Sunday, September 12, 2010
What we learned from non-AQs: Week 2
By Andrea Adelson
Boise State never took a snap Saturday but the Broncos ended up losing thanks to Virginia Tech. Meanwhile, the MAC had a pretty crummy day, too.
What did we learn from Week 2?
We have no idea what is going to happen with Boise State. What was supposed to be a signature win turned into a whole lot of blah when Virginia Tech lost to James Madison 21-16 on Saturday. The last thing the Broncos needed was for the Hokies to lose again, let alone lose to a lower division school. Even if Virginia Tech wins out and takes the ACC, questions will still loom about the legitimacy of the Boise State win simply because this is such an awful loss for the Hokies. Does this stain how the coaches and Harris poll voters perceive Boise State? How do the computer rankings react? Then there is this: what does this do for TCU? A bad Virginia Tech loss could end up hurting the Horned Frogs going forward. They play a tougher schedule, no question about it. TCU did finish ahead of Boise State in the final BCS standings last season.
Mikel Hunter and Air Force had reason to celebrate after a 35-14 win over BYU.
BYU still has a ways to go with its two quarterback system. After playing almost flawlessly against Washington in a home win last week, Riley Nelson and Jake Heaps struggled in a 35-14 loss to Air Force. Nelson had a costly fumble just before halftime that Air Force turned into a 21-14 lead it would not relinquish. Heaps threw for just 15 yards and had an interception as coach Bronco Mendenhall decided to stick with Nelson for the second half. With a road game against Florida State set for this Saturday, we will wait and see what Mendenhall decides to do about his quarterbacks. Of course this could be spun a different way -- do not sleep on Air Force.
The MAC has some explaining to do. Not such a great day for the MAC, which saw Ball State and Akron lose to FCS schools. Mike Brown put Liberty ahead with a 2-yard touchdown run with 4:55 left in the game. Akron blew a 31-17 third-quarter lead, then had an extra point blocked in overtime that made the difference. Northern Illinois and Western Michigan were the only two MAC schools to win non-conference games. Both wins came against FCS schools.
UCF may have found itself a new starting quarterback. Many Knights fans knew it would only be a matter of time until Jeffrey Godfrey took over from Rob Calabrese. Godfrey replaced him in the middle of the third quarter and helped erase a 28-7 deficit with two touchdown runs. UCF had a chance at the end, but Quincy McDuffie fumbled, giving the Knights their fifth turnover of the game and a 28-21 loss. Godfrey, who broke Jacory Harris’ Miami-Dade County passing records, finished 7-of-10 for 107 yards, and led the team with 53 yards rushing. Calabrese, meanwhile, threw two interceptions and completed just 5.9 yards per completion.
Utah is pretty good at home. Even with Jordan Wynn watching from the sideline, the Utes won their 19th straight game at home, 38-10 over UNLV, setting a new Mountain West Conference record in their last year in the league. Terrance Cain, who started the first eight games of last season, went 13-of-20 for 207 yards with no interceptions or fumbles. Wynn sprained the thumb on his throwing hand last week against Pittsburgh, and Utah didn’t want to risk playing him.