By Cory Mccartney
September 24, 2007
Brian Brohm
Are Two Heisman Dreams Dashed?
Is it time to pull the plug on a couple of Heisman campaigns? Another big day from Darren McFadden (172 yards and a touchdown) was wasted by Arkansas; while Louisville's Brian Brohm had a career-day with 555 yards passing and four TDs in a loss to lowly Syracuse. The losses likely won't be the last for either team, and it's hard to imagine voters putting aside the fact that neither Heisman candidate is delivering wins. McFadden may be destined for a spot alongside Oklahoma's Adrian Peterson in a group of the best players to never win the trophy, while Brohm has already seen his stock take a hit. Many have relegated him to the second-best QB in Kentucky, behind the Wildcats' Andre Woodson. It's no secret wins are as important as hype in the Heisman race, and unless something changes, these two may simply have to settle on being future NFL multi-millionaires. Poor guys.
At The Hart Of It All
Michigan's season isn't over yet, thanks to an awakened defense and a helping of Mike Hart that's such an exercise in excess that it would make Golden Corral jealous. In the last two games, wins over Notre Dame and Penn State, Hart has carried the ball 79 times for 310 yards and three TDs (including a career-high 44 carries for 153 yards against a stout Nittany Lions defense). So is Michigan back? If the Wolverines are going to pull off the improbable and reach the Rose Bowl, No. 20 will have to take pressure off freshman QB Ryan Mallett, or Chad Henne when he returns, and put UM on his shoulders -- a formula that's produced two wins.
The Texas Tech Effect
You have to wonder what it's like sitting in on Texas Tech coach Mike Leach's recruiting pitch to a potential quarterback. So yeah, you're going to throw for like 350 every game. What's that ... defense? Yeah, we've got a defense. Got 11 guys that play at once. QB Graham Harrell had the fourth-highest passing day in NCAA history with 646 yards in a loss as Oklahoma State beat the Red Raiders 49-45. The scapegoat is defensive coordinator Lyle Setencich, who resigned, but nobody wastes big days like Leach: six times in his tenure, a QB has thrown for more than 400 yards in a loss, and four of those are 500-plus yard games.
When The Tide Turns ... Ugly
It was Georgia's party -- but it was in Alabama's house. That's the simple explanation for the Crimson Tide student section hurling stadium cups, and even a few bottles, on the "Dawg Pile" after UGA's overtime win Saturday night. The raucous students were loud enough to force Georgia quarterback Matthew Stafford into calling a timeout he didn't have and caused a false start by the Bulldogs, but the end display with cups flying onto the field was simply classless. Nick Saban should take a page from Joe Paterno, but instead of having his team clean the stadium, he should give the responsibility to the student section.
South Florida Bulls
The Bulls made the most of their first game as a top 25 team and didn't get caught looking ahead to the biggest matchup in the program's 10-year history (a clash with West Virginia) by dominating North Carolina in a 37-10 victory in which USF had four interceptions and four sacks.
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets
What a difference two weeks makes. The Yellow Jackets have gone from ranked to two straight losses after dropping their eighth straight at Virginia's Scott Stadium. In those two defeats, RB Tashard Choice, who had a string of 10 straight 100-yard games, has run for 19 and 31 yards.
Oklahoma Sooners
It was another 50-plus point performance for Bob Stoops's crew, which continues to show off its sickening depth. If you're a history buff, dig this: OU's streak of half-century scoring barrages is the second in school history. The last was in 2003, capped by a 65-13 torching of Texas.
Nebraska Cornhuskers
Think they were suffering from a USC hangover in Lincoln? If not for a dropped pass on what could have been a sure TD reception, and a missed field goal, the Cornhuskers could have suffered an embarassing loss to Ball State, which racked up 610 yards of offense against the dismal-looking Blackshirts (the most allowed since 1991).
Illinois Fighting Illini
The Illini won their Big Ten opener for the first time since 1993 by riding Rashard Mendenhall's 214 rushing yards and a defense that limited Indiana's ground game, seventh in the nation entering the game, to 134 yards, nearly half its average. Next for Team Zook? Penn State and Wisconsin.
