Sports

Big upsets and more than a few close calls

Two top-10 groups misplaced on Saturday. The Pac-12 rose from the ashes of so a few years of distress to make an emphatic assertion on a nationwide stage. Nick Saban lambasted his Alabama crew for a 48-14 win. Texas is already 0-1 in SEC play.

Week 2 had all of the hallmarks of a terrific day of faculty soccer, and but, like a Tennessee teaching search, it is type of wonderful it did not finish with much more chaos.

To make sure, Oregon delivered a seismic shift to the 2021 Faculty Soccer Playoff image. With the Geese’ 35-28 win over Ohio State, the Pac-12 has a real contender — and perhaps multiple. Arizona State and USC hold chugging alongside, and UCLA already owns a marquee non-conference win, too. In another 12 months, the Pac-12 would already be an afterthought. However in 2021, the league is sort of a pair of denim shorts — one thing we made enjoyable of for a lot of the previous 15 years, now all of a sudden cool once more.

Whereas the Pac-12 celebrates, the Huge Ten is reeling. Its three highest-ranked groups within the preseason — Ohio State, Wisconsin and Indiana — have already got losses. In the meantime, Iowa made an emphatic assertion in successful the Cy-Hawk trophy, clearing the way in which for the now-inevitable 9-6 win over Michigan within the Huge Ten title recreation.

But when Oregon-Ohio State delivered a surprising headliner, the undercard tantalized, however in the end fizzled on the end.

At Notre Dame, it took a late TD throw from a QB with a dislocated finger to flee a devastating loss to Toledo. Six days in the past, Brian Kelly took a swing at humor, joking his team should be executed after blowing a 16-point lead in an additional time win over Florida State. After turning the ball over 3 times in a 32-29 win Saturday, the Preventing Irish may need to take into account witness safety.

In Denver, Texas A&M wanted its personal dramatic fourth-quarter drive to beat Colorado 10-7. Starting QB Haynes King left with an injury within the first quarter, and because the Aggies’ whole funds is tied up in contract extensions for Jimbo Fisher, they’d didn’t recruit a backup. Colorado took a 7-3 lead into the fourth quarter, and solely an 11-play, 77-yard grind with lower than eight minutes to play saved A&M from catastrophe.

In Miami, a cat fell from the upper deck to the lower-level of the stadium, solely to be miraculously caught by a few followers with an American flag. Then Andy Borregales saved Miami with a 43-yard, go-ahead discipline purpose with lower than three minutes to play to flee Appalachian State 25-23.

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Watch this loopy video of followers catching a falling cat with an American flag at Onerous Rock Stadium.

Months from now, the video games will merely be remembered as wins for Notre Dame and Texas A&M and Miami. On Saturday, they had been heartburn-inducing, edge-of-your-seat, hold-your-breath miracles. Cinderella’s shoe did not all the time match, however the dance was nonetheless enjoyable.

Within the aftermath of Week 1’s blockbuster matchups, Week 2 was alleged to be a little bit of a snoozer. As an alternative, we obtained a circus. It was simply extra of a neighborhood circus with fried turkey legs, demolition derbies and a few terrifying clowns, relatively than an actual Ringling Bros. manufacturing.

Iowa makes an announcement

Saturday’s Cy-Hawk recreation was a fantastic tribute to all issues Iowa, from Ashton Kutcher’s look on “Faculty GameDay,” to the 15 complete punts, to the 2 groups combining to run the ball 66 occasions regardless of averaging simply 2.3 yards-per-carry. At one level, a fullback sporting a neck roll named Monte Pottebaum (who, we assume, was contractually obligated at start to play at Iowa) delivered the lead block for an Iowa landing. This recreation actually could not have been any extra Iowa if an over-caffeinated Howard Dean had interrupted the postgame information convention to whoop out the names of the Hawkeyes’ subsequent 5 opponents.

For Iowa State, nevertheless, the result felt all too acquainted. This was alleged to be the Cyclones’ 12 months. They’d all of the offseason buzz, a No. 9 rating, a roster chock stuffed with veteran stars and a real path to the Faculty Soccer Playoff. And but, this Cy-Hawk recreation ended the way in which every of the earlier 5 had — with a stagnant offense, a bitter loss and deflated expectations for the season.

Maybe the issue was that we anticipated something completely different. Whereas Iowa State obtained all of the offseason love, it is Iowa that now seems to be prefer it may make an actual run on the playoff. With Ohio State’s loss, the Huge Ten appears fully winnable, and the Hawkeyes’ protection seems to be to be impossibly good, forcing 4 turnovers that made life awfully straightforward for the Iowa offense. It was nonetheless ugly for Iowa — the Hawkeyes managed simply 173 yards of offense — however perhaps that is why we all the time overlook Kirk Ferentz’s crew.

