• No. 24 Boise State 7, BYU 6. Hoowee, Thursday night's game had just about everything -- with the notable and unsettling exception of offense. The Cougars gained 200 net yards and turned the ball over five times. The Broncos outgained them by 61 yards but scored fewer than 10 points for just the second time in Chris Petersen's tenure. By the time BYU benched Riley Nelson and sent freshman backup Taysom Hill in for a four-yard rushing touchdown, the first offensive score of the night, fewer than five minutes remained in the game. We can safely assume that Bronco Mendenhall's ill-fated call of a two-point conversion attempt was a signal that he wanted this to be over just as badly as the rest of us, to whatever end.
If that was the night's only offensive score, you ask, how did Boise State get seven points? FAT GUY TOUCHDOWN! The very BEST sort of Fat Guy Touchdowns are the ones involving nose tackles, and redshirt senior Mike Atkinson obliged a grateful nation by pawing a Nelson pass out of midair and lumbering 36 yards for six points. It was his first career interception and score. We are grateful to have witnessed it. [BOX | RECAP]
• They s'posed to be USC! We agree with Andy Staples that Lane Kiffin should maybe just go ahead and close practices if this is what happens when he doesn't. We're not even joking. Plenty of teams do it. The new order, for so many programs, is practice reports like this one out of Auburn, which has run closed sessions all year:
“I thought we had a really good practice tonight. I feel like this week’s been very good,” said Auburn head coach Gene Chizik. “I think the kids have been very focused and are really excited about playing in the game. The energy has been there. They understand the challenge ahead of us and it ought to be fun Saturday night.”
Weapons-grade concentrated coachspeak, that. What else do you need to know?
• Roster blotter.Danny O'Brien will be replaced by redshirt freshman Joel Stave in Wisconsin's next game ... Nebraska defensive tackle Chase Rome has returned to the Huskers and is back at practice, Bo Pelini said ... starting receiver Jeremy Moore has left Georgia Tech's team for unspecified personal reasons ... and Tyler Wilson will start for Arkansas against Rutgers, the team announced yesterday.
• This sentence feels strange to type: Well played, Notre Dame? Michigan Men, this is just what we were getting at yesterday. There is real comedic power, real power for change to be found in embracing one's own stereotypes: