Surprising First Saturday Of College Football

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UNDATED (AP) - Four of the Top 25 teams in the Associated Press
preseason poll lost in the first weekend, including No. 9 Clemson.
Texas A&M also dropped its opener in stunning fashion, losing
18-14 to Arkansas State - at home, no less.
Surprising? Not really, if you ask Texas coach Mack Brown. He
says, "There are more upsets in the first week than just about any
other time during the season."
Brown was speaking during the Big 12 coaches conference call
yesterday.
The Aggies appeared to be in control of the game at halftime,
leading the Red Wolves 14-3. But A&M fell apart in the second half,
turning the ball over four times, missing short field goals,
breaking down defensively.
Arkansas State should have been overmatched, but Texas A&M let
the Red Wolves stay close and ended up with maybe the biggest upset
in college football's first weekend.
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MACLIN PROBABLE: Missouri received some good news from what
looked like a devastating situation: All-American receiver Jeremy
Maclin may play this week.
Maclin scored on kickoff and punt returns in the sixth-ranked
Tigers' 52-42 win over No. 20 Illinois, then went down in the
fourth quarter with what looked like a serious ankle injury. Maclin
hobbled around on crutches after the game, but X-rays Saturday and
an MRI on Sunday were negative.
Missouri coach Gary Pinkel said Maclin is expected to practice
this week and is listed as probable for Saturday's game against
Southeast Missouri.
Linebacker Van Alexander, out since injuring a knee in the
spring, also could be back. He is ahead of schedule in his recovery
from knee surgery and could play as early as this weekend.
The news wasn't so good for Steve Redmond. The senior linebacker
tore his ACL and MCL against Illinois and is out for the season.
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POISED FREEMAN: Kansas State quarterback Josh Freeman had an
impressive statistical start to the season. He went 18-for-24 for
232 yards and three touchdowns in a 45-6 win over North Texas. He
ran for two more scores and jumped two spots to second on Kansas
State's all-time passing list with 5,365 yards.
Faced with pressure caused by breakdowns by the offensive line,
Freeman made solid decisions and was able to avoid the rush by
sliding out of the pocket. He as particularly effective on a
30-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Banks at the start of the third
quarter, rolling right then throwing a perfect strike to the corner
of the end zone while on the run.
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WEATHER DELAY: Oklahoma went into halftime against Chattanooga
with a 50-0 lead, ready to come back out and finish the game off.
Then the fourth-ranked Sooners were told to wait for a
thunderstorm to pass. And again. And again. By the time Oklahoma
and Chattanooga were allowed back on the field, halftime had been
extended by 72 minutes.
With that long of a delay, the Sooners stretched again and went
through warmups instead of running out and playing right away.
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CATCHY TURNOVERS: After creating just 18 turnovers a year ago,
Iowa State coach Gene Chizik put an emphasis on taking the ball way
this year.
Once the Cyclones got one against South Dakota State, they kept
wanting more.
By the time they were done, Iowa State had forced six turnovers,
five of those interceptions that led to a school-record 202 return
yards.



 
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