Each week we will go over Nebraska's non-conference opponents and how they fared against their competition.
Tennessee-Chattanooga (5-5) - Last week - Bye. This week vs. Wofford.
Wofford and Chattanooga meet on Saturday with both squads looking to improve their playoff status. Coming off only their second loss of the season last Saturday at Appalachian State, Wofford can still claim a share of the SoCon title with a victory. Despite last week's loss, the Terriers remain atop the NCAA in rushing (312 yds/gm) and atop the SoCon in three defensive categories.
Chattanooga is coming off a 48-14 thumping of Samford and look to make a claim to a playoff berth of their own. The Mocs losses in 2010 are by 1 to App State on Opening Day, 4 to #4 Jacksonville State the following week (a week after Jax State knocked off Ole Miss), 49-35 to Elon and 62-24 at Auburn. The Mocs potent offense averages a league best 440 yards per game. The Mocs are listed in the "others receiving votes" nationally which would put them 28th in the Sports Network poll this week.
The SoCon playoff picture is down to 4 teams with a chance. Appalachian State is in by virtue of the win over Wofford and claming the SoCon's automatic berth. The Mountaineers are at Florida on Saturday. Georgia Southern (#26) has climbed back into the picture as well. The Eagles (6-4, 4-3) need a win at Furman (5-5, 3-4) on Saturday and likely a Chattanooga loss to keep their playoff hopes alive. And then of course there is Saturday's Wofford-Chattanooga showdown which will be the "SoCon Saturday on SportSouth" game of the week at 3:00 pm.
Fresno State (3-7) - Last Week - New Mexico State (L, 48-45). This week @Hawaii.
Fresno State's woeful season plunged to a low Saturday night that the Bulldogs never had hit before. Fresno State lost to New Mexico State for the first time in 18 football games between the schools.
After giving up at least 41 points in losing efforts for the third straight week, Fresno State football announced that defensive coordinator Randy Stewart has decided to step down effective immediately. The Bulldogs traveled to New Mexico State over the weekend and were dropped in a shootout, 48-45, eliminating Fresno State’s chances at receiving a bowl bid.
The Bulldogs season has really gone to heck. At least the get to spend a day or two in Hawaii this weekend.
Washington (5-4) - Last week - USC (L, 17-40). This week @Oregon State
There were no last-second heroics for Washington this time. No final-play drama. Instead, there was just a lot of yellow flags, missed tackles, misfiring plays and frustration as USC avenged defeats against the Huskies the past two years with a dominating 40-17 victory in front of 64,750 at the Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum.
But now, after Saturday's over-before-it-was-over, 40-17 loss to 18th-ranked USC, it is apparent that these Huskies have regressed. Over the past month, this "work in progress," as coach Steve Sarkisian calls his team, isn't progressing.
Sarkisian attributed his team’s loss to a simple lack of execution, assuring the press that the Huskies had the right amount of passion and motivation, but that they made several mistakes in the visiting stadium that led to a blowout loss.
To be fair. Washington has won the games that they were suppose to win and lost the games they were suppose to lose.
Wyoming (6-3) - Last week - Air Force (W, 25-17). This week vs. New Mexico.
The story of Wyoming's return to prominence added a chapter Saturday with an impressive performance by freshman quarterback Brett Smith at wind-swept Falcon Stadium. Playing in gusts that reached nearly 50 mph, Smith put up his wind gauge and rode the rough elements to a 25-17 victory for the Cowboys that snapped Air Force's five-game winning streak in the Front Range series.
AFA threatened to score late in the game to take the lead but the Cowboy defense game up HUGE once again late in the game as Ben Durbin stripped AFA of the ball and Mike Purcell recovered. This ended a Falcons scoring threat. The Pokes got another huge turnover when AFA bobbled a hook and ladder attempt and Marqueston Huff returned it 48 yards for a touchdown to seal the Cowboy victory. Huff caused one more turnover to end the game by intercepting a Connor Dietz pass.
Wyoming is technically not bowl eligible yet. (They played two FCS schools this year.) But they have a good opportunity to get two more wins in their last three games (New Mexico, Boise State, Colorado State).