Who's Hot & Not
- Week 11-
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Nov. 14 Games
Past Hot and Not:
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2008 Not & Not
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... and Who's Hot? (Week
10. The New Mexico State Offense
Well, at least first-year head coach DeWayne Walker has been able to identify where he needs to spend most of his time in the offseason. The Aggies have the nation’s feeblest attack, performing as if they belong in the Big Sky Conference. Over the last four weeks, they’ve managed just 16 points and haven’t scored an offensive touchdown since Oct. 10 or 17 quarters ago. New Mexico State’s best weapon? CB Davon House, who’s produced the school’s last two touchdowns on interception returns.
9. UTEP Down the Stretch Under Mike Price
Since 2004, the Miners have finished every season with no less than a two-game losing streak, perennially gagging after Halloween under Price. They’re at it again, playing competitively yet losing the last three games to UAB, Tulane, and SMU to neutralize mid-season upsets of Houston and Tulsa. UTEP has a trip to Rice and a visit from Marshall to wrap up a year without a losing streak for the first time since 1999.
8. South Carolina Down the Stretch under Steve Spurrier
Here we go again. In 2005, the Gamecocks closed out the season with losses to Clemson and Missouri. In 2007, they lost the final five games and missed out on a bowl invitation. Last year, South Carolina dropped the last three games, including a blowout to Iowa in the Outback Bowl. And after losing to Florida on Saturday, the ‘Cocks are in the midst of a three-game losing slide with a visit from red hot Clemson looming. Can you see a pattern developing here?
7. The Houston Defense
A sieve might be more effective than this group of Cougars, which has allowed at least 37 points in each of the last three games. The last one may have cost them a spot in the Conference USA title game. After somehow making the impotent UCF offense look incendiary, Houston has gone from ranked to behind SMU in the West Division, an unlikely fall for a team that hasn’t been able to stop anyone over the past month.
6. Washington State in the First Quarter
Now, Wazzu is brutal all the time, but it’s been particularly slow out of the gate. As hard as this to comprehend, the 1-9 Cougars have failed to score a touchdown in the opening quarter, getting outscored 159-3. Can head coach Paul Wulff survive this level of ineptitude for a second season in-a-row?
5. Wake Forest
At least for this season, the bloom is off the Demon Deacons’ rose. A contender for the ACC crown before the season began, Wake Forest has slumped completely out of the bowl picture, losing five straight to fall to 4-7. For the first time since 2005, the program will end the season in November, an unexpected occurrence for a Jim Grobe team. In a role reversal of sorts, the offense has been pretty good, but the defense has never been able to overcome the losses of LB Aaron Curry and CB Alphonso Smith, among others.
4. South Florida DE George Selvie
Didn’t you used to be a one-man wrecking crew as a pass rusher? Selvie has virtually disappeared this season, failing to register a sack in the last three games and bagging just three all season. In Thursday night’s loss to Rutgers, he was taken completely out of the game by OT Anthony Davis, assisting on a pair of tackles, but otherwise having little impact on the outcome.
3. NC State QB Russell Wilson
Earlier in the season, Wilson established a new NCAA record for consecutive passes without an interception. However, he’s been a poor ambassador to that mark ever since. Virtually mistake-free throughout his first two seasons in Raleigh, the sophomore has been picked off in each of the last six games, playing a key role in the Pack’s fall from a 3-1 start to a 4-6 collapse.
2. The LSU Offense
Okay, so struggling against SEC defenses is nothing to be ashamed about, but Louisiana Tech? In Baton Rouge? Regardless of the problems at quarterback and on the offensive line, there’s way too much talent on this roster to be generating just 246 total yards and converting 2-of-9 first downs versus a WAC opponent. LSU continues to have problems at the point of attack, and are now 107th nationally in total offense and among the country’s worst red zone offenses.
1. USC Head Coach Pete Carroll
Rocky Seto may be the defensive coordinator of the Trojans, but this is Carroll’s defense. And the performance of that defense over the last month has been inexcusable. At Notre Dame, 27 points. Versus Oregon State, 36 points. And in losses to Oregon and Stanford, 102 points combined. These are strange days at Troy. The talent remains elite, but the execution is no longer there, which must fall at the feet of the head coach. Saturday’s 55-21 loss to the Cardinal was Carroll’s first-ever in November and the most points ever allowed by a Trojan team. The emperor has no clothes and it ain't a pretty sight.
... and Who's Hot? (Week