What We Learned In College, Week 7
If this week’s column is particularly bad, you can blame LSU and South Carolina for going down to the wire and keeping me up until almost midnight. You can also blame Starbucks for not selling coffee by the gallon. Anyway…
-The depth some of these SEC teams have is just crazy. Early in the first quarter, it was clear that LSU was planning to ride RB Spencer Ware. Ware was dinged up in camp, and has had a rough start to the season, but he was having a fantastic game- especially for a guy with a stomach virus who had to leave the game early. (He did return in the second half). In comes 6’2″, 225-lb. freshman Jeremy Hill. All he did was rush for 124 yards and 2 TDs. So no, coach Spurrier, they didn’t need to dress Mike the Tiger.
-I had forgotten how much fun Spurrier is to watch on the sidelines when his team isn’t playing well. He was more entertaining than the game at times, even if he didn’t throw the visor last night.
-It’s a good thing LSU got the running game going,because the passing game is still lacking.
-Texas’ defense is a far bigger mess than I realized. Oklahoma scored TDs on three of their first four drives, including a 95-yarder by RB Damien Williams. The only thing that went right for the Horns in the first half was a botched snap on Oklahoma’s first PAT attempt, which Quandre Diggs returned for a safety. Their offense isn’t terrible- the Sooners’ defense is just that good- but they have a long way to go on D.
-Michigan’s 45-0 whitewashing of Illinois should give them some much-needed confidence heading into the tough part of their schedule. Next up: Michigan State.
-Pitt coach Paul Chryst made an unusual call late in their game against Louisville. The Panthers were down 38-28, with 5:00 to go in the fourth quarter, and rather than attempt a 39-yard FG, they went for it on fourth down. QB Tino Sunseri overthrew his receiver and the ball was turned over on downs. Louisville scored on the possession, so it’s somewhat of a moot point, but you need a FG and a TD- why not take the three points while you’re in what should be field goal range? I thought that was a strange call.
-Iowa and Michigan State played a classic Big Ten game- everyone was filthy and muddy, the weather was rotten so both teams were running the ball, and regulation ended with a 13-13 tie. (Iowa won in OT).
-I still think that was a TD for Stanford. That said, the Irish played a good game and are now 6-0. A big test in Oklahoma awaits, but this team might be for real.
-I know Auburn is having a really lousy season, but losing 41-20 to OLE MISS? Did the Rebels unearth another Manning somewhere to play quarterback? In all seriousness, head coach Hugh Freeze is off to a good start turning that program around; they’re already just two wins shy of bowl eligibility.
-Duke jumped out to a 20-0 lead on Virginia Tech. No, really. Of course, Virginia Tech then scored 41 unanswered points to win the game, but you have to start somewhere. (Repeat after me, Duke fans… it’s almost basketball season. It’s almost basketball season.)
-Good weekend for the state of Oregon: the Ducks had a week off, and the Beavers beat BYU. OSU should move up in the polls this week.
-The clock struck midnight and the carriage ride is over for potential Cinderella Louisiana Tech. They only lost to Texas A&M by a FG, but when you’re in a non-BCS conference, that’s usually all it takes.
-Speaking of the Aggies, they’ve found themselves a heck of a QB in Johnny Manziel.
-Mississippi State doesn’t get much attention outside of, well, Mississippi, but they’re putting together a very nice season. Dan Mullen is a good coach, and his guys seem to enjoy playing for him.
Catch me every Saturday morning on “College Football Warm-up” on Last Word Radio, from 9-10am.