Making The Rounds: 9/2/2010 - College Football is here Edition


Utah -

The Utes take on Pitt today to kick off the college football season. Here is our own preview of the game.

The long awaited 2005 Fiesta Bowl rematch between Utah and Pittsburgh features the same schools, but much different teams.  This Pitt team, full of NFL prospects, should be much, much better than the team Utah thumped 35-7 in their first BCS Busting, undefeated season.

For more on the style of how Pitt should play, check out our 2010 Preview of the Panthers.

This season Pitt looks to be better.  They return five starters on offense, and six on defense.  After a stellar Freshman year, RB Deon Lewis looks to make another push at the Heisman.  They also return one of the nations top wide receivers in Jonathan Baldwin.  

Pittsburgh's defense looks to be strong once again.  They return Greg Romeous and Jabaal Sheard to their defensive line which led the nation in sacks in 2009 with 3.69 per game.  They also return both safeties their secondary which ranked 49th in pass defense, giving up 213 yards per game, and also return two linebackers.


For even more preview of the game, check out our Q&A Session with Pitt Script. 

UNLV -

The game preview for UNLV's season opener against Wisconsin will be up tomorrow, but until then you'll just have to settle for analysis from May.

This team lost a lot of talent after last season, but they still are ranked sixth in Lindley's Pre-Season top 25. It's because this team was so deep last season, that even though so much talent has left, so much talent steps in for the remaining open positions. For instance, at Tight End, Wisconsin lost star Garrett Graham who was First-team All-Big Ten. They have Lance Kendricks taking over the starting role and Wisconsin shouldn't lose anything at that position because of the caliber player that Kendricks is. Wisconsin shouldn't have any issues with departing players this upcoming season.

For more coverage, you can also check out our Q&A Session with Bucky's 5th Quarter, the Badgers blog here at SB Nation.

5. Both of us see Wisconsin winning, but what would it take for the Badgers to mess up this game and lost it?

It would take a lot. Wisconsin nearly lost at UNLV in 2007 but those were two different teams. This Badger team is better and it seems like this UNLV is team is worse. I just don't see how Wisconsin's running game won't have success Saturday. If the Badgers lose, it will probably be because they struggle with the heat early, turn the ball over and fall into a hole. Here's what is more likely to happen: If Wisconsin doesn't go deep on the first play from scrimmage like they did last year (an 80-yard touchdown against Northern Illinois), the Badgers will run on every single play on their first drive, score a touchdown and never look back.

NBC Sports also has done a preview on the UNLV-Wisconsin game.

With Scott Tolzien returning and John Clay healthy again, No. 12 Wisconsin hopes to get off to another fast start when it opens the season at UNLV on Saturday night.

Tolzien was the fourth starting quarterback in as many years for the Badgers last season, but he led Wisconsin to a 10-3 record, including a 20-14 win over Miami in the Champs Sports Bowl. He finished the year with 2,705 passing yards, 16 touchdowns and 11 interceptions.

New Mexico -

The Lobos open the season against the 11th ranked Oregon Ducks. Jeremy did a preview on them back in May.

The biggest question for Oregon is who will be their quarterback in the fall.  Jeremiah Masoli is out as quarterback and the battle will come between Nate Costa and Darron Thomas once the season begins.  My gut goes with Nate Costa, and the way Chip Kelly has been able to plug in quarterbacks and they all do well.  This happened when Dennis Dixon went down (well the following year), and when Jeremiah Masoli took over for Darron Thomas during the Boise State game in 2008.

Oregon also received a Q&A Session from us along with Utah and UNLV receiving their's as well.

5. Most assume that Oregon will easily win this game, but what would have to happen for New Mexico to pull of this upset?

Oregon turnovers and a lot of them. With a couple of those generating points, momentum and belief on the UNM sideline. Seriously, the wheels would really have to come off. It would be considered the most pathetic home loss since the 24th-ranked Ducks lost 30-24 to Indiana. Disaster can and will happen. Doubtful it happens Saturday against New Mexico, not against this veteran-heavy Duck team.

