College Football: Week 3 Recap
A sigh of relief in Ann Arbor, a shootout in College Station and controversy in Tempe—that’s just a brief list of what occurred in Week 3 of the 2013 college football season.
What was expected to be an easy win for the Michigan Wolverines after a big win over Notre Dame just a week before turned out to almost be a nightmare in the “Big House.” Akron was on Michigan’s four-yard line with five seconds remaining. Kyle Pohl’s incomplete pass to Zach D’Orazio in the end zone as time expired gave the Wolverines a 28-24 victory.
Not only did Michigan look a little hungover, it took the Fighting Irish until the fourth quarter to put a less-than-mediocre Purdue team away on the road. Notre Dame was able to bounce back with a 31-24 win.
The showdown in College Station did not disappoint. Johnny Manziel played out of his mind, but two costly interceptions, which included one in the end zone and another going for a Vinnie Sunseri return for a touchdown, proved to be the difference maker. Alabama senior quarterback AJ McCarron had a solid game as well and helped lead the Crimson Tide to a high-scoring 49-42 win.
As the night seemed to be over, controversy erupted in the desert as Arizona State defeated Wisconsin 32-30 on a confusing last second play. This topic will be discussed later in final thought.
Here is a recap from Week 3, which includes pick results, what we learned and final thought.
Picks and Results from Top 10 Games
Junior Auburn quarterback Nick Marshall against Mississippi State on Sept. 14.
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Overall Record: 23-7
Week 3 Record: 8-2
Note: Team in Bold indicates author’s pick.
Prediction: Nebraska 31, UCLA 28
Result: UCLA 41, Nebraska 21
It was a tale of two halves for the Nebraska Cornhuskers. It was a bit surprising to see the Huskers take a 21-3 lead in the second quarter and it appeared they would run away with the game. Then the second half started, and everything went downhill from there.
The Huskers were outscored 31-0 and couldn't get anything going offensively. The Nebraska defense was dominated yet again, this time by one of the best quarterbacks in the country, Brett Hundley, who passed for 294 yards and three touchdowns.
Prediction: Oregon 48, Tennessee 17
Result: Oregon 59, Tennessee 14
Tennessee enjoyed their temporary 7-0 lead in the first quarter as the Oregon offense struggled, but it eventually got ugly for Rocky Top as the Ducks dismantled them in the second quarter.
By the end of the first half, Oregon was already up 38-7 and the game was clearly over.
Quarterback Marcus Mariota had a career-high 456 passing yards and five total touchdowns. Wide receiver Josh Huff had a solid 125 receiving yards and one touchdown, but it was freshman tight end John Mundt, who replaced Colt Lyerla for the game, that looked impressive. Mundt had five receptions for 121 yards and two touchdowns.
Prediction: Alabama 34, Texas A&M 31
Result: Alabama 49, Texas A&M 42
The most hyped game heading into the 2013 season turned into a more of a shootout than expected. Texas A&M came out of the gates ready to go, as they quickly went up 14-0, but the Crimson Tide stormed back and made it 28-14 heading into the half.
It looked like Alabama was going to run away with the game after Vinnie Sunseri intercepted Johnny Manziel’s pass and ran it back for a 73-yard touchdown, but the game was far from over. Manziel and wide receiver Mike Evans played great and almost brought the Aggies back, but they fell just short, 49-42.
Prediction: Washington 33, Illinois 31
Result: Washington 34, Illinois 24
The game was rather defensive in the first half and basically all of the scoring occurred in the second half. Washington led 31-10 near the end of the third quarter and Illinois tried to battle back by getting the score to 34-24 in the fourth quarter, but a Nathan Scheelhaase interception with 3:51 to go helped give the Huskies the win.
Washington senior quarterback Keith Price had another solid outing, as he threw for 342 yards and two touchdowns. Star running back Bishop Sankey rushed for 208 yards and scored two touchdowns. The Husky offense racked up an astounding 615 total yards.
