Run and Shoot: 11 Lessons Learned from Week 7

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11 Lessons Learned from Week 7

http://www.sportsline.com/collegefootball/story/11028930

While the emotions of college football are getting more and more Springer-like, let's get our pens and paper out for the 11 lessons we received from the roller coaster world of college football this weekend.

Week7-TexasMcCoy.jpg
(It's obviously Colt McCoy's world and we are merely taking up all the end zone seats and yelling "Woo!" at him.)

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Lesson 1-
WHATEVER YOUR EXPECTATIONS ARE FOR THE SEASON, YOU'LL CHANGE THEM.

Like the Men's Warehouse guy says in his TV commercials, I guarantee it. On Saturday we saw that the national title and Heisman races take a couple of downturns and uprisings.

National title chase:
Add in:
Texas.
Penn State.
Florida.

Take out:
Vanderbilt.
Notre Dame
LSU (?... depending on how voters view a 30-point loss)

Heisman Trophy watch list:
Add in:
Colt McCoy
Javon Ringer
Tim Tebow.
Daryll Clark

Take out:
Jimmy Clausen
Chase Daniel (?... unless a career game at Texas follows)


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Lesson 2-
IT'S GOOD TO SEE THE OU-TEXAS GAME BECOME A CLASSIC AGAIN.

Texas revives the ghosts of 2005 and Colt McCoy jumps into the Heisman race. Here are 10 other observations about Saturday's Red River Shootout.

1- Mack Brown finally proved he could win a big game without needing somebody named Vince Young. (Yeah, I know they've won three of the last four vs. OU, but it just feels like this is his first "big" win since the big fella left.)
2- Texas showed more guts than two-lane road kill. Great comebacks in tough situations all day long. Dare I say, Colt was VY-esque.
3- Despite just a one-point lead at halftime, you got the feeling that Oklahoma had the better team and it was just waiting to explode.
4- Despite the one-point deficit at halftime, the Longhorn's second half performance proved they were the better team and were just waiting to explode.
5- The injury to LB Ryan Reynolds left the Sooners way too vulnerable in the middle. That was the biggest difference in the two halves between these teams.
6- McCoy and Bradford are amazing quarterbacks. I don't know if I've ever seen such pinpoint accuracy. McCoy hit 80% and Bradford hit 72%
7- McCoy is either very smart, a good actor or a wimp. I liked Herbstreit's "Is this a soccer game?" remarks whenever the Horn QB would go down like a feather to pick up a late hit call. Then again, OU punter Mike Knall upped the ante with is antics.
8- The officiating in general was pretty horrible. Lots of ghost calls on interference and roughing and that call on Lamont Robinson's end zone interception should've been reviewed.
9- Oklahoma special teams not so special. Jordan Shipley burned the Big Red on the kickoff return and the fake punt when up 28-27 in the third quarter may have been the biggest play of the game. From that point on the pendulum swung the burnt orange way.
10- If I see any more live shots of that gross Texas State Fair fried food, I’m gonna hurl. (Then again, if I do regurgitate into a deep fryer, they may turn it into another food to sell.)

Week7-NewCottonBowl.jpg
(So can somebody tell me exactly why the city of Dallas spent millions of dollars on refurbishing and adding seats the the cruddy old Cotton Bowl when SMU doesn't play there anymore and the Cowboys are building some 120,000 seat monstrosity in the 'burbs? Word is that's where the Cotton Bowl game and possibly the OU-UT game will eventually end up anyway.)


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Lesson 3-
NOW YOU SEE WHY THREE WEEKS AGO I SAID THAT PENN STATE DESERVED SOME HEAVY CONSIDERATION FOR THE TOP RANKING.

Maybe it's the vanilla unis. Maybe it's because their coach is in the press box. Or maybe it's the we-surrender white towels their fans wave. Either way, the Nittany Lions should have more people talking. PSU now takes over the Texas role as the prime under-the-radar team after spending their Saturday handing Wisconsin its worst loss since 1989 in the Big Red’s backyard.

Okay, I hate seeing Joe Paterno sitting up there in the coach's box, but his boys are looking good, particularly quarterback Daryll Clark, who threw for 244 yards on 16-for-25 passing. And that defense? Great jiggers of Gin! They have every offense they meet throwing in the white towel of surrender.


