Hail Marys are shaping the PAC 12 race and creating national implications as well as other notes from the college football weekend.
Arizona State stays within striking distance in the Pac 12 and nationally after beating USC on a game-ending Hail Mary. The previous week, a half-time Hail Mary by USC was a big factor in their win over Oregon State. And the week before that, Arizona beat Cal on a Hail Mary with no time left. Arizona is now a player in the national title hunt and Arizona State is still alive. Let’s just call this Divine Intervention. And to think, Michigan didn’t like Rich Rod. No, he is not a Michigan Man, he is an Arizona Man and the Wildcats are loving every stinking minute of it.
Last year, for the first time I can remember in a very long time, Air Force looked outmanned. I was beginning to wonder if the constrictions facing the service academies were beginning to hurt the Falcons. I remember a couple of times last year Jay Ajayi turned the corner on Air Force for Boise State and Air Force just looked too slow on defense to stop his touchdown runs down the sideline. Well, that was then and this is now. Air Force looks like they may have turned the corner. The 4-1 Falcons, now winners of three in a row, picked up a huge win against Boise State the previous week and this last weekend they beat Navy. You know, beating Navy gets a little attention up there in the wild blue yonder. Problem solved. Well, at least for now anyway, because up next is at Utah State who are fresh off their equally popular monster win at BYU.
The squarejaws at Texas State have to be very pleased right now. The previous week they went in to Tulsa and came away with a three OT victory. This last weekend they knocked off Idaho for two in a row. You have to know this is just the kind of thing the Bobcats were dreaming of when they made the big commitment to move from FCS to FBS not too very long ago.
And Terry Bowden and Akron have to be riding high. The Zips have put two in a row together. This last weekend they dispatched with Eastern Michigan. The previous weekend they pulled off a monster upset at Pitt. Who are these Bowden guys anyway? Somehow that name seems familiar.
What can you say about Cal and Wazzu? I would venture a guess this may be the first time a team has put up over 800 yards of offense and lost. The Cougars dominated the clock, too. Mike Leach has to love the production of his Air Raid offense, but the defense has to tighten up. And Washington State had way too many penalties. Plus, they need better kickoff return defense. Way better. Normally, if you give up two special teams touchdowns you are going to lose. California returned two kick-offs for touchdowns in the third quarter. And each team scored 28 points in the third quarter. Offensively, the Cougars are a dangerous team this year, but they don’t seem to have much luck on their side. They missed a field goal at the end of the game that would have given them the win. California didn’t have much defense either, but had plenty of offense. In a score that Mike Leach could almost love, WSU falls 60-59. (Then, before I could even finish this article, Leach launches an Air Raid on his special teams coach. Something about hound dog looking, lifeless zombies and their fat little girlfriends, I suspect. And no kickoff coverage, either. Ouch!)