How are we already done with 3 weeks of college football? This one was an exciting one though. Four top 25 teams got beat, three of them by unranked opponents. South Carolina outlasted Georgia to put themselves in the driver’s seat of the SEC East. The SEC West ended the weekend with 5 teams (Mississippi State and Arkansas also received votes) ranked in the top 10. My Hogs made a statement in Lubbock against the Red Raiders and Kentucky took Florida to 3OT in The Swamp. Next week has some potential upsets, but I’m getting ahead of myself.
How I Fared: 4-2, 13-5 overall
24South Carolina 38 6Georgia 35; If you ever needed an example of why football is “a game of inches,” watch the 4th quarter of this game. Georgia was probably less than 12 inches total away from winning this game. Marshall Morgan’s 28-yard attempt was barely wide right and curved left as soon as it passed the upright and a 4th-down play by South Carolina ended up being just enough to move the chains and secure the win with a couple of kneel downs. This means South Carolina has the advantage in the East division, but their defense needs a lot of improvement. Gamecock QB Dylan Thompson was 21/30 for 271 yards, 3TD, and INT and a rush TD. Rory Anderson, Shaq Roland and Pharoh Cooper each had TD receptions for SCAR and Brandon Wilds rushed for the TD that would end up being the game-winner. Kicker Elliott Fry connected on his only FG attempt of the game as the first half expired. For the Bulldogs, QB Hutson Mason was 16/22 for 191 yards and 2TDs. Sony Michael caught a TD in the first quarter and Jay Rome caught another early in the 4th quarter. Todd Gurley had 131 rush yards and a TD and Quayvon Hicks ran for a score that would bring Georgia within 3 with 7:10 left to play. This was a major win for South Carolina and possible a huge loss for Georgia. It all depends on who can do better in their East schedules.
Boston College 37 9USC 31; USC is on the other end of the upset this week. After taking down Stanford in Palo Alto last week, the Trojans lost to an unranked Boston College on the road. The Eagles played a very similar game to the Razorbacks: meaning they ran the ball and then ran it some more. The leading rusher for BC was the QB Tyler Murphy (5/13, 54 yards, INT) who ran for 191 yards and a TD on 13 carries. Jon Hill man ran for 2 scores with Sherman Alston and Tyler Rouse each running for another. USC QB Cody Kessler was 31/41 for 317 yards and 4TDs, but it just wasn’t enough for the Trojans. Each TD went to a different player: Javorius Allen, who had 118 total receiving yards, Nelson Agholor, George Farmer and Darreus Rogers each were on the receiving end of a TD pass. Kicker Andre Heidari connected with another long one, hitting a FG from 52 yards out. After scoring a TD with 1:18 remaining, USC was unable to recover the onside kick and Boston College ran out the clock. BC outran USC 452 yards to just 20, even though the Eagles only converted 2-11 on 3rd down. This loss probably takes USC out of the playoff picture.
12UCLA 20 Texas 17; I didn’t watch this game, so I had no idea that Hundley had gotten hurt until Sunday morning. The score makes so much more sense now that I know that happened. I’m still not sold on UCLA, but I will give them one more game to prove they are worthy of being in the top 15. Texas, on the other hand, is a team I’m pretty sure is not going to have a good season. Bruin QB Brett Hundley left the game in the 1st quarter after falling awkwardly on his elbow. Backup Jerry Neuheisel was able to save the day going 23/30 for 178 yards and 2TDs, including the 33-yard game winner to Jordan Payton with 3 minutes left in the game. The other TD went to Nate Iese. Kicker Ka’imi Fairbairn was 2/2 on FGs. For Texas, QB Tyrone Swoopes was 24/34 for 196 yards and 2TDs. John Harris and MJ McFarland each caught a TD. Kicker Nick Rose was 1/1 on FGs. On their last two drives in the 4th quarter, Texas went 3 and out and turned the ball over on downs after gaining just 3 yards in 4 plays. UCLA will need to improve and get Hundley (Neuheisel did a great job, don’t get me wrong) back if they want to compete in the Pac 12 and for the National Championship.
