Things We Learned In College: Week 3 In College Football

While there was some great action in Week 3, I’d like to start with something I missed in Week 2. April Goss, a young woman from Kent State, kicked an extra point for the Golden Flashes. Goss is just the second female ever to put up points in an FBS football game. I think this is fantastic. I had no interest in sports until just after college, but if my dad had ever called me into the room while he was watching a football game and said, “Look, that kicker’s a girl”… who knows? So congrats to April Goss.

Now, onto this week.

– Not the greatest week for the SEC. To start, Missouri needed a interception on a last-second fake field goal from UConn to hold off the Huskies 9-6. Overall, it was a bizarre, sloppy game from both teams, with all kinds of miscues. Faking the field goal was a bizarre decision from coach Bob Diaco, but I’m sure the Tigers will take it.

-Auburn gave the SEC haters more ammunition as they laid an absolute egg against LSU. Earlier in the week, Auburn defensive back Johnathan Ford made some public statements about how it shouldn’t be too difficult to stop LSU running back Leonard Fournette. On the first play from scrimmage, with eight men in the box for Auburn, Fournette took the handoff and went 71 yards. He finished the day with 228 yards (22 shy of the LSU record) and three scores. At halftime, LSU had outgained Auburn 307 yards to 70, and 267-34 rushing. Late in the third quarter, Auburn had run just three plays in LSU territory; their last two scores came in the fourth quarter, when they were facing at least some of LSU’s backups. In short, this was a good old-fashioned butt-kicking.

-You know you have a good running game when your quarterback’s stat line is 12/17 for 74 yards and one touchdown, and you win 45-21.

-Georgia did to South Carolina what LSU did to Auburn, albeit with multiple guys filling the role of Leonard Fournette and a (much) heavier emphasis on passing. Nick Chubb and Sony Michael combined for 210 yards and three scores; Greyson Lambert went 24/25 (!) for 330 yards and three more touchdowns. The Dawgs racked up well over 500 yards of total offense, double what the Gamecocks accomplished, in the SEC’s second beat-down of the day.

-Alabama and Ole Miss played what was at least a competitive game. The Tide started Cooper Bateman at quarterback, but returned to Jake Coker in the second quarter after Bateman couldn’t get the offense going. Ole Miss did a good job capitalizing on Alabama’s miscues- and there were plenty of them. The game started with Alabama’s kick returner fumbling deep in his own territory and the Rebels recovering. Alabama held them to a field goal, but it was an apt start to a sloppy game that included five turnovers by the Tide.

-Ole Miss stops the run well. Very well. Circle November 21 on your calendar- that’s the day Leonard Fournette and company roll into Oxford.

-Ohio State looked very mortal, escaping Northern Illinois 20-13. Cardale Jones was replaced by J.T. Barrett after throwing two picks in the first half. Barrett added a touchdown and another pick, and the Buckeyes also managed to lose two fumbles. All in all, not their finest day. Had Alabama won, I think the Buckeyes would have dropped out of the #1 slot.

-Notre Dame survived a late rally by Georgia Tech as the Yellow Jackets scored two touchdowns in the last minute to make the game look closer than it really was. However, the Irish may have lost safety Drue Tranquill on an early candidate for Bizarre Injury Of The Year. Slightly less ridiculous than the Detroit Lions’ Stephen Tulloch tearing his ACL on a sack celebration last year, Tranquill jumped to chest-bump a teammate after a third-down stop, and fell to the ground in obvious pain, clutching his knee.

-The Jim Harbaugh Lovefest continues in Ann Arbor. Michigan pounded UNLV (28-7 is a deceptively close score) and was even able to get the backups some work in the fourth quarter. Running back Ty Isaac saw his first significant action of the year and racked up 114 yards on just eight carries. Quarterback Jake Rudock improves each week, although he still tends to throw too high or too far for his receivers at times. UNLV didn’t take a snap in Michigan territory until the third quarter.

-Oklahoma quarterback Baker Mayfield set a Sooner record with 572 total yards against Tulsa. He threw four touchdowns and ran for two more. The Sooners and Golden Hurricane combined for 1,376 yards of offense- 863 of them before halftime- in the 52-38 Oklahoma win. The offense is clearly clicking, but it’ll be interesting to see the Oklahoma defense tested against the likes of Baylor, TCU, and Oklahoma State.

-I was having flashbacks to the Hurricanes of my late 80’s-early 90’s youth during the Miami game. The Canes and Cornhuskers have certainly played some classics over the years, and this one didn’t disappoint. The U had a 33-10 lead at one point, but Nebraska came back to force OT with a touchdown drive and successful two-point conversion. Quarterback Tommy Armstrong had a fantastic 16-yard scramble on the drive that should have resulted in a sack; instead, he evaded the would-be tackler and got the first down, making a great move to stay inbounds. Unfortunately, the first play from scrimmage in overtime was a pick by Armstrong and a 47-yard return by Corn Elder (I checked three different sources, that is his name) to set up the game-winning field goal by Miami.

-One thing worried me about Miami. In the second half, safety Deon Bush was ejected for targeting and replaced by Jamal Carter… who was ejected for targeting in the fourth quarter. I hope Al Golden can rein his team in- it’s good for college football when Miami is relevant, but to achieve that they’ve got to be more disciplined. Plus, these aren’t just penalties, they’re dangerous plays.

-I’ve got UCLA-BYU on my DVR to watch later on. All the hype about Josh Rosen has me intrigued, but there’s not enough coffee in the world to get me through watching a 10:30 game in real time and then getting up to do my rankings and write this column.

 

Remember to look for the LWOS Top 25 rankings later on today. I’m on Twitter @LastWordLindsay.

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