by Todd Helmick
September 27, 2007
Night Lights: South Florida and West Virginia Madness
The Bulls and Mountaineers looked extremely
impressive in dismantling North Carolina and East Carolina
by a combined total of 85-17, setting up a humdinger
of a game this Friday night between the two in Tampa.
WVU is seeking revenge for the loss to South Florida
in Morgantown last season. How did the Bulls pull it
off? By doing what no other team has figured out...how
to stop Rich Rodriguez from running the ball even when
putting four receivers out wide. The formula, which
USF possesses, involves maintaining a very quick defense
while attacking the line of scrimmage with seven to
eight guys. South Florida is the only team that has
figured out a way to hold the vaunted WVU offense to
under 27 points in their last 20 outings. Of note...upwards
of five different West Virginia high schools have moved
their Friday night football games to Saturday in fear
that the money collected at the gates would dwindle
due to the fact most fans would stay home to watch their
beloved Mountaineers on the bright Friday night lights
of the television tube.
Rules, N.C. State Drools
C.J. Spiller and James Davis appear
to be the best one-two RB duo in the country outside
of McFadden and Jones at Arkansas. The Tigers pieced
together a 340-yard rushing performance in beating N.C.
State. Clemson is proving to be the most underrated
team in the ACC according to most preseason predictions.
The Wolf Pack on the other hand are starting to show
that former coach Chuck Amato may not have been the
reason this team cannot and will not prove to be a national
power any time soon. QB problems have haunted this team
since Philip Rivers left. A trio of Evans, Beck and
Burke all took snaps this past Saturday and none seem
to have raised the bar.
QB Tired Of Running
currently has the nation’s No. 1 rushing attack
much like years past. The Midshipmen offense must be
running wild as starting QB Kaipo-Noa Kaheaku-Enhada
had to be replaced in the fourth quarter because he
was gassed. With Jarod Bryant entering the game at quarterback
in place of the winded starter, Navy rode Bryant's fresh
legs to 14 consecutive fourth-quarter points in a victory
State and Notre Dame: Records In The Opposite Direction
For the first time in 119 seasons of
Notre Dame football, the Irish are 0-4. Michigan State
coach Mark Dantonio, who became the first Spartans coach
to win his first four games, called the victory a statement.
Michigan State also became the first opponent to win
six in a row at Notre Dame Stadium. The Irish finally
found a running attack, now the passing attack (or lack
of) only went for 86 yards.
Nine Lives - JoePa Losing Streak Continues
State knew exactly what Michigan was going to do. Mike
Hart to the left, right and up the middle. The 10th-ranked
Nittany Lions couldn't stop him Saturday, or JoePa's
longest losing streak against one school, which now
totals nine straight. The Nittany Lions outscored Florida
International, Notre Dame and Buffalo by large margins,
but acknowledged they would know a lot more about themselves
by Saturday night. What they found out wasn't good,
at least on offense. The running back tandem of Austin
Scott and Rodney Kinlaw wasn't effective and the heralded
receiving corps was limited by Morelli's inaccurate
throws. Michigan's turnaround on defense is the real
University of New Mexico has updated their concessions
this year at University Stadium. According to the Lobos
official website, the stadium menu will now include:
Green chili stew in multiple locations and Dakota buffalo
burgers on the north concourse.
running back has emerged in Champaign as Rashard Mendenhall
ran for a career-high 214 yards against Indiana in a
Big Ten showdown of typical conference bottom dwellers
through recent years. All of the sudden Ron Zook's team
is sitting at 3-1, which is one win shy of the four
total victories Illinois has racked up under Zook's
first two seasons.
Grit In The Bayou
does two things extremely well...play defense and run
the football. Led by Jacob Hester's power and Trindon
Holliday's speed, the Tigers piled up 290 yards rushing
against a very good Gamecock defense. The Gamecock rushing
attack yielded just 17 yards. Nobody beats LSU in Baton
Rouge this year including Florida in two weeks.
