Week two of college football is officially in the books! Georgia defeated South Carolina handily in Columbia in one of the most anticipated games on the slate. Stanford shut down USC in Palo Alto in an annual Pac-12 scrum. Colorado and Nebraska played a tight game. Week two featured plenty of one sided high scoring affairs. A kicker was ejected for targeting and much more. This is the last word on college football week two edition.
Tigers and Aggies
Clemson’s 28-26 victory over Texas A&M revealed a handful of callouts. Let’s start with Clemson. First, the Tigers back seven on defense was exploited by A&M. They experienced several lapses, which allowed for multiple open receivers leading to big plays. Secondly, Clemson struggled to convert third downs as evidenced by going four of 13 in such situations. Lastly, there is still a quarterback conundrum, despite Kelly Bryant playing so well. Trevor Lawrence gave us a glimpse into the future with a couple of dazzling throws. Tee Higgins made a great snag on one of those, taking it to the house.
As for Texas A&M, there are numerous positives to glean from the loss. Defensively, they played solidly. As a team, they recorded seven tackles for loss, which is a great sign. The biggest takeaway overall is how well Kellen Mond played, particularly in the second half. He avoided interceptions, showed poise and made good decisions. He finished the game 23 of 40 for 430 yards with 3 touchdowns. If not for losing a couple of fumbles, including the controversial one at the end through the end zone, A&M might have pulled the upset.
Bench Brandon Wimbush?
Brandon Wimbush was not particularly impressive in the week one victory over Michigan. It was overlooked in large part because Michigan’s defense is so stout. In addition to that, he was able to make plays on the ground against them. However, he only completed 12 of 22 passes for 170 yards with a TD and an interception.
This week against Ball State, despite winning 24-16, Wimbush struggled mightily. He completed 17 of 31 passes for 297 yards. That does not seem terrible on the surface until you realize he threw three interceptions. Additionally, he was not effective on the ground whatsoever and was sacked four times.
Ian Book is not the long term answer. Phil Jurkovec, the freshman, is the future of Notre Dame football. He has an accurate, strong arm while adding decent mobility. Brian Kelly might have to switch it up, especially if Wimbush continues to struggle.
No more streaking!
Kentucky finally did it! They ended a 31 game losing streak to Florida in Gainesville with an impressive 27-16 victory. UK outrushed UF 303 to 128 while forcing two turnovers. Quarterback Terry Wilson was effective, passing for 151 yards along with two touchdowns while rushing for 105 and a TD. Benny Snell added 175 yards on the ground. For Florida, it is back to the drawing board offensively.
Kansas snapped their 46 game road losing streak with their 31-7 victory at Central Michigan. Wait, Kansas actually beat a FBS team? Yes, as a matter of fact, they did. The victory over the Chippewas turns out to be their first FBS victory since beating, ahem, Texas in 2016. Kansas gets Rutgers at home next week as they attempt to make it two wins in a row.
North Carolina has issues
North Carolina has an abundance of issues, which were further exposed during the 41-19 loss to East Carolina. This is the same East Carolina squad who lost to FCS North Carolina A&T in week one. UNC does have a rash of suspensions. Based on how fortunes have progressed downwardly, the heat is on Larry Fedora to run things around. North Carolina has struggled since a 7-2 start in 2016. They have gone 4-14 in their last 18 games. Out of those four wins, only one is against a FBS opponent.
What is going on Kevin Sumlin?
The transition from Rich Rodriguez to Kevin Sumlin is off to a rough 0-2 start. Arizona did practically nothing on offense until the fourth quarter in the 45-18 loss to a dangerous Houston squad on Saturday. The Wildcats simply looked lost on defense at times.
The main issue is the inability to get Khalil Tate going. Last year, Tate’s success was predicated on him being able to make plays with his legs. Kevin Sumlin looks as if he is determined to make Tate a pocket passer, which is clearly not a brilliant idea. Tate has only completed 51.9% of his passes so far thru two games with one TD and two interceptions. He has recorded only 15 rushing attempts for 22 yards. Let Khalil Tate do what he is best at. Use his legs to your advantage Arizona!
Georgia, still the top dogs in the East
So much for South Carolina being ready to hang with the defending SEC champs, Georgia. The Bulldogs flexed their muscle quickly in a convincing 41-17 win in Columbia. UGA outgained the Gamecocks 473 to 336, including 271 to 54 on the ground. They forced two South Carolina turnovers, both of which were interceptions thrown by quarterback Jake Bentley. Georgia accumulated six tackles for loss along with a couple of quarterback hurries. Simply put, this was pure dominance by the SEC East’s power team.
