Despite the beatdown, Rex Ryan said afterwards that Mark Sanchez would keep starting for the Jets moving forward.
“It’s hardly on one guy,” Ryan said after the game. “I thought Mark threw the ball well. Again, Mark will be the starting QB this week.”
Sanchez finished the game going 26-of-36 for 301 yards and a touchdown, but he also threw an interception. Oh yes, and he ran into his offensive lineman.
It was a bizarre game for the Jets, mainly because they never used Tim Tebow, who seemed like a reasonable option when they faced a 35-3 halftime deficit. After all, if you’re gonna go for broke, who makes more sense than Tebow?
Maybe Rex is staring at the next five games and hoping 9-7 and a playoff berth is an insane possibility: Arizona, Tennessee, Jacksonville, San Diego and Buffalo are a fairly easy stretch of opponents.
But if things continue the way they have, it might not matter who’s under center for the Jets.
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Here’s everything you need to know from college basketball’s Thursday night …
Game of the Night: Louisville and its anemic offense barely escape against Northern Iowa.
Rick Pitino led Louisville to the Final Four last season despite not having much firepower offensively. This season, the Cardinals were ranked among the top two teams in the country by most outlets — and they certainly have the ability to make another run. With that said, their offense is still not efficient enough. On Thursday night, it almost cost them against Northern Iowa. The Panthers scored just four points in the first 12 minutes of the second half, but then went on a 17-2 run to make the Cardinals sweat in the final minutes. Northern Iowa was down one with just over two minutes left, but Louisville held on down the stretch, 51-46.Louisville shot below 31 percent from the field and turned it over time and time again. The Cardinals got the win, but Pitino has to get that offense humming.
What else we’ll be talking about in the morning:VCU forces 22 turnovers and beats Memphis.
When VCU is at its best, it is forcing turnovers and getting easy baskets in transition. Basically, the Rams look to constantly pressure their opponents and frustrate them for 40 minutes. Joe Jackson was the target on Thursday – and the Rams did their job. Jackson finished with seven turnovers and five fouls for Memphis, as VCU weathered every Tigers’ rally to win, 78-65. VCU knocked down better than 59 percent from 3-point range and received 26 points from Treveon Graham. Memphis still has its leadership issues.
That’s a good win: Saint Mary’s proves Gonzaga won’t roll over the WCC.
There weren’t a ton of great wins on the light Thanksgiving slate, but Saint Mary’s served notice with its win over Drexel. Sure, it was a depleted Dragons squad, with Chris Fouch out for the season and Damion Lee day-to-day. But the Gaels have a lot of good guards, and a go-to-guy in Matthew Dellavedova. Gonzaga came into the season as the favorite, and rightfully so. The demolition of West Virginia in the opening game of the 24-hour marathon only proved that sentiment. But don’t expect Mark Few’s crew to just roll in the WCC. There will be a couple more classics between Saint Mary’s and Gonzaga.
But that’s a bad loss: Xavier drops first game to Pacific.
Xavier had surprised most people around the country with its impressive start, including a 15-point lead over Butler and another win over Robert Morris. As a result, the Musketeers losing by three to Pacific in the DirecTV Classic provided a bit of a shock. Xavier was outrebounded, and allowed Pacific to shoot nearly 57 percent from the field.
Players with impact
Warren Niles lit up Loyola Marymount on Thursday, as he led Oral Roberts with 33 points and four assists.
Matthew Dellavedova outdueled Frantz Massenat, scoring 32 points as Saint Mary’s beat Drexel.
Mason Plumlee is starting to become a dominant force on the inside for Duke. He went for 20 points and 17 boards against Minnesota.
Numbers to figure:
13.8: Laurence Bowers is putting up 13.8 points per game this season in the second half. He’s averaging 16.3 overall.
2: The number of two-point field goals Rice made in its 18-point loss to Georgia Tech. The Owls shot 9-for-30 from behind the arc.
150: Number of consecutive games Duke has spent inside the top 10.
Other outcomes of note:
Duke only got two points from its bench, but the Blue Devils were still able to handle Minnesota by 18 points. Trevor Mbakwe had 11 off the bench for the Golden Gophers.
