NCAA:Week 4 Recap
NCAA:Week 4 Recap
Week 4 Recap
By Judd Hall
We’re going to open this rewind of the Saturday that was in college football with a topic that seems to be on a lot of people’s minds, the BCS crasher. What used to be strictly fantasy when the Bowl Championship Series started in 1998 now appears to be an annual occurrence.
Four years ago Utah destroyed Pitt in the Fiesta Bowl with Urban Meyer running the show before leaving for Gainesville. Fast forward two years and you’ll find Boise State working some magic against the Sooners to complete the undefeated season in Glendale. And of course Hawaii got its ass handed to them by the Bulldogs last January in the Sugar Bowl.
This year’s media darling came to us in the form of East Carolina. The Pirates had a lot going for it: two straight wins over BCS conference schools (West Virginia and Virginia Tech), a quarterback in Patrick Pinkney that had completed 75.9 percent of his passes and they’re being led by Lou Holtz’s son, Skip.
All that talk ended suddenly when the Pirates fell at North Carolina State as seven-point favorites in overtime, 30-24. Ultimately this tilt hinged on the defense holding the Wolfpack offense down and Pinkney being able to avoid mistakes. Neither of those things happened as ECU allowed 394 yards (their highest total all year) and let the ‘Pack convert five of 15 first downs. Pinkney practically sealed his team’s fate by fumbling in extra time when Shea McKeen caught the signal caller from behind to dislodge the ball. And with that fumble, ECU’s dreams of a major bowl payday evaporated.
It’s okay that East Carolina went down because there are a couple of other schools ready to take up the mantle. Two such programs reside in the Beehive State.
Brigham Young has not just beaten its last two opponents; it has annihilated them to the tune of 103-0. A lot of that has to do with Max Hall putting up numbers that would make any gunslinger jealous by completing 77.2 percent of his passes for 1,095 yards while holding a touchdown to interception ration of 6:1. It also doesn’t hurt to have a defense that is averaging three takeaways per game. Now I’m just spitballing here, but could the Cougars make it to the BCS Title Game if (and it’s a BIG “if”) they can blow out every team from here on out?
The Utes had their hands full this week at Air Force Academy. Utah outgained the Falcons 440-191 and held them to just nine first downs in its 30-23 win as a 9 ½-point road favorite. Darrell Mack was able to pace the Utes with his 18 rushes for 101 yards and three touchdowns. It certainly looks like we’re going to have a huge showdown in Salt Lake City come Nov. 22 when the Cougars come to town to finish the regular season.
While we’re talking about teams that could crash the party, let’s talk about the Broncos. That’s right…Boise State threw its hat into the ring yesterday after holding to beat the Ducks (and those horrendous highlighter helmets with flames) as a 10 ½-point road pup, 37-32. The schedule is very favorable to the Broncos with their only real tests remaining on Oct. 11 at Southern Miss and on Nov. 28 when Fresno State comes to the “Smurf Turf.”
Georgia Tech may be running a brand new triple option offense under Paul Johnson, but you wouldn’t know it the way the club is playing. The Yellow Jackets manhandled Mississippi State last Saturday to the tune of 438 rushing yards as they won 38-7. The victory also improved GT to 3-1 ATS for the year.
The Buckeyes rebooted their offensive attack this week at home Troy with freshman phenom Tyrelle Pryor getting the nod under center. And Pryor didn’t disappoint either with four touchdowns on 10 of 16 completions for 139 yards. Ohio State failed to cover the 21 ½-point line, the third straight game this has happened. The last time OSU was in this type of slump was in 2004...the fourth game they crushed the Hoosiers 30-7. Sounds like Minnesota is a solid fade next week.
Perhaps Missouri was looking towards its next tilt with the Cornhuskers. That’s the only explanation I have for the Tigers’ sloppy 42-21 home win over Buffalo. As bad as Mizzou looked with three fumbles, they did have Chase Daniel make 20 straight completions. Hopefully the Tigers got the yips out of their system for Nebraska.
North Carolina had been impressive early in its schedule, but anyone can look good against McNeese State and Rutgers. Butch Davis had his team ready against Virginia Tech this week by jumping out to a 17-3 lead midway through the third quarter. That lead didn’t last much longer as the Hokies pulled out a 20-17 win as 2 ½-point road ‘dogs. If you need an explanation as to how this happened, look at UNC’s final four drives: one ended in a punt, one stopped by a fumble and the other two were dashed by interceptions.
Florida proved once again to the fans in Knoxville that it really is just that good by ripping Phil Fulmer’s Vols 30-6. How bad did it get at Neyland Stadium? Tennessee fans were leaving well before the game had ended. I don’t think I’ve ever seen that before.
Georgia essentially had a nice vacation out in Arizona by dominating the Sun Devils 27-10. To the surprise of nobody, Knowshon Moreno showed how good he is by rushing 23 times for 149 very athletic yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Bulldogs will be in for another test next week when they host Alabama.
The Crimson Tide absolutely embarrassed Bobby Petrino’s Arkansas club, 49-14, as 9 ½-point road favorites. Alabama picked off Casey Dick thrice and ran two of them back to the house. The Tide’s Glen Coffee was nigh unstoppable as evidenced by 10 carries for 162 yards and a pair of scores.
Most people aren’t paying much attention to them, but we should give some props to the Commodores. Vanderbilt has long been the SEC’s doormat, but those times are a changing. That’s because Commodores went to Ole Miss as seven-point road underdogs and walked away with a 23-17 victory. It is the first time Vandy is 4-0 SU since 1984, but more important to the betting public, they are 3-0 ATS.