NCAA Football Report (Week 2)

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The NCAA season is still young and so the matchups are still a bit of a joke as teams continue to face weak teams. The top teams continue along their path of warm-up games before they are forced to play their tougher competition. For these teams it is a type of exhibition for the season as they do not have exhibitions to warm the teams up to game speed. There are always risks with this though as any game at any time can go completely sideways and the best teams can lose. In the NCAA this can be disastrous for a team as the best of the best are rewarded and one loss can derail a season. In week 1 though nothing really happened as some teams suffered some earlier struggles but there were rarely any big upsets. Teams moved up and down the rankings as they proved that they were either stronger than once thought or not as strong. Overall it was an uneventful week in week 1 and so the NCAA moved to week 2 where the warm-up games continued and so did the boring football. The second week seemed to be a continuation of the first week with the top teams completely destroying their weaker opponents. Even some struggles at the beginning of games made way for dominant wins by the best teams. It seemed like another wasted week of football with no surprises and nothing resembling what makes NCAA football great. Then came the games that finished a bit late in the day. As the second week winded down news began surfacing of games that were much closer than they were supposed to be. As the games finished for week 2 three games ended the boredom of non upset football. First was the Wisconsin Badgers who have proven that without Russell Wilson they are not the same team. Even with Montee Ball back in the offence the Badgers could not get past the Oregon State Beavers in a defensive battle. It was the first big upset of week 2 as the #13 Badgers dropped a game that they never should have. Then came the night games as the #8 Arkansas Razorbacks took on the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks and the #18 Nebraska Cornhuskers took on the UCLA Bruins. Both the Razorbacks and Cornhuskers were supposed to win these games but could not pull it out. In a very close and hard-fought game the Bruins were able to get by Taylor Martinez and the Cornhusker offence. The biggest upset though was the LA-Monroe win against what many considered to be a very strong team and possibly a BCS Bowl participant in the Arkansas Razorbacks. It was the most shocking result of the first two weeks as a ranked team had lost to a team that had really no business coming close to them. Even UCLA and Oregon State were considered decent teams although being unranked but the Warhawks were not even on the map for rankings and yet they beat one of the best teams in the country. The NCAA season has officially started as the upsets began and with the last of the easy games over the big games are on the horizon. The football season is underway and there will be plenty more to watch as the teams continue to fight with anything possible on any Saturday.

 

Heisman Watch:

1. Matt Barkley, QB (USC)
The Heisman favorite did even more to increase his value in the Heisman race as Matt Barkley broke out for an amazing game this week. It did not looks good at the start for the Trojans as they started off in a very close game with the Syracuse Orange. Then it all melted away as Barkley threw 6 touchdown passes to lead the Trojans past the Orange and win. It was another game that has kept Barkley ahead of the curve in the Heisman race. Next week Barkley will have a bigger challenge against the Stanford Cardinal and will need to have another solid performance to keep hold of his top spot with so many players looking to knock him off.
Stats (2 Games):
67.6% cmp
559 yds
10 TD
1 INT
182.3 rtg

 

2. Geno Smith, QB (West Virginia)
Smith made his name last week when he broke out on the national stage with a great performance against the Thundering Herd from Marshall. With such a great first game Smith became one of the breakout Heisman hopefuls of the early season. Smith was not active this week with the Mountaineers taking a week off and Smith not able to prove his worth again. Still his first week is good enough to keep him near the top of the Heisman watch as he will be watched closely when he leads West Virginia against James Madison. If Smith hopes to remain at the top of the list he will need another great performance against an overmatched team.
Stats (1 Game):
88.9% cmp
323 yds
4 TD
0 INT
200.9 rtg

 

