Daily Blog • October 5, 2010

More News & Notes.....

For the first time in 10 years, Texas fell out of the Top 25 after losing their second straight game Saturday, 28-20 to Oklahoma, leaving them unranked for the first time since October 15, 2000. Their streak of 162 consecutive weeks in the rankings was the longest active streak in the country! Ohio State now has the longest streak at 90 straight poll appearances. Florida is second with 87 straight. Texas has not lost three straight games since closing the 1999 season and they have a week off before visiting Nebraska on October 16.

USC and Penn St also fell from the rankings as Penn State lost 24-3 at #17 Iowa. The Nittany Lions fell out of the rankings for the first time since October 2007. Saturday's last-second 32-31 loss to Washington at the Coliseum pushed the Trojans out of the poll for the first time this season. Last year the Trojans had their streak of 7 straight years in the Top 25 end with a 21-17 loss to Arizona in the regular season finale only to climb back to #22 after their win over Boston College in the Emerald Bowl.

NC State also fell out of the rankings after one week, following a 41-30 loss to Virginia Tech making this week the first time since 1960 that Texas, USC, Penn St and NC State were all not ranked!

The four teams moving into the rankings this week include three teams ranked for the first time in 2010. #22 Oklahoma State made its season debut in the poll. #23 Florida State moved back into the rankings after they fell out earlier with a loss to Oklahoma. #24 is Missouri, making its 2010 poll debut, and #25 is Air Force. The Falcons are ranked for the first time since October 2002.

TCU continues to refuse to step on team’s throats. In the opener they had a commanding 453-255 yd edge vs Oregon St but only by 9 points. Last week against SMU they actually trailed 17-14 in the 3Q before winning 41-24. Last week may have been their least impressive performance to date as they led just 6-0 at HT before winning 27-0 over a poor Colorado St team. While they did have a 474-161 yd edge the final score was not ver vindictive. HC Patterson has been known to blowout teams in the past but in the last two weeks his team did not win by as much as expected and they lost votes. They will have no shot of beating out Boise in a head to head vote if both unbeaten if they keep playing this way.

Oklahoma has led by at least 15 in EVERY game this year however they have been unable to finish teams off. In the first week they led Utah St 21-0 late 2Q before holding onto a 31-24 win. In week 3 against Air Force they led 27-10 heading into the 4Q but gave up a couple of TD’s and had to gain a couple of key FD’s at the end to run out the clock in a 27-24 win. Then against Cincinnati they led 24-9 in the 3Q before allowing Cincinnati to score at will including a TD with just :58 left. OU had to recover the onside kick to hold on for a 31-29 win. Then last week they led 28-10 in the 4Q but Texas used a fake punt which set up a FG and then stuffed Oklahoma on a fake FG for an 8 yd loss. Texas also took advantage of a 17 yd punt with 2:37 left for a 21 yd FG to pull within 28-20. UT kicked off deep as they had all 3 time-outs left and forced a punt with 1:02 left but fmbl’d the punt and OU rec’d at the UT41 for their 8 pt win. The Sooners are being outscored 51-17 in the 4Q! If HC Bob Stoops continues to let this happen it will come back and bite him as one play could change his season. Also the odds of Oklahoma passing up another unbeaten get slimmer each week he does not win impressively even though they lead big in every game.

The UNLV/Nevada game was interesting. NU led 28-14 at the half with one UNLV TD set up on a 17 yd “drive” set up by a fumbled punt. On 4&1 from the UNLV 5 NU fumbled after getting the FD. NU led 44-20 when UNLV got a 58 yd KR to the NU38. They converted on 3&17 then on 3&gl from the 4 got a TD with 4:35 left. The onside KO went OOB so NU stated at the UNLV30. On 4th & 1 they converted with a 4 yd run to the 17 and then on 1st & gl from the 7 gained 5 yds to the 2 then was sacked on the final play of the game at the 7 yard line. 

San Jose St appeared in control vs UC Davis leading 13-0 with 9:57 left in the 2Q. UCD took over with 3:55 left in the half and went 79/11pl but on 4&gl from the 1, went for it and were stuffed. SJS fmbl’d at their own 9 early 3Q and on 4&gl from the 1 UCD got a TD. UCD then went 70/8pl for a TD with 1:26 left in the 3Q, 14-13. SJS was int at the UCD22, punted 51 yds to the 2 (8:47 left) and then had a FD at the UCD36 but a hold forced a 4&21 where they gained 12 yds and on 4&9 missed a 52 yd FG wide left. UCD on 3&6 got a FD and took a knee. 

