Lived Up to The Hype. The Sooners are national title contenders. The Seminoles, nearly as loaded, may be one year away. Their collision on Saturday night was brilliant. Each blunted what the other did well. The more experienced, resourceful team, Oklahoma, won. It was exactly what should happen when two great teams meet. Landry Jones was especially impressive. Most of his play left something to be desired, but briskly marauding 83 yards down the field for an immediate touchdown after FSU tied the game was Tom Brady-esque. There may be teams that can beat Oklahoma, but the Sooners won’t face them until January.
Advantage Chavis. LSU’s defense is just nasty. Entrusting that level of size and athleticism to John Chavis is just unfair. Mississippi State, the best rushing offense in the SEC entering the game, was held to 52 yards. Chris Relf looked as though he was executing cavalry feints against fixed fortifications and panzers. The Tigers’ offense is almost criminally inept given its talent. The defense is so dominant it’s not going to matter.
That’s a Shame. Let the Urban Meyer speculation commence…err continue unabated. Luke Fickell was a man thrust into his dream job about five years too early. The past two weeks his team has reflected that. After a near loss ast week to Toledo, the Buckeyes were obliterated 24-6 by Miami, and dropped from the Top 25 for the first time since 2004. The offense was putrid. Bauserman and Miller combined to complete just four of 18 passes for 35 yards. The defense, an expected strength, was even more worrisome. Lamar Miller posted 184 yards on seven yards per carry (OSU allowed 96 per game last year). Jacory Harris looked reasonably competent, despite peppering in his customary interceptions. Fickell better hope the returning tattoo aficionados affect games immediately. Their October – MSU, at Nebraska, at Illinois, Wisconsin – is starting to look dicey.
Those McCoy Boys. For the first time since 2009, Texas has a starting quarterback named McCoy. For the first time since 2009, they have a functional offense. Case was efficient, completing 12/15 for 168 yards and two touchdowns. Touted freshman Malcolm Brown ran for 110 yards and a further two touchdowns. The outpouring did come against UCLA, already loading the women, children and obnoxiously wealthy into lifeboats, but it should still be encouraging. With their defense still a definite top 20-unit, an average offense or slightly better should keep the Longhorns relevant for more than just realignment discussions.
Run Defense. Notre Dame didn’t rack up the yardage stats, they just won by 18 points. They played more conservatively, leaning on the ground game and restraining Tommy Rees to 26 throws. The Irish won by managing the game, getting huge plays from the defense and special teams and, most crucially, stopping the run. Le’Veon Bell has been arguably the most successful running back against ND this season. He had seven carries for 27 yards. Michigan State never got the ground attack going. If Kirk Cousins is going to throw 53 times, MSU’s opponent will probably win.
If they ever start playing to their potential… Spurrier’s talented darlings have done just enough to win this season, and absolutely no more. The Gamecocks continued this trend on Saturday, squeezing out a 24-21 win at home against Navy. The OBC rode Marcus Lattimore who touched the ball 41 times for 271 yards and three touchdowns.
The Franklin Effect. Zac Stacy ran for 169 yards on 11 carries and spearheaded Vanderbilt’s 30-7 win over Ole Miss. Zac Stoudt contributed five interceptions in what was, consequently, a losing effort. James Franklin has Vandy 3-0 with wins over Connecticut and a conference foe and enough notice to get Top 25 votes. Houston Nutt just had the gas turned up under his seat.