't say we can be on that same level as a Michigan State, an Iowa, a Wisconsin. That can be a fluid group of programs, and when we cycle up, then we can maybe go compete for a conference title. Just imagine going back twenty-five years and saying out loud, Nebraska just hopes it can be on the same level as Wisconsin and Michigan State. Just imagine going back, because it's funny, I was looking at Wisconsin as I was doing my research into the Badgers program. Before Barry Alvarez got there, they were just meh at best.
They were really just there. They were a big state with a lot of fans, and I don't even think they had huge offensive linemen. By the way, that was the key to Nebraska. Tom Osborne obviously was Tom Osborne, but huge corn-fed offensive linemen was why Nebraska was so good. You'd have the Tommy Frasiers of the world or the Irving Friars of the world to give you enough dynamic athletes to, in that era, separate yourself. That's why the era of college football is so different today than it was fifteen years ago. I want to get into games.
You and I rarely, we always talk big picture things, but I want to get into games. So, let me start with State's trip to Syracuse without Devin Leary. I know they haven't ruled him out, but I think all of us understand he's not going to play at Syracuse. They didn't let Jack Chambers throw the ball. They didn't. He threw once. It was incomplete.
I think there was another attempt, but it was called back by penalty, and he caught a pass for a loss of five yards. So, the passing game was non-existent in the fourth quarter, yet they still beat Florida State with some help. How do they beat Syracuse without a passing game? I think it can happen.
I think it can too, but I'm asking you how they do it. With the defense, I think that while Garrett Schrader has put together a very strong statistical resume from the start of the season, I think we go back and we look at the fact that in the toughest games that Syracuse has played this season, and honestly, the Louisville game almost looks like a little bit of anomaly when you start to compare it to the narrow win against Purdue, which was not an impressive offensive performance. Garrett Schrader came up huge when he needed it, but a lot of those yards were penalty yards on Purdue. And Virginia, which just refused to win a game that Syracuse continually handed back. I think that this Syracuse team, in a big picture sense, is destined for some regression, and C-State's defense is so good that I think that they are going to be able to go up there. Syracuse has a pretty strong defensive front, but I think that they're just going to go up there and be able to grind this thing out. They can't have only one pass for negative six yards.
That is not something that's going to be able to work. But I do think that especially, was it Devin Carter is going to be back as well? Carter and Demi Sumo-Kongbei should be back as well. Tim Beck, listen, this is a big challenge for you, but you also have a little bit of the element of surprise on your hands. You might only need 21 points to win this game, so can you go out there and get 21 points? I'm going to say that I think that this NC State team can go and do that.
You and I are pretty much on the same page here. Obviously, defense has to be the forefront of how NC State wins this game, and it can be. The defense is excellent. And even though I think they did lose, it's a battle who's out for targeting, but they're so deep in the secondary. So many options, I think, in the secondary.
And they've stayed, again, knock on wood, relatively healthy so far. Defensive front has been good. Other than quarterback running, I think State's been very effective against the run. I just worry that, because they're going to need some offensive creativity, and I'm not talking about trick plays. I'm not talking about Thayer Thomas throwing the ball, which is no longer a trick play. It's just a play that State runs a lot, which is fine.
I'm not knocking it. I just haven't seen enough variance, enough creativity from them, because if you can't at least drop back and throw it, Syracuse could put everybody near the line of scrimmage, and you're not going to be able to run it. So it's going to be a challenge without some creativity to get to 21 points, which I agree. I think if they get to that, I think they win the game. If they put 20 on the board, I think they win.
But my level of confidence in that is not very high, because I haven't seen a lot of creativity. It's so tough to be so negative in my analysis here, but I just don't see a ton. I can be so enthusiastic about the fact that Syracuse has gotten off to this 5-0 start, and the fact that Dino Babers has gotten the support of the administration, and it looks like it's going to pay off, and getting back to a bowl game. But if your statistics that everyone's trotting out there are boosted by what you did against UConn and Wagner, I can't help but think that there's going to be a regression.
There has not been a single defense that Syracuse has played that's anywhere close to NC State. And look, sometimes you don't need to put together a 75-yard touchdown drive. Sometimes it only needs to be 45. Sometimes it only needs to be, you know, 20.
13. They got the ball to 13 against Florida State. Only lost how many yards? Only lost like 20-some-odd yards. They lost five. They lost five.
