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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT

It wasn't even caused by purple rain

Part of Trinity River, which runs through Fort Worth, has been dyed purple temporarily to honor the Texas Christian team.

November 29, 2009|By Mike Hiserman
  • Texas Christian's Ryan Christian (18), Jeremy Coleman (93) and teammates celebrate their 51-10 win over New Mexico, which ended a 12-0 regular season for the Horned Frogs.
Texas Christian's Ryan Christian (18), Jeremy Coleman (93) and teammates… (Ron Jenkins / Fort Worth…)

Texas Christian's 51-10 win over New Mexico capped the football program's first undefeated regular season since 1938, when it won its only national championship with Heisman Trophy winner Davey O'Brien at quarterback.

It seems the city of Fort Worth is more than a tad excited about it.

Mayor Mike Moncrief on Friday proclaimed part of the Trinity River, where it runs through the city's Trinity Park, "Horned Frog River."

Visitors will be able to tell which part, too, since the water -- using an environmentally friendly process, of course -- has been dyed purple.

And you thought blue turf at Boise State was strange.

Moncrief said the city fathers "wanted to show our support of the Frogs in a big way. Therefore, on the banks of our beautiful river, now displaying the bright purple color that signifies our tremendous and citywide pride, this section of the Trinity River will be known as Horned Frog River until the Frogs' season is over. Clearly, 'Purple Fever' runs through it: Our City and now the River." Amen.

Good company

Texas headline writers just love using "Dalton Gang" references for Texas Christian's offense -- the Horned Frogs' quarterback is Andy Dalton.

A junior, Dalton has 29 victories in three seasons, matching "Slingin' Sammy" Baugh's school record, set in 1934-36.

Against New Mexico, Dalton accounted for five touchdowns -- four passing and one running.

Many happy returns

C.J. Spiller of Clemson set an NCAA record with his seventh career kickoff return for a touchdown, but the Tigers lost to South Carolina, 34-17.

The record of six had been held by USC's Anthony Davis and Tulsa's Ashlan Davis.

Apple of his eye

Here's a coach talking about an opposing quarterback: "He's the best. There's not a better athlete, not a bigger, stronger, faster guy."

Bobby Bowden on Tim Tebow?

Nope.

Washington State's Paul Wulff about Washington's Jake Locker.

And that was before Locker passed for 196 yards and a touchdown and ran for 94 yards and a touchdown Saturday in a 30-0 win in the annual "Apple Cup."

"Tim Tebow is the closest, but Jake's quicker, faster, he probably throws the ball better," Wulff added. "They came out the same year, and they were the No. 1 and 2 quarterbacks in the country."

Close to form

Brigham Young's 26-23 win in overtime over Utah marked a return to the norm in the series.

Utah won last year, 48-24, but before that was a string of nailbiters.

Utah won four years ago in overtime, then Brigham Young won the next two with comebacks, including a final-play-of-the-game touchdown pass from John Beck to Jonny Harline in 2006.

In 2007, Brigham Young converted on a fourth-and-12 play on the winning drive in a 17-10 victory.

In all, the rivalry game has been decided by a touchdown or less 11 times in 13 meetings.

The difference this time was a 25-yard pass play that went from Max Hall to Andrew George.

Hall, a senior, completed only 12 of 32 passes for 134 yards, but he had two touchdowns and did not throw an interception. In last year's rout, Utah picked off five of his passes.

Backup Bulldog

Georgia might want to consider changing mascots a more often.

The Bulldogs used a backup dog on the sideline Saturday against archrival Georgia Tech, and came away with a 30-24 upset of the No. 7 Yellowjackets.

Yes, a white English bulldog named Russ is 1-0, while the Bulldogs he represents improved to 7-5.

Russ was filling in for his half-brother, Uga VII, who died suddenly of heart problems Nov. 19.

Georgia also had good luck with a substitute dog in 1986, when "Otto" was 4-0 as a fill-in.

Russ will also be on the sideline for Georgia's bowl game, but he won't have the job permanently. It already has been established that Uga VIII will be chosen sometime after the turn of the year.

Family affair

Gino Guidugli lost a Cincinnati passing record, in no small part because of a family member.

Guidugli threw a school-record five touchdown passes against Southern Mississippi in 2004, a mark that was bettered Friday by Tony Pike, who had six scoring passes in a 49-36 win over Illinois.

Two of Pike's touchdown throws went to Ben Guidugli, Gino's younger brother, a tight end usually used as a blocker who had six catches for 144 yards in the game.

Gino was part of the crowd at the game, cheering on Ben and, to a point, Pike.

"He was happy because I was part of it," Ben Guidugli told reporters. "I don't think he has any bad feelings about it."

'Pistol' Pike

Pike's record-setting performance was in his first start since he suffered an injury to his left (non-throwing) arm Oct. 15.

Had he not been out for that time, he might be a candidate for the Heisman Trophy. In eight games, he has passed for 2,048 yards and 23 touchdowns with three interceptions.

Top receiver Mardy Gilyard is certainly happy Pike is back. With the quarterback he nicknamed "Pistol" out of the lineup, Gilyard had only one touchdown. Against Illinois, he had two, giving him a school-record 24 in his career.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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