John Roberts College Football

Friday, September 16, 2005

Week Three: Friday

WEEKEND STARS
Thoughts on who the stars of the weekend will be.

Game of the Week- Tennessee at Florida- Yes, this game seems to always be hyped to death, but this year, the winner of this game should get some serious consideration for #3 (and depending on how impressive they look, maybe even #2). Texas and USC are the favorites to get to the Rose Bowl right now, but an SEC team (Tennessee, Florida, LSU) has the best chance to push one of them out of the way if there are three unbeatens at the end of the season. It will be Urban Meyer's first game in his new conference. This one ought to be just as exciting as last year and 2001...and 2000...and 1999...and 1998.

Upset Special- Oregon State over Louisville- Did the Cardinals convince anyone that they really deserved the hype they were getting as a potential Rose Bowl team? They certainly did not convince me against Kentucky. Yes, the Cardinals have a ton of talent. However, Oregon State is pretty good, too. No, the Beavers didn't look like a killer against Boise State, but they won and slowed down the Broncos offense in the fourth quarter. Matt Moore has looked good at quarterback. In the preseason, I said that Oregon State would beat Louisville. I stand by that, though I'm wavering a little bit.

Team of the Week- UCLA Bruins- This section is dedicated to picking the team that I think will make the most impact this weekend in the nation's eyes. This could be because they play a great game and blowout an inferior opponent, or because they beat up a good opponent, or because they pull off an upset that few people think will happen. The UCLA Bruins will fit that mold if they beat Oklahoma. Yes, the Bruins are seven point favorites, but to the average fan that simply looks at the rankings and assumes the higher ranked team is favored, the Sooners are the clear favorites. Oklahoma's offense is having a ton of trouble, and it will be interesting to see if the often criticized UCLA defense can slow them down. The Bruins offense has looked like they should put 24 points or more on the board against Oklahoma. Can the Sooners hope to keep up with that?

Player of the Week:
1) Maurice Drew, UCLA- If the Bruins win against the Sooners, Drew will have an absolutely huge game. The Sooners defense is tough, but Drew can launch his Heisman campaign into full swing with a solid performance in this marquee game.
2) Vince Young, Texas- If Young played against Rice every week, he would win the Heisman Trophy going away. Rice will play ball control and keep away, but they do not have a prayer of controlling his athleticism.
3) Mathias Kiwanuka, Boston College- Yes, the Florida State offensive line is good. However, defensive end Kiwanuka has been waiting for this opportunity. He has not played particularly well so far this year due to schemes trying to neutralize him. Florida State will not run as many schemes trying to neutralize him since they think they can take him without the schemes. Kiwanuka will make them pay. Then they'll change their ways.
4) LenDale White, USC- Call this a gut pick. Arkansas' defense was shredded by Vanderbilt last week, so one of the Trojans stars ought to have a big game. I have a feeling that it's going to be White this week, for some reason. Yes, Bush and Leinart will still get theirs, but White is ready to blow up.
5) Chris Leak, Florida- If the new Florida spread offense works as well as people expect it to, Leak should have a good game. Leak has never beaten Tennessee. People say that Leak does not like to get hit, and he has shown that in the past. The Vols defense will hit him. If Leak keeps his head on straight, he could easily be in the running for the Heisman Trophy at the end of Saturday night.

ONE LINERS
Incredibly basic previews of tonight's game.

Houston at UTEP (8:00 ESPN2)- The Miners and quarterback Jordan Palmer are the favorite in the C-USA West Division, and one of the popular picks to be the BCS Buster, if there is going to be one this year. Houston was picked to finish second in the West in the preseason by the media. A ton of talent at the skill positions will be on display in this clash.

THURSDAY REVIEW
Very quick recap of Thursday's games.

TCU 23, Utah 20 (OT)- The Utes 18 game winning streak is over. TCU proves that the win over Oklahoma wasn't as fluky as many may have thought. The Horned Frogs loss to SMU was the fluke. These two teams may be the two best teams in the Mountain West. TCU's defense was absolutely amazing in the second half. (Did all of Florida's future opponents see how to slow down Utah's spread?)


