Two top-10 groups misplaced on Saturday. The Pac-12 rose from the ashes of so a few years of distress to make an emphatic assertion on a nationwide stage. Nick Saban lambasted his Alabama workforce for a 48-14 win. Texas is already 0-1 in SEC play.
Week 2 had all of the hallmarks of an awesome day of school soccer, and but, like a Tennessee teaching search, it is form of wonderful it did not finish with much more chaos.
To make certain, Oregon delivered a seismic shift to the 2021 Faculty Soccer Playoff image. With the Geese’ 35-28 win over Ohio State, the Pac-12 has a real contender — and perhaps multiple. Arizona State is cruising alongside and UCLA already owns a marquee nonconference win, too. (Pay no consideration to Washington and USC and Utah and … hey, it is a glass-half-full league.) In earlier years, the Pac-12 was already an afterthought by Week 3. However in 2021, the league is sort of a pair of denim shorts — one thing we made enjoyable of for a lot of the previous 15 years, now immediately cool once more.
Whereas the Pac-12 celebrates, the Huge Ten is reeling. Its three highest-ranked groups within the preseason — Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana — have already got losses. In the meantime, Iowa made an emphatic assertion in profitable the Cy-Hawk Trophy, clearing the best way for the now-inevitable 9-6 win over Michigan within the Huge Ten title recreation.
But when Oregon-Ohio State delivered a shocking headliner, the undercard tantalized however finally fizzled on the end.
At Notre Dame, it took a late TD throw from a QB with a dislocated finger to flee a devastating loss to Toledo. Six days in the past, Brian Kelly took a swing at humor, joking his team should be executed after blowing a 16-point lead in an time beyond regulation win over Florida State. After turning the ball over 3 times in a 32-29 win Saturday, the Preventing Irish would possibly wish to take into account witness safety.
In Denver, Texas A&M wanted its personal dramatic fourth-quarter drive to beat Colorado 10-7. Starting QB Haynes King left with an injury within the first quarter, and because the Aggies’ total finances is tied up in contract extensions for Jimbo Fisher, they’d did not recruit a backup. Colorado took a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter, and solely an 11-play, 77-yard grind with lower than eight minutes to play saved A&M from catastrophe.
In Miami, a cat fell from the upper deck to the decrease degree of the stadium, solely to be miraculously caught by a few followers with an American flag. Then Andy Borregales saved Miami with a 43-yard go-ahead area objective with lower than three minutes to play to flee Appalachian State 25-23.
Watch this loopy video of followers catching a falling cat with an American flag at Arduous Rock Stadium.
Months from now, the video games will merely be remembered as wins for Notre Dame and Texas A&M and Miami. On Saturday, they had been heartburn-inducing, edge-of-your-seat, hold-your-breath miracles. Cinderella’s shoe did not all the time match, however the dance was nonetheless enjoyable.
Within the aftermath of Week 1’s blockbuster matchups, Week 2 was imagined to be a little bit of a snoozer. As a substitute, we received a circus, with 5 ranked groups dropping. Nonetheless, it was extra of a neighborhood circus with fried turkey legs, demolition derbies and a few terrifying clowns, reasonably than an actual Ringling Bros. manufacturing.
Iowa makes an announcement
Saturday’s Cy-Hawk recreation was a fantastic tribute to all issues Iowa, from Ashton Kutcher’s look on Faculty GameDay, to the 15 complete punts, to the 2 groups combining to run the ball 66 occasions regardless of averaging simply 2.3 yards per carry. At one level, a fullback carrying a neck roll named Monte Pottebaum (who, we assume, was contractually obligated at start to play at Iowa) delivered the lead block for an Iowa landing. This recreation actually could not have been any extra Iowa if an overcaffeinated Howard Dean had interrupted the postgame information convention to whoop out the names of the Hawkeyes’ subsequent 5 opponents.
For Iowa State, nonetheless, the end result felt all too acquainted. This was imagined to be the Cyclones’ yr. They’d all of the offseason buzz, a No. 9 rating, a roster chock-full of veteran stars and a real path to the Faculty Soccer Playoff. And but, this Cy-Hawk recreation ended the best way every of the earlier 5 had — with a stagnant offense, a bitter loss and deflated expectations for the season.
Maybe the issue was that we anticipated something totally different. Whereas Iowa State received all of the offseason love, it is Iowa that now seems to be prefer it might make an actual run on the playoff. With Ohio State’s loss, the Huge Ten appears totally winnable, and the Hawkeyes’ protection seems to be to be impossibly good, forcing 4 turnovers that made life awfully simple for the Iowa offense. It was nonetheless ugly for Iowa — the Hawkeyes managed simply 173 yards of offense — however perhaps that is why we all the time overlook Kirk Ferentz’s workforce.
There’s nothing horny about Iowa — sorry, Ashton — however as soon as once more, Ferentz has his workforce within the prime 10, materializing from a cornfield to turn out to be some of the feared groups within the nation.
Huge week for the brand new Huge 12
On Friday, the Huge 12 made it official. In a transfer to protect the convention’s Energy 5 standing, it plans to add BYU, UCF, Houston and Cincinnati, changing SEC-bound Texas and Oklahoma.
