College Football: East Carolina beats West Virginia, defeats its third consecutive ranked team

The 2008 college football season welcomed its first team Cinderella when No. 8 West Virginia called the Pirates’ lair in East Carolina and the Pirates defeated the Mountaineers easily, 24-3, controlling both sides. off the line and registering his third game. consecutive victory over a ranked team in its last 3 games.

East Carolina defeated No. 24 Boise State 41-38 in last year’s Hawaii Bowl. The Pirates opened this season by defeating 17th-place Virginia Tech 27-22. Skip Holtz, the East Carolina coach, is the son of the legendary Lou Holtz, who is now a sportscaster. Skip Holtz has officially started building his own legacy.

Last season there were enough Cinderella teams to play musical chairs. Missouri climbed to No. 1, Oregon climbed to No. 2, Boston College climbed to No. 2, South Florida climbed to No. 2, Kansas climbed to No. 2, and Arizona State climbed to No. 6. None of them were in the Top 25 in the poll after the first week of play.

Some experts said East Carolina had the surprise in the bag after leading 17-3 at the half. Pirate quarterback Patrick Pinkney completed 22 of 28 for 236 yards and a touchdown, while running back Jonathan Williams scored twice on the ground. East Carolina racked up 386 yards of offense to the Mountaineers’ 251; the defense held West Virginia on a field goal.

The victory propelled East Carolina to No. 14 this week in the AP Top 25 poll. California’s No. 24 also entered the poll this week when UCLA and South Carolina exited.

The Gamecocks did the unthinkable, losing their second straight game 24-17 to Vanderbilt. The victory was Vanderbilt’s first home win over a ranked team in 16 years.

To add insult to injury, Vanderbilt traveled to South Carolina last season and stunned the Gamecocks 17-6. South Carolina was ranked No. 6 when Vanderbilt came to town. Two weeks later, South Carolina wasn’t even in the Top 25 poll, that’s what an unexpected loss can do to a top team. Life is not getting better for South Carolina this week as it hosts No. 2 Georgia.

The upsets from West Virginia and South Carolina were the only two imperfections among the top-ranked teams.

Business as usual was the keyword for the first week of the season and continued this week when the other 19 of the 21 teams that competed won.

They included No. 2 Georgia 56-17 over Central Michigan, No. 3 Ohio State 26-14 over state rival Ohio, No. 4 Oklahoma 52-26 over Cincinnati, No. 5 Florida 26-3 over Miami (FL ), No. 6 Missouri 52-3 over state rival 1-AA SE Missouri, No. 9 Auburn 27-13 over southern Mississippi, No. 10 Texas 42-13 over UTEP in UTEP, No. 11 Wisconsin 51-14 over Marshall, No. 12 Texas Tech 35-19 over Nevada in Nevada, and No. 13 Alabama 20-6 over Tulane.

No. 14 Kansas 29-0 over Louisiana Tech, No. 15 Arizona State 41-17 over Stanford, No. 15 Brigham Young 28-27 over Washington at Washington, No. 17 South Florida 31-24 in overtime over Central Florida in Central Florida, No. 18 Oregon 66-24 over Utah State, No. 19 Penn State 45-14 over Oregon State, No. 20 Wake Forest 30-28 over Mississippi, No. 22 Utah 42-21 over UNLV and No. 24 Illinois 47-21 over his state rival 1-AA Eastern Illinois.

Four of the winners – Ohio State, Brigham Young, South Florida and Wake Forest – weren’t impressive but remained in the AP To 25.

No. 1 Southern California, No. 21 Fresno State, and No. 23 UCLA (since leaving the AP poll) did not play this week, and No. 7 Louisiana State’s game with Troy was postponed due to a threat from hurricane.

Eight other unclassified teams made winning statements. They included California 66-3 over Washington State (placing the Bears in the AP poll 23rd), Florida State 69-0 over 1-AA Western Carolina, Iowa 42-0 over Florida International, Arkansas State 83-10 over 1 -AA Texas Southern, TCU 67-7 over 1-AA Stephen F. Austin, Kansas State 69-10 over 1-AA Montana State, Baylor 51-6 over 1-AA Northwestern State and Indiana 45-3 over 1- AA Murray State.

The winner of the week with the excuse of forgiving me while limping was Connecticut with a 12-9 from Temple in overtime.

After the new AP Top 25 poll released on Sunday (7-9-08), the key matchups that will cause sparks this week include No. 5 from Ohio State traveling to No. 1 Southern California, No. 10 Wisconsin traveling to No. 21 Fresno State, No. 13 Kansas traveling to No. 19 South Florida, and No. 18 Brigham Young hosting former No. 23 UCLA, who was inactive for the weekend.

Copyright © 2008 Ed Bagley

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