Recap from Week 2 of CFB

They said it was going to be a boring weekend of football, they said none of the games were going to be that interesting… PLOT TWIST: College football has a sense of humor and comes through with yet another fun-filled Saturday of wall to wall games. Before I get into my thoughts from the weekend, I just wanted to point out that 14 FCS teams held a lead at some point during their game against an FBS opponent. Within those FBS vs FCS matchups, there were four Power 5 teams that combined for 37 wins a season ago (Georgia, LSU, Arizona, and Northwestern — they lost to Eastern Illinois 9–7… oops) who trailed their FCS opponent at some point beyond the 1st quarter. So shoutout to the FCS teams for putting up some good fights on Saturday.

Best Things I Saw

  1. Donnel Pumphrey
    If you’ve read anything I’ve written during this college football season you would know that I am high on the San Diego State Aztecs this year — particularly their best player RB Donnel Pumphrey. He ran all over Cal’s {bad} defense to the tune of 281 yards and 3 TDs, and was just shy of 10 yards per carry. He helped the Aztecs avenge last year’s 35–7 loss to Cal, in doing so they got past one of their biggest hurdles to finishing the regular season 12–0. In terms of what this game meant to Pumphrey’s career at SDSU, he passed Marshall Faulk for most rushing yards in school history. And he’s not done yet as he has at least 10 games still left in the season. It’s safe to say, I don’t think this will be the last you’ll hear from Donnel Pumphrey this year.
  2. Arkansas @ TCU
    Brett Bielema adds yet another underdog road victory nobody saw coming. He’s now 4–1 in his last 5 true road games, but the difference this year is that he pulled out a big win in September. Since Bielema’s arrival to Fayetteville, the Hogs have always seemed to have very bad September’s against Power 5 opponents. Entering this year his Arkansas teams had been 1–5 against Power 5 opponents in September. Not this year, though, as the Hogs shut the naysayers up and went into TCU and ended their 14 game home winning streak. This is particularly worrisome for the SEC as most probably expected it take Arkansas a month or so to get their new QB, Austin Allen, settled in. Enough of the backstory, this game in general was thrilling. Arkansas played opportunistic defense holding TCU to 7 points entering their 4th quarter. It seemed as if they were going to come away with a double digit point win — not so fast my friend. TCU stormed back and took a 28–20 lead. It seemed like all hope was lost for the Hogs as Kenny Hill had ripped their hearts out again in a comeback victory — not so fast my friend. Kenny Hill, being the leader that he is, thinks it is a good idea to give a throat slash after his TD run. This was problematic for TCU as it set the Hogs up for great field position. The ensuing possession, Arkansas drove down the field scored a TD and converted on their 2-point conversion on a double reverse pass to their QB in the back of the endzone. At this point I’m throat slashing the TV, thinking Arkansas had done what they needed to get the game into Overtime — not so fast my friend. On the following kickoff Arkansas thinks it’s a wonderful idea to kick it to TCU’s best player, KaVontae Turpin, who returns it 64 yards to the Arkansas 27. Just like that it’s over, TCU is going to win on a last second FG — not so fast my friend. TCU was down to their backup kicker who was placed with the game on his shoulders only to be denied by the human tree, Arkansas RT Dan Skipper. 2 Overtimes later Arkansas wins and Kenny Hill is crying. The last hour and a half of this game was high intensity and reminds us of why college football is so great.

Worst Things I Saw

  1. Terrible Clock Management

This can probably be brought up every week, but for some reason this week it seemed to be more visibly atrocious. Let’s start with the UConn/Navy game. First off this game was nuts. Navy got up 21–0 but before you know it UConn had come all the way back to take a 24–21 lead. After Navy goes up late 28–24, the Huskies get the ball back and drive the field. They get to the Navy 1 and then UConn coach Bob Diaco has no idea what he’s doing. The play that gets them to the Navy 1 is a catch out of bounds, so it’s 1st & Goal with the clock stopped at 17 seconds. Unfortunately UConn doesn’t know what they want to do, and has to burn their last TO. You’re thinking, well that’s not good, but they can still get around this miscue. Au contraire, UConn’s ensuing play is a run up the middle that goes nowhere and they have no time left for another play. Just a terrible lack of awareness for the Huskies.

However, Boise State/ Washington State might have outdone UConn. In this late night showdown on ESPN2, Boise State has the ball in FG territory up 3 with under 2 minutes to play. The logical thinking is that Boise would run the ball, force Wazzu to use all of their TOs and kick a FG to go up 6 with under a minute to go. Brett Rypien and the Broncos had different thoughts as Rypien heaved up an interception in the endzone on 3rd down. This leaves Wazzu with 1 TO and 53 seconds to work with, only needing a FG to force OT. What starts as a concise drive towards FG territory absolutely implodes after they complete an underneath route that goes nowhere and they lose 25 seconds. After an incompletion to stop the clock, it’s 3rd and 10 for Wazzu with 18 seconds to go. Falk completes a pass towards the 1st down marker, but the official clearly signaled they were short of the line to gain. Mike Leach and Luke Falk are bewildered as they throw their hands up in confusion. Finally with 5 seconds left Wazzu calls their final TO. Unfortunately, they are only at midfield and have to throw up a Hail Mary, which comes up 10 yards short of the endzone.

There were other teams I could have included in this poor clock management segment like Penn State, NC State, and Oklahoma State. Hopefully coaches will one day learn how to manage the clock more effectively in late game situations.

2. Georgia
My oh my, what in the world was wrong with Georgia on Saturday. I understand when FBS teams don’t get up for FCS opponents. They’re never usually all that excited to play them, but they still go out there and win by 4 or 5 touchdowns. It’s interesting though because Georgia actually had a reason to be excited to play. It was Kirby Smart’s first home game as HC and Nick Chubb’s first game back in Sanford Stadium after his ACL tear last year. There was honestly no reason for Georgia to play as bad as they did. Their O-Line had no push and Jacob Eason definitely looked like a Freshman at QB. I still expect Georgia to be fine this year, but they better get things figured out soon because conference play starts for them this Saturday as they go on the road to face a Missouri team they can’t just sleepwalk through and beat.

My Thoughts on Auburn’s Week 2

So in the matter of a week Auburn goes from looking incompetent on offense to finishing 7 yards shy of a school record for total offense in a game. That’s a pretty dramatic turnaround if you ask me. The Tigers put up an impressive performance with Sean White leading the way. He seemed to have a strong connection with his WRs (S/O to Will Hastings for catching a TD) and was in command of the offense from the start. I was really impressed with the run game as Auburn raked in 450+ yards on the ground. Out of all of the stupid things Gus did against Clemson, I think the stupidest was not playing Kam Pettway. He’s a beast and is going to add a great change of pace when he spells Kerryon. Defensively, I was glad we got some sacks. Our front 7 continued to show that they will be a force to be reckoned with this season. Our DBs had a couple of blown assignments, but I think they will be more locked in against Texas A&M and LSU. The one thing I saw that worried me a little was Sean White missing a wide open Marcus Davis in the back of the endzone on 1st & Goal just before halftime. I know that had no effect on the game, but we all know that RZ play has been one of Sean’s glaring weaknesses, and he will need to complete passes like those in SEC play. All in all it was a great game for Auburn, and it should give fans confidence that this team can and will compete this year in the SEC.

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