More Overtime (cont.)
Western Kentucky coach Willie Taggart has done wonders in just three seasons at his alma mater. Last year, the Hilltoppers -- which only moved up to the FBS in 2009 and endured a 26-game losing streak from 2008-10 -- leapt from 2-10 to 7-5 (though they received no bowl invitation). If that didn't get blood pumping down in Bowling Green, then beating that school in Lexington most certainly will.
After scoring a touchdown to pull within one point of SEC foe Kentucky in overtime Saturday, Taggart not only called for a two-point conversion, but he dialed up a trick play. Quarterback Kawaun Jakes threw a lateral to tailback Antonio Andrews, who then threw back across the field to Jakes for the score that clinched a 32-31 Western Kentucky victory.
"The entire game, our guys were saying, 'Coach, call the play! Coach, call the play!'" said Taggart, whose team blew a 24-10 lead. "At the end, I said, 'Well, I'm going to run the play. You all make this happen."
A former Hilltoppers quarterback and most recently Stanford's running backs coach under Jim Harbaugh, Taggart, 36, did not hesitate to stoke the flames of a heretofore non-existent in-state rivalry last week. His first attempt was admittedly regrettable. Irked about Western Kentucky students wearing Kentucky apparel on campus, Taggart said: "The reason they're at WKU is probably they couldn't get into UK."
Whoops. He apologized.
After the victory, however, the triumphant coach declared: "WKU red is the new blue in Kentucky, baby. How 'bout that?" The teams are scheduled to meet again next year in Nashville.
Words cannot properly describe the bizarre and incredible ending to Utah's 24-21 win over BYU -- but Lloyd Christmas comes pretty darn close.
Mini-previews for three of Week 4's big games:
Clemson at Florida State, Saturday (8 p.m. ET): Clemson's first step toward an ACC title last season was a 35-30 win over Florida State. The 'Noles defense is notably more seasoned -- in fact, it's allowing just one point per game -- but it's no small task shutting down Andre Ellington, Sammy Watkins and DeAndre Hopkins.
Kansas State at Oklahoma, Saturday (7:50 p.m. ET): With five teams ranked between No. 6 and No. 17 in the latest AP Poll, this will be the first of many crucial games that determine the Big 12. Will the Wildcats fare better than they did in last year's 58-17 Sooners rout in Manhattan?
Michigan at Notre Dame, Saturday (7:30 p.m. ET): Denard Robinson has racked up a combined 948 yards of offense against the Irish the past two seasons while producing two game-winning scores, with 27 and two seconds left, respectively. There's hardly a surer bet for annual late-game craziness than this matchup.