College Football Weekend Wrapup

Posted: September 10, 2007

PLAYERS OF THE WEEKEND

National

Matt Grothe threw a 14-yard touchdown pass to Jessie Hester to give South Florida a 26-23 overtime win at nationally-ranked Auburn.

Local

Greg Zara kicked a 24-yard field goal in OT to give Ursinus (2-1) a 17-14 win over Lycoming.

AROUND TOWN

Buffalo 42, Temple 7

The Owls might win a few games that, maybe on paper, they shouldn't. And lose some when they have a decent chance to win. But this wasn't acceptable even at this stage in the arduous process.

Coming off a promising opener against Navy, this was their Mid-American Conference debut. On the first snap the Bulls scored on a 74-yard swing pass. Four minutes later they returned an interception all the way. Four minutes after that it was 21-zip.

The Owls reached the end zone early in the second quarter. But the Bulls (1-1) - who won twice a year ago, including a 9-3 OT victory at home against Temple - came right back, 77 yards in 13 plays, and would add TDs in the third and fourth quarters.

Good thing the Owls forced two fumbles inside the red zone, including one at the goal line.

This week Temple begins a three-game road trip at Connecticut (2-0), which just beat 1-AA Maine 38-0. They'll be back home on Oct. 6 against Northern Illinois.

On Al Golden Bobblehead Day at The Linc, the Owls rushed for minus 36 yards on 25 tries. They also lost several key players to injuries, including freshman athlete Daryl Robinson (North Catholic).

"We're not going to flinch, panic, or any of that crap," said Golden, who is obviously committed to the big picture. "It's not easy, changing everything. Every game's its own chess board. We're going to keep going. I hope we're a much better team the next time we're here."

The Owls, who were favored against a I-A team for the first time in nearly 4 years, haven't won a road game since 2003. They did win at UConn in 2002.

Villanova 30, Lehigh 20

A year ago the Wildcats started off 0-3; one of those losses was to Lehigh at home.

This time, in Bethlehem, Antwon Young threw for 257 yards and 3 TDs. The last, a 47-yarder to Phil Atkinson with 9 minutes left, came less than 2 minutes after the Mountain Hawks had closed to within 23-20.

It was 20-6 at the half.

Young, who redshirted last season, also ran 15 times for 55 yards. His other two scoring passes covered 15 yards to tight end Michael Bradaway and 60 to flanker Brandyn Harvey.

Sedale Threatt was 29-for-53 for 302 yards, in Lehigh's opener. The Villanova defense forced three turnovers.

The 'Cats (2-0) will play their Colonial Athletic Association opener Saturday night on the Main Line against Maine.

Sacred Heart 54, La Salle 14

The host Pioneers (2-0) led 47-7 at halftime. The Explorers (0-2) are off until hosting College of New Jersey on Sept. 21.

FRAUD FIVE

* Michigan - The Wolves are trying to retire this thing by Columbus Day. Mike Hart and Chad Henne came back for this? They haven't started 0-3 since 1937.

* Oregon State - You thought I forgot because it happened on Thursday? I know Cincinnati is tough at home; ask Rutgers. Still, 34-3 does seem a bit much.

* Boise State - Somewhat minor infraction. But if you think you're getting slighted by the BCS equation, it would help not to lose 24-10 at Washington, which was the underdog.

* Temple - Before I get accused of piling on, it's the first-ever appearance for the Owls. It's OK to lose to Buffalo, even at home, as a slight favorite. But don't get embarrassed. There's going to be moments like this. Still, they should happen against the Penn States of the food chain. Sorry.

* Lou Holtz - Loved him as a coach, but if he picks Notre Dame one more time on ESPN in a spot where most of the free world knows the Irish have virtually no shot, I'm going postal. It's OK if Notre Dame Harvey wants to do that; he bleeds it. But I expect more out of my TV set. Silly me. It's become comical.

TIGER POWER

LSU scored on four of its first five possessions and whacked visiting Virginia Tech 48-7.

"Don't make too much of this," Tigers' coach Les Miles cautioned. "It's all about what we have to get done in the future."

