College Football Wrap-Up: Things We Learned In College Football Week 3

By Colby Lanham
Oregon QB Marcus Mariota should have placed himself as the front runner in the Heisman race with his Week 3 peformance.
Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

Another week of college football has gone by, and there were plenty of things to take away from this week, from the much anticipated AlabamaTexas A&M matchup to the near first major upset of the season with Michigan and Akron. Here are some things to take away from this week of college football:

Johnny Manziel‘s stock rises, while Texas A&M’s defense’s falls: Manziel had one of the best games of his career in A&M’s 49-42 loss against Alabama. Manziel led the Aggies’ offense to 628 yards of total offense and accounted for five touchdowns. Manziel was accurate both in and out of the pocket, and showed the magic that had him dubbed “Johnny Football.”

At the same time, he exposed Alabama’s defense and, despite their loss, showed that Alabama does not have the same defense it has had in recent years. This was especially seen in the Tides’ secondary, which Manziel torched for 464 yards, with 279 of those passing yards going to receiver Mike Evans.

On the same note, however, the Aggies’ defense was unable to generate enough stops to give Manziel an opportunity to regain the lead after the Aggies’ quick 14-0 lead in the first quarter. The defense surrendered 568 yards to Bama’s offense, which included 234 rushing yards.

Failing to stop the run proved fatal for this defense, as the trio of T.J. Yeldon, Kenyan Drake and Jalston Fowler proved too much for the Aggies to handle.

Devin Gardner‘s stock is steadily on the decline: Michigan quarterback Devin Gardner did not have the best bounce back game coming off of their latest victory over Notre Dame in Week 2, as the Wolverines narrowly avoided a major upset loss to the Akron Zips.

Gardner went 16 of 30 for 248 yards, two touchdowns and three interceptions and finished with a total QBR of 66.6. Gardner has not been the best decision-maker these past few weeks, and his play has not been quite what Michigan has needed out of its quarterback. While he finished as the Wolverines’ leading rusher with 103 yards and a touchdown, Gardner’s stock has fallen these first few weeks.

Change looks very imminent in the Texas Longhorns‘ future: After surrendering over 550 rushing yards in a 40-21 loss against BYU in Week 2, Texas fired defensive coordinator Manny Diaz just a day after and announced that former assistant Greg Robinson will assume duties as defensive coordinator. But nothing changed too much as the Longhorns lost to the Ole Miss Rebels 44-23.

The Longhorns’ rush defense woes continue, giving up 272 on the ground to Ole Miss, with the Rebels’ leading rusher Jeff Scott rushing for 162 yards. Overall, their defense gave up 449 total yards to the Rebels’ offense, and on the other side, quarterback Case McCoy was unable to provide too much of a spark on offense in place of the injured David Ash, going 24 of 36 for 196 yards and a touchdown.

Marcus Mariota should be front-runner for Heisman Trophy: While Manziel raised his NFL stock in Week 2, Mariota needs to be at the top of Heisman watch list. He further proved that today when the Oregon Ducks faced the Tennessee Volunteers as he threw for 456 yards an four touchdowns en route to a 59-14 route of the Vols.

Mariota became just the fourth Oregon quarterback to throw for 400 yards in a game, and has been the first to do so since Kellen Clemens in 2005. His yardage also ties for third-most in a game in school history. Mariota spread the ball to nine different Oregon players who caught passes, while also rushing for 27 yards and a touchdown.

Mariota arguably pilots the best offense in college football under first-year head coach Mark Helfrich, and runs the Ducks’ uptempo offense to its fullest, and his dual threat ability makes him perhaps the most dangerous quarterback in college football outside of Johnny Manziel.

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