How difficult is it to be the Heisman favorite? Just ask Peyton Manning. The Tennessee quarterback has four consecutive 300-yard games, including 324 yards (and two touchdown passes) in Saturday’s 31-17 victory over Mississippi. Still, he seems to lose favor with Heisman watchers.
Three quarterbacks who are drawing notice are Washington State’s Ryan Leaf (226 yards, one touchdown vs. Oregon), Auburn’s Dameyune Craig (321 yards, two touchdowns vs. South Carolina) and long shot Daunte Culpepper of Central Florida. Culpepper was 26 of 35 for 322 yards and four touchdowns and had a 75-yard touchdown run against Kent. An ABC television profile, as was aired Saturday, never hurts.
Iowa’s Tavian Banks continues to lead the nation in rushing, but an 84-yard game such as he had against Ohio State on Saturday always hurts.
Stars and stats
Andy Katzenmoyer, Ohio State, intercepted a fourth-quarter pass, had nine solo tackles, threw a block as a fullback on the decisive TD and helped stop one of the nation’s top offenses, as the No. 7 Buckeyes defeated No. 11 Iowa 23-7.
Kent’s Jose Davis was 32 of 51 passing and threw for a conference-record 551 yards and six TDs in a 59-43 loss to Central Florida.
Todd Schultz, Michigan State, was 19 of 31 for 304 yards and threw three TD passes in a 31-10 victory over Minnesota.
Wilkie Perez, Glenville State, passed for 527 yards and five TDs in a 42-18 victory over West Liberty.
North Carolina’s Chris Keldorf, playing because starting quarterback Oscar Davenport was nursing a knee injury, completed 25 of 41 passes for a school-record 415 yards and three TDs in the No. 5 Tar Heels’ 31-10 win over Texas Christian.
Tim Couch, Kentucky, completed 32 of 49 passes for 355 yards in the Wildcats’ 40-34 overtime win over No. 20 Alabama.
Louisiana Tech quarterback Tim Rattay, the national leader in total offense, passed for 343 yards and three touchdowns and ran for another 38 yards against Cal to keep his average at about 376 ypg.
Cade McNown, UCLA, was 11 of 14 and passed for 297 yards and four TDs in one half against Houston.
Ahman Green, Nebraska, ran for 193 yards and four TDs on 20 carries in three quarters against Kansas State.
Brian Brennan, Idaho, passed for 396 yards and two TDs as the Vandals defeated North Texas 30-17.
Ohio, the nation’s fifth-leading rushing team, ran for 612 yards and was 0 for 4 passing in a 47-7 victory over Eastern Michigan. Steve Hookfin ran for 177 yards, Riz Buckman 166 and quarterback Kareem Wilson 139.
Notre Dame has lost four in a row in a single season for the first time since 1963.
Kansas’ Eric Vann had a 99-yard run from scrimmage in the Jayhawks’ 20-17 win over Oklahoma. It was the fifth 99-yard run from scrimmage in NCAA history, and the second by a Kansas runner. Gale Sayers ran for a 99-yard touchdown against Nebraska in 1963.
Until Saturday’s 42-16 victory, Oklahoma State hadn’t scored more than 14 points in 11 prior meetings with Texas, but surpassed that total after two drives.
Miami, Ohio coach Randy Walker became the RedHawks’ career victories leader on Saturday, but he only needed 45 wins to do so.
Dartmouth’s 24-20 win over Cornell extended the nation’s longest unbeaten streak to 20 games. Dartmouth has gone 19-0-1 since a 17-14 loss to Cornell in 1995.
Temple defeated Pittsburgh 17-13, winning a second conference game for the first time since joining the Big East in 1991.
Stuffing the stat sheet, completely
Tulsa quarterback John Fitzgerald completed 22 of 36 passes for 319 yards against Rice, but fumbled twice and threw three interceptions.
LSU’s Cecil Collins carried only three times for 13 yards before breaking his right leg in the second quarter of the Tigers’ 7-6 win at Vanderbilt. Kevin Faulk, back as the starting tailback, led LSU with 135 yards on 31 carries.
Turner has his say
“I said during the week that I had trouble finding any weaknesses in them, and I still haven’t found any.” - Illinois coach Ron Turner after his winless team was routed 41-6 in Penn State’s Big Ten opener.
Looking ahead to next Saturday
It’s Big Ten Game of the Year, Part II when Ohio State, after Saturday’s victory over Iowa in Part I, plays at Penn State.
Fans in Baton Rouge, La., are inclined to consider Florida at LSU as a preview of the SEC championship game. They may be right.
The rest of the nation may not care anymore, but the Texas State Fair still features the Oklahoma-Texas game.