They got two holding penalties, and then Chambers picked up seven. I tell you what, we just said 21 points wins this game. Thank goodness that Christopher Dunn's one of the best-placed kickers in the country, because seven field goals might be able to get this thing done, while Florida State has a field goal kicker who, what was it?
He was three for nine against FBS opponents entering the game. You want to know why Mike Norvell went for it? It's because it's not even a coin flip that he's going to be able to bang that field goal through. It was so funny how many people criticized the play call. I'm like, well, what did you want them to do, settle for a missed field goal? He was going to miss the field goal. Like not throwing to Johnny Wilson.
He may be 6'7", but he's got frying pan hands, and that's why he was in the transfer portal to begin with, and he had already had three drops in that game. I guess no one knows their team better than the coach, okay? They know what's going to be the best move, and I credit Boykin.
It was Boykin, right, who came up with the pitch? Yeah, I credit Boykin for playing that well, for squaring up the wide receiver option route and making a great defensive play there. So I didn't come out with much criticism for Norvell, but the kicking situation in that game and the way it ended should make NC State fans feel great that they've got, again, as I'm filling out a mid-season All-American ballot today, I was like, shoot, Christopher Dunn might be one of the best place kickers in the entire country.
We'll see who ends up getting the nod there, but he's on the short list for consideration without a doubt. We've got two of the best kickers in the country who played in the same game a week ago, right? Two weeks ago with Dunn and Potter from Clemson.
All right, Chip Patterson, Cover Three Podcast moderator. Let's get to some games. We always seem to go big picture in college sports.
It's cool sometimes to just talk about games. We got big games, I think, this week. Let's deal with the ACC first. This might be, certainly in terms of a conference game, I think this is probably Clemson's last hurdle, right? They already cleared Wake State at Florida State who, I think we saw the limitations for Florida State, without a kicker, without really much of a passing game. Against Clemson, I just don't see it being a good opportunity for Florida State, but to Tallahassee.
So that's a different story. What have you seen in terms of the growth of Clemson over the last three or four weeks? Honestly, I was very disappointed with the first half against Boston College. I thought that that was a game where in the first half, offensively, they were sort of sleepwalking. And that wide receiver group that we'd really come around on was getting muscled around by Boston College's defense. In some ways, you credit Jeff Halfley.
It was the Red Bandana game. Came out with a lot of fire and energy, and I think Clemson didn't meet them. However, that defense was cooking in such a way that you just never thought Boston College was going to score. Eventually, the Tigers are able to pull away because you just wear down a lesser talented team.
It kind of felt like they were very vanilla. It kind of felt like they didn't turn in a great performance. I think that what we would like to see out of Clemson in this game is for D.J. Ouyangalole, who has done a great job of stepping up in big moments and avoiding turnovers, for him to sort of settle back into that dominant place where he was against Wake Forest. Because on the season as a whole, he is still great. You know, especially when you compare him to nine touchdowns to 10 interceptions last year.
Now he's more, I think, twelve and one or twelve and two, fourteen and two. He has entirely flipped what we saw and the reasons why we wondered if he was even going to be the QB one by this point in the season. He is the QB one. He's doing a great job of leading this offense out there. But I still think that I would like to see that passing attack start to get out there against a very good Florida State defense and be able to win some of those one-on-one battles the same way that they did against Wake Forest. Again, this is probably a credit to NC State in that NC State's defense, as we said last week, played well enough to win.
I didn't think that Clemson was great against Boston College. But this is going to be tough going up against Jared Vers, going up against Tatum Bethune, going up against a Florida State defensive front that can cause real problems. In terms of the matchup itself, they are going to put on the tape from the NC State game against Florida State.
They're going to put on the tape of the Wake Forest game against Florida State. And they are going to see that if you're able to get home without blitzing, aka get after Jordan Travis and contain him, then Jordan Travis is not going to do good against drop coverage. And NC State did a very good job of being able to get pressure without sending extra rushers.
And I think that Clemson, which is expected to get Brian Brzee back, which is now just finally starting to get Xavier Thomas back, who, by the way, was named ACC Defensive Lineman of the Week with six snaps to his name. Now, how, Adam, do you play just six snaps and be named the best defensive lineman in the entire ACC? Well, because in those six snaps, you had two sacks and four quarterback hurries. A man stepped out onto the field and logged something in the stat book every single snap he took.
