Profiles in Profiteroles: Sleepless in Tulsa
The week in lesser FBS luminaries:
The results were unpleasant for Tulsa, both on the scoreboard and the sideline: Starting quarterback and mid-major darling G.J. Kinne reportedly sustained an MCL tear in his left knee during the first quarter and could be out as long as a month. Mike Gundy mentioned in his postgame remarks that he’d been concerned about player injuries, given the hour and the wet conditions on the field — a curious worry, given that Justin Blackmon and Brandon Weeden both remained in the game well into the fourth quarter with a 52-26 OSU lead. The hotshot duo’s final scoring pass was recorded with 8:16 remaining in the game.
About that knee: Kinne was expected to miss several weeks, but is still listed as day-to-day on the Tulsa injury report. If he could get his feet under him in time for Saturday, it'd be something of a minor miracle, and a much-appreciated one: The Golden Hurricane travel to Boise this weekend.
That dream matchup between FIU phenom T.Y. Hilton and UCF’s stalwart defense never materialized in Miami, thanks to a traitorous hamstring that betrayed Hilton late in the first half and kept him off the field for a significant number of meaningful snaps. No matter: Special teams made up the scoreboard difference tonight, with Isame Faciane snatching and housing a fumble from highly-regarded Knights quarterback Jeff Godfrey.
Also not to be missed: The ferocious performance of FIU's quarterback harriers, who recorded six sacks against highly regarded Knights quarterback Jeff Godfrey. As for Hilton, I've been told he looks good to go for this weekend's home date with Louisiana.
Between them, the Midshipmen and Gamecocks traded six touchdowns Saturday night in Columbia, back and forth as neat as you please, but it was a lonely (and unlikely) 48-yard field goal with four seconds remaining in the first half would end up serving as the margin of victory.
The story of this game is Marcus Lattimore nearly matching Navy’s triple-option rushing output by himself, with a jaw-dropping 249 yards on 37 carries and three touchdowns to the Middies' 257 yards overall.
Navy's option game is sound, but there's no schematic fix on offense for getting your entire stable of backs outrushed by one guy, and there aren't many teams operating who could've stopped Lattimore in any scenario. Don't ding Navy too much in the rankings for this; see how it does against Air Force first.
• Wayback Machine: From late last week, Boise State: Still making good teams look not-good. Some guy named Kellen Moore looks like he's having a pretty good year.
• Welcome back, RedHawks past and present: Jerry Kill's return was the highlight of Saturday's Minnesota-Miami (Ohio) tilt, but on the opposite sidelines strode another comeback coach: RedHawks assistant Mike Bath, returning from quadruple bypass surgery.
• The briefest possible note on non-BCS conference expansion: It is the official stance of Campus Union that we will entertain talk of conference mergers involving non-AQ teams only if the interested parties are able to come up with some theoretical end product that rivals the as-yet hypothetical SunBeast conference logo.
Profiles in ownage
• Mario Cristobal, getting himself interviewed on GameDay! Will wonders never cease.
Exposed to the world's derision
• BYU: From Saturday:
Some holy wars do have winners, and the Utes won theirs the old-fashioned way: By scoring 40 unanswered points in the second half and obliterating all memory of a poky 14-10 output in the first two quarters. Seven turnovers doomed the Cougars, as did a complete inability to stop Utah’s ground game (243 net yards) or put up any sort of rushing stats of their own (14 net yards).
• Colorado State, 2-0 heading into Week 3 and flipping the script in the wrong direction with a loss to 0-2 Colorado.
• Central Michigan, mauled by Western and leading the chase to the bottom for the coveted title of Worst Directional Michigan.
• Fresno State: There are teams you never want to be paired with along with words like "survives," "rallies," or "edges" in headlines, but that's what you get for letting North Dakota play you to a five-point win.
• UAB: In the seasons since the departure of dual-threat monster Joe Webb, it's been hard to shake the impression that the Blazers are still one of those squads that'll never crack the ceiling to a major bowl, but that can be counted on to give at least one BCS-conference team fits in any given year. Maybe it's the mascot. No team with a dragon mascot should be this bad at football. But here's UAB, getting blown out 49-10 at home by Tulane. That's not a typo that should read "Tulsa"; the Tulane Green Wave scored 49 points on somebody. Gracious.