This team has beeen almost unbeatable at home in recent years, and that's where the Tigers get South Carolina (Sept. 22), Florida (Oct. 6), Auburn (Oct. 20) and Arkansas (Nov. 24).

They face Alabama, and former coach Nick Saban, on the road on Nov. 3. And the SEC final is in Atlanta. The national-title game is at the Louisiana Superdome on Jan. 7, which is where LSU won a ring 3 years ago.

It was the worst loss for the Hokies since 1982 (45-0 to Vanderbilt).

DID YOU NOTICE?

* Louisiana Tech went for two points after scoring a TD on the second possession of the first OT, but couldn't convert the pass. So visiting Hawaii escaped, 45-44. The Rainbow Warriors forced OT on a 49-yard field goal by Dan Kelly with 1:34 to go. Colt Brennan went 43-for-61, for 548 yards, 4 TDs and an interception.

* Iowa State, under new coach Gene Chizik, has lost to Kent State (23-14) and I-AA Northern Iowa (24-14), at home, it hosts Iowa next.

* Appalachian State beat Division II Lenoir-Rhyne, 48-7. The crowd was 28,802; Kidd Brewer Stadium (Boone, N.C.) seats 16,650.

* Western Kentucky scored 49 points in the first quarter, to tie a I-A record for the most in any quarter, en route to an 87-0 win over NAIA West Virginia Tech.

* Akron had 12 straight 3-and-out possessions in a 20-2 loss at Ohio State.

* North Carolina State's Tom O'Brien, who left Boston College last December after becoming the program's winningest coach, lost at BC, 37-17.

* Georgia Tech scored 69 points against Samford. The last time they did that at home was 1921.

* Texas A&M beat Fresno State at home, 47-45, in triple OT.

SAY WHAT?

Michigan coach Lloyd Carr: "If losing doesn't hurt, you shouldn't be at Michigan."

MIKE KERN'S TOP 15

1. Southern Cal (1-0). Bye. Saturday: at Nebraska. Beat Nebraska by 18 at home last year.

2. Louisiana State (2-0). Beat Virginia Tech, 48-7. Saturday: vs. Middle Tennessee. MT scored 42 last week at Louisville.

3. Oklahoma (2-0). Beat Miami, 51-13. Saturday: vs. Utah State. Sooners lost to WAC team in Fiesta Bowl.

4. Florida (2-0). Beat Troy, 59-31. Saturday: vs. Tennessee. Won by a point last year at Tennessee.

5. West Virginia (2-0). Beat Marshall, 48-23. Thursday: at Maryland. Have won 3 straight in series.

6. Texas (2-0). Beat TCU, 34-13. Saturday: at Central Florida. Horns scored all 34 in 2nd half.

7. Louisville (2-0). Beat Middle Tennessee, 58-42. Saturday: at Kentucky. Beat Kentucky last year, 58-29.

8. California (2-0). Beat Colorado, 34-28. Saturday: vs. Louisiana Tech. Bears lost to LT (41-34) in '97 in Shreveport.

9. Ohio State (2-0). Beat Akron, 20-2. Saturday: at Washington. Lost last 2 trips to Seattle ('86 and '94).

10. Wisconsin (2-0). Beat UNLV, 20-13. Saturday: vs. The Citadel. The Citadel has never played a Big 10 team.

11. UCLA (2-0). Beat BYU, 27-17. Saturday: at Utah. Beat Utah at home by 21 in last year's opener.

12. Penn State (2-0). Beat Notre Dame, 31-10. Saturday: vs. Buffalo. Can only hope to contain Bulls.

13. South Carolina (2-0). Beat Georgia, 16-12. Saturday: at South Carolina State. Steve Spurrier and defense, perfect together.

14. Rutgers (2-0). Beat Navy, 41-24. Saturday: vs. Norfolk State. Spartans have never played a I-A team.

15. South Florida (2-0). Beat Auburn, 26-23. Next: Sept. 22, vs. North Carolina. These Bulls will be a factor in Big East.

Send email to kernm@phillynews.com

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