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Alabama, Washington, Utah State shine; Denard Robinson rolls.
Teams of the Week
Alabama — Just in case there were any doubters, Alabama made another statement Saturday night, cruising past Florida, 31–6, with alarming ease. This game was all about efficiency in the red zone: Alabama scored on all four trips inside the 20-yard line, with three TDs and one field goal, while the Gators went 1-of-4 in the red zone, with one field goal. Nick Saban’s club is the no-doubt-about-it No. 1 team in the nation.
Washington — The Huskies became the first team to beat USC in consecutive seasons since Kansas State pulled the trick in 2001-02. Washington was led by senior quarterback Jake Locker, who bounced back from a nightmare performance against Nebraska by throwing for over 300 yards and rushing for over 100. With home games against Arizona State and Oregon State looming, the Huskies have an opportunity to be a factor in the Pac-10 race early in the season.
Utah State — The Aggies snapped a 10-game losing streak to BYU, rolling past the Cougars 31–16 on national television Friday night. Utah State quarterback Diondre Borel, who threw for 341 yards in a seven-point loss to Okahoma in Week 1, was a very efficient 10-of-13 for 192 yards and one touchdown. The Aggies also picked up 242 yards rushing on 59 carries. It was Utah State’s first non-conference win against an FBS school since a 31–24 victory over UNL in September 2005.
Disappointments of the Weekend
Rutgers — The Scarlet Knights’ 2010 season took a very bad turn last weekend with a stunning 17–14 loss at home to Tulane. With quarterback Tom Savage knocked out with a hand injury (to go along with a rib injury), freshman Chas Dodd was forced into meaningful action for the first time this season. He completed only 13-of-29 attempts for 176 yards with one TD and one interception. Lost in the wreckage of the Knights’ second straight home loss was a banner performance from sophomore utilityman Mohamed Sanu, who rushed for 121 yards on nine carries and caught five passes for 70 yards.
Georgia — The Bulldogs are in the midst of the school’s first four-game losing streak since the final four games of the 1990 season. The latest setback, 29–27 at Colorado, was arguably the most painful. Trailing by two with under two minutes remaining, Georgia lost the ball on a fumble at the Colorado 30-yard line, well within field goal range for All-SEC kicker Blair Walsh. The Dawgs’ defense is taking plenty of heat, but the offense is averaging only 17.3 points against non-Sun Belt conference competition.
Texas A&M — The Aggies had a chance to make a statement that there was, in fact, progress being made in Year 3 of the Mike Sherman era. Didn’t happen. Despite rolling up 535 yards of offense, Texas A&M dropped a 38–35 decision at Oklahoma State Thursday night. One loss does not make a season, but it’s clear that the Aggies aren’t quite ready to be considered a contender in the Big 12.
Player of the Week — Denard Robinson, Michigan
Once again, “Shoelace” could not be tied up, as the Wolverines’ Heisman Trophy candidate completed 10-of-16 passes for 277 yards, three TDs and zero INTs through the air, while tucking the ball 19 times for 217 yards and two scores on the ground — including the game-winning TD with 17 seconds left — during a 42–35 win at Indiana.
Freshman of the Week — James White, Wisconsin
It wasn’t a great week for freshmen around the nation, but White was solid, rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns on 10 carries in the Badgers’ 34–24 loss at Michigan State. White has 244 yards and six touchdowns over the past two games.
• LSU has only given up three touchdowns in its last four games, all against BCS-conference opponents.
• Six of Vanderbilt’s eight second half drives went for three yards or fewer in the Commodores’ loss at UConn.
• Duke has lost eight straight games against FBS competition dating back to last season.
• Iowa State scored 24 points in the second quarter and 28 in the fourth quarter in its 52–38 win over Texas Tech. The 52 points were the most ever scored by the Cyclones in a Big 12 game and the most they have scored in a conference game since beating Kansas State, 55–22, in a Big Eight showdown in 1972.
• Notre Dame held Boston College tailback Montel Harris to 28 yards on 15 carries in a 31–13 win in Chestnut Hill.
• UCLA has averaged 322.3 yards rushing in its three-game winning streak over Houston, Texas and Washington State.
• Three teams are averaging over 230 yards passing and rushing — Michigan, Oregon and USC.
• Oregon State still has not committed a turnover this season.
• Northwestern has already missed four extra points this season.
• Western Kentucky has only forced eight punts in four games.