Time to give Hawaii props
With their 43-29 victory over Rice this week, Hawaii picked up their third win of the season. That matches their win total from all of last season. Sitting at 3-0, the Rainbow Warriors are currently averaging 48.3 points and 540 yards per game. They converted five of five fourth down attempts. Additionally, they have converted at a 45% rate on third downs. Quarterback Cole McDonald has completed 70.3% of his passes for 1,165 yards along with 13 TD’s. This might be a team to keep an eye on in the Mountain West Conference.
Evidently the number 62 is popular
Five teams hit exactly 62 points scored, all in blowouts. Boise State, Oregon, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College accomplished that feat. Two teams hit 77 points as Miami (FL) and Texas Tech scored 77-0 wins over FCS opponents. Ole Miss defeated Southern Illinois 79-41. In total, 23 teams scored 50 points or more in their games with a host of others registering 40 or more.
Low scoring affairs
If you hate offense and/or love defense, then these were the games for you. You had the exhilarating 13-3 Iowa victory over Iowa State. Additionally, Utah defeated Northern Illinois 17-6 in an exciting affair. Plus you had Stanford toppling USC 17-3. Arizona State beat Michigan State 16-13. California squeezed by BYU 21-18 and well, we will stop there.
New Years Six Buster?
Fresno State is a team who came into 2018 with serious aspirations. They certainly have the pieces to achieve a New Years Six bowl appearance. Obviously, they would need to win the Mountain West Conference, likely in undefeated fashion. Winning important matchups at Minnesota and UCLA were musts as well. The Golden Gophers had other plans as they defeated the Bulldogs 21-14 in Minneapolis. Minnesota’s defense was particularly impressive holding down the potent Fresno State offense to just 14 points and 299 yards gained.
Despite being outgained 476-416 while giving up 341 rushing yards, Eastern Michigan pulled off the upset win over Purdue. The Eagles won the game in West Lafayette 20-19. If all you did was look at the stat sheet, you might assume Purdue won. Eastern Michigan was simply much more efficient in the air. They also played solid defense. Those factors combined turned out to be the winning formula.
Colorado State was off to a slow 0-2 start going into a home battle with Arkansas. They were down 27-9 to the Hogs with 18 minutes remaining. The Rams eventually erased that deficit thanks to scoring 25 straight points in the last 18 minutes of the game. Ultimately, they won the game 34-27. In doing so, Colorado State became the first Mountain West team to beat a SEC team since 2011.
Hard to win when
Georgia Tech gets the dubious distinction of inclusion in this section. The Yellow Jackets put up 602 yards against South Florida. Despite that, they lost 49-38. Why did they lose? They converted only three of 12 third down attempts. Additionally, they turned the ball over three times while committing eight penalties. Certainly not ideal.
You do not see this every day moment
Liberty punter Aidan Alves was ejected from the game against Army due to targeting. Yes you read that correctly. Alves went for it too, going head first into Army’s Mike Reynolds. This could have turned out badly for both players, but thankfully they were okay.
Two more notes
Colorado vs Nebraska was arguably the best game of the day. Colorado ruined Scott Frost’s debut as Nebraska’s coach with a 33-28 victory in Lincoln. Steven Montez threw a beautiful 40 yard touchdown to Laviska Shenault which put the Buffs ahead for good. Nebraska had a chance to win in the last minute, driving down to the 20 yard line. The drive stalled there and Colorado won this rekindling of the old Big 12/Big 8 rivalry. Star freshman quarterback Adrian Martinez left in the fourth quarter due to an injury. On a bright note for the Cornhuskers. They had 14 tackles for loss and seven sacks on defense as a team.
Oklahoma running back Rodney Anderson suffered a season ending knee injury vs UCLA. This will be the third season Anderson has lost to injury while at OU. That means Trey Sermon will get the bulk of the work at running back for the Sooners.
We continue the last word on college football week two edition with the weekends best stats, not already included above.
