Welcome to the Amway Coach of the Week Fan Poll spotlight. Every week, For the Win will recognize three coaches of teams in the latest Top 25 for their performance over the weekend. We’ll shout out the coaches who deserve praise and point out those who do not. We start this week in Madison…
Paul Chryst pulls off a surprising road upset
Wisconsin’s 23-17 home win over Georgia State wasn’t a loss, but it sure felt like one. So the Badgers thrashing Michigan State 30-6 on the road was quite the bounce back performance. The Spartans just had no answers for Paul Chryst’s team, which now looks like a threat to both Michigan and Ohio State in the Big Ten.
Wisconsin started freshman quarterback Alex Hornibrook, who led the offense on four touchdown drives in his first career start. Credit goes to Christ, a former quarterbacks coach, for getting the 19-year-old ready to face a rugged Michigan State defense on the road. The Badgers defense was equally impressive. It demolished the Spartans running game, which allowed the pass rush to tee off on QB Tyler O’Connor, who was sacked four times and threw three interceptions.
At 4-0 and firmly in the Amway Coaches Poll Top-10, the Badgers are clear playoff contenders. And Chryst’s team will be able to solidify its spot in the playoff discussion with a win over Michigan on Saturday.
Butch Jones gets a colossal win in comeback fashion
It certainly hasn’t looked pretty, but Butch Jones has Tennessee at 4-0 and picked up arguably the biggest win of his career last weekend when the Vols beat Florida for the first time in 11 years.
Trailing 21-3 at the halftime break, Jones made the proper adjustments, and QB Josh Dobbs looked more like the star everyone expected him to be before the season started. Dobbs found the end zone five times in the second half in leading the Volts to a 38-28 win that gave them control of the SEC East.
Tennessee is just outside of both the Top-10 and the College Football Playoff discussion, but it will have plenty of opportunities to impress the committee over the next month. The Vols face trips to No. 20 Georgia, No. 10 Texas A&M and will host No. 1 Alabama over the next four weeks.
Clay Helton gets conservative at the wrong time
Clay Helton coached scared and it ended up costing him.
Leading 27-24 with 5:37 to go, USC had the ball on Utah’s 37-yard-line and faced a 4th-and-3. A 54-yard field goal clearly wasn’t an option, so Helton had two choices: Trust the Trojans high-powered offense to pick up a measly three yards (USC averaged 7.9 yards per play on the night) or just punt the ball away and rely on a defense that had given up more than 350 yards up until that point.
Helton opted to punt. Utah conducted a 15-play drive for the game-winning touchdown.
Source: USA Today Fan Sports Poll