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College Football Recap: Week 7
Sunday, 2010 October 17 - 10:43 am
Michigan and N.C. State both lose; Ohio State, Nebraska, and Nevada suffer their first losses of the season.

Michigan 28, Iowa 38. There are a dozens of reasons why Michigan lost this game. You can certainly point to the fact that three of our best players went out of the game with minor injuries. But the main reasons are: (1) our cornerbacks used poor technique on slant patterns, leading to easy Iowa touchdowns on at least two occasions, and (2) our special teams stink. We sent two kickoffs out of bounds, and had a blocked field goal returned for 40 yards because everyone was standing around not knowing that the ball was live. Tony Gibson is the defensive backs coach, and the special teams coach as of this year. Both of these things are on him.

On the bright side, Kenny Demens had a great day in his first start; he looks like the anti-Ezeh, attacking rushing lanes with speed and aggression (though sometimes not looking terribly great in pass coverage). Tate Forcier was at times masterful in picking apart the Iowa secondary, almost leading Michigan back with a miraculous comeback. Two interceptions hurt his efforts, but you can forgive him for pressing, as the clock was working against him. Rocko Khoury had a surprisingly decent game in relief of David Molk.

In other words, there's still reason to be hopeful about this season. I can't believe the OMG FIRE RICHROD comments that are springing up everywhere after we lost to arguably the two best teams in the Big Ten. Yes, we're not yet an elite team. But did anyone expect us to be? We're 5-2 and going into a stretch of three winnable games. Many expected us to be 3-4 at this point, with losses to Notre Dame and UConn to go with our conference losses.

Grades: Offense C-, Defense D-. (Special Teams F.) Just too many mistakes: turnovers, bad penalties, coverage gaffes.

Michigan has a bye next week (and hopefully time to get everyone healthy) before playing Penn State in Happy Valley on October 30.

N.C. State 27, East Carolina 33 (OT). Well, there you go. ECU has some mystical hold over N.C. State that no one can quite explain. ECU jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter; the defense, which had looked so good in earlier games, was positively porous against ECU's short passing game.

State managed to get back into the game thanks to two ECU fumbles in the third quarter, but Russell Wilson was intercepted in overtime to end the game.

This was a disappointing loss for the Wolfpack, but at least it doesn't hurt their conference standings. State has twelve days to think about their mistakes before playing a surging Florida State team on Thursday, October 28th.

Other Notable Games

Another week, another #1 falls. This time, Ohio State is the victim, losing to #18 Wisconsin 31-18. Ohio State looked downright ordinary and Wisconsin seemed inspired. Wisconsin returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown, and the vaunted Ohio State defense surrendered 184 rushing yards (the highest number all season).

#5 Nebraska was stunned by unranked Texas 20-13. After two weeks of uninspired play, Texas finally woke up and was dominant on defense.

#7 Auburn beat #12 Arkansas 65-43. That's not a basketball score. Whatever happened to SEC defense? Ryan Mallett left the game for Arkansas with a concussion.

After beating Alabama last week, #10 South Carolina lost to Kentucky 31-28. You can just never tell what's going to happen with South Carolina.

#13 Michigan State crushed Illinois 26-6. Illinois, as you may recall, just crushed Penn State, and before that gave Ohio State a run for its money. Michigan State is playing really well right now. At 7-0, and not having to face Ohio State this year, they're a dark horse to get into the BCS title game.

#19 Nevada's undefeated season ended at the hands of Hawaii, 27-21. Hawaii is actually a pretty solid team this year; remember that they hung in with USC for most of the game, early in the season. Nevada and Hawaii still have yet to face Boise State; both will be looking to spoil Boise State's perfect season.

Indiana barely beat a dismal Arkansas State team 36-34. I can't believe Indiana played so well against Michigan; they've been awful the last two weeks.

Eastern Michigan beat 41-38 in overtime, ending an 18-game losing streak.

North Carolina beat Virginia 44-10. They're quietly having a good season despite their NCAA investigation woes.

Florida is on a three-game losing streak, falling to Mississippi State 10-7. You know, it's funny how good players can make a coach look like a genius; now that Tim Tebow is gone, perhaps we can stop canonizing Urban Meyer. The Florida game provided this image:

Florida Schadenfreude

"Aww, it'll be OK. We lost, but at least no one saw your striped panties." OOPS.

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