Sunday, September 12, 2010

Helmet Stickers: Week 2

ACC—North Carolina State gets the helmet sticker during a week where all three ranked ACC teams lost. NC State beat Central Florida 28-21 to start the season 2-0 for the first time since 2002. The NC State defense carried the day by forcing five turnovers on the Knights. The Wolfpack did not have any turnovers.
Big 12—The Jayhawks rebounded from their loss last week to North Dakota State in a big way: defeating No. 15 Georgia Tech. Turner Gill experimented with a new quarterback and running back this week. The Jayhawks ended an eight-game losing streak dating back to last year. It looks like Kansas will be alright.

Big East—In Friday night’s primetime game, the Mountaineers escaped Huntington in perhaps the most exciting game of Week 2. The Thundering Herd was beating West Virginia 21-6 in the fourth quarter. West Virginia scored 15 points to tie the game at 21-21 and force overtime. Tyler Bittencourt of West Virginia hit a 20-yard field goal on the Mountaineers’ possession. Tyler Warner of the Thundering Herd was wide right on a 40-yard field goal, heartbreaking the Marshall faithful.

Big Ten—The Buckeyes and Hurricanes both played sloppy in the rematch of the 2003 Fiesta Bowl, but the Hurricanes were the sloppier of the two. Jacory Harris threw four picks, while the Buckeye did not turn over the ball once. Terrelle Pryor was effective on the ground but not so much in the air (44% completion rate). The Buckeyes ended up getting a huge win that should keep them high in the polls throughout the season.

C-USA—In a Friday night match-up, Houston got revenge on UTEP for last year’s odd 58-41 defeat in El Paso. Case Keenum left the game in the third quarter due to injury. The Houston Cougars amassed 656 yards of total offense in the 54-24 Cougar beatdown.

MAC—The Mid-America Conference suffered two losses to FCS opponents this week, making the conference look rather week. The Temple Owls, on the other hand, are rolling. Temple beat the Chippewas of Central Michigan 13-10 in overtime. Brandon McManus hit a 30-yard field goal in overtime to seal the win after the Chips threw an interception in their overtime possession. Al Golden has made Temple into a legitimate football team.

MWC—The Falcons administered a 35-14 pounding of the Cougars in front of a home crowd of 46,692. Air Force had not beaten Brigham Young since 2003. Air Force controlled the ball for 37 minutes. The BYU run defense was porous, allowing 409 yards of rushing. The Falcons also won the turnover battle, giving up one and forcing three.

Pac-10—California utterly destroyed future Pac-10 member Colorado Saturday by a score of 52-7. Cal’s defense was responsible for two touchdowns off of five Colorado turnovers. The punting average at California is currently the 10th best in the country. The Golden Bears may be a contender for the Pac-10 title in a wide open race.

SEC—No. 24 South Carolina got a big win over a No. 22 sans-AJ Green Georgia team Saturday. Steve Spurrier has failed to get the Gamecocks to the SEC championship game during his five prior seasons. This may be his breakout year. Stephen Garcia is finally looking like a decent quarterback. Freshman running back Marcus Lattimore is a beast. He ran for 182 yards on a stingy Bulldog defense. Mark Richt had never lost to the Gamecocks until Saturday’s meeting.

Sun Belt—I’m going to give a rare helmet sticker to a losing team. Troy proved they could hang with a Big 12 team, just barely losing to Oklahoma State, 41-38. Troy freshman quarterback Corey Robinson went 28 for 38, hitting ten different targets. Troy senior wide receiver Jerrell Jernigan had a 100-yard kickoff return and caught ten passes. The Trojans upset Oklahoma State in 2007, and came close to doing it again.

WAC—The Nevada Wolfpack made a mockery of the Colorado State Rams, 51-6, in front of a home crowd. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick passed for 241 yard and rushed for 161 yards. Nevada’s offense was extremely efficient, scoring on every single possession. Nevada’s defense deserves just as much praise. The Wolfpack had five sacks and one interception, while holding the Rams to 272 total yards.

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