Vandy and Florida kicking off in just a few minutes, and the Gators will apparently be without one of their leading tacklers in Jelani Jenkins. Most years an absence like that wouldn't matter much in Florida vs. Vandy--but this isn't most years. The Gator defensive line has been vulnerable to straight-ahead run games like Zac Stacy's and Jenkins may be sorely missed.
Aaron Murray on his way into his Georgia team's game today against New Mexico State. Normally Murray wouldn't have too heavy a workload against an opponent like the Aggies, but today's circumstances aren't normal--with four different Bulldog RBs out for the game, Murray will have to be sharp to make sure the Aggies don't hang around much longer than they're supposed to.
If you're watching Iowa-Michigan, you've probably noticed the Hawkeye helmets are looking a bit different. In honor of the upcoming Veteran's Day, Iowa is going with an America-themed look for today's game against Michigan. The left side is left black in memory of America's casualty of war, and since Iowa's moving right to left on the screen here in the first quarter, all viewers can see is that blank half of the helmet.
On the right, though, is the Stars and Stripes Tigerhawk shown above. It's the first time Iowa's logo has been anything other than its traditional gold, and we'll be honest: this is a mighty, mighty good look.
Read more about the helmets here.
Maryland football has been off to a rocky start in College Park, and the Terps are still looking for their second conference win today against Virginia. The game kicks off at 12:30, and you can track it HERE. But 10 minutes prior to kickoff, Patrick Stevens shows a pretty sad scene at Byrd Field.
The view of Florida Field just a few minutes before kickoff. Safe to say Will Muschamp hasn't converted the majority of the Gator faithful just yet. His team hasn't gotten off to the brightest start--a goalline fumble by Omarius Hines ruined what looked like a Gator TD drive, though Vandy returned the favor by getting a 32-yard field goal attempt blocked.
END OF 1ST QUARTER: NC State 7, North Carolina 0
After the week was filled with verbal flame, the first quarter was an ice bath in the in-state rivalry game. Mike Glennon put together one strong TD drive, but other than that it's been an uneventful first period. Both QB's have thrown interceptions and star freshman running back Gio Bernard has been unable to get rolling against the NC State D.
SEC UPDATE: Richard Samuel has to watch today's Georgia-NMSU matchup after injuring his ankle, but the former linebacker-turned-RB might be more missed on defense thus far--the Dawgs had a healthy 140 yards in the first quarter but also gave up 150 to the Aggies. Both teams got a stop inside their own 5, leaving the score 7-3 early in the second quarter, but to pull away Georgia's going to have do much more in pass defense.
In Gainesville, after a lot of talk all season about getting a power running game going, the Gators are finally doing it against the Commodores, powering their way to a pair of long TD drives. That's opened things up for John Brantley (9-of-14) and Florida already has more than 250 total yards--more than they've had TOTAL a few weeks in this losing streak. 14-0 late 2Q.
Longhorns Running Wild
It was a very impressive first half for Texas against Texas Tech. Mack Brown's team is running at will against a Texas Tech team that looked terrific two weeks ago against Oklahoma and has looked dreadful ever since.
In the first half the Longhorns have rushed for 238 yards on 24 carries and scored 4 touchdowns to take a 31-6 lead into the locker room.
Elsewhere in Big 12 action, the team that beat Texas Tech 41-7 last week, Iowa State, trails Kansas 7-3 in the 2nd quarter.
This Orson Charles hurdle of a New Mexico State player has been about the most dramatic thing to happen in the second quarter in Athens, and six 2Q Bulldog touchdowns -- yes, six -- has put Georgia up 49-3 at halftime.
Florida 20, Vanderbilt 7: Jordan Rodgers has spent the last couple of weeks already looking like the best Vandy QB since Jay Cutler, and he's doing it again today, completing 12 of 16 passes for 169 yards and no picks. The 'Dores will need him if they're to dig out of a 17-0 hole; Rodgers has looked particularly good in the second half, leading one long TD drive and capping it with a smart throw under pressure, and JUST converted a 4th-and-12 in Gator territory. Now less than 13 minutes remaining, but the 'Dores aren't done.
Final: Texas 52 Texas Tech 20
Texas' punter had the easiest job of the day as the Longhorns never had to use him a single time. Read all about Texas' domination over the Red Raiders here in QUICK HITS.
That's Ohio State's Boom Herron scoring to help the Buckeyes finally put away pesky Indiana, 34-20. Game recap is here. Two other early finals worth noting:
UConn 28, Syracuse 21: The Orange have collapsed since their stunner over west Virginia two weeks ago, falling by 17 in L'ville a week ago and now giving up 14 fourth-quarter points to the hapless Huskies. The 'Cuse slips to 5-4 overall and 1-3 in the Big East, while UConn keeps its bowl hopes alive at 4-5.
Ball State 33, Eastern Michigan 31. A buzzer-beating field goal snaps EMU's two-game win streak and drops them to 5-4. The bowl dream takes a big hit for the Eagles and leaves Northern Illinois alone atop the MAC West.
