This season’s biggest game did not disappoint, unless you were rooting for the Aggies. Johnny Manziel showed he is the real deal as a QB, even if ‘Bama did win. The refs had a tough week, almost every game I watched had an awful call or was just poorly officiated. There were a couple close calls for some major programs, and Texas got smacked by Ole Miss. Oregon thinks beating up on Tennessee means they are ready for Alabama. The only thing Alabama and Tennessee have in common is that they are both in the SEC.
How I Fared: I had a much better week this week. I was 5-1 picking winners, two of which I picked the exact winning margin (Alabama v Texas A&M:1TD, and Louisville v Kentucky:2TD). This brings my Season total to 12-5. I had picked Nebraska to beat UCLA, but then the Huskers only lost by 20 at home… Auburn and South Carolina won by less than I thought and Ole Miss blew out the Longhorns in Austin.
1Alabama 49 6Texas A&M 42; Wow. What a game. It started with Texas A&M blowing out Alabama(going up 14-0 in the first 6 minutes), then it was Alabama blowing out Texas A&M(scoring 35 unanswered points), then Johnny Manziel showed why he was the first freshman to win the Heisman Trophy(threw 3TD in the 4th quarter). Though his efforts were not enough to secure the victory, Manziel put up some amazing numbers. He was 28/39 for 464 yards and 5TD along with 2INT. He also racked up 98 rush yards. Unfortunately, one of those INTs was a 73 yard pick 6 by Vinnie Sunseri. The majority of those passing yards went to Mike Evans(279) who also had a TD. Malcome Kennedy caught 3TDs and Cameron Clear also had a TD. Manziel’s counterpart AJ McCarron also had a great game going 20/29 for 334 yards and 4TD, each to a different receiver(Kevin Norwood, DeAndrew White, Kenny Bell, and Jolston Fowler). ‘Bama RB TJ Yeldon did some good things and some bad things. He rushed for 149 yards and a TD, but also fumbled at the A&M 4 yard line and two plays later, Manziel threw a 95 yard TD pass to Mike Evans RB Kenyan Drake also rushed for a TD. Besides Manziel, the leading rusher for the Aggies was Ben Malena, who had 42 yards and a TD. Some other interesting stats from the game include Alabama having the ball for 10 more minutes than A&M and Alabama having 12 penalties for 104 yards. 15 of those penalty yards came from one of the worst calls I’ve ever seen(being an SEC fan, that is saying something). Alabama safety Ha Ha Clinton-Dix and Texas A&M WR Derel Walker both went after a pass. The collided, each trying to catch the ball. Clinton-Dix did not lower his helmet or shoulder. The referee threw a flag and called Clinton-Dix for targeting, which carries and ejection. After review, the ejection was overturned. But thats not all. The 15 yard personal foul penalty was still enforced. Basically, Clinton-Dix was penalized 15 yards for the ref messing up. This rule needs to change. While the refs didn’t really bring their A-game, both teams played very tough, but there had to be a winner. Is Johnny Manziel going to win the Heisman again? Did this game show us that Alabama is the best team in the country? Are they just too good? Only time will tell.
11Michigan 28 Akron 24; Looking at the score, you might be thinking, “How the heck did Michigan only put 28 on Akron?” or “How the heck did Akron put up 24 on Michigan, a team the decisively beat Notre Dame in week 2?” Both of those questions are very valid. The best answer I can give is turnovers. Michigan had 4, all by QB Devin Garner. He threw 3INT and also fumbled the ball. A turnover is also how Michigan was able to win the game. Akron made it all the way down to the Michigan 2 yard line, but Jerrod Wilson was able to intercept a pass from Akron QB Kyle Pohl to seal the victory for the Wolverines. While Garner did have those miscues, he was 16/30 for 248 yards and 2TD along with 103 rush yards and a TD. Fitzgerald Toussaint also rushed for the go ahead TD with 2:49 left in the game. WR Devin Funchess had 65 receiving yards and a TD, Jehu Chesson caught the other TD. Akron QB Kyle Pohl was 25/49 for 311 yards 2TD and 2INT(one at the end and a pick 6 by Justin March to start the 4th quarter). WR LT Smith had 125 receiving yards, along with Zach D’Orazio and Tyrell Goodman each catching TDs. Michigan needs to hold onto the ball to be able to compete in the Big 10 or against any other conference.
