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Spreading the Field

Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez is enjoying wins in his first year in Tucson.  Call the installation of his unique offense a tad ahead of schedule.
Arizona Wildcats head coach Rich Rodriguez is enjoying wins in his first year in Tucson. Call the installation of his unique offense a tad ahead of schedule.

2-A strikes back. The lower tier of division one continues to assert itself against the top tier. Last week six 2-A teams beat 1-A foes: Youngstown State beat Pitt, Tennessee Martin beat Memphis, Eastern Washington beat Idaho, Liberty beat Wake Forest, McNeese State beat Middle Tennessee State, and Nicholls State beat Oregon State.

That was a notably large rash of upsets.

North Dakota State, Sacramento State, Illinois State, and Nariz all got in on the act this week, beating Colorado State, Colorado, Eastern Michigan, and UNLV, respectively.

RichRod is ahead of schedule. Remember Rich Rodriguez, the offensive wizard in all of his second seasons? Maybe his first season in Tucson is going to be a lot like those second seasons. The Wildcats have simply shredded the OkieLight Cowboys tonight, scoring 58 in their first desert upset of the season. I don't think this will be their last, either.

Colorado State and Oregon State are on opposite escalators. The Rams beat their in-state rival last week (a rarity) and then lost in as bad a loss as possible, to a 2-A team this week. The Beavers opened their season by beating Wisconsin. Oregon State held the Badgers to 35 yards rushing. (Montee Ball got over 60 himself. Tackles for loss bring the total down). That's a TCU-like performance against the rush.

Collin Klein just missed his Heisman moment, nearly causing a red-zone turnover. He's not Jared Zebransky, and this wasn't the Fiesta Bowl. Other than that, it's just plain funny.

Randy Edsall lowered the temperature on his coaching seat nicely, soundly beating Temple one week after squeaking a one-point win over a (good) 2-A team.

Charlie Weis's team lost in the most Charlie Weis way possible, giving up a lead and losing by one to Rice. That's TCU's next opponent, Charlie Weis's team. TCU, which just set the record for most completions in a 100% completion game.

SMU intercepted SFA quarterbacks six times in their 52-0 rout of the Lumberjacks. The game was strangely competitive in a lot of statistical categories. SMU converted less than a quarter of its third- and fourth-downs; SFA converted over a third. SMU was outgained in the air and on the ground, and ran for less per rush than SFA. Neither team got many yards per pass, but SFA got 11 more first downs than the Mustangs. How did SMU win, and so convincingly? Turnovers. SMU won the turnover battle resoundingly, 10-1.

More trouble in Stillwater on the o-line? OkieLight's starting center, senior Evan Epstein, left the game late, under his own steam. Jake Jenkins took his place.

Penn State needs a kicker. Bad. Sam Ficken missed 1-of-2 extra points and 4-of-5 field goal attempts. While I don't recommend you look up "ficken" in a German-English dictionary, I do suspect that he and many Nittany Lions were saying his name in disgust, in one language or another, as the misses piled up.

Penn's State's opponent (#3 on TCU's schedule this season) is not good. More about that on the field, in two weeks.

Houston fired its offensive coordinator last week after a moribund showing in its loss to a 2-A team. This week the offense went berzerk, in a loss to a very good 1-A team. No word yet on whether or not there'll be any more firings in H-Town this weekend.

Wisconsin gets the stupidest penalty du jour award this week. The Badgers drew an off-sides penalty while Oregon State was in victory formation.