Football at its best and worst

Published 12:00 am Sunday, September 19, 1999

What a wild and wacky football weekend that was. Hats off to Southern Mississippi for battling Nebraska to the end, a high salute to Mississippi State for winning (hey, look at the alternative) and God bless LSU, Ole Miss and New Orleans fans.

First, Southern Miss gave Nebraska all it could handle.

And all everyone can talk about is what is wrong with Nebraska.

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Excuse me folks, USM has an awesome defense and some good hands on offense.

If Notre Dame would have blown out Tulane and Northwestern State and lost to Nebraska (AT&160;NEBRASKA) by a touchdown, they would be ranked in the Top 15.

While Tulane did not have the schedule to go with their unbeaten season, Southern Miss can prove a point by beating Texas A&M next week.

Ole Miss has to do some serious repair work on its defensive secondary.

The Rebels have the weapons on offense, but they may have to slow those weapons down so as not to give the ball back too quick.

But the Rebels will bounce back.

Although they didn’t look like storm troopers, State still did away with Oklahoma State and with the young guys they are playing, the Bulldogs will get better.

Dontae Walker is a thoroughbred.

LSU has problems. The Tigers seemed to lack discipline at times with veterans jumping offsides, blocking late and not knowing how to recover a fumble.

Gerry DiNardo should have named a starting quarterback in the spring.

There’s too much uncertainty and the team does not know who to rally around.

Rohan Davey showed his inexperience and Josh Booty must still think he’s at Evangel the way he forces the football.

And we won’t even start to talk about that defense. Although I think Ferriday produce Jeremy Lawrence should be in there every play.

To New Orleans.

Call me a bad sport, but is there an unwritten rule where the 49ers can deliver cheap shots and not be called for it?

While I agreed with the changing of a call where Jerry Rice did make a catch on a fourth down play (although I’ve seen calls not reversed that were easier to judge) the pass interference call late in the game against the Saints was questionable at best.

Ricky Williams certainly needs the open date this week and once the Saints get him 100 percent I think they can play with anybody in the league.

Brady Smith has really picked it up in Joe Johnson’s absence.

Back to college, how about that Tennessee-Florida game?

The Volunteers showed why they were champions last year by fighting back, even if they did come up short.

Florida may slip somewhere on the road. Doug Johnson made some bad decisions at quarterback.

And I’m not convinced Florida State and Penn State will be playing for the championship.

And how about that Louisiana Tech-Alabama game where backup quarterback Brian Stallworth threw a 28-yard touchdown pass to Sean Cangelosi on fourth-and-26 with two seconds left to give the Bulldogs the win?

The interesting thing there is that Tech coach Jack Bicknell was the Boston College center who snapped the ball to Doug Flutie in one of college football’s great games. Flutie completed a desperation pass that beat Miami with no time remaining, sealing his Heisman Trophy.

I think he sealed Alabama coach Mike Dubose’s fate this time.

Joey Martin is sports editor of The Democrat. He can be reached by calling 446-5172 ext. 232 or at .