College Football Comprehensive: Breaking Down the Highs & Lows of Week 8

Tim CarySenior Analyst IOctober 25, 2010

College Football Comprehensive: Breaking Down the Highs & Lows of Week 8

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    Every week in college football provides plenty of mind-boggling decisions, ridiculous highlights, amazing endings, wacky announcer quotes and unbelievable stat lines.

    And this edition of COLLEGE FOOTBALL COMPREHENSIVE is jammed full of them.

    Which play is greatest: halfback pass, hook-and-ladder or flea-flicker?

    What's wrong with the Longhorns?

    Which team used a 30-0 run to help their pursuit of an ACC title?

    Who did Boise State lose to in 2009? (It's a trick question, Bob Davie.)

    Which announcer had the quote of the year about Michael Vick?

    What does Kirk Ferentz have against spiking the football?

    And why will this column come to a surprisingly early conclusion next weekend?

    Bottom line: Whether you watched 10 games, zero games or somewhere in between on Saturday, CFC is the ultimate wrap-up you don’t want to miss, featuring the always-popular segments:












    Let’s kick it off…

Who's Number One?

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images


    Taking a stab at ranking the nation’s Top 25 teams…


    1. Boise State 6-0

    2. Oregon 7-0

    3. TCU 8-0

    4. Auburn 8-0

    5. Utah 7-0

    6. Michigan State 8-0

    7. Missouri 7-0

    8. Alabama 7-1

    9. Wisconsin 7-1

    10. Ohio State 7-1

    11. Oklahoma 6-1

    12. LSU 7-1

    13. Nebraska 6-1

    14. Stanford 6-1

    15. Arizona 6-1

    16. Florida State 6-1

    17. South Carolina 5-2

    18. Arkansas 5-2

    19. Iowa 5-2

    20. Oklahoma State 6-1

    21. Nevada 6-1

    22. Virginia Tech 6-2

    23. Mississippi State 6-2

    24. Miami (FL) 5-2

    25. Baylor 6-2

Thank Goodness For My DVR

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images


    The jaw-dropping highlights that were worth rewinding…


    Awesome one-handed sliding catch by Oregon tight end David Paulson. That was a 60-minute offensive clinic in Eugene. Don’t look now, but I think the Ducks just scored again.

    How about Cincinnati running back Isaiah Pead flipping over a would-be tackler and keeping his balance with his hand (and head!) on the Bearcats’ final drive? Pead’s gymnast-like effort helped him pick up an extra five yards and convert a crucial 3rd-and-18.

    Loved the first-half onside kick call from Iowa State. Grant Mahoney’s kick to the right sideline took everyone in Austin by surprise, and Jeremy Reeves caught the ball while standing flat-footed 11 yards downfield, with not a Longhorn in sight…

    Illinois linebacker Martez Wilson had a big-time punt block Saturday afternoon, and as the Big Ten Network’s Mike Hall points out, Wilson’s hands basically hit the football before Indiana punter Chris Hagerup’s foot did (thanks to a mishandled Hoosiers snap).

    Auburn’s Cam Newton had his weekly highlight-reel 49-yard run to spark the Tigers to a second-half lead. Newton finished with 217 yards and two touchdowns on the ground—maybe the Heisman race is already over?

    Missouri executed the hook-and-ladder perfectly in prime time, as Michael Egnew made a short reception and flipped the football to Kendial Lawrence for a touchdown.

    LSU utilized a trick play of its own in a losing cause at Auburn, getting a halfback pass from Spencer Ware to Rueben Randle for a score.

    Still more from the bag of tricks: Oklahoma State’s flea-flicker turned into an 80-yard touchdown pass from Brandon Weeden to Justin Blackmon. Picture perfect.

    Impressive day for Pittsburgh’s Jon Baldwin, who made a couple of stunning one-handed catches to help the Panthers knock off Rutgers.

    Arizona quarterback Matt Scott had all the composure in the world as he dropped a shotgun snap, picked it up and immediately heaved the ball to the left corner of the end zone for a 21-yard score to Juron Criner.

    Strong run from Wisconsin’s Montee Ball on the game-winning touchdown at Iowa. Ball finished off the final eight yards of the drive despite getting hit and wrapped up at the 5-yard-line…the sophomore would not be denied.

That Can't Be Right!

