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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
9/23/2006 05:08:00 PM

Saturday Observations Part III

Joe Paterno
A bout with the flu forced Joe Paterno to the locker room in the second quarter.
College football's a crazy sport, ain't it? Two weeks ago, Penn State looked absolutely helpless against then-No. 2 Notre Dame, losing 41-17. Today: A complete 180. They've held Troy Smith and No. 1 Ohio State scoreless through the first half. And in an added subplot, Joe Paterno is apparently stuck in the bathroom and missing the whole thing. Yes, you read that right. If you haven't been watching, Paterno ran to the locker room midway through the second quarter and, according to Bonnie Bernstein, is battling the flu and had to use "the little boy's room."

I'd expect the Buckeyes to take control in the second half (though the rain may prevent Smith from airing it out like he normally would), but all this begs an obvious question -- how good does this mean Michigan is?


Mack Brown must have read last week's Blog item about not giving Colt McCoy enough passing opportunities, because the freshman QB came out firing against Iowa State, staking Texas to a quick 16-0 lead. Unfortunately, he also threw a costly pick. And, it looks like the 'Horns' secondary issues we saw against Ohio State weren't a fluke. Cyclones QB Bret Meyer was 11-of-16 for 113 yards and two touchdowns midway through the second quarter.

• Cal QB Nathan Longshore is having a huge game against Arizona State, completing 8 of his first 10 passes for 171 yards and three touchdowns. Just as impressive, he's getting all the Bears' various weapons involved -- Justin Forsett, Lavelle Hawkins and Marshawn Lynch have caught the TDs. DeSean Jackson also returned a punt for a touchdown.

• Alabama QB John Parker Wilson -- older brother of Two-a-Days star Ross -- has been impressive against Arkansas. Counterpart Mitch Mustain, on the other hand, doesn't seem to be handling the Tide's pressure very well.

• There's a reason Tulsa's fourth-year head coach Steve Kragthorpe is among the hottest names in the profession. The 3-1 Hurricane got a huge road win Saturday, going to Navy and knocking off the previously unbeaten Midshipmen in overtime.
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |


Posted: 6:35 PM   by kevin
Please do not get into the team a beat team b and and team c beat team a and team b is keeping it close with team d so how good is team c nonsense because that is what it is. Penn State came out with a bad game plan against ND and payed for it. ND did the same against Michigan. Of course it did not help playing with Big Ten officials if you know what I mean. OSU is not as good as advirtised. Good, but not that good. They would only be the third best team if they were in the SEC. Penn State is much better than they looked against Notre Dame but will continue to lose road games until the start playing to win versus playing not to lose. Michigan is again the most over-rated team in the country. They are better than last year but not really a good team. Regardless of how the Penn State Ohio State game turns out, I do not expect either team to lose a game the rest of the season.
Posted: 7:33 PM   by paul
Are the announcers aware they don't have to say John Parker Wilson's full name every freaking time he does something.

Unless he's paying for ad time, "Wilson" will do once in a while.
Posted: 7:39 PM   by Len
Poor Paterno should have take Morelli into the little boys room with him...he looked like a deer in headlights before the game and the fact that he stares down his recievers led to 2 huge turnovers...I must say I was quite impressed with Penn's D today..but baby a win is a win is a win and watch out for the Buckeyes...
Posted: 10:05 AM   by Jim
Wow. When was the last time that beating Navy helped your reputation as one of the hottest coaches? As an old Navy grad I am pleased and very surprised, to see this turn of events.
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