- TOP PLAYERSOffensePABLO S. TORRE | August 20, 2012
- TAMPA BAY buccaneersENEMY lines WHAT A RIVAL COACH SAYSJune 28, 2012
- Faces in the CrowdJune 11, 2001
Here are three other Top 25 teams getting it done largely with defense—and hoping that's what really wins titles
By picking off Penn State's Daryll Clark three times and forcing him into a 12-for-32 passing night in a 21--10 upset of the then No. 5 Nittany Lions on Sept. 26, the Hawkeyes turned in one of the best defensive performances of the year. Again. Coordinator Norm Parker's "Six Seconds of Hell" unit, which last Saturday held Arkansas State to 80 yards on the ground (below), has yet to yield a rushing TD this season.
2. South Carolina
Steve Spurrier has matched his best start (4--1) in five seasons in Columbia, but it's not because of his usual explosive offense. Instead it's a defense as green as it is stout; 13 players on the two-deep are freshmen or sophomores. They officially grew up on Sept. 24, harassing QB Jevan Snead of then No. 4 Ole Miss into a 7-for-21 night and stopping the Rebels on 12 of 13 third downs. It was South Carolina's first win over a top five team in 28 years.
A week after derailing the Heisman campaign of Cal running back Jahvid Best and keeping the Bears out of the red zone, the Ducks held Washington State to 158 yards and four first downs. Oregon's 13 takeaways lead the Pac-10, and most impressively the Ducks have outscored their last two opponents 94--9.