Tuesday, September 13, 2011
3-point stance: Long drives for Tennessee
By Ivan Maisel
1. Tennessee Volunteers coach Derek Dooley gushed about quarterback Tyler Bray's performance against the Cincinnati Bearcats as much as everyone else. But Dooley sounded just as pleased at the offense’s ability to drive downfield without self-destructing. All six of the Volunteers’ touchdowns in the 45-23 victory came on drives of at least 53 yards, and four of the six went at least 70. That’s the mark of a good team. “We give players of the week and on offense this week we gave it to the unit because everybody just played so well,” Dooley said.
2. I covered the 2004 BYU-Utah game, the game in which head coach Urban Meyer’s Utes clinched an undefeated season and a BCS berth. That game was played on the Saturday night before Thanksgiving, and flurries danced in the air as the Utah fans danced in the stands. The rivals aren’t in the same league any longer -- BYU isn’t in a league, period -- and the weather forecast for Saturday is 76 degrees with scattered thunderstorms. I’m glad they are playing each other. But playing each other in that weather? That’s just wrong.
3. The Nebraska Cornhuskers' return game is ready for the Big Ten. Kicker/punter Brett Maher won the conference special teams player of the week in the opening win over Chattanooga, and freshman Ameer Abdullah won it last week after setting a school record with 211 kickoff return yards -- 100 of them for a touchdown that cut off a Fresno State rally. The 5-9, 180-pound Abdullah presents a challenge for Washington, which has lingered near the bottom of the Pac-12 in kickoff coverage for two seasons.