The Hlist: Everything That Happened Last Saturday in College Football and More

OPENING KICKOFF

“I’ve taken more pills in the last two months than I’ve taken all my life. … I’m not letting anybody get near me with a knife.” — Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, who watched his team’s win at Purdue from the press box because of pain in his hip and leg.

FIRST DOWNS

1. Double Decker: You Iowa fans in the crowd are keenly aware Michigan State linebacker Adam Decker kind of messed up the Hawkeyes’ final offensive play in MSU’s 16-13 win.

Decker stuffed Shonn Greene for a 3-yard loss on Fourth-and-a-foot. He called it the most exhilarating play of his life. His teammates seemed to agree with the way they pounded on Decker’s helmet.

“I had to tell them to stop,” he said. “No, it felt good.”

Minnesota wide receiver Eric Decker had a big day of his own. He had 13 receptions for 190 yards in the Gophers’ 16-7 win over Indiana.

Wrote Rachel Blount in the Minneapolis Star-Tribune: “The Gophers would commit a turnover, or allow (Adam) Weber to be sacked, or fail to give their running backs any room to operate.

“Those stumbles ignited groans that echoed off the wide swaths of empty seats. Then Decker’s sure hands would keep a drive going and defuse the frustration while he tied the school record for most catches in a game.”

2. Flying Tigers: Missouri 52, Nebraska 17.

“That’s what they get for scheduling us for homecoming,” said Tigers tailback Derrick Washington, who rushed for 139 yards in just 14 carries and scored three touchdowns in Lincoln.

“That’s kind of like we’re a bad team or something.”

Missouri has been the Cornhuskers’ foot wipe for decades. The 52 points were the most a Mizzou team ever scored against the Huskers. It was the Tigers’ first win at Nebraska since 1978.

“That wasn’t just about the 2008 football team,” Pinkel said. “It’s about 30 years of fans from around the world and a lot of former Missouri players.”

The Kansas City Star’s Jason Whitlock sees No. 3 Mizzou as something other than bad. His words:

“Gary Pinkel has constructed arguably the nation’s most lethal offense.

“There’s just no way to stop Chase Daniel, Jeremy Maclin, Chase Coffman and Derrick Washington. I’m not sure you can slow them. We know Nebraska can’t.”

3. Geeked Up: Before Vanderbilt played Auburn in Nashville, a sign in the Vanderbilt student section proclaimed “Geeks Rule the Turf!” The geeks were omniscient.

Vanderbilt is the smallest and sole private school in the Southeastern Conference. Its 14-13 upset over Auburn was its first triumph over the Tigers since 1955. The Commodores are 5-0 for the first time since 1943.

“This is what coaches live for,” Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson said after the game. “I live to walk into the locker room and see how happy our players are.”

Joe Biddle of The Tennessean: “I didn’t check with Nashville International Airport air traffic control to get official confirmation, but I did see a significant number of pigs flying around Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday night.”

4. Oklahoma is OK: Oklahoma has three FBS football programs.

Tulsa: 5-0, first in the nation in scoring with 56.4 points per game.

Oklahoma State: 5-0, third in the nation in scoring with 52.6 points per game.

Oklahoma: 5-0, fourth in the nation in scoring with 49.6 points per game.

All three average at least 530 yards.

Tulsa is 5-0 for the first time since 1945. Slick Shelley returned a punt for a TD in the Hurricanes’ 63-28 dismantling of Rice on Saturday. The Hlist tells you that for one reason: To get the name “Slick Shelley” in print.

FUMBLES

1. League of Lethargy: Which is rarer these days in Big Ten football, razzle or dazzle?

The five Big Ten games played Saturday had an average of 36 points. In stark contrast, an average of 71 points were scored in the six Big 12 games.

It wasn’t Michigan’s fault Big Ten end zones were so seldom visited. The Wolverines got trampled by cool Juice Williams’ Illinois team in their 45-20 defeat.

“This is ridiculous right now,” Michigan Coach Rich Rodriguez rued.

“I’m mad. I’m sorry. What do you want from me? I don’t like losing. I don’t want to accept it. I don’t want anybody in this program accepting it.”

Illinois Coach Ron Zook: “I would say it’s a big, big win for us, but we have to keep it in perspective and understand that every win is a big one,” Zook said. “Michigan had a big win last weekend and understand that in the Big Ten it’s one game at a time.”

The Hlist eagerly awaits Tina Fey’s impersonation of Zook on the next Saturday Night Live.

2. A Basketball State: The state of Indiana, fortunately, still has hoops.

Indiana, Iowa’s next opponent, didn’t get its first first-down at Minnesota until 2:29 remained in the first half. That was Minnesota’s defense, not Ohio State’s.

Purdue’s Curtis Painter, who has started 37 straight games for the Boilermakers at quarterback, was yanked from the game in the fourth quarter of his team’s 20-6 loss to Penn State.

Boilermakers Coach Joe Tiller said Painter’s lone interception was the last straw.

“It was a horrible throw, a horrible decision,” Tiller said. “There’s no way to sugarcoat it. It was really, really ugly.”

But hey, Indiana can also claim Ball State, 6-0 and in the AP Top 25 for the first time ever.

3. Tapout: Ultimate Fighting Championship star Chuck Liddell was on the sideline at the Missouri-Nebraska game, wearing a red Cornhuskers jersey.

Liddell co-owns two bars in Lincoln. They undoubtedly got business Saturday night from Big Red fans trying to drink to forget their 52-17 walloping.

“I’m sick to my stomach after this game,” sober NU quarterback Joe Ganz said. “I don’t want to feel like this again. We better get this ship righted. Otherwise it’s going to be another long season.”

Nebraska defensive end Pierre Allen sounded tipsy based on this comment he made after the game:

“We got great talent and great depth. It’s all about executing. We can compete with anybody in the country.”

Well, anybody but Missouri.

FINAL GUN

“How’s O.J. going to find the real killer now?” — radio show host Jim Rome.

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