College Football Thoughts
By: Mitch Light | 11/8/10, 2:51 PM EST
It was another crazy week of college football. We had tons of offense, a bevy of blowouts and an amazing comeback (or colossal collapse). Here are some teams of the week, some disappointments of the week and some interesting notes from the world of college football.
Teams of the Week
TCU — The Horned Frogs left absolutely no doubt that the best team in the Mountain West conference hails from Fort Worth, Texas. TCU pounded Utah, 47–7, in Salt Lake City with stunning ease. The Frogs jumped out to a 20–0 lead in the first quarter and led 37–0 after three quarters en route to their 15th straight win in league play. TCU has won its six MWC games by a combined score of 236–23.
Texas A&M — Mike Sherman needed a big win. He got it. The Aggies beat Big 12 South rival Oklahoma, 33–19, in College Station to improve to 6–2 overall and 3–2 in league play. Texas A&M rolled up 382 yards of offense, with Ryan Tannehill (2–0 as the starter) throwing for 225 and Cyrus Gray rushing for 122 on 21 carries. It was the Aggies’ first win over Oklahoma since 2002.
LSU — The Tigers kept their SEC title hopes alive with a thrilling 24–21 win over Alabama in Baton Rouge. The much-maligned LSU offense played its most complete game of the season, topping the 200-yard mark both passing (208) and rushing (225) against the stout Crimson Tide defense. LSU’s quarterback tandem of Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee combined to complete 14-of-20 passes for 208 yards with one touchdown and, most important, no interceptions. The Tigers, 5–1 in the SEC, need Auburn to lose its final two league games (Georgia, at Alabama) to have a shot at representing the West in Atlanta.
Disappointments of the Week
Florida State — Let’s make this perfectly clear: Florida State is not back among the nation’s elite. We were tempted to proclaim the Seminoles as the best team in the ACC after their breakthrough win at Miami in early October, but FSU has slipped back to the pack with consecutive losses at NC State and vs. North Carolina at home. In Saturday’s loss to UNC, the seemingly improved FSU defense was torched for 453 total yards, the majority of which (439) came through the air. The Seminoles are still in the hunt for the ACC Atlantic title — they are one of three schools with two losses — but this is far from a complete football team.
Colorado — A difficult season in Boulder took an excruciating turn Saturday afternoon when the Buffaloes blew a 28-point lead in the fourth quarter and lost to lowly Kansas, 52–45, in Lawrence. Colorado led 45–17 after Rodney Stewart’s 8-yard TD run on the first play of the final quarter but allowed the Jayhawks to score five touchdowns in a 10:18 span to complete the biggest comeback in KU history. The Buffaloes posted solid early season wins over Hawaii and Georgia but have lost five straight, all in Big 12 play. Embattled coach Dan Hawkins is expected to be fired at the conclusion of the 2010 season.
East Carolina — There’s no shame in losing to Navy. There’s no shame in losing at home to Navy. But giving up 76 points and a staggering 521 yards rushing? There is shame in that. The East Carolina defense had no answer for Navy’s option attack, giving up eight rushing touchdowns and allowing an average of 8.4 yards per rushing attempt. Navy scored 14 points in each of the first two quarters, 27 in the third and 21 in the fourth. East Carolina managed 35 points of its own but still lost the game by 41 points.
• LSU became the first team to top 200 yards rushing and 200 yards passing vs. Alabama in the Nick Saban era.
• Alabama moved up from 15 to 11 in the computer polls after losing at LSU.
• TCU has outscored its six Mountain West Conference opponents by a combined score of 236–23.
• Over the last two weeks, Tennessee wide receiver Denarius Moore has totaled 338 yards receiving on only 12 catches.
• Colorado has lost its last eight Big 12 games, its longest losing streak in league play since losing eight straight Big 8 games in 1978-79.
• Hawaii had its eight-game WAC winning streak snapped Saturday at Boise State.
• Oregon leads the nation in total offense (567.2 ypg) but Boise Sate leads in yards per play (7.88). New Mexico is last at 4.11.
• San Jose State is the only team in the nation that has yet to hit double-figures in touchdowns. The Spartans have nine in nine games.
• Vanderbilt has punted the ball 72 times this season. Boise State has punted 17 times.
• Denard Robinson leads the nation in rushing plays of 10 yards or more with 39. Cam Newton is second with 37.
• Memphis is the only team in the nation that has scored on every trip to the red zone. The Tigers, however, rank last in the nation in trips to the red zone with 13.
• USC leads the nation with six successful two-point conversions.
• Five teams have completed under 100 passes this season — Nebraska (94), Air Force (63), Navy (60), Army (48) and Georgia Tech (42). Nebraska is the only team that does not run the option.
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