Thursday, September 15, 2005

Week Three: Thursday

Viewer's Guide

Which games should you watch this weekend? What games should you be keeping your eyes on during each time period? We've got it all worked out for you.The day is divided into five parts. Some are more unequal than others due to the start time of the games.All times are Eastern. The time periods are early games (start time before 2:00), afternoon (start time from 2:15-5:00), late afternoon (start time from 5:15-7:15), evening (start time from 7:30-9:45), and late night (start time after 10:00). The games are ranked by time period and give you a couple of reasons to watch each game, whether it is questions that need to be answered or something else altogether. The games are the games listed on CollegeFootballNews.com as the television games for this weekend. Only Saturday games are included.

Let's get it started!

Early Games

1. Oregon State at Louisville (12:00 ESPN)- 1) This is popularly considered the toughest game on Louisville's schedule. 2) The Beavers have one of the best receiving groups in the country with Mike Hass, Anthony Wheat-Brown, and Marcel Love. 3) Brian Brohm (quarterback) and Michael Bush (running back) make one of the most electric backfields in the country for the Cardinals.

2. Mississippi at Vanderbilt (12:30 JP/Gameplan)- 1) It's two undefeated teams playing in the SEC. Hard to beat that. The teams they have beaten are Wake Forest, Arkansas, and Memphis, which are all not exactly a Who's Who of college football, but aren't exactly Division 1-AA schools either. 2) The first team All-SEC quarterback in the preseason was not from Florida or Tennessee, but from Vanderbilt, and his name is Jay Cutler. Watch him. 3) Ole Miss linebacker Patrick Willis might just be the best linebacker in the SEC.

3. West Virginia at Maryland (12:00 JP/Gameplan)- 1) That defense that is sitting atop the national rankings through two weeks is West Virginia's. 2) Can Maryland bounce back after a very disappointing home loss to Clemson last weekend? 3) How good is Sam Hollenbach (Maryland's quarterback)? He has improved a lot since last year. Now he takes on a very solid defense.

4. SMU at Texas A&M (12:30 FSN)- 1) So Baylor beat SMU. SMU beat TCU. TCU beat Oklahoma. Oklahoma and Baylor both beat Texas A&M last year. That does it! SMU should win! 2) Will Reggie McNeal and the Aggies passing game get going on a more consistent basis? Against Clemson, McNeal and the Aggies resorted to running the ball to make their comeback that was futile in the end. 3) DeMyron Martin (SMU's running back) did something against TCU that Adrian Peterson (Oklahoma's running back) could not- crack 100 yards rushing. Watch Martin against a sometimes questionable Texas A&M defense.

5. Virginia at Syracuse (12:00 ESPN2)- 1) Marques Hagans (quarterback) and Wali Lundy (running back) are as much fun to watch play football as anybody in the history of Cavaliers football. 2) Ahmad Brooks (Virginia's linebacker) is considered by many to be the best defensive player in the country. 3) Can Damien Rhodes (running back) really care the Syracuse offense on his back this whole season? Will someone else step up to take the load off of his shoulders?

6. Louisiana-Monroe at Georgia (1:00 Gameplan)- 1) How will DJ Shockley (quarterback)respond to his incredibly average game last weekend against South Carolina? 2) Steven Jyles (quarterback) is a playmaker for the Indians and is an exciting player. 3) Everyone wants to see the only Division 1-A team that lost to a Division 1-AA team yet this year take on a ranked SEC team, right?

7. Eastern Michigan at Michigan (12:00 ESPNU/Gameplan)- 1) Watch Chad Henne (Michigan's quarterback) bounce back against the porous EMU defense. 2) Matt Bohnet (Eastern Michigan's quarterback) will try to lead an explosive offense against Michigan's suspect defense. 3) These teams are in-state rivals, and often times the dominant in-state school (in this case Michigan) struggles against the upstart (in this case, Eastern Michigan).

Afternoon

1. Oklahoma at UCLA (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Is Oklahoma as bad as they looked in their first two games? 2) This might just be Maurice Drew's (UCLA's running back) coming out party. 3) How will Rhett Bomar fare in his second game as the Sooners starting quarterback?

2. Miami, FL at Clemson (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Is Clemson the team of destiny that they looked like they were in their first two games? 2) Kyle Wright (Miami's quarterback) may just be starting his second game, but he is already on the brink of stardom. 3) Charlie Whitehurst (Clemson's quarterback) looked awfully efficient last week against Maryland. Can he continue his dominance this week against a very good 'Canes defense?

