How Indiana fared
Indiana 34, Virginia 17
It felt really good last weekend to watch a game where the Hoosiers mostly dominated, won by a comfortable margin, and did so on the road with their backup QB no less. When the offense was sputtering in the second quarter, Peyton Ramsey stepped in, made a few clutch passes, and provided a dual-threat option that was much needed due to the offensive line struggles. Meanwhile, the defensive side of the ball had a great game, as UVA QB Kurt Benkert averaged less than 4 yards per pass and could not get much going all day.
Finally, all props to J-Shun Harris, who’s missed the past two seasons due to various injuries but came back to return a punt for the game-sealing touchdown. The Cavaliers are still in rebuilding mode under Bronco Mendenhall, but a 17-point win on the road against a Power 5 team is always something to feel good about.
Around the B1G
Purdue 44, Ohio 21
This was one of only a couple games on Friday night (Purdue has lights on its stadium now, you see), and the Boilers made the most of their home opener, winning comfortably against a MAC team, which is something they haven’t been able to do in recent years. Jeff Brohm has quickly revamped the Purdue offense, which looks competent for the first time since Joe Tiller was in charge. A bigger test for Purdue comes on the road this weekend, when they face Mizzou. Purdue jumped 12 spots in the S&P rankings, but don’t tell that to Purdue fans, who have the same views about advanced stats as a cranky old newspaper columnist.
S&P means diddle squat. Both teams are 1-1 in the W&L. Both ultimately lost to ranked teams and beat crap teams.— Hammer & Rails (@HammerAndRails) September 11, 2017
Oklahoma 31, Ohio State 16
Last year, the Buckeyes came down to Norman and destroyed the Sooners. This year, Oklahoma got its revenge in the Shoe. Once Baker Mayfield and the Oklahoma offense got rolling in the second half, Ohio State had no answer. At the end, Mayfield planted the Sooner flag on the “O” at midfield, claiming that the state of Ohio is now property of Oklahoma.
Baker Mayfield just did that. pic.twitter.com/Qo2Aw1pPE8— ESPN (@espn) September 10, 2017
Oklahoma’s a serious playoff contender now, especially if they roll through the Big 12, where Oklahoma State and TCU look to be the toughest competition at the moment. Meanwhile, OSU will have to figure out how to fix both sides of the ball through the air, as J.T. Barrett again looked shaky on long passes, and its secondary once again had trouble defending the pass.
Did Ohio State fans, known always for their reasonableness and restraint, call for the firing of their coach who is 62-7 in Columbus with a national title? Take a wild guess.
Iowa 44, Iowa State 41 (OT)
¡El Assico! always lives up to the billing.
Eastern Michigan 16, Rutger 13
After an opening week where the Scarlet Knights played decently in a losing effort against Washington, Rutger went back to being Rutger again last weekend. But give credit to EMU - it’s one of the hardest FBS programs to win at, and Chris Creighton is building something in Ypsilanti, as this was Eastern’s first victory over a Power 5 opponent ever.
Oregon 42, Nebraska 35
The good news is that the Husker defense under new DC Bob Diaco gave up zero points in the second half.
The bad news is that the Husker defense under new DC Bob Diaco gave up 42 points in the first half.
Oregon still has a ways to go under new coach Willie Taggart, but the swagger of the Ducks’ offense has returned after a bit of an absence under Mark Helfrich. Meanwhile, Nebraska still is experiencing growing pains under Mike Riley in year 3.
Duke 41, Northwestern 17
So this result was kind of a shocker. The Blue Devils boatraced Northwestern, and unless the Wildcats figure something out quickly, those preseason predictions will not be looking good. Of course, Northwestern started out slowly last year and still finished 7-6, so maybe this team just needs a month or so to get it all together.
Penn State 33, Pitt 14
A year later and the pettiness of this tweet still makes me laugh.
Pitt, at least in its current state, is simply not good enough to be Penn State's rival. We deserve better. https://t.co/2o9M5VFKJ9— Onward State (@OnwardState) September 8, 2016
Penn State coach James Franklin has totally bought into the whole “NOT OUR RIVALS” thing as well.
James Franklin comparing Pitt to Akron is consistent with how he's tried to brand PSU https://t.co/jsR85Vz3go— SB Nation CFB (@SBNationCFB) September 11, 2017
Ahh, college football. I missed you.