Prediction: Iowa 20, Iowa State 17
Result: Iowa 27, Iowa State 21
Iowa controlled the game for the most part as they led 27-7 with 7:05 left in the fourth quarter, but Iowa State made a comeback by scoring two touchdowns in two minutes to put the game at 27-21. The Hawkeyes held on for dear life and escaped Ames with their first win over the Cyclones since 2010. Iowa running back Mark Weisman had a good day offensively by rushing for 145 yards.
Prediction: Ohio State 42, Cal 27
Result: Ohio State 52, Cal 34
No Braxton Miller, no problem. Backup Ohio State quarterback Kenny Guiton had a stellar performance as he threw for 276 yards and four touchdowns. Both wide receiver Devin Smith and running back Jordan Hall had a big game as well. Smith had 149 receiving yards and two touchdowns, while Hall rushed for 168 yards and scored three touchdowns. Ohio State won by a solid margin, but the defense gave up a few long touchdown plays and 503 total yards.
Prediction: South Carolina 34, Vanderbilt 20
Result: South Carolina 35, Vanderbilt 25
South Carolina was up the entire game and easily took down James Franklin’s Commodores at home. Connor Shaw had three touchdown passes, while wide receiver Bruce Ellington had 111 yards and one touchdown reception. All-American defensive end Jadeveon Clowney finally looked like his normal self, as he recorded four tackles and one sack.
Prediction: Auburn 28, Mississippi State 23
Result: Auburn 24, Mississippi State 20
This was a huge win for new head coach Gus Malzahn and the Auburn program. The Tigers started at their 12-yard line with 1:56 remaining in the fourth quarter. Quarterback Nick Marshall took his team down the field and eventually threw a game-winning 11-yard touchdown pass with 10 seconds left. With this being a win Auburn needed more than anything, Mississippi State was left heartbroken with their second loss of the season.
Prediction: Ole Miss 31, Texas 27
Result: Ole Miss 44, Texas 23
The Longhorns were without starting quarterback David Ash because of a head and right shoulder injury, but that wasn't even the biggest issue. The Texas defense had trouble all night trying to contain quarterback Bo Wallace and lethal running back Jeff Scott. Scott’s 73-yard punt return at the end of the third quarter is what put the game out of reach for Texas.
The Longhorns did not play well during their non-conference schedule and will be hoping to bounce back at home against Kansas State next week.
Prediction: Wisconsin 38, Arizona State 35
Result: Arizona State 32, Wisconsin 30
This ended up being the close game it was supposed to be. Wisconsin’s Melvin Gordon played lights out by rushing for 193 yards and two touchdowns. Arizona State’s Marion Grice hit 87 rushing yards and found the end zone four times. The Badgers led mostly the entire game, until the Sun Devils scored two touchdowns in about three minutes in the fourth quarter to make it 32-24.
Wisconsin came back and scored with 3:53 remaining and was still down by two after a missed two-point conversion. Their final drive was about to be topped off with a game-winning field goal, but chaos erupted and the Sun Devils came away with the win.
What We Learned: Things Are Bad in Austin
Texas head coach Mack Brown.
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Brigham Young University put up 679 yards and 40 points on the Longhorns two weeks ago. Defensive coordinator Manny Diaz was fired and Longhorn Network analyst Greg Robinson was promoted.
This past Saturday, Ole Miss, an up-and-coming program in the SEC, blew Texas out.
The Rebels had 449 yards and 44 points. These aren't powerhouse programs Texas faced, and the fact they gave up an average of 42.0 points in two games is downright scary. David Ash was out, but the chances Texas would have scored at least 40 points is slim.
If the Longhorns can go at least 8-1 in Big 12 play, Mack Brown’s job could be saved. It’s not looking good, though, after what the nation has witnessed these past two weeks.
Texas has to beat Kansas State this upcoming Saturday at home. Of course, the Longhorns are 0-5 against the Wildcats since 2006.
What We Learned: Johnny Manziel Could Be Better Than Last Season
Sophomore quarterback Johnny Manziel against Alabama on Sept. 14.
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What can't 2012 Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel not do?
Even though the Aggies lost to the Crimson Tide, it was almost as if they had won because of Manziel’s ridiculous performance.
His ability to scramble away from defenders and make off-balance throws is what make him particularly dangerous. Playing against a solid defense, Manziel threw for 464 yards and five touchdowns. He also rushed for 98 yards as well.
