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Bevo's Daily Roundup - September 21, 2009

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Colt McCoy had the flu earlier this week.

Some of McCoy’s early struggles were understandable. He was waylaid earlier this week with a bout of the flu that caused him to miss practice on Tuesday and limited his participation later in the week.

The rustiness showed early as the Longhorns produced only 10 points in the first half and none of those came from the offense. McCoy appeared winded as he was limited to only five yards rushing on eight carries.

We'll take survival. It wasn't pretty but it is a win.

Again, the Longhorns won.

They are 3-0.

They'll take it and gladly move on to UTEP.

"Survival," said Texas coach Mack Brown. "It's not playoffs or anything else. It is survival."

The Tortilla Retort has the plays of the game.

Stewart Mandel does not think we are the second best team in the country.

Texas never really seemed in danger of losing Saturday night's game to Texas Tech, yet anyone who watched the Longhorns' 34-24 victory will understandably wonder whether they are really the second-best team in the country.

Colt McCoy did not look remotely like his Heisman-contending self from a year ago. Much like he did in his first two games against Lousiana-Monroe and Wyoming, the senior star started off slowly (Texas' only first-half touchdown came on Jordan Shipley's punt return) -- only this time he never heated up. Facing a surprising amount of pressure from the Red Raiders' injury-depleted defensive line, McCoy threw more interceptions (two) than touchdowns (one) and finished with just 200 passing yards.

See Sunday's BDR for more on the Tech game.




Aggies win. A&M beat Utah State 38-30.

Jerrod Johnson threw three of his four touchdown passes to freshman Uzoma Nwachukwu and Texas A&M overcame injuries to two of its top playmakers in a 38-30 win over Utah State on Saturday.

Johnson completed 21 of 41 passes for 322 yards and Nwachukwu also ran for a score for A&M (2-0), which lost sophomore receiver Jeff Fuller and freshman running back Christine Michael to leg injuries. Fuller was coming off a career-best, 10-catch performance in the season opener against New Mexico and Michael rushed for 94 yards on Saturday before he was hurt.

Wide receiver Jeff Fuller has a cracked bone in his left leg.




Oklahoma State

Oklahoma State beat Rice 41-24.

Here it is, only the third week in September, and we’re already running out of ways to describe how Oklahoma State football isn’t quite what we expected.

Ride an elevator down from the press box, and you’ll see the faithful shaking their heads about the Cowboys’ defense.



Landry Jones led the Sooners to a 45-0 win over Tulsa. (ESPN video) It was a big day for Jones.

A school record six touchdown passes. More fake mustaches in the stands.




ESPN's Tim Griffin hands out stickers for week three.

The North

Missouri beat Furman 52-12.

The Missouri football team topped 50 points for the first time this season while piling up 525 yards of in yesterday’s 52-12 victory over Furman. It was the Tigers’ largest offensive output since they ran up 590 yards in a 42-21 victory over Buffalo in the fourth game of last season.

Nebraska lost to Virginia Tech 16-15. It was a tough afternoon.

It’s a "Bill Buckner" loss. Don’t deny it. You’ll sit in a daze for the rest of the weekend. Folks, right now, will be walking aimlessly through the streets of Nebraska. Danny-Coale-behind-the-defense is our "behind the bag!" Be honest – are you ever going to forget that kid’s name for the rest of your life? It’ll be a punchline at a black humor party. They’ll show the game on scary movie night.

Kansas beat Duke 44-16. Jason Whitlock thinks there is something wrong with the Jayhawks.

Mark Mangino’s Kansas Jayhawks smashed Duke 44-16 on Saturday, raising their record to 3-0, their season margin of victory to 127-26 and thoroughly impressing Blue Devils coach David Cutcliffe.

"They are far better than the No. 22 ranked team," Cutcliffe gushed. "People are going to have a hard time defending that team. They make you look a little worse than what you are."

Funny. I was thinking just the opposite.

I spent the whole afternoon trying to figure out what was wrong with the Jayhawks, their offense and their defense.

Buffs win. Colorado beats Wyoming 24-0.

It was a welcomed respite for the Buffaloes, who spent the week defending their coach and hearing about their poor play from fans and media — and even a geology professor who called out linebacker Marcus Burton in class last week, according to the senior captain.

The Cyclones beat Kent State. The win ended their losing streak on the road.

Finally, someone else woke up this morning with the nation’s longest road losing streak. Iowa State found a cure in Kent State for that Sunday morning hangover.

The Cyclones’ 34-14 victory against the Golden Flashes (1-2) before an announced crowd of 15,808 at Dix Stadium Saturday night stopped the streak at 17 regular season defeats on the road, and now there’s just one more negative to end.

Kansas State lost to UCLA 23-9.

It was a tough scene for the Kansas State football team to stomach. For so much of the evening, the Wildcats had given the Bruins a legitimate scare. At two points in the second half, they possessed the ball and had chances to take the lead with a touchdown drive. But the Wildcats couldn't come through when they had to, and in the end that's what did them in.

