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Saturday, September 22
Getting Defensive About the Heisman


Not every game has to be close
Can somebody please tell the Washington Huskies they don't have to win every game in the final seconds. Really. The comeback stuff was cute the first couple times. Now it's getting kind of annoying.

Are they that good or just an average team that gets lucky? Saturday's comeback win over Arizona was the fourth time this fall the Huskies have come back to win in the final quarter. They did it five times in last year's Rose Bowl season. Did the U-Dub fans do something to tick off Rick Neuheisel. Can't he just give them an easy win?

Quote of the Year (for now)
"This is the kind of game you love. I'm going to go home and get in trouble with a good, stiff bourbon. Then I'm going to take a nap and get out some Ohio State tapes."
-- Joe Paterno, following his record-tying win against Northwestern giving him 323 wins, tying him with Bear Bryant for most I-A wins.

Joe Paterno must have been great on those "Please describe yourself in 50 words of less" essays.

Small School Love
Fort Lewis beat Western New Mexico 78-42 in a game that broke Division II records for total yards by both teams (1,373), passing attempts by both teams (122) and first downs by both teams (76). ... Villanova's Brian Westbrook accounted for 297 all-purpose yards and scored four times for the Wildcats in a 44-40 loss to Maine. ... Massachusetts' Brian Hall threw five touchdown passes for the second straight week. ... Jabori Jackson returned kickoffs 83 and 82 yards for touchdowns and added TD receptions of 76 and 78 yards -- accounting for 377 all-purpose yards -- as East Texas Baptist beat Texas Lutheran 38-24.

  • Kurt Kittner, Illinois, passed for 401 yards and four touchdowns as the Illini beat Wisconsin 42-35.
  • William Green, Boston College, ran for 182 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-7 win over Pittsburgh.
  • Eli Manning, Mississippi, was 25-of-31 for 257 yards and three TDs in a 45-17 win over Middle Tennessee.
  • R.J. Anderson, Syracuse, passed for 308 yards and two touchdowns, and scored a third in a 45-3 defeat of Temple.
  • Corey Parchman, Ball State, returned a kickoff 100 yards with 3:07 to play as Ball State upset No. 25 Toledo 24-20.
  • Jason White, Oklahoma, was 32-for-44 for 343 yards and a touchdown in the Sooners' 33-17 win over Baylor.
  • Daniel Cobb, Auburn, threw for five touchdowns in a 48-41 overtime win over Louisiana Tech.
  • David Jamison, Rhode Island, ran for 260 yards and two touchdowns on 45 carries in the Rams' 31-27 victory over New Hampshire.
  • Travis Stephens, Tennessee, ran for 162 yards and two TDs as the Volunteers beat Alabama 35-24.
  • Ben Roethlisberger, Miami, Ohio, threw five touchdown passes in a 36-24 victory over Ohio.
  • With all due respect to DeShaun Foster, Ken Dorsey and other Heisman candidates, where the heck are all the defensive guys?

    Not sure if anyone else was watching, but we dare you to find someone who dominates the game more than North Carolina's Julius Peppers. And we're not even going to get into Tennessee's John Henderson or Syracuse's Dwight Freeney.

    Peppers made one of the plays of the year against Clemson Saturday when he tipped a Woodrow Dantzler pass and then dove and snagged the interception.

    That's typical Julius," Tar Heels lineman Ryan Sims said. "It looks impossible, but he does it."

    He's one of the best athletes in the game and easily one of the best players in the country, yet, no Heisman love. Where does it say defensive players can't win the Heisman?

    Yes, Charles Woodson won it a few years ago, but it was as much for his offensive and special teams contributions as it was for his defense. We're wondering why a flat-out, one-way dominating defensive player can't win. Why does he have to touch the ball? Heck, the only time Peppers touches the ball is when he takes it from the other team. We like that.

    So, may we suggest to those voting -- and we're not one of them -- to look at both sides of the ball. You'd be amazed at what you find there.

    Not So Fast, My Friend
    Just because Fresno State is out of the BCS picture, don't think everything will be nice and easy now. There's still a potential thorn in the BCS' paw in Provo, Utah, in BYU.

    The undefeated 13th-ranked Cougars have slipped under the radar a bit. While they haven't played the sexy schedule of Fresno State, imagine the chaos if they were one of two undefeated teams left at the end of the season.

    Think about it: Miami still plays Virginia Tech. There goes one undefeated team. UCLA still has Stanford, Washington State and Oregon. Oklahoma and Nebraska face each other next week and the winner still has the Big 12 title game. Maryland still has FSU and Clemson.

    And then there's BYU. Not saying they deserve to be in the Rose Bowl, but just pointing out things could get interesting still. Stay tuned.

    Say Yo!
    A quick tip of the cap to Oberlin, which snapped its 44-game losing streak -- the longest slide in college football -- with a 55-22 victory Saturday over Kenyon.

    The Yeomen had been winless since beating Thiel 18-17 in 1997. Before that, Oberlin, which plays in NCAA Division III, had lost 40 in a row after beating Kenyon in 1992.

  • No. 11 Tennessee became the first team to win seven straight games over Alabama, beating the Crimson Tide 35-24.
  • North Carolina, which tied Wake Forest's comeback streak of 1970 with last week's victory over Virginia, became the first ACC school to win five in a row after starting 0-3.
  • Notre Dame is 3-1 in games started by quarterback Carlyle Holiday but 3-0 in games he finishes. Holiday, who sat out the second half of Notre Dame's loss to Texas A&M, topped the Irish in rushing for the third straight game, and led them to their third straight win, 27-16 over Southern Cal.
  • Clemson was held without a touchdown in its 38-3 loss to North Carolina, the first time that's happened since Terry Bowden took over as coach.

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