Sunday, September 18, 2011

Helmet Stickers: Week 3

ACC—Clemson ended No. 21 Auburn’s 17-game winning streak and avenged its overtime loss to Auburn last year. The Clemson Tigers’ 624 yards was the most the program has ever put up on a SEC school. Clemson beat Auburn after losing the last fourteen meetings. It has been sixty years since the Clemson Tigers have beaten the Auburn Tigers. At one point, Clemson converted ten-straight third downs, going 13 for 18 overall on the day.

Big 10—Illinois got by an improved No. 22 Arizona State squad 17-14, despite putting up 240 yards of offense and giving up 362 yards to the Sun Devils. The Illini defense stepped up when it had to, tallying 6 sacks and 2 picks against Sun Devil quarterback Brock Osweiler. Illinois led 10-7 before the first quarter was over. Early in the fourth quarter, the Sun Devils took the lead 14-10 on a 14-yard quarterback rush. A 16-yard touchdown pass to Illinois wide receiver A.J. Jenkins put Illinois back on top 17-14 and was enough to get a big victory for a program that has struggled since going to the 2008 Rose Bowl.

Big 12—No. 1 Oklahoma’s resume for the BCS Championship Game is looking good after a 23-13 victory over No. 5 Florida State in Tallahassee. The Sooners defense was phenomenal: 6 sacks and held the Seminoles to 27 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Oklahoma defensive back Javon Harris had two interceptions, while linebacker Tom Wort added another. Florida State tied the game at 13-13 in the fourth quarter, but the Sooners added a touchdown and field goal in the final minutes to get the W.

Big East—Louisville took out rival Kentucky 24-17 on Saturday. Louisville last beat the Wildcats in 2006. Louisville quarterback Will Stein left the game early in the second quarter with a shoulder injury. True freshmen Teddy Bridgewater came in to replace him and completed 10 of 18 passes for two touchdown and no interceptions. The Cardinals are 2-1 and have two weeks to get ready for Marshall at home.

C-USA—UTEP prevailed over New Mexico State 16-10 in the Battle of I-15. UTEP kicker Dakota Warren had most of the Miners’ points: field goals of 42, 47, and 37 yards. The Miners only touchdown was set up by a 60-yard run off of a fake punt. UTEP’s defense played a great game, getting 6 sacks and holding NMSU to 16 yards rushing on 29 carries. The Miners have now beaten the Aggies three straight years.

MAC—Western Michigan routed in-state rival Central Michigan 44-14. Broncos wide receiver Jordan White had 13 catches for 177 yards, while quarterback Alex Carder threw for 355 yards, going 28 for 37. The Broncos have lost to the Chippewas each of the last five seasons. If Western Michigan can go on to defeat Eastern Michigan later in the season, it will win the Michigan MAC Trophy.

MWC—UNLV pulled a huge upset over Hawaii Saturday evening at Sam Boyd Stadium. The Rebels beat the Warriors 40-20, despite the Vegas line favoring Hawaii by 17.5 points. UNLV running back Tim Cornett ran in an 80-yard touchdown, the longest touchdown run for the Rebels in 22 years. The Rebels defense was opportunistic, recovering all four of Hawaii’s fumbles. The Rebels got their first win of the season and the biggest of the Bobby Hauck era.

Pac-12—Utah absolutely destroyed BYU in the latest installment of the Holy War. The Utes put up 54 points on the Cougars, while only allowing 10 points and 11 rushing yards with stout defense. The Utes forced the Cougars to turn over the football a whopping seven times. Young was embarrassed on its home field. Utes running back John White IV rushed for 174 yards and three touchdowns. After losing 10-7 in the second quarter, Utah scored 47 unanswered points in the blowout.

SEC—Florida beat Tennessee for the seventh straight time Saturday in a 33-23 decision. Florida senior running back Chris Rainey was the MVP of the game. He rushed for 108 yards, caught for 104 yards, and blocked a punt. The Florida rush defense totally shut down the Volunteers run game. The Vols rushed for -9 yards in the contest. Luckily, solid play was able to overcome the Gators’ 150 yards of penalties.

Sun Belt—Florida International gets the Sun Belt helmet sticker for the third straight week. FIU was the only Sun Belt team to get a win over a FBS opponent, which was Central Florida this past Saturday. The Golden Panthers got by the Knights without stud wide out T.Y. Hilton. Hilton was injured. FIU is 3-0 for the first time in school history. The Panther defense put up six sacks on Central Florida’s Jeff Godfrey. One of those sacks came from FIU cornerback Tevin Blanchard late in the first half. It resulted in a fumble that was picked up by FIU defensive end Isame Faciane and returned 51 yards for the score.

WAC—Nevada defeated conference foe San Jose State by a score of 17-14. The Spartans were poised to get the go-ahead touchdown with 1:10 remaining in the game, but Nevada safety Duke Williams intercepted the Spartans’ third down pass into the end zone to clinch the victory for the Wolf Pack. Running back Mike Ball rushed for 124 yards and scored both of the Wolf Pack’s touchdowns.

Independents—The Black Knights got a quality 21-14 win over Northwestern, their first win of the season. All but 6 yards of Army’s offense came on the ground. Army quarterback Trent Steelman scored all three of the Black Knights’ touchdowns on runs, the third of which gave Army the lead with less than 3 minutes left. Victory was sealed after the defense stopped the Wildcats on 4th and 1 on the Army 33-yard line. The Black Knights controlled the clock for over 40 minutes with their triple-option offense.

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