16UCLA 41 23Nebraska 21; So, I was way off on this game. I guess Wyoming didn’t almost beat Nebraska because they were so good. Nebraska is not as good as we previously thought. Nebraska went into the half up 21-10. Now, If you look at the very beginning of this paragraph, you’ll see they only scored 21 points the whole game. The Corn Huskers were outscored 31-0 in the second half. 28 of those 31 points came in the 3rd quarter. UCLA out gained Nebraska 504 to 331. This game seemed to be going Nebraska’s way, that is, until the 3rd quarter. UCLA QB Brett Hundley was 16/24 for 294 yards, 3TD and an INT. WR Shaquille Evans had 97 receiving yards and a TD with Phillip Ruhl and Nate Iese each catching a TD as well. RB Jordan James ran for 105 yards and a TD with Paul Perkins rushing for a TD as well. Nebraska QB Taylor Martinez was 21/35 for 203 yards and 3TDs. WR Kenny Bell had 68 receiving yards and a TD and Quincy Enunwa caught 2TD. RB Ameer Abdullah rushed for 98 yards as well for the Huskers. Nebraska seems to be on a downward trend and their head coach Bo Pelini has been getting some bad press from a rant in 2011. Will they be able to make a turnaround and have a successful season?
Arizona State 32 20Wisconsin 30; This was a night game on the west coast, meaning I didn’t get to watch the second half when it happened. When I turned on SportsCenter the next morning the anchors kept talking about how the game ended but I didn’t catch the video. When I looked it up, I saw that the refs made a mistake… but so did the Wisconsin QB. He didn’t really take a knee. He said he gave himself up, so the ball was down. As this explanation was going on, the other ref took forever to put the ball down, allowing the clock to run out. Wisconsin wanted to spike the ball and kick a game winning FG as time expired. Here is my question, why not just spike the ball the previous play? Or just get to the middle and take a knee? He just put the ball on the ground. It is not only the refs fault that Wisconsin did not get a chance to attempt the FG. That doesn’t excuse the ref for not spotting the ball. The Pac12 has said it is going to reprimand the officials. Arizona State QB Taylor Kelley was 29/51 with 352 yards and 2INT. WR Jaclen Strong had 104 receiving yards and RB Marion Grice had 84 rush yards with 4TD(not a typo). Wisconsin QB Joel Stave was 15/30 for 187 yards and a TD to WR Jacob Pedersen. RB Melvin Gordon rushed for 193 yards and 2TD. Beau Allen also recovered a fumble in the endzone for a TD for Wisconsin. Everything about the ending to this game was bizarre.
21Notre Dame 31 Purdue 24; Once again, Purdue is almost able to upset Notre Dame. And once again, Notre Dame is able to survive. To do that, the Irish had to score 21 points in the 4th quarter. Notre Dame QB Tommy Rees was 20/33 for 309 yards and 2TD. WR DaVaris Daniels had 167 receiving yards with 2TD and RB Cam McDaniel had 56 rush yards and a TD. Bennett Jackson also picked off Purdue QB Rob Henry for the Irish’s 3rd TD of the 4th quarter. Rob Henry was 25/40 for 256 yards, 3TD and an INT. WRs Akeem Hunt, BJ Knauf, and Justin Sinz each caught a TD. Notre Dame has clearly lost some talent from last year. It might be hard to just get by when they have Oklahoma, Arizona State, and Stanford on their schedule.
Texas Tech 20 24TCU 10; This Thursday night game was a little bit of a shocker. I had the game on but I wasn’t paying complete attention to it. But I looked up and saw that it was a tie game and watched most of the 4th quarter. There is one thing I will never understand: HOW COULD YOU DROP THE BALL BEFORE THE END ZONE? This is one of the stupidest things I see happen in sports, because it is 100% avoidable. Just don’t drop the ball. Hand it to the ref, and you won’t have to worry. This kind of carelessness is inexcusable. I hope that DeAndre Washington had to do a lot of running during his next practice. Maybe now he will make sure not to drop the ball before the end zone. Both of these teams had some mistakes. TCU was 4-16 on 3rd down and Texas Tech was 6-17. TCU had 115 penalty yards and Texas Tech had 89. But, TCU had the ball almost 11 minutes longer than Texas Tech. This reminds me of the Florida vs Miami game earlier this year. TCU got close but couldn’t convert. Red Raider QB Baker Mayfield was 21/40 for 216 yards, a TD and 3INT before getting hurt and leaving the game. True freshman QB Davis Webb came in and was 3/4 for 77 yards and a TD.WR Jace Amaro had 97 receiving yards with Kenny Williams and Bradley Marquez each catching TDs. TCU QB Trevone Boykin was 23/36 for 194 yards and 2INT along with 101 yards rushing. RB BJ Cataon had the Horned Frogs only TD. Texas Tech now moves to 3-0 and 1-0 in Big 12 play.
Auburn 24 Mississippi State 20; This game turned out to be more exciting than I thought it would be. I didn’t really think Mississippi State would put up as much of a fight as they did. But Auburn was determined to finally end their 10-game SEC losing streak. This was accomplished by a TD with 10 seconds left in the 4th quarter. Auburn QB Nick Marshall was 23/34 for 339 yards, 2TD, and 2INT. WR Quan Bray caught a TD and so did CJ Uzomah. Kicker Cody Parkey hit 3 FG to keep the Tigers in the game. Mississippi State QB Dan Prescott was 15/28 for 213 yards along with 133 rush yards and 2 rush TDs. RB Jameon Lewis also rushed for a TD. Nickow Whitley picked off the Auburn QB both times. Though the bottom of the SEC West(Arkansas, Auburn, Mississippi State) and the top of the SEC West(Alabama, Texas A&M, LSU) might be far from each other, they are competitive within their respective groups. Then there is Ole Miss, they are just somewhere in the middle.