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    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images


    The ridiculous stat lines, improbable scores and ticker typos that cause double-takes everywhere…


    Not-so-ragin’ Cajuns…Western Kentucky snapped a 26-game losing streak with a 54-21 victory over Louisiana-Lafayette.  I’m sure the weird-looking WKU mascot was excited.

    Speaking of long streaks snapped…Baylor became bowl-eligible for the first time since joining the Big 12, thanks to a 47-42 win over Kansas State. That 16-year drought must have been unbearable.

    You can’t stop him, you can only hope to contain him…Alabama wideout Julio Jones had 12 catches for 221 yards against Tennessee Saturday afternoon.

    The transitive property says Texas stinks. So how exactly did they beat Nebraska again? Oregon 60, UCLA 13. UCLA 34, Texas 12 (in Austin). Utah 68, Iowa State 27. Iowa State 28, Texas 21 (also in Austin).

    Of course, Utah IS pretty good…The Utes had 648 total yards in a 59-6 blowout of overmatched Colorado State Saturday afternoon.

    Running backs running wild…Hawaii’s Alex Green had 172 yards and four touchdowns on only 14 carries…Oklahoma State’s Kendall Hunter rolled up 201 yards on the ground in a losing cause…TCU’s Ed Wesley carried the ball 28 times for 209 yards and a pair of scores.

    Another opening kickoff return? Note to Lane Kiffin and Chip Kelly, coaches featured in the upcoming weekend’s College Gameday spotlight game: If you win the coin flip, David Gilreath and Gahn McGaffie think you definitely want to take the ball first.              

    Cradle of [Injured] Quarterbacks…The university known for producing NFL passers such as Bob Griese and Drew Brees is having a hard time keeping players healthy and/or available under center. Since August, the Purdue Boilermakers have lost starting quarterback Robert Marve to a torn ACL, backup Caleb TerBush to academics, and most recently in a 49-0 pounding at Ohio State, third-stringer Rob Henry suffered what was termed a “crushed finger.”

    The Boilers could be forced to start true freshman Sean Robinson (a likely redshirt candidate eight weeks ago) in an important game at Illinois this weekend, and don’t be surprised if quarterback-turned running back-turned-quarterback-turned wide receiver Justin Siller gets moved back to his old/new/old position.

    Once Siller recovers from an ankle injury, that is.

Under the Microscope: Miami 33, North Carolina 10

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    Joel Auerbach/Getty Images


    In-depth spotlight and analysis of a game that deserves a closer look…


    Miami scored the last 30 points of Saturday night’s football game against North Carolina.

    Tough to lose when that happens.

    The Hurricanes shrugged off a sluggish first half and improved to 5-2 with a 33-10 home victory against former coach Butch Davis and the Tar Heels. Miami’s defense stepped up as the night went on, and harassed UNC quarterback T.J. Yates into a pair of second-half interceptions to keep the Heels off the scoreboard after intermission.

    North Carolina only converted 2-of-12 third downs, and Miami held the ball for over 34 minutes en route to snapping the visitors' four-game winning streak.

    Jacory Harris had a solid game for the Canes, completing 21-of-32 passes and throwing touchdowns to three different receivers in the win.

    One of the scores went to Travis Benjamin, who really jumped out to me (pun intended) with his vertical ability. Benjamin made a couple beautiful grabs in mid-air, including the 24-yard touchdown. The junior wideout caught the football, landed at the 15, broke a tackle as he was coming down to the ground, and managed to spin away towards paydirt.

    With athletes like Benjamin, star Leonard Hankerson and running back Damien Berry (who had 19 carries for 109 yards and a touchdown), Miami seems to have all the offensive firepower required to win a title in the not-so-strong ACC.

    Of course, when Virginia Tech comes to town in November, we’ll find out if Randy Shannon’s ball club can put 60 solid minutes together.

    Because against the Heels, 35 minutes or so was enough to post an easy win.

Maybe Broadcasting Is Easier Than I Thought (The Lou Holtz Specials)

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    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images


    This week’s wacky and weird announcer quotes…


    “UCLA, to their never-ending credit, is actually returning to the field for the second half.” – Rece Davis

    “Third and Palm Beach County to go.” – Mark Jones

    “I hope you enjoyed the first half of Gone With the Wind.” – Ron Franklin

    “They’re gonna mark it near the 30, I think.” – Bill Land as the official spots the ball at the 10-yard line.

