50 Lessons We Learned from Week 2 of the College Football Season

Danny Flynn@FlynnceptionSenior Analyst ISeptember 10, 2012

50 Lessons We Learned from Week 2 of the College Football Season

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    If you happen to be a fan of both blowouts and college football, you have been in heaven these past two weeks.

    So far, the 2012 college football season has been filled with boring, lopsided blowouts. That's because many of the top-ranked teams decided to pad their non-conference schedules with weak, inferior competition.

    As a result, it’s still hard to assess the strength of the top teams.

    Still, there was a lot to soak up from the second weekend of the season.

    Here are 50 lessons we learned.

LSU’s Defense Can Make Great Quarterbacks Look Average

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    Washington's Keith Price is one of the most talented quarterbacks in college football, but he certainly didn't look great against LSU. 

    The Tigers completely shut down Price and the Washington offense in their 41-3 victory in Death Valley. 

    Price completed just 47 percent of his passes, threw for just 157 yards, tossed an interception and was sacked four times. 

    LSU's defense, led by potential All-Americans such as defensive ends Barkevious Mingo and Sam Montgomery and safety Eric Reid, looks like it could be the best in the country. 

Arkansas Doesn’t Have the Defense It Takes to Win the SEC

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    One SEC team that certainly doesn't have a dominant defense is Arkansas. 

    The Razorbacks got lit up by Louisiana-Monroe, which totaled 550 yards in a stunning 34-31 upset victory in Little Rock. Warhawks quarterback Kolton Browning threw for 421 yards and three touchdowns in the win. 

    Remember, this is also an Arkansas defense that gave up 322 yards and 24 points to FCS school Jacksonville State in Week 1. 

    If Arkansas doesn't get its defensive flaws corrected soon, the Razorbacks could turn into just another SEC also-ran. 

Matt Barkley Could Throw for 50 Touchdowns This Year

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    There hasn't been a college quarterback who's thrown 50 touchdowns in a season since former Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford reached the total back in 2008, the same year he won the Heisman. 

    USC's Matt Barkley looks like he could be the next quarterback to do it.

    After throwing six touchdowns in a win over Syracuse, Barkley now has 10 touchdown passes in two games, and he's on pace to throw 60 touchdowns in 2012. 

    While he won't reach 60, the Heisman favorite definitely has a chance to throw at least 50, especially since he has Marqise Lee and Robert Woods—the best receiver duo in the country—at his disposal. 

Johnathan Franklin Is an Early Heisman Dark Horse

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    Nobody was talking about UCLA RB Johnathan Franklin as a Heisman contender before the season began.

    But Franklin's proven that he definitely belongs in the conversation with his performances in the first two games of the season. 

    After rushing for 214 yards and three touchdowns against Rice in Week 1, Franklin managed to produce at an even higher level against Nebraska, totaling 276 yards of offense and scoring a key touchdown in the 36-30 upset win. 

    The 5'11'', 195-pound senior leads the country in rushing and has established himself as the top contender for the Pac-12 rushing title. 

    If Franklin can keep this tear going, and if the Bruins can keep winning, we could hear his name and the word Heisman in the same sentence soon. 

Don’t Doubt Denard Robinson

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    Denard Robinson faced a ton of criticism in the week following Michigan's blowout loss to Alabama.

    But against Air Force in Week 2, Robinson rose to the occasion and quieted his doubters. The dynamic dual-threat quarterback totaled 426 yards of offense and accounted for four touchdowns in the 31-25 victory. 

Braxton Miller Is Having No Trouble Adapting to Urban Meyer’s Offense

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    Braxton Miller seemed like a great fit for Urban Meyer's shotgun-based spread offense, and so far this season, he's had no trouble adapting to Meyer's offensive scheme. 

    After an encouraging performance against Miami (Ohio) in Week 1, Miller put together an even better game against Central Florida. 

    The sophomore signal-caller proved that he was a true dual-threat weapon, as he completed 75 percent of his passes for 155 yards and a touchdown while also rushing for 141 yards and three scores. 

    It should be fun to see if Miller can keep up the pace and put together another big game against Cal this weekend. 

Wisconsin Can't Get the Job Done on the Road

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    During coach Bret Bielema's tenure at Wisconsin, the Badgers have been the most dominant home team in the country, winning 40 of 43 games at Camp Randall Stadium. However, the team has been far less impressive on the road. 

