Ten Things - Week Ten
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Ten things from week ten of the college football season...
1. Hokie Woes - Virginia Tech Head Coach Frank Beamer is one of the most respected men in college football. Over the last 26 years, his teams have been very solid (222-107-2) and have stayed out of trouble for the most part. Beamer's squads have played hard-nosed football based on a running game, tough defense, and special teams play that would change the game - and they have won many games doing that. But in recent seasons, and especially now in 2013, it is becoming clear that VT is slipping. Tech opened with a 25-point loss to Alabama, which is understandable, but in Beamer's peak years he would have been disappointed to have lost that game. The real hurt comes in recent back-to-back losses to Duke and Boston College, and Miami will probably dish out loss number four this weekend. Tricky times in Blacksburg...
2. Metaphorically Speaking - Bo Pelini is on perhaps the hottest seat in America out in Nebraska after a couple of ugly losses in this his sixth season. Saturday, his Cornhuskers lost again....only this time they won! Yes, in sheer and utter desperation, NU executed a Hail Mary pass play from the 49-yard line to beat Northwestern (God help their souls) on the last play of the game, 27-24. It is the fifth straight loss for the Wildcats, and a temporary sigh of relief for Pelini. The bottom line, though, is that Nebraska needed a miracle at home to beat a mediocre Northwestern team.
3. 70-Point Club - Once again, the 70-Point Club goes without a member this past weekend. The club was a popular thing for the first half of the season, but has now cooled down. A few teams got close as Northern Illinois scored 63 on UMass, Marshall scored 61 on Southern Miss, and Old Dominion scored 66 on Rhode Island.
4. Shutout Club - The leader of the Shutout Club for this past weekend is Ohio State. The Buckeyes trounced Purdue, 56-0, for their second shutout of the season. Syracuse shutout Wake Forest, 13-0, for the only other shutout of week ten.
5. Texas Tech's Two Seasons, Part 2 - The Red Raiders cruised through the first half of their schedule as mediocre teams lined up one after the other for Kliff Kingsbury's first squad. But as soon as the second - and tougher - part of the schedule set in, TTU has lost two straight (Oklahoma and Oklahoma State) and face two more hard teams before it is all over (Baylor and Texas). Good things are happening in Lubbock, but a 7-0 start very well may see a record of 8-4 before the bowls arrive.
6. Georgia's Todd Gurley Returns From Injury - After missing a month and a half with a left ankle injury injury, running back Todd Gurley returned to spark Georgia in a 23-20 win over rival Florida. Gurley had exactly 100 yards rushing and a TD, and added another 87 yards receiving and another TD. His impact totally changes the Dawg offense.
7. Miami's Duke Johnson Suffers Injury - It is always awful to see a player go down with a season-ending injury, but so it is here with Miami's Duke Johnson. Against Florida State, Johnson went down with an ankle injury and will miss the rest of the season as he will undergo surgery. Johnson had 920 yards and six TDs on the season, but more importantly his leadership will be missed on the field.
8. NCAA Stat Leaders Offense - The left coast leads the way as the top four players in the country in passing are from Oregon State, Washington State, Fresno State and Cal. Oregon State's duo of Sean Mannion and Brandin Cooks continue to lead the NCAA in passing, and receiving, respectively. Mannion has 3,540 yards passing on the season, with 1,344 of those yards going to Cooks. The top running back in the country - in yards gained - is Antonio Andrews of Western Kentucky with 1,290.
9. NCAA Stat Leaders Defense - Vic Beasley of Clemson and Michael Sam of Missouri are tied still for the national lead in sacks with 10.0 for the year. D'Juan Smith of Florida Atlantic is the national leader in interceptions with seven. The top punter in the nation is Austin Rekhow of Idaho who has punted 60 times for a 47.7 yard average.
10. Three To See -
* Nebraska at Michigan - I like Nebraska. Due to their contingent of fans on this site, I have found myself more knowledgeable of what is happening in Corn Country, and I love the passion of the program. Therefore, I want to see Bo Pelini gone, and a real coach brought in. I want to see Michigan bury the Cornhuskers this weekend to the point that the brass in Lincoln decide once and for all to bring in new leadership. Let's see how it goes.
* Virginia Tech at #11 Miami - Sort of like the Nebraska game above, I am wanting to see solid evidence for the dismissal of the head coach. Let's face it, VT is bad. But the problem in Blacksburg is that Frank Beamer has earned his right to stay after decades of building the program. So while a single loss won't see Beamer gone, the grumblings are already there and a stomping from the 'Canes will make them louder. I like Beamer as a person and I respect immensely what he has done as a HC. But his teams are no longer any good - it is just a fact, Jack.
* #10 Oklahoma at #6 Baylor - So far, Baylor has lit up scoreboards like never before seen in the NCAA. 70-point showings are more normal than not in Waco in 2013. But finally Baylor will face a team with a decent defense, so let's see if they match their 64 ppg average in this one. A rowdy home-field advantage will be there, and who knows, they might even get the W. But I can almost assure you they won't flirt with 70 this time.
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