Welcome to the Full Press Coverage on college football, week three edition. This week was another weird and wacky week with plenty of interesting results. Let’s not beat around the bush and just get into this!
Week three edition
What is going on around here?
The madness started on Friday night when Kansas shocked Boston College on the road 48-24. The Jayhawks ran for 329 yards along with three touchdowns in the game. It continued Saturday with a multitude of strange results. For instance, The Citadel, who entered the game 0-2, marched into Atlanta and defeated Georgia Tech 27-24. Georgia Tech missed a field goal in overtime before The Citadel hit one to snatch defeat away from the Yellow Jackets.
Moving along to Happy Valley, scene of the Pittsburgh at Penn State debacle. Pitt moved the ball all the way to the Penn State one-yard line and had a first down. A touchdown at this point would have tied the game. The Panthers ran three straight plays to no avail. Instead of going for it on fourth down with under five minutes to play, the Panthers kicked a field goal. The only problem was, the chip shot was missed. The other problem is, why kick a field goal there? Since the start of last season, when teams go for it on fourth and goal from the one-yard line, they score a touchdown 70% of the time. Apparently Pat Narduzzi does not believe in the odds.
Next, let us talk Iowa State versus Iowa, in Ames. The poor fans in the stadium along with everybody who wanted to watch the game on TV had to endure three hours of weather delays. The game was low scoring, with Iowa winning 18-17, which is brutal enough. Obviously, Datrone Young of the Cyclones was excited on an Iowa punt late in the game. To understand the significance of the moment, you must realize that this punt would have set up Iowa State’s last chance to win the game. All they needed was a field goal. Instead, Young collided with return man Deshaunte Jones, which sent the ball rolling free. The bad news is, or good news depending on which side of things you are on, the Hawkeyes recovered, thus ending the game at 18-17. Tough way to lose for the Cyclones.
Arizona State rallied to take a 10-7 lead with under a minute to play in their “shootout” with Michigan State. Eno Benjamin’s touchdown put them ahead.The Spartans wasted no time driving right back down into field goal territory. In fact, Matt Coghlin drilled a 42-yard field goal to force overtime! But wait! The Spartans had 12 men on the field. After the five-yard penalty was assessed, Coglin kicked another field goal, only this time he missed rather horribly. Arizona State won for the second season in a row over Michigan State. However, it appears Michigan State should have had a third attempt. Listen to Dean Blandino’s explanation on Fox Sports.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) September 15, 2019
Florida quarterback Feleipe Franks severely injured his ankle against Kentucky and is expected to miss the season. Florida was losing at that point in the game, and things did not look promising. Kyle Trask replaced Franks and suddenly the Gator offense seemed to begin clicking. They held a 22-21 lead late in the game. The Gators were simply trying to run the clock out. Instead, Kentucky thought it was a good idea to allow a 76-yard touchdown run. Florida wins 29-21.
UNLV really has a turnover Chucky doll. Add that to the weird list of turnover props being utilized by college football teams. Remember, last week Akron’s turnover pencil made headlines. Recently, Morehead State made headline with their turnover pimp cane. It is getting crazy out here.
UNLV has a Turnover Chucky Doll.pic.twitter.com/kWedwteEy3
— Sporting News (@sportingnews) September 14, 2019
Virginia got a nice win over Florida State by the score of 31-24. However, the fourth quarter was the definition of ugly with a combined seven personal foul or pass interference penalties. Yikes.
After beating Tennessee, it seemed Georgia State would have to be taken seriously the rest of the season. Apparently Western Michigan did not think so. The Broncos put a hurting on Georgia State by the tune of a 57-10 beatdown in Kalamazoo. College football is weird.
One of the weirdest plays of the weekend is when Mississippi State quarterback Garrett Shrader was spun like a helicopter on a fourth-down run, in which he came up short.
Mississippi State’s QB just cemented himself on college football highlights for all time.
FYI: It was 4th down and he ended up short. pic.twitter.com/EFZJ0zsPwG
— George Wrighster III (@georgewrighster) September 14, 2019
Saturday was full of weird plays, strange coaching decisions, bad penalties and some horrible officiating. Mix in a few blowouts, some close calls, and more weirdness and Saturday is perfectly described.
You okay ACC?
Outside of Clemson and Virginia, as well as Wake Forest, the quality of the ACC, has certainly come into question. For good reason too. This weekends performance definitely did not help the perception. It started Friday night when Big 12 doormat Kansas walked into Boston and handily beat Boston College 48-24, as previously mentioned. In another matchup against the Big 12, NC State looked like they should easily take care of West Virginia. Instead, the exact opposite happened as the Mountaineers dispatched the Wolfpack 44-27.
