Noted on the Way to the Pumpkin Patch

As the college football season approaches that time of year when ghosts and goblins frequent the gridiron, some teams were scared out of their wits before managing to post victories over the weekend. Others were frightened that their once bright bowl hopes may now only be a specter of what they once were. Here are the ghoulish tricks and treats from this week's national notes' column.

KEEPING FAST COMPANY. Oklahoma's wunderkind running back, Adrian Peterson, gained 122 yards in OU's, 41-10, Big 12 subduing of Marshall Faulk as the only runners in NCAA division 1-A history to gain at least 1,000 yards rushing in their first seven games as a freshman. (Say, I wonder whatever became of Smith and Faulk?)

Reigning Heisman Trophy winner, OU QB Jason White, had another spectacular day throwing for 389 yards and 4 TDs--one to each of four players-- as seven OU receivers caught at least two passes. The only surprise in this game was Oklahoma's having been held scoreless in the opening quarter. The Sooners' defense intercepted two KU passes and the Oklahoma offense roared to 507 yards of production. Though the game was relatively close at halftime, 14-10, OU's 27, second half points enabled it to roll to victory in easy fashion.

HURRICANE FORCE. Miami's offense, a secondary rather than primary player for coach Larry Coker's squad through the first month of the season, has arrived in full force. Facing the nation's top ranked defense in North Carolina State--a unit which had been yielding a miserly 203 yards a game--QB Brock Berlin threw a school record tying five TD passes and directed Miami to over 400 yards of offense. He may have flaws, but Berlin's record as the starter for Miami is now 17-2.

The 'Canes trailed twice in the game, each time by three points, before rallying to down the Wolf Pack, 45-31. Miami may need to tighten the screws on its defense a bit as it has now allowed 947 yards and 69 points in its last two games, a pair of high scoring affairs against N.C. State and Louisville.

WASTING NO TIME. The Utah Utes returned the game's opening kickoff 90 yards for a TD on a bit of razzle-dazzle and motored to a, 21-0, lead over UNLV before barely ten minutes of play had elapsed. Utah buried the Rebels, 63-28, in what was a clear an attempt by coach Urban Meyer's team to prove its worthiness of a bid to a BCS aligned bowl in January.

Junior QB Alex Smith made judicious use of his receivers in completing 11 passes, but three of them went for scores. He also led his team in rushing with 77 yards, highlighted by a 70 yard trek to give Utah its final TD of the opening quarter.

Utah's defense allowed 422 yards to UNLV--much of it after the game's outcome had become a foregone conclusion--and had no success in containing Dominique Dorsey as he scampered for 179 yards and a pair of TDs against the Mountain West Conference's first place team. Utah raised its record under Meyer to an impressive 19-2 and ran its active win streak to 11 games. The loss was UNLV's ninth in a row to Utah and the 35 point margin surpassed the 23 point average deficit of the previous eight drubbings.

BEWARE OF THE DAWG. The tenth ranked Georgia Bulldogs began a four game road trip in successful style with their, 20-14, win against Arkansas. The Dawgs won for the sixth time in seven tries versus the Razorbacks.

QB Reggie Brown each pulled in passes for more than 100 yards in receptions and RB Thomas Brown chipped in 107 yards on the ground to lead the balanced Georgia attack. Ten second half points, coupled with a simultaneous shut out from their defense, were enough to enable the visitors to erase a, 14-10, halftime deficit. Georgia won't play in Athens until a regular season ending meeting with rival Georgia Tech on November 27th.

Next up for the Dawgs is their annual trip to the World's Biggest Cocktail Party in Jacksonville and a game with the Ron Zook.

AND NOW THIS. A week after being badgered at home by Purdue Boilermakers suffered a Hart attack. Mike Hart, decimated Purdue for 203 yards on 33 carries and classmate QB Chad Henne completed 22 of 39 attempts for 190 yards and 1 TD to lead the Wolverines to a, 16-14, victory in West Lafayette.

A contest which might have featured two of the best WRs in the country--Michigan's Braylon Edwards and Purdue's Taylor Stubblefield--never materialized as the pair caught a meager total of 6 passes for an uncustomarily low 35 yards and no scores.

PK Garrett Rivas booted a 35 yard field goal with less than three minutes to play and the Maize and Blue defense forced and recovered a fumble on Purdue's ensuing possession to clinch the game. Michigan, now 7-1 and deadlocked with Wisconsin at 5-0 atop the Big Ten standings, faces instate rival Michigan State in Ann Arbor next weekend.

INDEFENSIBLE POSITION? Boise State extended its nation's best active win streak to 18 games with a, 33-16, downing of Fresno State in Western Athletic Conference play on Saturday night.

