College Football Week 3: Close Calls and Medicore Officiating
On Saturday I was up early and got everything I needed to do taken
care of before games kicked at NOON. I took the dog to the vet, and, um
that was it really. But it was done!
I was in the clear to watch games from then onward. And that's what we did.
Virginia Tech and West Virginia started the day off with a wild Mountaineer win. My thoughts on that can be found here.
The weekend kicked off well before that with an awful Louisiana rout Thursday, but Friday night saw some real excitement.
Louisville and UCF played an incredible back-and-forth game in prime-time featuring one of the wildest runs of consecutive plays of the season so far.
Malik Cunningham looked outstanding despite struggling to walk for the bulk of the fourth quarter. He ran for 99 yards and two scores and passed for 265 yards with a touchdown and that strange interception above. With a very manageable schedule the rest of the way, Louisville could be ready for a huge bounce back season in year three for Scott Satterfield.
UCF played well but ultimately missed too many opportunities. The biggest disaster though came on the final cursed play when starting quarterback Dillon Gabriel got injured on a multi-lateral cluster that had no hope for success. He's now done for the year and that's obviously a crushing blow, but as a wise man once said:
Remember, the Gus Bus never travels in a straight line.— Justin Cates (@BestCates) September 18, 2021
Following the Tech-WVU game I took a brief break before checking out the end of the Alabama-Florida game. There appears to be a bit of rust on teams like 'Bama, Oklahoma, and Clemson based on the early returns, but it's just that. Early.
I expect both teams to grow and become dominant by season's end. It's a bit like Duke and Kentucky in basketball over the last 10-15 years. Sure they reload with top talent every year but the lack of veterans can catch up to you eventually. It's definitely a nice problem to have but growing pains are bound to happen at some point.
Plus it's not like these teams are even bad, just not yet up to their own high standards.
I flipped around into the evening hours catching most of Auburn-Penn State and bits of many other contests. James Franklin spoke for many coaches, players, and fans this weekend with respect to the officiating. There were myraid questionable calls and outright theft.
Check out the utter disaster that robbed Boise State of a potential upset.
Around the portion of the night I began considering the possibilities of a Fresno State upset and approving of BYU's goodness while questioning my choices. I realized most of the folks still very awake online were gamblers.
I pitied this group of degenerates looking for a fix on San Jose State and Hawai'i. But as Sunday morning crept in something hit me. These folks all had potential monetary gain on the line whereas I was watching deep into the night just to see what happened and that my friends is far, far sicker.
I went to bed around 1 a.m. confident that I had capitalized on the previous 13 hours or so, but slightly envious of the late night football ghouls still hard at work.
Odds and Ends
This Oklahoma interception on repeat all day— George Jarjour (@GeorgeOnTap) September 18, 2021
North Carolina looked like the offensive juggernaut everyone expected during all the preseason hype, but Virginia looked almost as good. Sam Howell (307 passing yards with 5 TDs, 112 yards rushing) and Brennan Armstrong (554 passing yards, 4 TDs) traded blows all night with the latter setting a Cavaliers record in the effort.
It doesn't say much for either defense though the Tar Heels did hold Virginia to 24 rushing yards on 22 attempts. Carolina meanwhile ran for 392 led by Ty Chandler with 198 and two scores. These teams will both put up fireworks on offense at least in the coming weeks.
Don't get to attached to rankings or stats just yet. The big picture hasn't even begun to take shape. Chaos reigns.
Speaking of which, enjoy some Norm Macdonald.