Washington edges Houston after a very slow start in the battle of the Cougars on Friday night. Anthony Gordon threw for a whopping 440 yards with 3 touchdowns and 1 interception to help carry his team to victory. After being down 14-7 at halftime, the Washington State Cougars had an explosive second half including a 39 yard touchdown pass hauled in by WR Dezmon Patmon. Houston showed signs of a rally with a late touchdown run by D’Eriq King, but came up one score short. Friday’s victory pushed 20th ranked WSU to 3-0, and Houston adds another loss to their record at 1-2.
Temple pulled off a major upset Saturday afternoon with a 20-17 victory on their home turf. Temple struck first with a 29 yard touchdown pass from QB Anthony Russo, and the Terps got their first points of the day from a safety halfway through the first quarter. Maryland took the lead on a 4 yard touchdown run from sophomore RB Anthony McFarland Jr., but that lead was washed away 20 seconds later after Russo connected with WR Jadan Blue on a 79 yard bomb. After a failed two point conversion, Temple regained the lead at 13-9. Towards the end of the 3rd quarter Maryland took the lead back with a 17 yard TD pass from QB Josh Jackson, making the score 15-13. Russo then threw the go-ahead touchdown to Kenny Yeboah to give Temple a 20-15 lead. Maryland scored another safety as time expired in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough as the explosive Maryland offense leaves Philly with their first loss of the season.
The 100th meeting of the Keystone State teams did not disappoint. In a game with no passing touchdowns, the Nittany Lions edge Pittsburgh for a thrilling victory. Penn State got on the board first with a 1 yard touchdown run from freshman running back Devyn Ford. Pitt then took the lead in the second quarter with a 25 yard field goal from Alex Kessman and a 3 yard touchdown run from Vincent Davis. The game was tied at 10 after a 57 yard field goal from Penn State kicker Jordan Stout. With just under six minutes left in the third quarter Freshman Noah Cain ran for a 13 yard touchdown that would ultimately win the game for Penn State. After having the ball at the 1 yard line, Pitt comes up short of the touchdown and then missed the 19 yard field goal, putting Penn State at 3-0.
The word that best describes the first quarter of this game is uneventful. The word that best describes the second quarter of this game is domination. After leading just 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, the Buckeyes expolded for 23 points in the second quarter. Justin Fields connected twice that quarter with a 37 and 9 yard touchdown passes to Chris Olave and K.J. Hill. A 26 yard touchdown run from J.K. Dobbins and a safety helped Ohio State cushion their lead. Indiana Quarterback Donavan Hale connected with sophomore TE Peyton Hendershot, making the score 30-10 at halftime. But Ohio State’s offense was far from being finished. Justin Fields threw J.K. Dobbins his second toucdown of the day on a 4 yard reception and freshman Master Teague III exploded for a 40 yard touchdown run. The Buckeyes closed out this game in dominating fashion with a 96 yard interception return from CB Damon Arnette with 1 second to go. Today’s dominating win put Ohio State at 3-0 and Indiana at 2-1.
The title hungry Bulldogs dominated on both sides of the ball against Arkansas State on Saturday. With 4 rushing touchdowns and 3 passing touchdowns from Jake Fromm and 4 sacks from the defense, Georgia’s presence was made known. Jake Fromm threw for 279 yards on the day, connecting with Dominick Baylock for 60 yards, D’Andre Swift for 48 yards, and with Lawrence Cager for 5 yards. The Bulldogs totaled 268 yards on the ground, including a 62 yard touchdown run from freshman Kenny McIntosh. While never getting into the endzone, Arkansas State QB Logan Bonner connected 20 times on 35 attempts with 124 yards, but their rushing total for the day is a dismal 48 yards. Georgia continued to show their dominance as they move to 3-0 as they go to face seventh ranked Notre Dame at home next Saturday night.