    Going into Saturday, Wisconsin was just 16-12 in true road games under Bielema's watch, and that record dropped to 16-13 with a loss at Oregon State. 

    The Badgers could only muster up seven points against the Beavers. The team looked like it lacked both energy and urgency in Corvallis. 

Danny O’Brien Has to Get a Lot Better

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    One of the big reasons Wisconsin struggled was the poor play of quarterback Danny O'Brien. 

    He completed just 20 of his 38 passes for 172 yards, threw an interception and was sacked three times. 

    The transfer from Maryland simply can't compare to his predecessor, Russell Wilson. He has to get a lot better if the Badgers want to win another Big Ten title and make it to their third straight Rose Bowl. 

    The junior signal-caller has to take the blame for the Badgers' struggles on third down, as he could only convert two third-down attempts. 

Montee Ball Will Not Win the Heisman

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    I predicted Oregon State's defense would hold Montee Ball to fewer than 100 yards rushing, and the Beavers did exactly that, holding him to 61 yards on 15 carries. 

    Ball's lackluster performance combined with Wisconsin's loss to an unranked foe likely knocks last year's fourth-place Heisman finisher out of the race for this season's award.

Oregon State Is a Pac-12 Sleeper

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    Wisconsin's loss to Oregon State might look pretty bad right now, considering the Beavers were just 3-9 last year. But it may not look as bad in a few months.

    Oregon State has the look of a potential Pac-12 sleeper. 

    QB Sean Mannion, receivers Markus Wheaton and Brandin Cooks, defensive ends Scott Crichton and Dylan Wynn and CB Jordan Poyer form a solid nucleus for the team to build around. 

    While they may not be able to compete with in-state rival Oregon for a North Division title, the Beavers could certainly make noise in the conference. 

Collin Klein and John Hubert Are a Dynamic Duo

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    I said that Kansas State QB Collin Klein and RB John Hubert would carve up Miami's defense, and the two of them did just that on Saturday. 

    Klein and Hubert accounted for 387 total yards and five touchdowns in the impressive 52-13 victory. 

    With Klein and Hubert leading the charge, the Wildcats are the type of squad that no other Big 12 team will want to have to face in 2012. 

    Look for Klein to enter the Heisman conversation in the coming weeks. 

Miami’s Defense Is in Trouble

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    The performances of Collin Klein and John Hubert definitely deserve a lot of praise, but they did come against one of the worst defenses in the BCS.

    Miami's defense has looked flat-out awful in the first two weeks of the season. 

    In Week 1, the Hurricanes gave up 32 points and 537 total yards to a Boston College team that ranked last in the ACC in total offense and scoring offense in 2011. Then, they followed that up by giving up 52 points and 498 total yards to Kansas State. 

    Right now, Miami ranks 113th in the nation in scoring defense and 118th in total defense. 

    If Al Golden and his coaching staff can't figure out how to solve the unit's problems, and quickly, the 2012 season could turn into an embarrassment for the Hurricanes. 

Nebraska Needs Rex Burkhead

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    Nebraska did not have powerhouse running back Rex Burkhead, who was nursing a knee injury, available for its game with UCLA, which could be a reason why the team fell to the Bruins, 36-30. 

    Cornhuskers coach Bo Pelini said he didn't believe Burkhead's absence had an effect on the outcome, especially since backup Ameer Abdullah was able to rush for 119 yards and two touchdowns.

    Still, it was clear that the offense was not the same without Burkhead. 

    If this team wants to contend for a Big Ten title, it's going to need a healthy Burkhead to keep the offense balanced. 

Aaron Murray Is Clutch

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    Going into the third quarter, Georgia was trailing 10-9 on the road at Missouri. However, the Bulldogs were able to make a big turnaround in the second half, eventually prevailing 41-20. 

    The key player in that comeback was QB Aaron Murray, who threw for 232 yards and three touchdowns. 

    Murray showed that he's the type of clutch leader who can guide Georgia to victory in a tough road environment against a quality opponent. 

    The play of the junior signal-caller was certainly encouraging to see, and Murray's performance revealed a lot about his character and mental makeup. 

Up-Tempo Offenses Can Cause Problems for USC’s Defense

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    USC's offense looked effective in a 42-29 win over Syracuse at MetLife Stadium, but the defense definitely showed some flaws.

    The Orange actually outproduced the Trojans, as they racked up 455 total yards. That has to concern USC defensive coordinator Monte Kiffin.

