Rushing The Field, Week 9.

Will no one rid me of that meddlesome sweater vest? Penn State, you fail at life. I can’t believe I’m relying on Michigan now to get rid of Tressel and his Buckeyes, thus saving the BCS championship game from another shite blowout.

Early Games: It was a contrast of two separate running attacks in Piscataway, and while Steve Slaton and Ray Rice both managed to do damage, Rutgers’ inability to catch passes is what essentially screwed them over (see also an underperforming defense against WVU’s option.)

The Big 10 continues to make it either interesting or head-shaking. Michigan State has reverted to its usual trend of ascending early and then falling off the face of the planet late, as it gave up a sizable second half lead to Iowa — it’s the first time Ferentz’s offense has had sparks of what made him attractive for NFL jobs. Michigan got it back together after letting cellar-dweller Minnesota start off with a 10-3 lead; the game ended 14-10 without Mike Hart or Chad Henne.

Colorado takes down Leach’s Pirate Academy in Lubbock with some of its own offensive firepower, plus the fact that Graham Harrell hasn’t quite gotten over being mashed by Missouri the week before. Dan Hawkins’ team is learning how to be consistent right now. Look for them to be a serious contender in the Big 12 North next season.

Afternoon Games: Giving up 24 points to a stud-laden Oregon team isn’t a horrific thing for USC — that is, if they had the offense of last year. Basically, USC can’t make any offense mistakes if it wants to win, and Carroll’s squad is making serious offensive mistakes, including picks and poorly timed penalties (including one that brought back an impressive Joe McKnight touchdown run). Dennis Dixon should probably be up there in any Heisman talk now.

Knowshon Moreno should have a starting tailback job to himself right now for good after yesterday’s domination of the Florida defense line and secondary, which completely forgot how to tackle. His Gator counterpart Kestahn Moore wound up benched for fumbling and botching a direct snap. Matthew Stafford’s throws look better that Tim Tebow’s wobbly deep balls, and since Tebow’s running was taken out of the equation due to injury, that dimension of Florida’s offense was removed for the Dawgs. All college football games should be this insane and fun (there were enough personal foul calls to go around in the first half.)

Does Bill Callahan just keep his stuff in boxes in his office? He should. Being up 17-3 on Texas at halftime and then allowing 3 TDs and over 200 yards rushing by Texas’ Jamaal Charles in the 4th quarter is not exactly the sort of performance that would endear Tom Osborne to consider letting Callahan keep his job (not that I think there’s anything that could save him right now.)

Damn, I remember when I was hyping Washington as a team that could knock off some bigger Pac-10 squads. We continue to find out that they can’t finish the job at any point, giving up a 41-28 lead on Arizona late. Mike Stoops keeps up the fight to save his job, while Ty Willingham may have to start considering staff changes; at least a defensive coordinator. Jake Locker is still working on getting there, but he can’t make his team’s defense tackle.

Night Games: UCLA just keeps playing down to its competition, scoring one touchdown early against Wazzu and then allowing 20 unanswered. Now, in order to take the Pac-10, they have to do what they usually do: play up to stronger teams, as Oregon and Arizona State are still on their schedule. Karl Dorrell’s seat is only hot among the rabids in the fanbase; ticket sales and AD support are still there for him. Dorrell’s problem is that he is not in touch with his inner motherfucker; even Pete Carroll (known as Mr. Mellow) knows when to tap into that jackass quality to motivate a team. Dorrell shows absolutely no emotion when his team makes easily correctable mistakes.

Kansas’ deconstruction of the one-dimensional Texas A&M was something to watch, particularly because it was either scoreless at halftime or 3-0, KU. Either way, Mangino, the defense he’s built, and QB Todd Reesing continue to hold their own and stay on this run.

Schizophrenic Tennessee, with Florida’s loss and its defeat of South Carolina in OT (how badly do you have to play to give up a 21-0 lead and scrape by in OT via a field goal?) now controls its fate in the SEC East, in the race to be beaten by LSU in the championship game.

Every time you watch Ohio State destroy someone, it feels fraudulent, looking at the schedule, and watching everyone else in the damned country. Say what you will about Boeckman, Robiskie, and that good defense; I just cannot shake the fact that anyone they meet if they make it to the BCS championship game will be able to paste them like Florida did (unless that opponent is Boston College.)

Arizona State is playing like USC did when it started making its way back under Pete Carroll: dominating second-half comebacks. Now, it can’t last forever, and the Sun Devils should probably try to get up on someone (Oregon next week would be a good start), but starting the meat of the schedule this way isn’t a bad way to get started, despite Cal being on its scheduled collapse.

Photo: Carolyn Kaster/AP


One Response

  1. […] Some post Saturday college football reaction at Epic Carnival, Signal to Noise, and The Big Lead (although the last link is more the “Division III ridiculous lateral” […]

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