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MAC Friday Night Review: Cactus In The Tailpipe



 

I can back this up with reams of scientific data: scoring only two points in a football game is the funniest score one can handle. Five is close, but five implies a successful football play in the proper end zone. Two is an aberration; congrats, you got on the board because the other team managed to not cause a turnover 100+ yards away from their target destination. Charlie Bucket's teacher can't figure out just two.

But given the litany of AQ teams who've stumbled in the Glass Bowl, Arizona was mucho impressive. Juron Criner is now a minor deity amongst small circles of rebel Tucsonians scattered about Northwest Ohio, marked not just by his 10/176 night, but with one of those catches coming off the traditional right-hand-to-knee-to-cradled-in-the-torso grasp. All while falling down. Austin Dantin was pressured all night, and since his opponents were of similar age, this constitutes as peer pressure. Stay straight; only dopes do dope.

 




And then, sure, it's a squeaked-out win over a Championship Subdivision team, on paper. But it was also the Championship Subdivision Champions. We could debate all weekend, running through Labor Day, on how impressive or alarming it is for the MAC contender to be unable to put away this team without stopping a billion-lateral play with 0:00.0 left on the clock. But strip away all the identifiers and divisions, and this was a terrific football game. It had everything you wanted; lead changes, dazzling runs, defensive stops, and lengthy field goals to win it. The caste system can sometimes obfuscate what was simply the best college football game of this early year.

Having said all that, Brandon McManus (field goals of 40, 43, 44, and 54) should be allowed to rest his leg in a cool vat of Sevruga caviar. And we saw a glimpse of why Matt Brown, even for one day, was Temple's first-string running back.