In a close game for Alabama’s standards, Tua Tagovailoa shined going 28-36 with 444 yards and 5 touchdowns. South Carolina kept the game close, having only a four point deficit at the end of the first. Alabama began to run away with the lead in the second quarter, holding the Gamecocks scoreless. Tagovailoa threw his first 42 yard touchdown of the day in the second quarter, and that combined with a field goal put the Crimson Tide up 24-10 at halftime. South Carolina struck first in the second half with a 28 yard field goal from kicker Parker White. Tagovailoa then added some cushion to Alabama’s lead with his second 42 yard touchdown pass of the day to Junior WR Devonta Smith. Alabama ended their scoring on the day with a 1 yard touchdown run from backup QB Mac Jones. The tide move to 3-0 and help their case in their battle for first against Clemson.
In an absolutley dominating game, Notre Dame’s defense shined with three interceptions including a 34 interception return from safety Kyle Hamilton. Ian Book shined in the second quarter with 59, 65, and 37 yard touchdown passes that would put the Irish up 35-0. UNM got on the board towards the end of the second quarter with a 47 yard touchdown run from sophomore RB Bryson Carroll. Notre Dame’s offense did not slow down at all, opening the second half with a 54 yard touchdown hauled in by senior WR Chris Finke. Notre Dame’s three quarterbacks combined for a whopping 434 yards, going 17 for 27. The Irish move to 2-0 and will most likely maitain their position inside the top ten.
The 2017 Co-National Champions put on quite the show for their home crowd on Saturday. Freshman QB Dillon Gabriel went 22 for 30 with 347 yards and 4 touchdown passes. Gabriel had his first 38 yard touchdown pass of the day in the first quarter to junior WR Tre Nixon, which put the Knights up 21-0. Stanford freshman RB Austin Jones helped Stanford get on the board with a 35 yard touchdown run, cutting their deficit to 14 points. However that didn’t last very long (less than 2 minutes to be exact) after Gabriel connects with junior WR Gabriel Davis for his second 38 yard touchdown pass of the day. The Knights last scoring play of the day came from a 1 yard touchdown reception from TE Jake Hescock. Stanford closed out the game with a 28 yard fumble return, but it wouldn’t be enough to beat the UCF offense. UCF is now 3-0 as they head into what should be an interesting matchup against Pittsburgh next week.
It’s safe to say that no expected this matchup to be arguably one of the best games of the weekend. A thriller all the way down to the last whistle led to a narrow victory for BYU in overtime. After two field goals, two rushing touchdowns, and two touchdown passes, (one of each for each team), the first half ended in a 17-17 tie. After a scoreless third quarter, USC opened up the fourth quarter with a 30 yard touchdown pass from QB Kedon Slovis, giving them a 24-17 advantage. BYU scored 10 points after that, with a 32 yard field goal from Jake Oldroyd and a 16 yard rushing touchdown from QB Zach Wilson. USC then tied the game with less than 2 minutes to go with a 52 yard field goal. A field goal ended the scoring in regulation, and it would end the game in overtime as well with a 43 yard field goal to seal the win for BYU. Both teams now sit at 2-1 and it seems pretty likely that USC will drop out of the Top 25 with this loss.
A dissapointing performance by Michigan State led to a loss by unranked and undefeated ASU. The only scoring highlight from the first half came from a 41 yard field goal by ASU kicker Christian Zendejas. Michigan State showed some promise with a 9 yard touchdown run from freshman running back Elijah Collins, putting the Spartans up 7-3. But a 1 yard touchdown run from running back Eno Benjamin with less than a minute to go would push the Sun Devils to victory and leave Michigan State and their fans scratching their heads. The Spartan’s kicker Matt Coghlin went 0 for 3 on field goals for the day and senior QB Brian Lewerke couldn’t help his offense compensate for those misses, despite going 24 for 38 on the day with 291 yards. Michigan State gets their first loss of the season and are sure to drop in the poll.
