After a barnstorming start to the college season last week many teams faced easier challenges in Week 2. It didn’t stop there being plenty of quality action. Here’s The Inside Zone’s College Football weekly roundup.
Favourites rumble on
The major players in the College Playoff picture faced little resistance in Week 2. Arguably the best result was Georgia who made short work of South Carolina. In what was many people’s choice for a shock result Bulldogs QB Jake Fromm led his team to a 41-17 victory. Fromm’s main target was junior Mecole Hardman who was impressive with 6 receptions for 103 yards and a TD. NFL prospect CB DeAndre Baker had a good day keeping Deebo Samuel quiet and grabbing a pick 6 from a tipped pass.
Alabama and Ohio State beat Arkansas State (57-7) and Rutgers (52-3) respectively. Buckeyes QB Dwayne Haskins (20/23, 233, 4TD) continued to make a case for a Heisman run. However, the favourite remains Tua Tagovailoa (13/19, 228, 4TD). He has seemingly solidified himself as the Crimson Tide’s starter.
Elsewhere, Auburn relied heavily on their running game to stomp over Alabama State 63-9 with six rushing TD’s. Penn State stars Trace McSorley and Miles Sanders were in enviable form to help the Nittany Lions turnover Pitt 51-6. LSU could be dark horses in the SEC and their defense was responsible for five sacks and a Greedy Williams INT. The 31-0 shutout of Southeastern Louisiana, masked their stuttering offense.
It’s a numbers game
Three standout QB’s put up big numbers in Week 2. Will Grier is causing a stir, does he have the ability to play in a pro offense? Well, his numbers certainly point to him being one of the best college signal callers. He threw for 332 yards, with 3 passing TDs and one rushing. Justin Herbert is favourite to be the no.1 QB in the 2019 draft and he improved his accuracy from week 1. He completed 20/26 with 4 TDs for 250 yards helping Oregon beat Portland State 62-14. Last but not least, Ole Miss QB Jordan Ta’amu threw for 448 yards and 5 TDs in a crazy 76-41 shootout with Southern Illinois.
New head coaches struggling to settle
A number of the newly appointed head coaches have faced early struggles. UCLA’s Chip Kelly couldn’t come up with a shock against Oklahoma as Heisman contender Kyler Murray passed for three TDs and ran for two more in a 49-21 rout. Kevin Sumlin took over at Arizona but seems reluctant to use the mercurial QB Khalil Tate in the running game. This coupled with his defense strugglin to contain Houston QB D’Eriq King led to a 45-18 loss. Dan Mullen’s Florida fell unexpectedly to Kentucky. The Wildcats hadn’t defeated the Gators in 31 attempts previously. Former UCF head coach Scott Frost’s luck didn’t improve. Having had last week’s game cancelled his Nebraska lost out to Colorado in Week 2.
There were plenty of examples of teams bouncing back after humiliating losses last week. Michigan running back Karan Higdon ran for 156 yards and 1TD while Shea Patterson got up and running with 3 TDs as the Wolverines laid pay to Western Michigan. Miami routed Savannah State 77-0 while Tennessee had an easy day against East Tennessee State, winning out 59-3. Tom Herman’s Texas got their first win after disappointment against Maryland last week. QB Sam Ehlinger threw TD’s as they stumbled past Tulsa 28-21. One player who bounced back was Bryce Love. The Stanford back proved last week was a misnomer, running for 136 yards and a TD, to take down Pac-12 rival USC.
Big games, close finishes
Arguably the two best games of the weekend played out in exciting fashion. Clemson were left holding on as Texas A&M scored 13 4th quarter points only coming up short by missing the two point conversion with 46 seconds on the clock. The game finishing 28-26 to the Tigers. Elsewhere, the late game in Tempe, Arizona went right down to the wire. Arizona State was 13-3 down entering the 4th but a TD catch from star receiver N’Keal Harry put them in position to steal the game with a last second field goal to win 16-13 against Michigan State. The loss is a big setback for the Spartans who fancied a run at the Big 10 with NFL QB prospect Brian Lewerke at the helm.