Paul Johnson apparently had some bad blood toward Louisville defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder, and he took it out on him in the form of his team running for 542 yards in a 66-31 blowout win over the Cardinals. In terms of the ACC race, this game meant pretty much nothing, but that rushing performance from the Yellow Jackets was worth noting.
I thought NC State could be better this season than people were giving them credit for, and so far they are off to a 5-0 start after their 28-23 win over Boston College. Boston College is a good team and if it weren’t for turnovers, the Wolfpack would’ve won this game handily. Now they’ll have a bye week to prepare for Clemson
Clemson destroyed Wake Forest 63-3, which isn’t anything notable, but they did have three guys go for over 100 yards on the ground. Those guys were Travis Etienne (167 yards), Lyn-J Dixon (163 yards) and Adam Choice (128 yards). All of these guys had exactly 10 carries as well, so it was a dominant ground performance for the Tigers.
Florida State looked like they were going to get a signature win for Willie Taggart when they had a 27-7 lead over Miami on the road, but then you blinked and it was a 28-27 Miami lead. N’Kosi Perry threw four touchdowns in the win, and yes there was a controversial call that took a Florida State touchdown off the board late, but they shouldn’t have even been in that situation and as it turns out, they blew the chance for a huge win that could’ve given them a lot of momentum.
Not too much happened in this conference, but Cincinnati was part of the first batch of teams to become bowl-eligible, with their 37-21 win over Tulane, the Bearcats are off to a 6-0 start.
USF beat UMass 58-42, which itself isn’t too shocking because that’s a game they should win, but the personal performance of USF running back Jordan Cronkrite deserves recognition. The junior ran for 302 yards and 3 touchdowns on only 23 carries.
I’ve always been in the camp of trying to wait to pronounce Texas as “back”, but if you want to do that after their 48-45 win over Oklahoma, I can’t blame you. Now they were up 45-24 and you’d like to see a championship-caliber team not need a game-winning field goal, but a lot of times in those situations teams end up losing the game completely so the fact they still won is impressive. Also, Sam Ehlinger is looking really good in Tom Herman’s offense.
Kansas State lost 37-34 on the road to Baylor, but the bright spot of the game for them was the performance of Alex Barnes, as he ran for 250 yards and 3 touchdowns.
Iowa State really needed a win and they got one on the road over previously 25th ranked Oklahoma State. Brock Purdy threw for 318 yards and 4 touchdowns in the win and they were able to pull this win off without David Montgomery.
Northwestern is usually pretty reliant on the running game, but this week they went into East Lansing and beat previously number 19th ranked Michigan State with only 8 rushing yards as a team. Clayton Thorson was very good in the game and it’ll be interesting to see if this gives a team who I actually thought was pretty good coming into the season, some momentum.
Not a lot of defense was played in Iowa’s 48-31 win over Minnesota, but Anthony Nelson for Iowa had 3 sacks.
Indiana and Ohio State wasn’t exactly a defensive struggle. Both quarterbacks put on shows. Peyton Ramsey kept the Hoosiers in the game for a while and he ended up throwing for 322 yards and 3 touchdowns, while Dwayne Haskins lit it up, throwing for 455 yards and 6 touchdowns. This Ohio State passing game is just something we haven’t seen in Columbus before.
There have been very few bright spots in the Nebraska season so far, but at least in their loss at Wisconsin they saw a good performance out of Adrian Martinez, throwing for 384 yards. J.D. Spielman also broke out for the Cornhuskers, catching 209 yards worth of passes. In that same game, it was business as usual for Jonathan Taylor, running for 221 yards and 3 touchdowns behind his monstrous offensive line.
Middle Tennessee wasn’t thought of as a favorite in Conference USA, but now they have wins over both teams that were perceived as favorites coming into the season, in FAU and Marshall. Brent Stockstill also passed 10,000 career passing yards in the teams win over Marshall.
Virginia Tech was viewed as the biggest threat left on Notre Dame’s schedule, but the Irish passed that with flying colors and now they look to have a pretty clear path to a 12-0 season. They’ll of course have to stay focused each week as they’ll have a target on their back, but they will be good-sized favorites in every remaining game.
Ohio picked up a big conference win, by coming back to beat Kent State 27-26. The Bobcats needed a 20-9 second half to pull out the road win, but if was a big conference win they found a way to get.
I wasn’t a believer in BYU when they were in the top-25 a couple week ago before getting rolled by Washington, but I wasn’t expecting Utah State to beat them 45-20. The Aggies might need to be viewed as a legit threat to Boise State in the Mountain division.
Speaking of contenders in the conference. San Diego State. They are expected to battle with Fresno State for the West division, and they flexed their muscle going into Boise and winning 19-13. That was also a 19-6 game before a late Boise State touchdown. The Aztecs did this by dominating up front on both sides of the ball.
Cole McDonald had been as good as any quarterback in college football this season statistically and then he didn’t play against Wyoming for Hawaii. This meant they would have to adjust their offense to the skill set of freshman Chevan Cordeiro, but also rely more on the running game. Now while they only put up 17 points, they did find a way to win and become bowl-eligible.
In a battle that could go a long way in determining who wins the Pac-12 South, Colorado was hosting Arizona State, and they went out and got the home win. They ran the ball well and Steven Montez was very sharp and of course, the Buffaloes do-it-all player, Laviska Shenault Jr., accounted for all of the Buffaloes touchdowns.
Stanford was without star running back Bryce Love and they suffered because of it. Last season they really struggled without him and this week they weren’t quite as bad because they were able to have K.J. Costello throw for 381 yards, but he threw a pick-six, and defensively they had a tough time stopping the run, which is surprising because the Utah offense is pretty limited and you can normally sell out to stop the run against them, but that didn’t work this week for the Cardinal.
LSU is undefeated no more. They went into “The Swamp” and struggled on offense and then when they had a chance to drive down and steal the game at the end, Brad Stewart Jr. came up with a pick-six. Florida has continued to show improvement in Dan Mullen’s first season and now LSU will have to try and bounce back against Georgia.
Kentucky has been one of the big stories in college football this season, but they didn’t even run a play in Texas A&M territory until overtime. Their defense was almost able to pull out the win for them in a hostile environment against a talented team, but ultimately they fell short after a Trayveon Williams TD run ended the game after Kentucky missed a field goal to start overtime. Kentucky can definitely still have a dream season, but this was a tough way to suffer your first loss.
Mississippi State hosted Auburn in a game where both teams have been allergic to offense at points this season. But the bottom line was that Mississippi State needed a win in the worst way, and they were able to use a great ground game to get the win. Also, Nick Fitzgerald broke Tim Tebow’s record for TD rushes by an SEC quarterback, so congratulations to him.
Shai Werts accounted for three touchdowns as Georgia Southern picked up a conference win over South Alabama in dominant fashion, 48-13.
3) Ohio St.
5) Notre Dame
6) West Virginia
9) Penn St.
19) NC State
20) Miami (FL)
21) Texas A&M
25) Washington St.