Who's Hot & Not
- Week 6
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2008 Not & Not
... and Who's Not? (Week
10. Georgia Tech QB Josh Nesbitt
The light has gone on for Nesbitt, putting a dark cloud above the heads of the rest of the ACC. Finally becoming the quarterback that Paul Johnson needs him to be to run the triple-option, he’s accounted for seven touchdowns and no turnovers during the Yellow Jackets’ current three-game winning streak. Indefatigable in Saturday’s shootout win over Florida State, he carried 27 times for 140 yards and three touchdowns, adding 131 yards and another score through the air.
9. Bowling Green WR Freddie Barnes
In one record-breaking afternoon, Barnes put up the kind of numbers that some receivers amass in an entire year. The centerpiece, along with QB Tyler Sheehan, of the Falcons’ comeback win over Kent State, he caught a mind-boggling 22 passes for 278 yards and three scores. For the year, the senior now has a nation’s-best 75 receptions for 722 yards and five touchdowns.
Vandal-ism is all the rage in Moscow these days. While everyone else is focused on Boise State in WAC country, 5-1 Idaho has quietly won four games in-a-row, authoring its best start in decades. Robb Akey has the Vandals believing, winning the last three games by four points or less, capped by Saturday’s first-ever victory at San Jose State. An unimaginable one win from bowl eligibility with half a season left, Idaho just might be the next best thing to the Broncos in the conference.
7. The Virginia D
Go figure. Just when it looked as if it was time to pile the dirt on Al Groh, he wakes his Cavs out of a slumber. It’s becoming a perennial thing in Charlottesville. Preparing to be toe-tagged at 0-3, Virginia has won consecutive games over North Carolina and Indiana, yielding just 10 points and 446 yards in the victories. The young linebackers, like freshman Steve Greer, are finally comfortable and the secondary is one of the best units in the ACC.
6. South Carolina QB Stephen Garcia
Are the Gamecocks beginning to sneak up on the rest of the SEC? They’ve now won four straight, including the latest nail-biter over Kentucky. A big reason for the success in Columbia has been the play of Garcia, who’s finally becoming more consistent and playing within his abilities. During the winning streak, he’s accounted for 10 touchdowns and, more important, just one interception.
5. The Oregon Defense
The Ducks’ five-game winning streak has not been solely a product of RB LaMichael James and QB Jeremiah Masoli, who didn’t even play in Saturday’s 24-10 road win at UCLA. No, in arguably Nick Aliotti’s best season as a coordinator, Oregon is winning with defense, despite losing a number of key players to injury and graduation. The Duck D actually outscored the Bruin offense in the Rose Bowl, marking the third consecutive game that it allowed fewer than 10 points.
4. Oregon State RB Jacquizz Rodgers
The Beavers are it again, getting hot just as the weather begins to get cold. They’ve produced back-to-back key league wins over Arizona State and Stanford, thanks in large part to the running of Rodgers. Second only to Navy QB Ricky Dobbs in scoring, he’s had a touchdown in every game and just got done slapping a career-high 189 yards and four touchdowns on a pretty good Cardinal defense.
3. Virginia Tech Red Zone D
Since losing to Alabama in the opener, the Hokies have reeled off five straight wins, rising to the brink of national championship contention. RB Ryan Williams has become a star in his first year and QB Tyrod Taylor just knows how to win games, but how about that red zone defense? Opponents have ventured deep into Hokie territory 22 times and produced just six touchdowns, second to only USC in shutting down drives.
2. The Blackshirts
Bo Pelini has withheld the fabled Blackshirt jerseys until he feels his Huskers have earned them. The coach might be forced to give in real soon. Nebraska is No. 2 nationally in scoring defense, failing to yield more than 16 points in any one game. The pass defense has been air-tight, aided by the relentless push up front from linemen Ndamukong Suh, Barry Turner, Jared Crick, and Pierre Allen.
1. The Florida Pass D
Have the Gators found a way to face opponents from the 1950s? The numbers sure indicate someone in Gainesville has been fooling around with a time machine. Through five games, Florida has allowed just one touchdown pass, easily leading the nation in pass efficiency D. The last four victims have failed to throw for 100 yards, a very retro-like effort. The Gators’ 4.11 yards per completion is a testament to the work being done by defensive backs Joe Haden, Janoris Jenkins, Major Wright, and Ahmad Black.
... and Who's Not? (Week