By Cory Mccartney
September 11, 2007
Ray Rice
Someone Hold The Rice, Please
The Heisman campaign says "See Ray Run" which may mean see the Rutgers back "run" out of gas. No one carried the ball more than Ray Rice last season -- 335 of the Scarlet Knights' 367 rushes to be exact -- and he's shown he can carry a workload, but 37 carries in the win over Navy? Rutgers doesn't have the depth of Big East counterparts Louisville or West Virginia -- basically why Rice carried so many times against a service academy -- but carrying the entire offense on his back will take its toll. If coach Greg Schiano wants to compete for a Big East title, he has to lessen the load before the schedule heats up.
Not Quite the Same "Ol'" Story
Steve Spurrier flipped the script for his latest win in Athens. The Ol' Ball Coach was 11-1 at Georgia while at Florida and gave South Carolina its first win at UGA since 2001. The Dawgs, who were so dominant against Oklahoma State, were held without a TD for the first time in six years as the Gamecocks defensive front manhandled UGA's young line, forcing QB Matthew Stafford into a mistake-filled night. It's almost anti-Spurrier to think of him riding a dominant D to victory, but yes, defense gave him one of his biggest S.C. wins.
The Big Ten's Saving Grace?
Coming into the season, would anyone have picked Penn State as the Big Ten's best team? With Michigan dealing with a major case of déjà Blue, and Ohio State and Wisconsin looking average, it may be the case. PSU has played two teams (FIU and Notre Dame) that may not win eight games between them, but PSU's been solid. A defense that had to rebuild the line hasn't allowed a TD and the only fear on offense was alleviated by running back Austin Scott's rise. Competition aside, PSU's looked far more dominant than its Big Ten brethren.
Up On The Bayou
As Stewart Mandel duly pointed out: LSU's offense was a revelation in dismantling Virginia Tech. I know we've only seen one uninspired USC performance, but right now, nobody looks better than the Tigers. The only real question going into the season was whether the Matt Flynn-led offense would be as dominating as the LSU defense, and with 24 points in the first 19 minutes and 599 total yards (against a Hokies D that laid clam to being one of the nation's best), there's no doubt that LSU has definitively put those concerns to rest.
Oklahoma Sooners
Two games, three records tied or broken for QB Sam Bradford. He equaled an Oklahoma record with five touchdown passes in the 51-13 win over Miami, the the Hurricanes' most lopsided loss since 1998. OU's D is also holding it down, allowing 11 points and 193 yards per game.
TCU Horned Frogs
From possible BCS busters to just busted, TCU couldn't handle Texas and had its five-game streak vs. Big 12 teams snapped. TCU led 10-0 at halftime, but was held to 17 yards and no first downs in the third quarter against a 'Horns defense that was far more dominant than in the opener.
South Florida Bulls
Another upset of an elite program, another step toward prominence for Jim Leavitt's crew as the Bulls dumped Auburn in overtime. You had to wonder how many times kicker Delbert Alvarado had to miss before Leavitt would go for it on short yardage, but he did get it done late.
Vanderbilt Commodores
Mistakes, penalties and an opportunistic Alabama team resulted in the Commodores' 19th straight loss against the Crimson Tide (a streak that's lasted 23 years). Quarterback Chris Nickson, who was slowed by a sore hamstring, struggled in throwing for 67 yards and a touchdown.
Washington Huskies
Tyrone Willingham now has a signature win in Seattle. Washington beat a ranked team for the first time since '03 as U-Dub ended Boise State's nation-high 14-game win streak and kept Ian Johnson out of the end zone. Things get tougher with Ohio State, UCLA and USC next.
Syracuse Orange
The Orange suffered their worst defeat of Greg Robinson's tenure, falling to Iowa 35-0, and have lost their last three by an average of 32 points. Syracuse had one yard of offense in the first half and has yet to score a rushing TD. Somehow things have gotten worse under Robinson.
"When they try to punt it away from me, it messes up their mind."
--Cal return man DeSean Jackson, who has six returns for TDs. In Saturday's Colorado State, the Rams tried to punt away from him, but instead shanked it out on their own 47.
"Hey, are you trying to win the Heisman?"
--Clemson running back C.J. Spiller to first-year starting quarterback Cullen Harper, who set a school record with five TD passes in the Tigers' 49-26 victory over Louisiana-Monroe.
"It sends the message that the University of Cincinnati needs to be looked at as a Top 25 program. Now, the first coat of paint is on. We're not a finished product.''
--Cincinnati coach Brian Kelly after his Bearcats dominated Oregon State 34-3 to improve to 2-0. UC held the Beavers' Yvenson Bernard, who had 1,307 yards in '06, to 30 yards.
Anthony AllenRB - Louisville
On a night when Louisville needed every bit of its offensive firepower, Allen set a school record, rushing for 275 yards and added two TDs as The 'Ville avoided a scare from Middle Tennessee State. His only requests after? Ice -- and Advil.
Colt BrennanQB - Hawaii
The nation's leader in three passing categories and island-inspired hairdo's was 43-for-61 with 548 yards, four touchdowns and an interception and also ran for a 3-yard score in the Warriors' 45-44 overtime victory over Louisiana Tech.
Pat WhiteQB - West Virginia
The Friends of Coal Bowl didn't look like it was going to be too friendly for the Mountaineers, but they pulled away with a large helping of White, who threw for 149 yards and two scores and ran for 125 and a TD in the win over Marshall.
Notre Dame's total rushing yards on the season. The Irish had zero yards on the ground against Penn State on 26 tries after having minus-8 yards on 41 attempts vs. Georgia Tech.
Western Kentucky tied a Bowl Subdivision record for most points in a half in its 87-0 victory over NAIA West Virginia Tech. It was also the Hilltoppers first win since moving to I-A.
Georgia Tech's 69-14 win over Championship Subdivision team Samford marked the most points the Yellow Jackets had scored in a home opener since beating Furman 69-0 in 1921.

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Tennessee at FloridaSEPTEMBER 15
Tennessee's wideouts got a confidence boost against Southern Miss and may have a big day against the Gators secondary. But I don't see the Volunteers being able to put much pressure on QB Tim Tebow, who should feast on the Tennessee defense.
Florida 28, Tennessee 21
Louisville at KentuckySEPTEMBER 15
In Kentucky's Andre Woodson and Louisville's Brian Brohm, the Bluegrass State has arguably the best quarterback combo in the country. But defenses? Not so much. The edge goes to Brohm, who just has more weapons at his disposal than Woodson does.
Louisville 44, Kentucky 37
USC at NebraskaSEPTEMBER 15
In '05, QB Sam Keller threw five picks against USC while playing for Arizona State and last year, the Trojans beat the Cornhuskers 28-10. But don't fire up Bob Marley's Redemption Song quite yet, Lincoln. USC is too deep and will be fresh following a week off. USC 35, Nebraska 20
Boston College at Georgia TechSEPTEMBER 15
Two questions: 1) Can Jeff Jagodzinski's pass-happy offense handle a Georgia Tech D that loves to bring the heat; and 2) Can Boston College's defense stop Tashard Choice and force young QB Taylor Bennett to beat them. The answers? No and no.
Georgia Tech 21, Boston College 16
Notre Dame at MichiganSEPTEMBER 15
ND and Michigan have never met when both were 0-2. But there's good news: somebody has to win. Notre Dame will break through with an offensive TD, but expect a big day from UM's Mike Hart. This victory won't soothe any Wolverine wounds, but it's a start.
Michigan 23, Notre Dame 13
Last Week: 3-2

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