Wow! What a weekend!!
Faked field goals in overtime to win, a blocked extra point for the win, huge comebacks, some falling short at the last second, others surviving, it was another classic, college football, Saturday.
We begin in Ann Arbor at the Big House. Mighty “Meeechigan” and Coach Rich $Rod considered this as simply a payout game, another notch in the win column, and a breather, before they get back into action with the “big boys.” But the quality team from Amherst, the Commonwealth’s flagship university, University of Massachusetts –marched into Maize and Blue Country with a different idea, they came to win. And for a great part of the afternoon they had the Big Blue Faithful with thoughts of Deja-vu, Appalachian State -2007, before finally falling to the Wolverines; 42-37.
It may be Mr. Robinson’s neighborhood – quarterback Denard Robinson, the Wolverines scintillating QB, but it sure isn’t Greg Robinson’s town, Michigan’s beleaguered defensive coordinator, who saw his “defense” surrender over 430 offensive yard to UMass. Yikes! That doesn’t bode well for the Michigan’ future.
In the call of the year category, the winner is: Michigan State’s Mark Dantonio. Needing a 46 yard field goal to send the game into the second overtime against arch-rival Notre Dame, the coach called for a fake, and he holder Aaron Bates threw a perfect 29 yard pass to Charlie Gantt to seal the improbable victory 34-31. I wonder if the Bates kid is any relation to Norman, because he did stab ND in the heart.
On Thursday night, old friend Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack defeated Cincinnati to climb to 3-0 for the first time since 2002.
On Friday, the WAC conference stretched its muscles as Nevada, whose last win against California occurred during the Woodrow Wilson Administration in 1915, toyed with the Golden Bears, as its starry dual–threat quarterback, Colin Kaepernick, was responsible for five touchdowns, running for three, and passing for two, as the Wolfpack howled over Cal; 52-31.
In Athens, the thermal units around the seat of head Coach Mark Richt continue to warm as the Georgia Bulldogs have started 0-2 in the SEC for the first time since the first year of the Clinton Administration – 1993. Double YIKES!! In the third week of the season, the SEC hopes of these Sons of Vince Dooley, are probably already over.
Ohio State kept another streak alive in its 43-7 beat-down of Ohio; it hasn’t lost to an in-state team since the Harding Administration – 1921!!
Welcome back to the reigning Heisman Trophy winner – as Mark Ingram, and the Crimson Tide, tuned up for this Saturday’s gigantic clash against Arkansas by destroying Duke 62-13. In his first carry Ingram rumbled for 48 yards, and had over 100 in the first quarter – 3 carries for 101 yards. There have been games where Duke’s basketball team struggles to score 62.
In the “grass is always greener” department – Mississippi Coach Houston Nutt – at the last minute decided to bring in disgraced former Oregon quarterback Jeremiah Masoli, to lead Rebels. Well there are a lot of tears being shed in the home of William Faulkner, Oxford, Mississippi, as Ole Miss (1-2, including a loss to 1AA Jacksonville State) lost to Vanderbilt 28-14. Vandy 1-1 in the SEC snapped a 10 game conference losing streak, as new coach Robbie Caldwell got his first win. Congrats. Even Faulkner would like this story.
Coach Al Golden’s star has now climbed into Carl Sagan territory, as his Temple Owls defeated UConn 30-16, climbing to 3-0 for the first time since the Carter Administration – 1979. If Temple’s is smart, they’ll offer the coach a lifetime contract today. He may not take it, but why not offer. Penn State better be on its toes this week when the Owls come a hooting.
Jake Who? Nebraska toyed with the Washington Huskies and its starry quarterback Jake Locker 4-20-71 yards, 1-td, 2-interceptions, rolling to 56-21 victory. The Cornhuskers QB, Taylor Martinez was by far the better signal caller, and Locker’s NFL cache is definitely dropping.
May the Force be with you! Air Force went into Norman and gave mighty Oklahoma, winners of 33 in a row at home, a real scare, as OU escaped with a 27-24 victory. AF rolled up 351 yards on the ground the most ever surrendered by a Bob Stoops coached team. The Sooners Heisman Trophy candidate, tailback DeMarco Murray gashed the Force for 148 yards, and was immense in moving the chains.
In Madison, a blocked extra point with four minutes left prevented Arizona State, which outplayed the Badgers, from tying the game, and potentially sending it to overtime.
When is a game tying field goal in overtime good, then not good? That’s what happened in Auburn as the Auburn Tigers battled back from a 17 point deficit against Clemson escaping with a 27-24 ot victory. In the overtime period, Auburn had the ball first, and settled for a field goal. Clemson, after missing a wide open receiver in the end zone, lined up to kick a chip shot. It was good, but wait, a penalty flag moved it back five yards. On the second try – no good, Auburn wins. WOW!!
Finally in the desert, in a game filled with penalties and mistakes, – Iowa – who had won 17 of its last 19 – fell behind 27-7 only to rally all the way back to tie – they missed an extra point or the Hawkeyes would have been up by a point, only to see Arizona, in a signature victory – storm back for a 34-27 victory. It ended the National Championship dreams for the Iowa City faithful.
What a weekend!!
We’ll be up and running with our analysis of week 4, Wednesday night. Until then, Peace, and listen to the music.