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STEWART MANDEL'S Two-Minute Drill

Oct. 03, 2005
Oct. 03, 2005

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Oct. 3, 2005

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STEWART MANDEL'S Two-Minute Drill

HOT TOPIC

This is an article from the Oct. 3, 2005 issue Original Layout

Arkansas (1-3) seems headed for a second straight losing season, and critics are calling for AD Frank Broyles to fire coach Houston Nutt (right) and replace him with alum Butch Davis, the architect of Miami's resurgence in the late 1990s who resigned as the Cleveland Browns' coach last November. Nutt guided the Hogs to bowls in each of his first six years but had his first losing record (5-6) in '04 and has endured humiliating losses to Vanderbilt (28-24) and USC (70-17) this fall. His one trump card--an oral commitment from the nation's top-rated high school quarterback, Mitch Mustain--may not even save his job: Mustain hails from the same northwest Arkansas town, Springdale, as Davis.

HEAD TO HEAD

Vince Young vs. Brad Smith

The two most explosive dual-threat quarterbacks in the Big 12, if not the country, square off Saturday when Young's Texas Longhorns visit Missouri. Smith (near left), operating out of a new spread offense after suffering through a subpar junior season, has looked much more like the player who ran for 2,435 yards as a freshman and sophomore. Twice this year he's had more than 400 yards of total offense. The Longhorns' defense, with its emphasis on speed over size, will pose his stiffest test to date, however. Young, meanwhile, has never lost a road game in 22 career starts, and he'll look to exploit a young Tigers defense that allowed 431 yards in a 45-35 loss to New Mexico on Sept. 10.

THREE AND OUT

1One of the most puzzling developments of the season has been the virtual disappearance of Michigan receiver--return threat Steve Breaston. The junior, who gained 313 all-purpose yards in Michigan's loss to Texas in last season's Rose Bowl, caught just one pass for minus-1 yard in the Wolverines' loss to Wisconsin last Saturday. Moreover, after averaging 23.8 yards on kickoff returns and 13.2 yards on punt returns his first two seasons, he has seen those numbers drop to 15.7 and 10.4, respectively, in 2005.

2Two-way players in college usually play wide receiver and cornerback, but the most valuable double-duty star this year is Boston College's Brian Toal, who's a linebacker and a fullback. In overtime of the Eagles' 16--13 win at Clemson, the sophomore drilled Tigers running back Reggie Merriweather for a two-yard loss on third and 2, forcing Clemson to kick a field goal, then scored the game-winning touchdown on a one-yard run.

3N.C. State followers are becoming increasingly disgruntled with once-beloved coach Chuck Amato. The Bobby Bowden protégé went 34-17 in his first four seasons with star Philip Rivers as his quarterback for every game. Since Rivers's departure following the 2003 season, the Wolfpack has had a 6-8 record that's been marked by undisciplined play. In losses this season to Virginia Tech and North Carolina, N.C. State had a combined 22 penalties.

• More from Stewart Mandel at SI.com/collegefootball

PHOTOWESLEY HITT/WIREIMAGE.COM (NUTT)PHOTOPAUL SAKUMA/AP (YOUNG)PHOTODENNY MEDLEY/ICON SMI (SMITH)