Iowa dominated Penn St with a 148-1 yd edge. It was just the 8th time they’d played under the lights at home and the fans wore black and gold in alternating section giving the stadium the appearance of stripes. Iowa led 10-0 after 1Q and got a TD with 1:41 left in the half for a 17-0 lead. PSU went 76/8pl but settled for a 25 yd FG on the last play of the half. PSU opened the 3Q with a 70/14pl drive. This time, after a 3&gl at the 1 they were SOD. The next 9 poss were all punts then PSU took over at their 16 with 1:40 left and Iowa got a 33 yd IR TD to extend the final margin to 24-3. 

Northern Illinois last year upset Purdue then the next week got upset by Idaho at home. This time NI was well prepared for the MAC opener. They did start off sluggishly as they settled for a pair of FG’s on their first 2 drives and also fumbled a punt setting up an Akron 11 yd TD drive and after 1Q they trailed Akron 7-6. NI went 41/8pl for a 43 yd FG then 93/10pl and 46/6pl for TD’s, 22-7. They added a 26 yd IR TD with :48 left in the half, 29-7. Akron got a TD to open the 3Q for a 74 yd run by Allen to make it 29-14 but NI went 60/8pl, 85/4pl and 45/5pl (after 25 yd punt) for TD’s on their next 3 poss to lead 50-14. After an int with 3:57 left, NI ended the game from the 10 yd line taking a knee.

Boston College made the move to true frosh QB Chase Rettig who had not played in the first 3 games. Rettig hit 5-10 passes for 72 yds. BC’s first 3 poss were 3&out while Notre Dame scored TD’s on 3 of their first 4 poss to lead 21-0 before BC got their first FD. Rettig did hit a 58 yd TD pass 1pl after that FD to make it 21-7 and BC closed to 21-13 with 49 and 25 yd FG’s. ND got a 37 yd FG on their next drive to make it 24-13 at the half. ND took its 2nd 3Q poss 76/14pl for a TD, 31-13. The next 6 poss were 3 & outs. The next 3 poss were int’s. BC was int’d at the ND11 with 3:27 left and their final drive got to the ND40 where they ran out of time. Rettig was inj’d and did not return after BC had kicked a FG to pull within 21-10. 

It was a tough loss for Wake Forest vs Georgia Tech. Not only were they without their starting QB Tanner Price, they lost 2nd string QB Ted Stachitas after 2 series to injury. Third string QB Brendan Cross went out after 1 series and the game tied at 3. Fourth string QB Skylar Jones played the majority of the game hitting 9-20 for 105 yds and also rushed for 31. Despite the QB injuries, WF was in control most of the 2H. WF led 10-3 and gave up a 45 yd FG with :27 left 1H after GT had converted on 3&10 but still led 10-6. GT fumbled the punt on their own 19 and 5 plays later WF got a TD and led 17-6 after 3Q’s. GT had a 10 yd punt to their own 36 but WF punted back. GT got a 50 yd run by Nesbitt to the WF26 and got a 42 yd FG with 10:23 left, 17-9. GT went on a 62/6pl drive. On 4th & 5 they got a 20 yd TD pass and 2 pt conv to tie it at 17. WF went 55/11pl and had a 1st & gl at the 10 but settled for a 26 yd FG with 2:21 left for the lead, 20-17. GT converted on 4&4 from its own 31 and went 69/12pl getting a 9 yd TD pass with :15 left on 3&gl at the 3.

Iowa St got off to a great start vs Texas Tech. In fact, the key play happened after Tech missed a 48 yd FG with the game tied at zero. ISU faked a punt on 4&9 from its own 32 and converted and continued on a 17pl drive for a 35 yd FG. They then went 57/5pl for a TD. TT fumbled a punt at their own 18 and ISU got a 14 yd TD pass then went 67/4pl for a TD to make it 24-0 with 2:51 left in the half. TT got a 10 yd TD pass with :45 left and ISU’s punter dropped the ball on the 21 and TT got a 21 yd TD pass with :10 left, 24-14. Tech scored on their first 2 drives of the 3Q to tie it. ISU was SOD at the TT37 but TT fumbled 2pl later and ISU went 39/5pl for a TD then got a 61/1pl TD run by Johnson to go up by 2 scores. The teams traded TD’s on their next 3 drives with Tech pulling within 45-38 with 1:30 left but ISU returned the onside kick 42 yards for a TD. TT did have a 28-22 FD edge and 508-441 yd edge.

Stanford caught a few breaks early vs Oregon. The Ducks went on a 70/9pl drive and settled for a 22 yd FG and Stanford benefited from a fumbled KO at the 12 and one play after an int got a 44 yd TD run and jumped out to a 21-3 lead. Oregon battled back and even had an onside kick, which they recovered then drove 54 yards for a TD. At the half SU led 31-24 but UO opened the 3Q with a TD drive then after a 51 yd FR, got a 3/1pl TD. The Ducks were SOD at the SU34 (2:58 3Q) but then drove 49/6pl for a 25 yd TD pass, 45-31. SU went 72/12pl and had a 3rd & gl at the 1 but were SOD and then went 65/9pl to the 11 but were int’d in the EZ. James got a 76 yd TD run 3pl later, 52-31 with 1:10 left. SU gained 52 of their yards on the final 6 plays and Oregon had a 626-518 yard edge.

