Week 2 saw it’s share of early impressions; Oregon QB Vernon Adams made his first start in a harsh environment and LSU has no intentions of missing a beat on the road. Also Arkansas got upset by a rocket.
1. After losing on the road, Oregon is still in fantastic shape
The Ducks’ were an overthrow from Vernon Adams away from escaping East Lansing victorious. But really this shouldn’t hurt Oregon at all. Mark Helfrich was smart to schedule a tough road test early, as this should help improve his team’s confidence as they dive into Pac 12 play in the coming weeks.
For his first real road atmosphere, Oregon’s new QB Vernon Adams made some very intelligent plays…and some very high risk interceptions. Early on as the game developed it was easily apparent that Adams was rattled from Michigan State’s pass rush. His stat line was above average, throwing for 309 yards and 1 TD. Despite some poor reads and overthrown balls, Adams did well improvising. He even threw a pass left-handed.
The win for Michigan State puts them in great shape for the College Football Playoff, though a late November home game against Ohio State in Columbus still determines the Spartans fate.
2. Tennessee almost snapped their losing streak to ranked opponents…almost
Yep, Butch Jones has to feel sick to his stomach after letting Oklahoma get away on their home turf. The loss to Oklahoma now marks the 28th out of 29 losses to ranked opponents for the Volunteers. Even with the loss, there were defining moments during the game.
First off, Tennessee finally found a rhythm on offense, which is something they haven’t had in years. QB Josh Dobbs kept it simple and never got killed with the big play. Jalen Hurd was supposed to be a reliable ground threat this season and so far he has delivered. Hurd ran for 106 yards on 24 carries.
Unfortunately, Tennessee’s secondary had no answer for QB Baker Mayfield and WR Sterling Shepard late. Mayfield’s night wasn’t spectacular (19/39, 187 yds, 3 TDs and 2 INTs) but he couldn’t be stopped when the Sooners needed him the most. Mayfield connected to Shepard late twice, once in the 4th quarter and again in 2OT.
Tennessee no doubt has improved, but the Volunteers need more help defensively or else they will have a tough time winning in a wide-open SEC East division. Bob Stoops has to be happy that his team fought hard to come back from a 17-0 deficit.
3. Notre Dame survived nuclear explosion at Virginia. Lose Zaire for the season
Notre Dame started off hot at an uprising UVA Cavaliers squad, who is still trying to find an identity. But then Malik Zaire fractured an ankle, and temporarily so did the Irish’s offense. Thankfully for Brian Kelly, Zaire’s backup DeShone Kizer saved them by stepping up late in the 4th quarter by establishing tempo amid confusion. Kizer threw for 92 yards and went 8/12 from the field. His two touchdowns were big, but none were bigger than a game winning heave to Will Fuller.
Now that Zaire went down, this adds to the untimely injuries to the Notre Dame offense, which will now head home to face 14th ranked Georgia Tech without QB Malik Zaire and tail back Tarean Folston. This will be a huge mountain upcoming for the Irish as they face two Top 15 teams in a span of three weeks. Replacing Folston hasn’t disturbed their offense yet, with C.J. Proisse picking up the leftover load. However, time will tell to how much trust can be put into Kizer’s hands for the remainder of the season.
Overrated or Underrated? The teams that should be given a second look
Two weeks into the season and it should be stated that Auburn doesn’t belong in the Top 10, well at least for now. After escaping an almost appalling upset to Jacksonville State, where the Tigers trailed by seven late in the 4th quarter, they haven’t looked like the SEC West threat everyone had previously thought. Jeremy Johnson is the main cause for their tumultuous start offensively. Johnson’s timing so far through two games has been shaky. Already, five interceptions have been thrown by Johnson and Auburn needs him firing at all cylinders next week as they travel to LSU then host Mississippi State the following week.
Don’t tell BYU that Taysom Hill will be missed for the season because Tanner Magum showed up big in the spot light for the Cougars. In Mangum’s first ever start, his 17/28 passing and 319 yards helped rally BYU late to scoring 21 unanswered in the 4th quarter. BYU’s next task will be to knock off 10th ranked UCLA in Pasadena, if things go their way there is a good chance that BYU may very well be looking at a perfect regular season.
Top performers in Week 2:
- QB Matt Johnson (BGSU)- 36/55, 491 yards, 6 TDs against Maryland
- QB Luke Falk (Washington St.)- 47/66, 478,yards 4 TDs against Rutgers
- QB Tyler Rogers (NMSU)- 31/55, 445 yards, 3 TDs against Georgia State
- RB Dalvin Cook (FSU)– 30 carries for 266 yards and 3 TDs against USF
- RB Brian Hill (Wyoming)– 21 carries for 242 yards and 2 TDs against Eastern Michigan
- RB Ray Lawry (Old Dominion)– 31 carries for 215 yards and 2 TDs against Norfolk State
- WR Tyrain Taylor (NMSU)- 10 receptions, 206 yards, 2 TDs against Georgia State
- WR Roger Lewis (BGSU)– 15 receptions, 200 yards, 2 TDs against Maryland
- WR JuJu Smith (USC)– 10 receptions, 192 yards, 2 TDs against Idaho