Florida State continues to be a dumpster fire at 1-2 as they dropped their first conference game, after leading late, to Virginia. Miami is now just 1-2 after destroying FCS Bethune-Cookman. Syracuse is 1-2 after losing to Maryland 63-20 last week and 41-6 to Clemson this week. Virginia Tech looks rather shaky after losing to BC and struggling to get wins against Old Dominion and Furman. It is important to note here that the Hokies were losing by double-digits to Furman. Additionally, Georgia Tech fell in overtime to The Citadel while Pittsburgh did horrendously offensively in their loss to Penn State. Louisville, Duke and North Carolina? All of those teams seem mediocre at this point as well.
Moral of the story here is Clemson will be heavy favorites in every conference game this season. They will absolutely finish the regular season undefeated and win the conference title game. Question is, should their strength of schedule be held against them as it has been against teams like UCF in the past? Most everybody would agree that Clemson is truly one of the best teams in the country, however, if their schedule was tougher, would that change things? The Tigers seem to have one of the easiest paths to the playoffs in years and would have to beat themselves to not make it.
Four random observations
Arizona’s defense showed solid improvement after their debacle against Hawaii and subpar performance against Northern Arizona. They beat Texas Tech 28-14, in a much lower scoring game than expected. In doing so, the Wildcats held Tech to 14 points despite giving up 411 yards. Arizona deflected seven passes, intercepting two. Most importantly, defenders were not caught out of place nearly as much. This defense has talent on it, however, they had not shown it as a team until this game.
The most underrated running back in the country might be Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard. He carried the ball 32 times for 256 yards along with three touchdowns in their 40-21 win over Tulsa. Currently, he leads the nation in rushing yards with 521 on 66 carries. Also, he has scored seven touchdowns on the ground, which is tied for first overall with SMU’s Xavier Jones.
Clearly, it seems as if Stanford is nowhere near what we have grown accustomed to seeing. Defensively, they gave up 45 points in week two to USC, which was the first time anyone scored 45 or more on them since 2014. They turned around and gave up 45 points again to UCF this past weekend. The 90 points given up over this two-game span is the most in such a span since giving up 96 in back to back games in 2007. Stanford fans, be scared.
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The Chip Kelly experiment at UCLA is simply not working. The Bruins are 3-12 in the 15 games Kelly has been at the helm, including 0-3 this year. They have scored exactly 14 points in each of their three games this year, losing to Cincinnati, San Diego State, and Oklahoma. It does not get any easier as the Bruins travel to Washington State this weekend and Arizona the following. The below sample of tweets sums up the thoughts around Kelly at UCLA thus far.
Neat facts, news, and notes
During Oregon’s 35-3 win over Montana, Justin Herbert tied Marcus Mariota’s school record for most games with five passing touchdowns with his fourth such game.
Kansas scored four touchdowns in the first half against Boston College en route to their 48-24 win. It is only the fourth time the Jayhawks have scored four touchdowns in a road non-conference game over the last decade. Also, this was their first road win against a Power Five foe since 2008 when they beat Iowa State.
Oklahoma soundly defeated UCLA 48-14 for their 21st consecutive true road win, which ties Alabama’s streak from 1970-1975 for the second-most in the AP poll era. OU actually owns the record, winning 25 straight from 1953-1958.
Western Michigan annihilated Georgia State 57-10. In doing so, they ran for seven touchdowns, which is a program single-game record.
Jalen Hurts of Oklahoma became the first Big 12 quarterback to accumulate 100 plus rushing yards in a first-quarter since Vince Young in 2005.
D’Eriq King of Houston tied Tim Tebow’s FBS record by both passing and rushing for a touchdown in his 14th straight game against Washington State. However, Houston lost the game, 31-24.
Clemson extended their winning streak to 18 games after waxing Syracuse 41-6. They have won those games by an average of 30.8 points per game.
Eastern Michigan went on the road to defeat Big 10 opponent Illinois, 34-31. This marks the third straight year that the Eagles have beaten a Big 10 opponent on the road. They knocked off Rutgers in 2017 as well as Purdue last year.
Tua Tagovailoa became the first Alabama quarterback to record 400 plus passing yards along with five passing touchdowns in the same game in school history. Additionally, he now has the most four passing touchdown games in Alabama history with eight. Alabama took down South Carolina 47-23 in Columbia.
Georgia Tech’s loss to The Citadel was just their second loss to a non-FBS program since the split in 1978. The Yellow Jackets were 33-1-1 during that span, with the other loss coming to Furman in 1983.
Jordan Stout kicked a Penn State school-record 57-yard field goal at the end of the first half against Pittsburgh to tie the game at 10. The Nittany Lions went on to dispatch Pitt 17-10.
Pittsburgh was held to just 24 yards rushing in the loss to Penn State. That is the first time the Panthers have been held to less than 25 yards on the ground since 2013 when it happened three times.