Texas A&M Aggies
To say the Aggies running game stalled against Miami would be a gross understatement. The Michael Goodson-and-Jorvorskie Lane-led ground game had 38 yards in the first half of the loss, including zero from Lane. Texas A&M had 98 total rushing yards, 198 off its average.
"A couple of the other specialists and I joke about, 'Man, I'm going to get laid out if we ever run that."
--LSU kicker Colt David on the play called "Roxy" in which he took an over-the-shoulder flip from holder Matt Flynn and ran for a 15-yard TD in a 28-16 win over South Carolina.
"They don't hand out trophies for 4-0. Let's see if we can get to 5-0."
--Clemson coach Tommy Bowden after his Tigers beat North Carolina State behind a combined 327 yards and four TDs from running backs James Davis and C.J. Spiller.
"Our offense is not milk the clock."
--Missouri coach Gary Pinkel, whose team scored on drives of 17 seconds, 3:11, 2:40, 3:33 and 2:04 vs. Illinois State. On 24 scoring drives in '07, the Tigers are averaging 2:08.
Tim TebowQB - Florida
The Gainesville Idol threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a Florida-quarterback-record 166 yards and two more touchdowns in the Gators' win over Ole Miss. Tebow had more yards of total offense than the Rebels (390).
Andrew RobinsonQB - Syracuse
Did anyone, including Robinson, see this coming? He hit Taj Smith for a 79-yard touchdown on the first play of the game, finishing with a career-high 423 yards and four TD passes as the Orange embarassed 36 1/2-point favorite Louisville.
Matt ForteRB - Tulane
It's safe to say Matt's forte is running the ball. The senior ran for a school- and Conference USA-record 303 yards and scored all five of the Green Wave's TDs (setting another Tulane mark) in the victory over Southeastern Louisiana.
West Virginia's Steve Slaton registered his 42nd career rushing touchdown against East Carolina, tying the school record shared by Ira Errett Rodgers and Avon Cobourne.
Years since Cincinnati has started 4-0. The Bearcats, under first-year coach Brian Kelly, lead the nation with 19 turnovers gained, including a I-A best 12 interceptions.
Number of points Ohio State has put up against Northwestern in their past two meetings. OSU scored 58 points Saturday, its most since a 72-point performance against Pitt in 1996.

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West Virginia at South FloridaSEPTEMBER 28
West Virginia's offense is in for its biggest test of the season against South Florida's stingy D, which is giving up 79 yards a game on the ground, but it may be USF that's in for trouble with an already dangerous WVU squad that will be fired up after last year's upset. West Virginia 30, South Florida 21
Cal at OregonSEPTEMBER 29
The first of Cal's Pac-10 road tests comes against an Oregon team that is fourth in the nation in rushing offense (299.75 yards per game) and could give the Bears trouble. But after two weeks without a touchdown DeSean Jackson is due for a big game.
Cal 35, Oregon 28
Michigan State at WisconsinSEPTEMBER 29
Mark Dantonio is off to an historic start as the first Michigan State coach to open 4-0. Moreover, he has MSU in the Top 25. With Wisconsin coming off three ugly wins, this could be trouble. But UW is at home and will deliver a huge helping of P.J. Hill. Wisconsin 20, Michigan State 13
Clemson at Georgia TechSEPTEMBER 29
Georgia Tech is reeling, while Clemson is rolling. The Tigers' "Thunder and Lightning" backfield feasted on the Yellow Jackets run defense last year. But with this year's game being in ATL, expect Atlanta-native James Davis to have the motivation to make some noise.
Clemson 28, Georgia Tech 24
Notre Dame at PurdueSEPTEMBER 29
The Irish finally scored an offensive TD (two to be exact), so could a win be far behind? ND's high note has been its pass D (ranked fifth nationally) and we know how much Purdue likes to throw. But I don't see the Irish offense taking advantage of its D's help.
Purdue 31, Notre Dame 17

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