Tommy Bowden had no interest in talking to reporters after Clemson’s 34-10 loss to Alabama. Why would he? What is there to say that I can’t say for him? The No. 24 Crimson Tide were better coached, more prepared, and despite their youth, the better team on Saturday.
The Alabama game plan was obvious. Limit the strength of the opponent, which they did, but credit Tommy Bowden with an assist. Coming into 2008, I doubt there was a more publicized backfield tandem in college football than Clemson’s James Davis and C.J. Spiller. The dynamic duo was limited to a combined 20 yards in 4 quarters of football, with the team finishing with an overall zero on the rushing stat sheet. Credit an Alabama defense that aimed to force the Tigers to beat them with the arm of Cullen Harper, but Tide fans should also give thanks to Tommy Bowden for his unbalanced attack, rushing just 14 times as a team, with Spiller and Davis having just 8 carries between them. Give Bowden the “defensive game ball”, for doing more to stop the Clemson running game than anyone else in the stadium.
Clemson was billed as one of the most potent offenses in the country. It was to be their staple for the season. With 3 legitimate Heisman Candidates on offense (Harper, Spiller, Davis), the Tigers offensive unit failed to find the end zone once, with the team scoring their only touchdown on special teams. Nick Saban is very good at what he does, but Tommy Bowden made it a hell of a lot easier for him.
DEFENSE WINS CHAMPIONSHIPS
Both Mizzou and Illinois have conference championship dreams. And in the case of Missouri, maybe an even bigger prize. But after watching the teams wrack up over 1000 yards of offense against each other, I’ll say any championship run won’t go very far. Defense wins championships, and it’s the weakness of both programs. Defense was the difference between Missouri winning and losing the Big 12 in ‘07, with 2008 already appearing without change.
Now in his 4th year at Pitt, is there anyone in America that still believes Dave Wannstedt is the savior of the Panthers’ program?
Bowling Green 27, No. 25 Pitt 17
*3 high profile coaches opened their seasons with victories for their new employers. Bobby Petrino, Houston Nutt, Bo Pelini.
*3 coaches opened on sour notes. Rich Rodriguez, June Jones, Mike Sherman.
*0 is the number of points scored by NC State in their last game of 2007 (Maryland) and first game of 2008 (South Carolina).
*Kentucky defense 14, Louisville offense 0
*Navy’s Shun White ran for 348 yards and 3 touchdowns, on just 19 carries
*Virginia Tech’s upset loss to East Carolina ended a streak of 17 consecutive victories for the Hokies in games where the special teams blocked a punt or kick.
*4 penalties assisted Virginia on their only scoring drive against USC. The Trojans now have 2 weeks to prepare for Ohio State.
*Pat White passed for a career high 5 touchdowns. He also recorded a career high in pass attempts (33) and completions (25), while breaking Marc Bulger’s West Virginia’s career record for total offense.
*With his 33rd and 34th touchdown passes, Kellen Lewis became Indiana’s all time leader in the category, surpassing the numbers of Antwaan Randle El.
*BYU’s Max Hall threw for 486 yards.
*Arizona’s 70-0 victory over Idaho marked the most points scored by the Wildcats since 1921. The 49 first half points is a school record. Willie Tuitama’s 47th career touchdown pass broke the school record.
*373 career victories moves Joe Paterno into a tie with Bobby Bowden.
Michigan- as expected
East Carolina- Who’s next?
Mississippi State- What happened?
Wake Forest- under the radar, Shhh.
WVU- See East Carolina above
Auburn- the media won’t even give you a peep
Texas Tech- Eastern Washington scored 24 points?
Oregon- now down to quarterback No. 3
Cal- still claiming opening day BCS victims at home
FAU- talked trash about the Horns before gameday?
Miami- giving us a better look next week.