The South

Despite the loss, Tech looked like a good team.

"Give Taylor Potts credit for some unbelieveable passes,’’ Brown said. "I watched them complete passes … tip ’em twice and catch ’em.’’

And to think: There was no Mike Crabtree to wing passes to. The Longhorns got sick of watching Potts and Lyle Leong salute each other after touchdown passes. And a Saturday in this setting was useful to new wideouts such as Alex Torres and Austin Zouzalik, who combined for 12 catches for 132 yards, much of that in key moments.

Texas Tech punter Ryan Erxleben got his first start in a place very familiar with his last name.

Erxleben punted four times for so-so yardage – 40, 33, 35 and 45 – but he took the game-breaking Shipley out of the equation. On those four punts, Shipley had two fair catches, a return for minus-2 yards and didn’t field the other punt that slipped into the end zone. The last effort could have been downed inside the 5, but Tech’s Nathan Stone let it go through his hands.

Phil Taylor is having a big impact for the Bears on defense and offense.

The Bears lost to UConn 30-22.

With a massive Baylor Line freshman class clearing a path, Robert Griffin and company sprinted from the tunnel like they were going to run free all day.

But that was about the last daylight any Baylor player saw in Saturday’s home opener.

With a hyped-up crowd of 40,147 at Floyd Casey Stadium ready to party, the Connecticut Huskies stomped in like they owned the place.

Baylor had a bigger loss than what the score indicated.

"It’s kind of tough for us, because we wanted to start out our season 4-0," Baylor linebacker Antonio Jones said. "That was our main goal — 4-0. This was a big home game for us, and we needed this win. So it’s real disappointing to come out and lose the game. I don’t think we came out and played to the best of our abilities."

For a brief moment, they did. After Baylor fell behind 3-0, running back Jay Finley re-energized the crowd by busting loose up the middle on a 72-yard touchdown jaunt. Bam — just like that, everyone’s raising the roof, jiggling their hips.

But those Huskies, ever the party poopers, just wouldn’t go away. They were always there, hovering over the Bears’ shoulder, like an unwanted guest with overpowering garlic breath.

"It is real disappointing. We didn’t expect something like that," linebacker Joe Pawelek said.




Say it ain't so, Dennis. Is the USC dynasty at the end of the run?

Here's the current state of USC football: Pete Carroll tried to hide from Washington the fact that he was starting Aaron Corp.

Seldom, if ever, has Carroll had to play the game-time decision card with his quarterbacks. His guys have been healthy and experienced, sometimes legends. But on Saturday one of the nation's best coaches was reduced to gamesmanship involving a kid who had thrown eight career passes.

After retirement from coaching comes tailgating?

We hosted our inaugural tailgate last Saturday at the Texas game. We had about 60 people stop by. I discovered that they drink a lot. They don't eat much, just drink a lot. Mack Brown stopped by afterward and I told him, 'While you were walking back to the locker room before the game, your stomach churning and you were pacing back and forth, I had a Bud Light in my hand.' He laughed and gave me a high-five.

Sarah Thomas is major college football’s only female referee.

She has grown accustomed to startling players and coaches on Saturdays but said it did not occur as often as one might think.

"Most of the time they are so focused on what they are doing, they don’t notice me," Thomas said. "And that is what every other official strives for. Our best games are the ones that no one knows we’re there."



And finally...

It isn't always about winning.

Life comes full circle. In 1989, Colorado quarterback Sal Aunese died of cancer. His son T.C. McCartney now plays for Les Mies, the man that recruited Aunese for Colrado, at LSU.

Rick Neuheisel had a reunion with Kansas State player Attrail Snipes on Saturday.

It was in Seattle; in a poor, roughneck corner of that city that few tourists ever visit. At the time, Neuheisel had been dropped like a two-ton boulder from his job at Washington for answers he gave about participating in a betting pool. Scorned, jobless, staring at the prospect of never being a head coach of any renown again, for two years he soothed his wounds by volunteering as a quarterbacks coach at Rainier Beach High.

The team's defensive coordinator? Witcher.

Its swiftest, most potent player? Snipes.

Their story hardly ends there. For it turns out that Snipes had a secret, something he mostly kept bottled tight.

"I'd been through some hard times," he says, his voice quiet as he spoke this week over the phone.

A great story about Matt Zieselran, a player with Down Syndrome.

Matt Ziesel doesn't stray far from coach Dan McCamy on the sidelines during St. Joseph Benton High School's freshman football games. He likes to stay within earshot.

"I'm ready, Coach. . . . Coach, I'm ready," Ziesel says.

McCamy says he hears it about 10 times a game, and also at practices, from Ziesel, his 5-foot-3, 110-pound running back.

So in the final stages of Benton's third game of the season on Monday at Maryville, Mo., McCamy decided it was time for Ziesel - a 15-year-old freshman with Down Syndrome - to make his season debut.