Sunday, September 18, 2016

College Football Week 3 Pass/Fail Report

Week 3 is now in the books, and while some teams made the grade, some failed miserably in what was once again an insane week of college football results. Here are my final grades for the week 3 that was:

PASS: Houston, Memphis, Tulsa, USF, Navy
It was a fairly good week for these three squads. Houston looked to be in trouble for three quarters against Cincinnati, but the Bearcats collapsed in the 4th quarter, allowing Houston a pair of pick six plays, and Greg Ward ran two more in for a 28 point 4th quarter and a 40-16 win to open AAC play.
Memphis got an expected win over Kansas at the Liberty Bowl, beating the Jayhawks 43-7. The Tiger D held strong by forcing 6 Kansas turnovers in the win, while Riley Ferguson was solid, tossing a pair of TDs and committing zero turnovers.
Tulsa bounced back against North Carolina A&T this week after a drubbing by Ohio State last week. Keevan Lucas caught 3 TD passes in the win for the Golden Hurricane, as Tulsa bounced out to a 48-0 lead at the half. Navy survived a defense dominated game at Tulane, and got a late TD to win in AAC play 21-14 behind 111 yards rushing by Will Worth, his 1st career 100 yard rushing game.
USF rode a 28 point 2nd quarter to roll past Syracuse 45-20 at the Carrier Dome, after trailing 17-0 early. USF rushed for 239 yards, including 115 from Marlon Mack.

FAIL: Temple, UConn, East Carolina, Tulane, UCF, SMU, Cincinnati
Temple stormed back against Penn State, but failed in their attempt to beat Penn State once again. The Owls were held to just 38 yards rushing in the loss. U Conn needed another late miracle to beat Virginia, who was winless coming in. Virginia missed a game tying football at the end of the game, and U Conn escaped against yet another bad opponent.
East Carolina outgained South Carolina by over 200 yards, and Zay Jones caught 22 passes, but somehow ECU could not come up with a win over the Gamecocks.
Tulane had Navy on the ropes with a 1 point lead, but once again could not come up with any offense late in another close loss.
UCF had Maryland down, but now has lost 14 of their last 15 after falling to Maryland in OT. The Knights allowed 4 different Maryland ball carriers to score TDs in the loss.
SMU may have beaten Liberty, but they had a one score lead in the 4th quarter and allowed the FCS Flames to hang around all night. I am still waiting to see this great offense that Chad Morris was supposed to bring to bear for the Mustangs.
Cincinnati had Houston on the ropes, but they cannot run the football. At one point, UC had run for just 3 yards, and you cannot win against Houston doing that. They completely imploded in the 4th, and it was a long hard fall from there.

Pass: Louisville, Clemson, Miami, Georgia Tech, North Carolina, Virginia Tech, NC State, Wake Forest
Lamar Jackson scored 5 more TDs this week, and Louisville’s defense just man handled Florida State in every way. The Cardinals are our top ranked team, and they played like one.
Clemson scored in almost every way, crushing South Carolina State 59-0. DeShaun Watson played only one half of football.
Miami had a tough challenge going to play on the road at Appalachian State, but they showed up with  a vengeance, destroying the Mountaineers 45-10. The Canes are playing with more life than I have seen in some time.
Georgia Tech rolled at Vanderbilt, a game where some felt that Vandy could pick up a win. Paul Johnson is having one of his good years so far, a the Yellow Jackets are now 3-0.
North Carolina didn’t always look good on defense, but the offense provided, and the Tar Heels beat FCS James Madison 56-28.
Virginia Tech bounced back from a terrible game against Tennessee to shut out Boston College 49-0 this week to open ACC play. The Hokies could be a middle tier team in ACC play, but this was a solid and forceful win over a bad team.
NC State cruised over Old Dominion, allowing 13 points to the Monarchs of their 22 in the 4th quarter in garbage time. The Wolfpack got the bounce back this week after losing to East Carolina last week.
Wake Forest didn’t look entirely pretty, but look out for the 3-0 Demon Deacons, after they beat Delaware 38-21.

