First Impressions From Saturday

More later, but for now…

Tim Tebow is back and ready for his run at history.  His performance against LSU will boost his Heisman chances considerably.  Voters were reminded, once again, why he’s such a great player.  The only question now is whether or not he can put up the kind of numbers he will need to win.

Colt McCoy was his usual accurate self against Colorado, going 32 of 39.  But his real Heisman test comes starting this week against Oklahoma and then the following weeks at Missouri and Oklahoma State.  

Jacory Harris missed an opportunity to pile up the yards and touchdowns against Florida A&M.  He had 2 interceptions for the third time in five games.  Unless he heats up soon and stops throwing picks, his Heisman hopes will fade.

—Good to see Sam Bradford back and playing well.  He won’t win the Heisman this year, but he could play the part of spoiler by beating Texas and McCoy next week.

—I disagree with Rich Rodriguez’ decision to bench Tate Forcier in favor of Denard Robinson in the closing minutes of Michigan’s loss to Iowa.  I know Forcier was struggling, but hasn’t he done enough to prove that he’s the guy to rely on when the game is on the line?   How do you not have him in there on that final drive?

—The Pac-10 running back carousel has turned again.  Three weeks ago, Jahvid Best was the one everyone was talking about.  Last week, it was Toby Gerhart.  Now, the buzz is over Jacquizz Rodgers, who ran for 189 yards and four touchdowns against Stanford.  He already has 13 touchdowns this season.

—Auburn’s offense struggled for the first time this year, thanks to some sloppy play and turnovers.  The Tigers will right the ship on that side of the ball–after all, it is just the first year of Gus Malzahn’s system–but their real issue is with their defense, which seemingly can’t stop anyone.     

—How many people on the East Coast stayed up long enough to watch the ridiculous ending to the Washington-Arizona game?  For those who missed it, the Wildcats held a 33-28 lead with 2:50 left in the game and they had the ball on their own 37 yard line.  For some reason, Arizona decided to throw the ball instead of running some clock.  The pass from Nick Foles was low and ricocheted off of receiver Deleshaun Dean’s foot and into the waiting hands of Husky Mason Foster, who returned the ball 37 yards for a touchdown to lead Washington to an unlikely win.  Just like that, the Huskies are 3-3.

—We are at the half-way point in the season and it’s amazing how down some of the numbers are compared to last year.  There isn’t a single quarterback on pace to throw for over 35 touchdowns, a mark surpassed by seven passers in 2008.  There aren’t many running backs on pace to top 1,500 yards, whereas last year we had a 2,000-yard rusher plus six more backs topping that 1,500-yard total. 

—If I had to guess on the Heisman race right now, it’s McCoy and Tebow neck and neck, with Jimmy Clausen a tenuous third (depending on what he does against USC).  Everyone else is on the outside looking in.

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Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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5 Responses to First Impressions From Saturday

  1. Matt October 11, 2009 at 2:07 pm #

    The #1 candidate for Texas ought to be Jordan Shipley. Counting a big 12 title game he’s on pace for over 1500 yards receiving, and in 5 games he already has two clutch punt return TDs.

    (not that I think a receiver has a chance)

  2. ross October 11, 2009 at 2:22 pm #

    Really? Auburn gets blown out by Arkansas and all you can mention is that Gus had a bad day? Give credit where credit is due. Arkansas has been atrocious on defense so far this year, but Willie Robinson had his scheme ready, and except for a couple of missed assignments in the third quarter, he kept the Gus Bus in check.
    The more impressive of the two offensives to me was Arkansas. They ran a very balanced attack and had receivers step up after their top two went down.
    Sorry for going off on a rant, but you’re just making it seem like Auburn imploded like Ole Miss. They didn’t throw four picks, they just got out coached and outplayed.

  3. CloroxingTheGenePool October 11, 2009 at 3:07 pm #

    Tate Forcier is too small to handle pounding at this level. He also lacks the hand size to be an effective passer, especially, when the ball is not dry and warm. Do you think he’ll transfer back to the West coast, ala, Brandon Hance, after last night’s public verbal assault and subsequent benching by Rodriguez?

  4. Adam Nettina October 11, 2009 at 4:03 pm #

    Matt,
    I agree. And why do ESPN analysts always need to throw out the whole Shipley-McCoy relationship to explain Shipley’s success? God forbig they describe the guy as a playmaker or an athlete.

  5. HP October 11, 2009 at 4:27 pm #

    ross, that was just my first impression. Will write more about it later. I saw the game and it wasn’t like Arkansas was totally shutting the Tigers down. Auburn moved the ball well within the 20s and probably is in the game if it doesn’t fumble that ball inside the 5 (tate wasn’t even touched!). Also, Todd just missed a lot of open guys. That said, I am very impressed by Arkansas’s offense and have been on the Petrino bandwagon for a while.