Notes for an October Festival of Football

Whether streaks were continuing or stopping, defenses being shredded or coming to the rescue, or teams in the top twenty were being toppled there was plenty of action across the country as calendars turned from September to October.

SWAMPED. QB Chris Leak FL QBconnected on 23 of 38 passing attempts for 322 yards and 3 TD passes, while RB Ciatrick Fason ran for other TDs to lead the Florida Gators to a, 45-30, SEC win over the Arkansas Razorbacks. Arkansas QB Matt Jones was stopped dead in his tracks by three interceptions as Florida raised its record to 5-1 against the Razorbacks. The Gators will try to take a bite out of a faltering LSU squad next Saturday night.
THE DANGERS OF MOUNTAINEERING. For the second consecutive year a highly ranked team fell to defeat when Virginia Tech met the West Virginia. Last year Rich Rodriguez's squad upset number 3 ranked Tech. On Saturday, coach Frank Beamer's squad returned the favor by downing the Mountaineers, 19-13, possibly ending West Virginia's run at a BCS affiliated bowl game.
    WVA QB Rasheed Marshall WV QBwas held to nine completions for just 81 yards and the Mountaineers' offense managed only 247 yards on the day. Both teams were assessed more than 115 yards in penalties in a sloppily executed contest. The Hokies used safety Vincent Fuller's 74 yard return of a blocked field goal attempt to score the first TD of the game to give them a lead they never relinquished. West Virginia's record against Tech slipped to 28-21-1.
SAME TEAMS, SAME RESULT. Florida State beat North Carolina for the 14th time in 16 tries on Saturday with a, 38-16, victory. The Tarheels had been averaging a healthy 209 yards rushing entering the contest, but were held to a mere 100 by a stout Seminoles defense. WR Jawarski Pollock hauled in 8 passes for 100 yards for UNC, but it wasn't enough to help North Carolina author a major upset.
    FSU QB Wyatt Sexton Nole QBmade his first start in place of injured Chris Rix, whose sprained ankle didn't allow him to play. Sexton tossed 3 TD passes, the 'Noles established a 15 point halftime lead and coasted home to a lopsided win in raising their record to 3-1 this fall.
NO PASSING THIS TEST. In advance of its annual shootout with Texas, the Oklahoma Sooners faced the Texas Tech aerial circus--currently led by Sonnie Cumbie--and held it without a TD pass while posting a, 28-13, win. Cumbie completed 36 passes, but not one of them penetrated the OU endzone.
Oklahoma QB Jason White Soon' QBhad less impressive figures where completions and yardage were concerned, but threw 3 scoring passes to lead Oklahoma to its fourth win of the season. Freshman RB Adrian Peterson continued his impressive debut in Norman by galloping for 146 yards and a TD. The Red Raiders' defense had been limiting opponents to 135 yards a game on the ground before OU cruised for 221 on Saturday. The Sooners have won their last three games against Tech by a combined 144 to 53.
DROUGHT DRAINED. The Purdue Boilermakers used another brilliant performance by QB Kyle Orton to post their first win in South Bend, Indiana since 1974. Orton, a bona fide contender for the Heisman trophy, riddled Notre Dame's secondary for 385 yards. WR Taylor Stubblefield caught T. Stubbseven passes for 181 yards and 2 TDs--one of which covered 97 yards. Purdue subdued the Irish by a, 41-16, count.
    Orton threw four TD passes against the Fightin Irish to raise his total for the season to 17. He has not been intercepted yet. Stubblefield--Orton's favorite target--has 28 receptions for 505 yards and 10 TDs. Purdue tackles Penn State on the road next week before returning to West Lafayette to face Wisconsin--a team which has allowed just 26 points in five games.
ADMINISTERING ANOTHER BEATING. Mich WRThe Michigan Wolverines continued their annual rite of drubbing Indiana by dismissing the Hoosiers, 35-14, in Bloomington. QB Chad Henne used pinpoint accuracy to complete 17 of 21 passes for 316 yards and 3 TDs. Braylon Edwards was on the receiving end of 8 passes for 165 yards and a pair of TDs.
    Michigan hasn't lost in Indiana's Memorial Stadium since 1987, has beaten Indiana 12 straight times, 27 of the past 28 meetings and is now 48-9 all-time against Indiana. The Wolverines led the nation having forced 19 turnovers entering the game on Saturday, but were unable to force Indiana into a single miscue.
HURRICANES WRECK TECH. The Miami Hurricanes came up with another solid defensive performance in limiting Georgia Tech to 230 yards of offense and rolled to a, 27-3, win against the Ramblin' Wreck. The 'Canes, who had allowed only one offensive TD and three field goals this season, held Tech to a game opening field goal before rattling off 27 unanswered points.
    Brock Berlin, had thrown but two TD passes in Miami's first three games of the 2004 season, added three in the game and threw for exactly 200 yards. Miami has won eight straight games and will have an open week in its schedule before facing Louisville on Thursday, October 14th.