The troubles may be just beginning at USC. Not only have they played poorly the entire 1H of the season, at least they had an undefeated record to cling to. That is now gone and Steve Sarkisian basically out-coached Lane Kiffin who has a tough job rallying his Trojans with no bowl to play for at season’s end and now has no hope at greater aspirations. USC opened with a 76/7pl drive for a TD and a 7-0 lead but UW led 17-7 early 2Q. Trailing 21-20 at the half UW opened the 3Q with a 62/11pl drive for a 35 yd FG. USC retook the lead with 4:44 left in the 3Q on a 16 yd TD run, 28-23 and got a 27 yd FG with 10:00 left to lead 31-29. UW was SOD on 4&8 at the USC38 with 6:02 left and USC got set for a FG that would put them more than a FG ahead but their 40 yarder clanged off the right upright with 2:34 left leaving UW within striking range of a FG. They converted on 4&4 with an 18 yd pass to the 41 and got 2 more FD’s to the 15 then nailed a 32 yd FG on the last play to pull out the win.

 Arizona St took their opening drive 68/6pl for a TD but OSU would score the next 17 points to lead 17-7. It was 17-14 when OSU ret’d the punt 47 yds to the ASU23 with :56 left in the half and 3pl later they got a 19 yd TD pass to make it 24-14. OSU was SOD at the ASU38 and ASU got a 45 yd FG, 24-17. ASU went 62/19pl but settled for a 25 yd FG. Quizz Rodgers ripped off a 74 yd run for a TD and OSU led 31-20 and ASU’s hopes appeared over when they were int’d at the OSU5 with 10:25 left. OSU got 2 FD and punted with just 3:03 left but ASU blk’d the punt and rec’d at the 21. They got a 21 yd run on the next play and a 2pt conversion to only put them down by 3. OSU punted with 2:42 left and ASU took over at its 12 but on 3&12 was int’d at the 47.

Cal Poly may just be a member of the WAC in a few years and was out to prove themselves vs Fresno St. Cal Poly QB Andre Broadous hit just 3-7 passes for 18 yards but led the team with 82 yards rushing. Fresno finished with a 459-221 yard edge. CP led 3-0 when FSU got a 58 yd TD pass then 4pl later a 44 yd pass followed by a 14 yd TD run to lead 14-3. FSU blocked the punt and recovered for a TD to lead 21-3 but CP went on a 73/11pl drive for a 10 yd TD pass then Fresno fumbled at their own 1 and CP added another TD to pull within 21-17. Fresno led 31-17 after a TD with 1:18 left in the 3Q and CP went on a 60/7pl drive. On 4th & 4 from the 5 they were tackled for a 1 yd loss and FSU went 94/13pl for a TD with 6:07 left. CP went on an 8pl drive but on 4&6 were SOD at the FSU35. Surprisingly FSU took over with 2:20 left had Colburn still in at QB and he threw a 29 yd pass up 21 points. Slocum ran for 23 yds to the 16 but then Pat Hill had him take a knee.

 I was a little surprised going through the play by play of N Carolina/E Carolina but looking at the final score of the game and not having the game on TV (I did not get to watch it) I just assumed that UNC dominated the game. Prior to the half, EC led 14-7 when Da’Norris Searcy, who was returning from a 3 game suspension, got a 46 yd IR TD to tie it at 14 with 3:54 left in the half. At the half EC had a 231-161 yd edge. UNC went 55/6pl but missed a 37 yd FG and EC went 69/11pl for a 28 yd FG and led 17-14 with 9:31 left in the 3Q. UNC went 80/7pl for a TD with 5:40 left 3Q then UNC went 26/5pl for a TD after an int to lead 28-17 after 3Q’s. UNC got a TD with 6:22 left capping a 55/13pl drive and after an int with 5:12 left, added a TD, 62/8pl later with :49 left for the 42-17 final.

Maybe the wild QB experiment at Louisiana Tech is over. For some reason, LT has been playing musical QB’s this year and it was Tarik Hakmi who got the start vs Hawaii. Hakmi was in the game for 5 poss. He accounted for 2 int, hit 4-11 passes and LT had a grand total of 1 FD in his 5 poss and that came on a fake punt when P Allen threw an 8 yd pass. Ross Jenkins who had previously been the starter at LT was finally brought in with 6:28 left in the 2Q and LT in a 24-0 deficit. All Jenkins did was lead LT 80/10pl, 65/5pl, 75/11pl, 61/8pl on four of his first 5 poss. LT was SOD at they UH47, int’d at the 7 and SOD at the UH20 but he did put together 3 TD drives and 18 FD’s. UH QB Bryant Moniz threw for 532 yards and 4 TD’s.