3. Michigan State at Notre Dame (3:30 NBC)- 1) It's Notre Dame's first home after a highly successful 2-0 start. 2) Drew Stanton (Michigan State) is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the country. 3) Michigan State always seems to beat Notre Dame, especially when you least expect it. Can Notre Dame break the curse?

4. Alabama at South Carolina (3:30 CBS)- 1) Brodie Croyle (quarterback) started to show signs that he's back and in charge of the Alabama offense last week against Southern Miss. 2) Steve Spurrier gets to coach his first SEC home game as a Gamecock. 3) The Alabama ground game is one of the better ones in the SEC. South Carolina has struggled to stop the run so far this year.

5. Pittsburgh at Nebraska (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Last week Pittsburgh gave up two touchdowns to Ohio's defense on Friday night. On Saturday night, Nebraska's defense scored three touchdowns. Hmmm... 2) Tyler Palko (Pittsburgh's quarterback) is still a threat to have a breakout game any game now throwing the ball to the ultra-talented Greg Lee. 3) Is this the week that Zac Taylor (quarterback) finally figures out Nebraska's offense?

6. San Diego State at Ohio State (3:30 ABC/Gameplan)- 1) Troy Smith will be starting his first game this year for the Buckeyes at quarterback. 2) A.J. Hawk (Ohio State) is one of the most fun linebackers to watch in the country. 3) Will the Aztecs finally show some spunk as they try to save Tom Craft's job?

7. Ohio at Virginia Tech (3:30 ESPNU)- 1) How will Ohio follow up that upset against Pitt? 2) After a week where Ohio gained less than 200 yards of total offense, they take on a Hokies team that gave up less than 50 yards last week. Talk about tough road for the Bobcats offense! 3) Marcus Vick (Virginia Tech's quarterback) is quickly developing into a Heisman Trophy darkhorse.

8. Baylor at Army (3:00 ESPN Classic)- 1) It may just be a sign that the end times are coming if Vanderbilt wins earlier in the day and Baylor wins this game to make both teams 3-0. Of course, Baylor's wins are against Samford and SMU, but SMU did just beat TCU who beat Oklahoma! 2) Zac Dahman (Army's quarterback) is a very good quarterback for Coach Bobby Ross' system. The nation doesn't get to see Dahman nearly enough. 3) We all know that Ross has coaches this team to play hard. Look for a lot of solid, fundamental football from Army.

9. Ball State at Auburn (2:30 Gameplan)- 1) Brandon Cox (quarterback) and the Auburn offense looks like they are ready to explode in this game. 2) With a full roster of players (unlike the Cardinals had in the Iowa game), expect Ball State to play with a little bit more enthusiasm and passion. 3) The Auburn defense lead by Stanly McClover (defensive end) is one of the best in the country.

10. Northern Iowa at Iowa (3:30 Gameplan)- 1) How long will Drew Tate (Iowa's quarterback) last this week? Will he even play? How effective will he be? 2) Iowa's running game really needs to punish somebody. 3) This is just to prove that Iowa has not gone from the best team in the state to the third best team in the state in the span of two weeks.

LATE AFTERNOON

1. Fresno State at Oregon (7:00 FSN)- 1) The Bulldogs are gunning to prove yet again that if you are a BCS school and the calendar says September, you had better beware the Fresno Power! 2) Kellen Clemens (Oregon's quarterback) is not highly respected outside of the West Coast. Neither is Terrence Whitehead (Oregon's running back). They're pretty darn good. 3) Both these teams play USC later in the year. (Oregon plays the Trojans next week, while Fresno State plays them on November 19.) Does either have a chance against the mighty Trojans?

2. Connecticut at Georgia Tech (6:45 ESPNU)- 1) The wildly inconsistent Tech quarterback Reggie Ball is coming off one of the best games of his career. Now he has to play a defense that hasn't given up a point in two games. 2) Are the Yellow Jackets really a contender in the ACC? Are the Huskies really a contender in the Big East? This will help us sort those questions out a little bit. 3) Matt Bonislawski (Connecticut's quarterback) has been playing great so far this year. But the Yellow Jackets defense is not Buffalo's or Liberty's. This will be his first test.

