College Football News and Notes Week - 3

College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Week 2 NCAA Football

Lets get right down to it. A wild and wacky week in College football with numerous surprises and disappointments and eyebrow raising "WTF?" games results had everyone scratching their heads somewhat! It looks like early on you simply lay the points with big named teams and watch them come in against the number with ease. I managed a 3-2 ATS record this week and had plenty of nervous moments along the way including needing UCLA to score with 1:12 left in the game to secure a winning weekend. I show no mercy for teams who simply stunk up the joint this weekend, and praise those who kicked some serious butt! Lets get to the good, the bad, and the downright ugly!

THE UGLY

Two weeks in a row, Michigan takes first prize. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Getting POUNDED twice at the end of the season last year, then losing to Application State in Ann Arbor and the bounceback game where they were really going to show everyone that it was a fluke resulted in 1 TD at home in a rout at the hands Oregon 39-7! GOODBYE COACH CARR! Here is alittle note, Notre Dame might just win a game, against Michigan. Since I am not a huge Michigan fan, I am enjoying the looks on shocked fans faces of the ugliest display of a #5 ranked team to open the season in college football history. I was e-mailed last week from an angry Michigan fan telling me how bad my Huskers were this year and how they were going to get peppered by Wake Forest this week and how bad USC is going to beat them in Lincoln this upcoming week (which I have to almost agree with him on the USC take). Well last time I checked, Nebraska was 2-0 and you guys were 0-2! Scoreboard baby!

Virginal Tech comes in at #2 in the ugly poll. LSU was my Free Play Winner for the Week, but 48-7? WTF? I said all week that a weak East Carolina was within 17 totals yards of VT in their opener at home and that a interception for a TD in their week 1 game was a savior for the Hokies. I also stated last year that LSU was the best team in the country, and I still think they are the only team in the USA that has a legit shot at beating USC this year with their defense. Virginia Tech is way overrated and need some sort of signs of life on offense, where I see NO playmakers anywhere. Laying big points on the road with VT will be a losing bet this year.

THE BAD

Iowa State looked to be a work in progress all year, but losing to a MAC team in week 1 of the season at Ames was bad enough, but losing to little sister in-state rival Northern Iowa at home was downright ugly. They will take Baylor's place as the worst team in the Big 12 this season, so that is good news for Baylor fans, who enjoyed the Bears kicking the snot out of Rice this weekend by 41 points. Two years ago QB Bret Meyer for Iowa State was slated to be the next big thing in the Big 12 at QB. Now he is just a footnote. Ouch!!

Auburn took a bad beat at home against a good South Florida team, ranked 13th in the nation laying 7 points. Auburn is another team who is vastly overrated. They struggled with Kansas State in their opener and did not lead that game until mid-fourth quarter, and Kansas State is not that good to begin with. The SEC schedule looms large for Tiger fans.

Louisville's defense allowed Middle Tenn. St to move up and down the field like a hot knife in butter on Thursday Night. These two teams almost had 600 yards of offense in the first half! While Louisville can score, allowing an also-ran like MTS to score 42 points against you at home is a sure sign you are not going to win your conference. NOTE TO BETTORS: Do not lay 40 points with a team with no defense no matter how many points they can score, because their opponents will score at least 25+ points per game on them.

THE GOOD

Ok Sooner fan, I apologize for ranking the Sooners 3rd in the Big 12 South this season, I may be wrong on that one. WOW! Oklahoma is vastly better on offense than I thought with frosh QB Bradford looking like senior they way he is playing, 5 TD passes on Saturday, 4 of them to all world Malcolm Kelly. We all knew the defense was going to be good for OU and win them some games for them, but 51 points against a decent Miami team is off the charts. Oklahoma dominated that game from wire to wire. Also a note to Hurricane fans: Your team sucks this year! With Texas looking sluggish again on Saturday against TCU where they were down 10-0 at one point in Austin, and Texas AM needing 3 OT's to beat Fresno State at home, who is not as good as past years editions, OU looks like the odds on favorite to win the Texas -OU battle on October 6th! Oops, hate to tip my hand this early!

Back next week with another edition of Tony's Takes and hopefully a kick butt ATS weekend, since 3-2 is not going to win me any awards at seasons end, so I am looking for an undefeated weekend. I will be in Lincoln Nebraska next weekend to watch my beloved Huskers get their ass kicked by USC, but I assure you my homework will be done early and I will be unloading on whoever is playing Michigan as a priority!

Be sure to check out Sports Audio Shows and the host of top shelf handicappers Tony has assembled on 1 site for your wagering investment advice. Simply the best sports capping information site on the Internet for content, plays and game selections!

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

USC remains No. 1; Oregon moves in
September 9th, 2007

New York, NY (Sports Network) - Southern California, which was idle over the weekend, remained atop the latest Associated Press college football poll.

LSU, coming off a 48-7 thrashing of Virginia Tech Saturday, remained at No. 2. Oklahoma moved up to third following its victory over Miami-Florida, while West Virginia slid down a spot to fourth, and Florida did likewise, moving to fifth.

Texas, Wisconsin, California, Louisville and Ohio State rounded out the top 10. Oregon, which pounded Michigan, 39-7, at the Big House Saturday, moved into the poll at No. 19.

The Trojans, who received 40 first-place votes and 1,594 points from a national media panel, have a huge test this Saturday with a game at No. 14 Nebraska. The Cornhuskers, coming off a 20-17 win over Wake Forest, moved up two spots in the rankings.

LSU received the other 25 first-place tallies and were 12 total points behind the Trojans.

The Hokies took a big tumble, falling from No. 9 to 18th after their blowout loss at Baton Rouge.

UCLA moved up two slots to 11th, followed by Penn State, Rutgers, Nebraska and Georgia Tech. Arkansas, South Carolina, Virginia Tech, Oregon and Clemson completed the top 20. The Gamecocks moved into the rankings following a 16-12 upset of Georgia.

Boston College, Tennessee, Georgia, Hawaii and Texas A&M finish the top 25. The Eagles are ranked by virtue of a 37-17 home win over North Carolina State and head coach Tom O'Brien, who coached at BC for 10 seasons.

In other big games next weekend, Tennessee plays Florida, and BC visits Georgia Tech.

Michigan, which is off to its first 0-2 start since 1998, failed to get a vote. Meanwhile, Appalachian State, which dropped the Big Ten favorites in the season opener, received 19 votes.

Auburn, TCU and Boise State dropped out of the rankings. The Tigers, who were ranked 17th, were shocked in overtime at home by South Florida. The Bulls moved to the cusp of moving into the top 25 with 220 total votes, 23 behind Texas A&M.

TCU lost 34-13 at Texas, while Boise State had its winning streak end at 14 games with a 24-10 loss to Washington. Boise State didn't even get a vote in the new poll.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

College Football Today - September 10
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

STARS

-Colt Brennan, Hawaii, completed 43 of 61 passes for 548 yards and four touchdowns in a 45-44 overtime win against Louisiana Tech.

-Josh Johnson, San Diego, passed for 403 yards and four touchdowns to lead the Toreros to a 38-17 win over Marist, extending their home winning streak to 20 games.

-Drew Weatherford, Florida State, threw for 332 yards and three touchdowns to help the Seminoles rally from an early two-touchdown deficit in a 34-24 win over UAB.

-Chase Daniel, Missouri, accounted for a career-high 396 total yards and threw five touchdowns in a 38-25 win over Mississippi.

-Blake Szymanski, Baylor, threw for school-record 412 yards and six touchdowns in a 42-17 victory over Rice.

