LSU's demolition of Virginia Tech still stands out
It's hard to ignore that there is such a thing as style points when it comes to the human element of the BCS. With that in mind, this week's top 10 list is about the most impressive single-game performances of the season. (Thanks to blog contributor Brad for the idea.)
1. LSU over Virginia Tech, Sept. 8: The Tigers have a rep for jumping all over opponents at night at Tiger Stadium, and the No. 9 Hokies got a taste of that on Sept. 8. The Tigers were up 24-0 by halftime, and outgained Tech by a staggering 598-149 margin. In the first half, LSU had outgained the Hokies 327-40. It was the most lopsided loss Frank Beamer has had in his coaching career.
2. Oregon over Michigan, Sept. 8: Nobody was talking about Dennis Dixon until he put on an amazing show, carving up the Wolverines' D in Ann Arbor. The Ducks rolled up 624 total yards in a 39-7 win. Oregon also held Michigan to 18-of-40 on pass attempts and just 3.3 yards per rush. The loss was worse than anything the Wolverines had had at home since before Bo Schembechler took over the program.
3. Missouri over Colorado, Nov. 3: The Tigers might not have been able to beat Oklahoma, but they were able to go to Boulder (the same place where the Sooners lost) and hammered the Buffs 55-10. Chase Daniel was his usual precise self, throwing for five TDs and 421 yards, but the most impressive thing was the Tigers' D holding CU to 196 total yards and 3-for-17 on third downs.
4. Ohio State over Penn State, Oct. 27: Forget the White Out and the raucous Nittany Lions crowd, the unheralded Buckeyes offense went in to State College and scorched the highly touted PSU defense for 453 total yards. QB Todd Boeckman keyed OSU to 12-of-16 on third down while the Buckeyes controlled the ball for almost 38 minutes.
5. Florida over Tennessee, Sept. 15: This one cranked up the heat on Phil Fulmer as UF blew open the game in the second half en route to a 59-20 win. The Gators piled up 554 total yards on the No. 22 Vols and outgained them on the ground 255-37. Florida had seven different players with a rush over at least 10 yards, while UT didn't have anyone get more than 6 yards on a carry. Pretty impressive for a defense that only returned two starters from the 2006 team.
6. Tennessee over Georgia, Oct. 6: The Dawgs came into Knoxville ranked No. 12, but the Vols jumped all over them and took a 28-0 lead into halftime. UT completely bottled up the dynamic Georgia ground game, holding the Dawgs to 69 yards rushing on 25 carries. The most amazing part of that is of those 25 carries, UGA only had one rush (a 10-yard run by Kregg Lumpkin) that was longer than 5 yards. Meanwhile, the Vols rolled up 190 yards on the ground to go with a steady performance from QB Erik Ainge, who went 17-for-22.
7. Oklahoma over Miami, Sept. 8: Another thumping on Sept. 8. It was Sam Bradford's coming-out party as he lit up the supposedly formidable Canes defense, by going 19-of-25 with five TD passes in a 51-13 rout. It was UM's worst loss (at the time) in almost 10 years. Behind Nic Harris, Curtis Lofton and the Sooners' D-line, OU made 14 negative-yardage plays against the Canes' offense, which seemed completely frustrated by halftime.
8. Kansas over Nebraska, Nov. 3: The Jayhawks ran up 76 points on Nebraska, scoring almost a point for each yard they allowed the Huskers to run for (79). KU also picked off four passes and piled up 572 total yards. Todd Reesing gutted the NU defense, going 30-for-41 for 354 yards and six TDs.
9. Utah over UCLA, Sept. 15: The Bruins came to Utah ranked No. 11, led by BYU transfer Ben Olson. But the Utes' defense was all over the former blue-chip QB, picking him off three times and sacking him five times, while Utah QB Tommy Grady had little trouble with the touted Bruins defense, throwing for 246 yards and three TDs. On the day, the Utes used a 5-1 turnover edge to spark a 44-6 rout. Utah even had its first 100-yard rusher (Darrell Mack) since 2005. The Utes had been 0-8 against UCLA, including a 31-10 loss in the season opener at the Rose Bowl in 2006.
10. LSU over Mississippi State, Aug. 30: Turns out the Bulldogs aren't such a pushover, yet the Tigers had no trouble going into Starkville and pulverizing MSU 45-0. LSU picked off six passes as the Tigers' secondary shut everything down and Glenn Dorsey and Co. up front yielded just 10 yards rushing on 26 carries.
Bruce Feldman is a senior writer with ESPN The Magazine. His new book, "Meat Market: Inside the Smash-Mouth World of College Football Recruiting," is on sale now.
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