College football notes and quotes

College football notes and quotes

College football notes and quotes
By TED SEVRANSKY

We're smack dab in the middle of the college football season and still learning about each team. Don't snooze. Making winning plays requires homework. Thankfully Cover Expert Ted Sevransky gives us the Coles Notes version of this week's news and quotes.

Arkansas:

The Razorbacks haven’t sniffed a pointspread cover in their first two lined games. They're lucky to be 2-1 SU right now, needing fourth-quarter rallies at home to sneak past Western Illinois in their opener and Louisiana-Monroe the following week.

Head coach Bobby Petrino suffered his worst loss as a college coach in the Alabama debacle, and he sounded very much like a coach who is not looking forward to a difficult SEC slate: “We have got to get where we don't beat ourselves. The first part of winning games is not beating yourselves -- taking care of the ball, being where you're supposed to be, not having assignment errors, getting more big plays than your opponent gets. Even in the two wins that we had, we had places where we were beating ourselves. We've got a lot to learn, a long way to go.”

Georgia:

The Bulldogs manhandled Arizona State in the desert in front of a national TV audience on Saturday, improving to straight up road record to 27-4 under Mark Richt. It was the Bulldogs 11th consecutive victory, the second longest streak in the nation (BYU). Richt: “I was very proud of our defense. I have no idea how many times we sacked [Carpenter], but we pressured him pretty good.”

This is always the type of quote that concerns me about the team’s upcoming game against Alabama. Richt: “Considering the team we played, I'd have to say that was the most complete game for our team this year….. We just need to suck it up here and get ready for that game (against ‘Bama).”

LSU:

Momentum is everything in college football, and we saw some wild swings in LSU’s impressive win at Auburn. The Tigers looked lost and timid in the first half, but came on like gangbusters following the break, led by redshirt frosh QB Jarrett Lee, playing in his first-ever road game in an extremely hostile environment.

Lee was horrible in the first half, failing to complete a pass to his own team in five attempts, but completing one to Auburn defensive end Gabe McKenzie that was returned for a touchdown. In the second half, Lee replaced the injured Andrew Hatch and went 11-17-182 with a pair of touchdowns. LSU gained 284 or their 389 yards after the break.

Head coach Les Miles, who continued to take the kind of daring chances that few other college head coaches would even consider: “We expected such a battle when we came here. I thought they showed great poise. To be tested away and be tested by a very, very capable opponent and answering that test is just what this team needed.”

Tennessee:

At least Phil Fulmer doesn’t hide from his critics following a subpar showing, like the Vols suffered in their wire-to-wire whipping at the hands of Florida in front of the home faithful this past Saturday: “There's probably not anybody happy with me right now. There's probably not anybody happy with the quarterback right now. In this case, I said from the beginning, it's my responsibility and I'll take that….(There were) a couple of things I'd probably boo too.”

Including the fourth quarter of last season's game, Florida shut out Tennessee for four straight quarters while hanging 58 straight points on the Vols.

Iowa:

In the sportsbook pointspread disaster of the week Iowa lost at Pitt 21-20 on Saturday, with the line fluctuating between Iowa -1 and Pitts -2 throughout the course of the week. Anybody and everybody who bet this game should have either cashed their ticket or pushed, at worst.

The loss dropped the Hawkeyes to 1-8 SU in their last nine road games. They outgained Pitt by more than 100 yards. Running back Shonn Greene dominated the game on the ground, outplaying his more heralded counterpart on the Panthers side, LeSean McCoy. But Iowa suffered from poor quarterback play once again, particularly in the fourth quarter. Ricky Stanzi played a decent first half (7-10, 79 yards), but Jake Christenson came in after halftime and went 12-24 for 124 yards, leading the team on a scoring drive in the third quarter before getting stonewalled in the final stanza.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz on making the switch to Christenson: “It's a gut feeling. I thought he gave us the best opportunity to win the game.” On the play of his star running back: “That's the strength of our team right now. Shonn gives us a chance to win every time we step on the field.”

This quote from Christenson might be the most telling, perhaps a harbinger of trouble on the horizon for the 3-1 Hawkeyes: “This game could be a blessing or a curse for us. We can either get better or fold.”

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