NFL Week 7 and NCAAF Week 8 may have been missing Jarryd Hayne, but some other Aussies were involved in some spectacular wins.
The Hayne Plane Fails to Take Off
Given that I’m an Australian writing about NFL, I really should write about Jarryd Hayne. In fact, I’m pretty sure Rupert Murdoch had the Australian Constitution secretly rewritten when Jarryd Hayne became a 49er. As a consequence every Australian publication must sensationally report on Jarryd Hayne no matter how underwhelming his performance.
But unfortunately Jarryd Hayne’s performance this week was non-existent instead of underwhelming. And rather than being on the field, Hayne was sitting in a booth next to Iggy Azalea with a sign overhead saying “Australian’s Missing from Action”.
DID YOU KNOW?? They're called the #49ers because every time Jarryd Hayne farts all the news sites write 49 articles about it
— John Johnsonson (@JohnJohnsonson) October 23, 2015
— The Wolf (@WillHillWolf) October 22, 2015
And because I’m Australian apparently I should be writing that if Hayne was on the field he would have made the difference. That he could have turned the tide in what was an exceptionally underwhelming 49ers performance against the Seattle Seahawks. Touchdowns would have been scored in a game where the 49ers went touchdown-less.
Blah blah, yeah yeah, whatever.
The reality is that Hayne fumbled three times in six games. His ball protection needs work. He doesn’t yet understand the plays well enough to be given regular running back responsibilities. And as a running back, he’s inadequate at giving extra protection to quarterback Colin Kaepernick.
— Matt ☯ (@Matt4RD) October 23, 2015
The 49ers need help. Desperate help, in both offence and defence. Hayne is an experiment, and the 49ers may have taken a chance on him because they knew they were going to struggle this season. This doesn’t mean Hayne won’t play again, but it does mean that he will have to be work hard to earn back his place on the team.
Rating – It’s tempting to give Hayne a bonus point because his absence meant that all of Australia was spared from watching how terrible the 49ers are. But even one out of five is excessive for someone who didn’t even make the field.
0 out of 5
Brad Wing Returns to Form
Last week showed that Aussie punters aren’t faultless. In fact last week was Brad Wing’s worst game of the season with a couple of horror punts, one which only travelled 26 yards, in the New York Giant’s 27-7 thrashing by the Philadelphia Sea Eagles.
But this week saw a return to form by both Wing and the Giants who had a 20-27 win over the Dallas Cowboys.
Wing punted five times for an average of 45.5 yards. His longest of 53 yards also sealed the game for the giants. Punting from the defensive 32 yard line Wing’s high, floating punt was fumbled by Cowboy’s punt returner Cole Beasley on the 15 yard line. It was pounced on by Myles White and the Cowboys no longer had the time to level the score.
#Brad Wing put some of his special knuckling action on that punt to force indecision and game – sealing fumble.
— Will Weathers (@WillWeathersBR) October 25, 2015
Brad Wing baby. Wow! Caused that punt return fumble with that huge boot Beasley was NOT prepped for.
— Haz Bourne (@BXBomberz) October 25, 2015
Cole Beasley lol! Thats not how you catch a drop punt. Hasn't played Aussie Rules lol. Great punt by @bwing38
— Damien B (@DFB80) October 25, 2015
Wing’s other punts went 44, 41, 51, and 46 yards. Only one punt was returned for 7 yards, and two resulted in touchbacks which were his first for the season. On top of this Wing still remains the league leader for inside 20 yard punts.
On top of Wing’s performance this was a game which saw some extraordinary game changing plays from the Giants. Firstly, in the third quarter Giants cornerback, Dominique Rodgers-Cromartie, intercepted a pass and which resulted in a 58 yard touchdown. Next, in the fourth kickoff returner Dwayne Harris took possession right on the end zone and then travelled 100 yards back up the field for a touchdown.
DRC started celebrating his 58-yard pick-6 at the 40-yard line. #DALvsNYG
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2015
— NFL (@NFL) October 25, 2015
Rating – Good to see Wing back in form and being effective in a win. Causing Cole Beasley to fumble is also likely to make Jarryd Hayne to feel a little better about his first touch in NFL.
4 out of 5
Gotsis and Georgia Tech in Remarkable ‘Come from Behind’ Win
I’ve written a couple of time now about Adam Gotsis (here and also here). Being an Aussie he’s one of the unique few who isn’t a punter. What’s more, he’s one of Georgia Tech’s three captains and seems to have a good shot of getting drafted to the NFL next year.
But Georgia Tech have been having a pretty bad run. In fact they came into this week’s game against Florida State having lost five in-a-row and only two wins from seven games. Add to this the fact that Florida State were going into this game having won their first six games of the season and also their previous 28 ACC games!
But in what would have to be one of the most remarkable finishes to any game of sport that I have ever seen, Georgia Tech managed to steal victory, not just from the jaws of defeat, but they reached down its throat after Florida State forgot to chew properly.
Scores were level and there was only six seconds left on the clock. Florida State were setup for what should have been a reasonably simple 39 yard field goal and a continuation of their unbroken record.
But Georgia Tech defensive end Lance Austin got a hand on the kick which forced the ball to ground. He then retrieved the ball and made a 78 yard touchdown and gave the Yellow Jackets victory in circumstances which can only be described as phenomenal.
Gotsis had a solid game in the victory with five tackles including one sack, although he did cost Georgia Tech a 10 yard penalty when a personal foul was called against him.
Rating – Gotsis performed well, but another penalty against him is disappointing after he was ejected for targeting a few weeks back. Gotsis may not have had a hand in that final play, but as Australian’s supporting an Australian, we like to think that he had some kind of behind-the-scenes impact.
3 out of 5