-Dennis Dixon, Oregon, accounted for 368 yards and a career-high four touchdowns, helping the Ducks rout Michigan 39-7.

-Sam Bradford, Oklahoma, completed 19 of 25 passes for 205 yards and tied a school record with five touchdown passes in the Sooners' 51-13 victory over Miami.

-Curtis Painter, Purdue, tied a school record with six touchdown passes as the Boilermakers defeated Eastern Illinois 52-6.

-Brian Hoyer, Michigan State, completed 17 of 29 passes for 250 yards and two touchdowns to help the Spartans hold off Bowling Green, 28-17.

-Sam Keller, Nebraska, threw for 258 yards and a touchdown in his first road start, leading the 16th-ranked Cornhuskers past Wake Forest 20-17.

-Jonathan Dwyer, Georgia Tech, had 138 yards rushing and three touchdowns on only nine carries in a 69-14 victory over Samford.

-Trey Elder, Appalachian State, threw four touchdown passes and ran for another, leading the Mountaineers to a 48-7 win over Division II Lenoir-Rhyne.

-Kevin Hoyng, Dayton, tied a school record with four touchdown passes as the Flyers routed Urbana 45-7.

-LeSean McCoy, Pittsburgh, ran for three touchdowns on his first four carries in the first quarter of a 34-10 victory over Grambling State.

-Duran Lawson, Citadel, went 12-for-21 for 220 yards and three touchdowns to lead The Bulldogs to their highest score in almost 100 years with a 76-0 shutout of Webber International.

-Grayson Mullins, Presbyterian, threw for 342 yards and six touchdowns in a 58-7 victory over Pikeville.

-Alex Brink, Washington State, completed a school-record 38 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Cougars to a 45-17 rout of San Diego State.

-Deonte Jackson, Idaho, ran for 214 yards to lead the Vandals past Cal Poly 20-13.

-Patrick Pinkney, East Carolina, threw for 406 yards and three touchdowns in his first start and the Pirates went on to beat North Carolina 34-31.

-Tyler Roehl, North Dakota, rushed for 238 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Bison to a 28-19 victory over Stephen F. Austin.

-Kelcy Luke, Alabama A&M, passed for 301 yards and four touchdowns as the Bulldogs used a high-powered offense to defeat Clark-Atlanta 41-10

ROUGH START

A week after losing to Appalachian State, Michigan was handed its most-lopsided loss in 39 years as Dennis Dixon and the Oregon Ducks cruised to a 39-7 victory Saturday. The Wolverines (0-2) have opened a season with two straight losses at home for the first time since 1959 and have dropped four straight, dating to last season, for the first time in four decades. The 32-point setback was Michigan's worst since losing 50-14 at Ohio State in 1968, the season before Bo Schembechler's debut in Ann Arbor.

RECORD-TYING BLOWOUT

Western Kentucky tied the record for most points in a quarter by a National Bowl Subdivision team in an 87-0 victory over NAIA West Virginia Tech. The Hilltoppers (1-1) scored 49 points in the first quarter to earn their first victory as a member of the Bowl Subdivision, formerly Division I-A. The 87 points were a school record. Three other teams have scored 49 points in a quarter, the last time by Fresno State against New Mexico on Oct. 5, 1991.

NO PLACE LIKE HOME

Oklahoma State won its home opener for a school-record 12th straight year and improved to 20-1 against current Sun Belt Conference schools after a 42-6 victory over Florida Atlantic. It was the third straight year the Cowboys beat Florida Atlantic (1-1), with all the wins by at least 20 points.

OFFENSIVE OFFENSE

No. 12 Ohio State forced befuddled Akron to punt 14 times, including after 12 consecutive three-and-out series, and beat the Akron 20-2 on Saturday. Akron (1-1) managed just three first downs and 69 yards on offense - gaining 3 net yards on 19 rushing attempts. The Zips had two first downs the first time they had the ball, then didn't pick up another until 5 minutes remained - with punter John Stec putting his name in the record book

WELCOME BACK

Boston College ruined Tom O'Brien's return to the school he coached for 10 seasons by forcing seven turnovers and keeping his new team winless with a 37-17 victory over North Carolina State on Saturday. O'Brien left last December after becoming the winningest coach in BC history. The Eagles won bowl games in each of the last six seasons, but O'Brien went to North Carolina State before last year's Meineke Car Care Bowl.

INJURED

Michigan quarterback Chad Henne did not play in the second half against Oregon on Saturday because of an injury, and he's not expected to face Notre Dame. ABC-TV reported at halftime that Michigan trainer Paul Schmidt said Henne was out for the rest of the game with a lower-leg injury.

STREAKING

Terry Grant ran 24 times for 173 yards and two touchdowns, and Alabama made Nick Saban the latest coach to oversee the Crimson Tide's dominance of Vanderbilt with a 24-10 victory Saturday. Alabama won its Southeastern Conference opener with a 20th straight victory in a series it leads 60-19-4. The Tide improved to 18-3-1 when opening SEC play against the Commodores.

SNAPPED

No. 22 Boise State had its 14-game winning streak, longest in major college football, ended as resurgent Washington shut out the Broncos in the second half of the Huskies' 24-10 victory Saturday. ... Army snapped a seven-game losing streak by beating Rhode Island 14-7 in overtime. It was the second consecutive season the Black Knights won an overtime game in its home opener. ... Heidelberg snapped a 36-game losing streak with a 37-26 victory over Oberlin. Division III Heidelberg (1-0) had not won since beating Marietta 21-13 on Oct. 4, 2003.

SLUMPING

North Carolina A&T dropped its 18th consecutive game dating to October 2005, falling 22-7 to Prairie View. ... UAB dropped its eighth straight game with a 34-24 loss to Florida State.

STRONG IN DEFEAT

North Texas recorded a school-record 613 yards total offense in a 45-31 loss to Southern Methodist Saturday night. North Texas quarterback Daniel Meager set school records for passing yards, completions and attempts, completing 46-of-64 for 601 yards and three touchdowns. Wide receiver Casey Fitzgerald also set a UNT single-game record for receiving yards with 327 yards on 18 catches with two touchdowns.

SPECIAL TEAM

Riante Jones blocked three kicks in the second quarter, and Val Ford returned two of them for touchdowns in Prairie View A&M's 22-7 victory over North Carolina A&T in the Angel City Classic on Saturday night at the Los Angeles Coliseum.

SPEAKING

''We have good kids and they're hurting. If losing doesn't make you hurt, you shouldn't be at Michigan.'' - Michigan coach Lloyd Carr after the Wolverines fell to 0-2 after a 39-7 loss to Oregon on Saturday.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Henne 'very doubtful' to play vs. Notre Dame with lower-leg injury
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

ANN ARBOR, Mich. -- Michigan quarterback Chad Henne did not play in the second half against Oregon on Saturday because of an injury, and he's not expected to face Notre Dame.

''I think he's very doubtful for next week,'' coach Lloyd Carr said after the Ducks beat the Wolverines 39-7.

ABC-TV reported at halftime that Michigan trainer Paul Schmidt said Henne was out for the rest of the game with a lower-leg injury.

''I'm not going to get into that,'' Carr said when asked if Henne hurt his ankle.

Henne, who struggled in last week's loss to Appalachian State, did not play well against Oregon.

He was 12-of-23 for 172 yards with a touchdown and an interception, a pass that sailed into double coverage on the opening drive.

Henne did throw a perfect pass to the back of the end zone that was caught by Adrian Arrington late in the first quarter, giving Michigan a 7-3 lead. It was the senior quarterback's 72nd touchdown pass, putting him in a tie with John Navarre atop Michigan's record books.

