The Good, The Bad And The NCAA
Week 2 In the College world brought out some really Good Play! Some teams pulled ahead, and some team showed us the Flaws! How did your team do? And whats next. Those are the questions for today!
After three weekends of results, narratives are steadily being formed surrounding college football’s most intriguing teams, players and coaches. Boiled down, the takeaways from even this limited sample size fit into two categories: pleasant surprises or terrible, woeful, the-sky-is-falling disappointments. (There’s little room for gray area, as always.)
On the positive side, there may be no bigger surprise than the Heisman Trophy-level play of Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts, who across two games since transferring from Alabama has more touchdowns, nine, than incomplete passes, seven. Hurts has averaged 14.4 yards per pass attempt and 9.3 yards per carry in wins against Houston and South Dakota, and leads the Bowl Subdivision in averaging 12.5 yards per play.
The numbers won’t hold, only because it’s impossible to imagine any player — even the starting quarterback for Lincoln Riley and Oklahoma — staying this hot as the schedule rises in difficulty. Still, it’s worth mentioning: Kyler Murray averaged 10.4 yards per play in winning the Heisman last season, and Baker Mayfield averaged 9.9 yards per play in doing the same a year earlier.
Week 2 of the college football season welcomed us with blowouts, overtimes and Joe Burrow. The LSU quarterback has cracked the top 3 thanks to his performance against Texas. 1. Jalen Hurts, QB, Oklahoma 2. Tua Tagovailoa, QB, Alabama 3. Joe Burrow, QB, LSU4. Jonathan Taylor, RB, Wisconsin 5. Justin Fields, QB, Ohio State
Here is some input from Week 2.
No. 17 UCF will get quarterback Darriel Mack back in time to play Stanford in Week 3. However, the Cardinal are getting their own signal-caller back in time for Saturday’s game.
In a good news/bad news situation, Stanford coach David Shaw said on Tuesday that K.J. Costello is available after missing last week’s loss to USC with a head injury. Davis Mills started for the Cardinal in the 45-20 loss to the Trojans, throwing for 237 yards, a touchdown and an interception.
Costello took a brutal hit to the head from Northwestern’s Earnest Brown in Week 1. The hit caused Costello’s head to slam against the turf as he was sliding to give himself up. He was 16-of-20 passing for 152 yards and one touchdown in the first half prior to the injury. Getting Costello back in time for this key early-season non conference road game is huge for the Cardinal. Costello was named to the second team of the preseason All Pac-12 team by the media. He threw for 3,540 yards and 29 touchdowns as a sophomore in 2018.
However, the Cardinal will be without one tackle, Walker Little, and likely another, Foster Sarell. Little will have season-ending surgery on an apparent leg injury that he also suffered in the Northwestern game. Little was originally scheduled to miss at least six weeks, per Bruce Feldman of the Athletic. Walker was a preseason first-team All America selection by CBS Sports and other publications. The Athletic’s latest 2020 NFL mock draft has Walker as a top-10 selection.
Florida State coach Willie Taggart didn’t mince words when addressing his team’s defensive performance so far this season. Taggart was specifically asked about the way his defense performed during the second half in a 45-44 overtime win against Louisiana-Monroe, and paused for about five seconds before answering the question during his weekly media availability on Monday.
“No, I wasn’t happy with the way our defense played,” Taggart said. “I don’t think anyone was happy. I don’t think our defense was happy or anyone associated with Florida State football was happy with the way our defense played. We have to play better. We have to make sure we find ways to make sure we fix the problems and make sure we put our guys in the best position to make plays.”
The Georgia defense came up big in the fourth quarter forcing a turnover after USF had a first and goal from the one. Tackle TK Chimedza’s fumble recovery on the three yard line stopped the drive and preserved the Jackets first win of the season. Back to back USF 15 yard penalties on the Jackets final possession enabled Tech to take a knee three times and run out the clock.
Jordan Mason led the Jacket offense with 99 yards net rushing. Linebacker Charlie Thomas led the defense with 9 tackles 7 of which were solo. Thomas also had 2 sacks, 2 tackles for a loss, and a forced fumble. Georgia Tech’s three quarterbacks were a combined 14-21 passing with 1 interception. They also had 86 yards net rushing.
Will Week 3 produce one of college football’s noteworthy early-season upsets?
Clemson, Alabama, Oklahoma and Ohio State all go on the road as double-digit favorites this weekend, hoping to avoid an unexpected trip-up inside the Top 5. For the Crimson Tide, they’ll return to the site of their last loss vs. a team from the SEC East, Williams Brice Stadium in Columbia, South Carolina.
Notes for the WEEK:
Quarterback K.J. Costello will be back on the field for Stanford on Saturday but the Cardinal will be missing another offensive standout. Coach David Shaw announced Costello’s return on Tuesday at the same time that he said tackle Walker Little will be undergoing season-ending surgery on his left knee. “We hope to get him full go for next season,” Shaw said.
Nick Starkel has been named Arkansas’ starting quarterback. Starkel, a graduate transfer who previously played for Texas A&M, will replace Ben Hicks for Saturday’s game against Colorado State. After Hicks struggled Saturday against Mississippi, Starkel stepped in and went 17-for-24 for 201 yards and a touchdown.