Miami, Michigan St. Win OT Games
by Mike Mitchell
Miami and Michigan St. won overtime thrillers Saturday after TCU set the stage on Thursday and UTEP followed in fashion on Friday.
The 36-30 triple-overtime win by the Hurricanes over Clemson prevented Miami from beginning a season with two consecutive losses for the first time since 1978.
Michigan State's 44-41 single overtime win over Notre Dame was their fifth-in-a-row at South Bend and the fifth consecutive time that the road team in the rivalry emerged victorious.
On Friday night, UTEP downed Houston 44-41 in double-overtime in the first game between the two teams in 57 years. UTEP also won both previous games played in 1946 and 1948. This time, they opened their conference slate against each other as new members of CUSA.
Thursday, TCU's 23-20 win over Utah ended the Utes' 18-game over-all winning streak and 11-game conference winning streak. It was TCU's inaugural game as a Mountain West Conference member.
Elsewhere, Florida State officially welcomed Boston College to the ACC with a 28-17 by handing the Eagles a 28-17 loss. FSU relinquished an early 14-0 lead and had to rally from a 17-14 second-half deficit to earn the victory and remain unbeaten (3-0).
At Florida, the Urban (Meyer) renewal continued with a 16-7 win over SEC rival Tennessee. The Vols had taken the previous two meetings, three of the last four, and the last two meetings in Gainesville.
Oklahoma was dealt its second loss of the season with a crushing 41-24 defeat at the hands of UCLA. The win could the rise of the Bruins and the demise, at least for this year, of the Sooners. It is the first time that Oklahoma has started 1-2 since 1997 and the first 3-0 start for UCLA since 2001.
Some of the weekend's more-interesting results include the eye-popping 63-27 loss that Louisville pinned on Oregon State and Alabama's 37-14 smashing of Steve Spurrier and South Carolina.
Vanderbilt is 2-0 in the SEC for the first time since 1956 after toppling Mississippi 31-23. It's the first time the Commodores have started a season with a 3-0 over-all record since 1984.
Nebraska's 7-6 win over Pittsburgh was plagued by penalties, misfiring offenses and missed field goals. The loss dropped the Panthers to 0-3 under first-year coach Dave Wannstedt and the 'Huskers have managed to start 3-0 despite having scored a season total of just three offensive touchdowns.
Wannstedt's predecessor at Pitt, Walt Harris, is 1-1 at Stanford. But my-oh-my, is the one loss horrendous. The Cardinal lost 20-17 to a Division 2 team that is in the midst of transitioning to 1-AA. Cal-Davis entered the contest with an 0-2 record after losses to Portland State and New Hampshire. The Aggies' winning score came on a 3-yard run with 12 seconds left to culminate a 72-yard drive in the last 2:49 of the game.
The Sun Belt produced a couple of bizarre unexpected losses when Akron won 17-7 at Middle Tennessee and North Texas was destroyed 54-2 at home by Tulsa.
The MTSU offense has scored just 7 points in each of its first three games. The Blue Raiders are 0-3 despite allowing just 19 points per game.
North Texas, which has won all four Sun Belt conference titles and 26 consecutive conference games, is a paltry 4-19 versus non-conference opponents in that same span. The last win by the Mean Green over an OOC team came against Baylor on September 6, 2003.
Tulsa's win over North Texas snapped a 15-game non-conference road losing streak for the Golden Hurricane.
Tulane finally got its season started with a hard-fought 21-14 loss to Mississippi State. The game, originally slated for the New Orleans Superdome, had to be moved to Shreveport. The Green Wave rallied from a 14-0 deficit to tie the game but the Bulldogs secured the winning touchdown after recovering a muffed punt return by Tulane.
The PAC-10/Big 10 Challenge was won 2-1 by the PAC-10 when Arizona State clobbered Northwestern (52-21) and California pulled away from Illinois (35-20). The Big 10's lone win was Purdue's 31-24 victory at Arizona.
Speaking of the PAC-10, Oregon snapped Fresno State's 3-game winning streak over PAC-10 schools with a 37-34 win over the Bulldogs.
It isn't that often that any team gets back-to-back shutout victories. How much more rare could it be that they are by the same score? Virginia Tech beat Ohio 45-0 in its home-opener, a week after winning 45-0 at Duke.
Missouri, whose loss to Troy sent them reeling through the rest of the 2004 season, exacted revenge on the Trojans with a 52-21 stomping in Columbia. The much-needed win came a week after the Tigers lost 45-35 at home to New Mexico.