Tua Tagovailoa – Alabama – 13 of 19 for 228 yards 4 TD’s, 4 carries 20 yards
Dwayne Haskins – Ohio State – 20 of 23 for 233 yards 4 TD’s
Tate Martell – Ohio State – 10 of 10 for 121 yards 1 TD, 8 carries 95 yards 1 TD
Kyler Murray – Oklahoma – 19 of 33 for 306 yards 3 TD’s, 10 carries 69 yards 2 TD’s
Will Grier – West Virginia – 21 of 26 for 332 yards 4 TD’s
Brett Rypien – Boise State – 21 of 28 for 362 yards 3 TD’s
Brent Stockstill – Middle Tennessee State – 23 of 32 for 396 yards 5 TD’s
Ryan Finley – NC State – 31 of 38 for 370 yards 2 TD’s
Chris Robison – Florida Atlantic – 33 of 40 for 471 yards 3 TD’s
Jordan Ta’amu – Ole Miss – 23 of 33 for 448 yards 5 TD’s
Drew Lock – Missouri – 33 of 45 for 398 yards 4 TD’s
Cole McDonald – Hawaii – 22 of 33 for 319 yards 4 TD’s, 8 carries 43 yards
Najee Harris – Alabama – 13 carries 135 yards 1 TD
Jonathan Taylor – Wisconsin – 33 carries 253 yards 3 TD’s
Bryce Love – Stanford – 22 carries 136 yards 1 TD
Kylin Hill – Mississippi State – 17 carries 211 yards 2 TD’s, 1 catch 16 yards 1 TD
Alexander Mattison – Boise State – 11 carries 115 yards 2 TD’s
Karan Higdon – Michigan – 13 carries 156 yards 1 TD
D.J Knox – Purdue – 21 carries 152 yards 1 TD
A.J Dillon – Boston College – 6 carries 149 yards 3 TD’s
Kevin Marks – Buffalo – 25 carries 138 yards 2 TD’s
Darrell Henderson – Memphis – 13 carries 212 yards 3 TD’s, 1 catch 18 yards, 3 kick returns 43 yards
Ty Johnson – Maryland – 12 carries 124 yards 1 TD
Marcus Outlow – Coastal Carolina – 20 carries 140 yards 2 TD’s
Devwah Whaley – Arkansas – 26 carries 165 yards 1 TD
Benny Snell – Kentucky – 27 carries 175 yards
Stevie Scott – Indiana – 31 carries 204 yards 1 TD
Jermar Jefferson – Oregon State – 22 carries 238 yards 4 TD’s, 3 catches 27 yards
Lexington Thomas – UNLV – 17 carries 127 yards 2 TD’s
KaVontae Turpin – TCU – 4 catches 64 yards 1 TD, 3 kick returns 112 yards 1 TD
Tee Higgins – Clemson – 3 catches 123 yards 1 TD
Kendrick Rogers – Texas A&M – 7 catches 120 yards 2 TD’s
Mecole Hardman – Georgia – 6 catches 103 yards 1 TD, 1 carry 30 yards
Bryan Edwards – South Carolina – 7 catches 111 yards 2 TD’s
A. J Taylor – Wisconsin – 5 catches 134 yards 1 TD
CeeDee Lamb – Oklahoma – 7 catches 146 yards 1 TD
Patrick Smith – Middle Tennessee State – 6 catches 84 yards 3 TD’s
Damian King – Liberty – 8 catches 172 yards 1 TD
Jovon Durante – Florida Atlantic – 12 catches 174 yards 1 TD
Laviska Shenault Jr – Colorado – 10 catches, 177 yards 1 TD, 1 rushing TD
A.J Brown – Ole Miss – 8 catches 158 yards 2 TD’s
Emanuel Hall – Missouri – 10 catches 171 yards 1 TD
Jalen Hurd – Baylor – 8 catches 136 yards 1 TD
Preston Williams – Colorado State – 12 catches 154 yards 2 TD’s
Tylan Wallace – Oklahoma State – 10 catches 166 yards 1 TD
John Ursua – Hawaii – 9 catches 133 yards 1 TD
Terrence Horne – South Florida – 5 kick returns 264 yards 2 TD’s
Clelin Ferrell – Clemson – 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 3 quarterback hurries
Otaro Alaka – Texas A&M – 10 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss
Curtis Bolton – Oklahoma – 8 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1.5 sacks, 1 quarterback hurry
Te’Von Coney – Notre Dame – 14 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 1 quarterback hurry
Julian Love – Notre Dame – 8 tackles, 4 pass deflections
Jalen Elliott – Notre Dame – 7 tackles, 2 interceptions
Byron Murphy – Washington – 5 tackles, 3 pass deflections
Frank Buncom – Stanford – 6 tackles, 3 pass deflections
Malik Antoine – Stanford – 2 interceptions
Gregory Grate Jr – Middle Tennessee State – 7 tackles, 1 sack, 1 97 yard interception return TD
Josh Smith – Vanderbilt – 10 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 pass deflection
Colin Schooler – Arizona – 9 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 pass deflection, 2 quarterback hurries
Ed Oliver – Houston – 5 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 pass deflection, 4 quarterback hurries
Joe Giles-Harris – Duke – 10 tackles, 0.5 sack, 2 pass deflections, 2 quarterback hurries
