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BARNEStorming: Week-Four Thoughts Around the College Football World

BARNEStorming: Week-Four Thoughts Around the College Football World

OXFORD, Miss. – Most experts expected Ole Miss to continue its trend of throwing the ball all over the field as it has the past few seasons.

But so far in 2022, the Rebels have been dominant running the football.

After three games, Ole Miss ranks fifth nationally in rushing and two of the teams ahead of the Rebels – Army and Air Force – run the ball almost exclusively.

But Ole Miss lost its top four rushers from a year ago, so how has the team run the ball so well? Simply, head coach Lane Kiffin restocked the running back room to perform behind a veteran offensive line. The Rebels may have the deepest and most talented running back corps in the nation.

Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins rank second and third respectively in conference rushing. Add to that Ulysses Bennett IV and the Rebels have a bevy of backs to run at opponents.

WHAT HAPPENED TO UCLA?

The Bruins are 3-0 on the season and the school has kept that secret pretty well. All three games were home games in the Rose Bowl and the largest attendance was 33,727 in a stadium that holds 92,542.

It has not helped that the visiting teams have not brought crowds. The opener was against Bowling Green from Ohio and the Bruins followed that by playing two other UCLA’s (Unknown Colleges in Lower Alabama), Alabama State from Montgomery and South Alabama from Mobile.

Still, UCLA is averaging just over 30,000 fans per game.

To put that into context, just up the road from LA is Fresno. Fresno State is averaging over 38,000 per game and its two home games have outdrawn UCLA’s.

The Big Ten must be loving this.

A COOL STAT

Of Florida’s Big Three, guess which quarterback had the best game last week. Here is a hint, it was not a starter.

The Gators’ Anthony Richardson threw for just 112 yards and a pair of picks as UF escaped with a win over South Florida. Miami’s Tyler Van Dyke threw for 217 yards, but the Canes could only manage three field goals in losing to Texas A&M.

When FSU starter Jordan Travis went down with a leg injury against Louisville, backup Tate Rodemaker came on and completed 6-of-10 and two touchdowns to lead the Seminoles to the win. Wally Pipp anyone?

SO LONG, HERM

Arizona State coach Herm Edwards was given his walking papers after the Sun Devils lost to Eastern Michigan and fell to 1-2.

It is not a big shock Edwards was shown the door because his team underachieved.

What has caused jaws to drop around the country is another factor; ASU is now the subject of an NCAA investigation. Edwards is a well-respected coach who is known as a straight shooter. Did the pressure of winning get to him or is this much ado about nothing?

WHAT WE LIKE TO SEE

In the movie, “Moneyball,” Brad Pitt’s character muses, “How can you not be romantic about baseball?”

That translated to college football this past week.

Clemson defensive lineman Bryan Bresee’s younger sister Ella lost her battle with cancer recently. The Tigers’ opponent last week, Louisiana Tech, showed plenty of class to make everyone in Ruston, La., proud.

Not only did Bulldogs’ coach Sonny Cumbie wear an “Ella Strong,” t-shirt that the Clemson players wore, but each member of the Tech team also took the time to write Bresee a personal letter of condolence.

BYU also showed some class. The Cougars played at Oregon last week and prior to the season, the Ducks lost one of their players, Spencer Webb, to an accidental fall. When BYU took to the Autzen Stadium field, it was led by a player carrying an Oregon flag with Webb’s number 18 on it.

A Cougars’ player presented the flag to an Oregon player at midfield before kickoff.

How can you not be romantic about college football?

Steve Barnes
Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers.

He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio.

A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series.

Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time.

He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk.

Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

About The Author

Steve Barnes

Steve Barnes joins The Rebel Walk staff as a senior writer and brings a trifecta of journalistic experience. As a writer, he has covered college sports for Rivals.com, Football.com and SaturdayDownSouth.com as well as served as a beat writer for various traditional newspapers. He has been a broadcaster for arena football and several national tournament events for the National Junior College Athletic Association as well as hosting various shows on radio. A former sports information director at Albany (Ga.) State University and an assistant at Troy and West Florida, he has helped host many NCAA conference, regional and national events, including serving five years on the media committee of the NCAA Division II World Series. Barnes, a native of Pensacola, Fla., attended Ole Miss in 1983-84, where his first journalism teacher was David Kellum. The duo has come a long way since that time. He will bring a proven journalistic track record, along with a knack for finding the out-of-the-ordinary story angles to The Rebel Walk. Barnes continues to reside in Pensacola a mere ten minutes from the beach because he does have taste and a brain.

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