Weekly College Football Recap and Preview
By: Tycen Gray
Week 3 Recap
Week 3 may have already determined the powerhouses of the college football season, as well as signifying who the overrated squads are. The nation was treated to yet another nonstop action Saturday that was able to exuberate everything that college football represents.
Ole Miss has always seemed to give Alabama a scare in their annual rivalry matchup, and the Rebels even have the tendency to upset the repeatedly top-ranked Crimson Tide. All signs showed continuation of this trend, as Jordan Ta’amu tossed a 75-yard touchdown pass to D.K. Metcalf on Mississippi’s first play from scrimmage. From that point on however, the top team in the nation, Bama, gathered their bearings and utilized a complete team effort to rip off 62 unanswered points in a gigantic blowout of the Rebels from Oxford.
An intriguing competition that featured #4 Ohio State and #15 TCU took place in the immaculate AT&T Stadium in Dallas, Texas, and proved to be a gem of a game. Talent was fully showcased on the turf, as both quarterbacks threw for over 300 yards and both running backs rushed for over 100 yards. In the third quarter, Ohio State was able to use two touchdown passes from sophomore Dwayne Haskins and a defensive touchdown to score a total of three touchdowns in a matter of four minutes. At the end of regulation, the Buckeyes claimed a 40-28 victory over the Horned Frogs.
Maybe the most surprising result of the young season took place in Madison, Wisconsin this past weekend. BYU made the trip to Camp Randall Stadium to trip up the Wisconsin Badgers. The Cougars were physical all night, with Squally Canada squeaking out 118 yards on just 11 rushing attempts. While the numbers do not show indication of just how Brigham Young swept the Badgers off their feet, the Cougars capitalized on ever Wisconsin mistake and made big plays when necessary. A missed field goal from 42 yards out in the final minute sealed the Badgers’ fate, and the unranked Cougars escaped with a 24-21 upset over the #6 Wisconsin Badgers.
The titled “Game of the Day’ from last week’s article lived up to the hype. The #7 Auburn Tigers hosted the #12 LSU Tigers in the weekly SEC CBS slot. Both teams put their high octane defenses on display, and two southern ball coaches duked it out for a full 60 minutes. With Auburn holding a 21-19 lead, the Tigers from Baton Rouge initiated their two-minute drill offense, and after a controversial pass interference call on Auburn’s end of the field, LSU was able to set graduate transfer Cole Tracy for a 42 yard field goal that he nailed right down the pipe. Jordan-Hare Stadium was silenced as LSU rushed the field in glory of their 22-21 win. Joe Burrow made all the right throws in the game, amassing 249 yards and a touchdown in a losing effort.
Another ranked battle occurred in Stillwater, Oklahoma, as #17 Boise State came in looking to continue their trend of knocking off Power 5 teams against #24 Oklahoma State. However, the Cowboys of OSU used their defense and special teams to bring pressure and cause havoc on the Broncos side of the ball all night. Brett Rypien went 39-56 with 380 yards in a losing effort, as the Pokes consistently were in his face and then blocking a punt for a touchdown on special teams. Justice Hill paced the ‘Boys with 123 yards a touchdown on the ground in a 44-21 win.
A rematch of the 2006 National Championship, #22 USC faced off against Texas in Austin in a blue-blood newfound rivalry game. While freshman connection JT Daniels and Amon-Ra St. Brown dazzled, Texas proved that they were big again (for the time being). The Trojans from SoCal jumped out to an early 14-3 lead in the first quarter, but the Longhorns made Matthew McConaughey proud by rattling off 34 straight on the Trojans, putting eyes back on the ‘Horns as they prove they still could be for real. Highlight plays churned the run for Texas as they shock USC 37-14 in their house.
The #FirmForHerm hashtag ran up on some adversity in San Diego as the #23 Arizona State took their first trip away from home to meet up further west with the San Diego State Aztecs. The Aztecs continue their string of high caliber threats in their backfield at the running back position as Juwan Washington totaled 138 yards and one touchdown with his legs. Manny Wilkins’ 341 yards were enough to make the game a close one, but not enough to bring the Sun Devils a 3-0 start, as SDSU pulled off the late night upset on their home turf.