Fail: Florida State, Virginia, Syracuse, Boston College, Pittsburgh, Duke
Virginia had U Conn exactly where they wanted, and still let the Huskies get away after a missed FG as time expired delivered the Cavs to 0-3. Bronco Mendenhall has to be wondering why he took this job at this point.
Florida State got absolutely dismantled by Louisville, taking one of the 3 worst losses ever for a second ranked team since the AP poll was invented. Dalvin Cook was held to just 54 yards rushing.
Syracuse had a 17 point lead over USF, and somehow allowed 28 points in the 2nd quarter in another home blowout loss.
Boston College’s offense is still a disaster, and now Steve Addazio is on full Dead Pool watch. If the season continues in this manner, there is no way he survives into 2017 as BC coach.
Pitt had to find a way to stop James Washington, and failed to do so. Had Pitt found a way to manage him, they win this football game over Oklahoma State. They didn’t, and the get beat 45-38.
Something is missing beyond Thomas Sirk for Duke, who fell to previously winless Northwestern. Duke is sinking fast.

Big 12
Pass: TCU, Kansas State, Oklahoma State, Baylor
TCU rolled up 481 yards and jumped out to a 24-7 lead over Iowa State, and won 41-20 in what was a must win game for the struggling Frogs to open Big 12 play.
Kansas State rolled out to a 42-0 lead at half over FAU, and the Wildcats won after a bye week coming off a road loss to Stanford.
James Washington caught9 passes for 296 yards and Oklahoma State managed to come back from a humiliating loss to Central Michigan last week, beating Pitt at home, 45-38. Mason Rudolph passed for 540 yards in the win.
KD Cannon had 213 yards receiving and 2 TDs, as Baylor overcame a sluggish start to beat Rice 38-10 on the road. It wasn’t always pretty, but the Bears have beaten Rice 8 straight times.
Fail: Oklahoma, Kansas, Iowa State, Texas Tech, Texas
Oklahoma has finally fallen off the rails completely after starting the season ranked 3rd, falling by 3 TDs at home to Ohio State. The Sooner loss may have just pushed the Big 12 out of the playoff picture.
Kansas is now just 1-14 since the start of last season, and turned the ball over 6 times in a 43-7 loss to Memphis.
Iowa State could not get their offense or defense going in their Big 12 opener, falling to TCU, and giving up 481 yards.
Texas Tech beat Louisiana Tech, but they should not have needed 59 points to do so. The Red Raiders gave up 45 in the win.
Texas defense is non-existent. The Longhorns are horrible tacklers, and the dream start came crashing down tonight against Cal and their offense, as the Longhorns finish 0-2 in this home and home with the Bears.

Big 10
Pass: Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Nebraska, Rutgers, Penn State, Northwestern
JT Barrett picked up four more TDs, and Ohio State dominated Oklahoma in Norman 45-24. Barrett has 16 TDs, trailing only Lamar Jackson.
Michigan trailed at one point to Colorado, but poured it on strong in the 2nd half, beating the Buffalos 45-28 in what was supposed to be their biggest non con challenge.
Michigan State did allow a late Notre Dame rally, but the Spartans used a fast start to hold off the Irish on the road 36-28. This was a much stronger performance for MSU after a rough opening win over Furman.
Nebraska rallied from 13 down and got a late go ahead TD run from Tommy Armstrong, and Nebraska won a track meet over the Oregon Ducks in Lincoln.
Rutgers looked bad against New Mexico early, but then turned on the jets in the second quarter, beating the Lobos 37-28 at home. Rutgers is now a manageable 2-1.
Penn State bounced back from a loss to Pitt last week, and avenged a loss to Temple last season, 34-27, shutting down a late Temple rally.
Northwestern avoided an 0-3 start by beating a reeling Duke team at home, 24-14. Northwestern had losses to Illinois State and Western Michigan prior, and absolutely were desperate not to go into Big 10 play winless.