ULM 21 Wake Forest 19; Maybe this isn’t the same excitement as when ULM toppled 8th ranked Arkansas last season, but it is still an upset. At the half, ULM was up 14-13. The Warhawks scored in the 3rd quarter to go up by 8 points. Wake Forest was unable to answer until 4 seconds left when QB Tanner Price connected with Orville Reynolds for a 23 yard TD pass. To take the game into OT, the Demon Deacons needed a two-point conversion but Price’s pass was dropped, giving ULM the win. ULM dominated the stats, outgaining Wake Forest by 100 yards, and the Warhawks had the ball for almost 40 minutes to the Deacon’s 20. ULM converted 15 of 28 3rd downs. But, ULM missed 2 FGs. One because of a bad snap and one just missed. Based on some of the numbers, the game was closer than it should be, meaning ULM was unable to capitalize on all of their opportunities. ULM QB Kolton Browning was 43/68 for 315 yards, 3TD and 2INT. The 3 receivers who caught the TDs were Kenzee Jackson, Harley Scioneaux, and Tavarese Maye. Wake Forest QB Tanner Price was 28/47 for 310 yards and 2TD. Orville Reynolds had 101 receiving yards and both TDs with Michael Campanaro adding 177 yards in the air. I wish I had the time to watch this game all the way through, but, I say that about almost every game.
Oregon State 51 Utah 48 OT; Another exciting west coast game that lasts way past my bedtime. As shown by the score, this was an offense driven game. It came down the wire and Oregon State came out ahead. Beaver QB Sean Mannion was 27/44 for 443 yards and 5TD. WR Brandin Cools had 210 receiving yards and 3TD, Richard Mullaney had 142 receiving yards and a TD, and Connor Hamlett hauled in a TD as well. Sean Martin was also able to pick off Utah QB Travis Wilson twice, once for a TD. Wilson was 19/33 for 279 yards, 2TD and 3INT, as well as having 142 rush yards and 3 rush TD. RB James Poole added 117 rush yards and TD as well. WR Dres Anderson had 101 receiving yards and a TD with Lucky Radley catching the other TD. Another big story from this game was Oregon State RB Storm Woods. He was injured in the 4th quarter attempting to make a tackle. He ended up taking a knee to the side of his head. He was on the ground, not moving and had to be taken off the field in an ambulance. He did give a thumbs up right before leaving the field. It has been reported that he suffered a concussion and is out indefinitely. Hopefully we will see him back on the field soon, but not too soon.
Arkansas 24 Southern Miss 3; History was made in Fayetteville on Saturday. True Freshman RB Alex Collins became the first freshman RB to run for 100+ yards in his first 3 games(131, 172, 115). Alex Collins is the SEC’s leading rusher and 4th in the NCAA and has also earned SEC Freshman of the week two weeks in a row. RB Jonathan Williams has also rushed for 100+ in each game(151, 126, 116) and is the SEC’s second leading rusher and 7th in the NCAA. DE Chris Smith also earned SEC weekly honors and is tied for first in the nation with 4.5 sacks. QB Brandon Allen got hurt on his TD run and did not return after the first quarter. Backup QB AJ Derby came in and did very well. Allen’s status is still in question for next week’s game at Rutgers. This game showed the difference between Bret Bielema’s era and the last two coaches. The offense had been known for its passing prowess in the time of Ryan Mallett and Tyler Wilson. Now we are harkening back to the time of Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. But those names carry a lot of weight and expectations. So, instead of talking about them, and comparing now to then, let’s say we have two amazing RBs. Not to undermine their success, Rutgers will pose a bigger challenge on all fronts. This week showed some good and not so good things about the Razorbacks, will they be able to fix them in time for their nationally televised date with the Scarlet Knights?
2Oregon 59 Tennessee 14
4Ohio State 52 California 34
5Stanford 34 Army 20
7Louisville 27 Kentucky 13
8LSU 45 Kent State 13
10Florida State 62 Nevada 7
12Oklahoma State 59 Lamar 3
13South Carolina 35 Vanderbilt 25
14Oklahoma 51 Tulsa 20
17Northwestern 38 Western Michigan 17
19Washington 34 Illinois 24
25Ole Miss 44 Texas 23
UCF 34 Penn State 31
Iowa 27 Iowa State 21
USC 35 Boston College 7
Virginia Tech 15 East Carolina 10
Middle Tennessee 17 Memphis 15
Fordham 30 Temple 19
UNLV 31 Central Michigan 21
Ohio 34 Marshall 31
Buffalo 26 Stony Brook 23
South Alabama 31 Western Kentucky 24
*Stats and Scores from ESPN.com