3. Wisconsin at North Carolina (7:00 ESPN2)- 1) One week Brian Calhoun (Wisconsin's running back) runs all over the Bowling Green defense. The next week, John Stocco (quarterback) throws all over the Temple defense. Which one is it going to be this week? 2) After a week of facing one of the country's better defenses (Georgia Tech), Matt Baker (quarterback) and the North Carolina offense are licking their chops to face a team that gave up 42 points to Bowling Green two weeks ago. 3) The Badgers have to get that constant sound out of their head. It says, "Beat Michigan. Beat Michigan. Beat Michigan." That's not until next week, and this week's game is no slouch.

4. Kentucky at Indiana (6:45 ESPN Classic)- 1) Andre Woodson (Kentucky's quarterback) is thrilling to watch play. 2) It was just against Nicholls State and Central Michigan, but a 2-0 start is a 2-0 start for Indiana. The Wildcats surprisingly close game against Louisville has people talking about them. Which team leaves the day still with a shot at being a surprise team this year? 3) That Indiana passing game has been full of big plays. They are currently averaging 16.2 yards per reception.

5. Rice at Texas (7:00 FSN)- 1) Has the hype gone to Texas' head? They need to come down off the high of beating Ohio State and handle their business this week. 2) Vince Young's (Texas' quarterback) continues his pursuit of the Heisman Trophy. 3) Joel Armstrong (Rice's quarterback) is a better athlete than he gets credit for nationally.

6. UCF at South Florida (7:00 FSN Regional)- 1) This could be the week that UCF finally ends that ugly 16 game losing streak. 2) If you didn't get to see Steven Moffett (UCF's quarterback) play against South Carolina, watch this game. He's worth the price of admission. 3) Andre Hall(South Florida) is an excellent running back, but he's going up against a defense that didn't give up anything to South Carolina on the ground.

EVENING

1. Tennessee at Florida (8:00 CBS)- 1) This game always plays a big role in the SEC East championship race. 2) Finally, we will at least get to see the beginnning of an answer. How will Urban Meyer's (Florida's head coach) spread offense fare going up against a fast, SEC defense? 3) Chris Leak (Florida's quarterback) and Gerald Riggs (Tennessee's running back) are darkhorse Heisman Trophy candidates. Can either one have the type of game that would propel them into the front of the pack?

2. Florida State at Boston College (7:45 ESPN)- 1) It's Boston College's first ever ACC game, and it should begin to sort out who will win the ACC Atlantic Division. 2) Drew Weatherford and Xavier Lee (Florida State's quarterbacks) need to show that they can play against a really good defense, not just The Citadel. 3) Mathias Kiwanuka (Boston College's defensive end) is one of the best defensive players in the country.

3. Mississippi State at Tulane in Shreveport, Louisiana (8:00 CSTV)- 1) The Green Wave are playing their first game of the season and are trying to focus on football after the horrors of Hurricane Katrina. 2) Yes, Jerious Norwood (Mississippi State) is one of the better running backs in the country. 3) Lester Ricard (Tulane's quarterback) looked real good last year. Will having another year in the system make him look even better?

4. Florida Atlantic at Minnesota (8:30 Gameplan)- 1) Florida Atlantic might have more team speed than Minnesota has seen so far this year. 2) Laurence Maroney (Minnesota's running back) continues his race towards the front of the pack for the Heisman Trophy. 3) Bryan Cupito (Minnesota's quarterback) has been working a lot in practice on his throws. Expect to see some improvement this week.

5. Rutgers at Buffalo (8:00 Gameplan)- 1) Ryan Hart (quarterback), Tres Moses (wide receiver), and Brian Leonard (running back) still are as much fun to watch as any trio of skill position players in the country. 2) Buffalo hasn't scored a point or even attempted a field goal yet this year. How long will Jim Hofher (Buffalo's head coach) stick with Stewart Sampsel with him just completing 28.6 percent of his passes? 3) This will be the second straight Big East foe for Buffalo, after playing Syracuse last week. This will give us a bit of a taste of where Rutgers and Syracuse fall in the Big East pecking order.

LATE NIGHT

1. Arkansas at USC (10:15 FSN)- 1) De'Arrius Howard (Arkansas' running back) will provide a bit of a challenge to USC's defensive line. 2) After Texas' impressive win a week ago, people have started grumbling that maybe Texas deserves to be number one. This will not make USC happy. They will be looking to show why they are the country's best team. 3) Houston Nutt (Arkansas' head coach) has a history of getting his team to play above theri heads in games like this (see Texas in 2003 and 2004). Can he go to the well one more time as the calls for his job become louder?

2. UNLV at Nevada (10:00 ESPNU)- 1) It is an in-state rivalry game, and the two teams have split the previous 30 meetings. UNLV has won the last five. 2) Jeff Rowe (Nevada's quarterback) played pretty well last week against Washington State. He's looking for an even bigger game this week against UNLV. 3) Shane Steichen (UNLV's quarterback) is completing 62.5 percent of his passes. He's got a hot hand right now.

One Liners
Incredibly basic previews of tonight's games!

Utah at TCU (7:45 ESPN)- The Utes look to continue their 18 game winning streak against a team that just beat Oklahoma twelve days ago.

For complete coverage of the Thursday night game, click on Thursday Night Throwdown.

Wednesday, September 14, 2005

Week Three: Wednesday

Overreaction Wednesday
Getting a little bit crazy and having some knee jerk reactions to last weekend's games

Vanderbilt will beat either LSU, Georgia, Florida, or Tennessee and will go at least 7-4.

Iowa State will be Texas' biggest challenge when they meet in the Big Twelve Championship Game.

USC at Arizona State on October 1 will be the must see Game of the Year.

Minnesota will finally beat Michigan this year.

Are you one of the fans that wishes there was a Big East Championship Game? Try Louisville at Connecticut on December 3 on for size.

Remember that some of these things are gross overreactions to the way teams played this weekend. These are not necessarily straight predictions, but rather thoughts that many may not consider that are very distinct possibilities.

Quotables

Bob Stoops, Oklahoma head coach: "As coaches we're trying to teach things that we can do to be consistent in all areas. We just have to keep pushing for it, and we have had some things happen in all areas of the passing game-drops, missed routes, etc."

Mike Leach, Texas Tech head coach: "Cody Hodges did well in his first start, but he is the most poised guy I've ever had for a first game. He played within himself right off the bat, and he didn't have the typical opening drive adjustment. He sorted out a lot of things and sifted through information well."

Dirk Koetter, Arizona State head coach: "In the LSU game, if we had to play it over again, we were a little too conservative in the first half. We had to go through a feeling out process. We studied film and they did 40% of what we thought they would, but 60% different. Once we got rolling in the second half the only way they were going to stop us is if we stopped ourselves. I think our offense is doing okay, but if we could have done a little better, then we would be 2-0."

Joe Paterno, Penn State head coach: "I think we are getting better. I like my football team. We have a bunch of kids that are working hard. We are getting close to it. The team we are going to play this week, Central Michigan, is closer to being a Big Ten team than anybody we have played in the sense that they are more physical. They played a Big Ten team and played very well against Indiana and beat a good MAC team in Miami (Ohio). I think we will know more after this week. We are getting better. We really are and I am not discouraged."

News & Notes

Troy Smith will be the starting quarterback for Ohio State this Saturday over Justin Zwick. Does anyone else think that if Smith had been running around out there on that last possession that there would have been no fumble?

Donovan Woods has lost his starting quarterback job at Oklahoma State to Bobby Reid. Woods will now be playing free safety. If Woods turns into a star at free safety, this could really help the Cowboys. Reid had better perform up to snuff, because he hasn't really looked much better than Woods so far.

Adrian Peterson has apparently been skipping classes, and Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops has forced him to sit out a couple of practices for disciplinary reasons. This seems like a light punishment. I am trying to recall where a college player was punished by being forced to sit out practices, but no games. Maybe Stoops knows that without Peterson, the running game might just match the passing game for ineffectiveness.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Week Three: Tuesday

Under Pressure
Karl Dorrell, UCLA

The Bruins are playing Oklahoma at home this Saturday afternoon. This was a huge game for UCLA all offseason, and the game they have been pointing to. Of course, now that Oklahoma has underperformed like it has, the Bruins have become favorites in this game. UCLA? Favorites? Against Oklahoma? How many people thought that would happen in August? Dorrell is widely bashed by UCLA fans. Suddenly, this game, which looked like it could save Dorrell's job in the preseason, becomes a must win. If UCLA loses, then it will be because Dorrell didn't have the team ready. If UCLA wins, then it will be because Oklahoma is no good this year. This game has become almost as dangerous as playing a team like...like...like TCU or something. But don't bring that up to Oklahoma fans. Dorrell had better win if he wants to keep the fans happy in Los Angeles.

