College Football Week 2: Horns Down and Ducks Fly Together
After several decades of watching college football one of the most satisfying things to me remains a subtle one. You know when a player blatantly shoves a guy to the ground and immediately puts his arms up to declare his innocence? That's just brilliant football brain logic. All people do that when they're in the clear right? Plus it's not like it draws attention to what just happened at all.
There's not really a point here. I just love to see that and it happens at least once every game.
With two top 15 match ups and countless other excitement this was another strong early season slate. The two biggest games couldn't have been more different. Oregon pulled a great upset on the road over an Ohio State University in a fun noon tilt that became a track meet in the second half.
CJ Verdell is an absolute stud and racked up 195 total yards with two scores rushing and one receiving. He's got to be in the way too early running for the Heisman and Doak Walker award. If Verdell and Anthony Brown can stay healthy the Ducks could have a big season in store. Mario Cristobal certainly seems to be having fun.
The Buckeyes will be just fine as they break in their new talent, but the defense has room to grow. Ryan Day will no doubt be endlessly replaying that outside run play that Oregon scored on multiple times. C.J. Stroud is rapidly improving and his group of receivers is as good as any in the country. These teams could both make the Playoff.
Meanwhile the big primetime feature was a top ten rivalry game between Iowa and Iowa State. The Hawkeyes appear to be as capable as their program gets. It's the classic Kirk Ferentz model of lights out defense with a 1950s offense. I mean what other program has its quarterback throw for 106 yards while posting a 33.6 QBR, get 55 yards from its leading rusher and then take down the ninth-ranked team by 10 points?
That's peak Iowa.
The B1G appears to be quite strong once again this season with Iowa, Ohio State, Penn State, and Wisconsin looking the most fit for action. Other schools appear improved as well, though we must take Michigan's current ranking with an entire salt lick until further notice.
Odds and Ends From Around the Country
Jacksonville State 59-yard game-winner as time expires to beat Florida State! pic.twitter.com/uxUPumAOFt— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) September 12, 2021
For the second week in a row Mike Norvell made some odd decisions which cost his team, namely playing regular defense on the final play of the game. This was always going to be another tough season and yes there is talent and promise. Still, this Florida State program is far from where it needs to be which isn't really his fault and he'll get at least another season after this one. His situational coaching could stand to improve but so could everything down there.
Pittsburgh took down the Volunteers thanks largely to Tennessee's own incompetence best illustrated above with a third and goal from the 37. Hendon Hooker got extended run in place of Joe Milton who left with a leg injury. Hooker played solidly but tossed a pick and lost a fumble —Milton lost one as well. Pitt's defense is in peak form early and Kenny Pickett is still doing his thing after 11 seasons. It's early and Pat Narduzzi is still calling the shots, but this could be his best team yet.
Well done.🥩 pic.twitter.com/mXljXEngsZ— Arkansas Razorback Football (@RazorbackFB) September 12, 2021
Some of the loudest upsets of the weekend saw ranked teams taking a few blows on the chin. Arkansas blew the doors off Texas in an accurate preview of what will happen when the Longhorns join the SEC. The Razorbacks are ranked for the first time since 2016 and they look ready to make some noise in their conference, though the level of competition will certainly increase. This is what happens when Matthew McConaughey spends too much time thinking about running for governor instead of being the "Minister of Culture". Bevo is lost Matt!
Stanford pulled a similar feat blasting USC and raising the water level just a little higher above Clay Helton's overmatched head.
Clay Helton was booed running off the field and running back onto the field and while he was being interviewed. USC fans are tired of seeing this every week. pic.twitter.com/W3tUjbnLC6— Arash Markazi (@ArashMarkazi) September 12, 2021
That Helton will be fired at some point this season is hardly up for debate. The fun part comes when the list of rumored replacements features Urban Meyer, Lane Kiffin, and Vince Lombardi. Then they will end up hiring an old fire hydrant because it's red and has the "right mindset". That's five million bucks a year well spent if you ask me.