East Carolina 28 17Virginia Tech 21; It seems like this happens to Virginia Tech every year. They get one or two good wins and everyone jumps on their bandwagon and the Hokies then proceed to lose to an unranked team. Yes, the win over Ohio State was a big deal, but it wasn’t a good enough win to merit a jump into the top 20 in my opinion. The Pirates jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter then VT scored 21 unanswered of their own. The game winner came with 16 seconds left in the game when ECU QB Shane Carden ran for a 1-yard score. Along with the game winner, Carden was 23/47 for 427 yards and 3TDs, one each to Trevon Brown, Bruce Williams and Isaiah Jones. WR Cam Worthy also amassed 224 receiving yards. For the Hokies, QB Michael Brewer was 30/56 for 298 yards, 3TDs and 2INTs. Cam Phillips caught a TD and Isaiah Ford caught 2TDs. Each kicker missed a FG. The beginning of the 2nd quarter was full of problems for both teams. On one stretch of drives the teams went back and forth without scoring and without punting: VT INT, ECU fumble, VT INT, ECU missed FG, VT missed FG. I was starting at the TV and shaking my head the entire time. It was almost impressive how bad each team was in this stretch. ECU has another big test next week with North Carolina coming to town.
Virginia 23 21Louisville 21; The Cavaliers might have something going this year. They are 2-1 so far this season with a win over a top 25 team and a very close loss to another. Turnovers cost the Cardinals this game. The Cavaliers capitalized on 3 of them, turning them into 13 points. The most costly was a fumble on a punt in the 4th quarter. Virginia recovered it and Ian Frye scored the game winning 42-yard FG on the drive. After 3 quarters, Virginia led 20-7 but gave up 14 unanswered in the 4th quarter to fall behind by 1 before the FG with 3:42 left. Cavalier QB Greyson Lambert was 13/24 for 162 yards, a TD, INT and rush TD. Miles Gooch caught the TD pass. Louisville QB Will Gardner was 14/34 for 164 yards, 2TDs and 2INTs. James Quick and Charles Standberry each caught TDs and Dominque Brown rushed a TD as well. Virginia plays another top 25 team this week when they go to BYU. Can the Cavaliers get another statement win?
Vanderbilt 34 Massachusetts 31; I am so glad Vanderbilt got this win. Not only was it a win, it was a comeback win. UMass took a 14-0 lead in the 1st quarter with a 53-yard pass from Brian McDonald to Rodney Mills on a fake punt. In the second quarter Vandy outscored the Minutemen 20-10 and would trail 20-31 going into the 4th quarter. The Commodores took control with a return of a blocked punt for a TD by Stephen Weatherly and a Ralph Webb 4-yard rush TD and 2-point conversion with 1:08 left in the game. This is Vanderbilt’s first win of the season. Vandy QB Patton Robinnette was 15/21 for 147 yards, a TD to Steven Scheu, and a rush TD. Adam Butler also recovered a fumble in the end zone for a TD. For UMass, QB Blake Frohnaphel was 17/34 for 205 yards and a TD. Rodney Mills also caught the TD from Frohnaphel. Lorenzo Woodley had 2 rush TDs as well. Kicker Blake Lucas was 1/2 on FGs, missing what would have been the game winner when his 22-yard attempt went wide left with 2 seconds left in the game. I think Vanderbilt is going to have a very tough year with new coach Derek Mason.
West Virginia 40 Maryland 37; This wasn’t a game that showed off the defenses. The Mountaineers were able to win this shootout on a Josh Lambert 47-yard game winning FG as time expired. WVU QB Clint Trickett was 37/49 for 511 yards, 4TDs and an INT. Kevin White had 216 receiving yards and a TD, Mario Alford had 131 receiving yards and 2TDs, Daikiel Shorts also caught a TD, and Rushel Shell rushed for a score. For the Terrapins, QB CJ Brown was 19/35 for 241 yards, a TD to Stefon Diggs, an INT, and rushed for 161 yards and a TD. Caleb Rowe also threw a TD pass to Jacquille Veil. William Likely ran back a punt 69 yards for a TD to tie the game in the 4th with 9:43 remaining. Kicker Brad Craddock was 3/3 for FGs for the game. Maryland blocked a FG attempt in the 4th quarter, but was unable to capitalize on it.
Northern Illinois 48 UNLV 34; This game is very important to me. I am from Las Vegas and Arkansas plays NIU next week. The Huskies jumped out to a 28-5 lead in the beginning of the 3rd quarter, but UNLV wasn’t just going to lie down. The Rebels scored 29 points in the next 16 minutes to tie the game. NIU answered with another TD and UNLV looked poised to answer with their own when QB Blake Decker threw a pick in the end zone and NIU was able to drive down for the game-sealing TD with 1:56 left to play. It is always nice to see teams fight back, and this gives me hope for the Hogs. NIU QB Drew Hare was 18/28 for 285 yards, 3TDs and a rush TD. Da’Ron Brown caught a 54-yard TD, Juwan Brescacin caught a score and so did Keith Harris Jr. Cameron Stingily had 102 rush yards and 2TDs. The Huskies finished the game with 331 rush yards and were 15-19 on 3rd down. UNLV QB Blake Decker was 24/42 for 397 yards, 2TDs and an INT. Devante Davis was on the receiving end of both TDs, the tying 2-point conversion and ended the night with 150 receiving yards. Shaquille Murray-Lawrence rushed for 2TDs for the Rebels. It looks like the Hogs might have to throw the ball a little more this coming weekend.
Middle Tennessee 50 WKU 47 3OT; The stats for this game make no sense. WKU outgained MTU 718-541 and ran more than 100 plays. The time of possession was almost equal. Sometimes the numbers do lie. MTU QB Austin Grammer was 17/28 for 218 yards, the game winning TD to Ed’Marques Batties, rushed for 125 yards and a TD. Shane Tucker and Jordan Parker each ran for TDs as well. Kicker Cody Clark was 3/3 on FGs including one in OT. For the Hilltoppers, QB Brandon Doughty was 43/66 for 593 yards, 4TDs and an INT. Nicholas Norris had 174 receiving yards and a TD, Mitchell Henry had 128 receiving yards and 2TDs and Jared Dangerfield had 107 receiving yards and a TD. Leon Allen also rushed for 128 yards and a score as well. Kicker Garrett Schwettman was 4/5 for FGs on the night. This seemed to be a very exciting Conference USA matchup.
Penn State 13 Rutgers 10; I don’t really know if this was a good game or a boring one. And I watched it. While I picked Penn State, I was rooting for the Scarlet Knights, but Gary Nova pulled a Gary Nova. The Rutgers QB threw 5INTs on the night. He also scored their only TD. I am completely amazed that you can throw 5 picks and only lose by 3 points. Penn State was only able to convert one of those into a FG. Rutgers gave Penn State every chance in the world to win big, but maybe the Rutgers defense is pretty good, the Nittany Lion offense couldn’t really get anything going. QB Christian Hackenberg was 25/44 for 309 yards and an INT. Receiver Geno Lewis had 109 receiving yards and DaeSean Hamilton had 103. Kicker Sam Ficken was 2/3 on FGs (one was blocked) and Bill Belton scored the game winner for PSU on a 5-yard run with 1:13 left to play. I think both these teams have the chance to do well in the Big 10 this year, mainly because the Big 10 isn’t very good. If Nova can cut down his INTs, Rutgers could surprise some teams this year.