Ty Willlingham and Bill Cubit picked up their initial victories this season.
Willingham's Washington Huskies downed perennial doormat Idaho 34-6 to halt their losing streak at 8 games. Washington's 8-game conference losing streak is still alive.
Cubit's Western Michigan Broncos had to overcome an 11-point deficit to 1-AA Southern Illinois for the 34-28 win. The victory ended a 12-game losing streak for WMU but did nothing for the school's 13-game losing skid to 1-A teams or 10-game losing streak to conference teams.
Finally Scored: Buffalo ended a three-game scoreless streak with a field goal in a 17-3 loss to Rutgers. The streak lasted 14 quarters before the Bulls struck with a third-quarter field goal for their first points since November 13 of last year.
Computer Streak Snapped: Utah's loss was the computer's first incorrect straight up pick of a regular season Utah football game since November 1 of 2003, ending a string of 15 consecutive correct calls. The computer dropped to 0-3 SU on TCU this season but is now 3-0 ATS with the Horned Frogs.
Just last week, Oregon State's 30-27 win over Boise State marked the first time the computer missed a straight up pick on the Broncos since November 3, 2001 - a string of 43 consecutive correct calls.
1-AA Schools Strike Out: There were 13 games played between 1-AA schools and their higher-classified brethren. The smaller schools went 1-12 (UC-Davis beat Stanford, 20-17) and fell to 2-39 for the year.
From the beginning of the 2003 season through Saturday, 1-AA teams are 18-151 in such games, an 89.3 losing percentage.
Streaks: USC owns the nation's longest winning streak at 24. The Trojans also have streaks of 22 straight home wins and 15 consecutive PAC-10 victories. They have won 35 of their last 36 games. The Trojans beat Arkansas at home 70-17 on Saturday.
Utah had its winning streak halted at 18 games with a 23-20 overtime loss to TCU on Thursday night. The Utes' 11-game MWC winning streak also came to a close.
Iowa has won 20 straight home games. The Hawkeyes beat 1-AA Northern Iowa 45-21 on Saturday.
North Texas has won 26 straight over Sun Belt conference opponents. UNT has also won four consecutive Sun Belt titles as they have topped the conference in every year of its existence. However, they have lost 8 straight to non-conference foes.
Central Florida has the nation's longest losing streak at 17. The Golden Knights lost 31-14 at home to South Florida.
New Coaches: The 2005 season began with 23 coaching changes. Here is how each has fared thus far (list compiled alphabetically by team):
BYU, 1-1 under Bronco Mendenhall, was idle.
East Carolina, 1-1 under Skip Holtz, lost to Wake Forest 44-34.
Florida, 3-0 under Urban Meyer, beat Tennessee 16-7.
Illinois, 2-1 under Ron Zook, lost at California 35-20.
Indiana, 3-0 under Terry Hoeppner, beat Kentucky 38-14.
LSU, 1-0 under Les Miles, was idle.
Marshall, 1-1 under Mark Snyder, was idle.
Miami, O., 1-2 under Shane Montgomery, beat Kent State 27-10.
Mississippi, 1-1 under Ed Orgeron, lost at Vanderbilt 31-23.
Nevada-Las Vegas, 1-2 under Mike Sanford, lost at Nevada 22-14.
New Mexico St., 0-3 under Hal Mumme, lost at New Mexico 38-21.
Notre Dame, 2-1 under Charlie Weis, lost to Michigan St. 44-41 in OT.
Ohio, 1-2 under Frank Solich, lost 45-0 at Virginia Tech.
Okla. St, 3-0 under Mike Gundy, beat Arkansas State 20-10.
Pittsburgh, 0-3 under Dave Wannstedt, lost at Nebraska 7-6.
San Jose St., 1-1 under Dick Tomey, was idle.
South Carolina, 1-2 under Steve Spurrier, lost to Alabama 37-14.
Stanford, 1-1 under Walt Harris, lost to 1-AA Cal-Davis.
Syracuse, 1-2 under Greg Robinson, lost to Virginia 27-24.
Utah, 2-1 under Kyle Whittingham, lost to TCU 23-20 (OT).
Utah State, 0-1 under Brent Guy, was idle.
Washington, 1-2 under Ty Willingham, beat Idaho 34-6.
Western Michigan, 1-2 under Bill Cubit, beat 1-AA So. Illinois 34-28.