Tuesday, September 18, 2012

College Football Week 3 Review

(Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
Senior running back Stepfan Taylor led his team to victory last week as Stanford defeated USC 21-14.

This week in college football, four teams in the AP Top 25 lost. (2) USC was upset by (21) Stanford at "The Farm". Matt Barkley and the Trojans were shut out in the second half by Stanford. (10) Michigan lost at home to (20) Notre Dame. It looks like Brian Kelly has turned around the program and Notre Dame is back to being a threat. (13) Virginia Tech was upset by unranked Pittsburgh on the road. It was Paul Chryst's first win as the head coach of the Panthers. And finally, (23) Tennessee lost to lower ranked (18) Florida in front of the ESPN gameday crew. The Volunteers led at half, but were outscored 27-6 in the second half.

New AP Top 10:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide
2. LSU Tigers
3. Oregon Ducks
4. Florida State Seminoles
5. Georgia Bulldogs
6. Oklahoma Sooners
7. South Carolina Gamecocks
8. West Virginia Mountaineers
9. Stanford Cardinal
10. Clemson Tigers

Top Three Performances by Team or Player:
1. Stanford Cardinal- "Nerd Nation" proved that they are still an elite football program without Andrew Luck. The Cardinal shut down USC's perennial attack led by Heisman hopeful Matt Barkley. Shout out to senior running back Stepfan Taylor who picked up over 200 yards and two touchdowns in the win.
2. Boise State RB D.J. Harper- The senior running back dominated Miami (OH) last week. He rushed for over 190 yards and three touchdowns, and even caught another 21 yard pass for a touchdown. Harper's career day helped the Broncos get back in the AP Top 25.
3. Florida Gators- The Gators are back, after two subpar seasons. Their big win on the road last week proved that they can contend in the almighty SEC Conference. Jeff Driskel had a great game throwing the ball, while wildcat dual-threat quarterback Trey Burton rushed for 91 yards and two touchdowns on only three carries.

Top Three Disappointments by Player or Team:
1. USC QB Matt Barkley- Going into the season, Barkley was projected to be a Heisman winning quarterback who led his school back to a BCS National Championship. After a subpar game vs. Stanford last week, both of those projections are likely history.
2. Arkansas Razorbacks- Even though Arkansas was without their quarterback, Tyler Wilson, they still could have put up a better fight than a 51-0 loss to Alabama. After starting off the season ranked in the Top 10, the Razorbacks will be lucky if they finish in the Top 25.
3. Auburn Tigers- Remember the same Auburn Tigers who won a National Championship just two years ago? Yeah, well those Tigers needed OT to beat Louisiana-Monroe to get their first win of the season. Did I mention that they paid ULM $1 million to play them? Pathetic if you ask me.

Game of the Week: (18) Florida vs. (23) Tennessee

The classic SEC matchup was chosen as ESPN's Gameday destination last week. Florida struck first when dual-threat quarterback Trey Burton ran for a 14 yard touchdown halfway through the first quarter. With three minutes left in the first quarter, Tennessee tied up the game when quarterback Tyler Bray hit Cordarrelle Patterson for a two yard score. Then early in the second quarter, Bray threw another short pass, this time to Mychal Rivera for a six yard touchdown. Florida struggled to move the ball in the second quarter, but would kick a field goal as time expired to end the first half. The Gators would wake up in the second half, and dominate both sides of the ball. The Gators scored 17 points in the third quarter, including another touchdown by Trey Burton. This time the dual-thread quarterback faked a handoff and took the ball 80 yards the other way to tie up the game at 20. In the fourth, the Gators shutout the Vols, and would add 10 points of their own, including a 75 yard touchdown pass by Jeff Driskel  to Frankie Hammond. The Gators' big win on the road showed that they can be contenders in the SEC this year. They have tough games coming up against LSU, South Carolina, and Georgia so going 2-1 in those games would be great for Florida.

Next Week's Five Intriguing Matchups:
1. (10) Clemson vs. (4) Florida State- Will Florida State's first test of the season prove that they are legitimately good, or that they ran up the score against weak opponents?
2. (22) Arizona vs. (3) Oregon- Arizona has already upset one team; are the Ducks their next victim?
3. (15) Kansas State vs. (6) Oklahoma- Can Collin Klein and the Wildcats upset Landry Jones and the Sooners this week?
4. (18) Michigan vs. (18) Notre Dame- Is D-Rob set for another killer game, or will it be the Irish who get the best of the Wolverines?
5. (13) USC vs. California- How will the Trojans respond after losing to Stanford last week?

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