After being down 42-21 heading into the fourth quarter, Manziel almost brought the Aggies back, but special teams failed to recover an onside kick with 15 seconds remaining.
Manziel’s 95-yard pass to talented wide receiver Mike Evans was one of the most impressive plays of the game, along with his scramble in the second quarter when he avoided getting tackled 25 yards behind the line of scrimmage and ended up throwing a jump ball to Edward Pope for a 12-yard gain and a first down.
Manziel may have his off-field issues, but when he’s on the field under center, he continues to be the most dangerous player in college football.
What We Learned: UCLA Is a True Pac-12 Conference Title Contender
UCLA sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley at Nebraska on Sept.14.
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The UCLA Bruins didn't look like their usual selves in the first half at Nebraska, but they woke up once the second half began and dismantled the Huskers both offensively and defensively.
After watching the Bruins performance this past Saturday, they are talented enough to contend for the conference title with Oregon and Stanford. In the Pac-12 South Division, they appear to be the team to beat.
Arizona State was lucky enough to come away with a win at home against Wisconsin, and USC may not be as talented as we thought prior to the start of the season.
Sophomore quarterback Brett Hundley is one of the best dual-threat quarterbacks in the nation. The Bruin offense also consists of running back Jordon James and wide receiver Shaquelle Evans. The offense is averaging 298.0 passing yards per game, 277.5 rushing yards per game and 49.5 points per game this season.
The defense is also talented this season with a solid linebacking corps led by Anthony Barr. Barr was sound defensively against Nebraska on Saturday, as he recorded 11 total tackles.
What We Learned: Blake Bell Will Be Oklahoma’s New Starting Quarterback
Oklahoma quarterback Blake Bell against Tulsa on Sept. 14.
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There was finally life in the Oklahoma offense against Tulsa on Saturday. Trevor Knight, who originally beat out Blake Bell for the starting quarterback job, was out of Saturday’s game with a bruised knee injury.
Bell took full advantage of his opportunity to earn the starting job after he went an impressive 27-of-37 for 413 yards and threw for four touchdowns.
The one they called "The Belldozer” last season because of his ability to pound the ball into the end zone near the goal line proved that he can pass the ball as well.
Bell has already been named the starter for their matchup with Notre Dame in South Bend on Sept. 28.
Wisconsin quarterback Joel Stave (No. 2) complains to an official after time expired in the fourth quarter.
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The ending of the Wisconsin-Arizona State game Saturday night in Tempe was one of those crazy endings where after it's over you're literally speechless and can't seem to wrap your mind around what you've just witnessed.
View the video here.
The Badgers appeared to be in position for an easy game-winning field goal after Joel Stave’s 51-yard pass to Jeff Duckworth put them in Arizona State territory. Two more passes to Jacob Pedersen and Jared Abbrederis eventually put them on the 13-yard line.
With 18 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter and the Badgers down by just two points, Stave ran to the middle of the field to give placekicker Kyle French an easier field-goal try.
It then became rather confusing after that point.
Did Stave in fact take a knee and lay the ball down for officials, so he could get the snap off and spike it with almost no time remaining in the game?
Looking at Stave before he placed the ball down, it appears he kneels down quickly, but others say he didn't.
Whether he actually took a knee or not wasn't even the worst part of the situation. The Pac-12 officials, yes I repeat the always "reliable" Pac-12 official,s did a poor job handling the situation.
If it was a fumble, call it a fumble. The officials though, made it clear his knee touched the ground and were looking to put the ball down so Wisconsin could snap it and spike it.
Arizona State linebacker Anthony Jones covered the ball with his body and prevented the officials from gaining access to it as the clock ticked down. That should have been a delay of game penalty.
The fact that the officials stormed off the field and had no official review is what made this ending so frustrating to witness.
Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott reprimanded those officials on Monday, but will this make any difference?
The officiating for both football and basketball have been a problem for years. If you are a Pac-12 sports fan, you know exactly what I’m talking about. For some reason, the officiating has not been up to par and it’s painful to watch.
Something has to be fixed, otherwise instances like this particular one are going to continue to happen.