of September 13th, 2003 brought many upsets. A lot of those
upsets were fueled by stellar defenses. Here is a choice of
my Top 5 team and individual defensive efforts.
John Robinson's Runnin Rebels gave up 46 points the week before
against Kansas (of all teams) in their big loss to the Jayhawks.
If they gave up 46 to Kansas, how many would they give up
to Barry Alvarez's Wisconsin Badgers? Five points. No, that
isn't a typo, Wisconsin scored only five points. The Badgers'
star running back and Heisman hopeful, Anthony Davis went
down in the first quarter to a sprained ankle and the Wisconsin
offense would never recover. Jim Sorgi, the Badgers quarterback
had no touchdown passes and two interceptions. Lee Evans and
Jonathan Orr, the two star wide receivers for the Badgers,
only had three receptions combined.
The Wolverines and defensive coordinator Jim Hermann just
absolutely shut down the Fighting Irish for the first time
since 1902. Michigan didn't get to face Julius Jones last
year in their loss to Notre Dame, now they wish they had.
Julius Jones only had 42 yards on 11 carries. Carlyle Holiday
- the quarterback could never get started as he went a dismal
5-of-14 for 55 yards, no touchdowns and an INT. The Michigan
defense even shut down Notre Dame's future - quarterback Brady
Quinn went just 3-of-10 for 36 yards, no touchdown and one
interception by the end of the blowout game.
Just one week after giving up 27 points to Bowling Green at
home in their upset loss, the Boilermakers faced the Wake
Forest Demon Deacons, who had scored 38 points on North Carolina
State the week before. Wake Forest could only muster ten points
Saturday. The powerful, Wake Forest running attack only could
put up 56 yards on the ground against the Boilermaker defense.
On the biggest play of the game, with 1:05 left and Purdue
up 16-10, it was 4th-and-1 for Wake Forest on Purdue's 17.
The Demon Deacons tried a run, but the Purdue blitz stopped
it for a loss of one and won it for the Boilermakers.
After reading South Carolina's quarterback Dondrial Pinkins'
quotes in the paper about Georgia and their defense and how
he doesn't think they are that good, the Bulldogs were ready
to rumble, especially the defense. The Bulldog defense allowed
just seven points to a South Carolina team that put up 31
against Virginia the week prior. Gamecock running back Daccus
Turman only had 46 yards rushing on 12 carries. Pinkins had
15 rushes for 36 yards. He probably thinks this defense is
just that good after Saturday - he only completed 12 passes
out of 30 attempted. He also threw two interceptions.
(FL): You can pretty much expect to see the Hurricanes
get written into this weekly article with their defense. Who
was the next victim to get tossed around in the Hurricane?
The struggling East Carolina Pirates. Junior quarterback Desmond
Robinson got great experience facing a defense like this,
but he still went 14-of-21 for 117 pass yards, no touchdown
passes and two interceptions. East Carolina, with new coach
John Thompson, had some good chances to get more points and
make the 38-3 game look respectable, but they turned the ball
over five times. Miami goes to Boston College next week to
face the Eagles, a place where they almost got upset two years
Brimmer, Defensive Back, UNLV: The man who lead UNLV to
the shocking upset of Wisconsin had the game of his life.
Jim Sorgi probably hates Brimmer now, as he was both sacked
and intercepted by him twice. Brimmer also had a 55-yard fumble
return for the first tone-setting points of the game. Next
up for Jamaal Brimmer and The Runnin' Rebels is the explosive
offense of Hawaii lead by Timmy Chang.
Schweigert, Free Safety, Purdue: Schweigert was the guy
who stopped Wake Forest on the 4th-and-1 play that clinched
Purdue's upset victory. Stuart saved Purdue again and they
didn't even know it at the time - he intercepted a Cory Randolph
pass and returned it 37 yards. On the return there was a holding
call that brought the touchdown back, but Purdue still had
the ball. That was the first play from scrimmage.
Stewart, Arizona State: Stewart probably saved Arizona
State from losing at home to Utah State. Stewart had an 18-yard
interception return that sparked the Sun Devils. At the time,
no one thought it would have saved the Sun Devils from losing,
as the interception occurred in the 2nd quarter. The play
made it 19-7 and Arizona State hung on from there to beat
Utah State 26-16.
Leach, Safety, Southern Cal: Leach returned an interception
25 yards for a touchdown that started the USC 61-32 rout of
Hawaii. The interception was one of two thrown by Hawaii's
star quarterback, Timmy Chang. Though the USC defense struggled,
the offense was on a roll, scoring twice as many points as
the Rainbows. Leach shined through, though.
Curry and Tony Franklin, Virginia: Both of these guys
had interceptions returned for touchdowns against Western
Michigan. Virginia won the game 59-16. Curry was the first
guy to return one - just 12 seconds into the 2nd half, he
took one back 23 yards. Tony Franklin then returned one in
the ending parts of the 4th quarter for 45 yards to the house.