2011 Who's Hot & Not
Who's Hot ... Week 5
Who’s Not ...
10. Utah State (In the Waning Seconds)
No one in America has had a more painful start to the 2011 season than the Aggies, which lost for the third time in four games with just a few ticks left. The same team that blew a 10-point lead against Auburn in the final minutes and lost in overtime to Colorado State on a failed two-point conversion bowed to in-state BYU on a deflected touchdown catch with 11 seconds on the clock. RB Robert Turbin and the ground game continue to roll, but it won’t matter if Utah State can’t figure out how to close.
9. The Houston D
Before anyone even suggests the Cougars as a possible BCS buster, he ought to take a good hard look at that hapless defense. A perennial sieve, Houston needed to once again get bailed out by QB Case Keenum and the offense in Thursday night’s 49-42 escape of UTEP in El Paso. The D allowed 538 yards, 240 of it on the ground to Joe Banyard, and missed a ton of tackles. At some point in 2011, this unit is going to cost the Cougs a game against an inferior opponent.
8. The Kansas Defense
If Lawrence isn’t home to the worst defense in the country, it sure is close to the cellar. The Jayhawks have been garroted in four consecutive games, flashing no ability to stop the run or the pass. Texas Tech and QB Seth Doege were the latest to zip through the Kansas D with 530 total yards in a 45-34 victory. Testament to Kansas’ futility, the team has now allowed nine touchdown passes while picking off just one.
Welcome to the Pac-12, Buffs. Don’t let the cellar door hit you in the noggin. Colorado, whose only win of the year came against Colorado State, dropped its first game as a conference member to Washington State in front of a disgusted Folsom Field crowd. The Buffaloes held a 27-17 lead late in the final stanza, but yielded a pair of touchdown passes in the final three minutes, the game-winner coming from 63 yards out with 70 ticks left on the clock.
6. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez (As a Passer)
Running the ball, Martinez has been fine this season. Throwing it? Not so much. The sophomore has proven time and time again that he’s not truly a dual-threat behind center, tossing three interceptions and no touchdowns in last weekend’s debacle at the hands of Wisconsin. He bird-dogs too many of his attempts, and lacks the arm strength to maximize the athletic ability of his receivers. As the Badgers showed, if you can slow down the Huskers running game, the rest of the offense is going to seize up.
5. Mississippi State
Didn’t you used to be a trendy choice to make some noise in the SEC West in 2011? Head coach Dan Mullen’s 2-3 Bulldogs have completely collapsed over the past month, opening with an 0-3 mark in conference play. And their most recent win against overmatched Louisiana Tech a week ago required overtime. The offense has really hit the skids of late, producing just 213 yards and no offensive touchdowns in Saturday’s 24-10 loss to Georgia.
4. South Florida (On Thursday Nights)
Message to the USF administration: The extra exposure that a primetime game on a weeknight affords a school tends to backfire when your kids repeatedly lay an egg with the opportunity. After falling from the rankings with a hideous 44-17 loss to previously stumbling Pitt, the Bulls are now 0-7 all-time when appearing on ESPN for a Thursday night game.
3. The Virginia Tech Passing Game
Sophomore Logan Thomas, the successor to Tyrod Taylor behind center, has been slow to adapt to his promotion. And everyone else on the Hokies offense, which failed to reach the end zone versus Clemson on Saturday, has begun to suffer. Tech has failed to throw a touchdown pass in three of the last four games, slipping to 78th nationally in passing efficiency. At some point, the lack of a threat through the air will even impact RB David Wilson, who’s been magnificent as the ACC’s top rusher.
2. The Ohio State Offense
It’s official. The suspensions on offense have finally started to catch up to the Buckeyes, which are doing nothing right on this side of the ball these days. Ohio State has been limited to seven or fewer points in two of the last three games, and was embarrassed by Michigan State for nine sacks this past weekend. The imminent returns of RB Dan Herron, WR DeVier Posey and OT Mike Adams could not come at a better time for the scarlet and gray.
1. Texas A&M (After Halftime)
One big blown lead in a marquee game is a concern. Back-to-back implosions are the beginning of a disturbing trend. For the second straight game, the Aggies were unable to protect a double-digit halftime lead, collapsing this time to rival Arkansas at Cowboys Stadium, 42-38. Including last Saturday’s loss to Oklahoma State at Kyle Field, Texas A&M has now been outscored 52-12 in its last two games, an indictment of the players and Mike Sherman’s coaching staff.
Who's Hot ... Week 5