For those who enjoy chaos, who make a show of worshiping at the altar of Loki, week two of the 2017 college football season was a bitter disappointment. With one exception, every ranked team which played a team below their station came away unscathed, and you can expect little movement in the polls this afternoon other than vacuum adjustments.
For those who really dig tense contests, though, yesterday was magic. And the one upset? It wasn’t close, but that just makes those Buckeye tears extra tasty.
#1 Alabama 41, Fresno State 10
Jalen Hurts was effective if not spectacular through the air, going 14-18 for 128 yards and a score; he was fantastic on the ground, rushing for 154 yards and two touchdowns on only ten carries. Alabama wasn’t utterly dominant on defense, allowing Fresno State 274 yards of offense, but they were effective enough where it counts.
#5 Oklahoma 31, #2 Ohio State 16
The biggest game of the week, of course, was in Columbus as the second-ranked Ohio State hosted fifth-ranked Oklahoma in the return game for last year’s beatdown of the Sooners in Norman. The first half was a miserable exercise, best described as a steaming pile of poo; the teams went to the locker room tied 3-3. A few minutes after play resumed, it was 10-10 and looked like a potential classic.
Ohio State never stepped foot in the end zone again, while Oklahoma ripped off 21 points in the space of eight minutes surrounding the start of the fourth quarter. Baker Mayfield was, once again, the picture of a legitimate Heisman candidate, popping 27-35 for 386 and three touchdown passes. If there is one team which might leapfrog anyone this week, it’s the Sooners.
That's quite a celebration.— CBS Sports CFB (@CBSSportsCFB) September 10, 2017
Baker Mayfield plants Oklahoma's flag in Ohio State's logo at midfield of the Horseshoe. pic.twitter.com/1dMbYZntIm
That Mayfield kid is cocky as hell, and is probably sort of a jerk. But MAN, can he ball.
#3 Clemson 14, #13 Auburn 6
The Clemson Tigers put their #3 ranking on the line against their mascot-sharing visitors from Auburn, ranked 13th. With a minute to go before halftime, Auburn led 6-0 on a pair of short Daniel Carlson field goals, but Kelly Bryant scored from three yards out with 48 seconds to go to give Clemson the halftime lead, and just over three minutes after the break scored on a 27-yard run to put the home squad up 14-6.
And that was that. Whether it was great defense or ineffective offense is a question best left for debate. Jarrett Stidham, who committed to Texas Tech, played for Baylor, and then left for Auburn, was terrible. Stidham was 13-24 for 79 yards through the air, and was sacked 11 times. Is Brent Venables that great a defensive coach, or does Auburn’s offensive line blow chunks? Bryant was decent, if not spectacular, throwing 19-29 for 181 and rushing for 59 yards on 19 carries.
#4 Penn State 33, Pittsburgh 14
Penn State quarterback Trace McSorley, despite throwing three touchdown passes, wasn’t that impressive (15-28, 164, 1 INT). Saquan Barkley was, using only 14 carries to get 88 yards and a score. But Pittsburgh was worse, with Max Browne going 19-32 for 138 and two picks, and three Panther turnovers were the real story of the game as Penn State rolled. The true evidence: Pitt held the ball for over 38 minutes.
#6 Southern California 42, #14 Stanford 24
Sam Darnold led Southern Cal to a solid win behind a 21-26, 316-yard night, lobbing three touchdown passes. Stephen Carr racked up 119 yards on 11 carries, and the Trojans amassed 623 yards on the hapless Stanford defense. For Stanford, Keller Chryst missed the mark a lot, going 15-28, but he managed 172 yards and two scores. Bryce Love piled up 160 yards and a score on 17 carries. But those two accounted for all but 14 yards of Stanford’s offense, and even two USC turnovers failed to give the Cardinal any useful aid.
#7 Washington 63, Montana 7
Stitt did not happen in Seattle. Jake Browning was 22-26 for 259 and two scores, and that was enough to help Washington drill an overmatched FCS opponent. (No, U-Dub fans, this is not a great Montana team. They came into the game unranked in the FCS poll.) The only Montana Grizzlies score was on a pick-six late in the first quarter, and Bob Stitt’s offense was limited to 163 yards, committing four turnovers.
#8 Michigan 36, Cincinnati 14
For awhile, this looked like a disaster waiting to happen for Michigan as Cincinnati was still within a field goal late in the third quarter. But the Skunkbears ripped off 19 unanswered points over the final 18 minutes (and one second) to ice the victory. Wilton Speight was 17-29 for 221 yards and two touchdowns, and Ty Isaac rambled for 133 on 20 carries. It was a sloppy game, as both teams turned the ball over twice.
#9 Wisconsin 31, Florida Atlantic 14
Freshman Jonathan Taylor had himself a day for Wisconsin, hauling the rock 26 times for 223 yards and three scores. That was all the Badgers needed to handle Lane Kiffin and Florida Atlantic, who only managed 248 yards of offense — a quarter of it on one play, a 63-yard strike from Daniel Parr to DeAndre McNeal late in the first quarter. The Badgers held the ball for over 38 minutes, and even two Badger turnovers failed to damage the Wisconsin onslaught.
Hurricane Irma 1, #10 Florida State 0, Louisiana-Monroe 0
#11 Oklahoma State 44, South Alabama 7 (Friday)
#12 Louisiana State 45, Tennessee-Chattanooga 10
This was simply a workman-like performance from Louisiana State as they stomped Chattanooga, ranked 13th in FCS. Nobody really stood out individually, as is often the case when a lesser team allows a better one lots of short fields. LSU’s defense did the job, holding UTC to 242 yards, a bunch of that in the second half when the result was no longer in question.
