Sunday, October 24, 2010

Auburn Shines In Week 8

Another weekend, and another huge showdown in the SEC. This time, it was Auburn remaining undefeated, knocking of previously unbeaten LSU 24-17.

Auburn’s Cam Newton put on a show yet again in this game. It’s amazing that a quarterback can pass for only 86 yards and still dominate a game. But when he rushes 28 times for 217 yards and two touchdowns, Newton accomplishes just that.

Auburn is now 8-0 and controls its own destiny to the SEC West, SEC and national titles. If the Tigers keep winning, they would win each of those titles. And who saw that coming at the beginning of the season? Of course, the Tigers close by visiting Alabama on Nov. 26 in the Iron Bowl.

Stock up

Missouri – Gary Pinkel’s team proved that it can play with the big boys by beating Oklahoma on Saturday night in Columbia. Quarterback Blaine Gabbert passed for 308 yards and a touchdown in the win, which was one of the biggest in school history.

Michigan State – The Spartans appeared to be dead in the water, headed for their first loss of the season, but a fourth quarter rally allowed Michigan State to stay unbeaten, as they won 35-27 at Northwestern. The Spartans still face tough tests at Iowa and at Penn State.

Wisconsin – One week after upsetting then-No. 1 Ohio State, the Badgers showed no signs of a letdown, scoring a late touchdown to beat Iowa 31-30. John Clay scored two touchdowns for Wisconsin, now one of the primary contenders in the Big Ten race.

Navy – Not too long ago, the thought of Navy beating Notre Dame was ludicrous. Now, the Midshipmen have proved that they have at least as good of a program as Notre Dame, if not better. Saturday’s 35-17 win over the Irish wasn’t a fluke, it was a domination. Navy rushed for 367 yards in the game, which means they controlled the line of scrimmage.

Baylor – The Bears find themselves ranked in the Top 25 for the first time in 15 years, and it’s well-deserved. On Saturday, Baylor beat Kansas State, 47-42, behind an outstanding effort from quarterback Robert Griffin, who passed for 404 yards and four touchdowns in the game.

Stock down

West Virginia – This team is tough to figure out. Saturday’s 19-14 loss to Syracuse continues to add to the mystery. The Mountaineers scored 14 points in the first quarter, then failed to score for the rest of the game. Quarterback Geno Smith threw three interceptions, which did not help the cause.

Texas – Can someone explain this team to me? They lose at home to a weak UCLA team, they go on the road and beat a decent Nebraska team, then they lose at home to Iowa State. Mack Brown will likely have a few more gray hairs trying to figure out the 2010 Longhorns.

Tennessee – Granted, they lost to a very good Alabama team, but the Vols are now 2-5 on the season, and that won’t sit well with fans in the land of Rocky Top. Derek Dooley must rally the Volunteers, as they visit South Carolina this weekend.

North Carolina – It’s been a tough season for the Tar Heels, with all of the suspensions, questions from the NCAA and more. But Saturday’s 33-10 loss at Miami should not have happened. Even missing some star players, the Hurricanes are not that much better than the Tar Heels.

Air Force – Just a couple of weeks ago, the Falcons were ranked and heading into a game at San Diego State. Now, they’ve lost two in a row, including Saturday’s 38-7 loss at TCU. And things don’t get easier for Air Force, as they visit Utah on Saturday.

Statistical Studs – Week 8

Taylor Martinez, Nebraska – The Freshman quarterback bounced back from a lousy effort in last week’s loss to Texas by passing for 323 yards and five touchdowns and rushing for 112 yards on 19 carries as the Cornhuskers beat Oklahoma State.

Julio Jones, Alabama – All Jones did was set a school record with 221 receiving yards as the Tide rolled past rival Tennessee. Jones caught 12 passes for the 221 yards and amazingly did not score a touchdown.

Juan Nunez, Western Michigan – Nunez caught only six passes, but he covered 192 yards and scored three touchdowns as the Broncos thumped Akron, 56-10.

Jordan Wynn, Utah – Wynn played barely more than a half of football on Saturday, but he had huge numbers in spite of that. Wynn was 23-of-29 passing for 321 yards and three touchdowns as the Utes crushed Colorado State, 59-6.

Alexander Teich, Navy – Teich had a huge game on Saturday, rushing 26 times for 210 yards as Navy beat Notre Dame, 35-17.

Games I’ll Be Watching in Week 9

No. 1 Oregon at No. 24 USC
No. 7 Missouri at No. 14 Nebraska
No. 5 Michigan State at No. 18 Iowa
No. 8 Utah at Air Force
No. 25 Baylor at Texas

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