Games of the week
Louisiana-Monroe at Florida State: That’s right we’re talkin bout the Noles.... again. For the second week in a row a group of five team went into Tallahassee and didn’t back down. This may not be a very good Florida State squad but that doesn’t take away from what the Warhawks were able to do. Coach Viator’s group were able to battle back from being down 21-0 early and make it a game. In the fourth quarter is where things got crazy and ULM even took a few leads thanks to the legs and arm of quarterback Caleb Evans and the running game behind Josh Johnson. The game went into overtime where ULM looked to tie it up after scoring a touchdown but then missed the extra point. One can only wonder what would’ve happened if they had went for two. The Warhawks fall after a valiant effort 45-44.
Army at Michigan: The Black Knights went into the big house and gave the Wolverines everything they could handle. A defensive slugfest that went back and forth with momentum swings all day. Army did what Army does and that’s run the ball right at you until you stop it. On the legs of Kelvin Hopkins, Sandon McCoy and Connor Slomka they were able to force the game to double overtime. Then Michigan forced a Hopkins fumble and the Black Knights lose a heartbreaker, 24-21.
Marshall at Boise State: All the way back on Friday a defensive battle took place on the blue turf. Boise State was coming off it’s impressive comeback win over Florida State and Marshall had an impressive week one showing itself. The Thundering Herd came to play particularly on defense. There isn’t much to write about for either team offensively as neither team could get it going and continuously turned the ball over. Boise State with a late touchdown was able to survive the impressive upset bid, 14-7.
Darryton Evans- Appalachian State, RB: The Mountaineers put on a show against in-state foe Charlotte. Thanks in large part to Evans who had 234 yards and three touchdowns.
Asher O’Hara- Middle Tennessee, QB: No Stockstill? No problem. Okay that may be an overreaction but O’Hara did have a nice day against Tennessee State. He finished with 267 yards and four touchdowns.
Shane Buechele- SMU, QB: The Mustangs got a big win against Conference USA favorite North Texas and a lot of it came on the arm of Buchele. He finished with 292 yards and three touchdowns. Speaking of that game....
Xavier Jones- SMU, RB: Another player from that game that had three touchdowns? Yeah that’s right it was Jones. He also finished with 127 yards rushing.
CJ Marable- Coastal Carolina, RB: The Chanticleers got a huge win over Kansas (I said what I said) and it’s easy to see why. Marable had a great day on the ground and finished with 148 yards and a touchdown.
UCF’s defense: Would be hard not to have the Knights on here after pummeling in-state “rival” and holding them to just 14 points. Their defense also only allowed 174 yards passing and 134 yards rushing.
Josh Johnson- ULM, RB: His second week in a row on this list and for good reason. Johnson had a nice day against the Noles, he finished with 126 yards and a touchdown.
Tyler Johnston III- UAB, QB: The Blazers quarterback is picking up right where he left off from last season. The Blazers topped Akron and Johnston is the main reason why. He finished with 319 yards and four touchdowns.
In the dog house
(This is not a hot seat or hot take section, it’s just an evaluation of one player, coach or conference in particular)
Butch Davis- FIU, HC: A rough two week start for the veteran coach. First getting blown out by Tulane and now losing to Conference USA afterthought Western Kentucky that was coming off a loss to an FCS team. The Panthers were favored by many to win the conference and now it looks like a long season may be in store for folks in Miami.
Conference USA: Enough shots were taken at the CUSA this weekend so I’m not here to do that. But I’m here to say right now that this looks like the worst conference from top to bottom in the group of five. Being outclassed in games against power five opponents and also other group of five conferences. Maybe it’s realignment catching up to them or maybe it’s a down year but this has seemed like a trend. At least this will make for a fun conference race.
Yikes. Conference USA hasn’t started out the best... pic.twitter.com/Ebz43l6TNy— Jose Bouquett (@josebouquett) September 8, 2019
Charlie Strong- USF, HC: We all wanted this to work didn’t we? I did at least but it appears that the Bulls are going in the wrong direction. On paper this should be a slam dunk, Strong should be able to recruit the area well having done so before but for whatever reason the Bulls don’t do anything well. The defense stepped up this week but that was a bad Georgia Tech team and now they sit at 0-2. If he doesn’t find a solution soon it could mean the worst.
Wins against the Power Five
(Obviously less than last week but there were some big wins to talk about)
San Diego State over UCLA: The Aztecs didn’t look great in week one but they showed up against UCLA. This is the second week in a row that Chip Kelly’s team took a loss to the group of five. San Diego State actually got it done through the air this time and adds another power five win for the Mountain West.
Coastal Carolina over Kansas: Okay... okay I know Kansas barely counts but don’t tell that to the Chanticleers! A huge program win and it’s first over a power five school. This also came after being relocated due to Hurricane Dorian.
Hawaii over Oregon State: As it sits currently... Nick Rolovich’s team would sit atop the Pac 12 with a 2-0 record. You probably missed this one because you were asleep but the Warriors got an outstanding performance from quarterback Cole McDonald. Something tells me Coach Rolovich didn’t forget Johnathan Smith sending letters to his players ON CAMPUS. This one had to feel good.
Tweets of the week
Most were probably smiling this was only the facial of expression of Tallahassee and the surrounding areas
Our very own editor made a great point
Coastal beat Kansas and the TL didn't even react. https://t.co/pzIlUpgyvc— Cyrus Smith (@CoolCyWrites) September 8, 2019
Sometimes all you need is one word
#DoitforWendy:It was emotional day as the Red Wolves took on UNLV but not for what took place on the field but for what was going on off of it. It was the return of coach Blake Anderson to the sideline after tending to his late wife Wendy as she battled cancer. She unfortunately lost her battle but her presence was surely felt on Saturday. Many pictures and tweets on social media had the hashtag “DoitforWendy” and you could tell the players really did. A great day in what has to be the hardest time of Coach Anderson’s life. Arkansas State wins big over UNLV, 43-17.
Calm down Bearcats fans: Judging by a scroll of my twitter feed the Cincinnati fans were angry about their shutout loss against in-state opponent Ohio State and rightfully so but let’s not overreact here. Luke Fickell has this team and program ahead of schedule. Last year’s team was not supposed to happen so a regression of some kind was very likely. Stay the course and trust this process, the Bearcats are going in the right direction and building something special.
SMU and Tulane are sleepers no more: You could see this coming towards the end of last year but it looks like it could finally be unfolding. The Mustangs have won big the last two weeks and look to be improving. Quarterback transfer from Texas Shane Buchele has been huge addition and a main reason why they’re rolling. The Green Wave may have lost to Auburn but they put up one heck of a fight and they blew out Florida International in week one. The offensive philosophy change seems to be paying off the defense is for real. The AAC just got even more tough to navigate.
TURNOVER PENCILS ARE THE BEST!!!!