Jim McBride’s four items of interest on the college football landscape:
Sign says: Walk
At first glance, Oklahoma State’s 84-0 whipping of FCS also-ran Savannah State in Week 1 was just another case of a FBS big boy thrashing a little guy to get an easy win and build player confidence. Actually, it looked like that on second and third glance, too. But further investigation shows that Cowboys coach Mike Gundy may not be as devious as it would first appear. Gundy, who has upward of 50 walk-ons on his roster (there’s actually a waiting list), played 25 Cowboys who were walk-ons or former walk-ons against the Tigers. Two starters, center Evan Epstein and safety Shamiel Gary, are among that group. It was still a mismatch of epic proportions, but at least some well-deserving kids got to play.
Clean it up
Nobody, and I mean nobody, likes to disappoint momma. Whether you’re 9 or 29, facing mommy after an embarrassing misstep is never fun. Luckily for most of us, our mistakes aren’t played out in front of a TV audience. That wasn’t the case for Brent Pease. Florida’s offensive coordinator had to say “sorry” to his mother after he was caught on camera mouthing a few naughty words during the Gators’ lackluster win over Bowling Green. ‘‘I probably got a little potty mouth sometimes and I apologize for that,” said Pease. “My mother said I need to watch my mouth. I had my mouth washed out with soap when I was like 9.’’ It must not have been Lava. One rinse with that and the cussing stops. Forever.
Andre Parker’s jaunt into the Football Follies Hall of Fame may have been missed by many, because it happened last Thursday, when a lot of folks were making plans for their Labor Day weekend cookouts rather than watching a riveting Opening Night matchup between traditional rivals Kent State and Towson. Parker, a Kent State linebacker, recovered a muffed punt by Derrick Joseph at the Towson 7-yard line. Like any good special teamer, Parker took off toward the end zone. Unfortunately, he took off for the wrong end zone — even delivering a tremendous stiff-arm to one poor Tiger. Question is, why where the Tigers trying to tackle him at all? After all was said and done, the ball came back to the 7, because you can’t advance a muffed punt.
Having a ‘‘baptism by fire’’ is one of the most overused clichés in all of sports. Baptism at practice? That’s a new one. But that’s exactly what happened to Clemson’s DeAndre ‘‘Nuk’’ Hopkins at practice last Thursday. The junior receiver was baptized in front of his teammates and coaches by Perry Noble, who is not only a rabid Tigers fan but also a senior pastor at NewSpring Church. Noble had baptized Clemson receiver Sammy Watkins in August. The ceremony apparently agreed with Hopkins, who had the game of his life Saturday in a 26-19 win over Auburn. He collected a school-record 13 catches for 119 yards and scored the winning touchdown.