Week Fourteen: Monday
Weekend in Review
Game of the Week
Notre Dame 38, Stanford 31
The Irish found themselves in a dog fight with an OK Stanford team. This was not the way it was supposed to be. The Irish dominated everywhere but on the scoreboard. They amassed 636 total yards to the Cardinal's 336. But still, trailing 31-30 with just over a minute to play, the Irish needed to make some plays on offense. Darius Walker ran the ball in from six yards out with 55 seconds remaining and Victor Abiamiri sacked T.C. Ostrander with nine seconds left to seal the win for the Irish. It was a thrilling game and probably locks up a BCS spot for Notre Dame.
Upset of the Week
Nebraska 30, Colorado 3
Yes, SMU had no business beating UTEP, Kansas probably shouldn't have beatn Iowa State, and Nevada shouldn't have been able to take down Fresno State. But, Nebraska came out and totally dominated a Colorado team that hasn't looked too bad this season. It was in Boulder no less. The Cornhuskers have been struggling to put it all together this season, but they sure did on Friday afternoon against the Buffaloes. Colorado backed into the Big Twelve North title when Kansas upset Iowa State in overtime on Saturday afternoon. However, their confidence is severely shaken after their beatdown at the hands of the Cornhuskers. The outcome was never really in doubt, as Nebraska dominated from the beginning of the game.
Team of the Week
Talk about a great performance. Any time you can beat your archrival 34-7, it has been a good day. The Gators took down Florida State on Saturday afternoon by that score. The stats make the game look closer than the score would indicate, but the Gators still dominated on the scoreboard. Florida State could get nothing going on offense and the Gators methodically took care of business. While Urban Meyer's first year was far from perfect, three wins over Tennessee, Georgia, and Florida State (the Gators three biggest rivals) makes this first season a success.
Player of the Week
Jeff Samardzija, Notre Dame
Samardzija had nine catches for 216 yards and two touchdowns against Stanford. He continues to put on an incredible show each and every week. He has become one of the top receivers in the country, which is amazing, given where he came from when the season began. He always seems to make big catches and big plays when his team needs him most. This past Saturday against Stanford was no exception.
Stat of the Week
451 rushing yards for West Virginia.
The Mountaineers have been running the ball well all season long. But against Pittsburgh, they took it to a whole new level. They ran the ball for 451 yards, while passing for just 41. Pat White, the quarterback, ran the ball 23 times for 220 yards, while Steve Slaton ran the ball 34 times for 179 yards. Both had two rushing touchdowns, and this accounted for their 45-13 win. The Mountaineers are going to a BCS bowl because they won this game and USF was upset by Connecticut on Saturday afternoon. Their solid rushing offense could be a threat to any team in a BCS game.
Play of the Week
Marques Hagans to Deyon Williams for the touchdown.
Deyon Williams barely came up with the catch in the back of the endzone with the score 25-10 with under thirty seconds to play against Miami. While the catch only made the score 25-17 and time was running out and the Cavaliers actually wound up losing, the catch was incredible. The play was reviewed and they gave him the touchdown. It was truly a great catch.
Turnover of the Week
Tim Jennings interception of Reggie Ball.
Georgia Tech was driving for the tying score against Georgia in the final minutes of the game. Down 14-7, the Yellow Jackets had moved all the way down to the Georgia 11 yard line, thanks in part to a pass interference penalty. Reggie Ball threw a pass on first and ten, and it was intercepted at the six yard line by Tim Jennings. Jennings returned the pass 28 yards to the 34, giving the Dawgs good field position. They went three and out, but the Jackets got the ball back at their own 39 with under ten seconds left, and that was not enough time to mount a serious drive. This interception sealed the game.
Key First Half Moment of the Week
Florida blocks a punt and returns it for a touchdown.
With around ten minutes left in the first half and the score 7-0 Florida, the Seminoles were trying a field goal. Marcus Thomas split the defensive line and blocked the kick. Reggie Lewis picked it up and ran 52 yards for a Gators touchdown. That made the score 14-0, and while the game was not out of reach, it became apparent that this was not Florida State's day. The momentum was all on the Gators side, and it was going to be tough for the Florida State offense (which is really struggling) to put two touchdowns on the board.
Moment of the Week
Nevada recovers the onside kick.
It was one of the most exciting plays of the whole weekend. Nevada had jumped out to a 38-27 lead with a minute and a half remaining. The Bulldogs scored and made a two point conversion to trim the lead to three. They attempted an onside kick. The ball bounced off of a Nevada players shoulder pads and began bounding back towards the Fresno State players. Most of them had overpersued the ball though. Anthony Pudewell bounced on the ball for the Wolfpack to give them the ball back, sealing the Nevada win. It was a wild moment, and it was a thrilling play that clinched a share of the WAC title for Nevada. If Fresno State wins this weekend against Louisiana Tech, they will share the title with Boise State and Nevada. A Fresno loss means that Boise and Nevada will share it.