Another week, another set of games that our soon-to-be-vanquished-foes played. Last week, upcoming Eagle opponents went 2-2 on the week, with Central Michigan winning the battle of the half-decent directional Michigans and Virginia defeating Maryland in an ugly affair. The aforementioned Maryland and Notre Dame were the teams that lost last weekend, while North Carolina enjoyed the bye week and prepared for their Thursday night showdown with the Seminoles.
Let us take a trip around the box scores.
Southern Cal 34, Notre Dame 27. And yet again, the Irish go down to the wire in a game. This time, however, despite the best efforts of the refs, the Irish came up with the short end of the stick. Despite two very suspect calls on the game's final drive - a personal foul call on USC on 4th and 10 with under 0:42 seconds to play, and a roughing the pretty boy passer call on 1st and goal - the Irish couldn't tie it up in the games final seconds and lost 34-27. The Trojans built a 34-14 lead early in the fourth quarter before Jimmy Clausen led the Irish on back-to-back touchdown drives to cut the lead to 7. Clausen finished the day with 24-of-43 passing, 260 yards and two touchdowns. Golden Tate caught both Jimmy Clausen touchdown passes and tallied 8 total catches for 117 yards. Armando Allen Jr. paced the Irish rushing game with 51 yards on 12 carries. Despite the Notre Dame offense's best efforts, the Irish defense gave up over 500 yards on the day, including 380 through the air from freshman QB Matt Barkley. On the bright side, the Irish defense was able to limit Joe McKnight to only 79 yards on 19 carries. The Irish have not beaten the Trojans since 2001, a year after Notre Dame's last win over Boston College.
Central Michigan 34, Western Michigan 23. Another week, same result. The Central Michigan games week in and week out are nothing more than the Dan LeFevour show. LeFevour completed 18-of-30 passes for 2 touchdowns, and added 76 yards and a touchdown on the ground to defeat the Chippewas arch-rival Broncos 34-23. CMU running back Antonio Brown had 100 yards on only 8 carries. With the win, Central Michigan remains the only unbeaten team in the MAC West. The encouraging news from this game is that the Central Michigan defense surrendered nearly 500 yards to the Western Michigan offense, including a whopping 410 yards through the air (compared to only 87 on the ground). Hopefully Shinskie, Gunnell and Larmond Jr. can enjoy similar success through the air in two weeks time vs. the Chippewas. Because we know LeFevour is going to have some success against BC. Central Michigan next travels to Bowling Green before traveling to Chestnut Hill on Halloween.
Virginia 20, Maryland 9. Don't let this final score fool you. This was definitely the game of the weak in the ACC this past weekend. It wasn't nearly as decisive as the final score would indicate. Virginia running back Rashawn Jackson scored the game's only offensive touchdown on the day as the Virginia Cavaliers downed the Maryland Terrapins 20-9 in College Park, Maryland. Maryland built up a 6-3 halftime lead and later lead 9-3 late in the third quarter from the foot of kicker Nick Ferrera, who was good from 48, 30 and 29 yards. The 'Hoos, however, were able to capitalize on 4 Terrapin turnovers, including converting a Nate Collins interception into a 32-yard return for a score and the game-winning touchdown. Ugly quarterback lines from both starters. Maryland QB Chris Turner finished 16-of-38 for 158 yards and 2 interceptions, while Virginia signal caller James Sewell went 13-of-23 for 137 yards. Neither team was able to establish much offense on the day, with Virginia amassing a mere 201 yards of total offense on the day (and a mere 63 yards on the ground). You can surmise two possible conclusions from this game - either the Virginia and Maryland offenses are really, really bad ... or the Virginia and Maryland defenses are really, really good. We'll err on the side of the offenses being bad, and the defenses enjoying success at the expense of the opposing offense. Virginia hosts Georgia Tech this weekend, while Maryland travels to Durham to face Duke. In a game that they are currently the underdog, mind you. Yes, it's that bad these days in College Park.
North Carolina was busy regrouping from an 0-2 start in ACC play and preparing to host the Florida State Seminoles this Thursday night in a virtual bowl-elimination game.