Who's Hot & Not ... Tulsa? Minnesota?!
Minnesota QB Adam Weber
Minnesota QB Adam Weber
Posted Sep 22, 2008

Minnesota, the nation's punching bag last year, is suddenly 4-0 thanks to the efficient passing of QB Adam Weber, and most importantly, no mistakes. The Gopher turnover margin, Tulsa, the UCLA running game, and why penalties aren't that big a deal in the latest Who's Hot & Who's Not.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 4

Past Hot and Not: 2007 Hot & Not | Week 1 | Week 2 | Week 3

Who’s Hot …

Minnesota turnover margin
Everything went wrong last year for Minnesota, with turnovers and a lack of takeaways proving to be one of the biggest problems. The Gophers were 114th in the nation in turnover margin with 29 turnovers and just 14 takeaways in the 1-11 season. The Gophers haven't played a killer schedule, but it's 4-0 and currently fourth in the nation in turnover margin 13 takeaways, or just one fewer than the team came up with all of last year, and only two turnovers. Up next is Ohio State.

Western Michigan QB Tim Hiller
Western Michigan has won three straight after a season-opening loss at Nebraska, and while the competition hasn't been great, QB Tim Hiller has been tremendous all season long. The junior has completed 72% of his passes on the year for 1,102 yards and 14 touchdowns and two interceptions. His biggest yardage day came against the Huskers (342).

Tulsa and QB David Johnson
The beat keeps on rolling. After leading the nation in total offense last year, Tulsa came back roaring averaging 52 points per game over the first three including a 56-point outburst on a New Mexico team that beat Arizona the week before. Meanwhile, senior QB David Johnson continues to explode. He leads the nation in passing efficiency and is second in total offense. So far he has completed 69% of his passes for 1,219 yards and 15 touchdowns with two interceptions. Both picks were thrown against the Lobos, but Johnson threw for 469 yards and six scores. Next up is Central Arkansas.

East Carolina in the first quarter

NC State scored early in the second quarter last week, but after four weeks, East Carolina has yet to allow a point in the first quarter so far. Houston is up next for the Pirates.

Penn State in the first half
Penn State has won its first four games by a combined score of 211 to 40, or an average of 53 to 10. The games are over at halftime outscoring teams142 to 20 in the first half and 49-0 in the first quarters. Illinois is coming to Happy Valley next.

Who’s Not …

Great teams and penalties

So much for the idea of penalties killing a good team. Here are the five biggest sinning teams in America: T1. Georgia and Texas Tech, with each averaging 10.75 penalties per game, 3. Utah, averaging 9.25, 4. Florida, averaging 9, and TCU, averaging 8.75. These five teams are a combined 19-0. By the way, Oklahoma State is 7th on the list, Nebraska 9th, and Texas and Oklahoma are tied for 13th. In all, of the 26 most penalized teams (with USC being 26th), 12 are unbeaten.

UCLA running game
SMU average a nation-worst 31.25 rushing yards per game. That's to be expected in the June Jones offense. San Diego State averages 34.67 rushing yards per game. Third lowest on the list is UCLA averaging 51 rushing yards per outing. The Bruins netted 29 yards against Tennessee, nine against BYU, and 113 against Arizona. Fresno State is up next, but its run defense has been gouged so far allowing 186 yards per game.

Temple vs. Penn State
In 1931 and 1932, Temple beat Penn State in the two meetings by a combined score of 25-12. After an 18-0 Penn State win in 1940, Temple won again, 14-0, in 1941 to take a 3-1 lead in the series. Since then, Penn State has gone 33-0-1 against the Owls by a combined score of 1,082 to 263, or an average of around 32 to 8. Temple hasn't come closer than 17 points in the last 14 meetings after losing 45-3 last week in Happy Valley. The Owls play Western Michigan this week.

SMU defense
The June Jones offense hasn't taken off yet, and the defense has hardly picked up the slack. After four games, the Mustangs have the nation's worst defense allowing 530.5 yards per game, and have allowed 56 points to Rice, 36 points to Texas State, 43 to Texas Tech and 48 to TCU. SMU has lost its last two games by a combined score of 91 to 14. A trip to Tulane is up next.

Florida International passing game
FIU finished dead last in the nation in scoring and passing efficiency last year. Last year, the passing efficiency rating was a nation's worst 91.33. So far this year, it's 69.25 completing 40-of-86 passes for 352 yards and no touchdowns and five interceptions. By comparison, the second least efficient passing game is Louisiana Tech's with a 79.97 rating, while Tulsa leads the nation with a rating of 224.72. FIU plays at Toledo this week.