    The defense had trouble with Syracuse's fast-paced, up-tempo style of play, which isn't good news, especially since there happens to be a great team in the Pac-12, the Oregon Ducks, that plays at an even faster pace.

Mike Gillislee Is Ready to Be a Workhorse

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    Florida's offense may have lost its two best players from 2011—speedy scatbacks Chris Rainey and Jeff Demps. However, the Gators now have a new running back, Mike Gillislee, who looks like he's ready to carry the load. 

    After rushing for 148 yards and two touchdowns against Bowling Green in Week 1, Gillislee proved to be critical to the offense's success against Texas A&M, rushing for 83 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. 

    The strong, tough and physical 5'11'', 209-pound senior should develop into a true workhorse back for Florida this season. 

Kenjon Barner Is Just as Dangerous as De’Anthony Thomas

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    QB Marcus Mariota and RB De'Anthony Thomas received most of the credit for Oregon's huge offensive performance in Week 1. However, I said that RB Kenjon Barner would be the star of the show when the Ducks took on Fresno State. 

    Barner certainly looked like a star against the Bulldogs, as he ran for 201 yards and three touchdowns in the 42-25 victory. 

    With Barner, Thomas and Mariota all in the backfield, Oregon isn't going to miss the school's all-time leading rusher, LaMichael James, much in 2012. 

    A senior, Barner has been waiting for his shot to start for the past three years, and he's now ready to make the most of his opportunity. 

Johnny Manziel Can Cause a Lot of Headaches for a Defense

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    Texas A&M's new starting quarterback, Johnny Manziel, wasn't able to lead the Aggies to a victory over Florida in the first game of his career. However, he did show plenty of intriguing flashes of his enormous potential.

    The Florida defense had a tough time trying to corral the athletic dual-threat quarterback any time he would scramble or get into the open field.

    Manziel finished with 60 yards on the ground and a rushing touchdown. He also proved to be an effective passer, completing 76 percent of his attempts for 173 yards. 

    Kevin Sumlin definitely seems like he made the right decision choosing the 6'1'', 200-pound redshirt freshman as his starter. It should be fun to watch Manziel grow as the season progresses.

Kiehl Frazier Is Not a Starting-Caliber Quarterback Right Now

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    Johnny Manziel may give lots of SEC defenses trouble in 2012, but his conference counterpart, Auburn's Kiehl Frazier, certainly doesn't look like he's about to do that. 

    I said Frazier would throw three interceptions against Mississippi State, and that's exactly what he did in the 28-10 loss to the Bulldogs. He also lost two fumbles as well. 

    The sophomore signal-caller only completed 13 passes for 125 yards and was sacked twice.

    Frazier has had a tough time learning the team's new offensive system, and right now, he just doesn't have the look of a starting quarterback. 

A.J. McCarron Is Developing into a Playmaking Passer

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    A.J. McCarron may not be viewed as one of the top quarterbacks in college football just yet, but it may not be much longer before we have to include McCarron's name with the other elite signal-callers in the country. 

    This past week against Western Kentucky, McCarron had one of the best games of his career, completing 14 of his 19 pass attempts for 219 yards and four touchdowns. 

    The 6'4'', 205-pound junior appears to be transitioning from game manager to true offensive leader and playmaking passer. 

    If McCarron keeps developing, Alabama's offense should become a truly potent attack.

Justin Hunter Is a Monster

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    Tennessee WR Justin Hunter doesn't seem to be showing any ill effects from the knee injury that sidelined him for most of the 2011 season. 

    After catching nine passes for 73 yards in the Vols' season opener against N.C. State, Hunter finally found the end zone not once, not twice, but three times in a 51-13 win over Georgia State. 

    The 6'4'', 200-pound junior finished with eight catches for 146 yards. 

    Hunter looks like he has the potential to develop into a high first-round pick. He and QB Tyler Bray should become one of the best passing combinations in the country.

Matt Scott Is a Must-Watch Player

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    Arizona QB Matt Scott didn't receive anywhere near the same type of publicity before the season that other Pac-12 quarterbacks like USC's Matt Barkley and Washington's Keith Price did.

    Still, he's certainly solidified his status as one of the premier players to watch in the conference with his play in the first two games of the season. 

    After a fantastic debut performance against Toledo, Scott followed that with a sensational showing in a 59-38 victory over Oklahoma State. The 6'3'', 197-pound senior torched the Cowboys secondary, completing 28 passes for 320 yards and two touchdowns, while also rushing for 55 yards and another score. 

