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Denard Robinson is the Real Deal

It appears Rich Rodriguez has found his guy.  The hot seat talk in Ann Arbor has tapered off, and the Michigan Wolverines owe a huge portion of their early-season success to sophomore quarterback Denard Robinson.  True Heisman Trophy contenders don’t score a touchdown and break into the Heisman pose for the cameras — it just happens.

We’ve already told you how we feel about Rich Rodriguez, but when credit is deserved we aren’t afraid to hand it out.  Rodriguez has the Wolverines’ program back on the rise, and the main reason that’s happening is that he’s found the perfect fit for his offense.  Pat White was recently released by the Dolphins and is now considering a career in baseball, despite finishing in the top-10 in Heisman voting twice during his college career.  White was one of the most electrifying players in college football while at West Virginia, and it’s now become evident that he was a product of Rich Rodriguez’ system.

That’s certainly not to say Robinson can’t become a star in the NFL, but it’s obvious he’s the perfect fit for a Rodriguez offense.  Robinson is essentially Michigan’s running back and quarterback.  Through two games, he’s leading the nation in rushing with 455 rushing yards.  One might assume his passing stats would be mediocre given the numbers he’s piled up running the football, but that’s not the case.  Robinson has thrown for 430 yards and two touchdowns.  More importantly, he has yet to throw an interception.

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LaMichael James TD Run of the Week

Oregon was engaged in a bizarre game on Saturday night in Knoxville. The Ducks seemed to be spooked by the lightning that delayed the contest and the noisy crowd in Neyland Stadium. They were down 13-3 most of the first half before going into halftime tied at 13. It wasn’t until the second half when the Ducks really got it going.

Oregon outscored Tennessee 35-0 in the second half, routing the Vols 48-13. The play that got it all started was one of the most spectacular runs of the weekend. Check out this amazing 72-yard touchdown run by LaMichael James that started the rout:

From Jonathan Stewart to Reuben Droughns to Maurice Morris and the Whizzinator, Oregon is churning out some good backs. Maybe we’ll be adding LaMichael James’ name to the list before long.

Video Credit: YouTube user NWsports300

ACC with Poor Week as Expected

When I talk about the top conferences in college football, I talk about the SEC, Big 12, Big Ten, and Pac-10. The Big East is left out of my discussions, the ACC is hardly referenced, and Boise State and the Mountain West are mentioned casually. Despite having strong programs like Miami, Florida State, and Virginia Tech, the ACC has not been a major player on the college football scene for at least the past five years. They showed why on Saturday.

Billed as a top team that was “back” this year, Miami got throttled by Ohio State 36-24. A kickoff and punt return for a touchdown kept the score much closer for Miami than the game truly was. Jacory Harris may have mocked Jim Tressel but the Buckeyes had the last laugh.

Florida State was coming off a dominant week one win over Samford and looking to expose a weak Oklahoma secondary. The opposite ended up happening. Landry Jones and the Sooners shredded the Noles who got embarrassed 47-17.

Virginia Tech had the most notable loss of the weekend. Coming off a defeat by Boise State, the Hokies fell to James Madison at home 21-16. They committed three turnovers and became the first ranked team to lose to a D-II opponent since Michigan fell to App. State at the Big House in 2007.

The last loss for the ACC was Georgia Tech falling at Kansas. We’ve already covered what it meant for the KU program, so we’ll write this one off as a charitable deed by Paul Johnson.

Maryland, Clemson, B.C., and N.C. State all had non-conference wins, but their victories were overshadowed by the bad losses from the power programs in the conference. All but the Virginia Tech loss were expected. The ACC being down is not a surprise — they’re a basketball conference for a reason.

