Who's Hot & Not
- Week 10
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... and Who's Not? (Week
10. UAB QB Joe Webb
A one-man gang in Birmingham, Webb has almost single-handedly led the Blazers into the bowl eligibility discussion. Now No. 10 nationally on the ground, he’s rushed for at least 100 yards in each of the last five games while throwing more than twice as many touchdowns as picks. In Saturday’s rout of Florida Atlantic, he accounted for six scores and more than 400 yards of total offense.
9. Navy FB Vince Murray
Talk about making the most of an opportunity. Murray only entered the lineup after starter Alexander Teich was injured. He’s remained there even after Teich returned, becoming a fixture in the Middies’ unrelenting ground assault. Murray has plowed for more than 100 yards in each of the last four games, including 158 and a score on just 14 carries in Saturday’s stunner at Notre Dame.
8. UTEP RB Donald Buckram
While the Miners may have lost a heartbreaker to Tulane over the weekend, Buckram continued his assault on the school’s record books. For the second time in the last five games, he exploded for more than 200 yards, abusing the Green Wave for three touchdowns and more than seven yards a carry. In fact, only once in the last five games has the nation’s fourth-ranked rusher been held below 164 yards on the ground.
7. The TCU passing game
Hey, everyone expected the Horned Frog defense to be impeccable, but the passing attack? Yup, it’s been the missing link this year for a school that’s traditionally had problems blending a potent offense with that stingy D. Behind the pristine passing of Andy Dalton, TCU now ranks No. 3 nationally in passing efficiency and has been held below 30 points in a game just twice all season. Dalton has gone four straight games without a pick, tossing 10 touchdown passes in the process.
6. The Arizona Offensive Line
This figured to be the Achilles’ heel of the Wildcat offense heading into the season, especially with all-star LT Eben Britton making an early exit to the NFL. Uh-uh. The front wall, comprised mainly of Herman Hall, Colin Baxter, Vaughn Dotsy, Mike Diaz, and Adam Grant, has exceeded all expectations, opening holes for the 18th-ranked running game and allowing a nation’s-low four sacks of Nick Foles and Matt Scott.
5. Cincinnati’s Handle on the Ball
Nine games. Not a single fumble lost, one of the more incredible hidden stats of the 2009 season. In fact, the Bearcats have turned the ball over just four times all year, a big reason for their unprecedented success. Although no school in NCAA history has gone an entire season without losing a fumble, Cincinnati is just four games away from pulling it off.
4. Texas A&M’s Von Miller
The Aggies’ “jack” of all trades this season, he’s part linebacker, part defensive line, and all-world according to opposing quarterbacks. The nation’s unexpected leader with 15.5 sacks, he’s been a terror coming off the edge, bagging at least one sack in all but the Oklahoma State game a month ago. In the loss to Colorado on Saturday, he had three more stops behind the line and got to QB Tyler Hansen twice.
About 48 hours ago, Oregon was the hottest team in the country. Today? Not so much. You can blame that on the Cardinal, which stunned the Ducks, 51-42, behind the running of Toby Gerhart and the passing of Andrew Luck. Now bowl-eligible for the first time since 2001 and winners of two straight, Stanford is actually in the hunt for a Pac-10 championship if it can keep rolling and get a few breaks.
2. The Ohio State Defense
Guess who’s now in the driver’s seat for Pasadena? Considered third in the pecking order when the weekend began, the Buckeyes now control their own Big Ten destiny after suffocating Penn State, 24-7. Since losing to Purdue on Oct. 17, Ohio State hasn’t yielded more than seven points in any of the last three victories, and has been virtually air-tight against the run and the pass.
A perennial tease for local fans, the Tigers just might be the genuine article this season. After stumbling to back-to-back losses over a month ago, Clemson has reeled off four wins in-a-row, including Saturday night’s late rally and pivotal 40-24 defeat of Florida State. The Tigers now control their own destiny in the Atlantic Division, needing wins over NC State and Virginia to lock up a trip to Tampa, where they’ll likely get a rematch with Georgia Tech.
... and Who's Not? (Week