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College football rankings: Mississippi State drops into The Bottom 25 after Mike Leach’s offense sputters

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25. Kentucky 1-2 The Wildcats became the first team in history to hold a Mike Leach-coached offense without a single point. Obviously, the defensive performance the Cats put on against Mississippi State increased their overall rating quite a bit, as did their first win. This week they look for another one at Tennessee. (Last Week: 4) 24. Wake Forest 1-2 The Demon Deacons had the weekend off and are set to play Virginia on Saturday. (23) 23. Temple 0-1 Speaking of one-game teams entering late, hey there, Temple. The Owls didn’t look half-bad considering the delayed start to their season in a 31-29 loss to Navy. Of course, considering how Navy has looked this year, I’m not sure how much stock we should put in it. Maybe this week’s game against No. 5 South Florida will provide more information? (Not Ranked) 22. Missouri 1-2 So how is it that Missouri beat LSU, but remains in The Bottom 25 while — SPOILER ALERT — LSU isn’t ranked? Mostly LSU’s performance against Vandy. Also, the win didn’t wipe out the first two losses. As for Mizzou’s game against Vanderbilt to boost its numbers, that’s become the first SEC game to be postponed. Missouri’s next scheduled game is now at Florida on Oct. 24. (5) 21. UTEP 3-2 This is bittersweet. I’m not thrilled to see UTEP back in The Bottom 25 with a winning record, but at the same time, I’m never unhappy to see our two-time champions coming home to say hello. This week the Miners get No. 9 Southern Miss. (NR) 20. South Alabama 1-2 South Alabama had to postpone its game last week against Troy. It is currently scheduled to return this weekend against No. 16 Texas State. (20) 19. East Carolina 1-2 My Beloved Pirates took care of

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Mike Leach’s offense shut out for first time in his career as Kentucky routs Mississippi State

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Just two weeks after Mississippi Sate coach Mike Leach burst onto the SEC scene in record-breaking fashion in a win over defending national champion LSU, Leach’s pirate ship hit an iceberg on Saturday in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky. Mississippi State’s two points were the fewest ever scored by one of Leach’s teams in his 19 years as a coach.

Leach’s first team at Washington State in 2012 was held to single-digits four times but always mustered at least six points. His first team at Texas Tech in 2000 scored three points in its lowest output during a loss to No. 1 Nebraska.

Things got so dire for the Bulldogs in the second half that Leach benched Stanford graduate transfer quarterback K.J. Costello, the hero of the of the LSU victory, in favor of true freshman Will Rogers. Neither found any success against the Wildcats, however, as Kentucky intercepted six passes. Costello threw four interceptions while Rogers tossed two as Kentucky followed the blueprint that Arkansas established in a win over Mississippi State last week by frequently dropping eight defenders into zone coverage.

Mississippi State outgained the Wildcats 295-157 for the game as the teams combined for just 452 total yards. By comparison, Alabama and Ole Miss combined for 644 total yards just in the first half of their game Saturday. After consecutive losses to Arkansas and Kentucky, things are set to get even more difficult for Mississippi State. Next up is a game against No. 21 Texas A&M, which beat No. 4 on Florida on Saturday. Then after a bye week, the Bulldogs play No. 2 Alabama on the road.

“We’re going to have to check our group and see who really wants to play here,” Leach told reporters after the game.

If there was a bright

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Grading the Boston College Offense Against UNC

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On Saturday, Boston College lost a heartbreaker to UNC 26-22. The Eagles had another last minute drive that looked to tie the game, but Trey Morrison intercepted the two point conversion and returned it for two points for the Tar Heels. We’ve broken the game down in many ways, and now it’s time to hand out grades, beginning with the offense.

(Because of COVID-19 this evaluation was done using the network TV feed. There certainly were moments the video missed. We did the best we could to evaluate what was visible. Also for grading: A: Great Game, B:Good Game, C: Average Game D: Below Average F: Poor Game)

Coaching: B-. Phil Jurkovec threw the ball 56 times, which was one short of the team record. They only rushed the ball 19 times. Some of this could be due to scheme issues hampered by injuries. But BC needs to find a way to move the ball on the ground here and there. Clearly Cignetti’s system works best with quicker backs that can also catch the ball out of the backfield. However, as mentioned in the Offensive Observations, it seems like BC could benefit from using Jurkovec in designed runs and zone reads. Didn’t hate the play calling, but would love to see this addition come along as the season goes along. 

Phil Jurkovec: A-. Phenomenal game by the transfer who again tried to put the offense on his back in the comeback. His ability to shake tackles is impressive, heard multiple references to Ben Roethlisbeger. Few things he still needs to improve on. Some of his passes needed a bit more touch, even Hafley said he needs to find some of the receivers who are open. But, he’s basically a freshman playing out there. And he looked really good. 

David