The Press Buffet: Upset City

Sunday, September 30, 2007

Several surprising upsets in college football land this weekend. Rather than throw any BS analysis your way, since I was only able to watch one or two of these, I will turn it over to the hometown newspapers of the victors.

Manhattan Mercury (Kansas State):

AUSTIN, Texas — Money doesn't always buy wins.

That was demonstrated again Saturday as Kansas State, with a 10th place $36 million budget, defeated the $100 million Longhorns from the University of Texas, 41-21, at Darrell K Royal - Texas Memorial Stadium.

In the premier men's sports, Kansas State has now defeated Texas in three straight competitions.

Last year the wins came in football, 45-42, at Bill Snyder Family Stadium, and in basketball, Bob Huggins' Wildcats pulled off a 73-72 thriller on the UT campus.

This one blew me away - in large part because my Kansas Jayhawks will be facing the
Wildcats next week, and I thought they'd be ripe for the picking. I guess that crazy guitar-playing wildcat video really works.

St. Petersburg Times (University of South Florida):

In four games, the Bulls have forced 17 turnovers, including 11 against the Tigers and Mountaineers. They're on pace to obliterate the school record of 36, set in 2002, and more than double last year's total of 25 turnovers.

The difference? Great hands on defense, thanks to a renewed priority on pass-catching skills in practice.

"We do a lot of ball drills," safeties coach Troy Douglas said. "Basically, the DBs and linebackers are doing the same stuff the receivers do. It's helped us tremendously.

I like this kind of reporting - the writer actually gaines some insight into how this seemingly miraculous turnaround came about. It really shows how coaching and game prep can show up on Saturday (or Friday).

The Boulder Daily Camera (University of Colorado):

"That No. 3 ranking didn't mean anything to us," CU cornerback Terrence Wheatley said. "You have to have that mind-set. It's not like that ranking gives them superpowers or anything like that. They didn't come out there with capes on."

Indeed, it was Wheatley who seemed to have the cape on - he was flying around the field, and if a ball was in his sights, he would make the play. This is why they play the games - OU's ranking was built on 50-point shellackings of overmatched OOC opponents, and it showed.

Opelika-Auburn News (Auburn Tigers):

(Freshman kicker Wes Byrum) appeared to hit the game-winner on his first attempt, but officials ruled Florida head coach Urban Meyer had called timeout just before the snap.

That forced Byrum to line up for another shot at the game-winner.

But he wasn’t fazed.

"I really just stopped thinking, because I just did it once," Byrum said. "I stood back there, took my steps and just did it again."


The Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Georgia Tech Yellowjackets):

Tashard Choice toted a sledgehammer as he led Georgia Tech onto the field Saturday afternoon.

A two-game losing streak had to be smashed. An excruciating memory had to be crushed. No. 13 Clemson had to be hammered.

And that's just what Tech's defense and special teams did.

The Yellow Jackets held the ACC's highest-scoring offense without a touchdown and converted a blocked punt and a punt-return fumble recovery into 10 points en route to a 13-3 victory over the Tigers.

I know... meh. But that's still the best quote the AJC could muster. I guess the biggest newspapers don't always have the most interesting articles.

And, finally, for our dear host AA, the Maryland victory over #10 Rutgers (and it couldn't happen to a nicer bunch of future-military-officer cursing fans).

The Washington Post (Maryland Terrapins:

Maryland backup quarterback Chris Turner and quarterbacks coach John Donovan talked in the locker room at halftime Saturday, coach and player simply trying to make the best of a bad situation.

Starter Jordan Steffy had just suffered a shoulder injury and a concussion, making his return to the game questionable at best. As if that news wasn't daunting enough, the Terrapins had just allowed two touchdowns in 46 seconds, allowing No. 10 Rutgers to erase a deficit and seize the momentum right before intermission.

Dude, I totally saw this on "Friday Night Lights" last season. We all know the backup overcomes the odds and leads his team to victory. Get a better scriptwriter.

That's it for this week!

--Extra P

Posted by Eric (Extra P.) at 3:08 PM


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