Late in the first half, Henne was hit as he ran out of bounds by Willie Glasper, and freshman quarterback Ryan Mallett put his helmet on as if he was going into the game. Henne stayed in and completed his next pass to convert a fourth down, but the Wolverines ended up turning the ball over on downs when Henne threw an incomplete pass from the Oregon 8.

Mallett, a highly touted freshman from Texas, started the second half and threw an interception midway through the third quarter. He finished with six completions in 17 attempts for 49 yards.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Caldwell's status uncertain for Tennessee-Florida game
By ASSOCIATED PRESS

GAINESVILLE, Fla. -- Third-ranked Florida could be without receiver Andre Caldwell and running back Brandon James against No. 24 Tennessee on Saturday.

Caldwell sprained the medial collateral ligament in his right knee in Florida's 59-31 win over Troy on Saturday. James also sprained an ankle.

''I don't have the final word on them,'' coach Urban Meyer said Sunday. ''Obviously, there's some concerns there.''

Meyer said he would know the severity of the injuries later Sunday. Losing Caldwell would be a significant setback for the defending national champions.

The Gators also have other injuries.

Receiver Jarred Fayson injured his left knee in the game, but later returned. Backup safety Bryan Thomas also sprained an MCL. And Meyer said speedster Percy Harvin now has tendinitis in his knee in addition to the tendinitis in his Achilles' tendon that has bothered him the last few weeks.

Harvin was limited in practice last week because of the Achilles' tendon problems and was supposed to play sparingly against the Trojans.

But the Gators (2-0) turned to him after Troy cut a 42-point lead in half. Harvin finished with 56 yards rushing and 42 yards receiving.

Caldwell had one reception for 8 yards, catching a pass on the first play of the third quarter and then fumbling. He also had an 18-yard touchdown run in the first half.

Caldwell, the younger brother of former Florida receiver Reche Caldwell, caught 57 passes for 577 yards and six touchdowns last season.

Without him, Fayson, Cornelius Ingram and Louis Murphy would likely get expanded roles. Ingram caught seven passes for a career-high 105 yards and a touchdown against Troy. Murphy had six receptions for 78 yards.

Fayson also would return kicks if James is unable to play against the Volunteers (1-1). James was suspended for the opener pleading no contest last month to a misdemeanor marijuana possession charge.

He provided a spark for the special teams against Troy, returning one punt 32 yards and returning three kickoffs for 127 yards. He had a 59-yarder that set up a touchdown in the first quarter.

He sprained his ankle in the second half.

''The severity, we'll find out more today,'' Meyer said. ''A lot of it depends on what happens in the course of the night.''

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Upon further review: Lessons learned in Week 2

Coal and football. That’s state Governor Joe Manchin’s list of “everything that’s good about West Virginia”.

His comment during the Mountaineers’ visit to Marshall recalls The Wedding Crashers and the main idiot’s sycophant buddy: “Yeah! Crab cakes and football … that’s what Maryland does!”

By some providence, the two states claiming football as their specialty meet in this week’s Thursday night game on ESPN. Now we can decide once and for all who rules the realm of natural resources: coal or crabs. I can’t support a parasitic bottom-feeder, so my money’s on coal.

On to my notes on schools’ performances in Week 2 games, with an eye on Week 3 betting.

Boston College Eagles

BC has won and covered both games at home this season, but both were a struggle. Now they’re traveling to Atlanta and Matt Ryan faces the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ massive blitz. The Eagles’ running backs won’t pile yards on Tech like they did against N.C. State, so it’s on the offensive line to give Ryan time this Saturday. On defense, the weakened line could get exploited.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati beat favored Oregon State by 31 points, but questions remain about the Bearcats’ offense. The unit benefited from defensive and special teams turnovers against Oregon State, much the same way they did in last year’s win over the Miami Redhawks, who the Bearcats visit in Week 3. Cincy couldn’t run the ball last Thursday and while Ben Mauk limited turnovers, his arm strength doesn’t inspire confidence.

Florida State Seminoles

The 34 ½-point spread was ridiculous and the Seminoles’ first half was horrible. Florida State’s poor start to the season, however, should give the school some rare value in the weeks ahead. FSU had a 31-3 stretch against the UAB Blazers at one point on Saturday and Drew Weatherford impressed in the second half. Here’s hoping the Seminoles’ D can reduce its penalties and running back Antone Smith’s head is OK.

Georgia Bulldogs

Watching Matthew Stafford overthrow a receiver is like watching a Reggie Jackson swinging strikeout – it hurts the team but is still a pretty thing to watch. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the incompletions were rampant on Saturday. Georgia has to hone its offense against Western Carolina before its trip to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 22 if the Bulldogs are to avoid another upset loss.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Sixty-nine points and not a single passing touchdown? Georgia Tech should’ve beaten Notre Dame by more than 30 points in Week 1 but lacked a red-zone target, as they did once again against Samford. Now the Jackets are about to play a school with an actual defense. The receivers need to step up if Tech’s going to make a run at the ACC Coastal crown.

Miami Hurricanes

The final score was hideous, but the Hurricanes have a pair of excellent running back in Javarris James and Graig Cooper. Their ugly stats from Saturday belie their active feet and some nice runs that were negated by penalties. I’m expecting huge numbers from them against Florida International this week no matter who starts at quarterback, as long as Miami doesn’t get sucked into another helmet-swinging brawl.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

I’m still waiting for Sam Keller to impress me and the fact that he wears a Rob Johnson-like head wrap and lists Top Gun as his favorite movie isn’t helping. Keller was supposed to be a strength this year, as were the Nebraska linebackers. Neither showed up on Saturday against Wake Forest. Here’s hoping Nebraska was guilty of a look-ahead letdown, or else USC could do some major damage in Lincoln this Saturday.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Tom O’Brien and Dana Bible must be losing their minds after having Matt Ryan at quarterback last year but Harrison Beck in 2007. The O-line and weakened backfield won’t let the Pack run the ball as planned over the summer, and for as much chutzpah as Beck has, he proved on Saturday that he’s a turnover waiting to happen. NC State will upset a team or two, but I’m staying away from this wild card.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

The good news is that Jimmy Clausen played largely mistake-free football in his first college start. That was partially due to Notre Dame’s conservative play-calling but also due to Clausen having a mind for the game. The Irish will eventually do well with him as a starter. The bad news is that the offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games. Public faves Notre Dame are a stay-away.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners started the year as a top-10 team with a big question at quarterback. Who’s asking questions now? Sam Bradford has the touch and the receivers to top Colt McCoy’s numbers as a redshirt freshman last year. Oklahoma has yet to face a team with a decent passing game, though, so the Sept. 21 game against Tulsa could be even more interesting than expected.

Oregon Ducks

What’s the difference between the combo of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart and the Mountaineers’ Pat White and Steve Slaton? Oregon’s backfield duo might be a hair slower but is also way bigger and might be just as potent in 2007 as the West Virginian pair. They exploited an overrated Michigan defense, sure, but Dixon showed an impressive touch on deep balls.

Oregon State Beavers

The Beavers have a week to lick their wounds against Idaho State. The O-line obviously has to get it together, but Mike Riley must’ve known this game was a write-off when Alexis Serna missed a makeable field goal. There should have been a flag on the muffed Sammie Stroughter return and that turnover cemented the result. Oregon State’s defense is fast and this team is far better than Thursday’s score suggests.

Penn State Nittany Lions

The Big Ten could be theirs for the taking, it seems, after less-than-impressive starts from Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Quarterback Anthony Morelli worries me, though. How many times can you hear the word “potential’ before you get fed up with waiting for results? Penn State could have (and should have) beaten the Irish by five touchdowns on Saturday but barely covered the 17 ½-point spread.

