Week Eleven: Monday
Weekend in Review
Game of the Week
Florida 49, Vanderbilt 42 (2OT)
The Commodores put up a valiant effort, but could not come up with the program changing win. Jay Cutler fired two touchdown passes in the final two and a half minutes of the game (surrounding a Vanderbilt recovered onside kick) to tie the game up at 35. They were considering going for two following the second touchdown and trying to win the game in regulation, but a celebration penalty pushed the ball back fifteen yards, and the Commodores were forced to kick the extra point. The celebration penalty certainly appeared to be an awful call. Jemalle Cornelius made a spectacular catch in the back of the endzone in the second overtime on a pass from Chris Leak and Reggie Lewis intercepted Cutler to end the game and give the Gators the win.
Upset of the Week
Arizona 52, UCLA 14
So it has seemed like for weeks that UCLA would find a lead they couldn't overcome. However, down 31-7 at halftime, there was still a sense that the Bruins were going to make a run. When the scored reached 52-7, it became clear that the Wildcats were going to win. Mike Bell had 153 yards on 16 carries, and Gilbert Harris had 116 yards on 16 carries. Willie Tuitama completed 14 of 24 passes for 204 yards and two touchdowns. The Wildcats now are 2-0 when the freshman quarterback has started under center. The Wildcats have no shot at a winning season, but still have a shot to get to 5-6, with Washington and Arizona State ahead on the schedule.
Team of the Week
So people can say that they expected Miami to win, but few people expected them to walk into Blacksburg and win by twenty. Their 27-7 win over previously unbeaten and number three Virginia Tech was very impressive. Kyle Wright played a pretty good game, and the defense forced Marcus Vick into six turnovers, including four fumbles. Charlie Jones ran the ball 24 times for 97 yards and a touchdown. The Hurricanes seemed to outplay Florida State in their season opener, but could not win. If they had found a way to win that game, they would be undefeated and really challenging Texas for the number two spot in the BCS.
Player of the Week
Matt Leinart, USC
While his stats are not gaudy, Matt Leinart looked very impressive as the Trojans disposed of Stanford 51-21. He completed 22 of 28 passes for 259 yards and four touchdowns. That includes only two of three for fourteen yards in the second half. The score was 44-7 at the half, and Leinart did not play much in the second half. If he had continued on his first half pace, he would have completed 40 of 50 passes for 490 yards and eight touchdowns. In other words, that first half was amazing, and he made sure the Cardinal did not hang around in the game. They are starting to beat teams early in the game, which shows that the Trojans are becoming more focused. Just in time for a difficuly three game stretch against California, Fresno State, and UCLA.
Stat of the Week
627 total yards.
Where has the Texas A&M defense gone? The Aggies were supposed to improve on defense and be a thrilling offense this year. Those two things would make this a season to remember for the Aggies. It hasn't happened. Facing Texas Tech's high octane offense, the Aggies surrendered 627 total yards. They gained just 353 yards. They lost, 56-17. The Red Raiders have games against Okahoma State and Oklahoma remaining to get to 10-1. For the Aggies, they must beat either Oklahoma or Texas or they will not go to a bowl game.
Play of the Week
Fumbled kickoff returned for a touchdown by Alabama.
The Alabama offense is bumbling around a little bit. Ahead just 3-0 on Mississippi State at halftime on Saturday, the Tide knew they needed to get some things going with the defense and special teams. Derek Pegues took the second half kickoff for Mississippi State and he got hit by Jimmy Johns forcing the ball loose. Matt Miller picked it up from the 15 yard line and returned it for a touchdown. That made the score 10-0 Alabama, and the Tide was rolling. They never did score an offensive touchdown, but with the defense and the special teams putting points on the board there isn't much need for an offensive touchdown.
Turnover of the Week
Reggie Lewis interception.
Reggie Lewis intercepted Jay Cutler in the second overtime of Florida's 49-42 win over Vanderbilt. The Commodores had been having so much success moving the football, so the Gators desperately needed a turnover if they were going to win the game. Sure enough, that is exactly what they got. The interception by Lewis, who had been getting picked on all night by Cutler, ended the game and sent Gators fans home happy.
Key First Half Moment of the Week
Darryl Tapp's helmet-to-helmet
Virginia Tech's Darry Tapp got called for a helmet-to-helmet hit on Kyle Wright late in the first quarter on Saturday night. He actually hit Wright in the chest, according to replays, but the officials deemed it a hit to the helmet because of how Wright's head snapped when he got hit. The hit took a little bit of sting out of Tapp and the rest of the Virginia Tech defense, gave momentum to Miami, quieted the crowd a little bit, and enraged Frank Beamer. When Miami scored later in the drive to make it 10-0, the game was all but over.
Moment of the Week
Brady Leaf's touchdown pass.
The Oregon Ducks were relying on their third string quarterback Brady Leaf to help them beat California and inch closer to a possible BCS bowl bid on Saturday afternoon. He completed a four yard touchdown pass to James Finley in overtime that turned out to be a game winner. Brady is the younger brother of Ryan of Washington State fame. If he continues to play like he did on Saturday, Ryan might become known as Brady's older brother.