Week Eight: Monday
WEEKEND IN REVIEW
Game of the Week
USC 34, Notre Dame 31
It was one of the most hyped games of the year and it lived up to the hype. Matt Leinart pounded in from a yard away with just three seconds left to give the Trojans the three point lead. Notre Dame had taken the 31-28 lead on a great drive lead by Brady Quinn. The Trojans jumped out to a 14-7 lead, but trailed 21-14 at the half. But there was no dominating second half this time around. The Irish continued to play ball control and keep the Trojans off the field. The Trojans faced a fourth and nine with just a minute a half left that if they had not converted, they would have lost. There was a split second where it appeared that the Irish had won as the clock ran out, but the referees had clearly been waving their hands to stop the clock because the ball had been fumbled out of bounds. If Leinart had not fumbled out of bounds, the game would have been over. It was truly a great game on a weekend full of great games.
Upset of the Week
West Virginia 46, Louisville 44 (3 OT)
This wasn't a huge upset, but the Cardinals were ahead 24-7 about halfway through the fourth quarter, when Terry Bowden said, "This was just the kind of game that Louisville needed to get back on the right track." Spoke too soon, Mr. Bowden. Steve Slaton lead the comeback on the ground, and the Mountaineers thrilled their fans with a dramatic win in triple overtime. The Mountaineers now have to be considered the favorites in the Big East, while the Cardinals, the preseason mortal lock to earn the conference's BCS bowl bid, are off to an 0-2 start in the conference. Not exactly what the Cardinals had in mind when they moved to the Big East in the offseason. Their road struggles continue.
Team of the Week
That was one heck of an easy win for the Longhorns. The Colorado game was yet another game that was supposed to be a trap game for these Longhorns, and yet Texas disposed of the Buffaloes with ease, 42-17. The game was never in doubt. Texas simply rolled a very good Colorado team. With Texas Tech coming up this weekend, a battle of unbeatens ought to be very entertaining.
Player of the Week
Vince Young, Texas
Young had a Heisman Trophy-like performance against Colorado. He completed 25 of 29 passes for 336 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran the ball ten times for 58 yards and three touchdowns. The Longhorns quarterback single handedly beat the Buffaloes. The Longhorns look more and more like a team on a mission to prove that they will not be deterred from the business trip that they are on. Young was absolutely spectacular.
Stat of the Week
643 passing yards
Cody Hodges of Texas Tech absolutely lit up the Kansas State defense. He completed 44 of 65 passes for 643 yards and five touchdowns. The total passing yards were the fourth highest in Division 1-A history. Of course, the Red Raiders were throwing the ball all day, but Kansas State kept on hanging around and hanging around. Hodges certainly had a magnificent game. If he didn't play for Texas Tech, he would be in the heart of the Heisman Trophy race right now.
Play of the Week
Wisconsin blocked a punt for a touchdown
The Badgers blocked a punt against Minnesota in the final thirty seconds and recovered it in the endzone to come up with a dramatic 38-34 win. Justin Kucek dropped the snap and tried to pick it up. When he got the punt away, Jonathan Cassilas was right there to block it and Ben Strickland recovered in the endzone. It was one of the most incredible plays in the 115 year history of the rivalry. It was truly a remarkable game.
Turnover of the Week
Tony Franklin intercepted Drew Weatherford
Franklin intercepted Weatherford's pass with 56 seconds left to seal Virginia's 26-21 win over Florida State. The Seminoles had been mounting a heck of a comeback just to get back into the game. They were within five, and many people must have felt like the Seminoles were bound to drive down the field for the winning score. However, Franklin picked off the pass and sealed the win and set off a wild celebration in Charlottesville.
Key First Half Moment of the Week
Ashton Youboty's blocked field goal return for a touchdown
The Ohio State Buckeyes had not played well in the first half at all. They trailed 17-7 and the Spartans were driving. Drew Stanton ran up to the line to spike the ball, but got called off the field for the field goal unit as time was ticking down to ten seconds left in the half. Finally, the field goal unit got set up, but they only had ten men on the field, which left a wide open left side to come in and block the John Goss kick. Nate Salley was the one who blocked it. Ashton Youboty picked it up and ran it in from 72 yards away. The score at the half was now just 17-14. The momentum carried over to the second half, and while the Spartans did not fold, the Buckeyes seemed to have the upper hand for the rest of the game.
Moment of the Week
How about that 45 minutes of the week?
As the 3:30 games came down on the end, all of them were heart stoppers. From around 7:00 Eastern to around 7:45 Eastern, great game after great game came to a close. Penn State lost on the last play to Michigan, 27-25. LSU held on against Florida, 21-17. Oregon State stunned California, 23-20. USC came back against Notre Dame, 34-31. West Virginia beat Louisville in triple overtime, 46-44. With all of these marquee games coming to an end, and all of them in dramatic fashion, it was hard to keep up. This weekend, above all others, was proof of why every college football fan should have ESPN Gameplan.