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NCAA Football Top 10 -- Week 3
by Wayne Root - 09/13/2012
1) Alabama---September 11th would have been Alabama head coach Paul “Bear” Bryant’s 99th birthday. Crimson Tide fans too young to remember him wear houndstooth in his honor, even if they’re only doing so because it’s fashionable in Tuscaloosa. Those of us old enough to have witnessed his career remember a leader, a legend, and a role model. AJ McCarron threw four touchdown passes and No. 1 Alabama's defense forced the same number of turnovers. The result was a 35-0 victory over Western Kentucky last Saturday. The defense came up big- as usual. The Crimson Tide is in preparation for their first SEC contest of the year against Arkansas (who it appears will be without their starting QB).
2) USC---The Trojan Horse went to NYC to play Syracuse and walked away with a 42-29 victory. Robert
Woods was spectacular with 200 all-purpose yards and two scores. The All-American receiver was so good, Matt Barkley's school-record six touchdown passes seemed almost pedestrian. USC was choppy at times, and Syracuse's hurry-up offense kept them working hard for four quarters at MetLife Stadium, the home of the Giants and Jets. But the Orange simply had no answer for Woods. The bigger test is this week as USC plays at Stanford.
3) LSU---When Alfred Blue wasn't running away from the Washington Huskies, Kenny Hilliard and Spencer Ware were running over them. That left quarterback Zach Mettenberger with little more to do than pivot and hand off, letting third-ranked LSU's stable of running backs pound the overmatched Huskies for a 41-3 victory Saturday night. Blue rushed for 101 yards, including a 21-yard score, and LSU (2-0) gained 242 yards on the ground. LSU has won 39 straight against non-conference opponents in the regular season, tying a Football Bowl Subdivision record first set by Kansas State. This weekend, the Tigers play Idaho, another non-conference opponent, and the game is at home, where LSU has won 19 straight. Good luck to Idaho.
4) Oklahoma---In a slight turn of events, Oklahoma returned to a heavy run game finishing with 349 yards on the ground to go with 8 rushing touchdowns! There is still room for improvement, but for the time being, let's celebrate starting the season out 2-0! Boomer!!! Damien Williams broke off an 89-yard touchdown run and finished with 156 yards rushing and four scores sending Oklahoma to a 69-13 victory over Florida A&M on Saturday night. Landry Jones threw for 252 yards and two touchdowns with one interception while notching his 31st victory, moving past Jamelle Holieway for second in school history. This is a bye-week for the Sooners.
5) Oregon---The Ducks (2-0) sprinted to a 35-6 first-half lead before the Fresno State Bulldogs were able to slow them down in the second half. The final score was 42-25. De'Anthony Thomas ran for 102 yards and two additional scores for the Ducks. Oregon plays Tennessee Tech this Saturday as their last non-conference game warm-up before playing Arizona Sept. 22. Their most glaring problems is defense where thru their first 2 games they are ranked 94th in total D and 88th in points allowed. Not a good sign against early season opponents.
6) Florida St---Someone mercifully reached to the Man above and had a thunderous and torrential storm come in and end the Savannah State nightmare called "play for paycheck." With the score 55-0, both coaches agreed to end the contest in the 3rd quarter. Not that it gets any harder for the Seminoles this week. They play host as a 24 point favorite to Wake Forest. This is the last cupcake for the 'Noles as the following week they "man-up" against Clemson.
7) South Carolina---Why does Steve Spurrier want to stick with injured starter Connor Shaw? Back-up QB, Dylan Thompson threw for 330 yards and three touchdowns in Saturday's 48-10 win over East Carolina. Shaw was horrible against Vandy, was replaced, the back-up came thru and now gets to go back to the bench. Spurrier said after the game that injured starter Connor Shaw will start next week for the Gamecocks. And furthermore, the rejuvenated passing game allowed Spurrier to use star running back Marcus Lattimore sparingly. The Gamecocks gained 528 yards total. There's no shortage of Gamecock money. In fact they have money to burn. The school opened its new $30 million tailgating area across from the stadium and started a tradition that has the players walk through the crowd to the stadium. The area included trees whose leaves will change color to South Carolina garnet instead of Clemson orange in the fall. The school also turned on its new 36-foot tall, 124-foot wide video board that cost $6.5 million. In the middle of this Obama economy? It must be raining money in South Carolina.
8) Georgia---September 15th is in the books as the first game for Missouri in the SEC. Unfortunately, they were defeated 41-20 by Georgia. Georgia trailed by eight points early in the third quarter and was down by three late in that quarter. Missouri was rising to the occasion in its SEC debut, fueled by a sellout crowd that anticipated the game for months and had been tailgating much of the day. Aaron Murray hit Marlon Brown for two of his three touchdown passes, the second for the go-ahead score as the Bulldogs recovered from a shaky start with 32 second-half points that spoiled Missouri's SEC debut. Georgia plays Florida Atlantic this Saturday.
9) West Virginia--The Mountaineers warmed up for this weeks clash with James Madison by defeating Marshall 69-34 last Saturday. It seemed like everyone was in on the scoring, so the only note-worthy news was that the QB play of Geno Smith was close to perfect, as he threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns. West Virginia's 413 yards of offense in the first half were their most for any half since 2007. West Virginia takes on a potent JMU team that has put up 55 and 42 points in the last two games. The neutral site game at FedEx Field gives WVU an opportunity to showcase itself to the DC/Metro area recruiting talent as well as a fan friendly game for the many alumni in the area. It certainly doesn't hurt that Dan Snyder has guaranteed WVU a 2.3 million dollar payday to play in his sandbox this coming Saturday.
10) Michigan State--- For a second straight week, Michigan State held an opponent without an offensive touchdown. Was it mentioned that they played Central Michigan? This meeting was part of a "Celebrate the State" football series Michigan State has agreed to from 2011-2020. It includes 12 games over 10 seasons, including one each for the Spartans at Central Michigan, Western Michigan and Eastern Michigan. MSU was reminded what happened just 3 years ago all last week. Central Michigan beat Michigan State in 2009. Now this week it's back to REAL FOOTBALL as the Spartans host the Fighting Irish of Notre Dame. Le'Veon Bell did little to help his own cause in the Heisman watch so he needs a huge game this week!!
They're Coming to get You!!