Iowa edged in-state rival Iowa State Saturday afternoon in a back-and-forth contest. Iowa earned the first scoring play of the day with a 25 yard field goal from Kieth Duncan. Iowa State quickly took their first lead of the day with a 51 yard touchdown from Deshaunte Jones on his only passing attempt of the day. Iowa kept their deficit small with a 40 yard field goal as the clock expired in the second quarter. The Cyclones extended their lead with a 73 yard touchdown pass from sophomore QB Brock Purdy, giving them a 14-6 advantage. After a 42 yard field goal, Iowa entered the fourth quarter with a 5 point deficit and had yet to score a touchdown. However, that didn’t last long. Within the first three minutes of the fourth quarter senior QB Nate Stanley got Iowa into the endzone with a 1 yard rushing touchdown. After a failed two point conversion, Iowa had the lead for the first time since their first quarter field goal. Iowa State answered with a 26 yard field goal from Connor Assalley, giving them a 17-15 lead. Iowa would end the day how they started, witha field goal. The 39 yard go-ahead field goal helped the Hawkeyes sneak away with a victory to move them to 3-0.
Senior QB Tyler Huntley’s impressive day lead to the Utes shutout victory over Idaho State. Huntley went 15 for 19 with 282 yards and 3 touchdowns on the day and has steadily improved his stat lines each weekend. Huntley’s most impressive pass of the day was an 82 yard pass to sophomore WR Bryan Thompson that put Utah up 17-0 at the end of the first quarter. Utah’s defense ended the day with 2 sacks, 2 fumbles, and an interception, and 8 tackles for loss. This defensive effort combined with IDST QB Gunnar Amos’ unimpressive 52 yards with 7 completions out of 17 attempts and 1 interception helped Utah get the shutout and stay undefeated at 3-0.
Kent State scored first with 21 yard field goal and that would be their only lead of the day. Auburn kept a strong lead for a majority of the game, entering halftime with a 24-10 lead. Auburn’s defense held Kent State to only one touchdown for the rest of the game with a 15 yard pass from Woody Barrett in the fourth quarter. Auburn absolutely dominated on the ground with a team combined 467 yards on 62 combined carries. Running backs Jatarvious Whitlow and Shaun Shivers and quarterback Joey Gatewood each had over 100 rushing yards on the day. Whitlow and Gatewood each had 2 rushing touchdowns, contributing to Auburns 6 rushing touchdowns. Auburn stays out of the loss column with this impressive victory as they move to 3-0.
The Gators came out victorious in a nailbiter comeback against Kentucky on Saturday night. Florida had the first lead of the game after a 15 yard touchdown pass from junior QB Feleipe Franks. Kentucky held the Gators scoreless in the second quarter and took the lead after a 26 yard touchdown reception by senior WR Ahmad Wagner and a 1 yard rushing touchdown from QB Sawyer Smith. Florida scored first in the second half off a 32 yard field goal from Evan McPherson, cutting their deficit down to 4 as they trailed 14-10. Kentucky stretched their lead after freshman TE Keaton Upshaw caught a 13 yard touchdown pass with a little under six minutes to go in the third quarter. Florida entered the fourth quarter with an 11 point deficit but two rushing touchdowns (each with a failed two point conversion) helped give the Gators a 1 point lead with under five minutes to go. Florida sealed the victory with a 76 yard touchdown run with 33 seconds to go by senior WR Josh Hammond that helped the Gators stay undefeated at 3-0.
Texas A&M had a combined 633 yards of offense, with 410 yards of that being a combined passing effort from 3 different quarterbacks in their rout of Lamar. Even with all those yards in the air, the Aggies didn’t get their first touchdown reception till the end of the 3rd quarter with a 10 yard pass from junior QB Kellen Mond, which would put Texas A&M up 41-3. The Aggies spread the ball around on offense with 5 rushing touchdowns by 4 different players who each had at least 20 yards. Lamar QB Jordan Hoy had a dismal performance of 75 yards with 10 completions on 24 attempts that led to only 3 points on a 32 yard field goal in the 3rd quarter by kicker Bailey Giffen. Texas A&M’s complete domination helped them add to the win column and improve to 2-1.
