We’re halfway to another weekend of college football, which means it’s time for Week Two Midweek Musings.
Clemson 28, Texas A&M 26
This was a closer game than I think a lot of people were expecting, myself included. I even wondered if it would become Clemson’s Inexplicable Loss of the Year. Looking at their schedule, there are plenty of candidates for that game down the road. At the moment, the two-quarterback system seems to be working out pretty well for the Tigers. As for the defense, I don’t know what to say that hasn’t already been said. NINETEEN different players had at least a shared tackle against the Aggies.
As for A&M, they have a pretty good quarterback situation right now as well. Kellen Mond threw for 430 yards and three touchdowns in the loss. Being in the SEC West means the Aggies are unlikely to challenge for much of anything this year, but it will be interesting to see what Jimbo Fisher can do with this team over the course of the season.
Kentucky 27, Florida 16
This was clearly the Upset of the Week. The last time Kentucky beat Florida:
- Ronald Reagan was halfway through his second term.
- The Berlin Wall was still standing.
- Billboard’s #1 song was “Amanda” by Boston.
So yeah, it had been awhile. The question now is, is Kentucky actually good? Or is Florida really that bad? Suddenly, these are both interesting teams to watch when SEC play starts. In particular, will teams grow wise to, and slow down, Kentucky running back Benny Snell? He and quarterback Terry Wilson combined for 280 yards against the Gators.
Our own Kevin McGuffey breaks down everything you need to know about the game here.
Duke 21, Northwestern 7
If not for Kentucky-Florida, this would have been Upset of the Week. It’s not as big an upset, though, when it happens for the second consecutive year. With all the Northwestern folks working at ESPN, I’m surprised I couldn’t hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from my living room thirty minutes away.
The big takeaway from this game is that Duke has an uphill battle ahead. They’ll be without quarterback Daniel Jones for quite some time as he left the game with a broken collarbone. It’s not at all clear that he’ll be back this season. Cornerback Mark Gilbert also got injured in the game and is done for the year. Gilbert is one of the only players in the secondary with significant experience. I don’t think Duke fans need to start counting down the days until basketball season quite yet- maybe when ACC play starts.
Arizona State 16, Michigan State 13
Welcome back to coaching, Herm Edwards! This was yet another candidate for Upset of the Week. Surprisingly, this was a real air-it-out game. Michigan State rushed for just 63 yards and the Sun Devils 44, while both teams had over 300 yards passing.
Could Arizona State be a dark horse in the Pac-12? As far as the Pac-12 South goes, maybe. I struggle to see them beating the likes of Washington (September 22, on the road) and Stanford (October 18, at home), but stranger things have happened.
As for Sparty, I’ll be watching their first conference games to see if they can improve on the ground. Once winter weather hits the Midwest, they’ll be in big trouble without a run game.
Colorado 33, Nebraska 28
Welcome back, Scott Frost! The former Nebraska QB didn’t have the homecoming he presumably hoped for. After having their first game cancelled due to weather, the ‘Huskers maybe have been a little rusty. Their first two possessions ended with lost fumbles that led to touchdowns for Colorado. The team rebounded, and in fact led 28-20 in the third quarter. The Buffs cut the lead for 28-27 later in the quarter, and scored the go-ahead touchdown with 1:04 left in the game.
Colorado is a team not many people pay attention to, but it might be time for that to change. They have a good quarterback in Steven Montez, and some good receivers. As for Nebraska, they lost quarterback Adrian Martinez to a knee injury in the fourth quarter, but it sounds minor. Coach Frost said Tuesday that it’s possible he’ll even be a game-time decision this weekend against Troy.
Houston 45, Arizona 18
The Khalil Tate hype has quieted considerably after a terrible start for Arizona. The Wildcats started with a close loss to BYU, but Houston took them to the woodshed. As the score makes clear, this wasn’t a case of DT Ed Oliver and the Houston defense simply bottling up Tate, although they did- this Houston offense is good. Quarterback D’Eriq King was responsible for three touchdowns in the first quarter (two passing, one rushing) and Arizona simply couldn’t recover. King finished with 246 passing yards and four scores, plus two rushing touchdowns.
Houston has to be considered a dark horse in an American Athletic Conference West division where nobody seems to be an obvious champion. As for Arizona, can they get back on track? Their next opponents are Southern Utah and Oregon State, followed by USC, so it’s now or never for the Wildcats.
Mother Nature versus the Eastern Seaboard
Here’s one more story to keep an eye on this weekend. As of Tuesday afternoon, North Carolina has cancelled its matchup with West Virginia, and the NC State-Central Florida game has been called off as well due to Hurricane Florence. As it becomes more clear exactly where Florence will make landfall, it’s entirely possible other games throughout the southeast will be cancelled, postponed, or moved.
If you’re in the area being affected, our thoughts at LWOS are with you. Please stay safe, and follow directions from the authorities.
That’s Week Two Midweek Musings! Have a great week, and remember to look for Midweek Musings every Wednesday during the college football season.
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