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Notes, quotes from past week in college football

Scattershooting around college football while deer hunters get unstuck from mountain roads and return to work, wives and reality.

THUMBS UP: Utah's ripped off four straight wins, a first for Kyle Whittingham ... Cougar freshman Harvey Unga gets 177 and then 144 yards rushing, his third and fourth 100-plus efforts of the season ... Ute Louis Sakota continues to salt away field goals ... Utah State almost defeats Nevada, a team that took Hawaii into a hundred overtimes.

THUMBS DOWN: SDSU quarterback Kevin O'Connell's untimely fumble against UNM with the game all but wrapped up... BYU's QB Max Hall's season-low 98.01 pass rating against EWU... half a dozen drops by BYU receivers against EW... the Cougars having to schedule EWU at the mid-season point.

THEY SAID IT: Urban Meyer after two months of SEC blood-letting: "I've never seen anything like what goes on in this league."

Notre Dame coach Charlie Weis after USC shut out the Irish for the first time before World War II: " Let me just say people better enjoy it and have their fun now."

STATISTICALLY SPEAKING: Ute Darrell Mack has overtaken UNM's Rodney Ferguson for the MWC rushing lead, averaging 106 on 159 carries for 747 yards. BYU freshman Unga is No. 4 with 28 fewer carries, a 97.7 average (684 yards)... Kentucky QB Andre' Woodson passes for 415 yards and loses... the Cougars rank No. 1 nationally in time of possession (34:07 average) ... MWC losers Wyoming, SDSU, TCU and UNLV had a combined 15 turnovers.

AFTER FURTHER REVIEW: In LSU's last-second 30-24 win over Auburn, was it head coach Les Miles or the gambling O-coordinator Gary Crowton who really opted to forgo the scientifically proven option to kick a field goal from the 22 and, instead, heave a pass?

MY MWC PLAYER OF THE WEEK: Has to got to previously winless CSU, lifted up to victory over UNLV by RB Gartrell Johnson Chad, who rushed for a career-high 162 yards on 25 carries (6.5 avg.) and two touchdowns in the 48-23 victory. The win snapped a 13-game losing streak for the Rams.

DUMB AND DUMBER: Will students at institutions of higher learning ever learn? Alabama suspends five players just hours before kickoff of the Tennessee game for an issue with receipts and textbooks.

A prankster put a "For Sale" sign on the lawn of FSU coach Bobby Bowden after the 37-29 loss to Miami. Ohio State blew a 24-0 lead on Michigan State and recovered a late fumble that had the Buckeyes lost the handle, it could have cost them the game.

UNSUNG HERO: BYU senior safety Corby Hodgkiss, who back in August replaced David Tafuna, who had just replaced Dustin Gabriel. Hodgkiss turned a EWU pass for a touchdown in the opening seconds of Saturday's game. "We had to make a change and nobody's noticed. If you guys haven't written about him so far this season, he's probably done a pretty good job," said Bronco Mendenhall.

YEAH, BUT... Four MWC teams register wins on Saturday and three of the four drop in the Sagarin Ratings published by USA Today. BYU beats EWU and drops from 34 to 40; Air Force beats Wyoming and drops from 51 to 52; New Mexico beats SDSU and drops from 49 to 61 and Utah beats TCU and climbs from 61 to 59.

TREND SETTERS: Air Force stands 6-2 with the best overall mark in the MWC, and while the Falcons aren't doing it pretty, they simply find enough plays to win and remain the first league team to become bowl eligible.

OVER-RATED: Wyoming's statistics are lofty, but they're currently on a two-game losing skid after setbacks to UNM and AFA and scored 15 points combined in that stretch. The 2005 Cowboys started 4-1 then lost its last seven with turnovers. The 'Pokes had four turnovers at AFA on Saturday. ... Tulsa, the upstart faders, lost to Central Florida.

UNDER-RATED: The Lobos have to be taken seriously down the stretch. At 5-2 overall and 2-1 MWC heading into AFA this week, the Lobos have won two in a row since BYU.

BOTTOM LINE: With Unga and Mack gaining success, look for defenders to stack the box, opening it up for receivers. Utah's receivers are making plays; Cougar pass catchers simply will need to do more.

MY TOP FIVE: Ohio State, LSU, Boston College, Oklahoma and Oregon.