South Carolina Gamecocks


My God, it’s difficult to like Steve Spurrier, but it’s easy to admire his play-calling after watching the Gamecocks’ relatively trouble-free win in Athens. South Carolina’s defense was really impressive, which bodes well for its Sept. 22 trip to LSU when sportsbooks give the Cocks a bucket of points.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Brett Hodges’ second pass was brutal but he was in control after that and would’ve had more impressive numbers if it weren’t for a Kevin Marion fumble on the one-yard line and a drop on another bomb. The Deacons’ play-calling was fantastic on Saturday and another reminder of why they’re such a great bet as an underdog. They’ll be a heavy favorite this week against Army, though, a less attractive role for Wake.

West Virginia Mountaineers

As soon as Pat White led the opening second-half drive I suspected West Virginia could cover at -24 despite the deadlock at the time. They did, which underlines how potent this offense is, especially with Darius Reynaud and Noel Devine sure to get more touches as the season goes on. Maryland awaits this Thursday – the Terps are untested this year and I like the Mountaineers on whatever the halftime line is.

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Va. Tech will start freshman Tyrod Taylor at quarterback
September 10, 2007

BLACKSBURG, Va. (AP) -Freshman quarterback Tyrod Taylor will get his first start Saturday when No. 18 Virginia Tech plays host to Ohio.

Taylor replaced starter Sean Glennon late in the first half Saturday night in the Hokies' 48-7 loss to No. 2 LSU. Glennon, a junior who started the last 15 games, will be in a backup role.

``This is not a reflection on Sean,'' coach Frank Beamer said in a weekly teleconference with reporters. ``He's put so much into his preparation, and he's such a competitor. We just feel like with this football team and our offense, Tyrod fits our personnel better right now.''

Taylor, who did not play in the 17-7 season-opening victory over East Carolina, led Tech on its lone scoring drive in Baton Rouge. He had 44 rushing yards, including a 1-yard touchdown, and was 7-of-18 for 62 yards in the air.

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Pitt DT Mustakas to miss rest of season
September 10, 2007

PITTSBURGH (AP) -Pitt defensive tackle Gus Mustakas will miss the rest of the season with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee, leaving the Panthers without their top defensive lineman.

Mustakas was injured during the third quarter of a 34-10 victory over Grambling State on Saturday. Because he was hurt in the second game of the season, the junior can apply for a medical redshirt that will allow him to play two more seasons.

``We are incredibly disappointed for Gus,'' Pitt coach Dave Wannstedt said Monday. ``He was off to an outstanding start this season and has been playing like an all-star caliber defensive lineman since the spring.''

Mustakas had 11 tackles in Pitt's first two games, including two for losses. A season ago, he scored the first touchdown by a Pitt defensive lineman since 1999 on an interception return against Toledo.

Pitt plays Saturday at Michigan State. The Spartans had 533 yards of offense during a 38-23 victory in Pittsburgh last season.

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Kansas State linebacker Antwon Moore out for the season
September 10, 2007

MANHATTAN, Kan. (AP) -Kansas State linebacker Antwon Moore is out for the season with an undisclosed injury.

The 5-foot-10, 210-pound junior appeared to hurt his left knee while sacking San Jose State quarterback Adam Tafralis during the Wildcats' 34-14 victory Saturday. Tafralis came down awkwardly on Moore's left leg, and Moore lay on the field for a few minutes before being helped off.

Coach Ron Prince declined to discuss the nature of the injury Monday.

``I really don't want to discuss the specifics of it,'' he said. ``He's out for the year, and when the time is right, we'll discuss all those things.''

Moore had two sacks and five tackles. He played outside linebacker in Kansas State's new 3-4 front and was asked to use his speed to get to the quarterback.

In the Wildcats' 23-13 loss at Auburn to open the season, Moore recorded three tackles and had one of the team's five sacks of quarterback Brandon Cox.

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Vandy's Nickson questionable for Ole Miss
September 10, 2007

Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) -- Vanderbilt enters Saturday's game against Mississippi uncertain about quarterback Chris Nickson, who injured his hamstring in a 24-10 loss to Alabama.

The hobbled Nickson had one of his worst games as a Commodore, completing five of 18 passes for 67 yards and an interception. He didn't practice during a light session on Sunday.

"It's going to be an evaluation period over the next couple of days just to find out how he's going to be," coach Bobby Johnson said Monday during his weekly news conference. "It's too early to tell, but he's not out."

When Nickson's first pass of the second half missed the target, Johnson inserted backup quarterback Mackenzi Adams.

"You could see it was not responding," Johnson said of Nickson's injury. "He couldn't push off with his foot."

The Vanderbilt medical staff planned to evaluate Nickson again Monday. The team is scheduled to return to the practice field Tuesday.

"If he's not ready today, I doubt he's going to be ready tomorrow," Johnson said Monday.

Vanderbilt offensive tackle Chris Williams expected Nickson to play Saturday, when Vandy hosts Ole Miss.

"He's a fighter," Williams said. "He'll be ready to play."

If Nickson is unavailable, the Commodores will again turn to Adams, who completed 13 of 23 passes for 108 yards and a touchdown last week.

Adams played sparingly last season behind Nickson.

"If Mackenzi gets the reps in practice that your starting quarterback is going to get, he'll be much sharper," Johnson said. "Mackenzi's got talent. He's a ballplayer. He's a tough guy and loves to compete."

Richard Kovalcheck, who transferred a year ago from Arizona, is the team's No. 3 quarterback and could also see action.

Despite their quarterback questions, the Commodores remain focused on beating Mississippi, who fell to 1-1 last week with a home loss to Missouri.

"We felt we let an opportunity slip by in not beating Alabama, but the better team won," Williams said. "It's very important for us to bounce back after this loss."

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Utah St. leading tackler suspended for season after violating team rules
September 10, 2007

LOGAN, Utah (AP) -Antonio Taylor, Utah State's leading tackler, was suspended for the season Monday for a violation of team rules - ending his career with the Aggies.

A statement from coach Brent Guy didn't provide specifics of the violation.

``We're not going to get into details,'' spokesman Doug Hoffman said.

In two games, Taylor made 25 tackles. He had 74 last season, becoming the first non-linebacker to lead the team since 1978.

Utah State described the punishment as a suspension because Taylor is free to practice with the Aggies but won't play in games, Hoffman said.

In his 31-game career, Taylor had 211 tackles and three interceptions.

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Vols CB Gaines out for remainder of season with torn ACL
ESPN.com

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. -- Tennessee cornerback Antonio Gaines will miss the rest of the season after an MRI revealed the senior suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament on Saturday.

Tennessee head athletic trainer Jason McVeigh said a surgery date is not yet determined.

Gaines had made the first two starts of his career -- at California and in Saturday's home opener against Southern Mississippi -- and turned in a career-best six of his seven tackles for the year in the Cal contest. The Covington native appeared in 12 of Tennessee's 13 games last season.

Freshman safety Eric Berry moved to corner after Gaines was hurt and Jarod Parrish came in at safety during the 39-19 win on Saturday.

Junior punter and kicker Britton Colquitt is questionable for the Florida game. Colquitt, who has a leg injury, did not play against Southern Miss.

Freshman Daniel Lincoln is 4-for-4 on his field goal attempts and backup punter Chad Cunningham averaged 40.7 yards on three punts against Southern Miss.

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Louisville safety Thomas out for season with knee injury
Associated Press

LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Louisville safety Latarrius Thomas will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury, and coach Steve Kragthorpe said on Monday that the sophomore will likely apply for a medical redshirt.

