What I Loved and Hated from College Football Week 3
It started with a wild animal surveying the sideline, trying to avoid capture. It then turned to Alabama-Texas A&M, a hyped-packed showdown that provided endless entertainment and a basketball score.
In between, a player saw his helmet get caught in another player's jersey, so much so that he required quick helmet surgery. And it all concluded with a controversial ending, one that will be difficult to comprehend despite extended rulebook dissection.
Just another college football-packed weekend, of course. Week 3 wasn't necessarily loaded with meaningful matchups, but it didn't lack intrigue. Just ask Michigan.
Here’s what I loved and hated from a weird and wonderful special teams-packed Week 3.
Loved: Louisiana Tech's Two-Upright Field Goal
It’s simple, really. Some field goals should be worth more than three points.
Case in point is this boot from Louisiana Tech’s Kyle Fischer, who managed to hit both—yes, both—uprights on a 24-yard field-goal attempt against Tulane. Fischer is basically the guy at the local rec center who calls “bank” on a shot that nearly hit the ceiling.
But hey, it worked, and the kick counted. The double "doink" noises were an added bonus.
College football certainly has a lengthy to-do list, but installing a five-point bonus for a double-upright achievement requires immediate attention.
Hated: To Run into a Fox on the Football Field
Anytime a cartoonish mascot attempts to corner a live animal on national television, that’s good news for everyone. When that animal happens to be a fox searching the sidelines for an exit, well, that’s good news for everyone but the mascot.
Yes, a real-life fox actually surfaced during the TCU-Texas Tech game in Lubbock.
I wish I could tell you the game didn’t get any weirder than this, but it did. A faulty fair catch signal, horrendous officiating, fumbles and other assorted turnovers were also featured, though the fox still proved to be the highlight.
It did not get snaps on offense for TCU, however, which was a bit of a surprise.
Loved: Midnight Yell at Texas A&M
The tradition is not new, but that doesn’t mean it shouldn’t be celebrated. When 50,000 football fans show up at a stadium at midnight before game day to scream—as they do at Texas A&M for Midnight Yell—that’s something.
In preparation for the biggest game of the college football season, A&M fans showed up and packed the stadium, making this one of the best-attended Midnight Yells ever.
If you needed a reminder why college football is better than everything else—and you don’t, but it doesn’t matter—here’s that reminder.
Hated: The End of the Arizona State-Wisconsin Game
If you stayed up to watch the final seconds of Week 3, you were treated to something you’ve never seen before. In this instance, it may not be a good thing, although that depends on which team you wanted to win.
The last ticks of the Wisconsin-Arizona State game were bizarre—this much we know.
Badgers quarterback Joel Stave appeared to take a knee—although even this was difficult to confirm—and placed the ball down. Arizona State players jumped on it, causing time to run off the clock, and the officials sort of just stood around, watching it all. There was a whistle in there, but it didn't matter.
Time expired, Arizona State hung on and Pac-12 officials went full Pac-12 officials.
Loved: This Magnificent Punt Block
Bowling Green's Paul Senn took the handoff perfectly. The only difference between this play and the normal handoffs you’re accustomed to, however, is that Senn is a linebacker and the handoff came off a punter’s foot.
The ball never touched the ground on this particular block, a strange but rare special-teams occurrence that would be laughed at it if it ever made the script of a football movie.
There’s no way that would ever happen.
Oh, there’s a way. There's most certainly a way.
Hated: The Refs Missing This Field Goal Call
Another field goal makes the cut, although this one was much less fun. Just ask Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini, who was not pleased with the original call on the field, to say the least.
Before this game swung in UCLA’s favor, Bruins kicker Ka'imi Fairbairn saw one of his kicks ruled good by the officials.
The problem? The kick was reviewed and the ruling was overturned, which is not something you see often.
These three points did not end up helping the Cornhuskers, though. Nebraska needed approximately seven more of these rulings.
Hated: That This GameDay Sign Will Make All Other Signs Look Bad
(Click the image for the full effect.)
It’s over, folks. That’s it.
Pack up that creative sign you were going to make for ESPN’s College GameDay, tuck away those markers you just purchased and don’t even bother.
This Johnny Manziel sign moves, and it accurately portrays his now infamous money gesture.
Did I mention that the sign moves? This part is important, and GameDay has never seen an operational masterpiece quite like this.
Sure, you were going to write “[Insert Player here] LOVES Nickelback,” or [Insert Opposing Coach here] Wears Cargo Shorts,” or maybe take a giant cutout of your head and put it on a stick.
That’s all fine, but the bar has just been set incredibly high.
Loved: Nick Marshall Completing a Pass to Himself
Oh, now Nick Marshall is just showing off.
Auburn’s starting quarterback wasn’t content with a game-winning touchdown to snap his team’s 10-game SEC losing streak. No, he decided it was time for him to complete a 37-yard pass…to himself.
This play has happened before, although when quarterbacks catch one of their batted passes, they rarely run for a gain. In fact, Miami quarterback Stephen Morris lost more than 15 yards on his self-catch earlier this season.
Not here, though. Just your classic box score double-up.
Loved: B.J. Lowery's Absurd One-Handed Interception
This is why slow-mo was invented. Even more impressive than Iowa’s B.J. Lowery’s absurd one-handed catch is when (and where) he came up with it.
With Iowa State mounting a late drive—and Iowa poised to be Iowa—Lowery shut these possibilities down by going up and snatching the ball out of thin air with one hand.
Watch this one a few times; it gets better and better with multiple viewings. Kirk Ferentz will undoubtedly receive a 35-year contract extension because of it.
Hated: To See a Helmet Caught in a Jersey
Arkansas running back Alex Collins is the first freshman in the SEC to run for 100 yards in his first three games. He’s also the first player in the conference—as far as we know—to ever get a helmet caught in his jersey so badly that it required the equipment manager to perform facemask surgery.
Southern Miss defensive back Ed Wilkins was trying to bring down the talented frosh runner, and he ended up with, well, more than he bargained for.
No, the helmet was not on Wilkins when said equipment surgery occurred, although a screwdriver of some kind was necessary. As if you needed any more evidence that Week 3 was really odd.
Loved: The Wizardry of Johnny Manziel
Some plays require no further description or diagnosis.
Was there skill involved? Absolutely.
Was it lucky? Absolutely.
Should you watch it again, and again, and again? Absolutely.