Week 4 Predictions
*Running Record: 6-0*
Thursday Night Game: Tulsa @ Temple (6:30 PM CT; ESPN)
Both teams walk in at 1-2, Tulsa losing two close ones to Texas and Arkansas State and beating FCS Central Arkansas. Temple lost to FCS Villanova but upset Maryland fairly handily. Both teams play a more laid back type of game, where clock control is emphasis. However, Temple is riding high with their Power 5 win and their overall offensive balance. Owls get the job done with execution, control, and run defense.
Prediction: Temple 23, Tulsa 17
Friday Evening Event: Florida Atlantic @ #16 UCF (6:00 PM CT; ESPN)
Florida Atlantic is picking up steam with two wins after being dismantled by Oklahoma in Week 1. UCF is still looking for a challenge after drilling Connecticut and South Carolina State in their first two contests. The Knights of Central Florida are riding heavy on preseason Heisman candidate McKenzie Milton’s arm. If Week 1 is any indication, FAU does not possess the strongest of secondaries. However, there is enough talent on the Owls sideline, along with an in-state matchup, that will make this game interesting. In terms of talent though, UCF just has more.
Prediction: UCF 40, FAU 27
Friday Night Event: Washington State @ USC (9:30 PM CT; ESPN)
Washington State is silently making its case for cracking the rankings, as they stand at 3-0 (albeit against a suspect schedule). They begin their conference play with the young USC team that is coming off their upset loss in the Lone Star State. Mike Leach continues to prey on opposing defenses with his air raid offense, as Cougars quarterback Gardner Minshew has averaged over 400 passing yards across the past 3 games. USC let an average Longhorns offense put 37 up on the scoreboard, and it could even get uglier with Wazzu ready to prove their point.
Prediction: Washington State 55, USC 33
Early Saturday Matchup: #2 Georgia @ Missouri (11:00 AM CT; ESPN)
There is no doubt the Georgia can play some football. They have tallied three commanding victories thus far in the season, and sit only behind conference foe Alabama in the rankings. There is no facet of the game that the Bulldogs are lacking in, they could very well be the most balanced team in the nation. On the contrary, road games are never easy, especially against another undefeated SEC opponent in the Missouri Tigers, who have one of the most highly touted quarterbacks in the nation with Drew Lock. However, Mizzou certainly does not have the type of physical defense to hang around with Georgia’s smash mouth style of football, and it will show Saturday.
Prediction: Georgia 41, Missouri 21
Saturday Afternoon Special: #22 Texas A&M @ #1 Alabama (2:30 PM CT; CBS)
Alabama is the #1 team in the nation. In other news, the sky is blue, grass is green, and water is wet (yes, it totally is). Long gone are the days of Johnny Manziel walking into Tuscaloosa as a freshman and upsetting the Crimson Tide. Do not be fooled though, Texas A&M is an extremely solid football team that has received an upgrade at head coach in Jimbo Fisher. They nearly upset at the time #2 Clemson in their house. Contrastingly, Bryant-Denny Stadium is no friendly venue and Bama is too dynamic and dominant on both sides of the ball for Texas A&M to pull a stroke of luck like they did with Manziel. Roll Tide.
Prediction: Alabama 45, Texas A&M 17
Game of the Day: #7 Stanford @ #20 Oregon (7:00 PM CT; ABC)
An extremely intriguing PAC-12 North contest is taking place in the Autzen Zoo amidst the pines in Eugene, Oregon. Stanford’s old-school and physical style of play sets up an interesting dynamic against a tried and true up-tempo spread style of Oregon’s caliber. Justin Herbert of the Oregon Ducks will look to distribute the football to his receivers all over the field, while Bryce Love of the Stanford Cardinal looks to get his feet underneath and break out for the season as he comes off an injury. The one weak spot that will be exposed is Oregon’s defense, who will have trouble defeating the pro-style ways of Stanford. The Cardinal will prevail and stand their ground as the best team in the PAC-12.
Prediction: Stanford 30, Oregon 22
Late Night Action: Arizona State @ #10 Washington (9:30 PM CT; ESPN)
As previously stated, Arizona State is coming off an undercutting loss to San Diego State, while Washington just got out of Salt Lake City with a victory over the disappointing Utah Utes. However, the Sun Devils remain an explosive unit on the offensive end, and the Huskies are a team that goes back and forth as to what their identity is. There is no reason why the fans in Phoenix should throw away the #FirmForHerm movement, as he is experienced and will get the defense righted. Do not be surprised if Arizona State sneaks a victory in Seattle, and if it propels them for the rest of their season.
Prediction: Arizona State 34, Washington 31