Thomas tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee during the ninth-ranked Cardinals' 58-42 win over Middle Tennessee last week.

Thomas had five tackles, one pass defensed and one fumble recovery this year for Louisville.

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Wright back as Miami's starting quarterback
September 11, 2007

CORAL GABLES, Fla. (AP) -Kyle Wright is again Miami's starting quarterback.

Hurricanes coach Randy Shannon announced that Wright is the first-stringer Tuesday, meaning the senior has passed Kirby Freeman on the depth chart and will start when Miami (1-1) hosts Florida International (0-2) at the Orange Bowl on Saturday afternoon.

It will be Wright's first start since Miami played Virginia Tech last Nov. 4. Wright broke his wrist that day and missed the Hurricanes' final four games, then lost the starting job to Freeman in training camp.

Shannon said there will be a package for Freeman in this week's game plan, but he wasn't planning to employ a two-quarterback system.

``It won't be a round-robin deal,'' Shannon said. ``It's going to be the Kyle Wright show for right now.''

Freeman - the MVP of Miami's win in last season's MPC Computers Bowl - struggled in the first two games, going 12-of-30 for 98 yards with one touchdown and one interception. Wright was more effective in the Hurricanes' 51-13 loss last weekend at Oklahoma, going 7-for-14 for 65 yards and a touchdown, compared to Freeman's 3-for-9, 17-yard effort.

``Both of them did a decent job,'' Shannon said. ``But Kyle came in the game against Oklahoma and gave us a little spark.''

Through the season's first two weeks, Miami ranks 118th out of 119 major college schools in passing offense. Only Navy - a run-dominated team with just 19 throws this year - has put up fewer passing yards than the Hurricanes, who are averaging 84 per game. Miami's 3.7 yards per attempt are also second-worst among the teams in what was known as Division I-A, behind only Akron (3.6).

Wright is 14-7 as Miami's starter, with 4,123 yards and 27 touchdowns in 24 career appearances. He has completed 59.3 percent of his passes, a rate that ranks fourth-best in school history behind Bernie Kosar (62.3), Vinny Testaverde (61.3) and Steve Walsh (59.4).

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Quick Outs: Week 2's biggest moments
CollegeFootballNews.com

The Lead Story of Week 2 (in 25 words of less): Hokies stuffed. LSU routs Virginia Tech in a battle of top 10 teams, solidifying its No. 2 ranking.

Summa Cum Laude
1. LSU
-- In the game of the week, the Tigers left no doubts that they're a legit national championship contender, pounding No. 9 Virginia Tech 48-7. Thanks to Bo Pelini's suffocating defense and Gary Crowton's balanced offense, LSU out-gained Tech 598 to 149. Now, does anyone have the guts this week to vote the Tigers ahead of idle USC in the polls?
2. South Florida -- Beating Auburn on the Plains is the next giant step in Jim Leavitt's master plan to make the Bulls a powerhouse program out of the Big East. Undersized Matt Grothe's poise and improvisational skills are beginning to look an awful lot like a young Doug Flutie.

3. Oklahoma -- The Sooners' 51-13 rejection of Miami answered the question of which team would challenge USC and LSU's stranglehold on the top two spots of the rankings. With the quarterback dilemma presumably solved, this is suddenly a very, very formidable football team.

4. Oregon -- The Ducks didn't take the bait that Michigan would play like a wounded animal, and added to the Wolverines' misery in Ann Arbor. QB Dennis Dixon, in particular, was brilliant in the 39-7 win, going 16-of-25 for 292 yards and three touchdowns through the air and 76 yards and a score on the ground.

5. Washington -- The Huskies aren't winning the Pac-10 this fall, but with Jake Locker at the controls and Kent Baer's defense playing fantastic, this is a very dangerous program. In front of a jacked crowd, U-Dub drubbed Boise State, ending the Broncos' 15-game winning streak.

Summa Cum Lousy
1. Michigan
-- As if it wasn't bad enough losing on home soil for the second straight week, the Wolverines appeared to have packed it in early in their 39-7 loss to Oregon. With most signs pointing toward a statement rebound from the Appalachian State debacle, Michigan hardly put up a fight beyond the first quarter.

2. Virginia Tech -- Hey, most folks didn't expect a win in Death Valley, but it would have been nice if the Hokies, a highly ranked team, kept things somewhat competitive. Let's see, Tech has now eked out a win over East Carolina and gotten annihilated by LSU. Yeah, the program might be somewhat overrated this fall.

3. The Louisville Defense -- Yeah, the Cards win with offense, but allowing Middle Tennessee State to score six touchdowns and rack up 555 yards should be grounds for someone to get demoted. If things don't change quickly in Louisville, the Cardinals can forget about repeating as Big East champs.

4. Miami -- The Hurricane offense is a mess, but when the defense comes apart at the seams, you know there are going to be some ugly games for Miami. Saturday at Oklahoma was one such example, as the 'Canes allowed almost 300 yards through the air, and were smoked by the Sooners, 51-13.

5. Iowa State -- Poor Gene Chizik. Rather than coaching the Texas defense this fall, he's enduring losses to Kent State and Northern Iowa to begin his tenure in Ames. Making matters worse, Baylor isn't even on the schedule in 2007.

Offensive Coordinator of the Week: Chip Kelly, Oregon. It's not so much that the Ducks lit up Michigan in Ann Arbor, which is becoming common, but the improved play of QB Dennis Dixon in 2007 is a direct correlation to the off-season hiring of Kelly. Although eyebrows raised when Mike Bellotti plucked Kelly from New Hampshire, but so far, the move looks like a stroke of genius.

Defensive Coordinator of the Week: Tyrone Nix, South Carolina. Nix's unit bent but never broke in Athens Saturday night, swarming to the ball and keeping Georgia out of the end zone. The Gamecocks forced the Dawgs to completely abandon the running game in the second half, and made Matt Stafford look like he was still a true freshman. Special recognition goes to Cincinnati's Joe Tresey, whose Bearcats had seven takeaways and held Oregon State to its lowest point total in five years.

The three best hours of the weekend: It's always a blast witnessing a defining win for a program, such as the one South Florida copped at Auburn Saturday night. It's even more fun when the underdog pulls out the game on a beautifully thrown pass in overtime.

The three most disappointing hours of the weekend: Virginia Tech at LSU. Gee, LSU, thanks for ruining a perfectly good Saturday night by slapping around the Hokies for 60 minutes. Most non-conference games that get pointed to for months don't seem to pan out anyway.

The three most disappointing hours of the weekend II: Miami at Oklahoma. Watching clips of the 'Canes and the Sooners from the 1980s was great. Watching the Sooners destroy the 'Canes for four quarters was just another reminder of how far Miami has fallen.

If BCS invites went out today, the recipients would be ... West Virginia, Virginia Tech, LSU, USC, Oklahoma, Wisconsin, Florida, Texas, Louisville, and Cal. There are no changes from last week even though the Hokies got hammered in Baton Rouge, and the Mountaineers, Badgers, Longhorns, Cardinals, and Bears endured really close calls. Don't sleep on South Florida, Rutgers, Boston College, South Carolina, Penn State, or Oregon, which all raised their profiles last week.

If Heisman votes were cast today, the winner would be ... Louisville QB Brian Brohm. Brohm's had two nationally-televised weeknight games to show the voters why he's one of the nation's top quarterbacks and a high draft choice next April. While it might be time to start whispering about Missouri QB Chase Daniel, Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford, and Oregon QB Dennis Dixon, Boise State RB Ian Johnson and any Michigan player have fallen completely off the radar.

