Cha-cha-changes! There’s gonna be some in the polls this week. Several of the Top 25 lost to unranked opponents and others had closer games than they should have or lost to ranked opponents. How things shake out will be anybody’s guess, but here are the results from a high-scoring week of college football.
The numbers on the left are the rankings in the Associated Press Poll and the Coaches’ Poll. (CBSSports does a preseason poll but then waits a few weeks to weigh in on a regular basis—or at least they did last year.) NR means the team is “Not Ranked” in that particular poll. The team’s current record is in parentheses following their name.
1/1 Alabama (2-0) The Tide headed to Texas looking to avenge their only loss in 2012 against the #6 Aggies of Texas A&M (2-1) and they succeeded 49-42. Johnny Manziel won the statistics battle with AJ McCarron but A&M lost the war. McCarron completed 20 of 29 passes for 334 yards and four TDs. Manziel went 28 of 39 for a career best 464 yards and five TDs but he also tossed two INTs. Manzil and company opened with a 14-0 lead in the first quarter but Alabama came roaring back for a 28-14 halftime lead of their own. Then one of Manziel’s INTs was returned 73 yards by Vinnie Sunseri for a Bama TD and a 35-14 lead early in the second half. A&M would fight back but couldn’t quite overtake the Crimson Tide.
2/2 Oregon (3-0) The Ducks routed the Tennessee Volunteers (2-1) 59-14. The Vols scored first and last but in between it was all Ducks—and Marcus Mariota. Mariota completed 23 of 33 pass attempts for 456 yards and four TDs as Oregon rolled up 687 yards net offense against an out match Tennessee squad.
3/5 Clemson (2-0) The Tigers had this weekend off.
4/3 Ohio State (3-0) The Buckeyes rolled over the California Golden Bears (1-2). Fifth year senior Kenny Guiton started at quarterback for the Buckeyes in place of injured Braxton Miller. It was his first career start. No matter, he threw for 276 yards and four TDs. That included a 90 yard pass to Devin Smith on Ohio’s second snap of the game. That set a school record as the longest play from scrimmage. Oh, and he also ran for 92 yards. Jordan Hall rushed 30 times for 168 yards and three TDs for OSU. Jared Goeff tossed two TD passes and Cal used a fake punt to set up a field goal to keep things close at the half—if 31-20 can be called close.
5/4 Stanford (2-0) The Cardinal flew east to face the Black Knights of Army (1-2) at West Point and had their hands full…for the first half. Stanford led by just seven points at the half but both Army starting running backs, Raymond Maples and Larry Dixon) were injured and missed much of the second half as the Cardinal won 34-20. As a result, Army “only” rushed for 284 yards (they were averaging 329 yards per game). Stanford had 203 yards rushing and another 205 passing (Army had just 49 yards through the air). Kevin Hogan went 11 of 18 for 188 yards, two TDs and one INT for the Cardinal.
6/6 Texas A&M (2-1) The Aggies lost to the Crimson Tide of Alabama (3-0) 49-42. See above for more.
7/7 Louisville (3-0) The Cardinals beat the Kentucky Wildcats (1-2) 27-13. The offense was slow to show up but show up it did with 339 second half yards. Teddy Bridgewater completed 16 of 28 passes for 250 yards and just one TD. Senorise Perry rushed for 100 yards and a TD on 11 carries for the Cardinals.
8/8 LSU (3-0) The Tigers extinguished the Kent State Golden Flashes (1-2) 45-13. It was over in the first quarter when LSU took a 21-0 lead. Jeremy Hill rushed for 117 yards and two TDs—before the half. He finished with 118 yards. Zach Mettenberger completed 13 of 18 passes for 264 yards and three TDs—two to Jarvis Landry.
9/10 Georgia (1-1) The Bulldogs had the weekend off.
10/9 Florida State (2-0) The Seminoles trounced the Nevada Wolf Pack (1-2) 62-7. Egad! Maybe this kid Jameis Winston is as good as all the hype would have you believe! All he did this week was complete 15 of 18 for two TDs and run for a third. He did prove human, however, as he threw an INT early in the second quarter that allowed Nevada to take a 7-3 lead. No matter. FSU went on to score 59 unanswered points and Winston was a cheerleader for the last 20 minutes of the game.
11/12 Michigan (3-0) The Wolverines hosted the Akron Zips (1-2) and almost gave them a nice present, too. The Wolverines needed to score a go-ahead TD with 2:49 left and then hold on for dear life to stop the Zips at the 4-yard line on the final series to win 28-24. Michigan’s Devin Gardner completed just 16 of 30 passes for 248 yards, one TD and three INTs—one of which was returned 27 yards by Justin March for an Akron TD. Akron’s Kyle Pohl went 25 of 49 for 311 yards, two TDs and two INTs—one in the end zone to foil a scoring drive. Akron also missed two field goal attempts in the first half which allowed the Wolverines to go into the locker room with a 7-3 lead.
12/11 Oklahoma State (3-0) the Cowboys routed the Lamar Cardinals of the FCS (1-2) 59-3. I guess it’s true that a shutout is difficult. My alma mater, Rutgers, has pitched one in each of the last eight season, however.) J.W. Walsh was just 17 of 30 for 181 yards, one TD and one INT in a little more than a half of work. Jeremy Smith rushed for just 40 yards but scored three TDs and Josh Stewart returned a punt 67 yards for a TD for the Cowboys.
