Whew!! That’s the sound coming out of Tuscon, Norman, Tuscaloosa, and Ann Arbor this morning.
In Tuscaloosa, Alabama staged a mighty comeback, down 13 in the second half to defeat Arkansas 24-10, and hang onto its No.1 ranking. It was classic ‘Bama, no panic, a reflection on the persona of Coach Nick Saban, combined with talent in the form of its devastating running tandem; defending Heisman Trophy winner Mark Ingram, and his partner Trent Richardson, along with a shut down opportunistic defense. The Tide has now won 17 consecutive SEC games, and its starry field general, quarterback Greg McElroy, remains undefeated as a starter at Alabama. It was also the farewell tour of Arkansas quarterback’s Heisman Trophy hopes.
What’s wrong with Oklahoma’s defense? OU, who at one time lead 24-9, had to hang on to defeat an average Cincinnati team 31-29, as the Sooners D was shredded for almost 450 yards!! Yikes!!
In Tuscon, last week’s signature victory over Iowa would have been all for naught if Arizona quarterback Nick Foles didn’t lead a late touchdown drive to defeat Cal 10-9. Cal’s field goal kicker, Giorgio Tavecchhio, who had made his previous three, missed a 40 yarder with less than three minutes to go, keeping the Wildcats who now find themselves 4-0 for the first time since 1998.
In Ann Arbor, Michigan rolled over Bowling Green 65-21, but in the Big House over 100,000 of the faithful held its collective breath as its “Mr. Everything,” quarterback Denard “Shoelace” Robinson stayed on the ground after another of his scintillating runs. It turns out Robinson, who carried five times for 129 yards, was fine (knee tweak) but was held out for the rest of the game. Shoelace will be lacing them up next week against Indiana.
In the old friend department: Coach Tom O’Brien and his NC State Wolfpack have something smoking in Raleigh, as NC State, after its big road win against Gerogia Tech 45-38, is 4-0 for the first time since 2002. And up at Hanover, New Hampshire Coach Buddy Teevens (Silver Lake Regional High School) has his Dartmouth Big Green 2-0 for the first time since the Clinton Administration, 1997. Congrats!!
Touchdown Jesus must be on a sabbatical. Notre Dame was embarrassed at home by Stanford 37-14, as the “Fighting” Irish fell to 1-3. Two way player – linebacker and fullback – Owen Marecic, scored on a pick six, and on a run, to cap off a memorable day. Irish Coach Brian Kelly is the right guy – it’s just going to take some time, after Charlie Weis left the cupboard quite empty.
Sobs. That was the sound emanating from Austin, as Texas was humiliated by UCLA 34-12. It was the worst loss in the Mack Brown era. The last time UCLA came a calling to Royal/Memorial Stadium it was the “Rout 66” game; UCLA 66 – Texas 3, the year before Brown’s arrival. The Bruins had 224 yard of rushing, while Texas managed only 85. Double Yikes!! Here’s our guess, you won’t be seeing UCLA on the Horns schedule for another 13 years!!
Temple’s Al Golden, a former Penn State player and assistant coach gave his mentor all he could handle before the Owls finally fell to the Nittany Lions 22-13.
Back in the SEC; Auburn fell behind again, this time 20-7 to a very good South Carolina team, before rallying back on the legs of its rising star, goliath quarterback Cam Newton, (6-6, 250 pounds) who rushed for 176 yards. Every time the Tigers needed first down yardage, or a big play, Newton answered. If Auburn continues to win, the big QB will start to get some serious Heisman consideration.
LSU coach Les Miles said it best, “We’re 4-0 the hard way.” The Tigers defense is harder to crack than Fort Knox, but its “offense” is as sickening as a De Coster egg. Starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson, for the third consecutive game, failed to pass for 100 yards, and at times was booed by the Death Valley faithful, as LSU hung on to defeat West Virginia 20-14. It was ugly.
In the Swamp, the Gators finally found some offense, as tailback/receiver Trey Burton broke one of Tim Tebow’s Florida records; scoring six touchdowns. Burton becomes the fourth player in the storied history of the SEC to accomplish such a feat, as Florida toyed with Kentucky; 48-14.
In Boise, the Broncos who defeated Oregon State 37-24, didn’t earn enough style points to silence its critics, although quarterback Kellen Moore was once again spectacular.
It was ugly in the Horseshoe for Eastern Michigan as the Buckeyes pummeled the Eagles 73-20, as OSU scored its most points since the Truman Administration – 1950.
In Minneapolis it’s almost inevitable that the coaching resumes will begin to flow. Coach Tim Brewster’s Golden Gophers fell to Northern Illinois 34-23 dropping its record to 1-3 before it even starts Big Ten Play. During the game Minnesota twice had fourth and one, and twice they were stopped. Double Yikes!!
There is also some serious soul searching going on in West Lafayette, as Toledo, who started the game ranked as the nation’s worst total offense, put up 378 yards in defeating the Purdue Boiler Makers 31-20.
Finally, in Athens, Georgia, Coach Mark Richt and his Bulldogs find themselves 1-3 and 0-3 in the conference (first time since 1993) after losing to Mississippi State 24-12. The win broke a nine game losing streak for Coach Dan Mullen’s Bulldogs. And the Bulldogs, with the supposed pedigree, find themselves with its first three game losing streak since 1990. Break out the fire extinguishers, Richt’s chair just started smoldering.
(Material from other sources was used in compiling this report.)
That’s it from cyber space, we’ll be up and running with our analysis of week fire Wednesday night, until then, Peace and listen to the music.