Fantasy - Vikings Jerick McKinnon is this week's waiver wire darling!

After an 18 carry, 135 yard performance against Atlanta on Sunday, Vikings RB Jerick McKinnon is a must add in all fantasy formats

By Rich Winter

       I heard rumblings when Vikings training camp opened this summer that we should all be on the lookout for Georgia Southern rookie, Jerick McKinnon. 

       I heard Adrian Peterson speak highly of him and I believe I remember offensive coordinator, Norv Turner talking about how good this kid is.

       I'm not sure if it was a terrible Atlanta defense or the insertion of Teddy Bridgewater, but the Vikings looked like an entirely different ball club yesterday.

      Yes, the fantasy football world is alive today talking about adding Teddy B. as a solid back up or a situational matchup starter. Folks are raving about Matt Asiata and his three touchdown performance along with 78 rushing yards that made him the high point running back in fantasy football yesterday.

       Haven't heard a lot of buzz about McKinnon even though he gashed Atlanta with 18 carries for 135 yards, including a 55-yarder.

        While McKinnon hasn't reached the end-zone in four weeks of play, those 18 touches yesterday caught my attention real quick. 

       Oh wait, it was 19 touches as McKinnon caught one pass for 17 yards.

        I like it.

      With Adrian Peterson in no-man's land and Asiata not exactly a speeding bullet, McKinnon is going to see touches, and touches are what you want from running backs that you may have to start in a pinch.

     I loved his performance yesterday and I can't see the Vikings not using this kid as the season goes forward.

     He's owned in about 20 percent of leagues so if you're trolling those waiver wired and want RB depth or just to screw those behind you in the waiver order (wink), McKinnon is your man. 

    Follow me @panicgalore

Folau's big night gets East back into Region 6 contention

Christian Folau recorded three touchdowns as the East Leopards broke a four game losing streak.

By Rich Winter

       East high football players aren't used to losing. Losing two in a row is a hard pill to swallow for a program that is built on toughness, winning and tradition, so losing four in a row, well, that's just unthinkable. 

    After defeating Northridge 24-15 in the season opener, the Leopards lost to Jordan, Christian Valor of Colorado and then jumped into Region 6 play.

    East lost to Woods Cross 45-28 in a game that could have gone either way had it not been for a multitude of turnovers and costly penalties.

     Same thing the following week as East dropped a 10-3 decision to Highland after giving up a late score. East could have easily won that game against Highland but costly turnovers and a multitude of motion penalties took the sting out of good field position and long drives.

       So, I'm guessing Friday's 42-14 win over Cyprus felt pretty good for a team this is not accustomed to losing.

     East senior, and Stanford bound player set the tone as he rumbled for three scores as the East offense finally got un-tracked.

East - Christian Folau 6 run (Isaac Anthony kick)

East - Loa Kaufusi 25 pass from Lorenzo Manu (Isaac Anthony kick)

East - Cole Peterson 29 pass from Lorenzo Manu (Isaac Anthony kick)

Cyprus - 76 pass (kick)

East - Christian Folau 18 run (Isaac Anthony kick)

East - Halani Utuone 6 run (Isaac Anthony kick)

East - Christian Folau 8 run (Isaac Anthony kick)

Cyprus - 25 pass (kick)

    While East is just 2-4, I'm guessing they could go on a run late in the season.

Remaining schedule:

Fri. Oct. 3, 2014 Mountain Crest 7:00 p.m. (Mountain Crest is just 1-5)

Fri. Oct. 10, 2014 Clearfield 7:00 p.m. (Clearfield is 1-5)

Thu. Oct. 16, 2014 at Bountiful 7:00 p.m. (This is going to be a great game...Boutiful lost to Woods Cross 10-0 so East will need to bring their A game.)

Fri. Oct. 24, 2014 Kearns (Must win for East as Kearns is having a decent season)

    With all of the losses sustained to graduation from a great team a year ago, I think it's taken this East team a minute to find their footing. The schedule was tough early and some talented athletes were forced to step into positions they weren't used to playing in starting varsity roles.

    Football and the momentum it brings with a winning streak is an immeasurable stat. Let's say East runs the table and that triple-option starts to zing...If East can get to 6-4 and finish third in their region, I'd hate to be the No. 2 from another Region that faces them in the playoffs.


     

Dennis Allen say hi to Lane Kiffin on your way out the door

It's time for Dennis Allen to hit the road. Whatever he's preaching the Raider players aren't buying...

By Rich Winter

        After getting bombed 38-14 yesterday in London I'm officially here to say it's time to fire coach Dennis Allen. 

      I'm not saying do it at the end of the season or during the bye week, I'm saying the minute the Raiders step off the plane on the way back to London, hand him his personal belongings and say, "BEAT IT."

      Dating back to last season the Raiders have now lost thirteen in a row and it's not getting better, it's getting worse.

