College Football Overtime (cont.)
It's great to see Southern Miss wideout DeAndre Brown back on the field and shining following his gruesome leg injury in last year's New Orleans Bowl. Brown caught seven passes for a game-high 75 yards in the Eagles' 26-19 win over UCF.
Check out this stat line for Iowa safety Tyler Sash from Saturday's 35-3 win over Iowa State: 10 tackles, two tackles for loss, three interceptions and a forced fumble. Sash was arguably more productive than the entire Iowa State defense.
My new favorite name in college football: Central Michigan cornerback Tommy Mama. The only thing that could possibly make it cooler is if his middle name were Bahama.
Smaller story, but I'm sure you're following it...
You may have seen that Louisiana-Lafayette knocked off Bill Snyder's Kansas State Wildcats 17-15 on Saturday night. As bad as K-State must be right now, this was still a huge win for the Ragin' Cajuns, which hadn't beaten a BCS-conference foe since Texas A&M in 1996. For that, they can thank kicker Tyler Albrecht, who nailed a game-winning 48-yard field goal ... in his first career kick.
Albrecht, a fourth-year junior, spent his first year in the program redshirting, his second year handling kickoffs and his third sidelined by injuries. In ULL's opener last week against Southern, Albrecht made six extra points but did not attempt a field goal. His first career attempt finally arrived with 32 seconds left and his team down one.
"Of course I was nervous," he said, "but I hit it real solid."
Some kickers go their whole careers without getting a shot at a game-winner. Some get it their first time out.
Ohio State: Reinventing history
From my perch high in the press box at Ohio State on Saturday night, I was looking around the interior of the always-wondrous Horseshoe when I noticed something peculiar. On the facade beneath the upper deck of the north end zone, the school lists seven national championship seasons. One of them is 1970.
Some quick research reveals that in 1970, the Buckeyes finished second behind Texas in the coaches poll ... and fifth in the AP poll (which crowned Nebraska). According to the treasure trove that is College Football Data Warehouse, the title that Ohio State so proudly displays was bestowed by the National Football Foundation and Hall of Fame -- and even that one was shared with Texas.
Hey, as long as you're at it, Buckeyes, why not tack on 1969? No love for Matthews Grid Ratings? And what about that '73 banner from Foundation for the Analysis of Competitions and Tournaments? There's still plenty of room on that wall.
Steve Spurrier: Hire More Friendly Security
When South Carolina quarterback Stephen Garcia's last-second shot at a game-winning touchdown fell incomplete, the Gamecocks' coach reacted with agony. The two Georgia state troopers assigned to protect him, however, didn't try to hide their satisfaction with the outcome.
Jim Delany: Amateur Thespian
The Big Ten recently produced a series of lighthearted PSAs entitled "Big Ten Fan Camp." Watch closely, and you'll see a familiar face playing the role of a camp counselor yelling words of encouragement at a group of kids playing tug-of-war.
I must say, the commissioner is quite convincing -- presumably from years of practice bossing around the little guys of his sport.
Scenes from the road
Late Friday night, I and three other writers sat in a near-empty Columbus sports bar, morbidly fixated on Toledo's beatdown of Colorado. The game was over early in the third quarter (when the Rockets went up 30-3), yet for whatever reason we stayed and watched until nearly the bitter end as Toledo quarterback Aaron Opelt (15-of-23, 319 yards, four TDs) played his own personal game of target practice against the Buffaloes' nonexistent defense.
Meanwhile, I didn't know whether to feel sorry for overmatched Colorado quarterback Cody Hawkins (three picks, three sacks) or admire his perseverance (in the waning moments, he dove head first into a Toledo defender while diving for a seemingly meaningless TD, suffering a nasty concussion in the process. While being helped to the sideline, he at one point turned back around for no apparent reason, clearly dazed as to his own whereabouts).
In last week's Mailbag, I wrote it was too soon to pass judgment on fourth-year coach Dan Hawkins following CU's opening-week loss to Colorado State (which itself barely survived Weber State on Saturday). Forget that. The Buffs are terrible, and it's pretty darn stupefying. After four years' of Hawkins recruiting, they've seemingly regressed to a worse state than when he arrived.
But that didn't stop Colorado AD Mike Bohn from throwing predecessor Gary Barnett under the bus following Friday's defeat. "We maybe have been guilty of building a facade that didn't reveal the ... severity of the situation we were in," he said.
Yes, the school endured a recruiting nightmare following the sexual-assault scandal during Barnett's tenure -- but that was five years ago. Hawkins has had plenty of time at this point to build a program capable of not getting its brains beat in -- literally -- by Toledo.
Mini-previews for three of this week's big games:
Georgia Tech at Miami, Thursday (7:30 p.m. ET): Last year, the Jackets racked up 472 rushing yards against the 'Canes in a Thursday night rout in Atlanta. This year could be a different story. Miami gets 10 days to prepare for Tech's triple-option attack this time, and whereas last year the 'Canes were playing their second straight Thursday night game, this time the Jackets face that scenario.
Tennessee at Florida, Saturday (3:30 p.m.): Fans around the country have been waiting since February to see what kind of on-field punishment Florida coach Urban Meyer will inflict on Lane Kiffin for Kiffin's infamous cheating allegations. I'd say there's a 50-50 chance the Vols' anemic offense will put up a bagel, but it's much less certain whether the Gators will hang 50 or 60 on a tough Tennessee D.
Texas Tech at Texas, Saturday (8 p.m.): Speaking of revenge ... the 'Horns get an early shot at payback for last year's heartbreaker in Lubbock. Mike Leach's team isn't going quietly into the night -- quarterback Taylor Potts threw seven touchdowns against Rice last Saturday -- but traditionally the Raiders haven't fared well in Austin. They've allowed an average 50.8 points their last five games there.
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