Schedule leading to upsets? Print
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Wednesday, 03 September 2008 13:26
NCAAF Headline News

 Four of the Top 25 teams in the Associated Press preseason poll lost in the first weekend, including No. 9 Clemson.
Michigan was upset in its opener for the second straight season, losing 25-23 to Utah after dropping a game to Appalachian State in the Big House a year earlier.
M also dropped its opener in stunning fashion, losing 18-14 to Arkansas State - at home, no less.
Surprising? Not really, if you ask Texas coach Mack Brown.
``There are more upsets in the first week than just about any other time during the season,'' Brown said during the Big 12 coaches' conference call. ``If not, then it's right before the conference race or right before or after a rival game because your focus is so high.
``The other reason is that I don't think we should have preseason polls. Unlike the NFL, we don't have a preseason game.''
M's loss to Arkansas State, a team that was winless in 15 previous games against the Big 12.
M let the Red Wolves stay close and ended up with maybe the biggest upset in college football's first weekend.
M at home against Arkansas State, we fully expected to win that ball game and we didn't.''
POISED FREEMAN: Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman had an impressive statistical start to the season, going 18-for-24 for 232 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-6 win over North Texas. He ran for two more scores and jumped two spots to second on Kansas State's all-time passing list with 5,365 yards.
It was even more impressive on film.
Faced with pressure caused by breakdowns by the offensive line, Freeman made solid decisions and was able to avoid the rush by sliding out of the pocket. He as particularly effective on a 30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Banks at the start of the third quarter, rolling right then throwing a perfect strike to the corner of the end zone while on the run.
``I didn't think our pass protection was as good as we would have liked, going back and looking at the tape, and he really kept a lot of plays alive,'' Kansas State coach Ron Prince said. ``He was clearly able to make some plays down field, make some throws through some zones that perhaps we hadn't been able to do consistently before.''
WEATHER DELAY: Oklahoma went into halftime against Chattanooga with a 50-0 lead, ready to come back out and finish the game off.
Then the fourth-ranked Sooners were told to wait for a thunderstorm to pass. And again. And again. By the time Oklahoma and Chattanooga were allowed back on the field, halftime had been extended by 72 minutes.
With that long of a delay, the Sooners stretched again and went through warmups instead of running out and playing right away.
``We kind of went through our pre-game warmup like we do before the start of the game, that kind of thing to get loose and get refocused,'' Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops said. ``It's difficult and it is for everybody for sure.''
CATCHY TURNOVERS: After creating just 18 turnovers a year ago, Iowa State coach Gene Chizik put an emphasis on taking the ball way this year.
Once the Cyclones got one against South Dakota State, they kept wanting more.
By the time they were done, Iowa State had forced six turnovers, five of those interceptions that led to a school-record 202 return yards.
``You get on roll and you're able to say hey, look what we did, this is what the results can be when we get the ball to our offense,'' Chizik said. ``You could see it in their eyes on offense, 'yeah, we've got two let's go for three' or 'we've got three let's go for four.' And the next day you're able to sit in a team meeting and say look what this does for us as a team.''
LOOSE BALLS: A week into the season, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini still isn't ready to award the coveted ``Blackshirts'' to his defense. ``We'll see,'' he said about handing out the black practice shirts this week. ``You wait until they're earned. We haven't been together long enough for that to happen.'' ... Texas plays an in-state game this weekend - 580 miles away in El Paso. ``We'll get back to the airport around 4:30 in the morning; we'll come into the building about 5:30,'' coach Mack Brown said. ``It's a big state.''

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