QUICK HITS: Louisville upsets No. 24 West Virginia 38-35. Teddy Bridgewater leads the most productive offensive effort by the Cardinals all season, completing 21 of 27 passes for 246 yards and a touchdown.
Florida 26, Vanderbilt 21: So close and yet so far once again for the 'Dores, who have now lost their last three SEC games by a total of 13 points. Vandy fans will gripe about a terrible no-call on a clear Gator fourth-quarter pass interference with the 'Dores down 20-14, a call that could have extended an eventual TD drive. But Vandy still has bigger problems than the officials, namely making the little plays that win football games ... specifically, the two clear penalties committed by Vandy defenders (one an offsides on 4th-and-inches) that extended the final Florida touchdown drive.
For Florida, after four straight losses, any win is a good win--especially when the Gator offense finally showed some second-half spark. Jeff Demps (above) 52-yard TD to ice the game represented as big a play as the Gator attack has made in the fourth quarter since ... all season?
You know you're in Laramie when you've got evergreens almost overhanging the field ... and all-brown uniforms on it. The Cowboys are gunning for their second major upset in as many weeks, trailing TCU 24-20 at the end of three. Follow with our Gametracker here.
Army has had much more to celebrate than bemoan early on against Air Force, having taken a 14-0 second quarter lead. But it could have easily been 21-0 after a 4th-and-inches effort at the goalline fell short after review.
You can watch his game either on CBS or LIVE online here.
HALFTIME: Wisconsin 38, Purdue 17. The Badgers won't be happy with a pair of kickoff coverage breakdowns that led to 10 first quarter Boiler points (or giving up a TD just before the end of the half), but none of that matters much when the Wisconsin offense is clicking like this. The Badgers racked up a ridiculous 416 total yards and held the ball for five seconds shy of 20 full minutes.
Russell Wilson has been his usual efficient self in the air (12-of-18, 2 TDs), but the real story has been on the ground, where Wilson and Montee Ball (above) have combined for 228 rushing yards on 23 carries ... or just under 10 yards averaged per-carry.
The Boilers deserve credit for doing what they can to stay in the game -- they weren't helped by back-to-back possessions in Wisconsin territory ended by suspicious pass interference no-calls -- but as long as Ball and Wilson are doing the scorched earth routine on the ground, this isn't going to be a game.
SCORECHECK: Looking at some scores around the FBS:
Ole Miss 13, Kentucky 10, early third quarter: Like the ball in the picture above, the Rebels may find an SEC win just out of reach in 2011 if they can't pull it out in Lexington. Houston Nutt may very well be coaching for his job in this game's final 30 minutes. Track it here.
Stanford 17, Oregon State 13, early third quarter. The Cardinal are more banged-up than ever and Andrew Luck hasn't been his usual self -- just 4 yards per his 19 attempts -- but Stanford's defense and running game (164 yards) has kept them out in front. Still, nervous times in Corvallis. Track it here.
TCU 31, Wyoming 20, final. The Frogs hung on in Laramie to stay perfect in Mountain West play. More than ever, the conference title looks like it will come down to the Frogs' trip to Boise St., just as expected when the season began.
The early winner by a HUGE margin today is Michigan State, if Northwestern closes out this upset. Unless the Huskers come back, MSU will have a one-game lead on both Nebraska and Michigan in the division race, plus the tiebreaker over Michigan.
What's particularly stunning is that MSU has gotten back atop the Legends Division with a woeful rushing game, which looked like a major strength of the team coming into the season. Even today, MSU managed just a hair over 100 yards rushing on a pitiful Minnesota defense that ceded over 250 yards to Marcus Coker and Iowa last week. And yet the Spartans just keep winning.
Sooners in Complete Control In Norman
What was a 13-10 score at halftime and looked to be a competitive contest between Texas A&M and Oklahoma proved to be something else entirely. Much like the Sooners did against Kansas State last weekend --and Texas A&M has done all season in the second half -- Oklahoma came out scoring in bunches after halftime.
Oklahoma scored 4 touchdowns in just over 10 minutes of game time to expand their 13-10 lead to 41-10 thanks to a couple Aggie turnovers and one 14-yard, wind-destroyed punt.
Landry Jones threw for 108 yards and 2 touchdowns in the quarter, while Roy Finch and Blake Bell rushed for a touchdown each.
Kentucky30, Ole Miss 13. That'll be your final from Lexington, thanks in large part to the 100 yard day rushing from the impressive CoShik Williams (above). But the story in this game's wake isn't going to be about the triumphant Wildcats--it's going to be about the Rebels losing their 12th straight SEC game, this one to arguably a weaker opponent than any they faced in those previous 11.
With the Rebels' only remaining SEC games coming at home vs. LSU and at Mississippi State, it will take a sizable upset to prevent an 0-8 SEC season for Houston Nutt. And if that's the case, it's simply not realistic to expect him back at the helm in Oxford in 2012. Nutt isn't a dead coach walking yet ,we don't think, but only a miracle against the Tigers will likely be enough to save him.