Michigan 36, Cincinnati 14
Wisconsin 31, Florida Atlantic 14
Michigan State 28, Western Michigan 14
Illinois 20, WKU 7
Minnesota 48, Oregon State 10
Maryland 63, Towson 17
A bunch of easy victories for other Big Ten teams last week. Not much notable to take from here, other than Michigan fans seemed upset about a 22-point win (big shock, I know), and either Illinois has improved more than we thought or Western Kentucky has really fallen down without Jeff Brohm. My guess is the latter.
Elsewhere in College Football
Clemson 14, Auburn 6
Despite not being in the same conference, Clemson seems to play Auburn every single year, and every time the game is a complete slog, despite both teams having coaches known for their offensive prowess. While this is a good win for Clemson (they sacked Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham 11 times!), they still don’t look to be the same team without DeShaun Watson, who looks to be the future at QB for the Texans in the NFL.
Georgia 20, Notre Dame 19
If Clemson-Auburn was a slog, then every UGA game is a slog. Credit to the Dawgs for getting the win in South Bend, which almost felt like a home game for them, but I still don’t think Georgia (or any other SEC team) really poses a threat to Alabama this season.
USC 42, Stanford 24
A week after USC struggled to put Western Michigan away for 3.5 quarters, the Trojans completely manhandled a Stanford team that has been known to do the same to its opponents over the years. USC seems to be in control of the Pac-12 for the moment.
Mississippi State 57, Louisiana Tech 21
Why am I including this random SEC blowout in the mix here? For one simple reason.
3rd and 93.
3rd & 93 upcoming...#HailState pic.twitter.com/ysNOd1QpmM— MSU Football (@HailStateFB) September 10, 2017
That’s right. Louisiana Tech had a 3rd and goal situation FROM ITS OWN 7.
IS TEXAS BACK?
Presenting the IS TEXAS BACK-O-METER. Each week, we’ll check on college football’s most burning question: IS TEXAS BACK?!?! Here’s this week’s edition (thanks to blog friend Ben Goren for the graphic):
Texas crushed San Jose State, 56-0, which means that they are temporarily BACK. But next weekend that may change, as they play USC, who would like you to casually forget that they lost to the Longhorns in the greatest college football game ever played:
USC media notes say they’re 4-0 against Texas thanks to “vacated” title game loss https://t.co/lH5vJ7Ap4L pic.twitter.com/KETyUjvGGx— Awful Announcing (@awfulannouncing) September 11, 2017
Coach on the Hottest Seat
Brian Kelly, Notre Dame.
Notre Dame’s 20-19 loss to Georgia was the same old story for the Irish, who again lost a close game in the closing minutes. This was a common theme throughout their 4-8 season last year, in which they finished 4-8. But in a postgame presser, Kelly did himself no favors when trying to account for the loss:
Brian Kelly wasn't happy at the end of his press conference when asked by @LakenLitman if tonight's loss was similar to those from 2016. pic.twitter.com/JzYWcv9Cmt— Angelo Di Carlo (@angdicarlowndu) September 10, 2017
The question itself from the reporter is no better or worse than most postgame soundbites, but Kelly’s reaction is uncalled for, especially as a coach who is consistently finding others to blame after losses besides himself.
Way-Too-Early Playoff Rankings
The Trojans are ahead of Penn State for the moment for the final spot, considering they have a better victory and won head-to-head in the Rose Bowl last year. Which means as of this moment that the B1G would be on the outside of the playoff looking in.
FIU at Indiana - CANCELED
Due to the aftereffects of Hurricane Irma in South Florida, FIU will not be making the trip up to Bloomington this weekend. While losing a home game is unfortunate for IU, the lives and homes of people affected by this disaster are a lot more important right now, and hopefully FIU and its players, who have been stranded in Birmingham this past week, can return to a normal soon. So as a fanbase, let’s support these guys, rather than act like entitled jerks the way that Arkansas State fans did when Miami had to cancel their visit last week.
Hopefully Fred Glass is able to reschedule something for IU’s bye week (10/7), but the cancellation this week clearly seems like the right call.
As for other games this weekend, uhh... not great pickings! Go walk the dog, ride your bike, do some yard work, or whatever else you like to do on fall weekends, and then get back to your place or out to the bar in time to watch Louisville-Clemson at 8pm.