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COLLEGE FOOTBALL WEEK 5 | IN THE SPOTLIGHT

Bowling Green Coach Seeing Red

September 28, 1997|Gary Klein

Bowling Green Coach Gary Blackney showed a quick wit in the aftermath of his team's 31-point loss against Ohio State two weeks ago.

He wasn't nearly as humorous after Saturday's 58-0 loss to No. 18 Kansas State at Manhattan, Kan.

Blackney was steamed.

Kansas State used long passes to set up its last two touchdowns.

"They'll find out how good they are next week," Blackney said.

Next week, Kansas State plays No. 3 Nebraska at Lincoln, Neb.

"I knew we'd get some criticism for it," said Kansas State Coach Bill Snyder, who insisted he was not trying to run up the score.

Blackney apparently avoided Snyder after the game, but the Kansas State coach said the Falcons' unhappiness was expressed by other staff members.

"And I understand that," Snyder said. "Like I said, I feel badly for it."

YOUNG GUNS

Saturday's game between No. 16 Colorado and Wyoming featured two of college football's youngest coaches.

At 36 and with little more than two years experience as a coach, Colorado's Rick Neuheisel was the veteran compared to Wyoming's Dana Dimel, who at 34 is the youngest coach in Division I-A.

The two coaches' combined age barely equals that of Penn State Coach Joe Paterno.

Neuheisel's experience won out as the Buffaloes defeated the Cowboys, 20-19.

NOW THAT'S AN AUDIBLE

Northwestern lost to Purdue, 21-9, but Wildcat quarterback Tim Hughes may have engineered the most creative scoring drive of the season.

It began when Hughes had a pass intercepted by Mike Rose at the Purdue six yard-line.

Rose, who picked off three passes, returned the interception 32 yards before Hughes tackled him and then recovered Rose's fumble. The Wildcats also gained 15 yards for a personal foul on the play and eventually scored their second field goal on the possession.

FAUST START

Notre Dame's 21-14 loss against Michigan dropped the Fighting Irish to 1-3 under first-year Coach Bob Davie and gave Notre Dame its first three-game losing streak in 12 years.

"We played 20 times better than we did against Purdue and Michigan State," Notre Dame's Tony Driver said. "But they weren't coming out there and shaking our hands, they were hitting, too."

The last time Notre Dame lost three in a row was at the end of the 1985 season, Gerry Faust's final campaign in South Bend. Notre Dame, which has not had a four-game losing streak since 1963, travels to Stanford next Saturday.

IT GOES

WITHOUT SAYING

Iowa defeated Illinois, 38-10, in its Big Ten Conference opener by using five big plays for touchdowns. Their longest touchdown drive lasted only six plays.

The loss left Illinois winless in four games under new Coach Ron Turner. The Illini have lost 10 straight since a 46-43 victory over Indiana last Oct. 5.

"Big plays have killed us all year," Turner said. "That's something, obviously, we've got to eliminate."

Obviously.

FALSE ADVERTISING

Fliers posted on the Washington State campus billed Saturday's game against 1-3 Boise State as the "Preview for Pasadena."

But if the No. 15 Cougars reach the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1931, they figure to draw an opponent of a slightly higher caliber than Boise State.

The Broncos, a 39-point underdog, had one starting defensive end and two inside linebackers who weigh less than Ryan Leaf, Washington State's 238-pound quarterback.

Boise State, under first-year coach Houston Nutt, is in only its second year in Division I-A. The Broncos lost by 40 points to Cal State Northridge and 18 points to Central Michigan. Their only victory came against Division I-AA Weber State.

"We're not overall ready to play this kind of schedule," Nutt said before the game.

He was right. Washington State beat Boise State, 58-0.

MIAMI BLUES

Earlier this week, West Virginia Coach Don Nehlen was asked what he thought about Miami. The Hurricanes had lost four of their last five games at the Orange Bowl--a place where they once won 58 in a row.

"How would I know anything about their mystique?" said Nehlen, who was 0-4 against Miami. "I know any time you play Miami in the Orange Bowl you better buckle up your helmets and play like the devil, that I know. Is it gone? I have no idea."

On Saturday, before his team went up against Coach Butch Davis' Hurricanes, Nehlen got a clue from a sign pulled by a small plane flying over the stadium. It read: "From national champs to national chumps! Thanks Butch!"

West Virginia then went out and beat Miami, 28-17, giving the Hurricanes three consecutive losses for the first time since 1984.

NOTEWORTHY

Grambling Coach Eddie Robinson, in his 55th and final season, will be inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in December. The three-year waiting period for retiring coaches was waived.

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