For a weekend, a minimum of, it felt like a very good commerce.
Texas received a style of life within the SEC, and it did not go properly. The Longhorns could not throw the ball, struggled to run and watched its protection get trucked for greater than 300 yards on the bottom. Someplace, Tom Herman was guffawing like a Bond villain.
In the meantime, the Huge 12’s new additions all gained simply. Cincinnati turned a 7-7 halftime rating right into a 42-7 win over Murray State. UCF cruised to a 2-0 report, and Houston dominated Rice in a matchup of previous Southwest Convention foes.
What does this imply for the Huge 12 long-term? In all probability nothing, however when there’s an opportunity to chuckle at Texas, the league wants to take a seat again and revel in it.
Not this time. pic.twitter.com/tWRzlZuFh8
— Arkansas Razorback Soccer (@RazorbackFB) September 12, 2021
A brand new low at FSU?
There are losses. There are unhealthy losses. After which there’s what occurred to Florida State on Saturday.
Per week in the past, McKenzie Milton and the Seminoles had been one of college football’s feel-good stories, even in an time beyond regulation loss to Notre Dame. On Saturday, any goodwill Mike Norvell’s workforce had constructed was out the window as Jacksonville State’s Damond Philyaw-Johnson darted into the tip zone with no time left to down FSU 20-17.
How unhealthy was it?
Properly, begin with the truth that this was Florida State’s first loss to a workforce at present enjoying FCS soccer since 1959. The offense was a large number. The Seminoles averaged fewer than 4 yards per move and blew an opportunity to ice the sport halfway by means of the fourth quarter after they flubbed consecutive performs from contained in the 3-yard line. The protection, which had performed properly, coughed up 13 factors within the ultimate 4:45 of the sport.
However nothing will prime the best way it ended. Former Clemson QB Zerrick Cooper dropped again to move on a fourth-and-10 with 1 second to play, hit Philyaw-Johnson, the Duke switch, close to the sideline, and Philyaw-Johnson made two defenders miss as he in the reduction of throughout the sphere and into the tip zone for a 59-yard TD reception and the win.
There have been numerous inexplicable performances for FSU over the previous 5 years, however the failure of the protection to have defenders deep on the last-gasp throw from Cooper could be a brand new low level.
In actual fact, as a lot as we love “celebrating NC State fan” and “book-reading FSU professor,” it is potential that these cheerleaders even gave us a brand new chief among the many brutal FSU loss response GIFs on Saturday.
— Evan (@krikmnave) September 12, 2021
It was really one for the ages.
Week 2 Inventory Report
Who’s sizzling, who’s not and who’s simply biding their time popping out of the second full week of school soccer motion.
Purchase: Oregon‘s offensive line
There was loads of credit score to go round for Oregon’s big win, however no unit labored tougher than the Geese’ entrance 5. QB Anthony Brown had a clear pocket for almost the complete day, and he wasn’t sacked as soon as. In the meantime, Oregon gained 269 yards on the bottom, together with a whopping 206 earlier than contact. The skin run recreation was particularly harmful, as Oregon successfully used the identical run play, sprung by crackback blocks on the line, on three totally different touchdowns. It was notably spectacular contemplating how uncommon it’s for the Buckeyes’ protection to look so unhealthy. It solely occurs towards traditionally nice groups like final yr’s Alabama, the 2016 Clemson nationwide champs and, um, 2018 Purdue.
Purchase: UAB’s ‘turnover dragon’
Credit score UAB for pulling off the reverse “Sport of Thrones.” Towards Georgia, the Blazers delivered the other of the present’s plot by being horrible for the overwhelming majority of the sport, solely to finish on a excessive be aware with a 61-yard pick-six that concluded with an superior dragon.
UAB’s Keondre Swoopes reveals off a turnover chain you will must see to consider after his 60-yard pick-six towards Georgia.
Purchase: A QB controversy at Florida
Dan Mullen didn’t want to talk about it. Then he denied it. However the numbers converse for themselves: Florida has a QB controversy brewing. Emory Jones has seemed downright unhealthy in two video games towards lesser competitors to date this yr (two TD passes, 4 interceptions), whereas backup Anthony Richardson has been electrical. In a 42-20 win over USF on Saturday, Richardson threw simply three passes, however completed with extra passing yards (152) than Jones (151) did on 22 throws.
Faked the run, then dropped the dime 🙌 pic.twitter.com/KNaKLDRoNG
— ESPN Faculty Soccer (@ESPNCFB) September 11, 2021
Maintain: Randy Edsall jokes
Positive, the UConn coach stepped down last week after a dismal 0-2 begin for the Huskies, however his former gamers had been hardly impressed by the choice. Purdue demolished UConn 49-0, the workforce’s largest margin of defeat since 2018. However you have to hand it to Edsall: The man is aware of how you can negotiate a contract, as a result of, positive sufficient, a cautious studying of his retirement paperwork reveals that any decline in efficiency after his departure nets him one other $140 and free subs for per week at any space Quiznos location.
