Thoughts after Four

BY MICHAEL LEESE

UNDEFEATED AND UNEXPECTEDKeep an eye on these undefeated teams some of which are a huge surprise.

MARYLAND – Saturday, the Terapins shutout rival West Virginia 37-0. The Terps dominated, allowing only six first downs and 175 total yards, while forcing six turnovers! In just four weeks, the Terps equaled last season’s win total and have a week off before traveling to Florida State.

TEXAS TECH — The Red Raiders defeated Texas State to move to 4-0 under new head coach Kliff Kingsbury. There is a good chance the Red Raiders could be 7-0 heading into Norman on October 26.

MINNESOTA — The Gophers have a strong rushing game, churning out 282 yards per game and averaging 41.8 PPG.  They open BIG 10 conference play this week hosting Iowa, for the Floyd of Rosedale trophy.

CENTRAL FLORIDA –The Golden Knights knocked off a pretty good Penn State team a week ago and host No.12 South Carolina this week. They allow only 12.7 PPG good for 14th best in the country.  The Gamecocks are favored, but Central Florida is looking to make a statement!

BAYLOR — Did you know that Baylor has the No. 1 offense in the country averaging 69.7 PPG. Did you also know that the Bears have a defense that is No.2 in the country allowing only 7.7 PPG!  The Bears are hungry to make a statement in the BIG 12, and it’s possible they could be 7-0 when hosting Oklahoma on a Thursday night matchup November 7th.

MISSOURI —  The Tigers appear to be rebounding well from an injury filled season a year ago. Quarterback James Franklin has looked sharp in leading the Tiger offense to the No.8 ranking at 47 PPG, and Mizzou could be 5-0 when they go to Georgia.

GEORGIA TECH — The Yellow Jackets have opened conference play at 2-0, and had a big come-from-behind victory over North Carolina Saturday, setting the stage for an even bigger game Thursday night Virginia Tech brings Beamer Ball to Bobby Dodd Stadium.

ARIZONA — The Wildcats have crushed three soft opponents to open the season and are allowing only 8.7 PPG.  We will find out just how good this Wildcat team is Saturday as they travel to Seattle to take on the Washington Huskies.

RANTS and RAVES

FBS VERSUS FCS……. FBS schools ranked in the Top-25 went 5-0 versus FCS schools this past weekend.  The results were embarrassing as they outscored the FCS schools 298-34!  I have seen enough of this horror show!  It was so bad in the Miami Fl/Savannah State game, that the coaches decided to play a 12 minute fourth quarter.  Next year we’ll see less of this hopefully,  as FBS schools will have strength of schedule used to figure their ranking for the College Football Playoff.

AKRON AND UCONN ALMOST UPSET MICHIGAN …….After defeating a highly-ranked Notre Dame team, the Wolverines have struggled to narrow wins over Akron and UCONN.   What has happened to that explosive Michigan offense?  Quarterback Devin Gardner has struggled, as he has completed 57-percent of his passes while throwing eight interceptions, and he has fumbled five times.  He has also found ways to win, leading the Wolverines to a 4-0 entering Big Ten play.

THE LOSS OF JEFF DRISKEL…..Against Tennessee Saturday, Florida quarterback Jeff Driskel broke his leg and is out for the season.  While it is a big blow for the Florida offense, the  Gators season isn’t lost. Tyler Murphy is much more mobile and looked decent in the passing game. I think he’ll be successful under center. The Gators have a solid running game that features Mack Brown and Matt Jones. The Gators will also rely on a defense that is one of the best in the country.

SLIPPERY PIGSKIN……Nebraska has fumbled eight times this season.  Only Idaho has put the ball on the ground more often.

NO DEFENSE…..The Duke/Pitt game featured 113 points and 1,130 total yards! Pitt held on for a 58-55 win.  Or maybe I should have written, WITH GREAT OFFENSE.

STANFORD ….. The Cardinal lived up to their No.5 ranking beating Arizona State 42-28. They did so with a balanced offense and a big physical defense! The Cardinal will be tested in the next few weeks with games against Washington and UCLA.

PAC-12 ROLLS  The PAC-12 continued its dominance with a 29-4 non-conference record!  It currently has four teams ranked in the Top-25.

MINNESOTA quarterback Mitch Leidner who was subbing for the injured Philip Nelson had a giant role in the Golden Gopher victory over San Jose State. Leidner, a 6’4″, 233-pound freshman rushed for 151 yards and four touchdowns! Many of his runs left Spartan defenders thinking they had been hit by a truck.

JUST TOO FUNNY………Remember when Penn State coach Bill O’Brien called his team a bunch of “fighters” on national TV at the end of last year’s Wisconsin finale, but several people thought he said a different “F” word? Well, O’Brien appeared to almost use another “F” word during his post game news conference Saturday before catching himself. O’Brien was then asked if he was going to say “fighters” again. “We do have a bunch of fighters,” he said. “I don’t know anyone who debates me on that. It’s like my mom — she still doesn’t believe I said ‘fighters.’ Do I look like the type of guy who swears?”

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