Congrats on making it halfway through another week of 2020, and welcome to Week Four Midweek Musings!
This was one of last season’s biggest upsets. Surely it couldn’t happen two years in a row? WRONG. The Sooners led by three touchdowns late in the third quarter when the meltdown started. The Wildcats scored the needed three touchdowns to tie the game and kicked a field goal with 4:32 remaining. They snagged four takeaways without turning the ball over themselves, and out-gained Oklahoma 288 yards to 98 in the second half.
Oklahoma usually gets further into the season before having their brain-cramp game. Time will tell if they just got it out of the way earlier this year, or if there’s another one down the pike. One thing to keep in mind is that the Sooner fans have been somewhat spoiled at quarterback of late. Jalen Hurts, Kyler Murray, Baker Mayfield– all were transfers from other programs. Spencer Rattler is the first freshman to play quarterback at Oklahoma in some time. There will be growing pains.
The Lane Kiffin era at Ole Miss is not off to the greatest start. Stats-wise, the game was fairly close. On the field, not so much. The big takeaway from this game is that the Ole Miss pass defense needs work. Florida quarterback Kyle Trask threw for 416 yards and SIX touchdown passes, with no interceptions. The Gators gained 642 yards of offense in total in the 51-35 win.
If you only watched this game and Florida-Ole Miss, you could be forgiven for thinking the SEC is the new Big 12. The national champion Tigers return just five starters from the unbeaten 2019 squad, and was also missing star cornerback Derek Stingley, Jr. Stingley was hospitalized Friday night after falling ill with what the team emphasized was a “non-COVID illness”. The team missed him against Mike Leach’s Air Raid, as Stanford transfer K.J. Costello threw for an SEC-record 623 yards and five touchdowns. (He did throw two picks and lose two fumbles).
Myles Brennan was inconsistent in his first outing under center for LSU. He passed for 345 yards and three scores, but he also threw two interceptions. Perhaps even more than quarterback Joe Burrow, though, the team misses Clyde Edwards-Helaire in the backfield. Three Tigers combined for 117 yards on the ground; add in Brennan’s -37 yards on 11 carries and the total drops to 80 yards. How often do you see LSU held to double-digit yardage on the ground?
And then there’s the actual Big 12, where Sam Ehlinger led the Longhorns to a 63-56 overtime win against the Red Raiders. Ehlinger and his TTU counterpart, Alan Bowman, each threw five touchdowns, and each team added two on the ground. The big differences in the game were Bowman’s three interceptions to Ehlinger’s one (Texas did also lose a fumble), and the Longhorns’ success in the run game. They out-gained the Red Raiders, 214 yards t0 116. Another key difference? Texas only had two kick returns in the game, but they went for 42 and 21 yards.
It sounds like the Irish have figured out how their COVID cases spread, and are making the necessary changes. Good for them. This is what teams are going to have to do this season.
Week Four Midweek Musings Highlight:
It’s not every day you see a college kicker nail a 53-yard walk-off field goal. (Apologies for the full highlight video, youtube didn’t have one of just the field goal. To see it, head to the 1:48 mark.)
Week Five Schedule Changes (COVID-related unless otherwise specified)
South Alabama-Troy: Postponed. Teams are working on potential make-up dates, per ESPN.
And those are my Week Four Midweek Musings! Keep an eye on this space for further updates about scheduling changes, and have a great week.