Purchase: Previous-school offense
Army‘s choice confronted off towards high-flying Western Kentucky on Saturday in a distinction in kinds so broad, there would possibly as properly have been a postgame live performance that includes Kenny G opening for Insane Clown Posse. However within the battle of old-school operating video games (Military ran the ball 67 occasions) versus new-school up-tempo passing video games (WKU threw for 435 yards on 42 makes an attempt), it was the choice assault that gained the day with Military prevailing 38-35.
Promote: The over in Commander-in-Chief Cup video games
Air Force topped Navy 23-3 within the first recreation between army academies this season, and the consequence suits properly into some of the constant developments in faculty soccer. Since 2005, 39 of 49 video games have did not hit the Las Vegas complete. Saturday’s over/below was set at an impossibly low 39.5, and but the matchup by no means got here near eclipsing that complete. Air Drive hosts Military on Nov. 6, so mark your calendars to wager on that one, too.
A lot of the prime Heisman contenders had cupcake opponents on the schedule for Week 2, however that did not hold our prime 5 from getting a slight shake-up — even when the identify on the prime did not change.
1. Alabama QB Bryce Young
It was a reasonably pedestrian efficiency towards an FCS opponent for Alabama’s star QB, with Younger finishing 19 of 27 passes for 227 yards, however remember, Mercer has a knack for shutting down stars. The Bears as soon as held Jabari Parker to 4-of-14 taking pictures and beat Duke within the NCAA match. Compared, Younger had an awesome day.
2. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral
The unhealthy information is, there have been no canine within the stands to witness Corral’s newest passing feats. The excellent news is, Corral’s Heisman marketing campaign has rocketed into critical contender standing prior to now week, first with a dominant efficiency towards Ole Miss, after which, 5 days later, one other simple win over Austin Peay. Corral might all however safe the award by beating Alabama on Oct. 2 or throwing a touchdown to a golden retriever within the Egg Bowl. Fingers crossed for the latter.
3. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler
Rattler shook off the Week 1 struggles towards an overmatched Western Carolina, throwing extra first-quarter TDs Saturday (two) than he threw within the recreation towards Tulane (one). After all, he’ll have an opportunity to kick his Heisman marketing campaign (and the “Fireplace Scott Frost” marketing campaign) into overdrive subsequent week when the Sooners host Nebraska.
4. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud
It is laborious guilty Stroud for the Buckeyes’ loss. He was terrific — 484 yards and three TDs, with three totally different 100-yard receivers — till a ultimate interception ended issues. However Stroud received little assist. The bottom recreation did not do a lot (simply 4.1 yards/rush), and the protection could not get off the sphere when it needed to.
5. SEC East backup QBs
Georgia leads UAB 35-0 at halftime, and Stetson Bennett has already tied the Bulldogs’ single-game report for landing passes with 5.
Can we give a gaggle award to Florida’s Richardson, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett (who filled in for an injured J.T. Daniels towards UAB) and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker (who got here on in reduction of Joe Milton and almost led the Volunteers to a come-from-behind win over Pitt)? Mixed, the three backup QBs within the SEC East completed 28-of-36 passing for 629 yards, ran for one more 183 and tallied 10 complete touchdowns with only one interception. Add in South Carolina profitable its second straight with grad assistant-turned-starting QB Zeb Noland, and the SEC East can rightfully declare to be the perfect division for backup QBs within the nation. Texas A&M might be taught one thing right here.
Beneath-the-radar Play of the Week
Nothing generates buzz on a school soccer Saturday like some really epic punting, so by no means thoughts the truth that Buffalo misplaced its recreation at Nebraska. The actual information was the 81-yard punt late within the first half — the longest punt of 2021 to date. Not impressed? Oh, we forgot to say, it was Buffalo QB Kyle Vantrease who delivered the kick. It wasn’t totally out of character. Vantrease labored as a punter in 2019 earlier than taking on because the workforce’s beginning QB, and he added a 42-yard boot towards Ball State final season.
Buffalo QB Kyle Vantrease punts the ball out of the shotgun, touchdown it 81 yards into the tip zone for a touchback.
Beneath-the-radar Sport of the Week
Northern Illinois did not win a recreation in 2020, nevertheless it’s been among the many most enjoyable groups to look at to date in 2021. Per week after the Huskies transformed a two-point try with lower than a minute to play to stun Georgia Tech, they almost pulled off one other dramatic comeback.
Trailing Wyoming 42-16 halfway by means of the third quarter, NIU QB (and Flash Gordon look-alike contest winner) Rocky Lombardi led three TD drives in seven minutes to drag the Huskies to 42-36. NIU received the ball again once more with 9:58 to go and marched 45 yards on 10 performs for the TD and a one-point lead.
Sadly, the magic wore off within the ultimate 5 minutes of motion, with Wyoming going 75 yards for a landing of its personal to safe a 50-43 win.
Nonetheless, NIU was the primary workforce to path by a minimum of 26 within the third quarter of a recreation and maintain a lead within the fourth quarter of the identical recreation since Colorado State did it towards San Jose State in 2018. It is simply the fifth time that is been executed prior to now decade.