Minnesota escaped Georgia Southern 35-32 on Saturday. The Gophers are only the third team in the past decade to win each of its first three games by seven points or less. Iowa State accomplished that feat in 2011 while Oregon State repeated history in 2012.
Jake Fromm became the second Georgia quarterback over the last 15 years to pass for over 250 yards and three touchdowns in a half. Matthew Stafford did it against Georgia Tech in 2008. Georgia beat Arkansas State 55-0.
Maryland has now lost five straight games in which they were ranked in the AP poll after falling to Temple 20-17.
SMU is now 3-0 for the first time since 1984 after whipping Texas State 47-17.
Michael Warren of Cincinnati rushed for 113 yards along with three touchdowns on just 12 carries in their win over Miami (OH). It is the third time since the beginning of last season that he has had a 100 yard, three-touchdown game. Jonathan Taylor of Wisconsin is the only back with more during that span.
LSU won their 800th game in program history after shellacking Northwestern State 65-14.
Duke recorded 11 tackles for loss along with 10 quarterback hurries in their 41-18 romp over MTSU. It is the first time they recorded double-digit numbers in both categories since the third game of the year in 2016 against Northwestern.
Coastal Carolina easily beat Norfolk State 46-7. In doing so, they rushed for 401 yards, marking the first time they have topped 400 yards on the ground since 2013 when they ran for 410 against Presbyterian.
Notre Dame had no trouble destroying New Mexico 66-14. The 66 points scored is the most by the Fighting Irish since 1977 when they beat Georgia Tech 69-14. Amazingly, this marks only the second time since 1996 that the Irish have scored more than 60 in a game.
Louisiana’s 77 points scored in their 77-6 thumping of Texas Southern is the most points scored in a single game in the modern era of their school history.
Looking ahead to week four
Week four’s five most intriguing games
Notre Dame (2-0) at Georgia (3-0)
When: Saturday, September 21st at 7 pm CT
Obviously, this is a premier matchup between historically prominent programs. Georgia has not been tested yet in 2019 as they have easily dispatched Vanderbilt, Murray State, and Arkansas State. Meanwhile, Notre Dame was tested by Louisville for a while before destroying New Mexico. This will be an intense game with a great atmosphere in Athens, especially with College GameDay in town. Ian Book against Jake Fromm is an intriguing quarterback battle to watch.
Series history: Georgia leads 2-0
Michigan (2-0) at Wisconsin (2-0)
When: Saturday, September 21st at 11 am CT
Both teams are coming off of bye weeks as they will clash in Madison on Saturday. Neither team has completely shown us what they are capable of just yet. Michigan struggled early against but pulled away from MTSU. Next, it took overtime to hold off Army. On the flip side, Wisconsin made easy work of South Florida as well as Central Michigan, winning those games by a combined score of 110-0. Wisconsin must use their home crowd to their advantage and rely on Jonathan Taylor along with their defense. For Michigan, they must limit turnovers. However, the game may hinge on how well Shea Patterson plays in a hostile environment. Expect a great game.
Series history: Michigan leads 51-15-1
Air Force (2-0) at Boise State (3-0)
When: Friday, September 20th at 8 pm CT
This game very well could determine the Mountain West Mountain division championship. In other words, this is a huge game with major implications. Air Force is much improved and showed that by beating Colorado 30-23. Boise State is still Boise State, however, proving that by surprising Florida State in Tallahassee in week one while also taking down a good Marshall team. One of the key players to watch outside of the quarterback position is disruptive defensive end Curtis Weaver of Boise State.
Series history: Boise State leads 4-3
Oklahoma State (3-0) at Texas (2-1)
When: Saturday, September 21 at 6:30 pm CT
Texas has a chance to cement their status as a Big 12 contender with a win over a solid Oklahoma State team. The Longhorns offense has performed incredibly so far, led by quarterback Sam Ehlinger. LSU exposed their weaknesses in the secondary, which is a major concern when facing a dynamic passing offense like Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State has run through their first three games without much resistance. Certainly, this is their first big test. Seems reasonable to expect a shootout in this matchup. Remember, the Cowboys beat the Horns 38-35 last year. In fact, Oklahoma State has won four straight in this series.
Series history: Texas leads 24-9
Washington (2-1) at BYU (2-1)
When: Saturday, September 21st at 2:30 pm CT
After losing to Utah in week one, BYU has stolen late-game victories over both Tennessee and USC, suddenly raising the excitement level in Provo. Washington is 0-1 in Pac-12 play after losing to Cal two weeks ago, however, they destroyed Hawaii this past week 52-20. This is the first road game for the Huskies this year and BYU is on a roll, making this a very intriguing game to watch on Saturday afternoon.
Series history: Washington leads 6-4
Others considered: Auburn at Texas A&M, Michigan State at Northwestern, Utah at USC, Colorado at Arizona State, SMU at TCU
There is your week three edition of Full Press Coverage on college football.
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