Donnan does not.
The Huskies Opt For the Option
After Washington fell to 0-2 with a 31-21 loss to Air Force on Sept. 18, Huskies coach Rick Neuheisel noticed that his team was averaging just 112 yards on the ground. Neuheisel, known for his pass-happy offenses, decided to take advantage of quarterback Marques Tuiasosopo's mobility by running the option. The move has paid dividends. The Huskies have averaged 238.3 yards rushing while winning three games in a row, including a 47-21 victory over Oregon State last Saturday.
Air Force's New Pilot
Smooth Ride With Thiessen
When Air Force starting quarterback Cale Bonds went down with a sprained ankle early in the Falcons' 23-22 victory over San Diego State on Oct. 2, coach Fisher DeBerry turned to backup Mike Thiessen, a 6-foot, 195-pound junior who's no stranger to center stage. A star shortstop on the Air Force baseball team, Thiessen last spring led the WAC with a .424 average and finished with a school-record 30-game hitting streak. Operating out of the Falcons' wishbone against the Aztecs, he rushed for 138 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winner with 4:09 to go. Last week he guided Air Force (4-1) to a 19-14 victory over Navy, rushing for 108 yards and a touchdown.
Two Upsets That Got Away
They Would Have Been a Kick
Classic comedy routine: A woman spies a banana peel, steps nimbly around it, smirks and steps into an open manhole.
Classic comedy routine updated: Coaches Carl Torbush of North Carolina and Tommy Tuberville of Auburn, both of whose teams were on the verge of upset victories last week, step around the potential disaster of a blocked kick and lose anyway.
It's hard to say which defeat was more painful. The Tar Heels, on the road against No. 7 Georgia Tech, led 24-21 with 1:14 to play and had the ball fourth-and-goal at the two-yard line. Torbush decided against kicking a field goal, reasoning that either North Carolina would score a touchdown or leave the Yellow Jackets in an impossible hole. "We thought they wouldn't be able to drive 97 yards" is the way he put it after the game. Given that Tech had no timeouts and that its quarterback, Joe Hamilton, had thrown interceptions on his previous two passes, Torbush's decision made sense. But when the Yellow Jackets held on fourth down, Hamilton came onto the field energized. In six plays, one of them a spike to stop the clock, he marched Tech 79 yards to the Tar Heels' 19. Luke Manget kicked a 36-yard field goal to tie the game and deflate North Carolina. The Yellow Jackets won 31-24 in overtime.
At Auburn the Tigers led unbeaten and No. 14 Mississippi State 16-3 with 4:06 to go when Tuberville turned down the chance to attempt a 45-yard field goal and gave up the ball to the Bulldogs on downs. "The only way I thought they could win the damn game was if they blocked a kick," Tuberville said on Monday. Mississippi State drove 67 yards for a touchdown. With 50 seconds to go, on Tuberville's orders, punter Damon Duval ran out of the end zone rather than risk a blocked kick. The safety narrowed Auburn's lead to 16-12. After Pig Prather returned the free kick across midfield, Bulldogs quarterback Matt Wyatt drove Mississippi State 47 yards in four plays, hitting Matt Butler with an 11-yard touchdown pass for the win. "I tried to milk the clock and got it to 19 seconds," Tuberville said. Bulldogs coach Jackie Sherrill, leading 18-16, ordered Wyatt to take a knee on the conversion attempt. He didn't want to risk a blocked kick either.
Akron's Comeback Player
Eaton Is Zips' Mr. Versatility
After Akron's Jon Eaton had to undergo four operations in August 1997 necessitated by a severely sprained left ankle and ended up spending 32 days in the hospital, doctors said he would never play football again. The pain in his foot was still so intense after the final surgery that he withdrew from school for a semester.