FAIL: Wisconsin, Illinois, Iowa, Maryland
Wisconsin trailed late to Georgia State at home before a late drive to take the lead, and a late defensive stand put the game away from a Panther team that has not won a game this season.
Illinois paid Western Michigan $1.2 million to come into their home and beat them by 24. That’s money not well spent.
Iowa was supposed to be a Big 10 contender this season, but instead failed to get the motor running, falling to 5 time FCS champ North Dakota State 23-21. The good news is that they can’t repeat this problem, as the Big 10 has banned playing FCS teams in 2017.
Maryland should not have needed OT to take out UCF, but Maryland was fortunate to recover a fumble in OT, and then get a walk off TD run to win an ugly game to go 3-0 under new coach DJ Durkin.

Conference USA
Pass: Middle Tennessee
In what was a miserable week for the conference, only one team showed up to get some work done. Middle Tennessee was a dog against Bowling Green, but played like the favorite in a 41-21 win. I’Tavius Mathers went over 100 yards rushing and receiving in the win.

Fail: North Texas. Marshall, FAU, Western Kentucky, FIU, Old Dominion, Charlotte, UTEP, Louisiana Tech, Southern Miss, UTSA
Out of this group, Western Kentucky actually won, but allowed a really bad Miami (Ohio) team to hang around a week after they lost to Eastern Illinois. Western really has got to get themselves together moving forward.
The rest of this group was abysmal in week 3. This group lost their games by an average of 25.44 points. North Texas was shut out by Florida 32-0. Marshall was absolutely abysmal on defense, and gave up 65 points to Akron. FAU gave up 63 to Kansas State. FIU lost to U Mass. Old Dominion lost by 27 to NC State. Charlotte fell to Eastern Michigan. UTEP gave up 66 to Army. Louisiana Tech just needed some defense, any defense, to upset Texas Tech, and gave up 59 instead after scoring 45.
If there was a conference that had a worse week than this, I didn’t see it.
UTSA had Arizona State down 21-12, then lost 32-28. This was a terrible implosion.

Pass: Akron, Central Michigan, Toledo, Ball State, Kent State, Miami (Ohio), Western Michigan, Eastern Michigan
Akron shocked many people by piling up 65 points on Marshall in a 65-38 win. Thomas Woodson passed for 4 TDs in the win.
Central Michigan survived an emotional win over Oklahoma State last week by beating UNLV 44-21. CMU allowed the Rebels to take a lead at 21-14, and then shut the Rebels down the rest of the way.
Toledo rolled out to a 24-0 lead at the half, and then rolled after the half in a 52-17 domination over Fresno State at home.
Ball State jumped out to a 30-0 lead on FCS Eastern Kentucky, and Mike Neu has won 2 of his first 3 games as coach of the Cardinals.
Kent State bounced back from a horrible loss to FCS North Carolina A&T by beating another FCS school in Monmouth. The Flashes could not afford another FCS loss.
Miami (Ohio) lost to Western Kentucky, but as bad as the Hawks have been, they held WKU in check for most of the game, and really had several chances to win this game after rallying in the second half. It’s an improvement.
Western Michigan and PJ Fleck are now 2-0 against the Big 10, and the Broncos cruised against Illinois on the road to go to 3-0 to stay in the conversation for a NY6 bid at the end of the season.
Eastern Michigan has won 2 of 3 after beating Charlotte on the road 37-19. They may struggle in MAC play, but this is their best start in some time.

Fail: Ohio, Bowling Green, Northern Illinois, Buffalo
Ohio should have been considered for a pass, but they blew some opportunities against Tennessee in a 28-19 loss. Ohio had Tennessee running scared, but could never turn the corner to pull off the upset.
Bowling Green has been just awful, and there is no way they should have been favored this week. They fall 41-21 to Middle Tennessee.
Northern Illinois is really missing the injured Drew Hare at QB, an the Huskies are now 0-3 after a 42-28 loss at home to San Diego State. The Huskies trailed 28-7 at the half.
Buffalo trailed to Nevada 24-0 at the half, and never got going in a 38-10 home loss that kept the Bulls winless.

