“This was billed as a statement game at Pitt, but the only statement one could decipher afterward was this: ‘We’re not as bad as Iowa.’” — Joe Starkey, Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
1. Pryor Engagement: So this is how the Terrelle Pryor era began as Ohio State’s starting quarterback. Four touchdown passes and 66 yards rushing in a 28-10 win over Troy.
“I’ve been making plays all my life,” said the freshman.
But Pryor doesn’t sound like a total braggart.
“I thought I messed up a lot,” he said. “When we sit down in the film room, I’m going to get yelled at a lot. That’s a good thing.”
Even with Illinois’ Juice Williams, Purdue’s Curtis Painter and Penn State’s Darryl Clark, Pryor may already be the Big Ten’s best quarterback.
2. Excess of SEC-cess: The Southeastern Conference plays a little football.
This week in the AP rankings: 3. Georgia, 4. Florida, 5. LSU, 8. Alabama.
Florida mauled conference rival Tennessee in Knoxville, 30-6. Gators head coach Urban Meyer lauded his defensive line coach, someone well-known to Iowans.
“I just look at our D-line and they hung with a very good offensive line,” Meyer said. “Dan McCarney is a special coach. He’s energetic and you see it translating onto the field.”
Vanderbilt (4-0 overall, 2-0 in the SEC) hasn’t had a winning season since 1982. It climbed into the AP poll at No. 21, its first appearance in the rankings since 1984 and second since 1958.
“I think it’s a pretty good reward for a good start,” Vanderbilt Coach Bobby Johnson said of the ranking. “Our guys are pretty smart. They realize it won’t help you win games.”
3. JoePa Can’t Kick: Penn State is 4-0 after a 45-3 drubbing of Temple. The Nittany Lions have beaten the Owls the last 26 times they met.
PSU Coach Joe Paterno watched the second half from the Lions’ coaches’ box in the press box. He hurts. His right leg has been sore since he made an onside kick to close the Thursday practice before his team’s first game. That’s a ritual Paterno had long had, for fun. No more.
The media wanted news about the leg after Saturday’s game.
“I’ve got a bunch of guys out there fighting all kinds of adversity with different lineups, hanging in there together, all right?” Paterno said. “And you’re worried about my leg. Now, if you were a bunch of good-looking girls, I’d feel better about it.”
4. Ball of Fire: Ball State had lost all 43 of its games against teams from the six BCS conferences. Then it won at Indiana, 42-20, to improve to 4-0.
Sadly, Ball State receiver Dante Love’s football career is expected to be over because of the back fracture he suffered in the game. Love entered the game as the nation’s leader with 144.3 receiving yards a game.
The good news is, according to a Ball State spokesman, that Love is expected to be able to live a normal and healthy life after rehabilitation.
1. Peanut Gallery is Nuts: Booing college quarterbacks has become a national phenomenon.
Ohio State senior quarterback Todd Boeckman took just two snaps against Troy in a reserve role. He got loudly booed at Ohio Stadium when his lone pass was incomplete. This was the guy who threw 25 touchdown passes for last year’s Big Ten champions.
“Hey, we’re just kids,” said Buckeyes defensive lineman Lawrence Wilson. “We’re not professionals. There is no way adults should treat us that way.”
Boston College quarterback Chris Crane got jeered in the second quarter in his team’s home game against Central Florida.
“You hate to see that,” said BC Coach Jeff Jagodzinski about the booing. “Especially at home. But I guess it’s all part of (the game).”
Crane proceeded to play very well in the second half, leading the Eagles to 31 points in their 34-7 win.
Presumably, the fans cheered him.
2. Rocky Top Rocked: Losing 30-6 at home to Florida isn’t playing well in Tennessee.
Volunteers Coach Philip Fulmer is 5-12 against Florida. Since winning the 1998 national championship, he’s 20-25 against ranked opponents.
The booing was loud at times in Knoxville on Saturday. “There’s probably not anybody happy with me right now,” Fulmer said.
Jimmy Trodglen of the Clarksville Leaf Chronicle is one unhappy Tennessee sports editor.
“The Vols lack discipline, there’s no leadership on or off the field, play-calling is questionable and Fulmer continues to be outcoached,” Trodglen wrote.
“It’s time for Fulmer to pull onto Cumberland Avenue with his belongings carefully packed and not stop until he reaches his home.”
3. Irish Lapped: Notre Dame got caught with a laptop computer in the coaches’ box during its game at Michigan State.
Irish Coach Charlie Weis said the incident was a matter of an improperly located student manager recording down-and-distance information for game-tape dubbing.
“You’re allowed to do that,” Weis said. “But the one area where you’re not allowed to do that is in a coaching area.”
Michigan State caught the violation during the game, but Spartans Coach Mark Dantonio shrugged it off.
“I’ve never seen a computer or a camera make a tackle, catch a ball or anything,” Dantonio said.
No computer and few Irish defenders slowed MSU back Javon Ringer. He had 39 carries, 201 yards and two touchdowns in MSU’s 23-7 win.
4. Dark Knights: Rutgers was the feel-good story of college football when it went 11-2 in 2006. But the Scarlet Knights are again lousy. They fell to 0-3 for the first time since 1999 after a 23-21 loss to Navy, and looked stupid doing so.
Rutgers quarterback Mike Teel threw a punch at teammate Glen Lee as Teel came off the field late in the game.
“I apologize for losing my cool,” Teel said. “He was telling me to keep my head up and to get off the field. He was doing the right thing and what I did was so totally wrong.”
“It’s just in-house family stuff,” Lee said.
To which Tom Luicci of the Newark Star-Ledger replied, “Maybe if the family is Archie and the rest of the Bunkers.”
OK, the reference is a bit dated.
“Call it whatever you want: courage, guts, confidence, arrogance, fearlessness, stones. Doesn’t matter what you call it, only that LSU Coach Les Miles has it.” — John DeShazier, New Orleans Times-Picayune.
Miles’ Tigers used a halfback pass for a TD and recovered an onside kick in the third quarter in their 26-21 win at Auburn.