Highlights From Each Conference in Week Two

msu vs asu
N’Keal Harry and Arizona State are looking like contenders in the Pac-12 South. (Photo: Mollie Hanke/Arizona State media)

ACC

Duke played in a game of two teams that I thought could be pretty good this season when they traveled to Northwestern. Daniel Jones was really strong, throwing for three touchdowns and the defense was dominant, not giving up a single point after the first drive of the game.

Georgia Tech got lit up on the road at USF. The defense was really struggling , but the main concern was allowing two kickoff returns for touchdowns to Terrence Horne.

Clemson is a championship program and they showed exactly why this weekend when they went on the road to Texas A&M. A&M gave the Tigers all they could handle and had a two-point conversion attempt to tie the game with 46 seconds left, but the Clemson defense stepped up, and Clemson showed that they can continue to win those close games.

What is going on at Florida State? It was one thing to lose badly to Virginia Tech like they did in week one, but to struggle the way they did to Samford should be really concerning for FSU fans. The most concerning thing to me would be they seem to have no identity on offense.

Pittsburgh got absolutely blasted by their in-state rivals Penn State. I thought they would hang a little in that game because it was a rivalry, but Penn State had other plans.

American Athletic Conference

Houston has looked really good so far in the early part of the season and we knew they should have a good defense, especially with Ed Oliver, but D’Eriq King has really emerged and has thrown for 7 TDs in the first two games of this season, including four this past weekend against Arizona, and he has already matched his total from last season. If King is going to play like that, The Cougars could win the conference.

Temple had a lot of hype coming into this season, but they lost yet again. At least this time it wasn’t to Villanova and it was to Buffalo, who is lead by Tyree Jackson, but things aren’t looking good early for Temple.

Navy and Memphis played in a game that is going to be huge in determining who wins the East division in the conference. The game was rain soaked, but Navy found a way to pull it out in the end on a three-yard touchdown run by Zach Abey, for them to win 22-21.

Cincinnati was coming off of a good week one win at UCLA and continued to show they have a strong defense when they beat Miami (OH), who is one of the better group of five teams, 21-0.

Big-12

How about the Kansas Jayhawks? They hadn’t won a road game in forever, and coming off of losing their opener to Nicholls, it didn’t feel like it was going to happen this season, but they went to Central Michigan and had a dominant second half, en route to a 31-7 win.

Iowa State looked pretty good on offense last season, but they were not able to carry that into their rivalry game against Iowa, losing 13-3.

Texas struggled yet again, only beating Tulsa 28-21. The positive for Texas is they averaged 5.1 yards per carry on 47 carries, but they still only managed to put up 28 points.

Big Ten

I already mentioned the Duke vs Northwestern game, but let’s look at it from the Northwestern point of view. They marched down the field on the first drive and scored on a drive that involved a 40 yard run by Jeremy Larkin, but after that the Wildcats offense couldn’t do anything. There really was no running game to speak of and they will definitely need to fix some things on that side of the ball.

Nebraska did lose the debut of Scott Frost, but I think there was a lot of good to take away. They weren’t great on defense, but they definitely looked improved, but what was even more promising is they ran the ball really well and look like they’ve found a quarterback with Adrian Martinez, although he got injured during the game and the extent of his injury has yet to be determined.

I actually picked Minnesota to lose this week to Fresno State because I thought Fresno State would be able to generate more offense than them, but the Minnesota defense really stepped up, holding the Fresno State offense to just 14 points.

Any concern about the close week one game Penn State had with Appalachian State should be put to bed as they absolutely dominated their in-state rival Pittsburgh, 51-6. They looked every bit of a national title contender on both sides of the ball.

Michigan State looked very good up front against Arizona State, but what didn’t look great was the offensive line play and the offenses ability to make things happen when they got across midfield. That’s something they will need to improve on before they start playing Big Ten East teams.

Conference USA

UAB was slated to be a contender in Conference USA this season, but they suffered a really weird loss, 47-24 to Coastal Carolina. This should have definitely been a UAB win, but they got beat fairly badly. This of course has no bearing on them winning the conference, but it’s really concerning if you’re UAB.

Independent Schools

Army played Liberty this week and that was a game they should have won, and boy did they ever. They blitzed Liberty 38-14 and did so by imposing their will, running for 449 yards on 74 carries.

MAC

Northern Illinois has barely passed 10 points this season. They put up only 7 in week one against Iowa, and then this week they only put up 6 points. I thought Northern Illinois was going to be a contender in the conference this season, and they still might be, but they really need more offense if that’s going to happen.

Mountain West

Colorado State had looked horrible in their first two games, but then this week they hosted Arkansas, in a rare game of an SEC team going out West, and beat them 34-27. That could be a win that springboards Colorado State.

San Diego State didn’t look too bad against Stanford in week one, but this week they really struggled to beat Sacramento State, only winning 28-14. If San Diego State wants to contend in the Mountain West they’ll need to improve on offense.

Pac 12

Arizona couldn’t look worse right now. They of course lost week one to BYU, but this week they looked even worse going on the road and losing the Houston, 45-18. They really look like they don’t know what to do on offense.

I was really impressed by Colorado’s ability to go to Nebraska and win. After a 14-0 start, Nebraska came back to take the lead and it seemed like things were going sideways really fast, but they kept their composure and found a way to win, and have a new breakout star in Laviska Shenault Jr., who caught the game-winning score.

USC struggled on offense against UNLV, but things were even worse this week when they only managed to put up 3 points against Stanford. They got physically dominated and JT Daniels looked pretty overwhelmed by the Stanford defense.

Arizona State is definitely the leader in the clubhouse right now as far as contenders go in the Pac 12 South. Now of course USC is the only South team to have played a conference game so far this season, but Arizona State looks the best, especially after their huge win at home against Michigan State.

SEC

Mississippi State was the better team than Kansas State and they did a great job of showing it in a 31-10 win against Kansas State. They physically dominated K-State, not letting them get a running game going at all.

In case you had any questions about Georgia, don’t. They played a South Carolina team on the road that should’ve been able to at least hang with them, and they completely blew out South Carolina, 41-17. They were dominant in their normal fashion, and look poised for another run to the playoffs.

Texas A&M looked like they were letting things slip away against Clemson in the second half, but they found a way to nearly win the game. I had never seen Kellen Mond look so good, and it was against one of the better defenses in college football. They also had some new receiving targets emerge, lead by Kendrick Rogers. They already look like a much improved team and they are recruiting at an elite level. I think they will begin to win a lot with Jimbo Fisher.

1986. That was the last time the Kentucky Wildcats beat the Florida Gators in football. Florida looked really shaky on offense. Terry Wilson played a lot better at quarterback for Kentucky, and Benny Snell played really good, going for 175 yards on the ground.

Sun Belt

Georgia Southern and UMass are about the same level of program, but Georgia Southern was dominant on Saturday against UMass, winning 34-13. It was a win that could give Georgia Southern momentum going into the rest of the season.

Advertisements

Let's Discuss Some Sports!