- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Less than two hours after leading Northwestern to a 49-14 upset of No. 22 Michigan State last Saturday, quarterback Brett Basanez sat on the team bus watching tape of this week's opponent, Michigan, on his laptop. "I doubt after the season people are going to come up to me and say, 'Dude, you were awesome in Week 7,'" he says. "We have to keep this up." Basanez's meticulous study habits have helped the fifth-year senior lift the No. 21 Wildcats (5-2) into the national rankings for the first time since 2001. In consecutive wins over Wisconsin, Purdue and Michigan State, Basanez (above), a four-year starter, completed 72.0% of his passes for 1,155 yards, eight touchdowns and, most notably, zero interceptions.
UNDER THE RADAR
Last Saturday, Ohio Northern handed Mount Union its first regular-season loss in 11 years, a streak that spanned 110 games. "Our conference [the Division III Ohio Athletic Conference] is like the Big Ten or SEC of small-college football," says second-year Ohio Northern coach Dean Paul, who played at Mount Union in the late '80s. "For a team to go 11 years and win every single conference game is unbelievable." Two busloads of fans accompanied the Polar Bears (6-1) to Mount Union Stadium, where Ohio Northern freshman R.J. Meadows (above) ran for 148 yards and three touchdowns, and senior safety Rusty Midlam intercepted three passes in a 21-14 victory. A police escort accompanied the team when it returned to Ohio Northern's campus in Ada. "We believed all week we could win, we believed all game we could win," junior running back Derek Garrod said afterward. "But now that we've won, we don't believe it."
THREE AND OUT
1 No. 14 Oregon (7-1) suffered a severe blow to its BCS hopes when senior quarterback Kellen Clemens broke his left ankle in the Ducks' 28-21 win over Arizona. Clemens ranks fifth nationally in total offense (329.3 yards per game) and had mastered coordinator Gary Crowton's spread offense; it's unlikely that sophomore Dennis Dixon will have that kind of command.
2 The hottest defensive coordinator in the country is Texas's Gene Chizik. After a 13-0 season last year at Auburn, where his defense was ranked fifth in the nation, Chizik has the Longhorns' D ranked No. 6. His unpredictable mix of man and zone coverage helped hold Texas Tech's potent offense to 17 points, almost 37 below its average.
3 Stanford coach Walt Harris has coached 15 quarterbacks who have gone on to the NFL, and he may have another in senior Trent Edwards, who turned in one of the finest performances of his career (19 of 27, 303 yards, three TDs, no INTs) in a 45-35 win over Arizona State, Stanford's third straight Pac-10 victory.