Michael Carter – Duke – 8 tackles, 3 pass deflection, 1 interception
Joe Gaziano – Northwestern – 5 tackles, 4 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 quarterback hurry
Cornel Jones – Purdue – 9 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, 2.5 sacks
Elijah Riley – Army – 5 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, 3 pass deflections
Joe Dineen – Kansas – 14 tackles, 0.5 tackles for loss, 1 quarterback hurry
Malik Fountain – Central Michigan – 13 tackles, 1 quarterback hurry
Nate Landman – Colorado – 13 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 1 interception
Khalil Hodge – Buffalo – 10 tackles, 1.5 tackles for loss, 2 pass deflections
Rock Ya-Sin – Temple – 7 tackles, 3 pass deflections
A.J Epenesa – Iowa – 5 tackles, 2 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 pass deflection
Chase Hancock – Marshall – 12 tackles, 1 tackles for loss, 1 sack, 2 pass deflections
Donald Louis Jr – Louisiana Monroe – 6 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
Josh Watson – Colorado State – 12 tackles, 1 pass deflection, 2 quarterback hurries
Chase Hansen – Utah – 12 tackles, 2.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks, 1 quarterback hurry, 1 interception return TD
Sutton Smith – Northern Illinois – 8 tackles, 4.5 tackles for loss, 2 sacks
Joey Blount – Virginia – 13 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection
Jeffrey Allison – Fresno State – 15 tackles, 1 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection
Lawrence Garner – Old Dominion – 16 tackles
Terrill Hanks – New Mexico State – 19 tackles, 3 tackles for loss, 1 pass deflection
Aaron Wade – Utah State – 10 tackles, 0.5 tackle for loss, 1 pass deflection, 2 interceptions
Dalton Baker – UNLV – 14 tackles, 1 tackle for loss
Evan Weaver – California – 12 tackles, 3 pass deflections, 1 quarterback hurry
Looking ahead to next week
What are the biggest week three matchups?
LSU (2-0) at Auburn (2-0) – Both of these squads have already notched big time wins. Interesting note: the visiting team has lost 16 of the last 18 matchups between these two.
West Virginia (2-0) at NC State (2-0) – This matchup is a prove it game for both of these teams, particularly NC State. The key will be how well the revamped defensive line of NC State plays against West Virginia’s experienced offensive line.
Boise State (2-0) at Oklahoma State (2-0) – This is a fantastic non conference matchup. Oklahoma State has essentially played two preseason games while Boise State snagged a solid win at Troy before destroying UConn. This is the first meeting between the two programs.
Ohio State (2-0) vs TCU (2-0) (In Arlington) – With Urban Meyer suspended, this game is the biggest potential concern for the Buckeyes. This game has more of a “how close can TCU keep it” feel vs “will Ohio State survive without Meyer” feel.
USC (1-1) at Texas (1-1) – USC was victorious, 27-24, in a double overtime thriller last year. Both teams are coming off of lackluster starts to their seasons. How well Todd Orlando’s defense schemes and puts pressure on USC freshman quarterback JT Daniels will determine much of how this game transpires. Sam Ehlinger will need to consistently make good decisions as well.
Washington (1-1) at Utah (2-0) – We will find out a lot about these teams as they open up Pac-12 play in Salt Lake City. The Huskies have already lost to Auburn while not looking all that impressive against North Dakota. Utah scraped by NIU this week while defeating Weber State week one.
Other important games: Fresno State at UCLA, Houston at Texas Tech, Miami (FL) at Toledo, Arizona State at San Diego State, Alabama at Ole Miss
Presented here, was your last word on college football week two edition. Plenty of takeaways, big moments and great stats. Week three promises to be another eventful week. Be ready for another edition of last word on college football in a week!
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