Another preview of the game was done by NBC Sports.

With their star running back suspended, the 11th-ranked Ducks begin their quest for a second consecutive conference championship when they face the Lobos for the first time Saturday.

Oregon went 10-3 last season, ending Southern California's seven-year reign as Pac-10 champion and advancing to the Rose Bowl for the first time since 1995. The Ducks, however, were beaten 26-17 by then-eighth-ranked Ohio State.

TCU -

Jeremy did a preview of the Horned Frogs Week 1 opponent in the Oregon State Beavers back in May. Of course that was before we brought our TCU Writer, Ben Findley, aboard.

The Beavers have had some legal troubles with some players stealing a golf cart and then crashing it.  Other legal issues for the Beavers was with quarterback Peter Lalich received a boating DUI while in Shasta, California.  That was his third alcohol related offense, and that lead to Lalich getting removed from Oregon State.  Prior to arriving in Corvallis, Lalich was booted from Virginia for alcohol related offense.  

Oh wait, you're really going to be surprised by this. NBC Sports has done a preview of the game against Oregon State.

Nothing short of reaching another BCS game and winning it would satisfy TCU fans and players this year. If last season taught people anything it was to not underestimate the Horned Frogs.

Sixth-ranked TCU opens the season with an early test as it takes on No. 24 Oregon State at Cowboys Stadium on Saturday night.

The Horned Frogs, who began the 2009 season ranked 16th, went 12-0 before losing 17-10 to undefeated Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl.

CBS College has also done a video preview of the game between the Beavers and the Horned Frogs:


 

BYU -

Well, there are multiple posts on the site regarding the news of BYU going indpendent, so I won't go into that. Instead let's turn our heads to football, where BYU faces Washington in Week 1. Michael did a preview of the Huskies back in May before we brought Mitch onboard.

Everyone remembers the Jake Locker celebration incident when BYU blocked an extra long extra point attempt to win a road game in Washington.  That was about as close to a win Washington came that season as they went 0-11.  This season Washington will certainly be much, much better.

To predict how good Washington will be you have to start with the nightmare 2008 season.  After going winless the Huskies hire USC coordinator and former BYU player, Steve Sarkisian.    In Sarkisian's first season Washington went 5-7 with victories over USC and Cal.  Not great, but a huge improvement from the previous season.

 The Pass Rush did an extensive preview of the game between the Cougars and the Huskies.

Washington has been a notoriously awful football team for the better part of the last decade, but has shown signs of turning their program around last year. Ever since their 2001 Rose Bowl appearance, they’ve struggled big time. Here are their records since 2001 in chronological order: 7-6, 6-6, 1-10, 2-9, 5-7, 4-9, 0-12, 5-7. The bottom line is that this team hasn’t produced a winning season since 2002, but they were able to improve on their 0-12 2008 season by going 5-7 this past year. Everyone tried to pound the Huskies last year and more often than not, they got burned as the Huskies had a 7-5 record ATS. They covered against USC, Notre Dame, Arizona, UCLA, and Cal. Even more impressive was the fact that they closed the season by defeating Cal 42-10 after shutting out Washington State 30-0, as well as upsetting USC 16-13. However, Washington struggled on the road going 0-5 and getting crushed by the likes of Oregon State and Stanford, who they were unable to cover against.

The Best Damn Poll has also done a preview of the game.

There are an abundance of story lines and side-plots for when Heisman candidate Jake Locker and the Washington Huskies kick off the 2010 season in Provo against the BYU Cougars.  The memorable and controversial game from two years ago is still fresh on the minds of fans and players alike.  Even with a 5-2 record the last 3 years against Pac 10 opponents, the Cougars were passed over by the conference during off-season realignment, so they might be looking to make a statement here.   

 

Colorado State -

The Rams face Colorado in the Cinch Jeans Rocky Mountain Showdown presented by Dr. Pepper in association with Ultimate Electronics... Whoa. Anyway, Ian did a preview of the Buffs back in May.

Colorado had two wins in Big 12 play against Texas A&M and Kansas.  The Buffs also took down Wyoming, all three wins were at home in Folsum Field. 

