The 10th-ranked Beavers, who were SI's preseason No. 1, couldn't stop senior quarterback David Carr, who completed 21 of 34 passes for 340 yards and four touchdowns. With Carr running a pro set, multiple offense, Fresno State hasn't turned the ball over this year. "He managed the game very well," Oregon State coach Dennis Erickson said. "He threw the ball away when he had to, and he made big plays." The Bulldogs defense did its part too, sacking Beavers quarterback Jonathan Smith five times and holding Heisman candidate Ken Simonton to 42 yards rushing.
Hill wants his players to dream big. Before the season, he told them, "The table is set, not with paper plates, but with silver and china. If you keep winning, guys, [the BCS] won't deny you."
Brandon Lloyd's Comeback
Illini Go Right to The Go-To Guy
Illinois coach Ron Turner scripts the first few offensive plays of each game, and in last Saturday's opener at California he wanted sophomore wide receiver Brandon Lloyd to feel comfortable as soon as possible. Lloyd, who caught 30 passes for 511 yards and two touchdowns as a freshman in 1999, was returning from a broken left leg that he suffered last summer when he took a misstep off a curb shortly before preseason practice. Instead of being quarterback Kurt Kittner's go-to receiver for a Big Ten contender in 2000, Lloyd missed the entire season, and the mini finished 2-6 in the conference, 5-6 overall.
Lloyd made a full recovery and looked good in the spring and in preseason workouts. All Turner asked of Lloyd on his first play against Cal was to run an out pattern from a formation that would force a linebacker to cover him. "I ran it over and over in my head last night," Lloyd said after the game. "I tried to imagine every situation that could happen: dropping it, breaking it down-field, having it intercepted."
Lloyd caught the short pass from Kittner in front of linebacker Scott Fujita for a seven-yard gain. "It turned out to be a real icebreaker for me," Lloyd said. On the next play he caught a textbook fade for 28 yards. In the second quarter he hauled in a 49-yard touchdown pass. Lloyd finished with eight receptions for 178 yards and two touchdowns in the mini's 44-17 victory.
Lloyd couldn't understand why the Bears focused on stopping the Illini's running attack. "I thought they'd know about our passing game," he said. "We have a Heisman candidate at quarterback. They messed up."
Toledo Strikes Again
Another Big MAC Attack
Minnesota learned last Thursday night what Penn State discovered a year ago—being from the mighty Big Ten counts for nothing in Toledo's eyes. The Rockets, snubbed by the bowls despite going 10-1 last season, stunned the Golden Gophers 38-7 in one of two big victories for Mid-American Conference schools last week. In the other, Bowling Green won 20-13 at Missouri, spoiling the debut of Tigers coach Gary Pinkel, who was the coach last fall at Toledo.
Though three MAC teams defeated Big Ten teams in 11 tries a year ago, including the Rockets' 24-6 win over the Nittany Lions, none of those victories was as lopsided as Toledo's domination of Minnesota before a Glass Bowl-record crowd of 34,950—exceeding by more than 8,000 the official capacity of the Rockets' stadium. Toledo scored on its first drive and led 17-0 after the first quarter and 31-0 at the half.