- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
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"I'm not disappointed with our offense," said James, who got 158 yards and two touchdowns from tailback Beno Bryant, a product of Los Angeles's Dorsey High. "How can I be? It's the first time since 1980 that I've been able to smile after a game down here. It's a real tough place to play."
The Trojans played without tailback Mazio Royster, who had been benched for missing a film session last week. When asked about the benching, Royster indicated that he had already given up on this season. "Last year I felt the same way," he said, "but at least there was a light at the end of the tunnel. It's hard to go to practice when the light is dimmer."
Poor guy. Hasn't anybody given Royster the old pep talk about how adversity builds character? Probably not. That's a speech that Southern Cal coaches haven't had to use very often.
Since we've criticized coaches in the past for playing for ties or being otherwise wimpy, it seems only fair to mention two gutsy calls that we think epitomize the spirit of college football:
?With his team leading LSU 20-17 and 1:43 left in the game, Alabama coach Gene Stallings gave in to his players' wishes and, instead of punting, went for a first down on fourth-and-inches at the 'Bama 43. "We could see he [ Stallings] wanted to kick the ball," said Crimson Tide tailback Siran Stacy, "but the offense had a chance to end it right there. Everybody wanted to go for it." Fullback Kevin Turner burrowed into the right side of the line and picked up the first down by a foot, allowing Alabama to run out the clock. "It wasn't a smart call on my part," said Stallings, whose surprising team is 8-1. "I let my heart override my good judgment."
?With his Buffaloes trailing lowly Oklahoma State 12-10 and 14 seconds remaining, Colorado coach Bill McCartney called for a fake field goal. Holder Robbie James, a fifth-year walk-on wide receiver who didn't make his first catch until this season, took the snap on the Cowboy 27 and made the first pass of his career, throwing to tight end Christian Fauria for the winning touchdown. Oklahoma State coach Pat Jones, who had called two consecutive timeouts in an attempt to unnerve Colorado kicker Jim Harper, was duly impressed. "The play at the end, however long I've been coaching, is the gutsiest call I've ever seen," said Jones.
Through nine games, Minnesota has been more successful on two-point conversions (two of three) than on one-point kicks (one of six). In case you're keeping score, that adds up to nine touchdowns, which just might be a reason that the Gophers are 2-7....
A 37-7 win over Iowa State in Ames snapped Kansas State's streak of road losses at 30. Until last Saturday, the Wildcats' last victory away from home was a 20-17 triumph over Missouri on Oct. 26, 1985....