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Wednesday, November 10, 2010
3-point stance: Penn State's other milestone

By Ivan Maisel

1. Penn State achieved a milestone in the 35-21 defeat of Northwestern that, like Joe Paterno’s 400th victory, looked as if it may never come. The Nittany Lion defense made a stop in the red zone. Opposing offenses had been 18-of-18, which made Penn State 120th and last in the nation. But Northwestern missed a 27-yard field goal in the first quarter. That felt so good that the Nittany Lions forced the Wildcats to turn the ball over on downs in the fourth quarter. Penn State zoomed to 109th in red-zone efficiency defense.

2. Texas A&M senior quarterback Jerrod Johnson began the season as a dark-horse Heisman candidate. Two weeks ago, Aggie head coach Mike Sherman benched Johnson for junior Ryan Tannehill. Texas A&M is 2-0 under Tannehill, and Sherman couldn’t be prouder -- of Johnson. “The most humble, unselfish guy I’ve ever been around,” Sherman said. “For him to go through this and handle it with grace and dignity and unselfishness in helping Ryan, he’s tremendously disappointed. But he wants to win football games.”

3. Colorado assistant Brian Cabral takes over as interim head coach for the second time in his 21 seasons in Boulder. Cabral, 54, went undefeated in his first tenure in 2004, when he took over during the offseason while Gary Barnett went on administrative leave. In an era when coaching staffs are given three or four years to win, Cabral’s attachment to Colorado belongs to a different era -- like the Paleozoic. He has worked for four Buffalo head coaches. Here’s hoping the next guy is smart enough to keep him.