Posted on: September 11, 2010 4:22 pm
Edited on: September 12, 2010 8:05 am

By the Numbers: Sept. 11's Best Performances

As we look at all the action around one of the biggest weekends of the season, here are some of the biggest performances of the day. Follow all the action on our scoreboard and our updating college football blog.

5: Total touchdowns for East Carolina quarterback Dominique Davis in the victory over Memphis. Davis ended up throwing three touchdowns and rushing for two more in the 49-27 win.

16: Points in the fourth quarter, allowing Washington State to come from behind and beat Montana State 23-22. Nico Grasu's 18-yard field goal with 2:13 remaining capped the comeback.

Combined number of points by Wake Forest and Duke in the Demon Deacons' 54-48 victory. Wake Forest posted the first consecutive 50-point games in school history, outgained the Blue Devils 500-487 and won the second highest-scoring game in ACC history.

182: A career-high day for South Carolina's Marcus Lattimore, who ran for 182 yards on 37 carries in South Carolina's 17-6 victory over Georgia.

183: The number of rushing yards by Michigan State's Edwin Baker in the 30-17 victory over Florida Atlantic. Baker also had an 80-yard touchdown run.

350: C.J. threw for 350 yards, including touchdown passes of 42 yards to Charles Clay and 25 yards to Trae Johnson, to lead Tulsa to a 33-20 victory over Bowling Green.

391: Passing yards by Steven Threet to lead Arizona State to a 41-20 win over FCS opponent Northern Arizona.

409: Rushing yards for Air Force as the Falcons knocked off BYU 35-14. It was the last time the two teams are scheduled to meet with BYU leaving the Mountain West after the season.

502: Total yards for Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson in the 28-24 victory over Notre Dame. Robinson finished with 244 yards passing and 258 yards rushing and blogger Tom Fornelli wonders, could this be the year a Michigan player wins the Heisman?

Posted on: July 2, 2010 5:03 pm
Edited on: July 6, 2010 10:57 am

Five great players on bad teams

Mark Ingram, Terrelle Pryor and Kellen Moore are all guys that even the casual fan knows. Even on a team like Ball State, which won two games last year, most fans know who running back MiQuale Lewis.

But there are a ton of very good, even great, players around the country on bad teams that don't get noticed by most of the country. As we are only two months away from the start of the season, here are five guys to keep your eye on even if their teams end up at 3-9 this season:

Vontaze Burfict, LB, Arizona State: The die-hard fans will know Burfict, but the average fan might not. Not much is expected from the Sun Devils this season, but the sophomore linebacker will be a beast this season. In case you missed it, he was named Pac-10 defensive freshman of the year and earned freshman All-American honors. One of the best linebackers in the nation, he won't be a name most have heard of because he plays on such a bad team out west. Look for him to improve on his numbers from last year -- 69 tackles, seven for a loss and two sacks. Burfict has already earned earned preseason first team All-American honors by the Sporting News.

Daniel Thomas, RB, Kansas State: The first-team All-Big 12 member is posed for another big season. Thomas is back for his senior season after leading the conference with 1,265 yards on 247 attempts (5.1 avg) to go along with 11 touchdowns. Kansas State hasn't played in a bowl since 2006 and it might miss the postseason again, but it won't be because of Thomas. The 6-foot-2 back has flown under the radar a bit, mostly because he plays for Kansas State and he came in last year as a junior college transfer. Be ready to know this guy as his production should increase after being involved in 34.4 percent of the offensive plays last year.

Donovan Varner, WR, Duke: It's not too often that Duke has a leader in the ACC, but the junior wide receiver led the conference with 65 catches and receiving yards per game (88.8). He became just the third player in Duke history to have 1,000 yards receiving. Against Miami (Fla.) he had eight catches for 165 yards. Varner is a definite first-team all-conference member and if he can improve on last year's numbers, he just might be able to earn some third-team All-American honors.

Duke Ihenacho, S, San Jose State: Not even diehard fans know much about San Jose State, considering its had one winning season in the past 10 years, but you need to know Ihenacho. He led the Spartans last season with six pass breakups and 89 tackles and is one of the best safties in the nation. He's also a two-time All-WAC selection and can also play linebacker. NFLDraftScout.com has the fourth-best safety for the 2011 NFL Draft. Ihenacho will be center stage for the first game of the season as the Spartans play at Alabama.

