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[+] Team Summaries

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Good Sign/Bad Sign

Now its time for a little Good Sign/Bad Sign. Every week I will pick out one team from each BCS conference and one non-BCS team and discuss the good signs and bad signs from their last performance.

Texas (Texas 52, Florida Atlantic 10)

The Good-The Longhorns won big against a non-BCS conference opponent, something they struggled to do last year. They are finally starting to utilize some of that athletic ability that so often goes to waste under Mack Brown.

The Bad-Texas wins in blowout fashion, but still Colt McCoy, the Vince Young antithesis, leads the team in rushing. This reflects poorly on the UT running backs, but it also has to make you worry about McCoy’s durability.

Last year Texas finished 109th in the nation in pass defense and this season they have added two freshman in the secondary. Florida Atlantic’s Rusty Smith threw for more yards in the first half (226) than McCoy in the game (222). It makes you wonder what a Graham Harrel, Sam Bradford, Zac Robinson or Chase Daniel could do against this secondary.

Auburn (Auburn 34, UL-Monroe 0)

The Good-The Tigers ran for more than 300 yards and kept another opponent off the scoreboard. That’s always good. And Auburn’s Robert Dunn returned a punt back for a touchdown, displaying un-Auburn like-offensive pizzazz.

The Bad-Auburn scored only two offensive touchdowns and threw for 85 yards in a new, wide-open spread offense. Tony Franklin, Auburn’s new offensive coordinator summarized the performance, “We stink.” Auburn will need a passing game to beat LSU.

West Virginia (West Virginia 48, Villanova 21)

The Good-WVU can throw the ball. Pat White was 25/33 for 208 yards, 5 TDs and only one pick.

The Bad-399-354. Either West Virginia’s defense is no good or . . . ? Getting outgained by Villanova makes the team look a little vulnerable against a South Florida offense that could have scored 50 points on Saturday on one leg.

Clemson (Alabama 34, Clemson 10)

The Good-Virginia Tech 22, East Carolina 27; you play in the ACC, not the SEC.

The Bad-Rushing Yards: 0. If the offensive line is really that bad, Clemson might not be good enough to win a conference championship in the Sun Belt.

USC (USC 52, Virginia 7)

The Good-Did you see Mark Sanchez’s bomb to Ronald Johnson? That kid might be something special. You always have to be happy with a 52-7 win against a team that was a serious contender in a BCS conference just 9 months ago.

The Bad-The knee dislocated in a non-contact drill. I broke a foot in a non-contact drill 9 years ago and it’s still a problem. Durability could be an issue for Mark Sanchez. And, by the way, Joe McKnight is no Reggie Bush.

Illinois (Missouri 52, Illinois 42)

The Good-Juice Williams: 26/42, 451 yards, 5 TDs. The Fighting Illini outscored Missouri 21-7 over the last 17 minutes of the game.

The Bad-Missouri’s offense slashed through the Illini defense like chopped liver; that’s two games in a row in which the defense has been thoroughly abused by a first class offense.

Fresno State (Fresno State 24, Rutgers 7)

The Good-They traveled across the country and beat a solid BCS team in Rutgers. Sophomore Ryan Mathews ran for 163 and 3 touchdowns on 26 carries. Those are very good numbers

The Bad-Bulldog QB Tom Brandstater was 11 of 24 throwing the ball. That’s not a very good number.

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