Friday, December 13, 2002
Weekend wrap-up: A poised Dorsey
By Terry Bowden
Special to BCSfootball.com
Bowden's Weekly Chat Show
Every Saturday throughout the season, ABC studio analyst Terry Bowden will weigh in his assessment of the day's games, the highlights, the lowlights and the surprises.
Three Game Balls:
Ken Dorsey : Miami's skinny 6-foot-5 quarterback had the game of his life against Florida State, as the Hurricanes knocked off the No. 2 Seminoles 27-24. After watching this game, I'd be hard-pressed to say that FSU's 28-year-old signal-caller, Chris Weinke, showed more poise than this 19-year-old kid.
Dorsey completed 27-of-42 passes for 328 yards, two touchdowns, and was not sacked. Not only that, but with less than two minutes left in the game, he led Miami 68 yards down the field, going 6-for-7, for the game-winning score.
Jonathan Beasley: It's about time this quarterback started getting some pub. At the beginning of the season, all we talked about was his inconsistency and that we may see freshman sensation Ell Roberson take his place. K-State's versatile quarterback ran for four touchdowns and passed for another in the Wildcats' victory over their intrastate rivals, the Kansas Jayhawks.
Beasley is 17-1 as a starter, and this year he has passed for 10 TDs and run for 12. At this point in the season, he's not taking a backseat to Nebraska's Eric Crouch.
Ball State's football program: Any time a team ends the nation's longest losing streak -- 21 games -- everyone ought to take home a game ball. I'm talking about managers, trainers, ball boys, and parking lot attendants. Hopefully, next week won't start the Cardinals' next run at that same record.
Surprises of the day:
|Miami quarterback Ken Dorsey is a darkhorse candidate for the 2001 Heisman.|
Texas' defense: The Oklahoma Sooners scored touchdowns on their first five possession en route to a 63-14 victory over the Texas Longhorns. What's going on with this Texas defense? I know coach Mack Brown says they're really one year away from being a national contender, but wasn't the defense supposed to have incredible talent? And what about defensive coordinator Carl Reese? He has carried the reputation as one of the top defensive coordinators in the country for several years running. Maybe I'm all wrong here and Oklahoma has the greatest offense in college football history, but some of those Texas players and assistant coaches better take a hard look in the mirror because the UT faithful are not feeling good right now.
Clemson's defense (or should I say N.C. State's offense?): I did not think there was any way N.C. State could score 27 points on Clemson's defense. Coming into this game, the Tigers had the second-best defense in the nation and were sixth in scoring defense. However, the way it looked to me, if the Wolfpack took their time, they could not have been stopped.
I want to think that it was the talent level of the Wolfpack offense that made so many big plays against Clemson, but with Chuck Amato having only one recruiting class on board, I seriously doubt it.
If you're wondering why I'm being so critical of Clemson, it's because the Tigers are now a conference and national contender, and this is no time to be revealing any chinks in the armor.
Wisconsin's disappearance from the Rose Bowl race: Actually, my preseason pick for the Big Ten championship was Michigan (no offense to Ohio State, Purdue and Northwestern), but I thought Wisconsin would make it a tight race to the bitter end. Now, with three conference losses already under their belt, the Badgers can serve nothing more than to be a spoiler to one of the contenders.
Say what you want about the entire Shoegate affair, but those discounted shoes cost the Badgers leadership, chemistry, and all those other intangibles that go along with being a championship team.
Miami: The weight of the world is finally off of Butch Davis' shoulders after getting his first win against Florida State. After five straight losses, he'll be glad his back is strong, because now he carries the burden of being a bona fide contender.
He won't have very long to see if the swagger is back for good, though, because the Virginia Tech Hokies come strutting into town Nov. 4.
Arizona: Talk about turnarounds. What a difference a year has made to the Arizona Wildcats. After manhandling league favorite USC to reach 4-1, Dick Tomey is looking like an early frontrunner for Comeback Coach of the Year.
At Arizona, it all starts with defense, and this year the 'Cats are swarming.
Georgia: Where was this team earlier when the Bulldogs lost to South Carolina? Tennessee got beat up Saturday night by a bunch of nasty 'Dawgs that are big, strong, and fast. It also looks like the assistant coaches at Georgia have circled the wagons and pulled it together, because the way they played against the Vols is the reason I picked them to win the SEC East.
Tennessee is still in a rebuilding mode, and as the old saying goes, "The proof is in the pudding." Gator pudding.
|Arizona's defense is making a statement in the Pac-10.|
Florida State: Can you say Sebastian Janikowski? (Rumor has it, though, that the Raiders would like to give him back after he missed wide right in overtime in Sunday's game against San Francisco -- the Raiders eventually scored a touchdown to win 34-28). That's the difference between FSU as national champions and what FSU is right now.
On Saturday against Miami, Florida State passed up field goal opportunities on fourth and short inside the red zone twice because of a lack of confidence in the kickers, and came up short both times.
Chris Weinke threw two interceptions into the end zone because in the back of his mind, he knew the chances of making field goals were not good. And twice, field goal kicker Matt Munyon missed, the last one being wide right as time ran out, to give Miami a three-point victory.
If Florida State has any chance to work its way back into the national championship picture, the Seminoles better spend a lot of time on their short-yardage and goal-line running game, and hope that if it all comes down to a close football game that they are up by three instead of down by three.
USC: Here we go again. Just like last year, Southern Cal is picked to finish first or second in the Pac-10 and starts out with a few good victories. But once again, the Trojans have fallen into a midseason slump with their second straight loss. Last year, the losses extended to five in a row, and you have to wonder when this year's demise will end.
Great quarterback + great tailback + great wide receiver + great defensive talent = great dissatisfaction for USC alumni and fans.
For Paul Hackett and his staff, the heat is on.
Tennessee: When was the last time you saw Tennessee with three losses by mid-October? Before the season, the Tennessee-Alabama game in Knoxville looked to be the biggest game in the SEC all year -- but for the wrong reasons. Now, if the Crimson Tide knock off the Volunteers and hand them their fourth conference loss of the season, Tennessee stands a chance of losing the upper-echelon-level mystique it has worked so hard to achieve in the last eight years.
It's time for Tennessee to pick a quarterback for the future, whether it be Casey Clausen or A.J. Suggs, and offensive coordinator Randy Sanders needs to have that Volunteer offense more closely resemble the ones produced by David Cutcliffe.
Terry Bowden is ABC's college football studio analyst and hosts a weekly audio chat on BCSfootball.com on Thursdays at 5 p.m. ET.