Now that Week 7 of the college football season has come and gone, which coaching staffs did a standout job of getting their teams ready to play? We highlight those stood out to us with our Coaches of the Week.
Head Coach of the Week: Gary Patterson, TCU
One week after suffering his first loss in nearly a full season and four days after announcing that his team will play the rest of the season without its starting quarterback, Gary Patterson’s team submitted its most complete performance of 2012. That is what coaches look for when they talk about responding to sudden change. After his first full week of working with co-offensive coordinator and quarterbacks coach Rusty Burns as a starting quarterback, Trevone Boykin completed 22-of-30 passes for 261 yards with four touchdowns and no interceptions. Dick Bumpas’ defense forced Baylor into six turnovers while holding the Bears to its season low in total yardage and less than 40 percent of its scoring average. Patterson’s team broke the game open with a 21-0 fourth quarter and posted 509 yards of total offense, its most versus FBS competition in 2012. Gary Patterson’s team is now 22-6 following a loss in his tenure and has amazingly won 14 straight conference road games.
Offensive Staff of the Week: Oregon State
Credit the work of Mike Riley, Danny Langsdorf and staff, because no one would have ever known Beavers quarterback Cody Vaz was starting his first college game on Saturday. Taking his first snaps since 2005, the Oregon State quarterback connected on 20-of-32 passes for 332 yards with three touchdowns and no interceptions. Langsdorf’s offense also ran for 118 yards and two touchdowns, nearly doubling the the total allowed by BYU’s third-ranked rush defense (2.23 yards per carry allowed). Oregon State’s 42 points were by far the most scored on a BYU defense that entered Saturday with just 49 points allowed for the entire season. Seamlessly replacing the nation’s sixth-most productive passer allowed Oregon State to move to 5-0 for the first time since 1939.
Defensive Staff of the Week: Texas Tech
How’s this for perspective of just how dominant the Texas Tech defense was versus West Virginia – coming into Saturday, the Mountaineers’ offense had scored 14 or more points in 13 separate quarters this season (that’s 65 percent on the year), including seven of eight quarters in Big 12 play. It took West Virginia over 57 minutes to reach that number in Lubbock. Despite not posting any turnovers or sacks, the Red Raiders defense got off the field by holding West Virginia to 9-of-21 on third down and 2-of-7 on fourth down. Art Kaufman and co. held Heisman Trophy favorite Geno Smith to nearly half of his season averages – 52.7 percent completion rate (down from 81.4 percent), 275 passing yards on five yards per attempt (down from 399 yards and nearly 10 yards per attempt) and one touchdown (two below his season average). Texas Tech also held the West Virginia ground game, which so befuddled Texas a week prior, to 133 yards on 3.7 yards per carry. With 50 percent of the schedule behind them, Art Kaufman’s crew has halved their 2011 averages (486 yards per game in 2011, 243 in 2012; 6.45 yards per play in 2011, 3.89 in 2012) while jumping 110 spots in the in total defense. A group that finished last season No. 114 in the country currently stands at No. 4.
Special Teams Unit of the Week: Iowa
Kirk Ferentz’s team hardly ever does anything spectacular, instead winning with balance, execution and efficiency. Iowa’s special teams were exactly that Saturday in the Hawkeyes’ 19-16 win over Michigan State in double overtime. Kicker Mike Meyer nailed all four of his field goal tries, including the game-winner from 42 yards in double overtime. Iowa punted eight times, allowing only two returns – one for a yard and another for minus-2 yards. Under the direction of special teams coordinator Lester Erb, Iowa held the Spartans to an average of 17 yards on four kickoff returns while taking their lone kick return 45 yards. In fact, Jordan Cotton’s 45-yard kick return in the second quarter sparked the drive that got Ferentz’s team on the scoreboard after trailing 10-0.
Call of the Week: Les Miles, Greg Studrawa and Frank Wilson, LSU
With a stable of running backs that boasts Kenny Hilliard, Michael Ford, Alfred Blue and Spencer Ware, you wouldn’t think LSU would have to call on his No. 5 tailback, true freshman Jeremy Hill to pull him out of a tight spot Saturday night in Death Valley. But Hill, who entered the South Carolina game with 13 carries on the season, provided the spark that the Miles’ team needed with 17 carries for 124 yards and two touchdowns in a 23-21 win over South Carolina. Credit for this move also must go to offensive coordinator Greg Studrawa and running backs coach Frank Wilson – first for getting such running back depth on the roster, and also for keeping all that depth ready to play. “I think that’s something the coaches preach,” Hill said after the game. “They do a good job of keeping everyone patient. This team has a lot of depth. They recruit well every year. Once you come here, you know you’re going to have to wait your turn to play. Once you get that opportunity, you’ve got to take advantage of it and run with it.”