There’s nothing attractive about Iowa — sorry, Ashton — however as soon as once more, Ferentz has his crew within the prime 10, materializing from a cornfield to turn out to be one of the feared groups within the nation.

Huge week for the brand new Huge 12

On Friday, the Huge 12 made it official. In a transfer to protect the convention’s Energy 5 standing, it plans to add BYU, UCF, Houston and Cincinnati, changing SEC-bound Texas and Oklahoma.

For a weekend, no less than, it felt like an excellent commerce.

Texas obtained a style of life within the SEC, and it did not go effectively. The Longhorns could not throw the ball, struggled to run and watched its protection get trucked for greater than 300 yards on the bottom. Someplace, Tom Herman was laughing like a Bond villain.

In the meantime, the Huge 12’s new additions all received simply. Cincinnati turned a 7-7 halftime rating right into a 42-7 win over Murray State. UCF cruised to a 2-0 file, and Houston dominated Rice in a matchup of previous Southwest Convention foes.

What does this imply for the Huge 12 long-term? In all probability nothing, however when there’s an opportunity to snicker at Texas, the league wants to take a seat again and luxuriate in it.

Week 2 Inventory Report

Who’s scorching, who’s not and who’s simply biding their time popping out of the second full week of faculty soccer motion.

Purchase: Oregon‘s offensive line

There was loads of credit score to go round for Oregon’s big win, however no unit labored tougher than the Geese’ entrance 5. QB Anthony Brown had a clear pocket for practically the complete day, and he wasn’t sacked as soon as. In the meantime, Oregon gained 269 yards on the bottom, together with a whopping 206 earlier than contact. The surface run recreation was particularly harmful, as Oregon successfully used the identical run play, sprung by crackback blocks on the line, on three completely different touchdowns. It was significantly spectacular contemplating how uncommon it’s for the Buckeyes’ protection to look so dangerous. It solely occurs in opposition to traditionally nice groups like final 12 months’s Alabama, the 2016 Clemson nationwide champs and, um, 2018 Purdue.

Purchase: UAB’s ‘turnover dragon’

Credit score UAB for pulling off the reverse “Recreation of Thrones.” Towards Georgia, the Blazers delivered the other of the present’s plot by being horrible for the overwhelming majority of the sport, solely to finish on a excessive notice with a 61-yard choose six that concluded with an superior dragon.

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UAB’s Keondre Swoopes exhibits off a turnover chain you will should see to consider after his 60-yard pick-six in opposition to Georgia.

Purchase: A QB controversy at Florida

Dan Mullen didn’t want to talk about it. Then he denied it. However the numbers converse for themselves: Florida has a QB controversy brewing. Emory Jones has appeared downright dangerous in two video games in opposition to lesser competitors up to now this 12 months (two TD passes, 4 interceptions), whereas backup Anthony Richardson has been electrical. In a 42-20 win over USF on Saturday, Richardson threw simply three passes, however completed with extra passing yards (152) than Jones (151) did on 22 throws.

Maintain: Randy Edsall jokes

Positive, the UConn coach stepped down last week after a dismal 0-2 begin for the Huskies, however his former gamers had been hardly impressed by the choice. Purdue demolished UConn 49-0, the crew’s largest margin of defeat since 2018. However you have to hand it to Edsall: the man is aware of tips on how to negotiate a contract, as a result of, certain sufficient, a cautious studying of his retirement paperwork exhibits that any decline in efficiency after his departure nets him one other $140 and free subs for per week at any space Quiznos areas.

Purchase: Previous-school offense

Army‘s choice confronted off in opposition to high-flying Western Kentucky on Saturday in a distinction in kinds so extensive, there may as effectively have been a postgame live performance that includes Kenny G opening for Insane Clown Posse. However within the battle of old-school run video games (Military ran the ball 67 occasions) versus new-school up-tempo passing video games (WKU threw for 435 yards on 42 makes an attempt), it was the choice assault that received the day with Military prevailing 38-35.

Promote: The over in Commander-in-Chief Cup video games

Air Force topped Navy 23-3 within the first recreation between navy academies this season, and the outcome suits properly into one of the constant developments in school soccer. Since 2005, 39 of 49 video games have didn’t hit the Las Vegas complete. Saturday’s over/below was set at an impossibly low 39.5, and but the matchup by no means got here near eclipsing that complete. Air Drive hosts Military on Nov. 6, so mark your calendars to wager that one, too.

