... and Who's Not (Sept. 19)
Utah QB Terrance Cain
Utah QB Terrance Cain
Posted Sep 20, 2009

From the Pac 10 and Boston College passing games to the USC offense and Georgia Tech running game, who's fizzling and flaming out after Week Three? Richard Cirminiello points out who's struggling in this week's Who's Not.

Who's Hot & Not - Week 3

Sept. 19 Games 

Past Hot and Not: 2007 Hot & Not | 2008 Not & Not

- Week 1 (ACC & BYU) | Week 2

By Richard Cirminiello

- ... and Who's Hot? (Week 3)

Who’s Not …

10. The Rutgers O-line
Wasn’t this unit going to be the cornerstone of the Scarlet Knight program? What’s happened? Despite opening with a rebuilt Cincy defense, Howard, and Florida International, Rutgers is getting whipped up front, allowing more tackles for loss than all but Western Kentucky. It’s no surprise that QB Tom Savage finished Saturday’s game in a fog on the bench after getting bounced around by the Panthers.

9. The Nevada offense
What the heck is going on in Reno? It’s just two games, but the Pack looks nothing like the team that sported one of the most dangerous offenses in the country in 2008. After getting shut out by Notre Dame in the opener, Nevada failed to regroup during a week off, scoring just 20 points and committing five turnovers in a lopsided loss to Colorado State. It doesn’t get any easier with Friday’s visit from Mizzou.

8. The Virginia Tech Run D
Granted, the Hokies had a tremendous win over Nebraska in the final minute that could prove to be a springboard, but that run defense has to be addressed. For the third straight game, Tech allowed a 100-yard rusher, Husker Roy Helu, dropping it to No. 11 in the ACC and No. 107 in the country at stopping the run.

7. Northwestern
A week after nearly getting knocked off by Eastern Michigan, the Wildcats became Syracuse’s first victim in the Doug Marrone era. It’s a good thing Towson was on the slate. The defense was laughable, making Greg Paulus-to-Mike Williams look like Donovan McNabb-to-Marvin Harrison. Too bad, too, because Northwestern QB Mike Kafka sizzled, throwing for 390 yards and three scores, rushing for six, and catching a touchdown pass.

6. The Georgia Tech Option
No, the rest of the country has not caught up to Paul Johnson’s offense. The Yellow Jackets simply aren’t executing it very well. No matter how much talent you have in the backfield, it won’t matter if it’s constantly absorbing hits behind the line of scrimmage. Tech is having problems getting out of the blocks because the line is not doing its job and Josh Nesbitt has provided zero threat as a passer.

5. The Purdue Defense
Drilling down on the Boilers’ loss to Northern Illinois reveals a defense that’s been gutted for three consecutive weeks, especially on the ground. In back-to-back losses to Oregon and the Huskies, Purdue allowed 473 yards rushing and six touchdowns, whiffing on tackles and making Meco Brown and Chad Spann look like All-America candidates on Saturday afternoon.

4. The Boston College Passing Game
Starting the season against Northeastern and Kent State failed to reveal just how dire the situation at quarterback is in Chestnut Hill. A trip to Clemson, however, did. The Eagles are no closer to a resolution at the position than a month ago after going 5-of-21 for 25 yards, one touchdown, and three picks in Death Valley. Even worse, that lack of a threat in the passing game is allowing defenses to stack the line to stop RB Montel Harris.

3. Pac-10 Passing Attacks
“Attack” is a generous description of a league that’s customarily defined by its passers. Outside of Northern California, everyone is struggling through the air. Oregon has yet to throw a touchdown pass in 2009. Arizona had only 105 yards passing in Iowa City. UCLA is holding its breath without Kevin Prince. Ditto USC, which couldn’t like what it saw in Aaron Corp’s emergency start. Oregon State failed to throw a touchdown pass versus Cincinnati. Even if it’s short-lived, these are strange times in the Pac-10.

2. The USC offense
The Trojans have been impotent over the last two weeks, scoring just 31 points, their lowest output in back-to-back games since 2001. They get a pass for playing in Columbus last weekend, but Washington? How about not a single conversion on third or fourth down in 11 attempts against the Huskies? Something is missing from a team that obviously has enough talent on the interior and at the skill positions to be a whole lot more prolific than it’s shown.

1. The State of Utah
It was, to put it delicately, a rough weekend in the Beehive State. Not only did BYU get trampled by Florida State in front of the home crowd, but Utah lost at Oregon, ending the nation’s longest winning streak at 16. In a span of about four hours, hopes for a BCS bowl game in January had disappeared for both programs. Heck, even Utah State lost to Texas A&M, creating a rare trifecta in an area not accustomed to so much heartache. It wasn’t such a good day for the Mountain West either, which had very little to crow about for a change.

- ... and Who's Hot? (Week 2)