By: Chris Olszewski
This past week held multiple opportunities for big upsets in college football, but few took advantage. The biggest game of the week was Oregon at Michigan State. The Spartans held on to win 31-28 despite a last stand by the Ducks on the Michigan State 33-yard line. Michigan State quarterback Connor Cook completed 20 passes for 192 yards as the Spartans rose to fourth in the most recent AP poll.
The Auburn Tigers were not so lucky. In a poor showing, FCS school Jacksonville State took the Tigers to overtime, where Auburn won on a four yard scoring run by Peyton Barber. Auburn quarterback Jeremy Johnson continued to look sloppy, completing 21 passes with two touchdowns and two interceptions. While the Tigers avoided what would have been one of the largest upsets in college football history, they will still have to get it together fast: the Tigers, who drop to 18th in the latest AP poll, will travel to Death Valley and begin conference play against a resurgent LSU.
As for Auburn’s next opponent, LSU finally began their season after last week’s rainout by squeaking out a win against Mississippi State. Running back Leonard Fournette carried the Tigers on his back, gaining a career-high 159 yards and three touchdowns. LSU dominated the first half, going into halftime leading 21-6; but the Bulldogs stormed back, scoring 13 unanswered points and only losing the game on a missed field goal as time expired.
The Notre Dame Fighting Irish also survived a scare this week, although the 34-27 win at Virginia was the definition of a Pyrrhic victory. In the 3rd quarter, Fighting Irish starting quarterback Malik Zaire left the game with a fractured ankle. Zaire will miss the rest of the season due to the injury. Whether or not the 9th-ranked Fighting Irish will continue their winning ways remains to be seen, as Zaire was a huge part of both this most recent win, and their win last week against Texas.
The biggest upset this week came courtesy of the Toledo Rockets, who downed the Arkansas Razorbacks in a primarily defensive matchup, by a score of 16-12. Toledo quarterback Philip Ely threw for 237 yards and one touchdown in the upset. Coming into the game, Toledo were three touchdown underdogs.
Elsewhere in college football, UCLA freshman quarterback Josh Rosen put on a show once again as the Bruins demolished UNLV 37-3. Rosen went 22 for 42 and threw one touchdown. Running back Paul Perkins also put in a fantastic effort, running for 151 yards and two scores.
After beating Minnesota in a close game last week, TCU’s offense was on fire against Stephen F. Austin. In a 70-7 victory, quarterback Trevone Boykin tossed four touchdowns. The TCU defense was a wall, holding the Lumberjacks to 167 total yards even while the defense was without two starting linebackers.
The Missouri Tigers defeated the Arkansas State Red Wolves 27-20 in spite of a poor showing by starting quarterback Maty Mauk. The Red Wolves kept it close for the first half of the game, but the Tigers pulled away in the fourth quarter. Missouri’s running game suffered after running back Russell Hansborough was taken out early, and Mauk accounted for over half of the Tigers’ 134 yards rushing. The Tigers’ defense looked great, although Mauk, who threw two interceptions, will have to step it up if the Tigers wish to threepeat as SEC East champions.
The BYU Cougars relied once again on a Hail Mary play, as Tanner Mangum launched a 35-yard touchdown to Mitchell Juergens with 45 seconds left in the game to down Boise State.
Ohio State took on Hawaii in Columbus, defeating the Rainbow Warriors 38-0. Even though the Buckeyes blanked Hawaii, the team still showed some chinks in the armor: Cardale Jones fumbled twice, but he scooped both back up. Running back Ezekiel Elliot provided most of the scores, running for three touchdowns on 27 carries.
Here is the AP Top 25 Ranking going into week three:
- Ohio State
- Michigan State
- Notre Dame
- Florida State
- Georgia Tech
- Ole Miss
- Texas A&M
- Oklahoma State