T.Y. Hilton, WR, Florida International: The Golden Panthers have never had a winning season since the progam started in 2002. And for the most part, it hasn't had any big-time players, until Hilton came to Miami. After a tremendous freshman season where he earned Freshman All-American honors as a punt return specialist by the FWAA, he struggled a bit as a sophomore due to injuries. He still led the team with 57 catches and a return average of 28.8 yards per game, the highest in school history and 13th in the nation. I'll bet the Alabama special teams unit knows Hilton as he opened the season in 2009 with a 96-yard kickoff return for touchdown.

Posted on: October 12, 2009 1:19 pm
Edited on: October 12, 2009 9:00 pm

CBSSports.com 120 -- Army and Duke

Loveable losers are losers no more.

Two historically bad programs -- Army and Duke -- both earned big victories this weekend to improve to 3-3 and get their schools and fan bases to start thinking about the unthinkable ... a bowl game.

Army knocked off Vanderbilt 16-13 in overtime to move up to No. 86 in the latest CBSSports.com 120 . It was the first time Army beat a SEC team since 1988, ironically, when it beat the Commodores.

First-year coach Rich Ellerson already has the team with the same number of wins as they finished with the last three seasons at 3-9 and is eyeing more.

Army coach Rich Ellerson. (AP) The Black Knights haven't been to a bowl since going 10-2 and playing Auburn in the Independence Bowl in 1996. It was the last time they had a winning record, but with a remaining schedule featuring Temple, VMI and North Texas, the Black Knights hope to get to 6-6 and earn an EagleBank Bowl invite.

The EagleBank Bowl  signed a deal with the Black Knights that if they become bowl-eligible, they will play in Washington D.C. against an ACC team.

The defense has been playing fantastic and ranks 28th in the nation in total yards allowed and is 41st in the nation in points allowed.

Linebacker Stephen Anderson leads the team with 51 tackles, including 31 solo, while safety Donovan Travis is tied for second in the NCAA with four interceptions. Defensive lineman Josh McNary is fourth in the nation in tackles for a loss with 11.5.

"If our defense will play like they have been playing, we'll have a chance every week. We played well and have done a good job of building a fence around our opponents' offense," added Ellerson. "We have some play-makers and some guys that do a beautiful job of clearing because the other team makes plays and gets themselves in scoring position, but we don't freak out. We just reload and play the next play."

One of the team's Army actually lost to earlier in the year is also making waves in the ACC.

Duke scored a huge upset on the road against N.C. State, ending a 20-game conference road losing streak. Many thought the Wolfpack would be one of the favorites in the Atlantic Division, but the Blue Devils racked up 49 points and Thad Lewis threw for a career-high 459 yards and five touchdowns.

The Blue Devils moved up to No. 67 in the CBSSports.com 120 rankings this week.

"It's kind of surreal," head coach David Cutcliffe said to the Winston-Salem Journal. "We haven't felt this way in a long time at Duke."

The last time Duke had a winning record was in 1994 when it went 8-4 and lost to Wisconsin in the Hall of Fame Bowl.

Things start to get much tougher for the Blue Devils with North Carolina, Georgia Tech, Miami (Fla.) and Wake Forest on the horizon.

"All you got to do is look at what happened last year in the ACC. The ball can bounce a lot of ways. There is a lot of football left to be played. Anybody can beat anybody in this league."


... Speaking of losing teams, there are now seven winless teams remaining. Three of the teams are in the MAC -- Ball State, Miami (Ohio) and Eastern Michigan. Two are Sun Belt squads (Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky).

... SMU made a big jump in the rankings this week, leaping from No. 104 to No. 68 after beating East Carolina. June Jones has his team on the right track and at 2-0 in Conference USA, the Mustangs might be headed to their first bowl since the 1984 Aloha Bowl.

... Georgia took a big drop, falling to No. 47 after getting smoked against Tennessee. The Bulldogs are 3-3 and still have to play Florida, Auburn and Georgia Tech.

... Middle of the road: With 120 teams, Marshall checks in at No. 60 at 4-2. There are about as close as you can get to being the most average team in the nation as their strength of schedule is 65th.

... Of all the teams in the Top 25, Virginia Tech's strength of schedule still ranks No. 1. Having played Alabama, Nebraska and Miami (Fla.) pushed its schedule to No. 1. It should start to get weaker with games vs. Maryland, N.C. State and Virginia to close out the season.

Category: NCAAF
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com