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COLLEGE FOOTBALL

Buckeye Plan Is Plane and Simple

October 09, 1997|CHRIS DUFRESNE

* Texas and Florida don't play this season. Why? The Longhorns have not scored in the first quarter. The Gators have outscored opponents in the first quarter, 91-3.

It has already been a long year for Longhorn Coach John Mackovic, who was asked after last week's loss to Oklahoma State: "Do you see losses to teams with inferior talent continuing like that?"

* Andy Katzenmoyer came back for his sophomore season. The Ohio State middle linebacker probably could have gone pro after last year, but apparently is intent on leaving his facemask tattoo on every Big Ten quarterback's chest before moving on. Though Katzenmoyer is 6 feet 4 and 260 pounds, Buckeye Coach John Cooper says he is one of the five or six fastest players on his team, having been clocked in the 40-yard dash at 4.55.

Penn State Coach Joe Paterno, the nation's foremost expert on the position, says Katzenmoyer not only stacks up with some of the great linebackers he has had, such as Matt Millen, Jack Ham and Shane Conlan, "He stacks up with any of the great ones I've ever seen."

HE'S A STEAMROLLER

Georgia is the latest school chasing Florida's exhaust in the pass-happy Southeastern Conference. Like Tennessee, Alabama and Kentucky, Georgia has dumped its conservative ground-loving tradition in favor of a wide-open passing attack.

The Bulldogs have obviously come to grips with second-year Coach Jim Donnan's West Coast offense. Off to its first 4-0 start since 1982, Georgia ranks ninth nationally in total offense, and quarterback Mike Bobo is third in efficiency at 177.5.

The Georgia coach has even taken on some of Spurrier's quirkiness. Last week, Donnan drove a steamroller to practice.

"Nothing to it," Donnan said Wednesday. "There was one parked over there beside the field, I was talking to the team about, we're either going to be the steamroller or the pavement, asked the guy over there running it if he'd show me how to work it, so I wouldn't run over the players. I rode out there a few feet.

"It was highly overrated."

COAST TO COAST

* You have to love Washington State's Heisman campaign. The school mailed out a media release this week that was nothing but a leaf. Good thing the Cougars' Heisman candidate quarterback isn't named Ryan Anvil.

* Cincinnati (4-1) leads Conference USA in total defense, has forced 15 turnovers in its four victories and has not given up a first-quarter point in the last seven games. The defensive coordinator's name is Rex Ryan. Son of Buddy.

* Want to know why Miami is 1-4? Because of NCAA sanctions, the Hurricanes have only 58 players on scholarship (the NCAA limit is 85), of which 40 are either freshmen or sophomores.

* Tip for Texas: If Florida defensive coordinator Bobby Stoops is not a head coach somewhere next year, there should be an investigation.

* Stat patrol: The SEC boasts a 23-1 record against nonconference opponents, but none of those foes was ranked in the Top 25. Conversely, the Pacific 10 is 19-7 against nonconference competition, with five of the seven losses coming against top 10 opponents.

* Running backs Mike Mitchell and Anthony Bookman have run for at least 100 yards in Stanford's last three games. In that span, the two have combined for 749 yards and averaged 6.5 yards a carry.

* Keeping tabs on the coaching Robinsons: With his 100th victory Saturday, USC's John Robinson trails Grambling's Eddie Robinson by 307.

* With 164 completions in five games, Kentucky quarterback Tim Couch has already eclipsed the school season record of 151 held by Bill Ransdell.

* What are the chances of Alabama, Notre Dame, Colorado, Miami and Texas losing again on the same weekend?

* First-year Morehead Coach Doug Williams says he will happily succeed 78-year-old Robinson at Grambling if the school asks him. Williams is a former Grambling star quarterback and Super Bowl MVP with the Washington Redskins. Grambling has sought permission to speak with Williams, who has an escape clause in his contract. This is Robinson's last season.

* When Oklahoma and Texas play this weekend, it will be the first meeting in 28 years in which neither team is ranked.

* Saturday's last-second loss to Wisconsin dropped Northwestern to 2-4, but Wildcat Coach Gary Barnett said he finally saw a resemblance to the team that won the last two Big Ten titles. "It's like we found ourselves," Barnett said. Let's hope so. Northwestern's next four games are at Michigan, Michigan State, at Ohio State and Penn State.

(BEGIN TEXT OF INFOBOX / INFOGRAPHIC)

Bowled Over Only Once

Six major college teams have played in only one bowl game in their history. A look:

*--*

School Date Bowl Opponent (Result) Eastern Michigan Dec. 12, 1987 California San Jose St. (W, 30-27) Kent Dec. 29, 1972 Tangerine Tampa (L, 21-18) Long Beach St. Dec. 19, 1970 Pasadena Louisville (T, 24-24) Memphis Dec. 18, 1971 Pasadena San Jose St. (W, 28-9) Northern Illinois Dec. 17, 1983 California CS Fullerton (W, 20-13) Rutgers Dec. 16, 1978 Garden State Arizona St. (L, 34-18)

*--*

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