Not sure if serious
• Nevada: Is it time already to start backing away from our preseason WAC-winning predictions for the Wolf Pack? Getting blown out by a sulking Oregon team last week was one thing, but no squad presuming to compete for any conference crown (let alone a defending conference champion) has any business being played that close by San Jose State.
• Temple: That near-upset of Penn State was a near-upset, but the absence of three Owl turnovers might have made the difference in Philadelphia.
• Troy: Are the Trojans showing signs of life down there, or has a not-good Arkansas squad just been disguising itself so far by playing overmatched opponents? The Hogs' performance against Alabama this weekend should tell us for sure.
• Hawaii: Bryant Moniz is going to tumble off his own Heisman bandwagon if he doesn't get better protection. There are bad nights for an o-line, and then there's getting sacked thrice by a Nevada team that's not even the good Nevada team.
• San Diego State: In walloping what had been a high-scoring, cupcake-devouring Washington State team, the Aztecs looked much more like the team we picked in the preseason to surprise a high-profile outfit. They're about to get a whole bunch of chances to try: SDSU travels to Michigan this weekend for the Brady Hoke Bowl, then hosts TCU off its bye week in October.
• Indiana State, for a surprising-yet-not rout of Western Kentucky, 44-16.
• Gardner-Webb, which got itself on the wrong end of a 48-5 Wake Forest romp, but did manage to record a safety against a Big Six team for a uniquely humorous final score.
Case Keenum Pinballin' Hi-Score of the week
Hey, remember last week, when I said this?
And C-USA being C-USA, Keenum won't face serious resistance to his war machine until mid-November and SMU, at the earliest.
Right. Try "until the first half of next week's game, at the earliest." Keenum had to lead quite a rally to escape the clutches of Air Raiding also-rans Louisiana Tech:
Two Air Raid offenses met in Ruston, La. Saturday night, and once again, Houston found itself leaning more than once on the ground game it was forced to establish last year after losing two quarterbacks for the season in September. Houston scored 28 points in the last 20 minutes of the game to juuust make up a 34-7 deficit, and two of the Cougars’ four rally touchdowns were recorded by running back Bryce Beall.
After a 351-yard performance that brings him to well over 1,000 passing yards for 2011, Keenum's currently on pace to break the NCAA all-time passing record if he keeps his stats up.
This week in Mike Locksley Still Has A Job Theater
Three weeks in and it's already getting depressing chronicling how Mike Locksley will always earn (well, "earn") more money than you and me. This week all the Lobos did was make Texas Tech under Tommy Tuberville look like Texas Tech under Mike Leach on the scoreboard.
Thing UTEP Did This Week
Oh, just recorded a transitive win over Minnesota. Y'know. UTEP stuff.
Profiterole Player of the Week
TRENT STEELMAN, QB, Army, whose name must be typed in all caps in every instance. He's the anti-Case Keenum, and it's working for him: In the process of recording Army's first victory of the season, TRENT STEELMAN rushed for all three of the Black Knights' touchdowns in their 21-14 win over Northwestern, all while completing just a single pass.
Honorable mention and immediate addition to the 2011 All-Name team: Orleans Darkwa of Tulane.
Violently Subjective Non-AQ Top 10
1. Boise State (2-0)
2. Houston (3-0)
3. FIU (3-0)
4. TCU (2-1)
5. Navy (2-1)
6. San Diego State (3-0)
7. UCF (2-1)
8. Temple (2-1)
9. Ohio (3-0)
10. Utah State (1-1)
Walking Dead Watch
Winless after Week 3 are: East Carolina, UAB, Miami (Ohio), Kent State, Akron, New Mexico, Florida Atlantic, Middle Tennessee State, Troy, WKU, North Texas and San Jose State. And wonder of wonders, Memphis is up off the mat! Kinda! Diabolical scheduling gave the Tigers a win over FCS outfit Austin Peay, in front of tens of witnesses.
After three weeks of play, non-AQ teams are 11-55 against BCS Big Six schools. Conference USA leads the pack with four victories.
Games of the Week
In descending order from "actual interest in the football to be played here" to "tune in out of morbid curiosity," don't miss: Tulsa-Boise State, Temple-Maryland, Nevada-Texas Tech, Louisiana Tech-Mississippi State, San Diego State-Michigan, Toledo-Syracuse, UCF-BYU, Colorado State-Utah State, Tulane-Duke, Southern Miss-Virginia, Ohio-Rutgers, UTEP-South Florida, Sam Houston State-New Mexico and Indiana-North Texas.