Chris Leak, Florida

Leak has not beaten Tennessee in two tries, and has shown a strong dislike to get hit. The Vols will bring the kitchen sink at the Gators quarterback. For the third consecutive year, the Gators are favored against Tennessee. The previous two were both losses. Leak was the quarterback of both teams. Rightly or wrongly, the quarterback is the single player most readily praised or blamed for the record of his team. Urban Meyer has come into Florida looking to change this team into a title contender. His first task has been trying to turn Leak into a quarterback that can work in his system. Obviously he has tweaked the system to fit Leak's talents. Those other two games were just sideshows. Now we find out whether or not Urban's experiment with Leak is working or not. Meyer will be given another chance by the Gainesville media and the Gator fans. Leak may not be so lucky. That's why Leak needs to win this game so badly.

College Gameday Site
Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts

In a little bit of a surprise decision, ESPN has decided to go to Boston College for their first ever ACC game against Florida State. With the Seminoles dramatic win over Miami on Labor Day, this game became a huge ACC game. In a game matching the #8 team in both polls (Florida State) against the #16 or #17 team (Boston College), this game is expected to decide the ACC Atlantic title. Of course, Clemson, North Carolina State, and maybe even Maryland could have something serious to say about that. This ought to be an electric atmosphere for a football game, as Boston College has been pointing to this game all offseason. ESPN will not be disappointed with their first trip to Chestnut Hill.

Thoughts on Rankings

Raise your hand if you think Oklahoma should be ranked #17 and Arizona State #22 in the latest Coaches Poll? How about Iowa at #21 and Iowa State at #32 (in others receiving votes)? Did these pollsters even watch SportCenter and see how Iowa State dominated Iowa? Did they see how much time was left when Oklahom was up 17-15 on TULSA (a team that got beat 41-10 at home by Minnesota just last week)? That was less than four minutes left and still a two point game.

Where is UCLA? Come on voters! Give us UCLA! After all, Alabama has not looked great either week yet, why not bring us UCLA, who has dominated two lesser foes? If you're going to rank Oklahoma, might as well go ahead and rank UCLA to give us one more ranked match-up this week.

Note to voters- I hope you guys are picking Tennessee this week at Florida since they are ranked ahead of Florida in both polls this week. I know you could base that on who would win on a neutral field and things like that, but the fact remains, I would vote Florida ahead of Tennessee right now simply because the Gators should win in Gainesville this Saturday night.

The one piece of good news: VANDERBILT! Check down in the small print of "Others receiving votes" on the AP Poll, and you will find this: "Vanderbilt 1." That means that someone has voted Vanderbilt #25 in their poll. They deserve all the love they can get, as the Commodores have produced two shocking, fourth quarter, come from behind, road victories. Amazing. Vanderbilt may be easing towards the Top 25 in the coming weeks. Ole Miss is at Vanderbilt on Saturday, followed by home games against Richmond and Middle Tennessee. Anyone up for the SEC must see David vs. Goliath Game of the Year with 5-0 Vanderbilt taking on LSU in Nashville on October 8? It may be early to talk about this, but that might be the biggest Vanderbilt game in the history of Vanderbilt football if it gets that far.

You say I can't complain about rankings? You say that because I'm not publishing any rankings. Well, I plan on putting my rankings out here beginning on September 26. Right now, I am busy getting rid of preseason notions and misconceptions and watching as many games as possible. Beginning September 26, I will rank the teams based on what I have seen so far this year. I take the names off the front of the jerseys and decide who the best teams are. I did this last year and enjoyed it much more than previous seasons when I moved teams up and down from my preseason rankings, which really are nothing more than predictions on where the teams will finish.


Monday, September 12, 2005

Week Three: Monday

GAME OF THE WEEK
LSU 35, Arizona State 31

The Tigers, in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, walked into Tempe and sleep walked through the first three quarters. Down 17-7, things looked lost for LSU, until a blocked field goal and a blocked punt (which were both returned for touchdowns) turned the momentum. Sam Keller and Arizona State battled back scoring two more touchdowns, but the Tigers scored late in the game, and Arizona State gave the ball up on downs in LSU territory in the last thirty seconds. It was truly a remarkable game.