      Whatever Dennis Allen is selling, the Raider players aren't buying it.

      (I hate coaching changes because it just means two more years of ineptitude before you can realistically expect to be good but damnit, I'm sick of Dennis Allen).

     So, before the game started, I was yacking with my good buddy, Silver and Black Mamba. He was telling me how the Dolphins took the red eye to London on Friday and how the Raiders had been there ever since the New England loss.

      His intimation, of course, was that the Raiders would have gotten used to the time change and would be ready to come out to play while Miami would be sluggish and inept.

       It looked that way for the first drive.

      The Raiders marched it down the field. Darren McFadden looked like an all-pro and the Raiders took a 7-0 lead.

      And then it all went to crap.

      How does an offense that comes out and marches up the field just fizzle after that?

     What's wrong with this team.

      Silver and Black Mamba is a glutton for punishment so we kept it tuned into the Raider game past halftime.

      It was laughable!

     I found myself laughing at the ineptitude of this team, MY TEAM, turning it over, not tackling and just playing uninspired lousy football.

     I've seen enough, I've seen the body of work and it's time for Dennis Allen to hit the road.

     Don't know who the interim should be, don't care...I just don't want Dennis Allen to be the leader of the Raiders for one second longer. 

     Beat it...and say hi to Lane Kiffin on your way out the door.

     I'm not sure who the next coach will be. Maybe no one can fix the Raider problems...maybe it's a curse.

     Don't know, don't care but it's time for Dennis Allen to go!

   Follow me @panicgalore

     Hit the road Dennis and don't come back no more!


Utes need to act like they belong in the Pac-12

The University of Utah blew a 21-0 lead against Washington State. The play-calling in the second half was devoid of imagination as the Utes tried not to lose the game.

By Rich Winter

       Well, the Utes had another Pac-12 opener and the Utes have another Pac-12 opening loss as Washington State came from behind to win the game 28-27 after the Utes had opened up a 21-0 lead after a masterful first quarter.

       There seems to be some discussion floating about the local newspapers and the morning talk-radio shows today about whether the Utes made the right call late in the game to not go for it on 4th and inches and instead punt the ball away to a red-hot Washington State offense that had been ripping Utah in the second half.

      Salt Lake Tribune columnist Kurt Kragthorpe offered these words in this morning's column.

   "The Utes’ troubles, however, were not attributable to coach Kyle Whittingham or offensive coordinator Dave Christensen being too conservative. Nobody can say Utah played not to lose, in other words. The Utes just didn’t play well — which is the coaches’ fault, but game management was not the problem."

      Bullshit!

       I live in Salt Lake City where all of the local sports people never tell it like it is. Seems like everyone is trying to play nice so that someone isn't offended by the cold harsh reality of the absolute truth.

       The Utes, after racking up 21 points in the first quarter, got conservative in the second half and it cost them. It may cost them a bowl game or any measure of Pac-12 respect because you can't contend for squat when you lose to Washington State at home.

     "No one can say they played not to lose" 

    I can!

     In that fourth quarter as Washington State was starting to get uncorked offensively, the Utes put together two crappy 3-and-out drives. They were mirror images of each other.

    Run middle - Nothing

    Short pass complete but short of the first down

    Run middle - nothing

    Punt

     Who does that besides Norv Turner in the NFL?

     Everyone is saying the punt was the right call.

      It might have been if you were facing New Mexico or Colorado State back in the Mtn. West conference days.

       You're playing with the big boys now Utah and it's time to stop playing conservative football and get after people.

       When you're facing a red-hot offensive team with a QB that can light you up, you keep him off the field. I'm sorry but that play-calling reeked of conservative, let's not lose the game type stuff.

    When you have 4th and inches at the opposing team's 44 and your defense is gassed and you have red hot QB just waiting to get in the game for a come-from-behind road win, you don't punt.

     What you're really saying to your offense in that 4th-and-inches situation is 'We don't trust you and you're not good enough to get the six inches that we need to grind out this game and get a win.'

     You had a running back in Devontae Booker that was 24-182 and you didn't think he could get you six inches?

    I get that Kyle Wittingham is a defensive coach and I get that a lot of his experience has been in dominating the old Mtn. West with good defense and smart, low-risk football. 

    This is not the Mtn. West and on a weekly basis you're going to face teams that can chuck it and get it done in a hurry. See Washington State's 4-play, 92-yard drive that took just 1:23 off the clock. 

      What the Utes needed in that second half was a little Urban Meyer trickery.

      Ya can't win the Pac-12 or be competitive if you're always vanilla on offense.

      I so want to get behind this Utes team as they make the transition from Mtn. West to Pac-12 to Pac-12 elite but it's so damn frustrating to give a home game away like this that the Utes had no business losing.

   This isn't the Mtn. West and it's time the whole Utah football program puts on their big-boy britches and starts acting like they belong in this league. 

   Follow me @panicgalore