Sun Sep 12 11:52am EDT
Snap judgments on the weekend's best.
• ART. If Denard Robinson's 502 total yards, record-breaking touchdown run and game-winning touchdown drive against Notre Dame were just a little too crowd-pleasingly obvious for the critics at first glance, Michigan Daily photographer Sam Wolson captured the subtler flourishes of Robinson's masterwork with a shot of the super sophomore in full-on Heisman mode in the course of one of his many, many carries in the Wolverines' 28-24 win in South Bend. Where Desmond Howard's pioneering work in 1991 infused the controversial "Stiffarm" genre with an air of winking self-awareness, Robinson's early entries seem to defy his predecessors' post-modern posturing in favor of an organic sensibility more suitable to the earnestness of his post-9/11 generation.
• MEDICINE. Incredibly, Robinson's afternoon may have been overshadowed by Notre Dame quarterback Dayne Crist if Crist hadn't been knocked out of the game taking a quarterback sneak into the end zone on the Irish's first drive, forcing him out for the rest of the half. While backups Tommy Rees and Nate "Yes That Montana" Montana struggled to get anything done over the next quarter-and-a-half, Notre Dame trainers worked to get Crist back into the game in time to start the second half, where he promptly led another touchdown drive to kick off a 17-0 rally that put the Irish ahead 24-21 with less than five minutes to play. On nine positions with Crist at the helm, the Irish gained 384 yards and scored four times, as opposed to five punts, two turnovers and zero points on eight possessions under Rees and Montana.
• PHILANTHROPY. Miami quarterback Jacory Harris was unusually good to the Ohio State defense, generously donating four interceptions that led directly to 17 short-field points for the Buckeyes in a 36-24 OSU win.
• CULINARY ARTS. Whatever the food budget is for the GameDay crew, it wasn't enough to prevent a late-night hankerin' among the on-air talent, or to stop Chris Fowler, Desmond Howard and Erin Andrews from braving a Taco Bell drive-thru on foot when the GameDay bus proved too large to make he clearance:
For the record, Andrews' order consisted of half a side of cinnamon twists, and Fowler's enthusiasm for his first fat-food "experiment" lasted exactly one bite into whatever it was they were passing off as a chalupa.
• PHYSICS. Thirty-seven carries by Marcus Lattimore + Sketchy tackling by Georgia's defense = A breakout afternoon for South Carolina's punishing true-freshman bowling ball, who picked up at least three-fourths of his 182 rushing yards against UGA after the first hit.
• TRANSPORTATION. Oregon struggled to find a route to Neyland Stadium's checkerboard end zones for most of the first half, until running back LaMichael James decided to forge his own, innovative path on the Ducks' second possession of the third quarter:
James' circuitous, determined route gave Oregon its first lead, 20-13, with 10:30 to play in the third quarter. Less than five minutes later, Duck cornerback Cliff Harris leapt in front of a Matt Simms turkey into the flat for a 75-yard interception return, and it was all downhill from there.
• DRAMA. In a rare display of fight and quasi-competence, hapless Washington State rallied from a 22-7 fourth-quarter deficit to beat Montana State, 23-22, with a pair of late touchdowns and an 18-yard Nico Grasu field goal to go ahead for good with a little over two minutes to play. All 16 fourth-quarter points were set up by the Wazzu defense, which picked off a pair of passes and stopped the Bobcats on downs to set up the scores, then came down with another interception to ice the win following the game-winning kick. Head coach Paul Wulff's record now stands at 4-22 in his third year, two of the wins coming over I-AA/FCS competition.
• LITERATURE. USC continued its ongoing homage to George Orwell's classic "1984" by sending Reggie Bush's retired jersey down the memory hole at the L.A. Coliseum:
The Trojan offense did its part to put the Bush era in the past by scoring just 17 points on 329 total yards in an uninspiring win over Virginia.
• EDUCATION. As expected, true freshman quarterback Robert Bolden was administered a harsh lesson in big-time quarterbacking by Alabama's defense in his first road start, a 13-of-29, two-interception effort that yielded a single field goal in a 24-3 Penn State loss in Tuscaloosa. Bolden may have also learned something by watching 'Bama's senior quarterback, Greg McElroy, who efficiently carved up the always-solid Nittany Lion D for 229 yards and a pair of touchdowns, with five completions covering at least 20 yards.
• COMMUNICATIONS. Washington quarterback Jake Locker had a direct line to receiver Jermaine Kearse, who came down with three of Locker's four touchdown passes in the Huskies' 41-20 cruise against Syracuse. Locker finished with 289 yards spread among eight different receivers, but mostly among Kearse, who had a career-high 179 on nine catches.
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Matt Hinton is on Twitter: Follow him @DrSaturday.