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COLLEGE FOOTBALL SPOTLIGHT

Heisman feels the rattle of upsets too

Ohio State's Terrelle Pryor, Nebraska's Taylor Martinez, Michigan's Denard Robinson and Arkansas' Ryan Mallett are on the losing end of equation. Introducing Auburn's Cam Newton, the latest hopeful.

October 16, 2010|By Mike Hiserman

A shakeup in the national rankings is due Sunday, when a new batch of polls and the first Bowl Championship Series standings of the season comes out.

A pre-shock took place Saturday right on the Heisman Trophy fault line.

Taylor Martinez, Denard Robinson, Ryan Mallett and Terrelle Pryor were among the leaders who tumbled.

Martinez, Robinson and Mallett were all watching from their sidelines as their teams lost.

Nebraska's Martinez was so ineffective he was benched in favor of backup Zac Lee as the Huskers were upset by Texas.

Michigan's Robinson and Arkansas' Mallett were knocked out of their games with injuries — Robinson to his ankle in a loss to Iowa and Mallett to his head in a loss to Auburn.

As for Pryor, he simply lacked any magic as top-ranked Ohio State fell to Wisconsin as he completed 14 of 28 passes for 156 yards with an interception and without a touchdown, and ran for 56 yards.

So, now, who is this Cam Newton guy?

The Auburn quarterback, who left Florida because he was tired of sitting behind Heisman winner Tim Tebow, is now in the running for the bronze statue himself.

Newton, a 6-foot-6, 250-pound junior, accounted for four touchdowns, running for 188 yards and passing for 140 in a 65-43 win over Arkansas.

After leading Blinn (Texas) College to a national junior college title last season, he has Auburn at 7-0 and is building a legion of believers.

Said Auburn Coach Gene Chizik: "No. 2 is one spectacular football player. I'm not one to go out on a limb, but everyone in the world can see it."

So upsetting

They'll be talking about that South Carolina upset for at least one more week.

In a totally different way, about a completely different game, but they'll be talking.

A week after upsetting Alabama, then the nation's top-ranked team, the Gamecocks fell Saturday to Kentucky, 31-28, after blowing an 18-point halftime lead.

"I thought we'd play better tonight, but we didn't," said South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier, who warned his team of a letdown all week.

The victory was the first in 18 tries by Kentucky over a team coached by Spurrier.

The old ball coach entered the game 5-0 against the Wildcats at South Carolina after going 12-0 while he was at Florida.

That was the third-best record by a coach over one program, behind only Penn State's Joe Paterno, who is 27-0 against Temple and 24-0-1 against Maryland.

Easier said than done

By most accounts, Air Force Coach Troy Calhoun is strait-laced and not prone to making controversial statements. He also doesn't have anything in his bio to suggest he might be pining for a job at San Diego State.

Yet, in the days leading up to Saturday's game against the Aztecs, Calhoun was quoted as saying, "I've always thought that San Diego State was a place where in football you can win eight games easily every year just because of the talent base that you have within two hours."

Easily, huh?

Well coach, second-year San Diego State coach Brady Hoke was surely surprised by your opinion considering that since he, Tom Kraft and Chuck Long, the head coaches who preceded him, have found achieving eight wins in a season relatively difficult.

It hasn't been accomplished since 1996.

The last coach to do it with the Aztecs? Ted Tollner's 1996 team was 8-3. The next five years, he was 23-34. But that's OK. Now that the game is over Hoke is surely feeling better.

San Diego State knocked off No.23-ranked Air Force, 27-25, to improve to 4-2.

Halfway there.

Dog days

Georgia's new bulldog mascot is undefeated and unscored upon.

Uga VIII, the latest among the pure English bulldogs to take their bow-legged place on the Georgia sideline, made his debut Saturday against Vanderbilt and came away a 43-0 winner.

Big Bad BruceUga VIHe took over from an interim mascot named Russ, who held the post when the football team was performing like, well, dogs.

Loud and clear

So much for Georgia Coach Mark Richt ever being able to say he doesn't hear or listen to fans.

In the first quarter Saturday, when Georgia sent its field goal unit onto the field on fourth and one from the Vanderbilt 16, the home crowd showered Richt with a chorus of boos.

The kick was good but just before the snap the coach — seemingly bowing to the fans' wishes — called time out and sent his offense back onto the field.

A run gave the Bulldogs a first down, but they didn't move the ball much farther and eventually settled for a field goal.

Those fans. All they did was waste time.

mike.hiserman@latimes.com

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