Missouri is still a work-in-progress, as the Tigers are meshing newcomers and returnees. However, the Tigers held off Stanford in the second half to win, 78-70.
Gonzaga didn’t look as good as it did when it dominated West Virginia, but the Bulldogs came back in the second half and beat Clemson.
– Davidson has a chance to roll through the Southern Conference – perhaps unbeaten. The Wildcats’ latest win was a 13-point victory over Vanderbilt at the old Spice Classic. De’Mon Brooks and Jake Cohen give them a BCS-level frontcourt duo.
– Oklahoma could be an interesting team in the Big 12 this season. The Sooners are now 3-0 after beating UTEP, 68-61. Steven Pledger was the big scorer last season, but there are plenty of options this year.
– West Virginia steamrolled Marist on Thursday afternoon, but the lineup was interesting. Aaric Murray and Matt Humphrey both came off the bench, with Aaron Brown and Kevin Noreen starting.
– I thought Loyola Marymount could perhaps compete in the WCC, but the Lions have now lost to SMU and Oral Roberts.
TCU WON. Playing with a freshman quarterback on the road and a lineup ravaged by injuries and attrition, the Horned Frogs went ahead early, never broke on defense and held on late for the biggest win of their Big 12 debut. The last time TCU beat Texas in Austin? Nov. 18, 1967, during the Lyndon Johnson administration.
WHY TCU WON. The offense stormed out of the gate, marching 94 yards for a touchdown on the opening series of the game, and found some sustained success on the ground with 221 yards. But the night really belonged to the TCU defense, which forced four turnovers and held the Horns to season lows for both points and total offense. With virtually none of the usual support from the ground game, Texas’ starting quarterback David Ash struggled so mightily that he was pulled at the end of both halves for Case McCoy, who didn’t fare much better. Between them, Ash and McCoy were sacked three times, picked off three times and didn’t complete a pass covering more than 19 yards.
When Texas did move the ball, it was for naught, or close to it: The Longhorns’ first six trips into TCU territory resulted in two interceptions, two turnovers on downs and just six points on the board courtesy of a pair of field goals. They finally found the end zone with 3:07 remaining in the fourth quarter, which turned out to be too little, too late.
WHEN TCU WON. Texas trailed from start to finish, but did get one last shot to pull even after its lone touchdown, taking over at its own 34 with no timeouts, 1:44 remaining and needing another touchdown to either send the game to overtime at 20-20 or set up a two-point conversion to win. That decision was rendered moot on the second play of the ensuing series, when McCoy was flushed out of the pocket and launched an extremely ill-advised prayer into a pack of TCU defenders downfield. One of them, Sam Carter, came down with the pick, and the offense kneeled out the victory.
WHAT TCU WON. Besides guaranteeing their eighth consecutive winning season, the victory was the Horned Frogs’ first over their old Southwest Conference rival since 1992. Otherwise, TCU had lost 29 straight to Texas dating back to 1968, by an average margin of 24 points per game.
As an additional footnote ahead of next week’s visit from Oklahoma, the Frogs are now 4-1 against Big 12 opponents on the road, but 0-3 in Fort Worth.
WHAT TEXAS LOST. Tangibly, the Longhorns were officially eliminated from any darkhorse runs at the Big 12 title or a BCS bowl. More importantly, though, for a team that’s endured so much disappointment over the last three years, was the abrupt halt to the growing sense of forward momentum over the last three weeks. Tonight was the sixth game Texas has dropped since 2010 as at least a 7-point favorite, all six of them on its home field.
Before tonight, it was beginning to look like the Horns had moved past all that. Since the 63-21 debacle against Oklahoma in October, they rebounded to win four in a row, and seemed to turn a corner this month in reassuringly routine wins over Texas Tech and Iowa State. That was especially true for Ash, who was benched for McCoy in the fourth quarter of a narrow escape from Kansas on Oct. 27, but seemed to rediscover his solid September form against the Red Raiders and Cyclones. Against TCU, it took less than a half for Ash to find himself stuck in the same revolving door with McCoy that defined the team’s stagnation in 2011. A year later, by their usual standards, the Longhorns still appear to be going nowhere fast.