UPSET OF THE WEEK
SMU 21, TCU 10

Last week, TCU was busy beating Oklahoma. This week, TCU was busy looking ahead to Thursday night's game with Utah. It was SMU's first win over a ranked opponent since before they received their infamous "Death Penalty." It's been a long time coming. The Mustangs can celebrate this win. The two teams are rivals, and anything can happen in rivalry games, and this proves again that it usually does.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK
Cody Hodges, Texas Tech

The Red Raiders quarterback completed 36 of 45 passes for 454 yards and four touchdowns while throwing zero interceptions. Of course, it was against Florida International. But once again this proves the fact that almost any quarterback can step in at Texas Tech and become an immediate star. He looked sharp and did an outstanding job. This team should be 6-0 before a road trip to Texas. (Yes, I realize that Kansas, Nebraska, and Kansas State are not easy road trips, but the Red Raiders still should win those games.)

TEAM OF THE WEEK
LSU Tigers

The LSU Tigers dramatic 35-31 win over Arizona State could signal the beginning of something special for them. The Tigers showed some flashes of brilliance both running the football and throwing it. They threw the ball with some success on the last drive, but prior to that had struggled with that for most of the game. LSU won it with some special teams plays, and every team needs that's going to win a national championship needs to win at least one game like that. We'll all know a lot more about LSU when they play Tennessee at home on September 24.

STAT OF THE WEEK
Iowa's five turnovers

Iowa lost to Iowa State, 23-3. There were two key reasons why this happened. The first is that Iowa committed five turnovers against Iowa State. Iowa State's interception returned for a touchdown in the second quarter put the Hawkeyes behind 16-0 and they never really got back into the game after that. The Hawkeyes looked like they often look early in the season. They looked like they weren't ready to play. Iowa State looked like a team that had something to prove. Iowa's sloppy play and Iowa State's inspired play made this win possible. Without Iowa turning the ball over five times, this game would have been very different.

PLAY OF THE WEEK
Tyrone Prothro's catch

Tyrone Prothro's 42 yard catch for Alabama against Southern Miss was unbelievable. It may rank as one of the greatest catches in college football history. He caught the ball in his hands while pressing the ball to the back of the Southern Miss defender. The play was reviewed, and the ball was spotted at the one yard line instead of being a touchdown. The Tide were down 21-10 in the second quarter when it happened, and they won 30-21. That catch was not only unbelievable to watch, but it also turned the momentum of the game.

TURNOVER OF THE WEEK
Justin Zwick's fourth quarter fumble

Justin Zwick was scrambling and had reached the 35 yard line with his team trailing 23-22 to Texas with 2:19 left in the game. The Ohio State quarterback then got hit and fumbled the football. The Texas Longhorns recovered, and that basically wrapped up the football game. Texas was unable to muscle the ball into the endzone, but they left Ohio State at the 1 yard line with around half a minute left. After the sack of Troy Smith for a safety and the Longhorns recovery of an onside kick, the game was over and Texas had won, 25-22. The fumble was clearly the play of the game that had cost Ohio State a shot at the win.

KEY FIRST HALF MOMENT OF THE WEEK
Drew Tate's injury

This is the second reason that Iowa State beat Iowa. Drew Tate, the Iowa quarterback, fired an interception with just under ten minutes left in the first half against the Cyclones. Tate raced over and made the tackle of Austin Flynn to stop him from going down the sideline for a touchdown. Unfortunately for Tate and the Hawkeyes, he suffered a concussion and was unable to return. The Cyclones already lead 6-0, and Tate could possibly have been able to lead the Hawkeyes back, but the Cyclones defense held Jason Manson (the Hawkeyes back up quarterback)basically in check. Looking back on the game, that injury signaled the end of the game.

MOMENT OF THE WEEK
Early Doucet's touchdown catch

JaMarcus Russell and the LSU Tigers were facing a fourth and two from the Arizona State 39 yard line with under a minute and a half left. Trailing 31-28, this was the ballgame. As Russell rolled out and lofted the ball to the endzone, the entire Tiger fan base held their breath. As Early Doucet came down with the improbable reception for the game winning touchdown, a part of the country ravaged by a horrible hurricane all let out a cheer together. The people of Louisiana needed something positive to happen, and that touchdown catch was something positive. It was the most memorable moment of a very exciting