Jacory Harris Sports the Sweater Vest

Miami Hurricanes quarterback Jacory Harris made waves on the net by wearing Oakland Raiders overalls earlier this week. Now he’s captured our attention with another choice of clothing. Preparing for Miami’s game in Columbus, Harris walked off the team bus at the Horseshoe wearing a Jim Tressel sweater vest and tie, as I found out from Sports by Brooks. Peep the pic:

Harris may have received the laughs before the game but the Buckeyes had the scoreboard advantage afterward. Though many were not entirely his fault, noodle arm’s four interceptions limited Miami greatly in their 38-26 loss on the road. The Canes are lucky they returned a punt and kick for touchdowns otherwise the score would have been much more lopsided. And anyone who considered Harris to be a Heisman or NFL prospect hopefully learned their lesson.

Photo Credit: Joshuaishere on Twitter

Notre Dame Gets Touchdown Despite TJ Jones Early Celebration

I was all over Eagles receiver DeSean Jackson two years ago for dropping a ball prior to crossing the goal line on what should have been a touchdown against the Cowboys. Jackson learned his lesson because he scored 11 touchdowns last year without any problems. Looks like DeSean isn’t alone with this issue — one of the Marshall receivers did the same thing on Friday night, and so did Notre Dame receiver TJ Jones on Saturday.

Early in the third quarter, Notre Dame was down 21-7 and they had a 2nd and 10 at their 47. Dayne Crist found receiver TJ Jones who walked into the end zone for a 53-yard score, only Jones dropped the ball before getting in. Luckily for the Domers, the refs didn’t call it. Pictures and video of the TJ Jones touchdown below:

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Kansas, Turner Gill Get Big Win over GT

If Ole Miss losing to Jacksonville State was the biggest upset of the first college football weekend, then Kansas suffered the second biggest upset loss. The Jayhawks were inept offensively in a 6-3 defeat by North Dakota State. Many people instantly began wondering about first-year head coach Turner Gill following such a poor performance. Whatever doubts we had were erased a week later.

Gill switched quarterbacks and running backs and saw huge dividends offensively. Redshirt freshman quarterback Jordan Webb went 18-29 for 178 yards and 3 touchdowns plus a pick. True freshman running back James Sims had 102 yards on 17 carries plus a touchdown as the Jayhawks won 28-25 over Georgia Tech.

It’s hard to say that the team has made a big turnaround offensively because they only put up 319 total yards, but the four touchdowns is the big number. Kansas took advantage of a kickoff that went out of bounds, a 13-yard punt, and a roughing the passer penalty that aided its scores.

Georgia Tech really had a good shot at coming back to tie it or win it late but they committed a 5-yard penalty on 4th and 3 and were unable to convert on 4th and 8 with about a minute left. Josh Nesbitt was only 5-for-15 passing. If he could complete a pass here or there they would have at least tied, but I guess that’s what you get with a triple option quarterback. Tech’s loss certainly was Kansas’ gain, and it has taken the pressure off Turner Gill early in the season.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Orlin Wagner

Marcus Lattimore Is the Real Deal

I don’t follow the college football recruiting scene too much, but from reading Sporting News Today on a regular basis, I constantly came across their Top 100 high school football players list. It was kind of funny to see the same list every day with no news to report, but every once in a while a player would commit to a school and the list was updated.

One of the players who was always at the top of the list was Marcus Lattimore. Lattimore is from Duncan, South Carolina and he was considering Auburn, Georgia, and South Carolina, amongst other high-profile schools. Lattimore chose his hometown South Carolina and has been impressive through two games.

In his Gamecocks debut, Lattimore ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns against Southern Miss. In his second game, Lattimore found the end zone the same amount of times but he did much more than that.

Lattimore ran for 182 yards on 37 carries and caught a pass for an additional 16 yards in a 17-6 win over Georgia. He was running physically and with a bruising style, carrying guys on his back as he churned out yards. If ever there was a “workhorse” back, Lattimore would be it. It’s hard to know what to expect from a freshman runner, but we know Steve Spurrier has found himself quite a weapon. Now the only question is whether or not Lattimore will be able to hold up over the long haul; 37 carries is a lot for anyone to endure.

Photo Credit: AP Photo/Mary Ann Chastain