    Coach Rich Rodriguez has to love what he's seen out of his pupil so far. Rodriguez should be able to develop Scott into a dynamic and dangerous weapon.

    The Wildcats may not be able to compete for a Pac-12 title in 2012, but with Scott leading the way, they could certainly give some of the league's best teams a tough test.

Oklahoma State Needs to Be More Disciplined

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    The terrific play of Arizona QB Matt Scott was one of the main reasons that Oklahoma State was upset, but it also didn't help that the Cowboys played a sloppy and undisciplined game.

    The team set a school record with 167 penalty yards, the receivers dropped seven passes and the Pokes turned the ball over four times. 

    Mike Gundy better get his team to play a more disciplined brand of football before Big 12 play starts. 

Tommy Rees Can Lead Notre Dame to Victory

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    Tommy Rees has taken a lot of heat from Notre Dame fans for both his inconsistent play on the field and his lack of responsibility off it.

    Rees pleased the Irish faithful this weekend, though, when he stepped into a 17-17 game with Purdue late in the fourth quarter and drove the offense down the field for a shot at a game-winning field goal. 

    Rees hasn't done enough to steal away the starting job from Everett Golson, but his performance in relief duty was definitely an encouraging sign of maturity. 

Savannah State Should Never Be Allowed to Play Another BCS Team

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    The Savannah State debacle has shined a light on a darker side of college football, which has to do with FCS schools basically prostituting themselves for a big paycheck. 

    The Tigers got destroyed 84-0 by Oklahoma State in Week 1, then followed that with an equally embarrassing effort in a 55-0 loss to Florida State in a shortened game in Week 2. The team proved that it just doesn't belong on the same field with college football's top teams.

    Not only is it an issue of players losing their dignity, it's also an issue of safety. When the talent level is that unbalanced, you run the risk of somebody getting seriously injured. It's a shame that major schools charge money to watch these awful games, and I'm still not sure exactly why the fans show up to support these farcical matchups. 

    Savannah State may have earned a nice six-figure paycheck to help support its athletic department, but in the process, it became the laughingstock of college football. 

    I hope it was worth it. 

Oklahoma’s Offense Can Score a Lot of Points Against a Terrible Defense

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    I said that Oklahoma's offense would rebound from a disappointing Week 1 performance and score 10 touchdowns against Florida A&M.

    Wouldn't you know it, the Sooners did just that. Obviously, though, putting up 69 points on the Rattlers really doesn't prove much at all.

    Still, at the very least, it should help QB Landry Jones, WR Kenny Stills and the rest of the offense build confidence before Big 12 play.

Mississippi State Is a Team to Watch

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    Mississippi State finally got the statement SEC win it's been looking for since coach Dan Mullen took over in 2009, as the Bulldogs beat Auburn, 28-10, in front of their ecstatic home crowd. 

    QB Tyler Russell and RB LaDarius Perkins are developing into a dangerous duo. Overall, Mississippi State seems like it has enough athletes to cause top SEC teams trouble. 

    The Bulldogs should win their next three games against Troy, South Alabama and Kentucky to start the season 5-0. After that, though, the schedule gets considerably tougher with matchups against Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and Texas A&M. 

    Still, don't be shocked if the Bulldogs end up giving a team like the Tide or the Tigers a real run for their money. 

Penn State Needs to Find a Kicker

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    This offseason, everyone was talking about the departure of RB Silas Redd and WR Justin Brown, who  transferred from Penn State in light of the NCAA penalties.

    There was another key loss as well, though. That was kicker Anthony Fera, who transferred to Texas. With Fera gone, sophomore Sam Ficken has been forced to handle the place-kicking duties, and, well, let's just say that he's not handling the role very well so far. 

    Ficken missed 4-of-5 field-goal attempts as well as an extra point in the team's 17-16 loss at Virginia. If he had made any of those field-goal attempts, the Nittany Lions would have won the game. 

    Following that disastrous performance, coach Bill O'Brien may have to think about holding open tryouts to find a new kicker.

Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry Aren't LSU's Only Dangerous Receivers

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    Sophomores Odell Beckham and Jarvis Landry are the two most valuable members of LSU's receiving corps, but the Tigers also have two other talented pass-catchers who they can rely on—James Wright and Kadron Boone. 

    Wright led the team with five catches for 75 yards in a 41-3 win over Washington, and Boone caught a 32-yard touchdown pass. 

