BCS National Title Game '11

BCS National Title Game '11
BCS National Championship 1/10/11 Oregon vs Auburn

Monday, September 17, 2012

College Football Week 3 Recap

My Overall Record: 19-11
My Record in Week 3: 5-5   losses: Iowa over Northern Iowa, Florida over Tennessee, Stanford over  
                                                         USC, Notre Dame over Michigan State, Utah over BYU

Best Game from Week 3: Stanford 21, USC 14

It happened again! The upset bug found new victims this past weekend. The most recognizable victim was the USC Trojans losing at Stanford. The Trojans lost their fourth straight game to the Cardinal and Matt Barkley will never be able to say he defeated the Cardinal while at USC. So much for Barkley's unfinished business this season. This loss may have taken them out of the National Title Game. Another game resulting in a big upset, was a non-conference game between Virginia Tech and Pittsburgh. Pittsburgh came into the game with an 0-2 record with losses to FCS Youngstown State and Cincinnati. The Panthers rolled over the #13 Hokies 35-17 at home. Two other games that the nation figured to be potential upset games were UL-Monroe-Auburn and Utah State-Wisconsin. Auburn escaped in overtime 31-28 and Wisconsin won on a Utah State missed field goal with seconds remaining in the game 16-14. There was also a crazy game that ended football Saturday between in-state rivals Brigham Young and Utah. Brigham Young made their way down the field to get into field goal position to tie the game. Utah thought they had won the game twice. A booth review showed that an incomplete pass had hit the ground with one second remaining. Brigham Young then tried a 51-yard field goal and it was blocked, but the Utah players and students ran on the field prior to the end of the play, so Utah was penalized fifteen yards for unsportsmanlike conduct. BYU then had a chance to tie it on a 36-yard field and hit it off the upright. Utah ended up winning one of the craziest games in recent memory.

What we learned from Week 3:

The Trojans are not invincible.

- The team many people picked to go the BCS National Title this season, including me, thought the Trojans would definitely be undefeated when facing the Ducks in November. Stanford proved that their physical defense could hold the Trojans to just 280 total yards. Matt Barkley had no touchdown passes and two interceptions. We found out that this Trojan team can be beat by being physical and putting a lot of pressure on Matt Barkley. The Trojans also showed their vulnerability upfront as starting center Khaled Holmes did not play in the second half, because of an injury that he suffered against Syracuse a week before. This offense can be contained and the Trojans will need to bounce back this upcoming weekend at home against Cal, who played tough at Ohio State this past weekend.

Stanford proved they are a contender in the Pac-12.

- Stanford looked awful in Week 1 and could hardly beat San Jose State. In just a few weeks, the quarterback play of Josh Nunes has improved tremendously and the play of running back Stepfan Taylor has proven to the nation why he is one of the elite rushers. The Cardinal defense has played great too and looks to be just as good as they were the past two seasons. The nation thought that the Cardinal would be an average team without Andrew Luck, but a win over the Trojans has put them back in the race for the Pac-12 North title with Oregon. If Stanford only loses one conference game before November 17th. A meeting in Eugene against the Ducks could decide who wins the Pac-12 North Division title.

The Gators proved they are a competitor in the SEC East.

The road warrior Gators have proven themselves these past two weekends. The Gators went into a hostile Kyle Field two weeks ago and beat Texas A&M 20-17. This past weekend, the Gators played Tennessee in a very crucial game and won convincingly 37-20. The Gators also showed that they can pass the ball too. Jeff Driskel had a solid game passing for 219 yards and two touchdowns. The Gator rushing attack will be even more solid with Mike Gillislee and Trey Burton, who had his coming out party against Tennessee by having three rushing attempts for 91 yards and two touchdowns. The Gators could be a lot better then we all thought they would be this year.

Notre Dame made big strides on Saturday night.

The Fighting Irish made a big statement in East Lansing by defensively destroying the Spartans and winning 20-3. Michigan State running back Le'Veon Bell had 77 yards rushing, but had nothing to show for it. The Notre Dame defense led by linebacker Manti Te'o, who lost his grandmother and girlfriend this past week, had 12 total tackles and helped lead the Irish to a big win. The QB position is looking better and better with Everett Golson too, as he passed for 178 yards, one touchdown pass, and no interceptions. The Irish will now try to make it to the next step by beating Michigan next weekend at home. The Irish have lost the last three meetings to Michigan by four points. We will see if this tough Irish defense can contain Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson.

The nation was let down by Tennessee and Michigan State.

Tennessee and Michigan State went into this past weekend with hopes of beating Florida and Notre Dame. Both hung close for awhile, but did not have enough to hold on in the fourth quarter. Tennessee coach Derek Dooley desperately needed this game against Florida and his team simply ran out of gas. Michigan State could not do anything offensively and RB Le'Veon Bell may be out of the Heisman picture now. Michigan State was also thought of as the best team in the Big Ten too, but did not live up to expectations on Saturday night.

Arkansas's season is possibly over.

After experiencing one of the biggest upsets in Arkansas football history to UL-Monroe two weeks ago, the Razorbacks were manhandled by Bama this past weekend 52-0. It was the first time Arkansas had been shutout at home since 1966. What made this loss even worse though, was after the game when star quarterback Tyler Wilson, who did not play against Bama, called out his teammates in a post-game interview. John L. Smith has possibly lost some of his players confidence and who knows how they will fare the rest of the season. If Tyler Wilson cannot play again, I'm not even sure if they will be able to beat Rutgers this upcoming weekend.

Last thought: 

- The Pac-12 continues to be the second best conference in the country. For the second straight week, Oregon, Stanford, USC, UCLA, and Arizona are all ranked. The Pac-12 may even be competitive this season.

- The Big Ten continues to struggle in non-conference play. This is continuing to make the conference look worse and worse. Michigan State looked awful against Notre Dame, Wisconsin had to win on a missed field goal attempt against Utah State, Ohio State barely beat Cal at home, and Indiana lost to Ball State. Two good things did happen this past weekend though, Penn State won their first game of the Bill O'Brien era over Navy 34-7. Northwestern also took down Boston College in a close ballgame 22-13 The Wildcats have now defeated a Big East, SEC, and ACC opponent this season. Michigan desperately needs to beat Notre Dame this upcoming weekend in South Bend to help revitalize the image of the Big Ten.

- I cannot say enough about quarterback Geno Smith of West Virginia. West Virginia has not faced any quality opponents yet, but he has been unstoppable. Smith currently has a completion percentage of 88.0 and nine touchdown passes. In just two games, Smith has passed for a combined 734 yards. Smith is definitely in the Heisman picture right now. West Virginia will not get their first real challenge of the season until October 6th though, when they travel to Austin to play Texas.

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