Friday, December 13, 2002
Weekend wrap-up: Quarterbacks steal the spotlight
By Terry Bowden
Special to BCSfootball.com
Bowden's Weekly Chat Show
Every Saturday throughout the season, ABC studio analyst Terry Bowden will weigh in his assessment of the day's games, the highlights, the lowlights and the surprises.
Three Game Balls:
Woody Dantzler, Clemson QB: Dantzler may be the first person in NCAA history to rush for 1,000 yards and pass for 2,000 in one season. On Saturday, he had 220 yards rushing and two long rushing touchdowns. On top of that, he was 15-of-24 for 154 yards passing. I know he's not Michael Vick, but in the Clemson system, he sure has a way of putting up Michael Vick numbers.
Josh Heupel, Oklahoma QB: Josh had a pretty typical day, passing for 324 yards and three touchdowns. He became the Sooners' career leader with 37 touchdown passes. The interesting thing is that this record comes in only 15 games.
Drew Brees, Purdue QB: Drew Brees definitely got back in the Heisman hunt by throwing for 409 yards and three touchdowns. He also set a school record for career touchdown passes, now with 73. This passes Mark Herrmann, who played for the Boilermakers from '77-80.
I didn't intend this to be a quarterback spotlight, but it just seems like these three guys found a way to have a great afternoon.
Surprises of the day:
|Drew Brees set a Purdue record with his 73rd career touchdown pass.|
Northwestern: I don't think anybody would have guessed Northwestern would beat Wisconsin, but when the Wildcats scored that last touchdown of the second overtime, it marked one of the biggest upsets in the Big Ten Conference this year. I guess Wisconsin should have seen it coming. The Badgers have played four straight ballgames down the wire and their defense has been suspect from the beginning. I know a lot of players got discount shoes earlier in the season, but you have to wonder how much those shoes cost Wisconsin, as All-American defensive back Jamar Fletcher had to sit on the bench and watch this loss.
Eric Crouch, Nebraska QB: I'm not so surprised that Eric had a big game against Iowa, but I am surprised that he threw for five touchdown passes. It just goes to show you that as soon as I go on national television and say that Nebraska, like Florida State, has a one-dimensional offense, Eric Crouch will come along and throw as many touchdowns as anyone has ever thrown at Nebraska. What this tells me is that when defenses try to overplay the nation's leading rushing offense, expect the ball to get thrown over their heads.
Jared Lorenzen, Kentucky QB: When Kentucky went into The Swamp to play Florida, I expected Jesse Palmer to have an outstanding ball game, and he did. What I did not expect was for Kentucky to get over 500 yards on offense and for Jared Lorenzen to have his fourth 300-yard passing game this season. This 6-foot-4, 275-pound behemoth can throw with the best of them, and I can also tell you that Florida defensive coordinator Jon Hoke had better hope Lorenzen is as good as I think he is, or Florida's defense is in for a few long Saturdays.
Oregon: Over the last four years, Oregon has been the winningest team in the Pac-10 and the only Pac-10 team to go to a bowl game each year. Oregon's defense completely shut down UCLA, holding them to minus-9 yards rushing and 143 yards of total offense. This week's Top 25 poll should find the Ducks within its ranks.
South Carolina: I kind of thought the victory over Georgia was a fluke and the wins over New Mexico State and Eastern Michigan were expected, but now with this solid victory over undefeated Mississippi State, I've got to say the Carolina Gamecocks have made me a believer. The only question I have now is, Who has the best college football team in South Carolina?
Michigan State: Michigan State is 3-0 and getting better every week. T.J. Duckett ran for over 100 yards again and freshman Jeff Smoker made some early mistakes, but he showed he is a major college football quarterback. Although a lot of seniors exited to the NFL last year, you have to consider the Spartans in the hunt for the Big Ten championship.
LSU: Nick Saban, welcome to the cruel, harsh world of college football in the South. You've done most everything right since you got to LSU, but a 13-10 loss to UAB puts you right back at square one. A lot of LSU fans are pretty hung over after watching that hometown loss. All I can say is that against Tennessee next week, in the words of a famous Cajun Bobby Boucher, "You better open up a fresh can of whoopass."
Florida's defense: Jon Hoke, listen very carefully, Steve Spurrier likes to play offense. When the opponent stays on the field two-thirds of the game, Steve Spurrier does not get to call plays and that aggravates him, so unless you want him to vent his frustration on his defensive coordinator instead of his quarterbacks, you need to have the defense do a better job. Giving up 504 yards of offense to a Kentucky team with very few players who could start for Florida is not a good way to get your retirement in the Florida system.
UCLA: Again, it looks like UCLA can win the big game, but can't stay focused enough to win one it had a chance to win. I'm not really down on the Bruins, though. I just hope they can find a way to keep BCS hopes alive for more than one or two Pac-10 teams. Hopefully this game will sink in and UCLA's offense will come to play next week against Arizona State.
Terry Bowden is ABC's college football studio analyst and hosts a weekly audio chat on BCSfootball.com on Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET.