Week two of college football provided a lot of excitement per usual, led by the biggest game of the week, LSU at Texas. For all of the biggest moments, facts, news and takeaways, this is Full Press Coverage on college football, week two edition.
Week two edition
LSU overcomes Texas
LSU resoundingly announced on Saturday night that they are a legitimate national championship contender. The Tigers went into a hostile environment in Austin to pull out a 45-38 shootout victory over Texas. Certainly we have grown accustomed to seeing LSU play conservative football over the years. Apparently, and thankfully, we can kiss that style good-bye. The Tigers played extremely fast, aggressive and fun.
Joe Burrow completed 31 of 39 passes for a whopping 471 yards along with four touchdowns and one interception. Three receivers, Justin Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase as well as Terrace Marshall, accumulated more than 100 yards apiece. LSU’s defense tallied seven tackles for loss, five sacks and also deflected five passes. Meanwhile, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 401 yards and four touchdowns while also rushing for 60 yards and another score. Devin Duvernay showed a newfound physicality en route to 12 catches for 154 yards and two touchdowns. The Longhorn defense still managed to tally six tackles for loss along with four sacks, two of which came from safety B.J Foster.
The game certainly was a showcase of explosive offensive football. Quite impressive considering the speed, athleticism, and talent on both defenses. LSU clearly needs to clean up the issues from Saturday’s game while continuing to execute towards this new offensive style effectively. If so, then teams like Alabama need to be concerned.
Clearly, Army is not a team that top ten programs want to be playing right now. Last season, the Black Knights took then fourth-ranked Oklahoma into overtime, eventually losing 28-21. Saturday, it took two overtimes for seventh-ranked Michigan to finish Army off 24-21. Army had multiple chances to pull ahead by two scores and seal the game. However, in overtime Michigan was able to force a fumble to seal the win. Army won the time of possession battle, but only by three minutes. The Wolverines outgained Army 340-243. Both teams had three turnovers, including three lost fumbles for Michigan.
Mack Brown’s second tenure at North Carolina got off to an impressive start last week with a win over border rival South Carolina. The good fortunes continued this week as they took down the Miami Hurricanes 28-25 in Chapel Hill. UNC jumped out to a 17-3 first-quarter lead. Then, Miami controlled the middle portion of the game. However, it appears that the fourth quarter is Tar Heel time as Dazz Newsome hauled in a 10-yard touchdown pass to put them up for good with a minute left. Freshman quarterback Sam Howell played efficiently and looks like a potential star in the making.
The ranked must fall
This week, four ranked teams lost to unranked teams. 14th ranked Washington fell at home to California, 20-19, on a Greg Thomas field goal with eight seconds remaining. After a great performance week one against Eastern Washington, quarterback Jacob Eason fell back to Earth a bit against the strong Cal defense. This was not exactly a brilliant display of offensive football either way as Cal only gained 303 total yards while the Huskies picked up just 348. Washington has now lost to Cal two years in a row.
21st ranked Syracuse looked iffy offensively last week against Liberty. Nothing changed this week as Maryland obliterated the Orange 63-20. The Terrapins jumped all over Syracuse immediately, building a 14-0 lead six minutes into the game. The lead swelled to 42-13 by halftime. Then, Maryland scored on a Javon Leake 64 yard run to open the lead up to 49-13. Maryland outgained Syracuse 650-400 while forcing two turnovers. Apparently, Syracuse misses Eric Dungey more than some expected.
Nobody really knew what to make of the USC versus Stanford game going into it. Both teams were without their starting quarterbacks. USC started a true freshman, Kedon Slovis. The question was answered resoundingly as USC took the game over in the second quarter, toppling the 23rd ranked Cardinal 45-20. One of the biggest takeaways from this game is the Stanford defense needs work, especially in the secondary. Also, they only got one sack, which is an issue.
Lastly, in one of the most fun games of the season so far, 25th ranked Nebraska lost to Colorado 34-31 in overtime in Boulder. Steven Montez threw for 375 yards along with two touchdowns, which was needed as the Buffaloes only ran for 89 yards. Additionally, the defense picked up six sacks in the game. Nebraska is still working out the kinks in their offense, although Adrian Martinez played a solid game. He completed 16 of 26 passes for 290 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. He also picked up 66 yards on the ground with two touchdowns. Maurice Washington contributed 77 yards rushing along with 118 receiving and a touchdown.
Interestingly, out of the 74 games played involving FBS teams this past weekend, only 20 were decided by 10 points or less. In fact, 29 games were won by 30 or more points. Some of those include Ohio State destroying Cincinnati 42-0, Oregon demolishing Nevada 77-6 and Baylor defeating UTSA 63-14. Several of the blowouts were Power Five teams beating up on lesser FBS foes or FCS opponents. Obviously, this is common during the first three weeks of the season. However, does something need to be done with scheduling to provide more excitement or at least more competitive matchups? To illustrate, there have been 169 games played through two weeks involving FBS schools. 68 of those games have involved FCS teams. That means just over 40% of the games featured FBS versus FCS teams.
We need to find a way to incentivize teams for playing marque games, such as LSU playing Texas and Auburn playing Oregon. On the flip side, playing FCS opponents should be penalized when it comes to the College Football Playoff. Particularly if you play two in a season like Florida is this year.
Bad at football
Tennesee followed up their loss in week one to Georgia State with a choke job against BYU. The Vols missed out on or screwed up depending on your perspective, multiple scoring chances. Their defense gave up a huge play at the end of regulation putting BYU in position to kick a game-tying field goal. BYU went on to win 29-26 in overtime. Rough times in Knoxville.
Meanwhile, South Florida is struggling to score points, which is important in football in case you wondered. In week one, Wisconsin throttled USF 49-0. This week, the Bulls managed just 10 points in a 14-10 loss to Georgia Tech on the road in Atlanta. Charlie Strong has been unable to get this program over the hump. Is his job on the line now?
Additionally, UConn extended their losing streak against FBS teams to 17 with their 31-23 loss to Illinois. UMass was dominated by FCS Southern Illinois 45-20. UTEP fell to 2-24 in their last 26 games, dating back to the beginning of the 2017 season. Not to be outdone, Rice fell to 6-23 since the beginning of 2016. Two of those six wins have come against UTEP by the way.
Purdue had a tremendous day on the field beating Vanderbilt 42-24. However, the best moment of the day was the school opening the Tyler Trent Student Gate on what would have been his 21st birthday. Tyler Trent passed away on January 1st of this year from cancer. He had become, and still remains, an inspiration for Purdue athletes and fans. His memory will live on forever. Kudos to Purdue for doing this.
What is going on at FSU?
Things did not get much better for Willie Taggart, head coach of Florida State. Never mind the fact that they had a guy lined up the wrong way. Also, forget the fact that he blamed the week one loss against Boise State on a lack of hydration. The Seminoles almost lost another game at home to Louisiana-Monroe. In fact, ULM took them to overtime with FSU winning 45-44 due to a missed extra point. The good news is, Cam Akers ran 36 times for 193 yards with two touchdowns while also catching five passes for 55 yards and a touchdown. The bad news is, the defense continues to be gashed. Additionally, they committed 11 penalties in the game while losing the time of possession battle. Things do not get easier as they visit Virginia this week. So how long does Taggart keep his job?
Interesting facts, news, and notes
Maryland’s 63 points scored against Syracuse is the most in school history against a ranked opponent. Additionally, this marks the first time in program history that they have had back to back 63 plus point games.
Michigan lost three fumbles in their 24-21 overtime triumph over Army. They lost three fumbles the entire season last year.
Elijah Sindelar passed for 509 yards for Purdue in their 42-24 win over Vanderbilt. He becomes the first player since Drew Brees in 1998 to put up consecutive 400-yard passing games. Side note, Rondale Moore is really good at football.
Wisconsin won their first two games 49-0 and 61-0. They are the only team in the country to not allow a single point through their first two games this season.
Clemson’s streak of winning by 20 plus points ended at 10 in their 24-10 victory over Texas A&M.
LSU’s win over Texas marked the first time they have ever beaten an AP Top-10 non-conference opponent on the road. Joe Burrow had just the fourth 400-yard passing game in LSU history. The Tigers also had three 100-yard receivers in a game for the first time in program history.
For Texas, Sam Ehlinger became the first quarterback to pass for 400 yards in a game against LSU since Geno Smith in 2011. He is also the first Texas quarterback with at least seven passing touchdowns through the first two games of a season since Colt McCoy in 2008.
Oregon destroyed Nevada 77-6. Remarkably, the Ducks 11 touchdowns were scored by 11 different players. The 71-point loss marks the largest margin of defeat for Nevada since 1920 when they lost by 72 to California. In eight all-time meetings between these two, Oregon has scored 69 or more three times while winning seven of the matchups.
Miami (FL) has started 0-2 for the first time since 1978. Additionally, the 45 points scored in the first two games are the fewest scored in its first two games since 2007. The Hurricanes play Bethune-Cookman this week.
Tennessee is 0-2 for the first time since 1988 when they started 0-6. They play Chattanooga this week.
Hawaii is 2-0 vs the Pac-12 with wins over Arizona as well as Oregon State. They get another crack at the conference as they face Washington in week three. This marks just the second time Hawaii has ever won two games in a year against the Pac-12. 1994 was the other such occurrence. Hawaii has never won three games in a season against the conference.
Oregon State has won just four Pac-12 games during the last four years. During that same span, San Diego State has beaten five Pac-12 teams.
San Diego State beat UCLA 23-14, marking the first-ever win for the Aztecs over the Bruins. Additionally, UCLA has started 0-2 in consecutive seasons for the first time since 1942-43.
Virginia’s 52 points against William & Mary was their most in a game since 2004 versus North Carolina.
Wake Forest has scored at least 35 points in each of its first two games for the first time since 2010. In addition to that, Jamie Newman is amazingly the first ACC quarterback with at least 300 passing yards and three passing touchdowns in each of his teams first two games since Philip Rivers in 2003.
Washington State has scored 50 points in consecutive games for the sixth time since the 1936 season. Three of the six occasions have come since Mike Leach became the head coach in 2012.
Winning the award for the weirdest moment of the week, Akron broke out their turnover pencil during their loss to UAB on Saturday. Yes, you read that right.
Kentucky quarterback Terry Wilson suffered a torn PCL in their win over Eastern Michigan. Wilson has been ruled out for the season. Northwestern quarterback T.J Green had foot surgery this week and will miss the rest of the season. Also, safety Scott Nelson of Wisconsin is out for the year.
Quarterback Jake Bentley of South Carolina, who was initially expected to miss a few weeks has now been ruled out for the season with a foot injury. Ryan Hilinski takes over as the starter.
Looking ahead to week three
The five most intriguing games
Washington State (2-0) vs Houston (1-1) – Friday, September 13
This game will be played at NRG Stadium on Friday night. Washington State is off to a 2-0 start with wins over New Mexico State and Northern Colorado. Not exactly the greatest of competition obviously. Regardless, new quarterback Anthony Gordon has passed for 884 yards along with nine touchdowns thus far. Most importantly, he has only thrown one interception. Meanwhile, Houston lost to Oklahoma in week one but then defeated Prairie View by 20 on Saturday. Expect fireworks in this game with high flying offenses led by Dana Holgorson and Mike Leach.
Series history: Washington State leads 2-1, with the last meeting coming in 1988.
Iowa (2-0) at Iowa State (1-0) – Saturday, September 14
College Gameday is making an appearance in Ames, Iowa for the first time in the history of the show. The Cy-Hawk game has become one of the most underrated rivalries in college football. Iowa has beaten Miami (Ohio) and Rutgers, both convincingly so far. Meanwhile, Iowa State had to go to overtime to take down Northern Iowa in week one while taking last week off. Iowa has won four straight in this series including a 13-3 win last year. in 2017, the Hawkeyes won 44-41. Anything is bound to when these teams face each other.
Series history: Iowa leads 44-22
Hawaii (2-0) at Washington (1-1) – Saturday, September 14
Washington is coming off their second straight loss to California, this time at home, after beating Eastern Washington in week one. On the flip side, Hawaii is looking to grab a third win over a Pac-12 team for the first time in their history. This game is extremely intriguing because it is a classic offense against defense matchup. Also, the quarterback matchup is incredibly interesting as Cole McDonald faces Georgia transfer, Jacob Eason. This game could go in many different directions, so be sure to watch.
Series history: Washington leads 3-2
Florida (2-0) at Kentucky (2-0) – Saturday, September 14
Kentucky snapped a 31-year losing streak to Florida last season with a 27-16 win in Gainesville. Now the Wildcats seek their first win against the Gators in Lexington since 1986. The task has grown much taller with the loss of quarterback Terry Wilson to a torn PCL. Now Troy transfer Sawyer Smith takes over the offense. Florida beat Miami (FL) in a sloppy week zero game and took down Tennessee-Martin last week. Kentucky will clearly have to rely on their defense in order to win this game.
Series history: Florida leads 51-18
Arizona State (2-0) at Michigan State (2-0) – Saturday, September 14
The Spartans are off to a strong start with convincing wins over Tulsa as well as Western Michigan. Their offense took major steps forward putting up 582 yards of total offense in their 51-17 win over WMU. The Sun Devils have looked incredibly rocky on offense thus far, despite getting wins over Kent State and Sacramento State. True freshman quarterback Jayden Daniels has shown signs of brightness but is learning on the job. The Sun Devil defense has not been tested as of yet. Arizona State will have a tall task shutting down the balanced Spartans offense. Remember, Arizona State upset the Michigan State last season, so you never know what will happen.
Series history: Arizona State leads 2-1
Other games to watch: Texas Tech at Arizona, Kansas State at Mississippi State, North Texas at California, TCU at Purdue, Stanford at UCF, Clemson at Syracuse
There is your week two edition of Full Press Coverage on college football.
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