Ten Things from Week Ten
Posted By:Brett Haynes - Greenville, SC Tags:
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Filling in for Wes this week, I will take a look back at the weekend that has just passed with ten things that caught my eye....
1. 67-65 Michigan! Things are just kinda wacky right now in Ann Arbor. With another mediocre season in progress, and everyone knowing deep inside that UM just really isn't that good, the Wolverines won one of the most entertaining games of the season. This past Saturday in three overtimes, the Illinois Fighting Illini and Big Blue went at it head to head, toe to toe. But in the end, a sack ended the game and improved Michigan to 6-3.
2. Come on Utes. Although I know TCU has a very fine football team, I have to say I am very disappointed in Utah. To lose by 40 points at home is just not something a top 25 team does. Sorry. This game was the biggest highlight of their season, and the Utes came out flat, going down 20-0 in the first quarter. People will say "well TCU is just dang good." Yes, they are. But this shouldn't happen. I am angry with Utah. My team isn't even ranked right now, but I would bet you the wife and kids (that I don't have) that TCU wouldn't do that to us in our house. No way. Not a chance.
3. Syracuse getting better. I was just about to hop on the Syracuse bandwagon, and then they go and lose to Louisville in the Carrier Dome, 28-20. Still, the Orange have to be a story in 2010. Over the past five years, this team has been among the very worst in college football, averaging 2.8 wins per year since 2005, including a 1-10 mark that season. Now though here in 2010, they are 6-3 and 3-2 in the Big East. If they could have beaten the underdog Cardinals at home two days ago, the Big East title would have been in site (they already beat West Virginia and the other loss was OOC to Washington). Bottom-line: this is a great comeback story for a program. Props to second year Head Coach Doug Marrone.
4. LSU helps Auburn. By handing Alabama their second loss, LSU paved the way for Auburn to clinch the SEC West at home this coming weekend against Georgia. Of course the Tigers have their eyes on the prize for a national title, and beating Bama is a thing of pride, but clinching it at home would be a very cool way for War Eagle to cap off an unreal home season. The Tigers will have had five huge home games this season! But they better be careful. This is a season for the ages, and they can't let UGA pop that balloon. The Dawgs have had a rough season, and nothing would get things back to rocking in Athens like an upset of this caliber!
5. 400. Unless you have been exploring Neptune for the last forty years, you have heard that Joe Paterno can coach the crap out of some college football. The man is a legend, and rightfully so with two national titles and 24 bowl victories. Now, he has reached another milestone: 400 wins. He achieved the mark with a comeback win at home over Northwestern. Down early, the Lions came back for a 35-21 win. I have never had the chance to meet this person or see PSU live in a game so as to get near him or watch him close. But by everything I have ever heard from those whose opinion is respected, he does it absolutely the right way. Congrats, Paterno!
6. Oregon still has work to do. I love the Ducks. Ever since I watched them in Knoxville and met some of their fans (sat in Duck section), I have kind of taken a liking to this team. They are explosive with playmakers and play upbeat and on their toes. They are fun to watch in all of their crazy uniform Duckness. But as much as they have things jammin' right now, they better realize they still have quite a bit of work to do to make it to Glendale and the BCS Title Game. They have beaten the two next best teams in their league in Stanford and USC, but Arizona is a tough home game sandwiched between two tricky road trips: Cal and Oregon State. The Ducks should be fine, but let's not pencil them in just yet.
7. ACC unpredictability. You can say whatever you want about the ACC, and that is fine. But one thing that cannot be said is that the league isn't fun to watch. Outside of Virginia Tech, every team in the ACC has at least two losses, and predicting the games is like predicting the weather. Miami and VT tangle this weekend, so who knows if the Hokies will join the crowd soon. Two weeks ago FSU was 4-0. Now they are 4-2 with three tough games left. VT is probably ok in the Coastal, but the Atlantic is still wide open.
8. Offensive stat leaders. Your national offensive leader through ten weeks is clearly Oregon. The Ducks lead the nation at 54.7 points per game and 567.2 yards per game. That is unreal! The top rusher in the nation is again a Duck - LaMichael James, who has 166 ypg and a national best 17 rushing touchdowns. The top passer is Bryant Moniz of Hawaii at 337.4 ypg. The top receiver is Justin Blackmon of Oklahoma State at 160.6 ypg.
9. Defensive stat leaders. The defensive leader up to this point is TCU. The Horned Frogs are giving up just 8.5 ppg and also lead the nation at giving up just 215 ypg. They are again first in passing defense (121.9 ypg), but sixth nationally in rushing defense. The national sack leader is Da'Quan Bowers of Clemson, who has twelve sacks on the season. The national leader in tackles is Luke Kuechly of Boston College with 125. The interception leader is Mana Silva of Hawaii with seven.
10. Special teams stat leaders. Leading the nation in kickoff returns at this time is William Powell of Kansas State at 34.6 yards per return (one score). The top punt returner is Shaky Smithson of Utah at 22.8 yards per return (two scores). The top field goal kicker is David Ruffer of Notre Dame who is 13 for 13 on the season. The top punter in the nation is Chas Henry of Florida at 48.2 yards per punt.
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