Week Two: Tuesday
Due to the Labor Day weekend, our regular Monday morning portion will be today!
Game of the Week
Colorado 31, Colorado State 28
In typical fashion for this rivalry, the Rams and the Buffaloes played a game that was as wild as they come. In the final two and a half minutes of the game, the Buffaloes kicked a field goal, scored a touchdown, watched the Rams drive down the field and scored a touchdown to tie it up, and then drove back down the field themselves and kicked the game winning field goal. This rivalry often gets overlooked, but few produce wilder, more exciting endings. This game was as good as they come. Mason Crosby's pressure filled field goal cements him as the early leader for All-American.
Upset of the Week
TCU 17, Oklahoma 10
Has anybody seen the Sooners? Adrian Peterson looked like he did during many games last season. Peterson last year struggled for a half here and there, but always put together a decent game by the end of it. This week, there was no decent game at the end, with just 63 yards. The difference- no Jason White. Are the Sooners done? TCU better hope not. The Horned Frogs have a real shot at the BCS this year. The thing that would help them the most is for Oklahoma to beat a couple of teams along the way, such as Texas. The Sooners are still likely to be ranked ahead of the Horned Frogs next week, but an undefeated TCU team could sneak into the BCS if Oklahoma starts winning.
Player of the Week
Brian Calhoun, Wisconsin
Repeat after me Bowling Green. We will learn to play defense. In a game that so many people were picking for an upset, the Falcons jumped out to a big early lead and looked to be rolling. Actually, it was Calhoun that was rolling. An incredibly 43 carries for 258 yards and five touchdowns later, and Wisconsin had the win. Calhoun probably will not win the Heisman Trophy this year or anything like that, but this performance was eye popping, and if you watched Calhoun, you could see the toughness and the talent. He's another solid back coming out of Madison.
Team of the Week
Yes, people expected the Irish to score some points. Yes, some people even expected the Irish to beat Pittsburgh (yours truly included). But no one could have expected to see the complete and total domination that the Irish displayed in pummeling the Panthers. Notre Dame won 42-21, but the game was not that close. Brady Quinn was efficient at quarterback, while Darius Walker, Rashon Powers-Neal, and Travis Thomas all ran the ball very well for the Irish. The defense also clamped down and held the Panthers to just 323 total yards, well below what most people expected the Panthers offense to do. The Michigan game this weekend will reveal everything we need to know right now about the Irish.
Stat of the Week
Jad Dean, Clemson, 6-6 on field goals
The Clemson Tigers moved the ball effectively in their new offense until they got close to the Texas A&M endzone. That is where Jad Dean came in. Kicking six field goals in the game, including the game winner with two seconds left, left the Tigers feeling pretty good about themselves. It was a home upset early in the season, something the Tigers have not come up with lately. While the offense needs to do a better job of getting the ball into the endzone, it is good to know that Dean is back there nailing every kick in sight! His six field goals were a school record.
Play of the Week
Brian Leonard, Rutgers, 83 yard touchdown run vs. Illinois
In one of the most athletic plays you will ever see, Brian Leonard jumped over a half-standing Illinois defender and took off down the sideline, outrunning the entire Illini secondary. The scramble ended up being for 83 yards, and put the Scarlet Knights up 27-7, before they succumbed 33-30 in overtime. Leonard's play made every highlight reel, and it should have. It is not often that you see anyone, much less a fullback, jump that high, and have the speed to outrun the secondary. Very impressive.
Turnover of the Week
Andre' Woodson, Kentucky, fumbles at the Lousiville 2 yard line
The Wildcats had come storming back from 28-7 down agains the 12th ranked team in the country. They were looking to pull off one of the bigger upsets in recent Kentucky football history. They had pulled within 31-24 and had the ball inside the Louisville 10 yard line. It was all setting up so perfectly. Woodson ran to the outside on a broken play and nearly got into the endzone before he got met at about the 2 yard line. As he was falling, Woodson dropped the ball, and Louisville recovered, giving them back the ball. The Cardinals ran out the remainder of the six minutes, converting on three consecutive third downs and the Wildcats lost by a touchdown. That makes two straight games against highly ranked foes that Kentucky has blown opportunities for upsets. Their last game last year was a heartbreaking loss in Knoxville to Tennessee. Either Kentucky is improving or teams are taking them far too lightly.
Key First Half Moment of the Week
Darnell Bing, USC, returns an interception 65 yards for a touchdown against Hawaii
The Warriors were moving the ball beautifully against the USC defense, moving into Trojan territory. Bing intercepted the pass and raced down the sideline for 65 yards and a USC touchdown with 10:32 left in the opening quarter. The Warriors fought back and moved the ball back down the field, kicking a field goal with 1:24 left in the first quarter, but the damage was done. The Warriors had possessed the ball for the first 13:36 of the game, and yet were still trailing 7-3. The wind was out of their sails, and the Trojans were on their way to a 63-17 win.
Moment of the Week
Miami botches their chance to beat Florida State
Brian Monroe could not hold onto a decent snap for a field goal that would have tied the game, and Miami watched their six game winning streak against Florida State go by the boards. It was a play that would have made sense in the historical sense of the series if Florida State had missed the kick or botched the snap, but it made very little sense that Miami did it. It was an unusual end to an unusual game. Florida State was outgained 313 to 170. Florida State committed three turnovers to Miami's two. Florida State blocked a punt and got the ball at the Miami one yard line and wound up missing a field goal on the possession. Who would have ever guessed that this would be the statistics of the game that finally ended all of Florida State's bad luck against the Hurricanes? The botched snap with about 2:30 left basically sealed it, as neither team had a timeout left and the Seminoles got one first down and ran out the clock.