    Just like the team's backfield, LSU's receiver unit is deep and talented with four receivers who are capable of doing damage.

    New quarterback Zach Mettenberger has all the weapons he needs to take the SEC by storm in 2012. 

South Florida Has Learned How to Finish Games

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    Last year, five of South Florida's seven losses were by six or fewer points. 

    This year, the Bulls are showing that they learned from their 2011 mistakes and have figured out how to properly close out games. 

    Even though they dug themselves a big hole against Nevada, the team managed to regroup and come away with a 32-31 victory, throwing a key touchdown pass with a little less than minute left in the game. 

    If South Florida wants to compete for a Big East championship and a BCS bowl bid, the Bulls are going to need to find ways to win games late in the fourth quarter, which is something they failed to do last season. 

Nevada Is One of the Best Non-BCS Teams

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    Nevada lost to South Florida in heartbreaking fashion. Still, that the team came so close to pulling off its second consecutive victory over a BCS opponent goes to show that this squad is for real.

    In just two games, dual-threat quarterback Cody Fajardo has totaled 732 yards of offense and accounted for four touchdowns. 

    Fajardo is the face of a team that also features standouts such as WR Brandon Wimberly, OT Jeff Nady, OG Chris Barker, LB Albert Rossette and S Duke Williams. 

    Everyone was ready to crown Boise State as the Mountain West champs before the season started, but the Broncos are going to have to fight off the Wolf Pack for that title this year.

Marcus Lattimore Isn’t in Beast Mode Yet

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    South Carolina didn't need star running back Marcus Lattimore to have a big day to easily beat East Carolina.

    That Lattimore only rushed for 40 yards on 13 carries is a bit concerning, though. The powerful junior back is just 10 months removed from major knee surgery.

    So far, he's yet to look like the true unstoppable beast that we saw during the first 20 games of his career before the injury. 

    Lattimore has still shown good power, vision and explosion, but it's clear that he's not 100 percent, and it remains to be seen if he'll actually reach that level in 2012. 

Stephon Tuitt Is Ready to Be a Star

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    Notre Dame's defense took a big hit this offseason when highly touted young pass-rusher Aaron Lynch decided to transfer to South Florida.

    The Irish look like they have another young, potential standout pass-rusher that they can groom for the next few years, though.

    Stephon Tuitt, who was also a heralded high school recruit just like Lynch, has shown flashes of dominance in the first two games of the season. Against Purdue, Tuitt totaled two sacks and two tackles for loss, proving almost impossible for the Boilermakers offensive line to handle. 

    The 6'6'', 303-pound sophomore is a physical freak of nature, and he could develop into one of college football's scariest pass-rushers this season. 

Mike Glennon Can't Be Considered a Top NFL Prospect at This Point

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    N.C. State QB Mike Glennon looks like the type of tall, strong-armed pocket passer that NFL scouts would naturally covet. However, in the first two weeks of the season, Glennon has not played up to his potential. His struggles must be alarming to scouts. 

    The 6'6'', 232-pound senior has completed just 55 percent of his passes for 492 yards, thrown four interceptions and been sacked seven times. 

    With Glennon leading the way, the Wolfpack offense could only manage to score 10 points against UConn in Week 2. Luckily for Glennon, his defense bailed him out and held the Huskies to seven points. While he still has plenty of games to prove himself this season, right now Glennon just does not look like a top NFL prospect. 

    At this point, he's only the seventh-best senior quarterback prospect behind USC's Matt Barkley, West Virginia's Geno Smith, Arkansas' Tyler Wilson, Oklahoma's Landry Jones, Kansas State's Collin Klein and Florida State's E.J. Manuel. 

    With the way those six are performing, there's no doubt that Glennon is going to have to play a whole lot better if he wants to move past any of them. 

Iowa State Is the Best Team in the State of Iowa

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    Going into Week 2, Iowa State hadn't beaten in-state rival Iowa in two consecutive seasons since 2001 and 2002, but the Cyclones managed to follow up their win last year with a 9-6 victory on the road on Saturday. 

    The game may have been ugly, but a win is a win, and right now, Paul Rhoads' squad can call itself the best team in the state of Iowa. 

North Carolina Isn’t the Same Without Giovani Bernard

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    North Carolina was upset by Wake Forest 28-27 in Week 2. While there are no excuses for losing to a team that you should beat, the Tar Heels weren't at full strength, since their best player, RB Giovani Bernard, was sitting on the sidelines. 