Junior QB Jacob Eason put on a dominating performance to help the Huskies roll past Hawai’i. Eason went 18 for 25 with 262 yards and 3 touchdowns including a 47 yard touchdown pass to TE Hunter Bryant that would contribute to the Huskies 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Washington had 4 rushing touchdowns on just 190 yards with three of those four coming from freshman RB Richard Newton. Despite the loss Hawai’i QB Cole McDonald still put up a strong performace with 218 and 22 completions on 35 attempts. Washington help their case to stay in the Top 25 as they move to 2-1 in their overwhelming victory.
The Cavaliers pulled off a victory against the Florida State Seminoles in a game with a combined 5 lead changes. The Noles got the first touchdown of the day with a 10 yard pass from sophomore QB James Blackman. Virginia took the lead back after a 3 yard rushing touchdown from sophomore RB Wayne Taulapapa. The Seminoles would end the first half with a 14-10 lead and extend that with a 53 yard field goal from kicker Ricky Aguayo and that would be the only scoring play for either team in the 3rd quarter. The Cavaliers would tie the game at the beginning of the first quarter with a 12 yard touchdown reception by senior WR Joe Reed. The Noles would answer with a 17 yard touchdown reception by sophomore WR Keyshawn Helton, giving them a 24-17 lead in the 4th. Virginia would eventually take the lead with two rushing touchdowns by Taulapapa, the second having a two point conversion that would help the last team in the Top 25 move to 3-0.
After falling short against LSU last week, the Longhorns came away with a dominant victory against Rice. Quarterback Sam Ehlinger put together another impressive stat line, going 23 for 27 with 279 yards and 3 touchdowns. Texas built their lead quickly, going up 14-0 by the end of the first quarter, including a 53 yard touchdown pass from Ehlinger that was hauled in by freshman WR Jake Smith. Rice wouldn’t get their first points of the day until the fourth quarter with a 3 yard touchdown pass from senior QB Tom Stewart. Texas ended the game with a 98 yard kickoff return touchdown by sophomore DB D’Shawn Jamison. The Longhorns improve to 2-1 and have scored at least 35 points in each of their games this season.
A much anticipated matchup on the Saturday night slate showed signs early on of a having the potential to be a “good” game from an objective viewer’s standpoint. But Clemson did what Clemson does and dominated Syracuse for their 18th straight victory. Heisman frontrunner Trevor Lawrence found the endzone early with a 16 yard touchdown pass to junior WR Amari Rodgers. Lawrence also had a 1 yard rushing touchdown to put the Tigers up 14-0 at the end of the 1st quarter. Syracuse kicker Andre Szmyt helped the Orange get on the board with a 29 yard field goal, and Clemson’s kicker B.T. Potter responded with a 40 yard field goal to push the Tigers to a 17-3 lead. Szmyt answered with a 23 yard field goal with 2 minutes to go in the first half, and that would put an end to Syracuse’s scoring campaign for the night. Two early second half interceptions from Lawrence, his third and fourth so far this season, didn’t lead to an endzone visit for the Orange. Clemson ended the game with a 57 yard touchdown run from freshman RB Chez Mellusi as the Tigers continue to show why they are National Title favorites. Lawrence helped his Heisman campaign despite 2 interceptions by going 22 for 39 with 395, 3 touchdowns and the number 1 Tigers stay undefeated at 3-0.