3. Le’Veon Bell, RB (Michigan State)
Bell was a name that was not mentioned much leading up to the season but the Spartans made sure that he was recognized in week 1. With 50 touches in the game Bell was able to break out with a great first game and launch himself into the national picture. The second week was not as good for Bell who only saw limited touches and did not come close to his chances in week 1. His two touchdowns were still big for the Spartans as they started the game with a big impact and then calmed down. Bell only had 70 yards in his second game but he still had an impact in the game and for that he remains in the national conversation for the Heisman trophy. Next week he will be on a bigger stage against Notre Dame and his performance could be the difference between becoming a contender or just another great player.
Stats (2 Games):
62 rsh
280 yds
4.5 avg
4 TD

 

4. De’Anthony Thomas, RB (Oregon)
Stats (2 Games):
10 rsh
166 yds
16.6 avg
3 TD

 

5. Taylor Martinez, QB (Nebraska)
Stats (2 Games):
66.2% cmp
533 yds
5 TD
1 INT
157.3 rtg

 

AP Top 25:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2. USC Trojans (2)
3. LSU Tigers (3)
4. Oregon Ducks (4)
5. Oklahoma Sooners (5)
6. Florida State Seminoles (6)
7. Georgia Bulldogs (7)
8. South Carolina Gamecocks (9)
9. West Virginia Mountaineers (9)
10. Michigan State Spartans (10)
11. Clemson Tigers (12)
12. Ohio State Buckeyes (14)
13. Virginia Tech Hokies (15)
14. Texas Longhorns (17)
15. Kansas State Wildcats (21)
16. TCU Horned Frogs (20)
17. Michigan Wolverines (19)
18. Florida Gators (24)
19. Louisville Cardinals (23)
20. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (22)
21. Stanford Cardinal (25)
22. UCLA Bruins (–)
23. Tennessee Volunteers (–)
24. Arizona Wildcats (–)
25. BYU Cougars (–)

 

Key Scores:
#22 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 20 – 17 Purdue Boilermakers
– The Irish are fresh off of their trip to Dublin and back into the fire that is their schedule as they took on longtime rivals the Purdue Boilermakers and with a late game switch at QB were able to get past the Boilermakers to go 2-0 on the season

 

Oregon State Beavers 10 – 7 Wisconsin Badgers #13
– In one of the only major upsets of the week the Wisconsin Badgers continued their struggles without Russell Wilson as they lost to the unranked Beavers and Montee Ball continued to struggle

 

Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks 34 – 31 Arkansas Razorbacks #8 (OT)
– LA-Monroe was never expected to do anything this week in their opening game as they were simply another warmup for Arkansas but nobody told them as they pushed the Razorbacks to overtime and beat them for their first win ever against a ranked opponent

 

UCLA Bruins 36 – 30 Nebraska Cornhuskers #16
– The nighttime broadcast of the NCAA seemed to be a blowout in the making with the ranked Cornhuskers taking on the unranked Bruins but it was not to be as the surprises continued when the Bruins played a great game to beat the Cornhuskers

 

Next Week:
#1 Alabama Crimson Tide vs. Arkansas Razorbacks (September 15th; 3:30 pm EDT)
– In a matchup of two SEC teams the Tide takes on the Razorbacks what should be their biggest test so far for the Tide who look even better than last year when they won the National Championship

 

#2 USC Trojans vs. #21 Stanford Cardinal (September 15th; 7:30 pm EDT)
– The Trojans are continuing to roll led by Matt Barkley as they take on their rivals from down the road in Stanford in one of the oldest rivalries for both teams as the Trojans look to continue their run and try to earn their #1 spot back

 

#20 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. #10 Michigan State Spartans (September 15th; 8:00 pm EDT)
– The Irish continue their long season with every week as a rivalry as they take on their toughest opponent yet in the Spartans as freshman QB Everett Golson will need to solve the very tough Spartan defence

 

#25 BYU Cougars vs. Utah Utes (September 15th; 10:00 pm EDT)
– In a matchup of Utah schools the Utes are looking to get back to their winning sways as they hope to enter the top 25 while the Cougars are looking to do the same as they try to continue their early winning streak

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