    Bernard totaled 203 all-purpose yards and scored three touchdowns on only 14 touches in the team's season opener. 

    Larry Fedora says that he expects the star sophomore playmaker to be fine going forward, which is great news, considering UNC clearly isn't as explosive when Bernard isn't in the lineup. 

Jordan Wynn Can’t Avoid Injuries

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    Utah quarterback Jordan Wynn missed the last nine games of the 2011 season due to injury.

    Now, after experiencing his fourth shoulder injury during his college career in a 27-20 loss to Utah State, he's reportedly decided to call it quits according to the Associated Press. 

    With Wynn gone, backup Jon Hays will now be asked to lead the offense for the rest of the season. 

    The Utes looked like they were a team that could potentially put a scare into USC in the Pac-12 South this season.

    Without Wynn in the lineup, though, that seems like a long shot now, unless Hays turns out to be a diamond in the rough. 

Todd Graham Looks Right at Home at Arizona State

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    Todd Graham has been the butt of more than a few jokes for his nomadic tendencies.

    Graham has coached at four schools since 2006, but it finally seems like he's found a home at Arizona State. 

    We may only be two weeks into the season, but the Sun Devils do have one of the top-ranked offenses in the country.

    Plus, they seem to be playing with more passion and focus than they did under former head coach Dennis Erickson. 

    Obviously, things will get tougher once the Pac-12 schedule begins. But so far, Graham has to be happy with how things are going in Tempe. 

Jake McGee Is Underrated

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    Before the season began, the conversation about the best tight end in the country focused on players such as Notre Dame's Tyler Eifert, Ohio State's Jake Stoneburner, Stanford's Levine Toilolo, Auburn's Philip Lutzenkirchen and Arkansas' Chris Gragg. 

    One tight end who didn't receive any attention was Virginia's Jake McGee. But he is starting to make a name for himself, especially after his breakout performance against Penn State. 

    The 6'5'', 235-pound sophomore caught four passes for 99 yards, including an amazing acrobatic grab. He also scored the game-winning touchdown. 

    While it's too early to include McGee's name with the other elite tight ends in the country, he's certainly established himself as a young, athletic pass-catcher to keep an eye on in 2012. 

Missouri’s Pro Combat Jerseys Were...Interesting

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    Missouri broke out its Nike Pro Combat uniforms for its big SEC debut against Georgia. And they were, well, they were interesting, I will say that. 

    If the color gold and stripe designs are your thing, then you're in luck!

    Personally, I like the Tigers' black Pro Combat uniforms much better than the gold ones. But whatever floats your boat, I guess. 

Dayne Crist Still Stinks

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    It doesn't seem as if coach Charlie Weis is going to be able to revive Dayne Crist's failed college career at Kansas this year, especially after seeing Crist's performance in a disastrous 25-24 loss to Rice in Week 2. 

    The former Notre Dame flame-out completed just 16 of his 28 throws for a paltry 145 yards and threw two interceptions. 

    That came just a week after he could only complete 47 percent of his passes against FCS opponent South Dakota State.  

    At least Jayhawks fans can take solace that Jordan Webb, who transferred after the arrival of Weis and Crist, isn't doing much better at Colorado. 

Mike Leach Still Has a Lot of Work to Do at Washington State

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    Congratulations are in order for the Washington State offense, as the Cougars proved that they were indeed capable of scoring not just one, but three touchdowns against Eastern Washington on Saturday. 

    The problem was, all three of those touchdowns came in the first half, as the team failed to score at all in the second half of the 24-20 victory. 

    Right now, Mike Leach has to be thinking to himself, "Wait a minute, I left Key West for this?"

Jon Embree Is Feeling the Heat

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    Jon Embree's debut season at Colorado last year certainly wasn't all that encouraging. The Buffaloes went just 3-10 in 2011. 

    Things haven't looked much better in 2012. Not only did Colorado start off with a loss to Colorado Sate, the team followed that up with an embarrassing 30-28 loss at home to Sacramento State.

    What makes that loss so bad is that Sacramento State is an FCS school that lost to New Mexico State by 30 points in Week 1. Embree said he was sorry for his team's performance. But in college football, apologies will only get you so far. 

    If the Buffaloes keep losing, Embree is going to have to deal with a lot of criticism for his team's performance. However, since Colorado lacks experience at so many key positions, it's hard to say that the team's early struggles are much of a surprise.

