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We pity Joe Pa

Sep 9, 2003 6:04 AM

All of the Big Ten teams were in action this past weekend with 7-of-11 in the win column.

Two of the losses were big surprises. Penn State was beaten by Boston College, which jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead. Former Nittany Lions player Horace Dodd got the show going early as he ran for 62 yards and a touchdown on his first carry.

What surprised me most about this game was the amount of rushing yards BC racked up against the Lions. It won’t be any easier for Penn State this week at Nebraska. The Huskers will have no problem getting up for this game after an embarrassing 40-7 loss last year at Penn State. Could this year’s score be reversed? I doubt it.

The other surprise had to be Bowling Green’s big win over Purdue. The Boilers were expected to be one of the top-20 teams in the country and certainly one of the best in the Big Ten. Purdue, known for its passing attack, received some of its own medicine as quarterback Josh Harris completed 22 of 40 passes for 357 yards.

As I looked at this game last week I really didn’t care to take Purdue and lay 10 points. My biggest concern was the fact Bowling Green already had a game under its belt while this was Purdue’s first encounter of the season. In college football, this is a big factor. When a team has one game under its belt and the other team has yet to play, it can be a very dangerous situation, especially if the team that hasn’t played is a favorite.

This week Purdue visits a fired up Wake Forest team that finds itself 2-0. Wins over Boston College and North Carolina State have the Demon Deacons sky high. It’s too soon to gauge the morale of Purdue. However, I have a strong feeling the Boilers may bounce back.

Another surprise was Ohio State, which struggled to get a win against San Diego State. The Buckeyes have now won 16 games in a row. However, this victory was ugly to say the least. Ohio State managed only 10 first downs and QB Craig Krenzel completed only five passes.

The Aztecs didn’t fare much better, accumulating only 28 yards on the ground. They did, however, manage 188 yards passing. In reality San Diego State should have won this game straight out. The Buckeyes host NC State on Saturday. The Wolfpack could have been looking ahead to this matchup last week as they played poorly against Wake Forest.

NC State didn’t have any trouble moving the ball, amassing 511 yards of total offense. However, they committed 10 penalties for 90 yards. The Wolfpack were without the services of running back T.A McLendon, who hurt his knee after falling in the team lounge. He is listed as questionable. With or without McLendon, I think Ohio State’s winning streak could be in jeopardy.

As I look around the country this week, I see three early selections:

Ball St (+31) at Pitt: I like Pitt at home here laying a big number. No question this is one of the top 10 teams in the country and being at home is a big plus. Ball State isn’t in the same league as Pitt and, after losing at home to a good Missouri team, it’s only going to get worse this week. A big number? Yes, but they could be up 29-0 by the half. This looks to be an all-out rout. PITT.

Fresno St (+28) at Oklahoma: I am going against the top team in the country. No question OU deserves to be No. 1 and may stay there for a long time. However, the Sooners have been installed as a large favorite over Fresno State, who in my opinion is one of the most underrated teams in the country. The Bulldogs are well coached and can move the ball. Fresno will be up for this game. I look for it to be much tighter than 28. FRESNO ST.

Penn State (+10) at Nebraska: This is a big revenge game for Nebraska. The Huskers certainly won’t have any problem getting up for this one as they were beaten soundly by Penn State last year on the road, 40-7. This Nebraska team is certainly not the team of the past but it is much improved from last season. Penn State is not playing to its reputation as a football powerhouse. The Nittany Lions seem to be steadily going downhill. NEBRASKA.

Last week: 3-0 Season: 3-0