Sunday, October 17, 2010

Helmet Stickers: Week 7

ACC—The Tar Heels beat the Cavaliers at Scott Stadium for the first time since 1981. The Tar Heels had lost the previous fourteen away games versus Virginia. T.J. Yates passed for 325 yards and three touchdowns. North Carolina picked off three different Cavalier quarterbacks for a total of five interceptions. The Tar Heels are 4-2 despite still having five players still banned from playing this season.

Big 12—The Texas Longhorns came away with an upset Saturday against No. 5 Nebraska. Up until now, Nebraska looked unstoppable. The Texas defense shut down Nebraska Heisman hopeful Taylor Martinez. They only allowed him to run for 21 yards on thirteen carries and 63 yards passing. Texas has beaten Nebraska 9 out of 10 meetings since the inception of the Big 12. The 20-13 victory prevented the Longhorns from losing three straight games, something that has never happened during the Mack Brown era.

Big East—Rutgers got the best of an improved Army team in overtime. Army dominated the opening half gaining 287 yards to the Scarlet Knights’ 65 yards. The Black Knights’ held a 17-3 lead through the third quarter, until the Scarlet Knights finally got their offense going in the fourth, led by freshman quarterback Chas Dodd.  Two long drives (74 and 93 yards) had the game tied at 17-17 by the end of regulation. Army scored a field goal in overtime; Rutgers answered with a touchdown to get a 23-20 win.

Big Ten—No. 18 Wisconsin knocked off No. 1 Ohio State with a 31-18 victory. Wisconsin ran for 184 yards on a porous Buckeye defense. The Badger defense prevented a dangerous Buckeye offense from getting anything done outside of the third quarter. Heisman hopeful Terrelle Pryor’s passing efficiency was stymied at 50%. This was Ohio State’s worst offensive and defensive performances of the 2010 season. Wisconsin’s head coach, Bret Bielema, got his first victory over a Top 10 team.

C-USA—East Carolina upset red hot North Carolina State in an overtime thriller. Despite opening the game 21-0 and eroding a big lead, East Carolina was able to recover and force overtime when Michael Barbour hit a 31-yard field goal with 1:04 left in the game to make the score 27-27. During the Pirate’s overtime possession, quarterback Dominique Davis scored on a 1-yard run. The point after touchdown failed. On the Wolfpack’s possession, NC State quarterback Russell Wilson was intercepted over the middle by East Carolina cornerback Damon Magazu. The Pirates won 33-27.

MAC—Eastern Michigan gets the MAC helmet sticker for snapping an eighteen-game losing streak and getting their first win of the season. The Eagles beat the Ball State Cardinals 41-38 in overtime. The Cardinals got a field goal during their overtime possession. Eastern Michigan quarterback Alex Gillett connected with tight end Ben Thayer on a 12-yard pass to seal the victory. The Eagles’ last win came on November 28, 2008.

MWC—San Diego State did enough to slow down Air Force’s high-octane run game. San Diego State’s defense held Air Force below their season rushing average of 353 yards per game. Aztec running back Ronnie Hillman rushed for 191 yards and two touchdowns off of twenty-four carries. San Diego State is 4-2 for the first time since 1996. 1996 was also the last time the Aztecs beat a ranked team.

Pac-10—USC rebounded from a two-game skid by blasting rival California by a score of 48-14. The Trojans accumulated 602 yards of offense, while holding California to 245 yards. USC’s Matt Barkley threw for 352 yards and five touchdowns. Southern California was 50% on third downs and 75% on fourth downs. The Trojans have beat California seven straight times.

SEC—No. 10 South Carolina looked like the team to beat in the SEC East, coming off their win last week against Alabama. Kentucky rose to the challenge and beat South Carolina, 31-28. Kentucky was down 28-10 at the half, but they scored 21 unanswered points in the second half.  South Carolina drove to the Kentucky 21 yard line in the final minute of the game. Stephen Garcia tried a touchdown pass to Lamar Scruggs with four seconds left, but the ball was intercepted by Kentucky’s Anthony Mosley. The Wildcats had no turnovers, while the Gamecocks had four.

Sun Belt—In the best Sun Belt matchup of the week, conference leader Troy bested the Louisiana-Lafayette by a touchdown, 31-24. As usual, Troy spread the ball around, making completions to nine different receivers. The Trojans were finally able to put away the Ragin’ Cajuns after Troy wide receiver Jerrel Jernigan caught a 12-yard touchdown pass with 4:43 left in the game. Troy is in the driver’s seat for the Sun Belt title with a 3-0 conference record.

WAC—Hawaii gave Nevada its first loss of the season Saturday. Hawaii won the turnover battle 4-1. Nevada quarterback Colin Kaepernick was intercepted twice and fumbled twice, thanks to the much-improved Warriors defense. Former pizza deliveryman, and Hawaii quarterback, Bryant Moniz completed 26 passes on 36 attempts. He had three touchdowns and no interceptions. Hawaii has never lost to Nevada in Honolulu since the Wolf Pack joined the WAC in 2000. Hawaii is 3-0 in WAC play.

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