Mountain West
Pass: San Diego State, Colorado State, Wyoming, Nevada, Utah State
San Diego State rolled out to a 28-7 lead at the half on the road, and now the Aztecs have won 13 straight after a 42-28 win at Northern Illinois. Now they have to be considered as a candidate for a NY6 bid.
Colorado State and Wyoming picked up huge wins over FCS Big Sky opponents, and are now both 2-1, which is really meaningful for Wyoming, who was terrible last season.
Nevada got a much needed road win to rebound with a 38-10 win over Buffalo, a week after getting drubbed by Notre Dame.
Utah State is now 2-1 after beating Arkansas State at home. The Aggies used a 17-0 1st quarter to bolster their win.

Fail: New Mexico, UNLV, Fresno State, San Jose State, Hawaii
New Mexico jumped out to a 21-7 1st quarter lead on Rutgers on the road, and was hardly heard from again in a 37-28 loss. Bob Davie has now lost 2 straight after getting beaten by New Mexico State last week.
UNLV had a 21-14 lead on Central Michigan, and was then outscored 30-0 the rest of the way, including a blocked punt for a safety. The young Rebels are still not competing in all four quarters.
Fresno State is a bad football team. The Bulldogs were down 24-0 at the half in a 52-17 loss to Toledo. Tim DeRuyter is heading for the Dead Pool.

whole game, eventually falling 34-17. The Spartans are now just 1-2.
Hawaii trailed 44-14 at the end of 3 in a 47-28 loss to Arizona in Tucson. The Rainbows are giving up points by the bucket this season.

Pass: Stanford, Washington, California, Washington State, Oregon State, UCLA, Utah, Arizona
Stanford is showing up once again in 2016, this time handling USC 27-10, as Christian McCaffrey went for over 200 total yards once again.
Washington and Oregon State beat up on FCS opponents, and Washington will not have really played anyone until they get Arizona next week, and they get Stanford the week after.
California scored a huge upset win after falling at San Diego State last week, beating 11th ranked Texas at home in a defenseless 50-43 shootout in Strawberry Canyon. It was a much needed win for the Bears, who now go into conference play at 2-1.
Washington State finally shook the cursed bug, as they destroyed Idaho 56-6 after back to back 3 point losses to Eastern Washington at Boise State.
UCLA used hard hitting defense and a balanced passing attack to take down BYU 17-14. The Bruins led 17-0 at one point, but BYU rallied late. The Bruins get the pass for winning in a hostile environment, but have not played a complete game all season.
Utah and Arizona got big wins against Mountain West schools San Jose State and Hawaii, and will go into PAC-12 play with momentum.

Fail: USC, Colorado, Oregon, Arizona State
Arizona State actually won this week, but trailed UTSA late, and that is not a team that ASU should be struggling against, especially after blowing up for 68 points last week.
USC now has just 16 points in losses to Alabama and Stanford, which means that the Trojans are just 1-2, and could be in real trouble in PAC-12 play. The fan base is already regretting the Clay Helton hire.
Colorado had a 21-14 lead at Michigan, but somehow let it al get away, imploding their way to a 45-28 loss.
Oregon let Nebraska beat them at their own game, and blew a 13 point lead in losing on the road to the Huskers. The Ducks defense, led by Brady Hoke, is not good.

Pass: Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, Arkansas, Kentucky
Alabama broke the Ole Miss curse, but needed 48 points to hold off the Rebels 48-43. Not a typical day for the Tide defense, but this win was a guerilla on the Alabama’s back removed.
Texas A&M remained unbeaten, manhandling Auburn 29-10 on the road to go to 3-0. The Aggies could be a surprise team in SEC play.
Florida pitched a shutout over North Texas, winning 32-0 to go to 3-0 for the season. Luke Del Rio has finally given the Gators a dependable game manager that they can rely on at QB.
Arkansas rolled 42-3 over Texas State, and gained 467 yards of offense on the way to the win. Arkansas is now 3-0 on the year.
Kentucky got a much needed, if not ugly win to enter SEC play after a 62-42 shootout win over New Mexico State. Mark Stoops is still looking in bad shape, however.

