College Football Overtime (cont.)
Scenes from the road
Have you ever wondered what it's like to be the only remaining person in a 90,000-seat stadium? I can now tell you from experience: It's eerie.
After filing my story from LSU's Tiger Stadium late Saturday night, I returned to my hotel a little after 1 a.m. to make the horrifying discovery that, for the first time in 11 years of covering football games, I'd left the power cord to my laptop in the press box. With nightmare scenarios flashing through my head (I knew I'd be spending seven to eight hours the next day writing this column), I bolted back to the parking lot and hopped on I-10 in a mad dash back to Tiger Stadium, hoping like heck I'd be able to get back in.
The first good sign came when I found the stadium's closest parking lot wide open (only hours earlier, you probably needed a $10,000 annual donation to park there). So, too, was the press entrance. As I got on the elevator, a group of school employees were getting off. A woman who appeared to be in charge saw me and asked if I was going up to the press box. I shuddered.
"It's open," she said. "But I turned all the lights off."
Sure enough, I arrived to find the enormous press box -- which, when I'd left it 45 minutes earlier still had about 20 writers working -- dark and empty. So too, it appeared, was the entire stadium. I looked out into the bowl for any sign of clean-up workers or security guards and saw none. I was all alone inside previously jam-packed Tiger Stadium ... and, mercifully, reunited with my power cord.
All in all, it was a heck of a scare that made a late night even later, but I can't complain too much. It could have been much worse. I could have been covering soccer.
The 'Immaculate Interception'
That's what they're calling it at Washington. With less than three minutes remaining, the Huskies' Mason Foster picked a pass off the foot of Arizona receiver Delashaun Dean and returned it 37 yards for what would prove to be the game-winning touchdown.
The 'Superhuman Interception'
That's my own self-dubbed name for UCLA linebacker Akeem Ayers' "you-have-to-see-it-to-believe-it" pick of Oregon's Nate Costa, in which the incoming rusher leaps up and grabs the ball within milliseconds of the quarterback's release. Oh, and he manages to gets his foot down just inside the back of the Ducks' end zone.
Mini-previews for three of this week's big games:
Texas vs. Oklahoma, Saturday (Noon ET): Expect another aerial shootout between Bradford and Colt McCoy (especially since neither team has shown signs of a consistent running game). The Sooners' best hope is to somehow neutralize Jordan Shipley, the one true gamebreaker on either side.
USC at Notre Dame, Saturday (3:30 p.m. ET): There will be plenty of comparisons to the classic 2005 game in South Bend. The difference: That Trojans defense was by far the worst of Pete Carroll's reign. If Jimmy Clausen can shred this year's sixth-ranked defense like Brady Quinn, hand him the Heisman right there.
Virginia Tech at Georgia Tech, Saturday (6 p.m. ET): Having already beaten Miami, a win in Atlanta would put the Hokies firmly in the driver's seat in the ACC Coastal. A Jackets victory would set the stage for a potentially heated three-way race the rest of the way. (Or four-way if you include suddenly resurgent Virginia.)
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