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Week Three - Plenty to get excited about

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The third week of the college football season saw a long-awaited cameo appearance by the reigning Heisman Trophy winner, a gutsy trick play in overtime and several hard-fought games between conference contenders. These were just some of the highlights in a very entertaining week on the FBS level.

SEAMLESS RETURN: The highly anticipated debut of reigning Heisman winner Mark Ingram took place in Durham this past weekend, as the Crimson Tide rolled all over the Blue Devils. Ingram's first carry of the year was a 48-yard scamper to get things going. He finished the day with just nine carries, but they went for 151 yards and two TDs. With Ingram back at full strength and sophomore Trent Richardson (61 yards rushing, one TD, kickoff return for a touchdown against Duke) more than capable of producing on only a few touches, Alabama certainly looks like the team to beat nationally. This week will be the litmus test, as the Tide may not see a more complete foe in the regular season than the Arkansas Razorbacks.

BAD BREAK: The Houston Cougars were considered a favorite to win the Conference USA title and with a player like Case Keenum running things under center, that lofty praise was certainly warranted. However, Keenum went down in the second quarter of the team's loss to UCLA and is now done for the season with a torn ACL. Keenum had already passed for 636 yards and five TDs in two-and-a-half games and was poised for yet another huge season. Instead, he finishes his career with 14,448 yards of total offense, including 13,586 passing yards, with 107 TD passes, all of which rank among the top-10 in NCAA history.

To make matters worse for the Cougars, backup Cotton Turner is also done for the season after suffering a fractured clavicle in the third quarter, leaving the team in the hands of touted freshman Terrance Broadway, who was scheduled to redshirt this season.

Mark Ingram finished the day with just nine carries, but they went for 151 yards and two TDs..
MAJOR DRAMA FOR SPARTANS: Those of you familiar with the movie "The Little Giants," will remember the climax of the film, as the underdog Giants use a gadget play (the "fumblerooski") to knock off the heavily favored Cowboys. While Michigan State was by no means an underdog against Notre Dame this past weekend, Mark Dantonio's unbelievable call of a fake field-goal in overtime was the difference, as the Spartans moved to 3-0 on the young season. Not only did the play break hearts throughout the Notre Dame fan base, it may have contributed to Dantonio ending up in the hospital, where he underwent surgery early Sunday morning from symptoms consistent with a heart attack. The school said Dantonio will remain hospitalized for a few days and his return to the sideline will be determined at a later date. Offensive coordinator Don Treadwell will take over Dantonio's responsibilities in the interim.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Oklahoma State's Brandon Weeden was unstoppable throwing the ball against Tulsa this past weekend, completing 23-of-32 passes, for 409 yards and a whopping six TDs to headline the quarterback play in the FBS ranks.

Other QBs of note include Arkansas's Ryan Mallett (380 yards, three TDs against Georgia), Boise State's Kellen Moore (370 yards, two TDs against Wyoming), Stanford's Andrew Luck (207 yards passing, four TDs, one rushing score against Wake Forest), UAB's Bryan Ellis (360 yards, three TDs against Troy), SMU's Kyle Padron (280 yards, four TDs against Washington State), Troy's Corey Robinson (404 yards, two TDs against UAB), Nevada's Colin Kaepernick (148 yards rushing, three TDs, 181 yards passing, two TDs against California), Michigan's Denard Robinson (104 yards rushing, one TD and 241 yards passing, two TDs against UMass) and Nebraska's Taylor Martinez (150 yards passing, one TD, 137 yards rushing, three TDs against Washington).

Tailbacks that put up big numbers are Oregon's LaMichael James (227 yards, two TDs against Portland State), California's Shane Vereen (198 yards, three TDs against Nevada), UConn's Jordan Todman (192 yards, one TD against Temple), Illinois' Michel Leshoure (180 yards, one TD against Northern Illinois), TCU's Ed Wesley (165 yards, two TDs against Baylor), Alabama's Mark Ingram (151 yards and two TDs against Duke), Temple's Bernard Pierce (169 yards and two TDs rushing, one receiving TD against UConn), Kentucky's Derrick Locke (166 yards, two TDs against Akron), Clemson's Andre Ellington (140 yards, one TD against Auburn), Oregon State's Jacquizz Rodgers (132 yards rushing and two TDs, one receiving TD against Louisville), UCLA's Johnathan Franklin (158 yards and three TDs against Houston) and Oklahoma's DeMarco Murray (110 yards, three TDs against Air Force).

Wideouts who benefited from strong QB play this week are Oklahoma State's Justin Blackmon (six receptions, 174 yards, three TDs against Tulsa), SMU's Aldrick Robinson (four receptions, 111 yards, three TDs against Washington State), California's Marvin Jones (12 receptions, 161 yards against Nevada), Michigan's Darryl Stonum (three receptions, 121 yards, two TDs against UMass), Maryland's Torrey Smith (three receptions, 149 yards, two TDs against West Virginia) and Auburn's Darvin Adams (five receptions, 118 yards, one TD against Clemson)

SNEAK PEEK: There are 21 ranked games this upcoming week, including four pitting ranked foes against one another. It starts in Fayetteville, with top- ranked Alabama taking on 10th-ranked Arkansas. No. 12-ranked South Carolina and 17th-ranked Auburn tangle in another huge SEC clash, while 24th-ranked Oregon State takes its shot at third-ranked Boise State and 22nd-ranked West Virginia invades Baton Rouge to battle 15th-ranked LSU.

Other key games in week four include 16th-ranked Stanford at Notre Dame, undefeated Temple at 23rd-ranked Penn State, undefeated Kentucky at ninth- ranked Florida, California at 14th-ranked Arizona and fifth-ranked Oregon at Arizona State.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.

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