Florida 36 Kentucky 30 3OT; I did not expect this to be such a competitive game, especially because it was in The Swamp. I was pretty sure Florida was going to beat Kentucky by about 2TDs and not have much trouble. Teams with nothing to lose are very scary opponents. The Gator’s 27-game winning streak over the Wildcats was in major danger in the first OT. A no-call on the expiration of the play clock gave the Gators a chance to tie the game on 4th and 7 after UK’s Stanley Williams caught a short pass and ran all over the field and in for the TD on the 1st play of OT. I am not going to tell you what to think about the no-call, I’ll let you decide for yourself, but this ref crew has a history with Florida and favorable calls. I felt delay of game should have been called, but it was very close. Overall, UF QB Jeff Driskel was 25/43 for 295 yards, 3TDs and an INT. Demarcus Robinson had 216 receiving yards and 2TDs, Tevin Westbrook caught a TD and Matt Jones had 156 yards on the ground and the 1-yard game winning TD in the 3rd OT. The Florida kickers missed two FGs in the 4th quarter, one early and one as time expired. For Kentucky, QB Patrick Towles was 24/45 for 369 yards for 3TDs and 3INTs. Garrett Johnson had 154 receiving yards and 2TDs. Kicker Austin MacGinnis was 3/4 on FGs, missing a 41-yarder in the 3rd OT. We will find out how good Florida really is this week as they go to Alabama to take on the 3rd ranked Crimson Tide.
Arkansas 49 Texas Tech 28; What a game. And not just because I am a Razorback fan and that win was much needed, but what a game by the Hogs. I guess an apt title would be “40 Minutes of Hell,” seeing as that the time of possession for Arkansas was 40:39, 23:55 of that coming in the second half while allowing just 3 drives and one TD by the Red Raiders. The Razorbacks rushed for 438 yards so ground and pound is definitely what happened. The first half went back and forth until a fumble by Arkansas led to an INT by Texas Tech and then a go ahead 12-yard TD run by Jonathan Williams, who finished the day with 145 yards on the ground an 4TDs (matching his TD total from last year in this game alone, and becoming the first Hog since McFadden to rush for 4 scores in one game). Alex Collins rushed for 212 yards and two TDs, one of which was an 84-yard score with 10:56 left in the game. QB Brandon Allen was just 6/12 for 61 yards, but he rushed for a score to cap the Hog’s 7 minute drive to start the second half. For Texas Tech, QB Davis Webb was 27/45 for 252 yards, 3TDs, 2INTs and a rush TD. The 3TDs went to Jakeem Grant, Reginald Davis and DJ Polite-Bray. There were still some issues surrounding the Razorback defense, but they seem to be improving every week. I would like to see a lot better tackling past the line of scrimmage and to minimize the long TD passes (especially those on 3rd and long). Having Tevin Mitchell back should be very helpful to the Razorback secondary. But overall, this was a statement game by the Hogs. They are going to run on you, and then they are going to run it some more.
2Oregon 48 Wyoming 14
3Alabama 52 Southern Miss 12
4Oklahoma 34 Tennessee 10
7Texas A&M 38 Rice 10
8Baylor 63 Buffalo 21 (Fri)
10LSU 31 ULM 0
11Notre Dame 30 Purdue 14
14Ole Miss 56 Louisiana 15
15Stanford 35 Army 0
16Arizona State 38 Colorado 24
20Missouri 38 UCF 10
22Ohio State 66 Kent State 0
25BYU 33 Houston 25 (Thurs)
Cincinnati 58 Toledo 34 (Fri)
Bowling Green 45 Indiana 42
Georgia Tech 42 Georgia Southern 38
Iowa State 20 Iowa 17
Abilene Christian 38 Troy 35
Hawai’i 27 Northern Iowa 24
Nebraska 55 Fresno State 19
Arizona 35 Nevada 28
Stats and Scores from ESPN.com
Nice reference to Nolan’s teams.