Heisman 5

A lot of the prime Heisman contenders had cupcake opponents on the schedule for Week 2, however that did not hold our prime 5 from getting a slight shakeup — even when the title on the prime did not change.

1. Alabama QB Bryce Young

It was a relatively pedestrian efficiency in opposition to an FCS opponent for Alabama’s star QB, with Younger finishing 19-of-27 passes for 227 yards, however do not forget, Mercer has a knack for shutting down stars. The Bears as soon as held Jabari Parker to 4-of-14 taking pictures and beat Duke within the NCAA match. As compared, Younger had a terrific day.

2. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral

The dangerous information is, there have been no canines within the stands to witness Corral’s newest passing feats. The excellent news is, Corral’s Heisman marketing campaign has rocketed into critical contender standing prior to now week, first with a dominant efficiency in opposition to Ole Miss after which, 5 days later, one other straightforward win over Austin Peay. Corral may all however safe the award by beating Alabama on Oct. 2 or throwing a touchdown to a Golden Retriever within the Egg Bowl. Fingers crossed for the latter.

3. Oklahoma QB Spencer Rattler

Rattler shook off the Week 1 struggles in opposition to an overmatched Western Carolina, throwing extra first-quarter TDs Saturday (2) than he threw within the recreation in opposition to Tulane (1). In fact, he’ll have an opportunity to kick his Heisman marketing campaign (and the “Fireplace Scott Frost” marketing campaign) into overdrive subsequent week when the Sooners host Nebraska.

4. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

It is exhausting accountable Stroud for the Buckeyes’ loss. He was terrific — 484 yards and three TDs, with three completely different 100-yard receivers — till a closing interception ended issues. However Stroud obtained little assist. The bottom recreation did not do a lot (simply 4.1 yards/rush) and the protection could not get off the sphere when it needed to.

5. SEC East Backup QBs

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Georgia leads UAB 35-0 at halftime, and Stetson Bennett has already tied the Bulldogs’ single-game file for landing passes with 5.

Can we give a gaggle award to Florida’s Richardson, Georgia’s Stetson Bennett, who filled in for an injured J.T. Daniels in opposition to UAB, and Tennessee’s Hendon Hooker, who got here on in aid of Joe Milton and practically led the Volunteers to a come-from-behind win over Pitt? Mixed, the three backup QBs within the SEC East completed 28-of-36 passing for 629 yards, ran for an additional 183, and tallied 10 complete touchdowns with only one interception. Add in South Carolina successful its second straight with grad assistant-turned-starting QB Zeb Noland, and the SEC East can rightfully declare to be the perfect division for backup QBs within the nation. Texas A&M may study one thing right here.

Beneath-the-Radar Play of the Week

Nothing generates buzz on a school soccer Saturday like some really epic punting, so by no means thoughts the truth that Buffalo misplaced its recreation at Nebraska. The actual information was the 81-yard punt late within the first half — the longest punt of 2021 up to now. Not impressed? Oh, we forgot to say, it was Buffalo QB Kyle Vantrease who delivered the kick. It wasn’t fully out of character. Vantrease labored as a punter in 2019 earlier than taking on because the crew’s beginning QB, and he added a 42-yard boot in opposition to Ball State final season.

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Buffalo QB Kyle Vantrease punts the ball out of the shotgun, touchdown it 81 yards into the top zone for a touchback.

Beneath-the-Radar Recreation of the Week

Northern Illinois did not win a recreation in 2020, but it surely’s been among the many most enjoyable groups to look at up to now in 2021. Per week after the Huskies transformed a two-point try with lower than a minute to play to stun Georgia Tech, they practically pulled off one other dramatic comeback.

Trailing Wyoming 42-16 halfway by way of the third quarter, NIU QB (and Flash Gordon lookalike contest winner) Rocky Lombardi led three TD drives in seven minutes to tug the Huskies to 42-36. NIU obtained the ball again once more with 9:58 to go, marched 45 yards on 10 performs for the TD and a one-point lead.

Sadly, the magic wore off within the closing 5 minutes of motion, with Wyoming going 75 yards for a landing of its personal to safe a 50-43 win.

Nonetheless, NIU was the primary crew to path by no less than 26 within the third quarter of a recreation and maintain a lead within the fourth quarter of the identical recreation since Colorado State did it in opposition to San Jose State in 2018. It is simply the fifth time that is been completed prior to now decade.

https://www.espn.com/college-football/story/_/web page/gamedayfinal091121/big-upsets-more-close-calls-week-2-nearly-brings-complete-chaos | Huge upsets and quite a lot of shut calls

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