College Football Notebook: East Carolina alone atop C-USA East

Published 12:00 am Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Associated Press
The college football notebook …
GREENVILLEó It doesn’t feel like first-place East Carolina has gone a month without a loss to coach Skip Holtz.
“We’ve dealt with so many issues with the lineup. Every week it seems to be shuffleboard,” Holtz said Monday. “We’re moving guys around to get the pieces in the right place, and whether we’ve won one or won three, I’m not feeling any of that right now.”
It has been a streaky season for the Pirates (6-3, 4-1 Conference USA), who opened the season with three straight wins, lost three in a row and rebounded to win their last three. That run was capped by last week’s overtime win against Marshall that left East Carolina alone in first place in the league’s East Division.
“If anybody should have learned the lesson to stay focused and play them one at a time, it should have been us with where we were and what happened to us,” Holtz said. “We’ve got to get ready for Southern Miss. We’re keeping our eyes on what we need to do next.”
The Pirates are preparing for one of their oldest rivals when they travel to Southern Mississippi (4-6, 2-4) this week.
GREENSBORO ó Three Florida State players have been honored by the ACC.
The ACC on Monday named Seminoles offensive lineman Rodney Hudson, defensive lineman Neefy Moffett and kicker Graham Gano as three of its players of the week.
Joining them were safety Paul Anderson and linebacker Mark Herzlich of Boston College, Virginia Tech running back Darren Evans and Wake Forest back Brandon Pendergrass.
Pendergrass had his first 100-yard game to claim the league’s award for rookies.
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. ó No. 1 Alabama’s road to a perfect regular season seems paved in crimson and white.
The next two opponents are Auburn and Mississippi State, after all, two teams mired in disappointing seasons who are a combined 3-8 in SEC games. Time to start gearing up for that matchup with No. 3 Florida in the league title game, right?
If there was any chance of Alabama (10-0, 6-0) getting ahead of itself, recent history would suggest that’s premature.
Not for a team that has lost two straight to Mississippi State, Saturday’s opponent, and an excruciating six in a row to chief rival Auburn.
BATON ROUGE, La. ó LSU’s overtime loss to top-ranked Alabama was still eating at Les Miles on Monday, and the coached expressed his regret in terms that many in a state known as the “sportsman’s paradise” could understand.
“We let a big fish off the hook,” Miles said at his weekly media luncheon. “We couldn’t quite get the handle on it.”
The Tigers outgained the Crimson Tide and forced three turnovers. LSU rushed for more than 200 yards and even blocked a potential game-ending kick to force overtime. But, in the end, Alabama survived with a 27-21 victory.
“I asked the team to improve and they did,” Miles said. “I asked the team to play with heart and intensity and they did. They played with great effort and showed passion. The score just didn’t work out as we liked.”
STILLWATER, Okla. ó There were times in Mike Gundy’s first three years as Oklahoma State’s head coach that he thought he might have been making matters worse when he decided to chime in on defense.
He can’t take much of the blame for what went wrong when the Cowboys gave up touchdowns on seven straight possessions in a 56-20 loss to No. 2 Texas Tech on Saturday. The mismatch knocked No. 11 Oklahoma State (8-2, 4-2 Big 12) out of the Big 12 championship race, and likely eliminated any BCS chances, too.