If you haven’t had a chance to check out some highlights of this weekend’s action you can do so here. Tennessee and and Virginia Tech tumbled out of the latest edition of the AP’s top 25 thanks to losses to Florida and Pittsburgh respectively. After being knocked out last week Nebraska returns (barely) at #25 after beating Arkansas State. Boise State is also back at #24. The top ten has a different feel this week mostly because then #2 USC got manhandled by Stanford and fell to #13 while the Cardinal vaulted up to #9. Here’s a rundown of what the rest of the top dogs did this weekend.
1. Alabama (3-0) – The Tide rolled over Arkansas 52-0. The Razorbacks were without starting quarterback Tyler Wilson but that didn’t matter, they still would’ve lost. It just wouldn’t have been a shutout, the team’s first since 2005. After the game Wilson said he felt like there were times when his teammates gave up . He’s probably right. Alabama held Arkansas to just 137 yards of total offense and it didn’t seem like the Razorbacks mustered that many. Three tide running backs ran for 50+ yards and you could argue AJ McCarron has the easiest job in college football. ‘Bama hasn’t been scored upon since the third quarter against Michigan in the season opener and have outscored opponents 128-14 through three games.
2. LSU (3-0) – The Idaho Vandals went to Death Valley and got vandalized 63-14 by the Tigers, who set an FBS record by winning their 40th straight non-conference regular season game. It was also the school’s 20th straight home win. LSU had more yards passing (222) and rushing (250) than Idaho had in total offense (213). Ronald Martin and Lavar Edwards each returned interceptions for scores as LSU picked off Vandals QB Dominique Blackman four times. After not needing to do a whole lot last week quarterback Zach Mettenberger was 17/22 for 222 yards and 2 scores. Just what the rest of the SEC wanted to see, a potent aerial attack to go with a good ground game and suffocating defense.
3. Oregon (3-0) – The Ducks continued racking up the points and yards in a 63-14 win over former Tennessee Volunteer wide receiver Da’Rick Rogers and Tennessee Tech. As has become customary Chip Kelly pulled his starters before the game got too out of hand. Before that happened redshirt freshman quarterback Marcus Mariota had his first 300-yard passing game and 4 touchdowns. Mr. Do Everything De’Anthony Thomas had 222 all-purpose yards and 2 scores. On 10 touches. Tennessee Tech came into the game 0-27 versus FBS opponents. Make that 0-28 now. All wasn’t good for the Ducks this week though. Seniors John Boyett and Carson York are done for the season due to knee injuries.
4. Florida State (3-0) – After two glorified scrimmages the Seminoles faced an ACC team and destroyed Wake Forest by an Alabama-like score of 52-0. About the only thing that needs to be said is Florida State running back Chris Thomas had more yards on two carries (154) than the Demon Deacons had in total offense for the entire game (126). One thing I noticed watching the Noles is they have speed everywhere. Like in the 1990′s when Warrick Dunn, Derrick Brooks, Peter Boulware, Peter Warrick, Charlie Ward, and Samari Rolle were in Tallahassee type speed. I definitely dated myself with that sentence.
5. Georgia (3-0) – After two “Eh” kind of games the Bulldogs got things rolling against Florida Atlantic. Georgia put up a school-record 713 yards of total offense in a 56-20 win. Seven hundred thirteen. Aaron Murray looked like the best quarterback in the SEC with his career-high 342 yards. He tied Eric Zeier for second in school history with his 67th touchdown pass. The ‘Dawgs have two freshman running backs worth keeping tabs on, Keith Marshall and Todd Gurley. Both topped the 100-yard mark. The defense still wasn’t at full strength although Sanders Commings and Chase Vasser were back from suspensions. Bacarri Rambo, Alec Ogletree, and Jarvis Jones weren’t needed. Mainly because it was Florida Atlantic.
6. Oklahoma (2-0) – The Sooners had the week off to find something in last week’s 69-13 demolition of Florida A&M that wasn’t good and prepare for a big meeting with #15 Kansas State next Saturday.
7. South Carolina (3-0) – The good news is the Gamecocks won 49-6 over the University of Alabama-Birmingham. The bad news is quarterback Connor Shaw re-injured his throwing shoulder and had to leave the game in the second quarter. More good news is South Carolina scored 35 points after he left. The win was Steve Spurrier’s 200th as a college coach. Raise your hand if you remember the 20 he won at Duke. Sophomore Dylan Thompson was effective in relief of Shaw (177 yards and 2 TD’s) and if he keeps it up is going to force Spurrier’s hand when it comes to which QB to choose when Shaw is healthy again. Running back Marcus Lattimore set the school-record for touchdowns with his 34th.
8. West Virginia (2-0) – Quarterback Geno Smith was near perfect (34/39, 411 yds, 5 TD) as the Moutaineers rolled over James Madison 42-12. He’s now thrown for the most yards in school history. Smith is doing his best to wedge his name into the Heisman discussion. For the season he has nine touchdown passes and nine incompletions. Wide receivers Stedman Bailey and Tavon Austin both had 100 yards. By halftime. I probably exerted more effort writing about West Virgina than they did in their victory over the Dukes.
9. Stanford (3-0) – In the performance of the week Stanford knocked off Lane Kiffin’s USC Trojans 21-14 in Palo Alto. The Cardinal defense pummeled Matt Barkley and completely overmatched the Trojans offensive line. USC’s high-powered offense was held to 1-13 on third downs while Barkley was intercepted twice and sacked five times. During the pregame analyst Charles Davis called the matchup a “Maserati vs a Ford F-150″ and Stanford was definitely Ford tough. Cardinal running back Stepfan Taylor got stronger as the game wore on as did his offensive line. He finished with 153 yards and touchdown on 27 carries. Stanford beat USC soundly and fully deserve their jump into the top ten from #21.
10. Clemson (3-0) – Clemson defeated Furman 41-7 in the return of All-American wide receiver Sammy Watkins from his two game suspension. If you didn’t see his touchdown you can check it out here. Quarterback Tajh Boyd had his first 300-yard game of the season. It won’t be his last. Between Boyd, Watkins, running back Andre Ellington, wide receivers DeAndre Hopkins and Jaron Brown, and tight end Brandon Ford Clemson is loaded at the skill positions. The big if is their defense, which despite only allowing seven points looked vulnerable a few times on Saturday. But that’s probably being picky.