The win against Kansas was a good victory and it looked like the Buffs might turn their season around.  However playing in the Big 12 and having to face off against talented schools CU couldn't get on any kind of run splitting all their wins by two losses.

The biggest let down for CU would have been the home loss to CSU 23-17 in last years Rocky Mountain Showdown.  It is never easy to see a rival storm your home field.

The official CSU athletic site did an interview with head coach Steve Fairchild.

Opening Statement: "We started some of our preparation for the University of Colorado last week, and had segments in practice that were geared toward the game plan. The benefit of that was last Saturday during our mock game, we were able to do some of that work, do some of those reps against CU looks. But having said that, we were still competing against each other, still playing a lot of different rotations at spots, and that’s all going to come to a change now this week. Our focus solely will be on installing our CU game plan. We’re looking forward to a hard-fought game on Saturday. We still need a good week of practice to get ourselves ready to play. I certainly respect Dan Hawkins and the University of Colorado, and I think that this game will be a good barometer as to where we are at. Having said that, I’ll open it up to questions."

 

Wyoming -

The Cowboys open the season agains the Southern Utah Thunderbirds... D-1A school. Apparently it will be only the Seventh night game in War Memorial Stadium history.

The 2010 season opens for the Wyoming Cowboys on Saturday at 7 p.m. against Southern Utah with only the seventh night game in War Memorial Stadium history. This will also be the first of two night games this season for the Cowboys, as UW's next home game on Sept. 18 versus Boise State will kick off at 6 p.m.

Wyoming's Cross Country team is pumped to start the season.

The University of Wyoming cross country teams are set to begin the 2010-11 season with a meet in the friendly confines of southeast Wyoming.

The Pokes will host three teams at the Wyoming Invitational at Jacoby Golf Course in Laramie, beginning at 6 p.m. Friday for the women and 6:30 p.m. for the men.

 

San Diego State -

The Brady Hoke show will be on 600 AM every Wednesday from 7-8 P.M.

Once again this season, the San Diego State athletic department, Claim Jumper and the Aztecs flagship radio station AM 600 KOGO have teamed up to host the "Aztec Coaches Show" with head coach Brady Hoke. The show will air Wednesdays from 7-8 p.m. on AM 600 KOGO, and will be held live from Claim Jumpers restaurant in La Mesa's Grossmont Center. The show, which will give fans the chance to listen to and interact with Coach Hoke, can also be heard on www.GoAztecs.com.

In the SDSU Men's Soccer program, Loyola Marymount beat out SDSU in overtime 2-1.

The San Diego State men's soccer scored first but yielded two late goals in a 2-1 overtime loss at Loyola Marymount Wednesday at Sullivan Field in Los Angeles. The Aztecs, who started four freshmen in a season opener for the first time in head coach Lev Kirshner's 11-year tenure, fell to 0-1-0, while the 2009 NCAA tournament qualifier and 2010 preseason West Coast Conference favorite Lions improved to 1-0-0.

 

Air Force -

The Falcons athletic site has a team preview up for the 2010 Football Squad.

The Air Force football team will be tested once again in 2010. The team's schedule features six teams that went to bowl games in 2009 (BYU, Oklahoma, Wyoming, Navy, TCU and Utah) and four teams that were in the nation's top 25 for most of the season. Following the season opener against Northwestern State on Sept 4 in Falcon Stadium, the team's next four games come against teams that played in a bowl game last year.
Air Force opens Mountain West Conference play at home Sept. 11 against BYU, then plays at Oklahoma which is a atop many Big 12 preseason and national polls. The team then plays at Wyoming before returning to Falcon Stadium to take on Navy. Three of the next five games are on the road.

Air Force football Head Coach Troy Calhoun set up a press conference to discuss the team's preparation.

Air Force opens the 2010 season this week by hosting Northwestern State on Saturday, Sept. 4, at noon in Falcon Stadium. The Falcons are taking on Northwestern State for the first time in school history. Air Force is 14-0 all-time against teams from the Football Championship Subdivision.

 

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