And look, a lot of people that decide these things, this isn't a knock on them. They're going to go statistics, not the participation chart. But yeah, Xavier Thomas finally healthy, I would say.
Brian Brzee expected to be back. And I think that that's where this goes sideways because Florida State still not healthy along the offensive line. Have you seen the betting line for this game?
No, I have not. But I whatever it is, I like I like Clemson. I think I like the under two, three and a half, four points over under is around fifty one, which I actually said on the cover three podcast earlier today. I feel like I've been looking at Clemson totals of fifty one for four years now. Any conference game late in the season, Dabo just wants to win by one point. They're going to run it up. He's going to be a little conservative, establish a lead, keep Florida State at arm's length.
But you mentioned the final test. This is the last road game in conference play for Clemson. That's it. That's right. They do go to South Bend, which as Notre Dame has been turning a corner. You know, that is a little bit tougher than I thought after they'd lost a marshal in early September. But yeah, in terms of the ACC and the ACC Atlantic, they win this game.
It might be a Rizek right there. I think it is. I think it is a wrap if they win this game real quick about Clemson one coming off the state game, looking ahead to Florida State. This is before maybe we kind of saw Florida State kind of exposed for what they are, which is good, but not good enough.
I think this I think the B.C. game was a look ahead game. I couldn't figure out why it was on national television.
Why? Why did they subject the country to that on on ABC? But so there was that. I thought it was a look ahead in the second half.
They obviously did what they did. I still think Clemson's offense is no better than good. I don't think it's great. I think D.J. is solid. I don't think D.J.
is great. I think the wide receivers are OK. I think the best part of that offense is Will Shipley. And as D.J.
becomes a better, more comfortable runner utilizing him to create other opportunities. I think Clemson will beat Notre Dame because I don't think Notre Dame's offense is all that good. And I think that will be a relatively low scoring game. But I just I don't I just don't think I think Clemson could finish fourth in the ultimate poll and be so far behind one, two and three that you could barely see him.
I'm starting to come around on that. I, I think that I think that Alabama might not be all that awesome. And I think that Georgia as well might not be all that awesome.
And that's they're still better than everybody else. But I was in a position two weeks ago believing that Alabama, Ohio State and Georgia were so far away from the rest of the pack. And now I think that distance between those three and a Clemson, between those three and a Michigan, between those three and USC, I think it is much closer now based on the way that we've seen all these teams perform.
Ohio State is actually the team that I think looks better than anybody else in the country right now because they, along with Alabama, are the only ones that are like great on both sides of the ball. Georgia got off to a hot start, but has cooled significantly on offense. And Alabama, whilst the statistics bear out that this is a great team and they can't get out of their own way. They couldn't get out of their own way at Texas, get out of their own way against Texas A&M and even against Arkansas. When they put that game away, they kind of let the Razorbacks sneak back in this.
It was only two splash plays by Jamir Gibbs in the fourth quarter kind of put it away. And look, you're Alabama, you load up with talent so that you do have that single shot splash play in the game potential. But I mean, like Alabama and Tennessee is so good. I want to get to that, but I want to get to Carolina real quick. We only have a couple more minutes left of undefeated teams this late year.
Oklahoma State, TCU, Penn State, Michigan, and Alabama, Tennessee. This is a massive weekend. It is a big weekend. I don't want to. I think we should at least mention it.
This is an unprecedented statewide platform. It is only fair. Stop. Stop with that, Chip Patterson.
All right. So, like I said last week, I think Carolina is the favorite in the coastal. I still think they are. Duke losing at Georgia Tech was disappointing, but they could certainly make amends for winning this game. And I think they can. I just don't think they will. I don't know if North Carolina's defense is ever going to be anything other than blah. But I also think their offense hasn't been spectacular in a while. I think they got the least out of the most last week, but I just think they're going to be too much for Duke. I think Carolina will get to pretty close to 40.
I just don't think Duke will. Yeah. Listen, Dave Harding is the best guy.