#15 Georgia 20, #24 Notre Dame 19
At least we don’t have to concern ourselves with talk of Notre Dame stealing a playoff bid, but this one was down to the wire. Rodrigo Blankenship hit a 30-yard field goal, his second of the game, to give Georgia their first lead of the game with 3:34 to go, and with 1:27 to go Davin Bellamy forced a fumble which Lorenzo Carter recovered to seal the win. Offensively, nobody covered themselves in glory in this one, although Georgia was being led by freshman backup Jake Fromm due to Jacob Eason being injured. Each team turned the ball over twice, and the game was a penalty-riddled affair.
Hurricane Irma 1, #16 Miami 0, Arkansas State -1
Miami opted to sit this week out for obvious reasons. Arkansas State Red Wolves fans did not acquit themselves well in the process.
#17 Louisville 47, North Carolina 35
Lamar Jackson flat went off. The defending Heisman winner was 25-39 for 393 yards and three scores, and added another 132 on the ground, as Louisville outran North Carolina in a shootout, racking up 705 yards of offense in the process. Malik Williams also ran for 149 yards on 13 carries for the Cardinals, while the primary beneficiary of Jackson’s profligacy was Jaylen Smith, who had 183 yards on nine receptions.
Brandon Harris went 17-23 for 216 and a score for the Tar Heels after replacing slightly injured freshman Chazz Surratt at halftime. North Carolina now has a quarterback controversy, as Harris had been ineffective last week against California while Surratt was 12-14 for 168 and two touchdowns in the first half yesterday.
#18 Virginia Tech 27, Delaware 0
Josh Jackson was 16-28 for 222 yards and two scores as Virginia Tech took care of business against their unranked FCS foes from the First State. The Blue Hens were competitive, but simply couldn’t convert anything into points.
#19 Kansas State 55, Charlotte 7
Kendall Adams had two defensive scores and Kansas State crammed the ball down Charlotte 49ers ‘ throats, running for over 300 yards. Bill Snyder did Alex Barnes dirty, parking him after the first half with only 99 yards rushing to give Dalvin Warmack some work. This one was never in doubt.
#20 Washington State 44, Boise State 41 (3OT)
If you stayed up late last night, you got a treat. Both starting quarterbacks left the game with injuries, and chaos ensued. Boise State led 31-10 after scoring with 10:53 to play, and then the Dread Pirate Leach went to work. Washington State scored 21 points in less than seven minutes — including a vitally important 36-yard pick-six by Peyton Pelluer — to draw even at 31 and force overtime.
The teams traded field goals in the first overtime and touchdowns in the second. When Boise had to settle for three in the third frame, Washington State saw the opening. Jamal Morrow dove for the pylon to complete a 22-yard touchdown pass from Tyler Hilinski and it was over.
Luke Falk started for Washington State, going 24-34 for 193 yards with a pick, but no touchdowns. Hilinski came on in relief and went 25-33 for 240 and three scores, also losing a pick. That adds up to 433 yards on 67 attempts; the Cougars only gained 22 yards on the ground. Brett Rypien was 7-8 for 76 yards before once again being replaced by former Kansas quarterback Montell Cozart, who was only 12-20 but earned 161 yards and two touchdowns, and led Boise’s rushing attack with 71 yards.
There were seven turnovers on the night. It was sloppy. It was weird. But it was fun.
Hurricane Irma 1, #21 South Florida 0, Connecticut 0
This American Athletic Conference contest could have been rescheduled, if some shenanigans could have been worked out involving East Carolina and Houston, but apparently it won’t be. That leaves South Florida in a precarious position as regards their aspirations to play in a New Years Six bowl, but probably doesn’t affect Connecticut too much (aside from their wallet, as this game was in Hartford) as their bowl hopes really didn’t depend on winning this one.
Hurricane Irma 1, #22 Florida 0, Northern Colorado 0
Florida won’t be bothering to make up this game against an FCS foe, either.
#23 Texas Christian 28, Arkansas 7
Texas Christian did their damage on the ground, led by Darius Anderson with 106 yards, as they muscled past Arkansas in Fayetteville. Neither Kenny Hill nor Austin Allen had days to write home about at quarterback, and Arkansas simply never could put anything together against the Frog defense.
#25 Tennessee 42, Indiana State 7
Beating the pants off a Missouri Valley team is never an easy task, even a mid-level squad like the Sycamores. So credit to Tennessee for doing just that in a game in which they got ahead early and stepped off the gas, preventing anyone from putting up eye-popping numbers.
Remaining Big 12 contests, as well as more on those mentioned above, will be discussed later this week by wildcat00.
And now comes the time when we simply list scores for you to laugh at.
Middle Tennessee State 30, Syracuse 23 (Scott Shafer’s revenge)
Eastern Michigan 16, Rutgers 13 (EMU’s first-ever win against a P5 school)
FCS #12 New Hampshire 22, Georgia Southern 12
Oregon 42, Nebraska 35
FCS South Dakota 35, Bowling Green 27
Texas A&M 24, FCS Nicholls State 14 (tied with eight minutes left)
Texas-San Antonio 17, Baylor 10
San Diego State 30, Arizona State 20