Ten Things from Week Eleven
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Filling in for Wes again this week (poor guy is deep into his studies right now), we will look at ten things that caught my eye from the college football weekend....
1. Wisconsin throws down 83! I have always kind of liked the Badgers. I think it is because they seem to play an old-school style of play where you just line up and go at it. Well, that old-school style went out the window Saturday as Wisconsin racked up 598 total yards (really not all that much considering 83 points) and threw for four touchdowns in a thrashing of Indiana. Six different running backs got carries, and eight different receivers got receptions. Throw in a pick-six for a score and a kicker that was 2 for 2 on field goals and 11 for 11 on extra points, and that is what you call a good day!
2. Nick Saban rips AJ McCarron a new one! I was going to write a capsule on this, but I think this video shows it about a thousand times better than I could ever tell. Saban didn't beat around the bush that backup quarterback McCarron needs to check his ego at the door. Apparently, McCarron's ego caused him to throw to the wrong man, and Saban wasn't having it! (don't miss the butt slap to end the one-way conversation!) Watch, please:
3. UConn Coach Randy Edsall gambles on 4th down. Late in the game against Pitt last Thursday, Randy Edsall made the gutsiest call of the season thus far. With a slim two-point lead and facing a fourth down with the ball at his own 19 yard-line, Edsall decided to go for it. There was only 2:00 and some change left on the clock, and a first down would seal the game. But if they came up short, Pitt wouldn't even have had to move the ball to set up the game-winning boot. As the offense set up in regular formation, the thought was that they were trying to draw the Panthers offsides. But to the amazement of all, they actually snapped it and Jordan Todman snuck across for the game-sealing yardage!
4. Yep. Texas has problems. But enjoy it while it lasts. Yes, Texas just dropped their sixth game, and fourth in four weeks. They are 97th in the country in points for, and 54th in the country in points against. Clearly, things are not cool at all right now in Longhorn land. But folks, calm down already!!! This team played for a dadgum national title just a year ago and recruits in the top ten every single year. This will be a short-lived trip to the Big 12 basement, and they will come out in 2011 with a fresh start, a junior more-experienced quarterback in Garrett Gilbert, and gobs of new playmaking recruits. Enjoy this while it lasts Longorn haters.
5. Oregon and Stanford win squeekers. Two of the most high-powered offenses in the nation went on the road last week, and they both were almost shut down. Stanford scored just 17 in beating Arizona State, while Oregon - the best offense in the nation - scored just 15 in slipping past Cal. Still, they both live to see another week in the top ten, with Oregon and its 51 points per game offense welcoming in Arizona next. Stanford is averaging 40 points per game, with their only loss coming to Oregon in Week five. They travel to Cal next.
6. Gamecocks own the East for now. People can call the SEC East "down" all they want to. That isn't Steve Spurrier's or South Carolina's fault! Yes, Florida, Georgia and Tennessee have had better seasons, but Spurrier has assembled a damn fine team in Columbia who will give Auburn all they want in a rematch at the Georgia Dome, December fourth. The defense is solid, and the offense has two sensational playmakers in Marcus Lattimore and Alshon Jeffery. A second half mental lapse against Kentucky, and a home disappointment against a good Arkansas team are two games keeping this team from being major news.
7. FSU field goal hasn't landed yet. As anyone from Clemson could tell you, Seminole kicker Dustin Hopkins made a game-winning field goal that was not only epically long, but also couldn't have been more dead-center if he lined it up with a laser. Hopkins missed a game-winner against UNC the week before, and was ready for revenge. Already two for two on the day, he put a charge into this kick that saw it sail a good ten to 15 yards through the uprights. Seriously, the reason this kick made my list of ten things isn't because it shattered my heart, but rather because it was one of the longest, straightest, sheer bombs of a kick I have ever seen.
8. Offensive stat leaders. Total offense - Oklahoma State (547 ypg). Scoring Offense - Oregon (51 ppg). Passing offense - Hawaii (371 ypg). Rushing offense - Georgia Tech (319 ypg). Rushing individual - LaMichael James, Oregon (158 ypg). Passing individual - Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State (339 ypg). Receiving individual - Justin Blackmon, Oklahoma State (159 ypg).
9. Defensive stat leaders. Total defense - TCU (223 ypg). Scoring defense - TCU (11 ppg). Rushing defense - Boston College (74 ypg). Passing defense - TCU (135 ypg). Sacks - Da'Quan Bowers, Clemson (13). Tackles - Luke Kuechly, Boston College (146). Interceptions - Jayron Hosley, Virginia Tech, Robert Lester, Alabama and Mana Silva, Hawaii (7).
10. Special teams stats. Field goals - David Ruffer, Notre Dame (13 for 13). Punting - Chas Henry, Florida (47 yards per kick). Punt returns - Cliff Harris, Oregon (23 yards per return). Kickoff returns - William Powell, Kansas State (35 yards per return).
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