Winning The Heisman
QB Andre' Woodson has now thrown 296 passes without
an interception, breaking Trent Dilfer's major college
record of 271. Not only is Woodson breaking records,
he is now an early frontrunner in the Heisman Race.
The SEC is the nation's best conference. The same can
be said about the league's individual players as Tim
Tebow, Darren McFadden and Andre' Woodson are the top
three Heisman guys on the cbs.sportline selected voter
compilation. This Heisman voter will hold off for another
month before making such an impact statement.
being kept under wraps for the season's first two games,
USC QB John David Booty passed for 279 yards and four
touchdowns versus Washington State. USC ran for 200
and threw for 300, total balance. Through out the summer
months, fans were told how deep and talented this No.
1 ranked team would be. Six different RBs carried the
ball for the Trojans Saturday and none looked any different
than the other.
has happened to the veteran Yellow Jacket defense? This
was supposed to be a strong part of the 2007 team expected
to defend the ACC Coastal Division crown. This past
week the Jackets gave up 138 yards rushing to Cedric
Peerman and 233 yards passing to Jameel Sewell. These
are the same Virginia teammates that mustered 12 yards
rushing and 87 yards passing against Wyoming. Georgia
Tech now adds more fuel to the fire in supporting the
fact the ACC is the worst BCS aligned conference.
Crushed Part II
week in this segment, we made reference to just how
bad the Syracuse defense had become, calling it one
of the worst defenses out of all the BCS aligned teams.
A week later the honor now goes to Louisville as the
Orange beat the Cardinals in Papa John's Stadium snapping
the nation's second longest home win streak at 20. Both
offenses combined for a total of 1100 yards. Syracuse
sophomore QB Andrew Robinson threw for 423 yards after
only throwing for 486 yards in the previous three outings.
Not to be outdone, Brian Brohm threw for 555 yards on
the other side. Brohm's numbers on the year still have
him as the nation's No. 2 passer in total yards behind
Graham Harrell of Texas Tech. These numbers are good
enough to keep Brohm on the early Heisman short list.
But his team's two losses now make his Heisman plight
quite cumbersome. The defense just will not allow Brohm
to push for this prestigious honor.
A Fullback Win The Heisman?
Meyer once coached Alex Smith at Utah while taking the
Utes to an undefeated season. Most of the Meyer critics
have clamored that once the head coach got the right
QB to run his spread-option offense the Gators would
be unstoppable. Enter Tim Tebow, who set a school record
for quarterbacks with 166 yards rushing while accounting
for four touchdowns against Ole Miss. Tebow almost looks
like a fullback running with the ball while using his
big-framed body to overpower defenders. Can a fullback
win the Heisman? If he stays healthy, Tebow is going
to win this award before his Gainesville days are done.
The Ball (State) In Lincoln
to the disgruntled fans in Lincoln, the Huskers must
have lost this game even though the scoreboard showed
different. Ball State missed an extra point in the fourth
quarter and lost to Nebraska 40-41. The Cardinals moved
almost effortlessly against the Huskers all afternoon,
as they rolled up 610 yards of offense, the most by
a Nebraska opponent since Washington amassed in 1991.
This Huskers team is no longer the same team your parents
grew up watching. The offensive style change is not
the most notable difference. The appalling defense is.
The Fridge Needs Stocked
The Terps drove inside the five yard line and
were about to put a nail in the coffin while possibly
going up 31-3 on Wake Forest late in the third quarter
this past Saturday. Then Alphonso Smith picked off a
Jordan Steffy pass and ran 100 yards for a Wake Forest
touchdown and the losing walls collapsed on the Terrapins
in Winston-Salem. Ralph Friedgen is taking a good bit
of criticism for his offensive game planning. The bottom
line...Maryland has been haunted by poor QB play the
last four seasons. Steffy missed reads and open receivers
and took too much time, which included a second half
where he completed just 2-of-7 passes for 13 yards.
He lost a galling 54 yards on sacks and has thrown four
interceptions to just one touchdown on the season.