Wednesday, September 27, 2006

Reporters' Notebooks

Bob Clark, Eugene Register-Guard: What happened to that image of the Pac-10 as an offensive league?

Tucson Citizen: Who is the better team, USC or Louisiana State? After seeing both, LSU gets the vote.

Mike Hlas, Cedar Rapids Gazette: Where is Ron Dayne when you need him? Wisconsin ran for only 12 yards against Michigan (subscription, story is in comments).

Bryan Strickland, Durham Herald-Sun: Duke coach Ted Roof said his team shouldn't stare at the scoreboard in the middle of a game.

Gary Lambrecht, Baltimore Sun: Navy knows how to rebound. Over the past four seasons, the Midshipmen are 10-1 after a loss (registration).

Kyle Tucker, Virginian-Pilot: Teammates supported and coach Frank Beamer defended two suspended players.

1 comment:

dawizofodds said...

THE HLIST

Mike Hlas
Cedar Rapids Gazette

FIRST DOWNS
1. Nowhere to Run: Wisconsin favors rushing as its preferred mode of offense, but was held to 12 yards on 27 carries in its 27-13 loss at Michigan.

‘‘One of our first goals was to run the football with persistence and power and we were not able to do that,’’ said Badgers Coach Bret Bielema.

The Wolverines have allowed an average of 18.5 rushing yards per game. That’s good. Best in the nation, actually.

‘‘That’s what brings a smile to everybody’s face, seeing how many rushing yards a team has,’’ said Michigan defensive tackle Alan Branch. ‘‘I hate seeing teams that have over 100 yards rushing.’’

2. Hungry to Win: Wake Forest had to wait out a two-hour delay to start its game at Mississippi Saturday because of a lightning storm.

‘‘When it started to get to be after 6 o’clock our guys started getting hungry again,’’ said Wake Forest Coach Jim Grobe. ‘‘We were giving them Gatorade bars to try to give them something to keep their energy level up.

‘‘The longer we sat in that locker room, the more I worried that we wouldn’t have enough energy to come out and play the game.’’

But Wake stayed awake, and mauled Ole Miss, 27-3. The Demon Deacons are 4-0 for the first time since 1987.

3. VI Tops IV: Two of college football’s favorite mascots met when Colorado visited Georgia.

Colorado’s Ralphie IV, a 900 pound buffalo, was hauled across two time zones to meet Georgia’s Uga VI, a less-heavy bulldog.

Seated in the stands off to the right of the caged buffalo, the Georgia band chanted ‘‘Bison Burger! Bison Burger!’’ But Bulldog fans seemed to enjoy the buffalo in its live form when it ran on the field before the game and before the start of the second-half.

‘‘I wish we got this kind of reception in Boulder,’’ said Chris Cavanaugh, one of Ralphie’s handlers.

‘‘We’ve been greeted with open arms, Southern hospitality at its finest.’’

If you were escorted by a 900 pound buffalo, you’d be treated well, too.

4. Terwilligermania: East Stroudsburg University’s Jimmy Terwilliger threw four touchdown passes in a 41-34 victory over California (Pa.) University. He set an NCAA Division II career mark with his 123rd TD toss. But this item is here because the Hlist just likes saying ‘‘Jimmy Terwilliger.’’

FUMBLES
1. Wrong and Wronger: Minnesota had a 4th-and-5 at the Purdue 33 in the second-quarter, trailing 7-3. The Gophers could go for a first down or try to pin the Boilermakers deep with a pooch punt.

Coach Glen Mason instead chose Plan C, a 51-yard field goal try into a swirling wind. It was blocked, and Purdue used the momentum to go on a touchdown drive.
Mason said the other two options ‘‘never entered my mind.’’

Minnesota had a first-and-goal at the Purdue 4 with 1:03 left in the first-half and no timeouts. It had enough time for one of its patented smash-mouth running plays. Gopher back Amir Pinnix did rush for 173 yards.
But Mason tried a fade pass, then a quarterback draw that unfolded too slowly, and finally a second fade pass. That was a jumpball that was picked off in the end zone.

The Gophers went on to lose, 27-21. ‘‘It is what it is,’’ Mason said. ‘‘We missed a ton of opportunities.’’
Any questions why Minnesota is the only three-time Music City Bowl participant?

2. Cough, Cough: Michigan State’s football program is a bit too familiar with choking.

MSU added to its oxygen-deprived history under John L. Smith by blowing a 37-21 fourth-quarter lead and losing to Notre Dame, 40-37.

One of Smith’s many questionable choices was to not run 260 pound back Jehuu Caulcrick on a wet field in the game’s last 10 minutes.

Caulcrick had eight carries for 111 yards, and carried Irish defenders with him on a 30-yard TD run.

‘‘I’m not sitting there complaining about it,’’ Caulcrick said. ‘‘I don’t have a headset on, so I don’t know (why).’’

Asked why his teams keep letting big games slip away, Smith replied, ‘‘I’d rather not answer that.’’

With good reason.

3. Pointless Attack: Utah State lost 38-0 at BYU. It has seven points in four games, thanks to an interception return for a touchdown in its first game.

‘‘Everything that can happen to us has happened to us,’’ moaned Aggies quarterback Leon Jackson III. Everything that doesn’t involve kicking an extra point afterward, anyhow.

John L. Smith coached Utah State back in 1997, when the Aggies scored 35 points against BYU (and lost, 42-35).

Maybe he’ll get to coach them again sometime soon.

4. Urban Miffed: Some Florida fans booed Gators quarterback Chris Leak during Florida’s 26-7 win over Kentucky.

‘‘I probably shouldn’t comment on that,’’ Gators Coach Urban Meyer said. ‘‘I’m a little disappointed by it. Chris Leak played his rear end off, and we’re 4-0.’’

The fans like freshman QB Tim Tebow better. Tebow is a better runner than Leak, who set the school record for career completions Saturday.

Iowa fans who saw Leak’s fine play in the Gators’ Outback Bowl win over the Hawkeyes can conclude the following: Florida fans are flaky.

FROM THE PAPERS
‘‘After three games and three losses — the latest being last night’s 38-7 whipping by the more artistic hands of Utah — (former Iowa quarterback Chuck) Long has a team that not only isn’t good, but dull, erratic and not nearly prepared to the point of defeating a halfway decent team.

‘‘SDSU seemed lifeless, especially offensively, even soft and disinterested at times.’’ — Nick Canepa, San Diego Union-Tribune

FINAL WORD
‘‘We don’t take our foot off the gas here. Because I’ve been on the other side of these. Believe me.’’ — Rutgers Coach Greg Schiano.

Rutgers clubbed I-AA Howard, 56-7, to improve to 4-0 for the first time in 26 years. It was 1-11 under Schiano four years ago.

Mike.Hlas@gazettecommunications.com