13/14 South Carolina (2-1) The Gamecocks beat the Vanderbilt Commodores (1-2) 35-25. The game was never in doubt as South Carolina jumped out to a 21-0 in the first quarter. Vandy made it interesting in the fourth but it was too little way too late. Connor Shaw went 21 of 29 for 284 yards and three TDs. After the first Gamecock series ended with a Shaw to Nick Jones 12 yard TD and the second ended in a Mike Davis four yard TD run—second stringer Dylan Thompson came in for the Gamecocks. All he did was lead the team down field and scored on a three yard run of his own. Shaw came back and played most of the game before Thompson returned in the fourth quarter to mop up.
14/13 Oklahoma (3-0) The Sooners rolled over the Tulsa Hurricane (1-2) 51-20. Blake Bell—making his first career start—did pretty well. He completed 27 of 37 passes for 413 yards and four TDs as the Sooners had 607 net yards on offense. Guess he’ll start the next game, too.
15/18t Miami (Fla.) (2-0) The Hurricanes had the weekend off.
16/17 UCLA (2-0) The Bruins headed east to play the #23 Nebraska Cornhuskers (2-1). The Bruins’ were playing with the receiver Nick Pasquale’s death on their minds. He was struck by a car while walking home a week earlier. A memorial service was held Sunday, the day after this game. No one could blame them for coming out flat or falling behind the Cornhuskers, 21-3. Nobody but the Bruins that is. They proceeded to run off the next 38 points to defeat Nebraska 41-21. Taylor Martinez completed 21 of 35 for 203 yards and three TDs for the Cornhuskers but Nebraska never threatened once the Bruins awoke. Brett Hundley completed 16 of 24 for 294 yards and three TDs and Jordan James rushed 22 times for 105 yards and one TD for the Bruins.
17/16 Northwestern (3-0) The Wildcats exploded for 24 points in the second quarter against the Western Michigan Broncos (0-3) and won 38-17. Treyvon Green started at running back for the Wildcats and rushed for 158 yards and two TDs. He WAS third on the depth chart but that may be changing. QB Kain Colter ran for 106 yards and a TD and threw for another. Tyler Van Tubbergen tossed two TD passes for the Broncos.
18/20 Florida (1-1) The Gators had the weekend off.
19/23 Washington (2-0) The Huskies beat the Fighting Illini of Illinois (2-1) 34-24. Slow start (0-0 first, 10-3 at the half) but the Huskies posted 21 points in the third quarter to the Illini’s 14 and held on for the win. Keith Price threw for 342 yards and two TDs and Bishop Sankey rushed for a career-high 208 yards and one TD. It wasn’t easy but the Huskies will take it. Washington had 615 net yards of offense on 85 plays to the Illini’s 327 yards on 62 plays but they also had two lost fumbles (Illinois had none but did toss one INT) and 12 penalties for 104 yards (Illinois had six for 65 yards). Quantity vs. Quality.
20/18t Wisconsin (2-1) The Badgers were upset by the Arizona State Sun Devils (2-0) late Saturday night in a close one, 32-30. The Badgers had the ball on the ASU 13 yard line but a mix up allowed the clock to run out before they could attempt a potential winning field goal. Taylor Kelly completed 29 of 51 pass attempts for 352 yards, one TD and one INT while Marion Grice rushed for 84 yards and four TDs on 22 carries for the Sun Devils. Melvin Gordon rushed for two TDs on 193 yards on 15 carries including an 80 yard scamper for the Badgers. Beau Allen recovered a fumble for a Badgers’ TD also.
21/21 Notre Dame (2-1) The Fighting Irish came from behind to defeat the Purdue Boilermakers (1-2) 31-24. The Irish trailed 17-10 heading into the fourth quarter before running off 21 unanswered points in the fourth to jump ahead of the Boilermakers, 31-17. Tommy Rees hit DaVaris Daniels twice (9 yards and 82 yards) and Bennett Jackson returned an interception 34 yards for the final Irish TD in that burst. Rob Henry completed 25 of 40 for 256 yards and three TDs for the Boilermakers.
22/22 Baylor (2-0) The Bears had the weekend off.
23/15 Nebraska (2-1) The Cornhuskers lost to the #16 UCLA Bruins (2-0) 41-21. See above the details.
24/24 TCU (1-2) The Horned Frogs dropped a 20-10 contest to the Texas Tech Red Raiders (3-0) on Thursday night. Trevone Boykin rushed for a career-high 101 yards, completed 23 of 36 pass attempts but tossed no TD passes and two INTs for the Frogs. Freshman walk-on Baker Mayfield started for the Red Raiders and went 21 of 40 for 216 yards, one TD but three INTs before leaving the game in the fourth quarter with a knee injury. That left the winning drive in the hands of freshman Davis Webb who went 3 of 4 for 77 yards and one TD. The Raiders won despite having fewer first downs fewer rushing yards (207 to 43) more turnovers (3-2) and almost 12 minutes less in ball possession.
25/25 Ole Miss (3-0) The Rebels beat the Texas Longhorns (1-2) 44-23. Texas couldn’t stop Jeff Scott who rushed for 164 yards and a TD and returned a punt 73 yards for another TD. Bo Wallace passed for two TDs. Texas did hold a 23-17 lead at the half, but Ole Miss outscored the Longhorns 27-0 after the break. Unless they find answers on defense, it’ll be a long season in Austin.