• As I noted last Friday morning, Washington put together a perfect game plan in its win over Stanford last Thursday night. First-year coordinator Justin Wilcox put eight or nine defenders near the line of scrimmage to contain Stepfan Taylor and the Cardinal ground game. And it worked, which was a huge difference from last fall's contest between these teams. With the run game less efficient, quarterback Josh Nunes was forced to make plays through the air. And he was unable to do so, as he finished 18 of 37 for 170 yards. And third-down efficiency remained a troubling issue for the Cardinal, as they finished just 5 of 18 on conversion attempts. Even when Nunes found Ty Montgomery for a couple of potential big plays, the receiver could not hold onto the football. Certainly, this Stanford offense is a work in progress. And Steve Sarkisian and Co. provided the blueprint to thwart David Shaw's Stanford offense.
US PRESSWIREThe future is bright for BYU with Taysom Hill at QB.
• How about BYU true freshman quarterback Taysom Hill and his 17-year-old running back Jamaal Williams? The backup tandem recorded 396 yards on the ground in place of injured starters Riley Nelson and Michael Alisa, respectively, in a blowout win Friday night over Hawaii.
• Texas A&M redshirt freshman quarterback Johnny Manziel is already one of the most exciting players in the nation. In the Aggies' 58-10 rout of Arkansas, the dual-threat signal-caller had an SEC record 557 total yards of offense. He's averaging over 100 rushing yards and 300 passing yards per game in the team's last three contests. Meanwhile, we have to wonder if the Razorbacks will even win another game in 2012.
• I mentioned last week after its loss to Miami (FL) that Georgia Tech defensive coordinator Al Groh may not get a fourth season in Atlanta if his unit didn't clean up its act. Well, his future became even more bleak this past weekend as the Yellow Jackets were dominated at home 49-28 by Middle Tennessee of the Sun Belt. A week after GT surrendered 609 yards of total offense to Miami, the Jackets gave up 510 total yards to the Blue Raiders. Groh worked from the coaches' box rather than the sideline for the first time in years this past weekend, but that didn't seem to help the team's defensive woes.
• Northwestern has a good problem on its hands at quarterback. Kain Colter is a legitimate starter, but Trevor Siemian gives head coach Pat Fitzgerald a more traditional and polished passer. But that's fine for this offense, which saw Colter run for 161 yards and four touchdowns and record 131 receiving yards in the team's win over Indiana. NU's defense is improved from last season, but it will need to take a step up in competition for the Wildcats to convince the naysayers. That starts this week when the 'Cats travel to Happy Valley to take on a Penn State squad that has won three in a row after a tough start.
• Miami (FL) has some intriguing playmakers on offense in freshman running back Duke Johnson and sophomore receivers Phillip Dorsett and Rashawn Scott. With quarterback Stephen Morris having a very good start to the season, the Hurricanes have become a fun team to watch. While depth and inexperience still plague the defense, it will be interesting to see if this offense can generate some big plays against Notre Dame next weekend at Chicago's Soldier Field.
• Georgia escaped with a home win over Tennessee, but Mark Richt's squad made a lot of mental errors in that game that need to be corrected -- and corrected soon. The Bulldogs play South Carolina in a showcase SEC East game this week.
• Cal's 1-4 start means that Jeff Tedford arguably holds the hottest coaching seat in America.
• And, finally, I was definitely wrong about Virginia Tech. The Hokies are now 0-2 against the Big East this season, and they came into the year as my darkhorse pick to play Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.
Email firstname.lastname@example.org or follow me on Twitter at Miller_Dave
Check out our partners at TiqIQ for the best deals on all games on the 2014 NFL schedule.
NOV 20 Joel Corry
A detailed look at the eight candidates vying for that unique honor.
NOV 18 Dion Caputi
Cleveland quarterback Brian Hoyer has overcome long odds to put his team in contention for a playoff berth.
NOV 13 Joel Corry
10 players who are delivering big returns for their respective franchises.