Fail: Ole Miss, Tennessee, Georgia, Missouri, Auburn, Mississippi State, LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina
In a recurring theme, if Ole Miss had just played defense, they beat Alabama for the third straight season. Like the Florida State game, they failed defensively. The Rebels are now just 1-2.
Tennessee won, but how they let teams like Appalachian State and Ohio hang around is just nuts, especially when they dominate Virginia Tech. The Vols are the least deserving 3-0 team in the nation.
Georgia beat Missouri, but both fail, because Georgia is supposed to be multitudes better than the Tigers, and Missouri fails because they had opportunities to win that got away from them in the loss. I am not impressed with either team.
Auburn is in real trouble, and it would not surprise me to see Gus Malzahn gone for 2017. The Tigers fell to the Aggies 29-16 at home, and have now lost twice at Jordan Hare in 2016, and we are not even into October yet.
LSU beat Mississippi State, and again, both earn failing grades. LSU cannot score on any level, and they did everything possible to give the game away after blowing most of a 23-6 lead in the final four minutes. Mississippi State fails because if they had a QB in the system that could actually play the game, they win this game. Again, two unimpressive football teams.
Vanderbilt just got drilled by Georgia Tech, could not stop the run, and just shows that they cannot win a game against a power five team.
South Carolina gave up 200 yards more than they rolled up to East Carolina, gave up 22 receptions to Zay Jones, yet somehow win. This will not continue in SEC play, so the Gamecocks, despite the win, fail this week.

Sun Belt
Pass: Georgia State, Georgia Southern, UL-Lafayette, Troy
Troy is the team of the week I this group after holding off Southern Miss to win a 37-31 shootout, which is the biggest win for the Neal brown era to date.
Georgia State may have lost to Wisconsin, but they had the Badgers playing scared in the late 4th quarter before blowing their lead late and allowing the Badgers to escape. GSU may be 3-0, but they had this game.
Georgia Southern won ugly, but they manage to win their Sun Belt opener over UL-Monroe, 23-21, which is the all important game before matching up with Appalachian State later on.
UL-Lafayette also opens SBC play with a 28-23 win over pesky South Alabama.

Fail: Texas State, Appalachian State, Idaho, New Mexico State, UL-Monroe, South Alabama, Arkansas State
Texas State, Appalachian State, Idaho, New Mexico State, and Arkansas State all gave up 34 points or more this week in losses which averaged out to 31.6 points per loss. App State stung the most because they had an opportunity to take down Miami in Boone, NC.
ULM and South Alabama blew close games to lose their SBC openers by a total of 7 points combined. Opportunity lost.

Pass: Army, U Mass
Army scored 42 points after the half on the way to a 66-14 blowout win over UTEP in El Paso. Army ran for 424 yards and had 600 yards of offense in dominating their way to a 3-0 start this season.
U Mass, which was winless, beat FIU at home to go to 1-2. Andrew Ford passed for 3 TDs in his 1st start at QB for the Minutemen.

Fail: Notre Dame, BYU, Coastal Carolina
Notre Dame found themselves down huge to Michigan State at home before a late rally fell short in a 36-28 loss. Notre Dame gave up over 500 yards of offense, and the defense looks shaken after losses to Texas and the Spartans.
BYU is making a huge mistake sticking with Taysom Hill at QB, as Hill looks like all of his injuries have cost him his once vaunted athleticism. Hill was sacked time and again by UCLA, and the Cougars have yet to score 20 points in a game after a 1-2 start.

Coastal Carolina is still laying a full FCS schedule until 2017, and failed to pick up a huge win over Jacksonville State in a game that went down to the wire in a 27-26 loss for the Chants. 

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