- Ivan Maisel, ESPN Senior Writer
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1. I noted a couple of days ago that Dri Archer of Kent State, all 5-foot-8 of him, led the FBS in all-purpose rushing. Little did I know, pun intended. Five of the top seven players in this category are 5-9 or shorter: Archer, Tavon Austin of West Virginia (third), Venric Mark of Northwestern (fourth), Ameer Abdullah of Nebraska (fifth) and Bernard Reedy of Toledo (seventh). With the advent of the spread, more players who depend on quickness in space will succeed. And yes, I know. Some of them can run between the tackles, too.
2. Tulane first-year head coach Curtis Johnson said this week that he teared up as the Green Wave defeated SMU, 27-26, for his first victory. He wants his team to invest itself like that, too, and cited the baseball playoffs as an example. “I just watched those millionaires -- the Yankees, the A’s, Detroit, Oakland -- and you just watch their emotion. I felt the one thing our team needs to learn is emotion. ... We have to learn that when we make a big play, it’s a big deal.”
3. Maryland coach Randy Edsall has taken a lot of grief in his season-and-a-half. The Terps offense starts freshmen at tackle, guard, quarterback and wide receiver and the team’s leading rusher is a freshman, too. Maryland ranks in the bottom 10 in the FBS in rushing, total offense, sacks allowed and turnover margin. Yet the Terps are 4-2 overall, 2-0 and leading in the ACC Atlantic. In truth, the schedule is backloaded. Toss out Boston College and the rest of Maryland’s remaining schedule is 22-10. But what Edsall has done so far is either coaching or alchemy.