Who could have imagined ... Oklahoma QB Sam Bradford would be this good, this fast? In one of the great starts by a freshman quarterback in recent history, he leads the country in passing efficiency after dressing down the vaunted Miami defense for five touchdown passes in Norman. In two games, Bradford has yet to get picked and has thrown just eight incompletions.

Start buying shares in ... Cincinnati. The Bearcats' dismantling of Oregon State last Thursday was another sign that it's not going to take Brian Kelly, an up-and-comer in the coaching ranks, very long to make Cincy a contender in the Big East. The 'Cats are 2-0 despite not yet having the right personnel to fit what Kelly wants to do on offense.

Start dumping ... the Ohio State offense. If the Buckeyes could only manage 20 points against Akron, what happens when the leaves begin to turn and the Big Ten schedule begins? Good thing for the nasty OSU defense, which held the Zips to just three first downs and a ridiculous 69 yards of total offense.

Bucking for a promotion: Oklahoma State QB Zac Robinson. With starter Bobby Reid on the shelf with an injury, Robinson helped the Cowboys overcome a slow start against Florida Atlantic, going 14-of-20 for 250 yards, three touchdowns and an interception in a 42-6 win.

Needing a vote of confidence: Michigan defensive coordinator Ron English. Lloyd Carr has become too obvious for these parts, but what about English, whose defense has been the main culprit in the Wolverines' current four-game losing streak?

Needing a vote of confidence II:
Ole Miss head coach Ed Orgeron. David Cutcliffe was shown the door for this? The Rebs are now 8-17 under Orgeron, a questionable hire from the outset, after getting pounded at home by Missouri, 38-25.

Can I be your agent ... Dan Connor? The heart and soul of the stingy Penn State defense, Connor had 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, and a sack in the Lions' 31-10 suffocation of a toothless Notre Dame program. The prototype at Linebacker U., he's very quick to the ball, and almost never misses a tackle.

Start designing the Fathead of ... Texas A&M RB Jorvorskie Lane. No pun intended here for a Jerome Bettis clone that has an exciting future if he can keep his weight under control. Lane helped spare the Aggies the indignity of a home loss to Fresno State by rushing 23 times for 121 yards and four touchdowns, capped by the game-winner in overtime.

The Danny Almonte He-Can't-Be-As-Young-As-He-Says Award: Texas Tech WR Michael Crabtree. The answer to the Red Raiders' depleted receiving corps, the rangy redshirt freshman has already caught 27 passes in a pair of Tech wins, including 15 for 188 yards and two scores against UTEP on Saturday.

The Danny Almonte He-Can't-Be-As-Young-As-He-Says Award II: Alabama RB Terry Grant. Just a redshirt freshman, Grant is two-for-two in 100-yard games after slicing up Vanderbilt for 173 yards and two touchdowns on just 24 carries. The Tide entered this season without an every down tailback. Suffice it to say, Bama's found its man after just two weeks.

The Danny Almonte He-Can't-Be-As-Young-As-He-Says Award III: Georgia Tech RB Jonathan Dwyer. In a blowout of Samford, Tech fans got treated to their first good look at Tashard Choice's successor, as Dwyer exploded for 138 yards and three scores on just nine carries. At 6-0 and 225 pounds, the true freshman has an ideal combination of speed, power and instinctive vision that has him on a path to stardom.

The Jerry Falwell Moral Victory Award: Fresno State. With a chance to get back into the national spotlight, the Bulldogs battled from 19 back at Texas A&M before losing a 47-45 heartbreaker in triple overtime.

The Jerry Falwell Moral Victory Award II: Louisiana Tech. Entering the game as 27-point underdogs to Hawaii, the Bulldogs came within a converted two-point play in overtime from absolutely flooring the nation's 20th-ranked team.

It's time to give more pub to ... Missouri QB Chase Daniel. In just two games, the catalyst for the high-powered Tiger offense has thrown for 689 yards and eight touchdowns against a couple of BCS opponents. A perfect fit for the Mizzou spread, isn't it time for Daniel to start getting more mentions as a possible Heisman contender?

Message to ... Tom O'Brien. You should have waited another year before leaving Boston College for N.C. State. Of course, the opening wouldn't have been there in Raleigh in 2008, but at least he could have spent this season contending for an ACC title and a school-first BCS bowl game. O'Brien's old team crushed his new team 37-17 on Saturday, picking off five Harrison Beck passes.

This just in: Tim Tebow fits the Florida offense pretty well. Okay, so it was against Troy, but Tebow was unstoppable running the spread option on Saturday, going 18-of-25 for 236 yards and three touchdowns, and running for 93 yards and two scores on 17 carries. A visit from Tennessee looms next in the first really big test of Tebow's young career.

Random thought with no heading: Wouldn't it be nice if somehow receivers got credited with an interception when a perfectly-thrown pass bounced off their chest and into the hands of an opposing player? It'll never happen, but it would be nice.

Going wacky for John Mackey: Iowa TE Tony Moeaki moved like a wide receiver Saturday night, torching the Syracuse defense repeatedly for eight catches for 112 yards and three touchdowns.

Going wacky for John Mackey II: In Fresno State's overtime loss to Texas A&M, TE Bear Pascoe keyed the Bulldogs' stirring comeback with seven receptions for 70 yards and three touchdowns.

Non-BCS Player of the Week: East Carolina QB Patrick Pinkney. Have the Pirates found themselves a quarterback, or what? Starting the first game of his college career, the junior went 31-of-41 for 406 yards and three touchdowns, leading ECU to a pivotal win over in-state rival North Carolina.

Non-BCS Team of the Week: Middle Tennessee State. Even in losing at Louisville, the Blue Raiders were shockingly smooth at moving the ball last Thursday night. Middle Tennessee went toe-to-toe with the heavily favored Cards, racking up 42 points and 555 yards, while exposing the Louisville defense in front of a stunned national TV audience.

Stats Amore
Louisville RB Anthony Allen rushed for a school-record 275 yards and two touchdowns on 35 carries in the Cards' win over Middle Tennessee State.

Purdue QB Curtis Painter went 38-of-49 for 348 yards and a school-record-tying six touchdown passes in the Boilers' rout of Eastern Illinois.

Washington State QB Alex Brink completed a school-record 38 of 47 passes for 469 yards and five touchdowns, leading the Cougars to an easy win over San Diego State.

In a win over Rice, QB Blake Szymanski threw for a Baylor-record six touchdown passes and 412 yards on 29-of-46 passing.

Hawaii QB Colt Brennan helped end Louisiana Tech's upset bid by going 43-of-61 for 548 yards, four touchdown passes and an interception.

Ole Miss RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis ran for 226 yards and a touchdown on 33 carries in the Rebels' loss to Missouri.

Clemson QB Cullen Harper threw for a school-record five touchdown passes and 270 yards on 20-of-26 passing in the Tigers' win over Louisiana-Monroe.

In a sign that Dodge Ball may indeed be catching on at North Texas, QB Daniel Meager and WR Casey Fitzgerald hooked up 18 times in a loss to SMU. While Meager finished 46-of-64 for 601 yards, three touchdowns and three picks, Fitzgerald's 18 catches went for 327 yards and two scores.

Start clearing next week's schedule for ... Louisville at Kentucky. With all due respect to Tennessee at Florida and USC at Nebraska, a terrific pair of match ups, the Cards and the 'Cats are capable of delivering an epic offensive slugfest in Lexington. In a rivalry game that features more thoroughbreds than Churchill Downs and two of the nation's premier quarterbacks, Brian Brohm and Andre Woodson, 50 points may not be enough to earn bragging rights in the Commonwealth this year.

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Junior DB Pinkard to miss rest of season with knee injury
ESPN.com

USC defensive back Josh Pinkard will miss the season with a torn ligament in his left knee, the school said Tuesday.

Pinkard's injury will require surgery. Pinkard suffered a right knee injury last season.

Pinkard, a junior, had emerged as a starting cornerback after playing safety last season.

Pinkard plans to petition for a sixth season and if granted would have two years to play.

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Lessons learned in Week 2

Coal and football. That’s state Governor Joe Manchin’s list of “everything that’s good about West Virginia”.

His comment during the Mountaineers’ visit to Marshall recalls The Wedding Crashers and the main idiot’s sycophant buddy: “Yeah! Crab cakes and football … that’s what Maryland does!”

By some providence, the two states claiming football as their specialty meet in this week’s Thursday night game on ESPN. Now we can decide once and for all who rules the realm of natural resources: coal or crabs. I can’t support a parasitic bottom-feeder, so my money’s on coal.

On to my notes on schools’ performances in Week 2 games, with an eye on Week 3 betting.

Boston College Eagles

BC has won and covered both games at home this season, but both were a struggle. Now they’re traveling to Atlanta and Matt Ryan faces the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets’ massive blitz. The Eagles’ running backs won’t pile yards on Tech like they did against N.C. State, so it’s on the offensive line to give Ryan time this Saturday. On defense, the weakened line could get exploited.

Cincinnati Bearcats

Cincinnati beat favored Oregon State by 31 points, but questions remain about the Bearcats’ offense. The unit benefited from defensive and special teams turnovers against Oregon State, much the same way they did in last year’s win over the Miami Redhawks, who the Bearcats visit in Week 3. Cincy couldn’t run the ball last Thursday and while Ben Mauk limited turnovers, his arm strength doesn’t inspire confidence.

Florida State Seminoles

The 34 ½-point spread was ridiculous and the Seminoles’ first half was horrible. Florida State’s poor start to the season, however, should give the school some rare value in the weeks ahead. FSU had a 31-3 stretch against the UAB Blazers at one point on Saturday and Drew Weatherford impressed in the second half. Here’s hoping the Seminoles’ D can reduce its penalties and running back Antone Smith’s head is OK.

Georgia Bulldogs

Watching Matthew Stafford overthrow a receiver is like watching a Reggie Jackson swinging strikeout – it hurts the team but is still a pretty thing to watch. Unfortunately for the Dawgs, the incompletions were rampant on Saturday. Georgia has to hone its offense against Western Carolina before its trip to Tuscaloosa on Sept. 22 if the Bulldogs are to avoid another upset loss.

Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets

Sixty-nine points and not a single passing touchdown? Georgia Tech should’ve beaten Notre Dame by more than 30 points in Week 1 but lacked a red-zone target, as they did once again against Samford. Now the Jackets are about to play a school with an actual defense. The receivers need to step up if Tech’s going to make a run at the ACC Coastal crown.

Miami Hurricanes

The final score was hideous, but the Hurricanes have a pair of excellent running back in Javarris James and Graig Cooper. Their ugly stats from Saturday belie their active feet and some nice runs that were negated by penalties. I’m expecting huge numbers from them against Florida International this week no matter who starts at quarterback, as long as Miami doesn’t get sucked into another helmet-swinging brawl.

Nebraska Cornhuskers

I’m still waiting for Sam Keller to impress me and the fact that he wears a Rob Johnson-like head wrap and lists Top Gun as his favorite movie isn’t helping. Keller was supposed to be a strength this year, as were the Nebraska linebackers. Neither showed up on Saturday against Wake Forest. Here’s hoping Nebraska was guilty of a look-ahead letdown, or else USC could do some major damage in Lincoln this Saturday.

North Carolina State Wolfpack

Tom O’Brien and Dana Bible must be losing their minds after having Matt Ryan at quarterback last year but Harrison Beck in 2007. The O-line and weakened backfield won’t let the Pack run the ball as planned over the summer, and for as much chutzpah as Beck has, he proved on Saturday that he’s a turnover waiting to happen. NC State will upset a team or two, but I’m staying away from this wild card.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish


The good news is that Jimmy Clausen played largely mistake-free football in his first college start. That was partially due to Notre Dame’s conservative play-calling but also due to Clausen having a mind for the game. The Irish will eventually do well with him as a starter. The bad news is that the offense hasn’t scored a touchdown in two games. Public faves Notre Dame are a stay-away.

Oklahoma Sooners

The Sooners started the year as a top-10 team with a big question at quarterback. Who’s asking questions now? Sam Bradford has the touch and the receivers to top Colt McCoy’s numbers as a redshirt freshman last year. Oklahoma has yet to face a team with a decent passing game, though, so the Sept. 21 game against Tulsa could be even more interesting than expected.

Oregon Ducks

What’s the difference between the combo of Dennis Dixon and Jonathan Stewart and the Mountaineers’ Pat White and Steve Slaton? Oregon’s backfield duo might be a hair slower but is also way bigger and might be just as potent in 2007 as the West Virginian pair. They exploited an overrated Michigan defense, sure, but Dixon showed an impressive touch on deep balls.

Oregon State Beavers

The Beavers have a week to lick their wounds against Idaho State. The O-line obviously has to get it together, but Mike Riley must’ve known this game was a write-off when Alexis Serna missed a makeable field goal. There should have been a flag on the muffed Sammie Stroughter return and that turnover cemented the result. Oregon State’s defense is fast and this team is far better than Thursday’s score suggests.

Penn State Nittany Lions


The Big Ten could be theirs for the taking, it seems, after less-than-impressive starts from Michigan, Ohio State and Wisconsin. Quarterback Anthony Morelli worries me, though. How many times can you hear the word “potential’ before you get fed up with waiting for results? Penn State could have (and should have) beaten the Irish by five touchdowns on Saturday but barely covered the 17 ½-point spread.

South Carolina Gamecocks


My God, it’s difficult to like Steve Spurrier, but it’s easy to admire his play-calling after watching the Gamecocks’ relatively trouble-free win in Athens. South Carolina’s defense was really impressive, which bodes well for its Sept. 22 trip to LSU when sportsbooks give the Cocks a bucket of points.

Wake Forest Demon Deacons

Brett Hodges’ second pass was brutal but he was in control after that and would’ve had more impressive numbers if it weren’t for a Kevin Marion fumble on the one-yard line and a drop on another bomb. The Deacons’ play-calling was fantastic on Saturday and another reminder of why they’re such a great bet as an underdog. They’ll be a heavy favorite this week against Army, though, a less attractive role for Wake.

West Virginia Mountaineers

As soon as Pat White led the opening second-half drive I suspected West Virginia could cover at -24 despite the deadlock at the time. They did, which underlines how potent this offense is, especially with Darius Reynaud and Noel Devine sure to get more touches as the season goes on. Maryland awaits this Thursday – the Terps are untested this year and I like the Mountaineers on whatever the halftime line is.

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COLLEGE FB "LOOKING FOR AN ANGLE"
by Gary Olshan

West Virginia at MARYLAND (Thursday)...Very special game for WV’s Heisman candidate RB Slaton, who was offered a scholarship by Maryland but then changed its mind. Slaton made Terps pay for their unwise decision, when he scampered for 203 yds. in 23 carries & 2 TDs in 45-24 Mountie romp LY. Maryland just 3-3 as home dog L5Ys, while WV is 13-3 as away chalk over same period.

