Some of us endure our craziest times in college. Whether it's related to volatility of the 17-22 year old mind, or something they're feeding on-campus, I'm not sure, but there is undeniably an omnipresent energy of "anything is possible (for better or for worse)."
Just about every Saturday in the Fall, college football does a wonderful job of reminding us that "anything is possible."
And then, there are Saturdays like the one just past ...
Normally, we would have an upset & bad beats section, but since that was a central theme for CFB Week 2, so let’s just start there ...
No. 14 Ducks stun No. 3 Buckeyes at The 'Shoe
Ultimately, it was the No. 12 Oregon Ducks that stole the show on this upset-Saturday. Entering the game at No. 3 Ohio State, Oregon was an (+460) underdog, taking +14.5 points on the spread. When you look at Ohio State’s long body of dominance (especially against the Pac-12), these numbers looked right on par after Oregon’s shaky win over Fresno St. in Week 1. But as the Buckeyes found out, the Ducks came to battle from the opening whistle. After no scoring from either side in the first quarter, Oregon would score early in the second, holding onto the lead for the rest of the afternoon.
At kickoff, ESPN Win Probability Index gave No. 3 OSU an 88.5% to win at home. Oregon had other ideas, coming with an old-fashioned approach: a stout running game, timely completions, solid defense early, and ball control. For the Ducks, running back CJ Verdell was the star that shined brightest. Oregon called his number early and often, as Verdell rumbled to 195 all-purpose yards and three scores on 20 carries; Ohio St. never found a solution for Verdell, and that would ultimately be the demise for the Buckeyes.
Ohio State started uncharacteristically slow on offense, a pace that would be improved in the second half. However, OSU simply could not keep the Ducks from scoring, allowing 21 more points in the second half. Ohio St. and the CJ Stroud led-offense would eventually get the ball back late with a chance to march the Buckeyes down for the tying-score, but a Verone McKinley III interception would seal the deal. And just like that, No. 14 Oregon would hold off No. 3 OSU, but not without leaving behind a friend ...
No. 10 Iowa stays ahead of No. 9 ISU in Cy-Hawk game
Another notable upset on Saturday, albeit not nearly as steep, occurred in the Cy-Hawk game. With Iowa coming in at No. 10, and Iowa St. at No. 9, State was laying 4.5 points and given -195 odds to win outright at time of kickoff. The Hawkeyes had other ideas ...
The Cyclones would score first via a late first quarter field goal. Iowa would respond with touchdowns on consecutive drives (four-yard rushing touchdown from running back Tyler Goodson, 26-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Jones) and never look back.
ISU would hang around much of the afternoon, but it would ultimately be a late third quarter scoop-and-score from Iowa linebackerJack Campbell that would seal the deal, eventually claiming the Cy-Hawk trophy and sending Iowa supporters of all kinds home (+4.5, -195 money line) happy.
Arkansas dominates No. 15 Texas
After entering the 2021 season with high expectations, the Longhorns may be rethinking their future realignment to the SEC. On Saturday, it was clearly Arkansas that had the statement to make, shutting out No. 15 Texas going into halftime.
Arkansas would be responsible for the first four scoring plays of the game, setting itself up with a 16-0 lead heading into the second half, and easing the nerves of any Arkansas +7 bettors.
The Longhorn-offense would eventually wake up, scoring three touchdowns in the latter half, but the Razorbacks would add four more touchdowns of their own, leading to an eventual eruption of fans on the field in Fayetteville, Ark., upon victory.
Stanford crushes No. 14 USC in battle for California's top private schools
Let’s face it; after losing handedly to Kansas St. last week, not many were giving Stanford much of a chance in Los Angeles. Estimated to be the top program in the Pac-12, No. 14 USC had all the confidence it needed after bouncing San Jose St.; it was confident about its second matchup with a Silicon Valley school in as many weeks. At kickoff, USC was laying 17 points, as Stanford was getting +590 to win the contest outright. If you stayed awake Saturday night, you were in for quite the surprise.
Stanford would set the tone immediately. Scoring on the first play from scrimmage, Cardinal running back Nathaniel Peat would jet 87 yards to the end zone, virtually untouched.
The two historic institutions would trade scores throughout the quarters one and two, leaving Stanford up 21-10 at the half, rendering anyone with a Stanford +17 ticket to an optimal spot.
USC scored first in the second half by netting a field goal, but would see Heisman-hopeful quarterback Kedon Slovis throw a pick-six to Stanford’s Kyu Blu Kelly on the Trojans' next drive. Stanford would compound its efforts, with quarterback Tanner McKee punching in a touchdown from one yard out on the following possession. But the Cardinal were not finished, scoring another rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter. USC would add a couple late scores to ensure the OVER supporters were taken care of, but the damage was done. Stanford shook up the Trojans and hopped on the first plane back to the Bay Area.
Other CFB headlines you may have missed
- Michigan rolls over Washington, 31-10
- Miami holds off charging Appalachian St. squad, 25-23
- FSU loses on walk off TD to Jacksonville St., 20-17
- BYU defeats No. 21 Utah 26-17, avoids losing tenth straight Holy War
And to think, it is ONLY Week 3 ... Here are the updated AP Rankings as of Monday:
7. Texas A&M
9. Ohio St.
10. Penn St.
12. Notre Dame
14. Iowa St.
15. Virginia Tech
16. Coastal Carolina
17. Ole Miss
19. Arizona St.
21. North Carolina
23. Brigham Young
24. Miami (FL)