BY SCOTT MORGANROTH
As we get ready for this Saturday's action? Here are some of the most interesting developments on the college gridiron during week two.
1) NFL teams that are utilizing the latest "Wildcat" innovation created by the Miami Dolphins in 2008, must be drooling that Florida Gators quarterback Tim Tebow has thrown a touchdown pass in 30 consecutive games, plus has 45 rushing touchdowns. He ranks tied for third on the SEC's all-time rushing list behind Kevin Faulk (46) and Herschel Walker (49). The Gators blasted Troy 56-6 in Gainesville as Tebow accounted for five touchdowns enabling Florida to maintain its No. 1 ranking. Tebow will have plenty of games to shatter that record starting with Saturday's contest in "The Swamp" against the Tennessee Volunteers.
2) Two weeks ago, it looked like Michigan supporters wanted to run Coach Rich Rodriguez out of Ann Arbor. I'll bet they have a different attitude now as U-M upset No. 18 Notre Dame 38-34 at "The Big House." Tate Forcier didn't look like a freshman as he threw a 5-yard touchdown pass to Greg Mathews with 11 seconds left. Forcier went 23-33, 240 yards, two touchdowns and one interception. Forcier had a 31-yard TD run and rushed for 70 yards. When it was all over, Michigan's win overshadowed the fine performance by Notre Dame signal caller Jimmy Clausen, who went 25-42, 336 yards, three touchdowns and zero interceptions. It's been a long week for Fighting Irish Coach Charlie Weiss and I'm sure he'll be glad to return to South Bend Saturday to face the Michigan State Spartans. A loss to MSU could greatly hamper Notre Dame's attempt to reach a BCS bowl game.
3) Look for Central Michigan University (CMU) quarterback Dan LeFevour to play in the NFL someday. The CMU signal caller was 33-46, 328 yards and amassed three touchdowns to lead the Chippewas to a stunning 29-27 win over Michigan State at Spartan Stadium. LeFevour passed Marshall's Byron Leftwich (12,084) for the most yards in MAC history with 12,166. LeFevour can add to his record Saturday against the Alcorn State Braves. The Braves (0-1) were destroyed in their opener 52-0 to Southern Mississippi on Sept 5th.
4) In the battle of basketball schools, the host Connecticut Huskies could have used former Detroit Lions quarterback Dan Orlovsky, who passed for over 10,000 career yards. The No. 19 North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0) edged the Huskies (1-1) 12-10 Saturday in East Hartford, Conn.
5) The Iowa Hawkeyes, who survived a scare a week ago to Northern Iowa University 17-16, bounced back nicely by winning a road game in Ames by crushing intrastate rival the Iowa State Cyclones. Quarterback Ricky Stanzi threw a career high four touchdown passes. Iowa also forced six turnovers in the states biggest athletic event.
6) It seems like the Tennessee Volunteers got a false sense of security by routing Western Kentucky 63-7 in their opener. Tennessee Coach Lane Kiffin rarely lost to UCLA as an assistant coach at USC. But the Bruins humbled the young coach by defeating him 19-15 defeat in front of 102,239 at Neyland Stadium in Knoxville. Loss No. 2 for Kiffin is expected in Gainesville against the Florida Gators, who have won their first two games by margins of 59 and 50. I have a feeling that Florida Coach Urban Meyer would like to surpass 60 points after Kiffin accused the Gators of recruiting violations. This is going to get ugly for the Orange and White. My prediction, Florida will hammer Tennessee 75-21. Accuse the Gators of cheating and Tebow and company will punch you in the mouth. There is no reason to think that a 50-point spread shouldn't hold-up in this contest.
7) It seems like yesterday that the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and my alma mater, the University of South Florida Bulls were rivals in the Sun Belt Conference in basketball. Western Kentucky used to dominate my Bulls. Western Kentucky is in its first full season in Division I and USF defeated the Hilltoppers 35-13 in Bowling Green, KY.
8) The last time I saw Florida International University (FIU) wide receiver Ty Hilton was last season in the Golden Panthers 57-50 loss to Florida Atlantic University. A crowd of 92,012 at Bryant-Denny Stadium in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, saw Hilton have a 96-yard kickoff return for a touchdown. FIU kept this contest close trailing 20-14 at halftime to No. 4 Alabama before the Crimson Tide pulled away for a 40-14 win. It's hard to believe the the 5-10, 175 pounder is just a sophomore and the upside on this youngster barring injuries in unlimited. NFL scouts know it!
9). The Big 12 has been feasting on Sun Belt Conference teams through the first two weeks. But the Sun Belt Conference finally broke through as the host University of Louisiana-Lafayette (UL-L) Ragin' Cajuns edged Kansas State 17-15. UL-L didn't need alumnus Jake Delhomme (Carolina Panthers) to pull off the upset. Instead, the needed a Tyler Albrecht 48-yard field goal with 32 seconds left that enabled UL-L to win it's first game over a BCS Conference member since 1996. This loss was no way for Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder to celebrate a contract extension through 2013.
10) In the game of the week, the Ohio State Buckeyes came through again losing another big contest by dropping an 18-15 decision to USC in the final moments. The shocked Columbus crowd of 106,033 saw the Buckeyes drop their sixth consecutive game to a top five opponent and watched USC post its 10th straight win against the Big 10. The Trojans have beaten Ohio State seven straight times.
Ohio State fans will have a reason to be nervous in week three as the Buckeyes play their first game in Cleveland since 1991 against the Toledo Rockets in Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Rockets (1-1) defeated Colorado 54-38 in week two on Friday Sept 11th and last season edged the Michigan Wolverines 13-10 in "The Big House." The Rockets are 5-6 in their last 11 games against the Big Ten which will give Buckeyes Coach Jim Tressel plenty of motivation material for his 11th ranked squad. Toledo is some 20 miles closer to Cleveland than Columbus and the Rockets are considered the home team. Ohio State is 25-1 all-time against the MAC and hasn't lost to an intrastate rival in 88 years.
Scott Morganroth can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Scott Morganroth
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