    “Both have been completions by the true, true freshman Rob Bolden.” – Rob Stone (As opposed to all of the false true freshmen, obviously.)

    “It was all about, ‘We need to force the hand of the Illinois offense.’” – Brian Griese calling the Syracuse game (I guess the Orange at least wear the same colors as the Illini?)  

    “Let’s see if Ted Roof brings the house this time. [after ball is snapped] He brings em! That was the shack, but not the house.” – Verne Lundquist

    “Beautiful drawing there by me.” – Chris Martin on the telestrator

    “Is that a flag on the goalpost for a helmet-to-helmet hit?” – Tom Hart

    “If you’re Miami, you have to get Miami off your own schedule right now—because your toughest opponent is yourself.” – Bob Davie

    “And now all Georgia Tech has to do is try to run out the clock.” – Mike Patrick as Clemson takes over possession with two minutes to play, leading Georgia Tech 27-13.

    “Gets into Hurricane terri-terry on this one.” – Mark Jones

    “Converting 3rd downs is a lot easier if its 3rd and 5 or 4 or 3. 3rd and short rather than third and long." – Bob Griese

    “Those legs! They’re so thick! Look at those calves!” – Gary Danielson

    “The 14-yard line will be credited with that tackle.” – Rich Waltz

    “He’s too Maggitt to quit…Hammer time!” – Dave Lapham after a Roosevelt Maggitt injury

    “Let me correct that, it was just another football on the sideline being dropped, so the ballboy faked me out. Not another fumble...” – Carter Blackburn

    “These guys are so green you could throw ‘em in a bonfire and they wouldn’t even sizzle.” – Brad Nessler

    “Their offense had looked like a dance group. One, two, three, and kick.” – Verne Lundquist

    “It’s nice to know you’ve still got one of those Smurfs here to catch the football.” – Bob Wischusen

    “He’s been absolutely perfect outside those two interceptions.” – Brian Griese

    “We were there live last year when Oregon State just took Boise State apart.” – Bob Davie (No idea what Bob’s referring to, since Boise A. didn’t play OSU last year and B. went undefeated.)

    “I don’t think I’m going out on a limb in saying Purdue actually won that third quarter.” – Eric Collins after the Boilermakers and Buckeyes concluded a scoreless quarter (with OSU on top 42-0)


    Memo to Brent Musburger: Kevin Kolb’s name should sound a lot closer to “Cob” then “Colb.”

    Oh, and Gary Danielson, JaMarcus Russell no longer plays quarterback for LSU. Please update your 2006 program accordingly.


    We finish with what has to be the quote of the year, referring to Tyrod Taylor’s win-loss record at Virginia Tech…

     “Of course, Michael Vick at 21-1 was pretty doggone good.” – Steve Martin


    Thanks to @csd72 and my faithful CFC correspondents for help compiling this week's quotes. Remember, if you hear a weird or wacky announcer quote during the football weekend, send it my way! E-mail cfcmailbag (at) yahoo (dot) com: your submission could make it in to next week’s COMPREHENSIVE.

Maybe Coaching is Easier Than I Thought

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    David Purdy/Getty Images


    Did somebody’s seat just get hotter?


    With 35 seconds to play and Wisconsin leading 31-30, the Iowa Hawkeyes had the football at their own 49-yard line and all three timeouts left, looking for a dramatic last-second comeback win.

    From that point, things got ugly in a hurry.

    Ricky Stanzi took a sack on first down: that cost Iowa timeout No. 1.

    Stanzi’s pass on 2nd-and-21 was incomplete.

    On 3rd-and-21, Stanzi hit Marvin McNutt for 20 yards, and Iowa wisely used timeout No. 2.

    4th-and-1 was a run up the middle to earn a first down at the Wisconsin 39 with 12 seconds left, leading 70,000 fans at Kinnick Stadium, both ABC/ESPN announcers, and millions of fans watching on television to assume Iowa would quickly race to the line and spike the ball.

    But instead, Iowa inexplicably burnt their final timeout.

    Not that I claim to be an expert—okay, maybe I do!—but I’m thinking it might have come in handy a bit later.

    For instance, maybe on the next play? When Adam Robinson was tackled inbounds after catching a short Stanzi pass, and the clock expired…because Iowa didn’t have a timeout left?

    That’s right.

    Final score: Wisconsin 31, Iowa 30.