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Lesson 4-
WHEN THE HEISMAN TROPHY WINNER SPEAKS, WE NEED TO GO AHEAD AND LISTEN.

You saw the clip, right? Tim Tebow, after the Ole Miss loss saying nobody was going to work harder to play better than he and his Gators. Let’s see... 51-21 over the defending national champions? You’ve got us screaming "uncle!" here Mr. Tebow.

You have to like how the Gators came out with their hair on fire too. LSU had given up just three points in the first quarter all season, but three plays into this bad boy and the chomp was on, thanks to the tip-drill good fortune of Tebow and Percy Harvin going for 70 yards. Other than a few hairy moments in the third quarter, this was a no-brainer.

Here are the three biggest things to take away from this game:
1- Tebow may be back, but did you notice Jeffery Demps ran for 129 yards and Chris Rainey ran for 66? Yes, a running game other than Tebow and Harvin!
2- LSU ran for a total of 80 yards, including just 35 from bruising Charles Scott.
3- Don't snicker out loud because I know it sounds pretty crazy right now, but this game could be a preview to the SEC title game. There I said it.

Week7-FloridaSpikesPunt.jpg
(Brandon Spikes really wasn't doing anything unsportsmanlike after returning that interception for a Gator touchdown, he just kicked his leg up like a Radio City Rockette and the ball happened to get in the way of his foot. That's all. Just like PacMan Jones, he's innocent.)


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Lesson 5-
WHADDYA KNOW, ALL THAT MONEY BOONE PICKENS DONATED MIGHT JUST BE WORKING AFTER ALL.

Oklahoma State provided possibly the most stunning score of the night, beating Missouri in Columbia 28-23. And no, Chase Daniel didn’t get abducted by aliens, he played in the game (though at times we wonder if that was really our Heisman front-runner out there.)

OSU is now 6-0 for the first time since WWII and pull off a win over a Top 10 team for just the second time in 36 tries. Daniel still finished the night going 39-of-52 for 390 yards, but the Pokes picked him off three times in the second half and busted that ballyhooed streak of Mizzou not going three and out in their previous 52 drives.

Week7-Cdaniel.jpg
(Maybe it was the No. 25 jersey he wore or the glassy-eyed look on his countenance here, but Chase Daniel just didn't seem to be his old self vs. OSU. Of course it could've been those 2nd half interceptions too.)


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Lesson 6-
SOMETIMES THE TARDY BELL RINGS FOR ALL THOSE SMART SCHOOLS.

• No. 13 Vanderbilt lost at Mississippi State 17-14.
Okay Commodores, you had your moment - a win over sick-kitten Auburn - hope you enjoyed it while it lasted. Now unlike Dennis Dodd, I'm not going to suggest they won’t go to a bowl game. All they need is one more win, ya' know?

• Unbeaten Northwestern lost at home to Michigan State 37-20.
Say goodbye to the Wildcats' Big 10 title hopes, say hello to the Spartans'. Ringer is the bell-cow again going for 124 yards and two scores.

Week7-TySutton.jpg
(One of the most cogent moments of the entire weekend was when Northwestern went on an 18-play drive in the 4th quarter, but bogged down inside the MSU five. When the Cats decided to settle for a field goal instead of going for it on 4th and a yard, running back Tyrell Sutton was obviously angry at head coach Pat Fitzgerald. Coach Fitz wasn't pleased with this insubordination.)

• Unranked 4-1 Notre Dame lost at North Carolina 29-24.
The ending was almost like the '72 USA-USSR basketball game, but a fumble inside the UNC 10 yard line cemented things. In all, five turnovers killed the Irish.


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Lesson 7-
NOBODY HAS BACKUP QUARTERBACKS STEP UP LIKE STANFORD DOES.

Last year it was second-stringer Tavita Pritchard upsetting unbeaten USC in the Coliseum. Saturday, Pritchard got dinged up, backup Jason Forcier lost three turnovers and that opened the door for third-stringer Alex Loukas to lead the Cardinal to a 24-23 win at Arizona. The athletic Loukas had thrown just seven passes going into Saturday's game but took the final 12 snaps for the Cardinal, including a last minute game-winning drive where he ran for 32 of the 65 yards.

