Arizona Fans. Who Knew?
Not a bad week for the Top 10 - only one team, Iowa, lost and it was on the road to a ranked Arizona Wildcats team and their apparently irritable fans- and the Frogs remained 4th in the AP poll and 5th in the Coaches. As mentioned earlier, we also made up a little ground on Boise and now sit only 53 points behind them for third, despite the absolute destruction they put on Wyoming. Let's see what happened elsewhere.
#1 Alabama 62, Duke 13.
Believe it or not, this one was never close as Alabama pulled the ole TCU 35-3 trick on the Blue Devils and were up 45-13 at the half. In his first game back, Bama Heisman RB Mark Ingram had 151 yards on NINE carries for 2 TDs. I'd say he's healed.
Overall the Tide had 626 yards of offense and managed the 62 points despite 3 turnovers. QB Greg McElroy threw three TDs and Trent Richardson rushed for 61 yards, a TD and returned a kickoff for a TD. In other news, Alabama did give up their first touchdown on the year. In a related story, Alabama is terrifying.
The Bobcats may have won the mascot battle, but not much else as they only had 158 yards of output on the day and didn't score until the middle of the 4th. Terrelle Pryor tried to keep it interesting by tossing 2 picks, but in between those he completed 16 straight passes and finished 22/29 for 235 yards and 2 TDs. Not quite Dalton-esque numbers, but Baylor probably couldn't compete in the MAC, either.
#3 Boise State 53, Wyoming 6.
I thought this one might be ugly... but that's REAL ugly. Kellen Moore had 370 yards and 2 TDs and the ground game added 275 yards and 3 TDs in the win. Another fun stat - The Broncos allowed Wyoming to pass for 156 yards, but the Cowboys ended up netting 135 due to that negative 21 yards rushing.
Should be a fun day for our defense on October 9. The Gameday crew heads to Boise this weekend for their game against Oregon State so we'll have a better measuring stick, but for now the pollsters seem content to keep Boise ahead of us with TCU looking right in their rear view.
Not content to let their rival corner the market on "things middle school boys think are funny," Oregon hung a girthy 69 on Portland State to keep their season average right around one point a minute scored. The Ducks worried about their quarterbacking situation heading into the year, but when you have FIVE HUNDRED AND TWENTY YARDS OF RUSHING YARDS I guess you can overlook said issue. Despite that, QB Darron Thomas tossed 4 TDs, but LaMichael James stole the day with a career high 222 yards and 2 TDs. James later said that this was "the worst game I've ever played in my life," which makes me think they need to get that man on a strict regimen of random drug tests pronto. Either that or he's just really kind of an asshole girlfriend beater... oh wait. For their part Portland State converted all zero of their 18 third down attempts.
I can't vouch for a lot that went on in this game personally - Sir Wesley was put to bed immediately following this one, and the lights were figuratively out well before that - but Dear Tech, Tommy Tuberville was fired from Auburn because he couldn't manage the spread offense. Those 158 passing yards Saturday night aren't making anyone wish ill upon Mike Leach. Garrett Gilbert didn't exactly look sharp himself as he threw 3 INTs including one that went for six, but he still managed two TDs through the air and captained a nine plus minute drive late in the game to ice it.
The Longhorns still can't run the ball - 93 yards - but as good as their defense is and as bad as Tech's offense was, it didn't take much. Also, remember when Tech fans loved Taylor Potts and ripped off a bunch of Chuck Norris jokes and devoted them to him? Well, hope you enjoyed that ride, because Nick has returned and he's probably going to see some time on the bench from here on out.
#7 Oklahoma 27, Air Force 24. Despite the loss, Air Force is for real. Really, really glad we get these guys in Fort Worth this year. The Falcons had 351 yards on the ground and even tossed it around a bit only to come up short at the end. OU fans will point out that the game was 27-10 heading into the fourth, but it's not like Air Force was piling up garbage time TDs. Still, they let DeMarco Murray run it on them for 110 yards and 2 scores and catch another pass for a TD and that was the difference. I'm not quite sure Oklahoma is as good as their ranking, but Air Force sits 26th in the polls and I fully expect them to be ranked when they arrive in FW a month from now. If they keep it up, this will be the year they finally take back the Commanders Trophy in the academy race and they're locked into no worse than third in the MWC. Nice knowing you, BYU.
#8 Nebraska Cornhuskers 56, Washington 21. Jake Locker's Heisman campaign just went bye-bye-o in this one. The Cornhuskers defense held him to 4/20 for 71 yards, a score and a pair of picks. The ground game wasn't much more impressive where he had 59 yards and another TD. Meanwhile, Nebraska Freshman QB Taylor Martinez, in his first road start in supposedly one of the tougher road environments in the NCAA, rushed for 137 yards, passed for 150 and accounted for 4 of Nebraska's 8 TDs. Todd McShay will still have Jake Locker as his top rated QB entering the draft, he'll be taken way too high by someone like Oakland, and thus prove that NFL executives types are morons and have zero interest in track records.
#9 Iowa Hawkeyes 27, #24 Arizona 34. Arizona scored with less than 4 minutes remaining in the fourth quarter of a tie game and pulled out a big win in a game where neither team could get much going on the ground offensively and despite three turnovers. With the Pac 10 having won every single matchup since 1990 with the Big Ten when both teams are ranked, you'd think the Televen might want to reconsider the whole Rose Bowl thing... Iowa dropped to 18 with the loss and Arizona catapulted up 10 spots to 14th.
#10 Florida 31, Tennessee 17. Florida still can't score, still doesn't have a championship answer at QB and will probably have half their starters kicked off the team for criminal mischeif by the end of the season at the rate they're going, but hey, at least they beat their rival for the sixth time in a row. No wonder Urb tried to walk away.
So there you have it. Lots of potential movement this weekend, but of course you'll have to wait until Wednesday to hear it from me, per usual.