Pittsburgh’s Defense Is Filled with Holes

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    Giving up 34 points on the road to a team like Cincinnati certainly isn't as bad as giving up 31 points at home to a team like Youngstown State. Obviously, though, neither performance is acceptable. 

    Right now, Pittsburgh's defense is riddled with holes, and new coach Paul Chryst is going to have to figure out how to fix them soon before his team's season completely spirals out of control. 

Louisiana Tech Has a Dangerous Offense

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    I said Louisiana Tech was going to light up Houston, and the offense certainly didn't let me down, as the the Bulldogs put up 56 points in their first game of the season.

    Hopefully, the team's three upcoming BCS opponents—Virginia, Texas A&M and Illinois—all took notice, because this offensive group is capable of creating plenty of fireworks. 

    Louisiana Tech totaled 598 total yards of offense and 38 first downs against the Cougars.

    QB Colby Cameron and explosive receivers Quinton Patton and Myles White mean business. The Bulldogs are not a team that should be taken lightly. 

Ole Miss Will Not Have a Worse Season Than It Did in 2011

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    Ole Miss fans haven't had a lot to celebrate in recent years, but at least they can get excited about the fact that they won't finish with a worse record than last year. 

    The boys from Oxford matched their 2011 total of two wins with a 28-10 victory over UTEP. With a matchup against Tulane still on the schedule, there's a good chance that the Rebels might actually even surpass that total this season. 

    Besides that game, though, the slate is brutal, as it includes meetings with Texas, Alabama, Texas A&M, Auburn, Arkansas, Georgia, Vanderbilt, LSU and Mississippi State. 

    Wish new head coach Hugh Freeze luck, because he and his team are going to need a whole lot of it in 2012. 

Maryland Actually Has Hope

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    I've been pretty hard on Maryland over the past two weeks, calling the Terrapins the worst BCS team in the country. The fact is, though, Randy Edsall's squad is 2-0 after a win at Temple. 

    Sure, the team will probably lose at least eight games this season, but right now, the Terps at least have hope. 

Cody Getz Is a Perfect Fit for Air Force’s Offense

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    If you took a quick glance at Air Force's Cody Getz, you probably wouldn't think that he had the physical makeup to be a great running back. 

    Getz is only 5'7'', 175 pounds, and he's not particularly all that fast or powerful. The senior back just so happens to be a perfect fit for the Falcons' flexbone option attack, though.

    After rushing for 218 yards and three touchdowns in his first game of the season, Getz followed that up with a big performance against Michigan, totalling 130 yards on the ground and scoring three touchdowns in the 31-25 loss. 

    While Air Force may not challenge for a Mountain West championship this season, Getz is certainly a player who is going to be a lot of fun to watch.

The Risk of Serious Injury Is Always Looming

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    Football is an extremely violent game, but as fans, we never tend to think about just how dangerous it is until we see the sobering image of a player being carted off the field. Sadly, we had to see that image twice on Saturday. 

    First, it was Tulane safety Devon Walker, who laid motionless after a helmet-to-helmet collision with a teammate and had to be revived by the team's training staff before being carted off the field. Then, it was Arkansas cornerback Tevin Mitchell, who was carted off as well after a hit to the head. 

    Walker suffered a fractured spine and has an uncertain long-term prognosis.

    Arkansas says that the tests on Mitchel showed favorable results, but it hasn't been announced if or when he'll make a return to the team. 

    Back in 2010, Rutgers defensive tackle Eric LeGrand was paralyzed from the neck down after a tackle. Even though no one likes to think about it, the risk of serious injury is always there any time a player steps out on the field. 

Overall, We Still Have a Lot to Learn

50 of 50

    Since most of the top-ranked teams have played weak competition in the first two weeks of the season, we don't know much more about them now than we did in August.

    Sure, it's great that college football is back, but in all honesty, most of these games have been glorified exhibitions. Luckily, conference play will kick into full gear in the coming weeks, and we'll finally get to see some big, meaningful games.

    Week 3 features some interesting matchups such as Alabama at Arkansas, USC at Stanford, Notre Dame at Michigan State, Cal at Ohio State, Florida at Tennessee, North Carolina at Louisville and BYU at Utah. 

    Hopefully, there will be plenty of drama this weekend, because so far (minus a few shocking upsets, of course), the 2012 season has been somewhat short on suspense.