NCAA Football Report (Week 3)

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The NCAA had been pure offence in the first two weeks with some defences that were supposed to be great this year suffered. Notre Dame was supposed to have one of the better defences but were torn through by Michigan’s Denard Robinson. TCU was also in one of the biggest surprises this year as they were again supposed to be one of the best defences in the nation. This was tested in their first game as they faced a young superstar in Robert Griffin III and the Baylor Bears. Week 3 reversed this trend as two of the best teams in the nation showed that defence is still one of the best ways to win a game. LSU has been the team battling for the 2nd spot in the AP rankings along with Alabama. LSU has been able to shut down some good teams with their defence that has allowed them to return to the #2 spot. Oregon was one of the best offences in the nation and a very fast offence that is usually able to tire the defence out and score easily. In week one Oregon was shut down as the LSU Tigers’ defence was able to stop the powerful offence. The trend continued as LSU has been able to shut down offences on their way to their #2 ranking. This included the Mississippi State Bulldogs who were held to 52 rushing yards after averaging 321 yards this year. Not only has LSU been able to win with their defence but the best team in the nation has also been able to win with defence. They did this in their biggest competition in #5 Florida State. The Seminoles were aiming to knock off the best team in the NCAA and they made a good try at it limiting Oklahoma’s QB and Heisman hopeful Landry Jones to 199 yards. It was Oklahoma, however, that came out on top and did it with a better defensive performance. The Sooners got 6 sacks, forced 3 turnovers, and limited the Seminoles to 246 yards in total. Oklahoma is #1 and LSU is #2 and the main reason for that is because they are leaning on their defence to win them the games they need to. If both teams continue this type of performance on the defensive side of the ball they can continue to make their bids for the National Championships in New Orleans.

Meanwhile in the rest of the NCAA shifts began to occur as teams started moving already in the NCAA. The ACC struck the first blow this year as they announced on Sunday that they would add Pittsburgh and Syracuse to their conference increasing their number to 14. With the conference moves last year the ACC struck the first blow in the realignment. This may cause a lot more movement in the coming weeks as conferences look to add some big teams including the remaining teams in the Big East and the Big 12 who were gutted last year. The biggest name in all of this will be the Texas Longhorns who are the only big fish in the Big-12 after teams left due to alleged favoritism for the Longhorns. Now that the Big 12 is close to being merged or thrown away Texas has been looking for another place to play. This includes the ACC as many believe the move to get Syracuse and Pitt was a way to entice the Longhorns to come. Not much is known about the remaining  moves but you can bet that the rest of the conferences looking to add more teams will be in overdrive after the ACC surprised everyone with their quick additions.

 

Heisman Hunt:

1. Andrew Luck, QB (Stanford)

Luck dominated Arizona throwing his first 300-yard game of the season and the 5th of his career as he led the Cardinal to another win. The Cardinal now have the longest winning streak in the NCAA after Auburn’s win and Luck is a big part of that. He also proved that he is more than just the sum of the Cardinal parts as his two biggest targets left the game due to injury. With his performance Luck remained on top as everyone below him was jostling for position below him and until Luck has a bad performance he will remain the favorite.

Stats (3 games):

67.1 cmp%

786 yds

8 TD

1 INT

173.4 rtg

 

2. Kellen Moore, QB (Boise State)

Kellen Moore may not play the best teams in the nation but he is easily one of the best QBs in the nation. He proved this against Tulsa as he threw for almost 300 yards in the first half that included 3 TDs. He finished the game with 375 yards and 5 TDs but did not move up because it was against Tulsa. The lack of competition for Moore will hurt him in the race as the season goes on and the bigger schools start facing better opponents. As for right now Moore is still one of the best QBs in the NCAA and will continue to be. If Luck stumbles at any point Moore may be able to get into the top spot if he continues to dominate teams.

Stats (2 games):

78.9 cmp%

716 yds

8 TD

2 INT

187.6 rtg

 

3. Marcus Lattimore, RB (South Carolina)

Lattimore continued to lead the offence of the Gamecocks towards the SEC title and possible National Championship berth. Lattimore led South Carolina in a battle against Navy that they barely got through. He was able to amass 246 yards and 3 TDs that allowed the Gamecocks to escape with a 24-21 victory. The team’s performance slightly hurt his Heisman chances as the close game with a team that is not very good did not allow him to move up much. But his performance does not justify a fall. Lattimore is close to becoming a favorite but running for 87 times in the first three games is a large workload and if he runs out of steam late but if he continues his performances he may be moving up soon.

Stats (3 games):

87 rsh

534 yds

6.1 avg

7 TD

 

Notable Challengers:

4. Robert Griffin III, QB (Baylor)

83.7 cmp%

624 yds

8 TD

0 INT

244.5 rtg

 

5. Landry Jones, QB (Oklahoma)

71.6 cmp%

574 yds

2 TD

2 INT

140.3 rtg

 

AP Top 25:

1. Oklahoma Sooners (1)

2. LSU Tigers (3)

3. Alabama Crimson Tide (2)

4. Boise State Broncos (4)

5. Stanford Cardinal (6)

6. Wisconsin Badgers (7)

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (8)

8. Texas A&M Aggies (9)

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (11)

10. Oregon Ducks (12)

11. Florida State Seminoles (5)

12. South Carolina Gamecocks (10)

13. Virginia Tech Hokies (13)

14. Arkansas Razorbacks (14)

15. Florida Gators (16)

16. West Virginia Mountaineers (18)

17. Baylor Bears (19)

18. South Florida Bulls (20)

19. Texas Longhorns (23)

20. TCU Horned Frogs (23)

21. Clemson Tigers (–)

22. Michigan Wolverines (–)

23. USC Trojans (–)

24. Illinois Fighting Illini (–)

25. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (–)

 

Key Scores:

#3 LSU Tigers 19 – 6 Mississippi State Bulldogs #25

– The LSU Tigers were able to use their defence to shut down the Mississippi State Bulldogs and won the game moving them up to #2 in the rankings.

 

Clemson Tigers 38 – 24 Auburn Tigers #21

– The Auburn Tigers had the longest winning streak in NCAA history but that meant nothing to Clemson as the Tigers in Orange ended the streak for Auburn.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish 31 – 13 Michigan State Spartans #15

– In the Battle for the Megaphone the Irish got their first win of the season and did it against a ranked rival as they seemed to finally show their talent.

 

#1 Oklahoma Sooners 23 – 13 Florida State Seminoles

– In the biggest game of the weekend the #1 Sooners faced their biggest challenge in the Seminoles and won an ugly game but remained the best in the nation.

Key Matchups:

#7 Oklahoma State Cowboys vs. #8 Texas A&M Aggies (Sept. 24th; 3:30 pm)

– This is the closest matchup this week with the 7 and 8 teams facing off to see who deserves to stay in the top 10.

 

Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Pittsburgh Panthers (Sept. 24th; 3:30 pm)

– Yet another rivalry for the Irish this time with Pitt as they look to get back to 500 and possibly start creeping up on the Top 25.

 

#11 Florida State Seminoles vs. #23 Clemson Tigers (Sept. 24th; 3:30 pm)

– FSU is coming off of their big loss to Oklahoma and will be facing a streaking team in the Clemson Tigers who are beginning to be noticed after their win against Auburn.

 

#2 LSU Tigers vs. #16 West Virginia Mountaineers (Sept. 24th; 8:00 pm)

– LSU will face another test in the West Virginia Mountaineers as they look to keep a hold on the #2 spot in the nation.

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