He is. I adore Dave Harding. And I could hear it in his voice as he was, you know, discussing mid-game of the Georgia Tech game. Had to run an errand real quick. Threw that game on the radio. Was listening to the Blue Devil Radio Network. And he was like, this has to make you concerned as a Blue Devil fan the way these injuries are piling up. And it, you know, got me back to I was like, oh, good note, Dave. Let me like go back and let me start to break this down. Because while there has been, you know, tremendous buy in and, you know, great heart and effort and like this to be able to storm back even by losing Calhoun and have other receivers step up.
That's great. But we are still talking about a team that in year one with Mike Elko has very like thin margins when it comes to the overall team depth. I thought about this a lot as if the Duke team of two to three weeks ago was playing against North Carolina this Saturday night. I might pick Duke, but I think that you cannot afford to be taking some of these injuries with this team and this roster. And then also expect to beat a North Carolina team that you mentioned the defense. They gave up with a four hundred ninety passing yards, but only twenty four points like that is the bend but don't break mentality.
Yeah. You know, we can step up when it counts. So I, I think that this game would have been more competitive if Duke hadn't taken a lot of injuries in the last couple of weeks. But who knows? It's a rivalry game.
So they you should eat the record book. We're going to close with just one more game. We're not going to get to Southern Cal unless you want to give me a pick.
Who do you like? Southern Cal or Utah? It's in Salt Lake City. Yeah, Utah might not be awesome. They weren't able to get as much pressure on Dorian Thompson Robinson as I was expecting. I think they're there for the taking. USC has not been elite, but I think that this is a spot where there might be some value on the Trojans.
All right. Now, Alabama, who hopes to get Bryce Young back. If either way, because Young hurt his shoulder and it looked to be his throwing shoulder, if I'm not mistaken, is Tennessee there for Alabama? I mean, is Tennessee going to beat Alabama?
Can you foresee that? I like Tennessee this week. Save has never lost to Tennessee and Alabama, by the way, is 15. It's 15 straight and 13 of them have been by double digits. Pretty much.
Yeah. The it is possible that Alabama, if Alabama's offense goes on the road and can't get into a rhythm, finds itself in a in a hole early. Tennessee has been a great first quarter and first half team all season. You know, we always say Josh Highpool gets a SAG award for script writer of the year.
I mean, you know, he's got his hand in hooker out there. Right. And but also there's a potential that Will Anderson and Dallas Turner are the biggest X factor in this game, because if they can get pressure on hooker and if they can cause a couple of three and outs, we might start talking about one of my favorite themes of the year. And really, I needed to get full stadiums and, you know, get back into that true packed environment vibe to remember what a home field disadvantage feels like, what it feels like a home field disadvantage. There's so much losing in the mind of a Tennessee fan. Right. If this thing goes sideways, you get a couple bad calls or you get a couple bad bounces.
One hundred thousand people grumbling at the same time is toxic. And Tennessee's playing with all the pressure. Alabama's playing with none of the pressure.
This is an amazing game. I can't like and it's amazing because Tennessee is good enough to win because at seven and a half, I would take Tennessee and you take Tennessee because you could see them winning. You could see them losing close. Ultimately, I do think Alabama wins the game and I think Alabama wins the game by the narrowest of margins. I think Bryce Young will play, but it's because they've been here before.
And this is truly new territory in real estate. If Tennessee win, they might win the national championship. Like if Tennessee wins this game, they jump on a rocket ship. Yeah.
We start talking about like memories of nineteen ninety eight. But then they'll lose to Georgia and won't even win their division. Real, real quick. If Tennessee wins, is it also a win for Virginia Tech because of Hendon Hooker? No.
OK, somebody said that. Oh, it was Kyle Bailey. Kyle Bailey, Virginia Tech alone.
Right. Watching Shane Beamer beat Kentucky. Hendon Hooker shred up the SEC is just absolutely gutting. Yeah.
All Virginia Tech fans right now because South Carolina fans are doing hashtag Beamer Ball and Hendon Hooker is looking like he might be a Heisman Trophy contender. Yeah, he is. It's incredible. Chip Patterson, you're the best, my friend. By the way, tell Tom Fornelli that Napoli is not going to do this all the time.
A little soccer tidbit for people. They're they're running. All right. X right now. Say it. Say again. What's the what's the score now to know Napoli night?
Four three overtime, Carolina. Oh, don't do that to me. I got to get to bed. Over time doesn't last that long. I know. I know. I know. It's decided before a shootout. But I go for three. OK, sounds good. All right. Well, you got it. Jim Patterson.
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