    Maybe coaching is easier than I thought.

Maybe Officiating is Easier Than I Thought

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images


    Throwing the flag on the guys in stripes…

    As the final play of Missouri-Oklahoma ended Saturday night in Columbia (with a bunch of meaningless laterals considering the Tigers’ two-possession lead, I should point out), one of the officials threw a flag.

    The yellow hankie was justified, considering Sooners quarterback Landry Jones had just thrown the ball forward illegally to try and keep the play alive.

    However, at least half of the delirious crowd emptied onto the field as soon as the ball was recovered and the clock showed 0:00.

    The flag?

    Well, I guess it didn’t matter. No one announced the penalty, nothing was ever declined, and the officiating crew decided to just head for the exits to try and beat the rush to dinner.

    Maybe it’s asking too much, but if a referee throws a flag, I’d like to hear what the penalty is.

    Or hey, maybe from now on, we’ll just change the rule. As long as fans run onto the field, whatever penalty had just been flagged can be ignored like it didn’t ever happen.

    Because when the grounds crew cleans up Faurot Field tomorrow, don’t be surprised if they find a lone, trampled yellow penalty flag laying near the sideline.

    Sure, the flag was meaningless.

    But it wasn’t invisible. Make the call.

    Maybe officiating is easier than I thought.

Since I Do Live in Ohio...

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images


    News from around the Big Ten…


    If you predicted at the beginning of the season that Michigan State would be the last remaining undefeated team in the Big Ten, raise your hand.

    (Excuse me, but your nose is growing, Pinocchio.)

    Sparty kept on trucking with a 35-27 come-from-behind win in Evanston Saturday afternoon, and as I listened to the last few minutes on the radio, three random thoughts jumped to my mind.

    1. Is there any question that Aaron Bates is the best clutch passer in the Big Ten?

    If only he were…you know…a quarterback.

    2. I can’t wait to get home and see that catch by B.J. Cunningham. Wow.

    3. Michigan State’s radio announcers George Blaha and Jim Miller don’t understand end-game strategy in the slightest.

    Or else they were having a really bad day.

    How else to explain comments like “I guess we’ll see if Northwestern will use those last two timeouts” as the Wildcats trailed by a single point with 1:30 remaining? Nah, I don’t think they’re really interested in trying to get the ball back and winning the game.

    Or what about celebrating a Spartans touchdown run that stretched the lead to 35-27 and saying, “Now it’s REALLY over!”, despite the fact that scoring (instead of kneeling short of the goal line to run out the clock) was the worst decision MSU could have made?

    Blaha and Miller kept on digging their hole, crediting MSU with the victory and talking like the game was already over, while Northwestern had the football, down 35-27 with over a minute remaining.

    Ever hear of the two-point conversion?

    I admit to cheering quietly for a Wildcats comeback at that point, just because I wanted to hear the announcers explain how a game that was “obviously over” wasn’t really quite as safe as they wanted me to believe.

    Of course, Northwestern didn’t oblige.

    And as a result, Mark Dantonio’s ball club is one game closer to the Rose Bowl.


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    Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images


    Since CFC isn’t really done until the fat lady sings…


    A bit of housekeeping news: This will be the next-to-last edition of College Football Comprehensive. I’m excited to announce (as those of you who follow me on Twitter know already) that I will be starting a new job with on November 1.

    Don’t worry: I’ll be sure to still list some of my favorite quotes, craziest coach/referee decisions, and most unbelievable stats on Twitter in bite-size form, but as far as the full-length column goes, the October 31 posting of CFC will be my last.

    Thanks to all of you who have started reading this year, and a special shout-out to the readers who have been on board since the “Carrying On About…” days.

    I’m grateful to Bleacher Report for the time I’ve spent writing here, and I look forward with great anticipation to the next chapter of my sports journalism career.


    P.S. Does this mean the fat lady's singing?


    Tim Cary’s COLLEGE FOOTBALL COMPREHENSIVE (formerly “Carrying On About College Football”) is a weekly wrap-up series featured each Monday on

    To submit unbelievable stats, strange announcer quotes, amazing highlights, or dumb coach/referee decisions for next week’s column, e-mail Tim by 1:00 pm Sunday at CFCmailbag (at) yahoo (dot) com or contact him on Twitter at @TimCary.

    Miss a previous edition of COMPREHENSIVE? Catch up here.