DAWG-GONE GOOD. Dawg RBLSU continued its slide down the polls when the Georgia Bulldogs tamed the Tigers with quarterback David Greene's five TD performance. The Bulldogs' offense, which hadn't produced a big day in September, started the month of October in robust fashion.
    While Greene only completed ten passes for the day, half of them found the endzone, with Reggie Brown and Fred Gibson each on the receiving end of two apiece. Thomas Brown added a 1 yard run for a TD late in the fourth quarter to break LSU's streak of not having allowed a running TD this year. The Bulldogs' win was there seventeenth straight at home. LSU hasn't won a game in Athens since 1987.
THESE BEARS ARE GOLDEN. Jeff Tedford's California squad dismantled an Oregon State team which had won 16 of its past 20 home games. The Golden Bears embarrassed OSU, 49-7, using its explosive offense powered by J.J. Arrington, Bear WRChase Lyman and Aaron Rodgers.
    TB Arrington ran for 108 yards and 1 TD, WR Lyman chipped in with five receptions for 176 yards and 3 TDs and QB Rodgers completed 12 of 16 pass attempts. Two interceptions and a fumble did little to derail the golden Bears' juggernaut offense.
    Although Cal hadn't played in 20 days because of open dates and weather induced postponements, its offense showed no sign of a lack of continuity. OSU had been allowing opponents to complete 40% of their passes, but Rodgers hit on 75% of his tosses. The Golden Bears have won six straight contests and averaged over 44 points a game in doing so. Next up is the highly anticipated rematch between USC and Cal. The Trojans' only loss in 2003 came against Cal in triple overtime.
CRUSHED ORANGE. The tenth ranked Tennessee Vols fell to eighth ranked Auburn, 34-10, as Tigers' QB, Jason Campbell, led an attack that amassed 400 yards against the home team. A Volunteers' defense which has struggled all season with allowing opposing QBs to complete too many passes, was scorched by Campbell who connected on 70% of his throws in the game.
    Campbell hurled two TD passes in the first half as Auburn raced to a comfortable, 31-3, halftime advantage. Tennessee came into the contest having scored TDs a dozen times this season on marches of 80 yards or greater. Auburn's defense rarely bent and never broke as it held the Vols without a TD. The Tigers have won seven straight games and seized control of the West division in the SEC with a 3-0 record. Auburn steps out of conference play next weekend to face a Louisiana Tech team which upset Fresno State on Saturday.
SUN DEVILS RAIN ON DUCKS.AZ QB Arizona State QB, Andrew Walter, threw three TD passes against Oregon, the last coming in the fourth quarter, as ASU beat Oregon, 28-13, in Eugene.
    The Sun Devils hadn't won a road game in the PAC 10 since the end of the 2002 season, but turned Walter's performance and Hakim Hill's 134 rushing yards into enough offensive thrust to boost them past the Ducks.
UTE-THANIZED. People may not have yet noticed the Utah Utes this season, but Urban Meyer's squad is continuing to go about its business in a most resolute manner. Utah took revenge on New Mexico--one of the few teams to have handled it in recent years--by a, 28-7, score on Friday night in Albuquerque.
    RBs Quinton Ganther and Marty Johnson combined for 205 yards and WR Steve Savoy caught 11 passes for 150 yards as the Utes offense continued its season-long demonstration of balance.
    Utah's defense held the Lobos--playing without RB DonTrell Moore--to 157 yards of production. The Utes were so dominant on defense that New Mexico registered more punts (14) than first downs (8) in the game. Utah, now 5-0 this season and a perfect 2-0 in MWC play, has won nine consecutive outings and is an impressive 15-2 in Meyer's regime.
LEFTOVERS. Army came this close to ending Black Knights scorethe nation's longest losing streak. The Black Knights' daze continues however, as TCU scored a TD in the final minute of play to escape with a 21-17 win. After taking, 17-0, first quarter lead, Army failed to score the rest of the game. The Cadets have now lost 19 in a row. Next up is Cincinnati.
    In a game with no defense for almost sixty minutes, it was a defensive play which provided the margin of victory. San Jose State topped Rice, 70-63, in the highest scoring game in division 1-A history. Brian Nunez returned an interception 28 yards in the 57th minute of play to give the Spartans the win.
    The Louisville Cardinals used a school record 5 rushing TDs from Eric KS coachShelton to beat East Carolina, 59-7.
    Toledo QB, Bruce Gradowski, threw for 455 yards and half a dozen TDs as the Rockets blasted ball State, 52-14.
    The resurgent Wyoming Cowboys downed Louisiana Monroe, 31-10, to raise its record to 3-1 this season. Joe Glenn's team has won two in a row.
    Kansas State's season continues to unravel. The Wildcats held the ball for 40:28 seconds against Texas A & M. KSU had 28 first downs to the Aggies' 12. A & M won anyway, 42-30.

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