Tcu at AIR FORCE (Friday)...TCU’s 38-14 series victory in ‘06 was more one-sided than final, with AF scoring final 2 TDs vs. Horned Frog reserves in 4th Q. TCU defense held Falcons to season-low 98 YR. AF just 1-5 as home dog since ‘02 (under predecessor DeBerry), while TCU 18-8 vs. spread since ‘05.

Temple at CONNECTICUT...UConn has generally been profitable favorite, going 18-7-1 in role since 2002 (1-0 TY), while Temple jsut 4-9 as DD away dog since ‘05.

Fresno State at OREGON...Free-fallin’ FSU is 2-14-1 vs. spread since 50-42 loss at Southern Cal in late ‘05, while Oregon is 10-4 as DD chalk at Auzten Stadium since ‘02. Before going into a funk later in 2006, Duck QB Dixon had one of his best games in Sept. meeting vs. Bulldogs, hitting 23 of 36 for 240 yds.

Louisville at KENTUCKY...Rising Kentucky has something to prove following 59-28 slamming at rival L’ville LY. Cards led 31-0 late in 1st H before Cats converted their 2nd FD of game. UK must do better job in "pits" after being outrushed 363-22. Brooks’ squad is 9-3-1 vs. spread last 13 at Commonwealth Stadium.

Florida International at MIAMI-FLORIDA...Expect additional security for this rematch following major brawl that erupted with many players getting ejected (and later suspended) in 35-0 Miami romp LY.

Akron at INDIANA...IU, which is 4-0 as home chalk since ‘04, has also captured 18 straight SU vs. MAC foes.

Duke at NORTHWESTERN...This series resuming following 4-year hiatus, but NW had 5 won straight (4-1 vs. spread) vs. Duke from 1999-2003.

Eastern Michigan at NORTHERN ILLINOIS...No place like road in this series, as visitor has covered 6 straight.

Western Michigan at MISSOURI...Mizzou is a profitable 10-4-1 as DD chalk in Columbia since ‘02. And Tigers well-focused with lower-echelon Illinois State tuneup on deck.

Ole Miss at VANDERBILT...Before deceiving 17-10 Ole Miss victory LY, Rebels had failed to cover previous 5 in series. ‘Dores significantly outgained Ole Miss 400-179 despite losing QB Nickson in 2nd Q, but couldn’t overcome 5 TOs & 2 missed FGs. Vandy just 2-7 as home chalk since 2002.

Ohio at VIRGINIA TECH...Ohio just 2-8 as DD road dog since ‘04, and VT is 4-2 vs. spread last 6 following SU loss since 2004.

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Look Aheads and Let Downs
VegasInsider.com 

We learned a lot about some teams last week in college football. We found out that Michigan really does stink, the Hokies aren’t ready for primetime and Steve Spurrier still hasn’t lost three straight matches to Georgia. There are a few squads that are primed to either be looking ahead, bouncing back or are ready to suffer a letdown. Let’s look at who meets those criteria.

Looking past the Sun Belt…

Texas A&M may have taken Fresno State lightly in its triple-overtime 47-45 win last Saturday, but a win is a win no matter how you slice it. Now the Aggies must avoid the dreaded “look ahead” spot this weekend when Louisiana-Monroe comes to College Station as a 24-point road ‘dog.

A few things come into play here that makes betting A&M an iffy proposition. First, A&M could be undervaluing its second consecutive opponent as it looks toward a huge road contest against the Hurricanes on Sept. 20. While the Aggies are 3-0 straight up against teams from the Sun Belt Conference, they’re just 1-2 against the spread.

Given how well ULM has been running the ball this year (212 yards against Tulsa, 271 yards against Clemson), the possibility of a close score is pretty good.

Another team that may not have its priorities in order this week are the Tigers as they host Middle Tennessee State. And not because they made the obliterated the Hokies either, but rather opening the SEC season against the surprising Gamecocks. LSU is currently listed as a huge 41-point home “chalk.” However, the Blue Raiders could give them a little more of a challenge than expected.

The Tigers have been lights-out in their first two games, outscoring Mississippi State and Virginia Tech 93-7. Still, those two schools have offenses that are very much in doubt. Middle Tennessee State, on the other hand, just put up 42 points on the No. 9 Cardinals. I’m not saying the Blue Raiders are going to win this game, but they can certainly play decent enough to cover as big road ‘dogs.

The big comeback…

So much for another mid-major crashing the BCS party this season now that TCU took one on the chin in its 34-13 road defeat to the Longhorns in Austin last Saturday. Now the Horned Frogs will try to wash away the bad taste of that last game with a Mountain West tilt at the Air Force Academy as nine-point road favorites. This shouldn’t be that big a problem for Gary Patterson’s team as they are 4-0 straight up and against the spread since 1989 against the Falcons.

Virginia Tech heads back to square one in Blacksburg. The Hokies just got their collective asses handed to them in a then No. 2 vs. No. 9 showdown with LSU. And VT dropped the game as a 12-point road underdog, 48-7.

Frank Beamer has decided that he wants a fresh start at quarterback, so he’s starting freshman Tyrod Taylor under center against Ohio, who the Hokies are listed as 20-point home favorites. This isn’t such a bad decision as former signal caller Sean Glennon has not been able to throw or run with the ball effectively in two straight starts. Add in that Taylor will be going up against a Bobcat defense that just gave up 277 rushing yards to Louisiana-Lafayette. Maybe covering a huge spread like this isn’t so far fetched.

Get up for the letdown…

The Longhorns only played one solid half of football last week, but it was enough to lay waste to any dreams TCU might have had of splashing onto the national scene. Now Texas is primed for a potential let down this week in the town that Mickey Mouse helped build when it faces Central Florida as a 19 ½-poin road “chalk.” The Knights already have an upset win under their belt when they beat NC State on the road as eight-point road canines, 25-23. Now, UCF has 17 returning starters that can make things interesting against a Longhorns’ squad that hasn’t put together a full 60-minute performance.

Will Central Florida win this game? Probably not, but it can definitely sneak within the 19 ½-point line. That is a real possibility considering that Texas is 11-0 SU, but just 6-5 ATS since Mack Brown took over in 1998.

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Re: College Football News and Notes Week - 3

Texas player arrested on drug charges
September 13, 2007

AUSTIN (AP) -Texas senior safety Tyrell Gatewood remained in jail Thursday after his arrest on drug charges, the fifth arrest of a Longhorns player since June.

Freshman defensive back Ben Wells, 18, who was riding with Gatewood when he was pulled over late Wednesday, was given a citation for possession of drug paraphernalia and released.

Gatewood, 22, was charged with two counts of possession of a dangerous drug. It was his second drug-related arrest in a year, although misdemeanor possession charges were dropped after his arrest last September. He was suspended for a game.

Texas athletic officials planned to release a statement later Thursday.

Gatewood and Wells were pulled over by a Travis County sheriff's deputy for failing to signal a turn. Smelling marijuana, the deputy searched the vehicle and found pot, Xanax and a baby bottle full of codeine cough syrup, said Travis County sheriff's spokesman Roger Wade.

Bond was set for Gatewood at $2,500 for each count. Gatewood also was being held on an arrest warrant from Dallas County on a reckless driving charge from March. Bond for that charge was set at $500.

Linebacker Sergio Kindle and defensive end Henry Melton, both arrested on drunken driving charges during the summer, are serving three-game suspensions that will end after Saturday's game at Central Florida.

Freshman linebacker Dre Jones was suspended indefinitely last month after being charged with aggravated robbery. Former safety Robert Joseph was charged in the same incident. Joseph had already left the team after being arrested in a separate incident earlier in the summer.

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