Today’s UF-UK tilt wasn’t really about winners and losers, as Florida re-established their credentials by crushing No. 4 LSU in their last game. It was about getting Tim Tebow back in the Heisman discussion. I’d say he made his point.
Tebow’s numbers weren’t great — 180 yards for 2 TDs in the air, 48 for 2 on the ground –but he took full control of the game, leading Florida to a 63-5 blowout of Kentucky. Jeffrey Demps, who was featured in this great NEW YORK TIMES piece, led all players in both rushing and receiving. The Gators face their last real test of the regular season next week at Georgia. Seriously, for an SEC squad, it’s a pretty soft schedule. We’re headed toward about 15 one-loss teams this year.
In the only battle of ranked teams on the early slate, Texas Tech got off to a good start on their killer conference schedule, embarassing Kansas at homecoming, 63-21. With a line that makes you wish you could play fantasy college football, sleeper Heisman candidate Graham Harrell led the Red Raiders with 386 yards passing, 5 TDs in the air, and one rushing. At 8-0, it’s the longest undefeated start for Texas Tech in 30 years, but their next three games are against Texas, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma.
In the early games’ only upset, a sloppy Northwestern squad fell to Indiana, 21-19. The Hoosiers’ defense was the story, forcing five turnovers, including two interceptions by Austin Thomas. Northwestern QBs had a kafkaesque day, as C.J. Bacher left late in the fourth with a tweaked hamstring. Backup Mike Kafka fumbled on his only two snaps, including the game-ender with two minutes remaining.
Ball State continued their feel good run, handling Eastern Michigan 38-16. Nate Davis tossed two touchdowns, and somehow caught a third. Just like Rutgers two years ago, the Cardinals have built their ranking and undefeated record on beating awful teams. And just like Rutgers, they’ll probably schedule some decent opponents next year and go right back into the crapper.
Minnesota’s defense was its star once again, as the Gophers shut down Purdue 17-6. There was nothing pretty about this game, so the less said, the better. Minnesota faces Northwestern next week in a battle of Big Ten overachievers.