Northwestern State would score the first touchdown of the day after a 17 yard pass from senior QB Shelton Eppler, ending the first quarter with a 7-3 lead. But, that lead wouldn’t last very long. LSU took a lead that they wouldn’t relinquish after a 4 yard touchdown run from Louisiana native RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire. LSU ended the first half with 24-10 lead with 2 passing touchdowns and 2 rushing touchdowns from Edwards-Helaire. The Tigers scored the most in the third quarter with 27 points off of 3 rushing and 1 passing touchdown, and the LSU defense held NWST scoreless for the entire second half. LSU had 488 yards in the air in their victory, and 373 of those yards came from QB Joe Burrow, who now has a top 5 QBR at 92.1. The Tigers join the other 21 undefeated Top 25 teams at 3-0 and continue to show why they are National Championship contenders.
Jalen Hurts has been extremely impressive so far this season, and that impressiveness continued on Saturday as he went 289 yards with 15 completions on 20 attempts and 3 touchdowns on Oklahoma’s dominant victory over UCLA. Oklahoma struck first with an explosive 30 yard rushing touchdown from Hurts, and after 6 straight drives of scoring the Sooners were up 34-7 by halftime. Oklahoma kept their offense evenly spread out with 309 yards and 3 touchdowns in the air and 302 yards and 3 touchdowns on the ground. The Sooners defense also put on an impressive display with 4 sacks, 8 TFL and 2 interceptions off of UCLA QB Dorian Thompson-Robinson. The Sooners remain undefeated and Hurts continues to pad his résumé in his Heisman campaign.
After a close win against Marshall last week, and an even closer game in week 1 against Florida State, Boise State was desperate to prove themselves as a dominating force. And with their win against Portland State on Saturday night they did just that. Freshman QB Hank Bachmeier had a solid performance, going 16 for 25 with 238 yards with 2 touchdowns and 1 interception. The Broncos flashed their skills early with a 98 yard kickoff return by senior WR John Hightower, giving them an early 7-3 lead in the first quarter. Portland State stayed in reaching distance with a 52 yard touchdown pass from junior QB. However, that would be that last trip to endzone in that game for the Vikings. The Broncos dominated the rest of the game, including four touchdown passes, one of which was a 44 yard pass from backup QB sophomore Chase Cord. The Broncos improve to 3-0 as they hope to continue to shine when they face UNLV next Saturday night.
With a blowout win against Nevada last week, the Ducks were looking to stay hot against the Grizzlies on Saturday night. Oregon jumped out to a quick 14-0 lead by the end of the first quarter after two passing touchdowns from senior QB Justin Herbert. Herbert shined against Montana with 316 yards on 30 pass with 42 attempts and an impressive 5 touchdown passes. Oregon’s defense kept Montana QB Dalton Sneed in check, only allowing him to go 20 for 30 with 184 yards with 1 interception and no touchdowns. After losing to Auburn in a close game in week 1 the Ducks have won 2 straight with Herbert throwing 5 touchdowns in each victory.
This weekend did not lack any excitement whatsoever. The top 7 teams dominated as expected, and anticipated matchups like Pitt vs Penn State and Maryland vs Temple did not disappoint.
Game of the Week: Maryland vs Temple. This was a tough choice, but Temple upsetting the Terps’ red hot offense is what was the decision maker for me.
Player of the Week: Alabama QB Tua Tagovailoa. Tagovailoa is a Heisman favorite for a reason: he continues to impress. After 444 yards and 5 touchdown passes, he’s making himself awfully hard to ignore. With 12 touchdowns, 1,007 yards, no interceptions and a QBR of 95.5, he’s showing that he’s ready to prove himself after the Tide’s embarassing loss against Clemson in the National Championship Game.
Next Week’s Best Matchup: (10) Michigan at (14) Wisconsin. After a narrow overtime victory against Army last week, the Wolverines are desperate to show that they are a force to be reckoned with. The Badgers on the other hand have yet to allow their opponents to score a single point in their two match-ups so far. Badgers’ QB Jack Coan has been nothing short of impressive either with a combined 564 yards, 5 touchdowns, no interceptions and a 76.3 completion percentage. I expect this to be a back-and-forth battle for most of the game, but I think Badgers will have a strong fourth quarter and come away winners.