I must say, this was a great week of college football. No earth shattering upsets necessarily, but definitely a lot of close exciting games.
The morning started with some great SEC action as Arkansas won a close contest @Georgia on a TD ppass late in the 4th quarter. AJ Green, Georgia’s preseason Heisman hopeful, appealed NCAA ruling to be suspended for the first 4 games. The NCAA upheld the suspension and Green watched from the sidelines.
Ryan Mallet, Arkansas’ own Heisman probable candidate QB, led the Razorbacks down the field 60 yards with a little over a minute left in the 4th quarter to put Arkansas up 31-24 with 15, or so, seconds remaining.
Georgia had tied the game at 24 just the series before Arkansas’ winning drive.
Michigan seemed to struggle a bit early against UMass in the “Big House” Saturday morning. Yes, overall, Michigan clearly outplayed UMass but again, their defense looked vulnerable and let some late scores happen after playing lights out in the 2nd and 3rd quarters.
Denard Robinson, Heisman race frontrunner, accounted for 345 yards and 3 TDs. 2 through the air and one 8 yard rush. He ran for “just” 104 of those yards, throwing for 241.
#1 and #2 Alabama and Ohio State handled their week opponents, cruising to victory. Boise State played an improving Wyoming on the road in Laramie and handled business 50-6.
Texas shook the memory of Michael Crabtree in ’08 in Lubbock, winning 24-14 over Texas Tech.
Other notable victories include #5 Oregon dismantling Portland State 69-0, Florida barely outmuscles Tennessee winning their 3rd straight in Knoxville, 31-17, Nebraska runs away from Washington 56-21, and Wisconsin blocks game-tying point after late in the 4th quarter to edge Arizona State 20-19.
Across the state rival #24 Arizona,though, faring much better in their underdog role this week as they hosted #9 Iowa. Right from the start, Arizona took advantage of opportune moments scoring on a 100+ yard kick return, an 85 yard interception return for a score, and blocking a punt to set up another touchdown drive and went into the half leading 27-7.
Iowa clawed back in the 3rd and 4th quarter to tie the game at 27 with just over 4 minutes to play. Arizona drove down the field, draining clock, and scored on 3rd and goal with time left for one last Iowa drive. The wildcats held, sacking Iowa QB Stanzi on 3rd and 4th down allowing Arizona to run out the clock and seal the victory.
The only other upset, really, was UCLA beating Houston 31-13 and avoiding going 0-3 for the first time since 1971.
Local recap: Utes win big, Heaps gets valuable time, and Aggies can’t stay with Fresno State.
#14 Utah travelled to Albequerque, NM Saturday night to face conference foe New Mexico. Despite Utah miscues in the first half, the defense held the Lobos scoreless and Utah led 21-0 at the half.
Another poor play resulted in 6 points for the Lobo defense when they were able to knock the ball loose from Utah receiver, Luke Matthews and return it for a touchdown. By the end of the game the Utes had put 56 points on the board with plays like Shaky Smithson’s 73 yard punt return for a TD, (his second 70+ yard punt return for a TD in 2 weeks 77 yard return last week). Matt Martinez had an INT return for a TD. And on top of that, backup quarterback Terrance Cain set a school record for single game pass accuracy throwing 20 of 23 against the Lobos.
In short, the Utes are in shape and capable of doing great things this year but have a ways to go before the TCUs and Notre Dames come around.
BYU struggled against a revamped Florida State defense, giving up an INT from Riley Nelson (Nelson played just 2 alternated series going 1 for 4 for 1 yard and an INT) A very rough day for Nelson but no picnic for second half exclusive QB Jake Heaps either. BYU had allowed 0 sacks through the first 2 weeks of the season. Florida State sacked NelsonHeaps 8 times. I think that’s what I’ll call this BYU QB monstrousity…NelsonHeaps. NelsonHeaps led the Cougars well in the second quarter on 2 scoring drives pulling to within 3 points of Florida state and that’s as close as they would come, being outscored 21-0 in the second half. And, in NelsonHeaps defense, the BYU receivers were dropping key passed and injuries to offensive linemen didn’t help him out much either. It appears NelsonHeaps will soon be Heaps. Good news for Cougar fans. Bask in the lack of accountability your team has for sucking this season. Although, I admit Heaps is going to be the real deal.
Aggies fans, good effort today staying with Fresno as long as you did. 3 years ago, Utah State was bottom 10 in the NCAA and now are showing they can hang with the Oklahomas and Fresno States. Gary Anderson is a fantastic coach.
I cannot wait for next weekend. And can’t wait for the latest polls (although little will change of significance besides Iowa’s sure drop and Arizona’s ascent.
Look for 5 things to remember and 5 to forget tomorrow.