A Broncos' defense which entered the game having aided and abetted opposing teams by allowing an average of 31 points game in its past five contests, limited Fresno State to 17 yards rushing on a similar number of attempts. The Bulldogs managed a scant 191 yards of offense and the Broncos stampeded to a, 23-3, lead early in the third quarter.

Jared Zabransky threw for 227 yards and 1 TD as Boise State raised its record to 7-0 for the season.

SOUNDS LIKE A BROKEN RECORD. Well, maybe not just yet, but Andrew Walter will be breaking some records soon enough. His 6 TD passes against UCLA fell one shy of Mike Pagel's Sun Devils' record, but enabled Walter to move within 1 TD pass of tying John Elway's career mark (77) in the PAC 10.

ASU downed UCLA, 48-42, in a game which saw the teams combine for 1,071 yards of offense, with 740 of that total coming through the air. Walter and the Bruins' Drew Olson tossed 8 TD passes and 7 interceptions in a contest that was highlighted by 95 pass attempts. WRs Derek Hagan caught 12 passes for 319 yards and 4 TDs for ASU.

GOT THEIR NUMBER. The Tony Gonzalez and a successful PAT by PK Ryan Ohliger to topple the Fighting Irish, 24-23, as the visitors posted their fourth straight win over Notre Dame.

With neither team able to sustain any productivity on the ground, Peterson and his counterpart, Brady Quinn, were left to direct their team's offenses through the air. Peterson outgunned Quinn, 383 yards to 231, with Peterson throwing 2 TD passes to Quinn's one.

BC overcame a 13 point, halftime deficit largely on the back of the best passing performance of Peterson's career.

TRANSFORMED. Wisconsin's, 24-12, win over Big Ten cohort Northwestern had an ugly start. The game featured an interception, a fumble recovery and a missed field goal in the first three minutes of play.

After surviving the halting manner of the game's opening minutes, the Badgers righted their play and stormed to a, 24-0, lead early in the third quarter after Anthony Davis ran 1 yard for the second of his two scores.

Wisconsin's defense allowed a few more yards than usual as the Wildcats moved the ball for 334 yards, but Barry Alvarez's team only surrendered meaningless TDs late in the third and fourth quarters as the Badgers moved to an impressive 8-0 in 2004. Wisconsin enjoys an open date in the schedule before resuming action in Madison against Minnesota on November 6th.

HIGHLIGHTS AND HEADLINERS. Penn State, plagued all season by fumbles and interceptions, coughed up the ball seven times against Iowa and the Hawkeyes retained possession on four of those occasions to post a, 6-4, win over the Nittany Lions in a game with only 315 yards of total offense.

Auburn drove Cadillac Williams' 149 yard rushing, 2 TD performance to a, 42-10, win against Kentucky in SEC action. The Tigers raised their record to an umblemished 8-0.

Cal's, 38-0, win over Arizona came as no surprise nor did the Golden Bears' 459 yards of offense. The noteworthy aspect of coach Jeff Tedford's team's victory is the solid defense it displayed in throttling the Wildcats and holding them to 245 yards of offense.

Texas A & M needed to kick a FG as time expired in regulation to force overtime play against the Todd Pegram and a fumble by CU RB Bobby Purify in overtime to escape with a, 29-26, win.

RB Jerious Norwood led Mississippi State with 174 yards rushing and a pair of touchdowns as the Bulldogs upset 20th ranked Florida, 38-31.

Cedric Benson of the Texas Longhorns joined exclusive company in becoming only the sixth RB in division 1-A history to gain 1,000 or more yards rushing in each of four consecutive seasons. Texas topped Texas Tech, 51-21, in Lubbock.

Rice for a career high 179 yards on the ground in leading the Midshipmen to a, 14-13, win over the Owls. The victory enabled Navy to become bowl qualified for a second consecutive year under coach Paul Johnson.

The New Mexico State, 36-26, to post its 21st consecutive Sun Belt Conference victory.

Baylor as the Cyclones stopped a 13 game losing streak in Big 12 play.

After being held to three points in the first half, BYU broke loose for 38 points in the second half to beat the Air Force Academy, 41-24, in Colorado Springs. QB John Beck threw 4 TD passes for the Cougars.

Nevada reached triple figures as the Wolf Pack topped the Golden Hurricane, 54-48, in overtime. Western Michigan weren't far behind that total as the Huskies beat the Broncos, 59-38, in an offensive big MAC attack.

Lester Ricard, set a school record with six TD passes, including the game winner to Chris Bush with 27 seconds to play, as the Green Wave topped Alabama-Birmingham, 59-55, in CUSA action. The teams combined for 1,174 yards of offense.

On the other end of the scoring spectrum Clemson needed a TD with twenty-three seconds remaining to top Maryland, 10-7, in an ACC meeting.
 


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