Independent Game of the Week
Notre Dame 14 ... Georgia Tech 10
Notre Dame won an entertaining, defensive slugfest with a five-yard touchdown run from Brady Quinn with 11 seconds to play at the end of the first half and a 13-yard scoring run from Darius Walker in the third quarter. Georgia Tech jumped out to a 7-0 lead on a four-yard touchdown catch from Calvin Johnson and later got a 30-yard field goal from Travis Bell, but the Irish defense stiffened and only allowed 259 yards for the game. With Tech driving late, the Irish got a key third down sack of Reggie Ball allowing the offense to run out the clock helped by a Quinn sneak on fourth-and-one. In the battle of All-America receivers, Johnson caught seven passes for 111 yards and a touchdown and ND's Jeff Samardzija caught six passes for 74 yards.
Independent Player of the Week
Navy QB Brian Hampton ran 34 times for 149 yards and a touchdown. He completed two of six passes for six yards in the 28-23 win over East Carolina.
Army … It wasn't just that Army lost to Arkansas State, it's that it wasn't even close. It's not like this was Texas A&M, TCU or Notre Dame, which all come up later, this was Arkansas State the ran all over the Black Knight defense. With Kent State coming up next week, Army has to quickly find something to hang its offensive hat on or be in huge trouble. Even after getting three ASU fumbles, the offense only put up six points. Every opportunity has to be taken advantage of.
Navy … The plus was that Navy's offense appears to be as potent as ever gaining 403 rushing yards on East Carolina, but the negative was that the game wasn't decided until late. If Navy is going to continue to be this one dimensional, it has to put average teams away earlier. Brian Hampton ran as effectively as any recent Midshipman quarterback and will force everyone to try to stop him first. That'll open everything up for Adam Ballard running on the inside and Reggie Campbell getting to the outside. The pass defense has to be better to beat teams like Stanford and Tulsa later this month.
Notre Dame … Many will think this was a disappointing performance, but this was a big trap game on the road and the Irish came away with the win. This was more impressive than it might appear in the morning paper, but no, the D didn't prove itself yet. The GT offense is mediocre at best. ... Brady Quinn gets all the national publicity, and he showed his toughness against Georgia Tech, but Darius Walker is almost as vital to the offense. When the Irish offense needed a spark against the Yellow Jackets, Walker made it happen. His quickness and versatility kept the Tech D on its heels. ... Charlie Weis showed why he's such a superstar. The play calling was fearless and confident. Who runs a quarterback draw for a touchdown with time running out in the first half and no time outs left? How many coaches go for it on fourth-and-one from midfield to try to seal the win instead of punting it away?
Temple … The loss to Buffalo showed just how far Temple has to go to be even close to competitive. The defense was able to come up with some big stops despite giving up too many yards, but the offense did absolutely nothing. QB Adam DiMichele has to start stretching the field a little more and there has to be a few big pass plays. RB Tim Brown is a weapon who needs more talent around him to take the heat off.
|Thursday, August 31|
|7:00 PM||Buffalo 9 ... Temple 3
CFN Prediction: UB 24-16 UB -6
|Saturday, September 2|
|5:30 PM||Navy 28 ... East Carolina 23|
CFN Prediction: Navy 35-30 Navy -11.5
|7:05 PM||Arkansas State 14 ... Army 6|
CFN Prediction: Army 23-13 Army -5.5
|8:00 PM||Notre Dame 14 ... at Georgia Tech
CFN Prediction: GT 23-20 ND -7.5
Past Independent Games of the Week
Sept. 3 - Notre Dame 14 ... Georgia Tech 10
Past Independent Players of the Week
Sept. 3 - Navy QB Brian Hampton