The Wrapup

By Adam Caparell - September 10, 2006

It should be pretty clear now who the No. 1 team in the nation is. Ohio State, behind quarterback Troy Smith, showed the country they are the best team with a 24-7 win over the Longhorns on the road and I think it's safe to say we learned some things from this game.

1. The Buckeyes defense proved it is much better than what it showed against Northern Illinois in Week 1. They really settled down and were disruptive as the game rolled on, holding Texas to single digits for the first time in nine years - a team that had scored at least 40 points in 12 consecutive games before Saturday.

2., If Brady Quinn is the best quarterback, then Smith is 1A, or whatever distinction puts him right up there with Quinn. Smith showed everyone just how talented, mature and poised he is, working over the Texas secondary and burning them for 269 yards and two touchdowns. He was the catalyst for this statement win for the Buckeyes. The offensive line did a great job giving him time and space.

3. I was dead wrong on this game. I thought the Texas offensive line would be able to dominate and Colt McCoy would do enough to get the Longhorns the win. McCoy wasn’t nearly as good this week, throwing for only 154 yards and an interception on their first drive in the third quarter. But he wasn’t awful. It didn’t help that there were drops and that he got hit several times by the Buckeyes defense. He just couldn’t produce any kind of comeback bid, ala that former Texas QB. Billy Pittman’s fumble on the 2-yard line was a big play. Texas could have taken an early 7-0 lead, but it was for naught and there were no answers by the Texas defense for either Ted Ginn or Anthony Gonzalez.

If Ohio State isn’t the unanimous No. 1 Sunday afternoon, AP voters should have their voting privileges revoked.

Quick Hits

- Can Florida State get a running game? It’s pretty pathetic how the Seminoles, with Lorenzo Booker and a supposed veteran offensive line, has been unable to produce any kind of running game for the second straight week. They’re averaging 23 yards per game this season and QB Drew Weatherford has the longest run of the year for the Seminoles - for a measly 11 yards. Just absolutely pathetic. FSU is 2-0 with an offense that’s in need of serious improvement, and fast. They can’t keep this up and expect to win the ACC.

- The ‘Noles should take a cue from the ‘Canes who ran for 339 yards against Florida A&M after their dismal performance in the Labor Day game.

- Charlie Weis said he was about as pleased as he possibly could be with Notre Dame after their big win over Penn State. And why not. The Irish were clearly the better team and capitalized on the Nittany Lions mistakes. The offense was clicking, the defense was impressive again. It was a balanced attack for Notre Dame, music to Weis’ ears. I guess that means the Irish won’t be running very much come practice Monday and should be locked into that No. 2 spot in the polls Sunday.

- Bless Dan Hawkins. Not only does he lose to Montana State in his season opener but he then falls to instate rival Colorado State in game No. 2. For one of the most likeable coaches around, it’s been a rough start and Boulder must feel like a long way away from Boise right now.

- At first glance, I didn’t like the call by Fischer DeBerry to go for the win on the two-pint conversion against Tennessee with 1:35 to go. But it was a bold call by the Air Force coach trying to instill come confidence in his team that’s looking to snap the string of two straight losing seasons. And you always go for the win on the road. I’m sure the new clock rules played a factor in his thinking.

- Steve Spurrier was shut out for the first time since 1987, when he was with Duke, as South Carolina fell to Georgia, 18-0. Nice job by the Georgia defense.

- Ohio State has now improved to 3-0 all-time in No. 1 vs. No. 2 games.

- The way the AP Top 10 should look Sunday, in my opinion, when it comes out. . .
1. Ohio State
2. Notre Dame
3. USC
4. Auburn
5. West Virginia
6. LSU
7. Florida
8. Texas
9. Georgia
10. Michigan

Posted by Adam Caparell at 01:08 AM on September 10, 2006

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