Yes, it’s that time again. What Alex Ferguson felt after Week 8 of this wonderful College Football season. IMPRESSED
Texas showed Corey Hodges and the high-octane Texas Tech offense that defense wins games by limiting Tech to 17 points. They also scored 52 of their own. Don’t get us wrong- Hodges was OK, going 42-of-64 for 369 yards with 2 TDs and 1 INT, but Vince Young, after an inauspicious start, revelled in the spotlight again, throwing for 239 yards with 2 TDs and 2 INTs and running for 45 yards on 7 carries and 1 TD.
After an extremely lucky win over Penn State, the Wolverines proved their mettle with an OT win over Iowa. With only 2 losses in the Big Ten, there is still a good chance of Lloyd Carr bringing the title home to Ann Arbor. Despite being outscored statistically in most of the categories, the Michigan defense stepped up on third down, denying Drew Tate and the Hawkeyes offense 11 times out of 16 attempts.
A 49-14 win in East Lansing against Michigan State blew us away (as did the wins over Purdue and Wisconsin). Is this the same team that Arizona State put 733 yards on a few weeks ago? The Wildcats’ defensive intercepted Drew Stanton 3 times, and their running back, Tyrone Sutton, who ran for 109 yards and 2 TDs, is one of the best running backs in the Big Ten…and that’s saying something.
Winning in teams from Lincoln, Nebraska, isn’t as hard as it used to be in the Tom Osborne days, but it’s not easy, either. Enter Mizzou QB Brad Smith, who became the sixth player in D1-A history to run for 200 yards and pass for 200 yards in the same game, as the Tigers smoked the Cornhuskers 41-24 to take the team to 3-1.
63-10 is what you would call a pretty dominating victory. Joe Paterno’s 350th win gave the critics (like me), who thought the Lions would struggle in Champlain, a good-old fashioned slap in the face. And give it up to Paterno for showing particular class by replacing all of his starters for the second half- something that I doubt coaches with the last names of Spurrier, Brown and Carroll would have done. Quick shout out to PSU QB Michael Robinson, who threw for four TDs and ran for two in the first half.
We don’t give enough love to these Tar Heels. After being trounced in Louisville 69-14, the Tar Heels came back to record a 7-5 victory over the Virginia Cavaliers. Yeah- those Cavaliers who knocked off Florida State last weekend. The defense held UVA QB Marques Hagans to only 109 yards and 1 INT- and the INT came with UVA driving at the end of the game.
Ohio Northern (DIII)
Give a standing ovation to Ohio Northern, who defeated Mount Union 21-14, snapping MU’s 99 game winning streak in the Ohio Athletic Conference. I wonder who’s going to do that to USC?
Irish football was back when Charlie Weis took the reigns in South Bend at the start of the year. Against BYU, it was another ‘Irishman’- QB Brady Quinn, who had a 467 yard/ 6 TD monster day in the 49-23 clubbing of the Cougars. The kid’s good, Charlie, the kid’s good.
Marcus Vick certainly didn’t have his greatest game, throwing 3 picks against Maryland. But the defense stood up, and the Hokies took care of business. The question is is- if Vick does this against #13 Boston College, how badly will his team suffer?
Sure, they beat the heck out of Washington, but the Huskies are finding new ways to be horrible this year, and are surely a candidate for ESPN.com’s worst 10 in college ball at the moment.
The Ducks are a bona fide Pac-10 contender this year, and showed some resolve by beating pesky Arizona 28-21, giving up no points in the fourth quarter- something unheard of in this pass/score-happy conference. The only problem for them is that star QB Kellen Clemens blew out his knee and is done for the year.
What on earth has been happening in Oklahoma this year? The Sooners are pretty darn horrible, but O-State’s 0-4 interdivisional record quite simply sucks. Iowa State (who were on the “depressed” list last week) walked over State this week, 37-10.
If I was Auburn kicker John Vaughn, who missed (get this) FIVE field goals during the game, I’d be hiding right now. Auburn fans aren’t necessarily depressed, but they sure are pissed at the moment. Just think- if Vaughn had converted the first four, then number 5 (a 28-yarder in OT) wouldn’t have mattered.
“Reaching the heights of 7-0 is no reason to be upset,” you might say. And you’d be right. But losing star QB D.J. Shockley to a monster knee injury a week before the Cocktail Party against Florida? A reason to feel a little down, methinks. His replacement Shockley’s replacement, Joe Tereshinski, didn’t exactly make Dawgs fans crying with happiness, going 5-9 for 91 yards and 1 INT. A win’s a win, eh?
After they beat Oregon State handily and during the first half of the USC game, the patter in Tempe was about ASU’s return to the JR Redmond days of yesterday. After their stunning 45-35 loss to lowly Stanford, the Sun Devils have to win 3 out of 4 of their remaining games to be bowl eligible. Former Heisman candidate QB Sam Keller was horrible in the loss, going 10/16 with 98 yards. The team has no rushing defense to speak of, and there’s nothing nice that can be said about Dirk Koetter’s team at the moment, apart from their beautiful, beautiful fans.
LOVING THE DRAMA
I don’t know how you can be impressed by a conference, so I decided to talk about the SEC in terms of drama. Two games were decided by field goals- Alabama got their’s in the 6-3 win over the hated Tennessee Volunteers, and Tide rival Auburn missed FIVE, including one in overtime. Ouch. Georgia only squeaked by Arkansas, and the other USC-South Carolina- eked out a win over Vanderbilt 35-28 in a thriller. The less-important game was tight too, with Ole Miss defeating Kentucky 13-7. And who says the SEC is overrated? Not I!