Monday, September 5, 2011

Helmet Stickers: Week 1

ACC—Maryland laid waste to Miami on Monday night in fashion, sporting new uniforms based off of the Maryland state flag. Maryland took a 26-24 lead with 1:39 left in the game via a field goal. With Miami driving, Maryland defensive back Cameron Chism picked off Miami’s Stephen Morris on fourth down and ran 54 yards for a touchdown to put the game out of reach with less than forty ticks left on the clock. Maryland sophomore quarterback Danny O’Brien passed for 348 yards. Maryland avenged its 20-26 loss to the Hurricanes last year. Terrapin football is back.

Big 10—Northwestern picked up a quality win over Boston College Saturday in their opener. With Dan Persa still injured from a ruptured Achilles tendon, sophomore quarterback Kain Colter stepped up and played well. Colter completed 70.8% of passes on 24 attempts. The Eagles drove into the red zone looking to tie the game at 24 in the final minutes of the game, but senior defensive lineman Vince Browne came up with a sack on the final play to end the game.

Big 12—The Baylor Bears got the best of last year’s Rose Bowl winner in a shootout. TCU’s streak of 25-straight regular-season victories came to an end as the Bears beat a ranked opponent for the first time since 2004. A field goal from Aaron Jones with 1:04 left in the game sealed the 50-48 win after the Horned Frogs came roaring back scoring 25 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to take a 48-47 lead. Bears quarterback Robert Griffin III was phenomenal, passing for 359 yards and five touchdowns. After one week of play, Robert Griffin III looks to be a legitimate Heisman candidate.

Big East—South Florida upset No. 16 Notre Dame in South Bend in a game that had two rain delays. The South Florida defense forced two fumbles and made three interceptions to win the turnover battle 5-0. USF cornerback Kayvon Webster recovered a Notre Dame fumble and ran 96 yards for a touchdown to set the tone of the game just four minutes in. Despite gaining half the yardage that Notre Dame did, the Bulls played smarter football, exploiting the Irish’s mistakes and weaknesses.

C-USA—Case Keenum started his sixth season on the Houston Cougars with a quality 38-34 win over UCLA. Keenum threw for 310 yards, and wide out Tyron Carrier had 10 grabs for 138 yards. Houston’s victory avenges a loss last season to the Bruins and has moved Kevin Sumlin’s stock up as Rick Neuheisel’s stock drops.

MAC—In a game featuring the debuts of two new head coaches, Ball State came out on top of Indiana 27-20 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Cardinals quarterback Keith Wenning was efficient, going 23 for 29 with two touchdowns and no interceptions. Ball State rushed for 210 yards and controlled the rock for the majority of the second half. Ball State punter Scott Kovanda averaged 44.3 yards on three punts. The Cardinals have won their last two meetings against the Hoosiers.

MWC—The Broncos defeated Georgia 35-21 in Atlanta Saturday night. Boise State has taken down yet another BCS conference school and got its first victory over a SEC school. Broncos quarterback Kellen Moore went 28 for 34 passing, connecting with nine different targets. No. 5 Boise State looks to off to another great season and another BCS bowl game.

Pac-12—California picked up a solid win over Fresno State. It was the first time Cal beat Fresno State in three meetings. Cal quarterback Zach Maynard and wide receiver Keenan Allen are half-brothers. They connected for 112 yards through the air. The Golden Bears defense picked up 4 sacks. Despite 11 penalties, the Golden Bears were 7 yards short of doubling the Bulldogs’ modest 210 yards of total offense.

SEC— Two top 5 teams faced off on the opening weekend of college football, and LSU came out the winner over a stacked Oregon team 40-27. With starting quarterback Jordan Jefferson suspended because of a preseason brawl, backup Jarrett Lee did enough to lead the Tigers to victory. Oregon turned the ball over four times and the Tigers took advantage of the breaks, converting three Oregon fumbles into three touchdowns. LSU’s running backs Spencer Ware and Michael Ford outplayed Oregon’s star-studded tailbacks. LSU has won 34 straight nonconference games, the longest such streak in the nation.

Sun Belt—The Golden Panthers went to 1-0 in Sun Belt play after beating North Texas in their opener. FIU scored 28 points in the first quarter, a record for the program. Senior wide receiver had 283 all-purpose yards from receptions, rushes, punt returns, and kickoffs. Running backs Dariet Perry and Kedrick Rhodes each ran for two touchdowns. The Golden Panthers look to be a contender for the Sun Belt title.

WAC—Hawaii was the only WAC team to win in Week 1. The Warriors ran over Colorado 34-17 behind good quarterback play from senior signal-caller Bryant Moniz. Moniz, known as a passing quarterback, unleashed another dimension to his game by running for 121 yards in the opener, more yards than he rushed for all of last season. Hawaii cornerback Mike Edwards averaged 35.5 yards on two kickoff returns. Hawaii is the frontrunner to win the WAC this season.

Independents—In its first game since leaving the Mountain West Conference, BYU defeated Ole Miss in a close game by a score of 14-13. The Cougars trailed by a score of 0-13 in the fourth quarter. Wide receiver Ross Apo pulled in a touchdown catch with 9:52 left. With 5:09 left the Cougars defense forced Ole Miss’s quarterback to fumble, and linebacker Kyle Van Noy jumped on top of the ball in the end zone to give BYU a one point lead and the eventual win.

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