College Football Week Three: Winners and Losers
Week three saw teams make statement wins and a few surprises. Here are my winners and losers: Winners: Clemson
Week three saw teams make statement wins and a few surprises. Here are my winners and losers:
- Clemson Tigers: Quarterback Kelly Bryant threw for 316 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for two touchdowns. Linebacker Dorian O’Daniel had a pick six as the Tigers dominated the Louisville Cardinals 47-21. I think people are starting to notice the defending champion Tigers now.
- Florida Gators: Quarterback Felepie Frank’s 63-yard Hail Mary to wide receiver Tyrie Cleveland as time expired helped the Gators defeat the Tennessee Volunteers 26-20. 37 points were scored in the fourth quarter, not an instant classic, but the last 15 minutes were.
- Vanderbilt Commodores: Quarterback Kyle Shurmur’s go-ahead touchdown run with 8:23 left in the game and defensive stops late helped Vandy stun the Kansas State Wildcats 14-7. This is their first win against a ranked non-conference opponent since 1946 (yes, you read that right). The Commodores have held their opponents to 13 total points so far, a great win for them and head coach Derek Mason. They’re 3-0 for the first time since 2011.
- Memphis Tigers: Quarterback Riley Ferguson threw for 398 yards and six touchdowns that helped the Tigers upset the UCLA Bruins 48-45. A great program building win for the Tigers and head coach Mike Norvell. The Tigers could be one of the non-Power Five teams vying for that New Year Six bowl bid.
- San Diego State Aztecs: After a 20-minute darkness delay, quarterback Christian Chapman’s 8-yard touchdown pass to tight end David Wells with 54 seconds left helped the Aztecs surprise the Stanford Cardinal 20-17. It’s the Aztecs third straight win against a Pac 12 team. At 3-0, they’re another non-Power Five team to look out for that’ll be vying for that New Year Six bowl bid.
- Northern Illinois Huskies: The Huskies had a pick six and running back Jordan Huff scored the go-ahead touchdown with less than nine minutes left as the Huskies shocked the Nebraska Cornhuskers 21-17. They’re the first non-Power Five team or major independent to win in Lincoln since 2004, they got a cool $820,000 to boot.
- Louisville Cardinals: The defense gave up 613 total yards and were 5 for 16 on third downs in their loss to Clemson.
- LSU Tigers: The Tigers just couldn’t get their offense going and their defense couldn’t stop Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald, who had four total touchdowns, as the Bulldogs dominated the Tigers 37-7.
- Tennessee Volunteers: Yes, the Vols gave up a last-second Hail Mary, but interceptions and missed field goals were the Vols’ undoing in their loss to Florida.
- Nebraska Cornhuskers: Quarterback Tanner Lee’s two early interceptions (one a pick six) put the Huskers in an early hole, they eventually lost to Northern Illinois. Athletic director Shawn Eichorst did give head coach Mike Riley, a vote of confidence, but he and other Husker fans and former players are frustrated.
- Kansas State Wildcats: Quarterback Jesse Ertz’s two interceptions and being only 4 for 16 on third downs stalled drives in their loss to Vandy.
- UCLA Bruins: The defense couldn’t slow down Memphis’ offense and some ill-advised passes by quarterback Josh Rosen cost the Bruins in their loss to Memphis.
- Stanford Cardinal: Quarterback Keller Chryst only had 72 passing yards in the Cardinal’s loss to San Diego State.
Storylines Going Into Week Four:
USC goes up north and plays California. Can TCU slow down Oklahoma State? Duke plays North Carolina (no this isn’t basketball season yet). Can Michigan get their offense together against a scrappy Purdue? SDSU plays Air Force.
Mississippi State meets Georgia. Penn State travels to Iowa. Florida plays Kentucky. Washington goes to Colorado. Arizona State hosts Oregon. UCLA goes to Stanford.