College Football: The Good, Bad, Ugly and Insane from Week 2
The Good, Bad, Ugly and Insane From Week Two of College Football
Where in the world should we begin in trying to break down the fun that was Week 2 of college football season? Do we start with Aaron Murray? How about the magical offensive wizard that is Lane Kiffin? Or the best team in the Big 12 that was the Texas Longhorns?
All great headlines to discuss, but let’s start with the comments from Steve Spurrier following the South Carolina Gamecocks' 41-30 loss to the Georgia Bulldogs. They hinted of major closed door discussions prior to practice beginning this week.
"We're going to change our defense a little bit. We're not going to just stand there like we did today. I'll give coach (Lorenzo) Ward some suggestions."
(insert assistant coaches fighting here)
"Well, at least they care," Spurrier added. "So that's ok, we'll get that handled."
So how do you think the coaches debriefing went today in Columbia? You know a visor was thrown at least once.
But the reason the Week 2 recap begins here is more in terms of what Spurrier didn’t do down the stretch. With about six minutes to go in the game and Georgia facing a fourth down conversion, the camera cut to Spurrier, who had the look of utter defeat on his face. Then the camera went to Jadeveon Clowney, who was sitting on the bench on a fourth down play to determine the game! Now the Bulldogs did call timeout, and Clowney was sent on to the field, but Todd Gurley still ran over the Gamecocks to keep Georgia in control.
But why did Spurrier choose not to extend the game with four minutes to go and two timeouts? The man who never says die folded his cards on the table and walked away. It was a bizarre moment that this sports writer has never seen in his 25 years of watching The Ole Ball Coach.
There will be more to watch and listen from Spurrier and this loss this week. You can bet on that.
So with that all out on the table, let’s take a look at the rest of The Good, Bad, Ugly and Insane from Week 2.
The faithful in Athens all attended church today to thank the good Lord that Mike Bobo and Mark Richt decided to play differently than the usual and predictable Georgia Bulldogs game in the 41-30 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks. The first score of the day was a play-action pass to TE Arthur Lynch followed by an onside kick, wrapped up with a few big plays by Todd Gurley and a perfect, turnover-free game from Aaron Murray. That is the first time this guy can remember a Georgia team imposing their will on an equally talented team down the stretch to seal a victory.
The BYU Cougars channeled the ghosts of Joseph Smith as they completely dismantled the Texas Longhorns 41-20. The Cougars tallied 550 yards rushing led by Taysom Hill, who went for 259 yards on 17 carries and scored three times. It was just a beat down by BYU, who could only manage 16 points in a loss at the Virginia Cavaliers in Week 1. With their effort, the Cougars are now ranked fourth in the nation in rushing.
Teddy Bridgewater is quietly off and rolling toward a possible Heisman Trophy-winning season. Yes, he and his Louisville Cardinals have two impressive wins against chumps, but you cannot argue with Bridgewater’s numbers. In two games, he is 46-of-60 for 762 yards, nine touchdowns and one pick -- good for a QB Rating of 228.1. Bridgewater is also tops in all of college football with 54 points scored.
The U is back as the Miami Hurricanes upended the Florida Gators 21-16. The win gave ACC Football a 2-2 record against the SEC on the season. The win also gets the Canes into the Top 15 this week, which is the first time Miami has been that highly ranked since 2010. College football fans thank you, Al Golden.
Look, there is no doubt Jadeveon Clowney is one of the most talented defensive players to ever play college football, but how much is he to blame for the coaches duking it out on the sidelines? Don’t take too much from reports he told the defensive coaches to “put him somewhere else” during the game Saturday, but you can question the reason for his huffing and puffing on the sidelines. Clowney is facing everything in the playbook right now from offensive coordinators and if he wants to gain our interest and respect, he better start figuring out how to be a leader for his defense instead of worrying about his NFL paycheck next season.
Is there a team at 2-0 more disgusting and undeserving than the Michigan State Spartans? And if it wasn’t for the Spartan’s defense, this team, who was projected to challenge for the Big 10 title, might be 0-2 against cupcake opponents. If the Big 10 wants some respect from the west and the south, it starts with Michigan State getting its act together like this week.
Johnny Manziel makes The Bad list this week because he didn’t do anything to bring attention to himself. He is obviously losing his edge heading into this week’s battle with the Alabama Crimson Tide.
Where in the world do we begin with the Texas Longhorns? The fact they gave up 550 yards rushing to BYU Cougars? The fact they fired Manny Diaz and replaced him with Greg Robinson, the maestro of the feared Syracuse Orange defense? How about the fact the beloved Mack Brown is quickly becoming the biggest goat in college football? Things have to change fast for the Longhorns, but it may be was too late. The swagger and talent is just not there. I say they get Jonathan Moxen in camp soon to take the place of David Ash, because fantasy Texas football is much better than the real thing at this point.
As ACC Football is having the best start to a college football season since the BCS began, the North Carolina State Wolfpack and the Virginia Cavaliers had to go and bring the conference back down to earth. The Wolfpack did everything they needed to do to lose to the Richmond Spiders, but found a way to win 23-21. The Cavaliers meanwhile, had no answer for the Oregon Ducks in a 59-10 beat down. Those two teams have to represent better if the ACC wants respect.
There was simply nothing uglier in Week 2 than the USC Trojans, who lost to the Washington State Cougars at home 10-7. Yes -- 10-7. USC held the ball for 32 minutes and could only managed 193 total yards of offense. Yes, you read that right too. At this rate, Lane Kiffin will be out as head coach by Week 4. Seriously, how can USC be this terrible with the talent they have? Just ugly.
Down 3-0 to the fighting Bobby Petrinos, the Tennessee Volunteers did something magical. Or let’s just say karma evened things out in a big way as the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers turned the ball over five times in six snaps. Five times! What was going to be an interesting game turned into a blowout and left Petrino working the stands for Tennessee Volleyball players in attendance.
Folks, the Colorado Buffaloes are 2-0. Yes, the Buffaloes, who looked like they had never seen a football at times during 2012. One of the biggest reasons why is the talents of wide receiver Paul Richardson, who has 21 catches for 417 yards and four scores. Right now, Richardson is the leading receiver in college football and has given Connor Wood a new lease on life as quarterback in Boulder. If these two keep improving, Colorado might be one of the best stories in the Pac 12 this season.
Is there a more interesting beast of a in all of college football more menacing than Georgia Bulldogs fullback Quayvon Hicks? The 6-foot-2, 257-pound linebacker converted to fullback has been a deadly weapon for the Bulldogs so far this season. Much love should be given to Mark Richt, who went to his staff and told them to convert Hicks over to offense. Richt knew he needed someone to match up better with the skill players on defense in the SEC to give Aaron Murray, Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall more time to be special with the ball in their hands. But Hicks has done more than just be the bulldozer; he has been instrumental in Georgia’s offensive success. If you haven’t watched him yet, keep your eyes on him. The rest of the SEC sure is.
What does Nick Saban have in store for Johnny Manziel? Can Kevin Sumlin coach up the magic for a 2-0 start against Saban and the Tide? How many times will ESPN make Lou Holtz say College Station, Johnny, Saban, McCarron and escalator?
All burning questions that will be fun to watch unfold.
For the rest of you, keep your eye on the USC Trojans as they travel to Chestnut Hill to take on the Boston College Eagles. Chase Rettig is a solid quarterback who can have a field day passing. If Lane Kiffin loses on the road to the Eagles, he might not be allowed on the plane back home.