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Wha Happened? Week One

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Let's start right out: Hey, Wha Happened?

Missouri 52 - Illinois 42

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Don't let the numbers fool you: Juice Williams still can't throw the ball.  Yes, he racked up 451 yards and 5 touchdowns, but the vast majority of those yards came in the second half, after Mizzou had put Illinois down by 18 and gone to a soft zone, and Illinois had no choice but to chuck it deep.  The fact is the Illinois quarterback went 26-for-42 with two horrendous fourth quarter picks (including a pick six that effectively killed any chance the Illini had of recovering). Williams also put on his Tacopants and repeatedly flung it over the heads of his receivers, some of which were wide open for drive-extending first downs.  The question mark left by the graduation of Rashard Mendenhall has not yet been answered; starter Daniel Dufrene rushed for 75 yards on only 13 carries, but if you subtract out a 41-yard dash in the third quarter, he was averaging only 2.8 yards per carry.  For an offense as dependent on the run as Illinois is, that simply won't cut it.

On defense, it seemed as if every touchdown scored by Illinois was answered by Missouri, and Illinois' defense never did come up with a method for slowing Missouri down.  SMQ Dr. Saturday said it best:

For Illinois, it was damned if you, damned if you don't, damned if you even considered it. When they played two many defenders back to focus on the pass, they were gashed up the middle; when they played man-to-man, Daniel attacked them down the seams, as he did on a long gain to Jared Perry in the second quarter and on a touchdown pass to Chase Coffman in the third, both against one-on-one safety coverage; when they played a zone that still respected the run, Daniel picked them apart, most notably on the third quarter touchdown pass to Tommy Saunders, off a fake screen into the flat that froze the underneath coverage and left Saunders all alone, just out of the range of the Cover 2 safety coming over the top. It was a clinic, and for Maclin's sake as much as anyone else's, it's only right that he be a part of that for the rest of the year.

As for the other team in this game, if there was any question that Missouri's 2007 success could transfer into 2008, it was answered yesterday.  Mizzou looks really good(AP Photo/Jeff Roberson)

Utah 25 - LMAOchigan LOLverines 23

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We were all warned that there would be some difficulties as LMAOichigan moved to the Rich ROFLriguez spread ROFLense, but holy fuck this was ugly.  The running backs are small (Sam McGufFAIL's vaunted hurdling ability was not on display), the LOLffensive line is inexperienced and a little slow, and the quarterbacks, well, ROFLOLMAO.  LMAOchigan is at LOLst two years away from any semblance of LOLffensive success.  It's a trainwROFL.

This game wasn't nearly as cLOLse as the final score indicated.  Utah had a number of long drives stall out deep in LMAOchigan teRORitory, and all three LOLverine touchdowns came on short drives resulting from Utah turnovers.  The LOLverine defense looked decent, hLOLding Utah to 342 yards of offense.  Doesn't help much when your LOLffense only puts up 203, though.  I have not yet visited a Michigan bLOLg this afternoon, but I can hardly wait. (AP Photo/Tony Ding)

(If you think we're taking too much joy in this, well, you're probably right.)

Cal 38 - Michigan State 31

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I think that should do it for the Michigan State boomlet.  Cal scored the first ten points of the game, and the teams traded scores the rest of the way.  The MSU defense gave up over 200 yards on the ground to a pair of running backs who had previous racked up 220 yards in their careers.  Hoyer looked good, and Michigan State's offense picked up where it left off, but it's tough to get the lead when your defense is giving up massive amounts of rushing yards and touchdown after touchdown.  (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Wisconsin 38 - Akron 17

P.J. Hill's line: 26 carries, 210 yards, 2 touchdowns.  He's good.

This game wasn't really that close.  Wisconsin went ahead 17-0 early, went to the half up by a touchdown, and finished Akron off by the end of the third quarter.  We know nothing more about Allan Evridge (7-10, 75 yards, 1 TD, 1 Int.), but opponents are going to start moving 9 into the box against Wisconsin.

Ohio State 43 - Youngstown State 0

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Ruh roh...

Penn State 66 - Coastal Carolina 10

Look, I don't want to read too much into a 56-point victory against a 1-AA opponent whose program is 5 years old, but there's a little danger in Penn State's opening performance.  Coastal Carolina threw for nearly 200 yards in this game on 31 attempts, and did most of that damage with their backup quarterback.  Penn State has a very experienced defense (especially in the secondary), and it might only be nitpicking (pun intended), but you would expect a little better from PSU.

That being said, the Spread HD put up 66, and both Devlin and Clark looked awfully damn good in the glorified wishbone.  The backs put up over 300 rushing yards.  The questions aren't enough to justify moving PSU out of my top 10.

Northwestern 30 - Syracuse 10

Syracuse is terrible.  They have a passing offense with an inaccurate quarterback and no wide receivers (their best player - by far - left during the offseason).  They have a coach who can't put together a coherent sentence, let alone a gameplan.  Their fans are dreaming of a trip to the International Bowl in Toronto.

That's why this should scare the hell out of Wildcat fans: Syracuse was leading Northwestern 5 minutes into the third quarter.

Tyrell Sutton is a man, though not yet 40.  He finished with 144 yards on 21 carries, and he was the difference between the nailbiter this game was and the seemingly comfortable win indicated by the final score.

(Side note: Jhamal Fluellen, who was by far and away the best offensive player for Maine yesterday, was a Syracuse recruit who left school when diagnosed with a rare heart condition.  The story is here.)

Indiana 31 - Western Kentucky 13

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Starting Indiana quarterback, Iowa killer, and confirmed party animal Kellen Lewis threw for 144 and ran for 185 in leading Indiana to an easy win.  You read that right: Lewis ran for 185 yards, including touchdown runs of 75 and 62.  He's good.  (AP Photo/Tom Strickland)

Minnesota 31 - Northern Illinois 27

It took a last-second touchdown for Minnesota to knock off Northern Illinois.  That's the same Northern Illinois team which went 2-10 last season.  That's the same Northern Illinois team that has a first-year head coach.  That's the same Northern Illinois team considered a cellar dweller this season by most people who know anything about MAC football.  It took a last-second touchdown.

Stop laughing.

By the way, Minnesota is seriously lacking in depth, especially now that half their recruiting class didn't get through the NCAA clearinghouse.  This team is one injury away from the Apocalypse.

Iowa State 44 - South Dakota State 17

South Dakota State threw 5 interceptions, and it wasn't brilliant secondary play that caused the turnovers; most were thrown directly into the chest of a defensive lineman.  That's why Ryan Berry plays at South Dakota State, folks.  The fact is, despite losing by 27, SDSU was only outgained by 38 yards.  Austin Arnaud, in his first start at quarterback, had a whopping 98 passing yards on 11 attempts.  the Clones have implemented a no-huddle offense where the players line up, then look in unison to the sideline for the play call.  It's quite possibly the dumbest-looking thing I've ever seen.  ISU fans came away from this game thinking they were the '85 Bears, of course, but this was not a particularly impressive performance.

Kansas 40 - Florida International 10

FIU quarterback Paul McCall went 10-for-28 for 74 yards passing and 2 interceptions.  Halfback A'mod Ned carried 12 times for 42 yards.  They lost time of possession by 16 minutes.  FIU rolled up a whopping 139 yards of offense against a KU squad not exactly known for their defense.  What I'm saying is, I'm not too worried about next week.