How many upsets can you fit into one weekend?!
With no domestic ‘soccer’, the UK college football community went all in on encouraging people to watch week two’s slate of games on Saturday. And, judging by Twitter, there were a fair few newcomers who got involved in the action.
If Texas – Alabama was your first ever taste of Saturday action then consider yourself lucky, and welcome aboard the rollercoaster that is NCAA football.
With so many upsets, there could have been any number of ways to pick this week’s winners and losers… so who made the cut?
So far, so good for the new man at USC. Sure, the Trojans blow out of Rice in week one was probably to be expected, but the way they dominated a decent Stanford side on Saturday should be enough to make the college football world stand up and pay attention.
Realistically, this game was over at half time with Riley’s men up by a score of 35-14. They slowed down in the second half, allowing the Cardinal offense to add 14 points in garbage time to make the score a more respectable 41-28.
From the outside, it can’t be denied that it is the transfers that are the players making all the difference for the Trojans so far. On offense, Caleb Williams looks just as good as he did last year, except now he has Jordan Addison AND Mario Williams to throw the ball to. Both transfer receivers picked up touchdowns on Saturday, with Addison going for 172 yards in total. Impressive.
Not to be outdone, the defensive transfers are also providing a welcome boost. Solomon Byrd added two sacks and two tackles for a loss in his second game after transferring from Wyoming. Shane Lee also added a sack and Mekhi Blackmon picked off Tanner Mckee, both were new additions in the offseason.
With Fresno State, Oregon State and Arizona State the next three for the Trojans, this run could continue for some time.
Sam Hartman is a real favourite at the Full10Yards, he plays the game the right way, he is an excellent leader and he’s turned Wake Forest into a team to take note of every week. So we were concerned when an undisclosed medical condition kept him out of the end of training camp and week one.
Thankfully, Hartman was cleared to return to the programme this week and he went straight back into the starting lineup as the Demon Deacons took on SEC opposition in Vanderbilt. Once the game got underway, it looked like the dominant North Carolina native hadn’t missed a beat.
On the afternoon, Hartman put up 300 yards on 18 completions, four of which went for touchdowns – as Wake used their trademark mesh concept to cause the Commodores all sorts of issues. A.T Perry must be the man most thankful for the return of his veteran QB, he hauled in five passes for 142 yards and a score as he seeks to make his case to NFL scouts around the country.
It’s good to have you back Sam.
Having looked back through some old columns, the Kansas Jayhawks have never featured as a winner before. Well, they thoroughly deserve it this week.
With West Virginia looking to bounce back from their Backyard Brawl defeat, Jalon Daniels and the Jayhawks went to Morgantown to spoil the party. In a dramatic overtime victory, Kansas put up 55 points to upset the odds, including an 86 yard pick six for Cobee Bryant to seal the game.
Daniels isn’t one of the more known signal callers in college football, but he looked every bit the composed starter in this one. The junior threw three touchdowns, without turning the ball over, and added 85 yards on the ground as well.
The win moves the Jayhawks to 2-0, the first time they’ve had that record since 2011. What a time to be alive.
This was a fairly easy place to start the losers section of the column. The Aggies have got so much resource, so much talent and some of the best coaches in CFB, but they’re also THE programme that always flatters to deceive.
With Arkansas and Alabama to come over the next three weeks, the visit of App State was most likely considered a chance to try some new things and play at 75% for Jimbo Fisher and co. Instead it turned into an embarrassing defeat at the hands of Camrun Peoples and the Mountaineer rushing attack.
Haynes King hasn’t done much wrong in the games we’ve seen across the last season and a bit, but the problem is, he hasn’t done anything to make the rest of the CFB world sit up and take notice. On Saturday he passed for a measly 97 yards and fumbled the ball twice, as the entire A&M offense stuttered and balked against a Mountaineer defense that gave up more than 60 points to UNC last weekend.
Things weren’t much better on defense either, a solitary sack and a grand total of zero tackles for a loss probably sums up the performance well. Arkansas will be rubbing their hands together at the thought of KJ Jefferson and Raheim Sanders running downhill at this defense front next weekend.
Cam Newton, Lamar Jackson, Dak Prescott – all names that Anthony Richardson has been compared to since the Florida Gators beat Utah in week one.
Well, predictably the hype was a tad too soon. In week two Richardson struggled against Kentucky, throwing a couple of interceptions, completing less than half of his passes and rushing for a lowly four yards. Obviously football is a team game, and the Gators did very little to support their quarterback, but the highly touted sophomore made some pretty poor mistakes.
With the scores tied at 16 apiece, Richardson stared down his receiver who appeared to be running a comeback route at the first down marker, however the throw was nowhere near and Keidron Smith jumped onto it perfectly for a decisive pick six.
There’s no-one denying that Richardson is talented, but let’s cool on the ridiculous comparisons shall we, Billy Napier?
Another top ten ranked team that ended up being embarrassed by an opponent who many wouldn’t have even backed to cover the spread.
After a week one defeat to Ohio State, there were still a lot of plaudits for the Fighting Irish, they’d limited a particularly potent Buckeyes offense and were in the game for long periods. So, a return to home soil against a Marshall side that had lost their starting quarterback in the off season presumably felt like the time to really kick off the season.
Instead, the Thundering Herd came to play in style. Up 9-7 at the break, Henry Colombi and co never took their foot off the accelerator as they forced the Irish defense to adjust throughout the second half. But, it was the Notre Dame offense that literally ended up throwing the game away with three fourth quarter interceptions. Tyler Buchner forced the first of the three into tight coverage, only to see Steven Gilmore make an excellent play on the ball and carry it back into the end zone. Buchner then threw another ugly pick, before being replaced by Drew Pyne who did exactly the same thing.
Back to the drawing board for Marcus Freeman ahead of a week three clash with the Cal Bears.
By Andy Moore – @ajmoore21