Rocky’s V: Week 5 wrap, Week 6 big game preview

10/03/2012

I. Note to FBS Defensive Coordinators: This is NOT arena football

There are a few defensive coordinators around the country right now in need of a shipment of Pepto-Bismol. Across the country, defenses were o-ffensive, and down-right nonexistent. In the 70-63 West Virginia win over Baylor there was a combined 1,507 yards of total offense, 1,237 of it through the air, and 13 total touchdowns. Then, in one of four MAC games that produced 70 or more total points, Miami (OH) finally put away Akron in a game that saw a combined 1,334 yards. On top of these two games, throw in scores of Georgia 51-Tennessee 44, Miami 44-N.C. State 37, and Fresno State 52-San Diego 40, and you have a life-long defensive player like me longing for the days of “three yards and a cloud of dust.” I couldn’t help but think of the Sunday film sessions with the players. The coordinators need to walk into those defensive meeting rooms and call out every person in it — starting with themselves.

II. Don’t look now but the Hurricanes are emerging

Very quietly, “The U” has snuck its way into college football relevance. Miami is 4-1 on the season after a big victory over N.C. State this past week and for the year are 3-0 in the ACC. They have a quarterback, Stephen Morris, who can light up scoreboards. Morris threw for an ACC record 566 yards in the win last week. All this builds up to a showdown this coming week with another surprising team this year, Notre Dame. And not even the horrible uniforms the Irish will sport this week can scare the ‘Canes in this one…

III. Not ready to hand Geno Smith the Heisman yet

I know, he set two West Virginia records with 656 passing yards and 687 yards of total offense, but wasn’t Baylor only playing with 9 guys on defense? No, it only seemed that way. That’s why I am rolling my eyes at all this “hand Smith the Heisman” talk this week. There is no question that Smith is impressive, but his performances this year are against Marshall, James Madison, Maryland and Baylor… not exactly names that conjure up notions of defensive excellence. The Heisman should go to the guy who is the best player among the best of the competition. So if Smith can put up these kinds of numbers against future opponents Texas, Kansas State and TCU — all teams he will face in the next four weeks — I ‘d be more than happy to see him take home this year’s Heisman. But, for now, let’s just wait and see.

IV. Alabama needs an exterminator

In week two versus Western Kentucky, the Crimson Tide lost their punishing short-yardage back Jalston Fowler for the year with a knee injury. Then last week, in a win over Ole Miss, they lost starting wide receiver DeAndrew White and another productive RB, Dee Hart. Throw in season-ending injuries to reserves Chris Black (WR) and Jarrick Williams (SS), and all is not peachy in Tide Country. If there is one critter that can gnaw away at a team’s national title hopes it is the injury bug and Alabama seems to have caught it. The good news is that Alabama has some of the best depth in the country. The bad news is that it might only take one or two more injuries to key players to send a promising season into a tail-spin.

V. Colossal matchup in Columbus this weekend

After Ohio State put away a very good Michigan State team 17-16 this weekend and Nebraska rattled off 20 unanswered points to shock Wisconsin 30-27, this week’s Buckeyes-Cornhuskers game has all the makings for a classic. Nebraska’s rally versus Wisconsin was the second biggest comeback in school history.  The biggest came last year against, you guessed it, Ohio State – a game in which the Huskers came back from being down 21 points. This will add all the elements of vengeance, hatred, and payback into a game between programs with storied histories. If you are a college football fan and dislike the SEC, this is your matchup of the year so far.

– Rocky Boiman

Rocky Boiman is an analyst for Westwood One’s coverage of NCAA Football. Each week in “Rocky’s V,” the former Notre Dame captain and Super Bowl champion writes about five topics that have captured his interest from around college football. This weekend, Rocky will be in Columbus with John Tautges to bring you coverage of the Nebraska-Ohio State game. Coverage begins at 7:30 PM Eastern. You can also follow Rocky on Twitter.

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