With 25 seconds left running back Toby Gerhart plunged in for the final yard to account for the winning TD. The biggest problem for Arizona was stalling out inside the SU five on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter, settling for field goals instead of touchdowns. SU is now 3-1 in Pac 10 play. The UofA fall to 2-1 and 4-2 overall.


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Lesson 8-
WE FOUND OUT WHAT THAT LOUD BURST OF LAUGHTER WAS.

It was West Virginia fans when they heard that Michigan had lost to a MAC school (Toledo) for the first time ever, 13-10, in the Big House. I'm not one to judge after six games, even if they ARE transitioning under a new coaching staff and a new offensive scheme, but this is Michigan here people. Just think how the two recruiting classes compare over the last four years. They should have enough talent to beat a 1-4 Rockets team even if they had Mo, Larry and Curly coaching them using the Single Wing formation the whole game.

Week7-ToledoAmstutz.jpg
(Doing his best Abe Gibron imitation, Toledo coach Tom Amstutz sees his sideline explode after Michgan's missed field goal with four seconds left.)


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Lesson 9-
THERE'S A FINE LINE BETWEEN BEING BRILLIANT AND BEING LUCKY.

Tied with upset-minded Nebraska at 24 and just over four minutes left in the game, Texas Tech coach Mike Leach decided to go for it on a 4th-and-4 at his own 36. Somehow, All American Michael Crabtree got behind the secondary and caught a 43-yard pass with led to a go-ahead touchdown.

After pulling out a 37-31 win in overtime, QB Graham Harrell admitted it wasn’t planned that way.

"We just wanted to try to get the defense offside." Harrell chuckled. "He (Coach Leach) didn't tell him to snap it. But on 4th-and-4 you know I'm going to Crab and he made a play for me."

Week7-TtechHarrell.jpg
(Graham Harrell and Michael Crabtree are all smiles after beating Nebraska in overtime. It was here that Harrell admitted that the key 4th down play that lead to Tech taking a late lead was supposed to be merely an attempt to pull the Huskers offsides, not the 43-yard bomb that resulted.)


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Lesson 10-
A NEW RULE SHOULD GO INTO EFFECT THAT IF YOUR TEAM IS REALLY AWFUL YOU CAN'T POLLUTE OUR EYES BY BEING ON TV UNTIL YOU'RE GOOD AGAIN.

Auburn's games have become nearly un-watchable. Until they get more than 190 yards of offense and their fans eventually stop booing, they should be taken off the air.

Meanwhile Washington State, fresh off a 66-13 loss to Oregon State on Fox Sports, is rewarded for this outstanding effort by getting next week's home game with USC also featured on Fox.

And how about this one: next week's evening game on DIRECTV's GamePlan is 1-6 Idaho at 2-4 Louisiana Tech. Where do I go to get my money back?


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Lesson 11-
REGARDLESS OF WHAT SPORTS ILLUSTRATED SAID, THE SPREAD OFFENSE IS RUINING COLLEGE FOOTBALL.

Ours is a sport run by fads. The spread offense is all the rage now, but have you seen what some teams are doing with it? Watching teams like Auburn, Michigan, LSU and Clemson try to run it with fish-out-of-water quarterbacks is like watching a baby giraffe try to take its first steps while the lions are circling.

Auburn has been the poster child program. Offensive guru Tony Franklin just reassured that the sales of his 3,000 dollar spread offense DVD will flat line after getting run off after six games as O-coordinator this week. This from a program that could run on the Russian Army in past years.

West Virginia has been like a fork with no prongs since Pat White has been on the injured list, including scoring just 17 points against Syracuse. Plus, you remember the Pitt game last December, right? Aye-yaye-yaye.

The spread is tailored for programs like Hawaii, Baylor and Northwestern that don't have the resources year-in, year-out. But teams like Auburn, Michigan and Clemson with much better athletes shouldn’t rely on such gimmicks and should be able to bruise their way with great ground games and effective passing attacks.

Look people, not everybody can have a Vince Young running the new wrinkle offense of the day. Just like every other offense that has come down Mt. Hashmark, defenses are going to get better and better against it. Soon, who knows, we may be looking at the spread as the 2000s version of the wishbone.

Emory Bellard, are you feeling this?

Comments

You are a skinnyfat, ugly, weak-ass noob. I can't believe you are spouting this BS when u have no idea what your talking about. i bet you cant even bench 100 pounds.

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