Publish date:

Phil Taylor's Sidelines


Much like would-be tacklers, interviewers who want to reach Memphis junior tailback DeAngelo Williams (right) have to go through his linemen first. Williams, who is already the Tigers' alltime leading rusher, brings two of his blockers to every postgame press conference and insists that the media ask them questions before interviewing him. Williams then grades his teammates on their answers. After Memphis's final game this season, he plans to bring the two linemen with the highest press-conference GPAs to the media session to face off in what he calls "the Super Bowl of interviews."

It's part of Williams's effort to make sure his linemen get recognition for his own Heisman-caliber numbers: 150.4 rushing yards per game, 5.1 per carry and 11 touchdowns for the 4-1 Tigers. Williams seems refreshingly uninterested in personal glory. He plans to give the ball he carried when he broke the school rushing record on Oct. 2 in a win against Houston to the family of the previous record holder, Dave Casinelli, who died in an auto accident in 1987. Williams probably won't win the Heisman, but he's already a winner.


Florida State sophomore quarterback Wyatt Sexton (left) has thrown four touchdown passes and has led the Seminoles to three straight wins since taking over for injured starter Chris Rix. But Sexton has impressed his coaches and teammates more with what he hasn't done than with what he has. He's been a welcome change from the turnover-prone Rix, who sprained his right ankle in Florida State's third game, against Clemson. The Seminoles have enough athletic players that all they need is a quarterback who can run the offense efficiently and avoid the crushing mistake, and Sexton, with two interceptions in four games, is proving to be exactly that. His numbers in Florida State's 17-13 win at Syracuse last Saturday were typically solid but unspectacular--15 of 26, 169 yards, no touchdowns and one interception. Sexton has earned his teammates' confidence and trust, which is why Rix may not get his starting job back when he is healthy.


Given the current state of world affairs, there was something a little unsettling about Army's holding the nation's longest losing streak. Regardless of their football allegiances, most fans would no doubt like to see the Black Knights have more success. So the end of Army's 19-game skid with a 48-29 win over Cincinnati last Saturday surely came as welcome news to almost everyone but the Bearcats. "It's the most disappointing loss of my life," said Cincinnati quarterback Gino Guidugli, who threw for 350 yards and four touchdowns. "We're probably the laughingstock of the nation." Maybe it would make the Bearcats feel better if they considered the loss a patriotic act.