SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
9/02/2006 03:28:00 PM
Saturday Observations Part I
Colt McCoy had an impressive debut against overmatched North Texas.
Holy moly. These new clock rules may be clunky but they’re sure accomplishing their goal. The Vanderbilt-Michigan game kicked off at noon sharp. It’s not even 3 p.m. yet as I write this and there’s only a minute left. It could have gone to double overtime and been over by 3:30.
Nothing too eventful to report from the early games, but I shall blog nonetheless …
Dennis Erickson is working his magic again. I can’t say I saw Idaho play last season, but I do know the Vandals went 2-9. If their performance against Michigan State is any indication, they’re going to be a whole lot more competitive this year. The Spartans didn’t play badly -- QB Drew Stanton was steady if unspectacular and the defense didn’t appear to make a lot of mistakes -- yet Idaho was in it practically to the end. QB Steven Wichman threw a beautiful fade pass for a touchdown to cut it to 24-17 halfway through the fourth quarter, and the Vandals then stopped MSU on fourth and 1 on the ensuing series but couldn’t convert from there.
In what is becoming a recurring theme, Michigan’s offense was pretty sloppy against Vanderbilt (though RB Mike Hart looked good), but I liked the way the Wolverines’ defense played under new coordinator Ron English. It’s been awhile since you count on Michigan’s D to stay aggressive throughout -- hence why they blew some fourth-quarter leads last year -- but they never let up against the Commodores, allowing just 171 total yards.
Nice debut for Texas QB Colt McCoy, albeit against North Texas: 12-of-19 for 177 yards, three touchdowns and no picks. Even more impressively, the Longhorns’ defense held the not-so-Mean Green to 96 total yards.
As I write this, Purdue is engaged in a dogfight (up 33-28 late in the third quarter) with a I-AA foe, Indiana State, that went 0-11 last year. That’s ... not a good sign.
I'm shocked that Tressel has unleashed the Ohio State offense. I expected a bunch of clumsy 3 & outs to start, and then doing just enough to hang on. But they look unstoppable so far. Who needs defense if you score 28 per quarter.