College Football Notebook
The college football notebook …
BRISTOL, Conn. ó The Southern California-Ohio State thriller is the most-viewed college football game ever on ESPN.
USC’s 18-15 come-from-behind win Saturday night drew nearly 10.6 million total viewers, more than any regular-season or bowl game on the network. ESPN said Monday that the 7.3 rating was its highest for a college football game since Florida State-Miami 15 years ago.
WINSTON-SALEM ó Wake Forest’s two leading rushers are wide receivers. The winning touchdown last week was set up by a long pass to a player who entered the preseason as a backup running back.
The Demon Deacons’ offense has turned backwards to move forward.
“It’s given us a little bit of a different dimension,” coach Jim Grobe said Tuesday. “We’re not always having to hand the ball to the tailback or always having to throw to the split end.”
That role-reversing recipe has worked well in recent years, helping Wake Forest (1-1) rise from the ACC cellar and establish itself as a consistent bowl team.
These days, it appears to be clicking again. Devon Brown averages a team-best 46 yards rushing per game while fellow receiver Chris Givens is averaging nearly 40. Both have found a groove taking a steady stream of sweeps and end-arounds ó just as Carolina Panthers receiver Kenneth Moore did for Wake Forest in 2006 and ’07.”The fun thing for us is, we’ve got some speed guys again in the slot position that we used so well those first few years we were here,” Jim Grobe said.
DURHAMó Thad Lewis probably knew he’d hear the term “quarterback controversy” this week after the way backup Sean Renfree played in Duke’s weekend win at Army. He just won’t let himself think of it that way.
“I knew going into the season that Sean was going to play,” Lewis said Tuesday. “So there’s not a controversy at all, but it is a competition. We compete, but we make each other better and we want to make this team better.”
That’s what coach David Cutcliffe is aiming for.
COLUMBIA, S.C. ó Though Steve Spurrier hasn’t had the kind of success at South Carolina he had during his first 15 years as a college coach, he still doesn’t lose to the little guys.
Spurrier will put his 36-0 record against teams outside the six major BCS conferences on the line Saturday against Florida Atlantic.
Spurrier’s first goal Saturday is to win, of course, but the coach said he also hopes to get a chance to play a larger number of players so he can settle on a backfield and corp of receivers.
“We’ve had two close games, two four-point games, both of them. Coaches have the tendency to stick with guys who are playing pretty decent, taking care of the ball and what have you,” Spurrier said. “You’re not into experimenting with too many players in close games.”