The 2020 season is already off to a wild start.
This is technically the fourth week of the college football season, but it’s the third week of Power 5 action. Things got even more interesting this weekend when the SEC entered the picture, and we’re now less than a month away from some glorious Big Ten action.
The biggest story of the weekend? I honestly don’t even know where to begin, but it would have to start in Norman and Baton Rouge. And if yesterday taught us anything, it’s that this has the potential to be a wild season filled with upsets and plenty of surprises.
Kansas State 38, No. 3 Oklahoma 35
The 2020 edition looks far too familiar for the folks in Norman. The quarterback play and offense as a whole are both solid, but big plays continue to plague the Sooners’ defense. All of this went down while Kansas State was playing without seven players due to COVID-19 concerns. Needless to say, it was a tough showing for Alex Grinch, and OU fans have about 1.8 million reasons to be upset.
This is Oklahoma’s 6th loss as a 20-point favorite since the start of the 2009 season. No other team has lost more than three in that span.
— Chris Fallica (@chrisfallica) September 26, 2020
The Wildcats scored 31 points in a home loss against Arkansas State two weeks ago. They scored 24 unanswered in the second half alone to storm back and take down the Sooners. Skylar Thompson put up 344 yards of total offense with a passing score and three more on the ground. True freshman tailback Deuce Vaughn caught four passes for 129 and added a rushing score.
Spencer Rattler’s three interceptions didn’t help matters. The redshirt freshman threw for 387 yards and four scores to help get the Sooners out to a 21-point lead in the third quarter. He spread the ball around to nine different receivers, but it was Drake Stoops (son of the former Sooners’ head coach) who led the way with 93 yards and a touchdown.
Kicker Blake Lynch delivered the game-winning field goal with two minutes left on the clock. Rattler’s third interception killed any chance of overtime or a Sooner victory. This makes two years in a row that the Wildcats have come out on top.
Mississippi State 44, No. 6 LSU 34
Remember that time Mike Leach and K.J. Costello went to Baton Rouge to take on the reigning national champs and self-proclaimed “DBU?” I remember it like it was just yesterday. And if memory serves me right, the Bulldogs threw for 623 yards and five touchdowns to upset the Bayou Bengals. In was a heck of a debut for the duo as it took Leach and Costello exactly one game to set a new single-game passing record in the SEC.
I’ll be the first to admit that I didn’t think Leach’s air raid offense would work in the SEC; especially against teams like LSU. And while it’s true All-American cornerback Derek Stingley was held out due to a medical issue, yesterday’s performance is inexcusable for any national power. Three different Bulldog wideouts went for 100+ yards. Osirus Mitchell caught seven passes for 183 yards and two scores. Kylin Hill went eight for 158 and a touchdown, and JaVonta Payton caught six for 122 yards.
— Jordan Fuller (@j_fuller4) September 26, 2020
No one’s expecting the LSU offense to look anything like it did with Joe Burrow and Joe Brady running things. Myles Brennan had his struggles despite putting up a decent stat line. The redshirt junior threw for 345 yards with three touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. Terrace Marshall Jr. is the team’s top remaining wideout, and it’s no surprise he lit up the Bulldogs with eight catches for 122 yards and two scores.
LSU lost more than any other team in the country. The 2019 edition had one of college football’s top quarterbacks of all time, the nation’s best offensive line, best wideouts (or at least on par with Alabama), and one of the top tailbacks in America. I think most were expecting some bumps in the road for Ed Orgeron. I don’t think too many folks expected it to come against Mississippi State in week one.
No. 8 Texas 63, Texas Tech 56
Texas was down by 15 points with about three minutes left to play. A pair of touchdowns and an onside kick sent this one to overtime before the Horns ultimately came out on top. Regardless of the outcome, Texas fans certainly aren’t feeling any better about where the program stands under Tom Herman. And Chris Ash’s Big 12 debut didn’t go as planned as the Red Raiders put up 56 points and pretty much did what they wanted on offense.
Bijan Robinson takes a nasty spill trying to hurdle a defender.
— CBS Sports HQ (@CBSSportsHQ) September 26, 2020
Sam Ehlinger threw for 262 yards and five touchdowns while adding another 70 and a score on the ground. Joshua Moore caught five passes for 73 yards and three scores; including the game-tying and game-winning ones. Red Raider quarterback Alan Bowman completed 31 of 51 attempts for 325 yards with five scores and three interceptions. SaRodorick Thompson topped the century mark on the ground and added two touchdowns. KeSean Carter and T.J. Vasher both hauled in two touchdown passes.
Note: Bijan Robinson was fine despite that hit looking pretty ugly.
No. 5 Florida 51, Ole Miss 35
This game was really fun to watch. Florida tight end Kyle Pitts may have caught more passes than Ohio State’s have caught in the last decade. But seriously, Pitts hauled in eight for 170 yards and four touchdowns as the Rebels simply had no answer. His quarterback was superb as well as Kyle Trask threw for 416 yards with an absurd six scores.
If you like offense, then this was your jam. The Gators and Rebels combined for 1,235 yards on the day to go along with the 86 points. There also were some familiar names as Emory Jones and Trevon Grimes both saw plenty of action. Jones threw a horrendous interception and mostly only looks comfortable when he’s running. Grimes caught three passes for 64 yards and a score.
Emory Jones comes in at QB for the Gators…and throws an interception! pic.twitter.com/nxmML9A3xj
— K M (@FTBeard1) September 26, 2020
For Ole Miss, it was the Matt Corral to Elijah Moore show. Corral threw for 395 with three scores and a pick. The Gators certainly felt the effects of CJ Henderson’s departure to the NFL as Moore hauled in 10 passes for 227 yards against a usually solid Florida secondary. Jerrion Ealy led the way on the ground with 79 and a touchdown.
No. 8 Auburn 29, No. 23 Kentucky 13
Plenty of folks were picking the Wildcats in this one. Terry Wilson returns at quarterback and the Bob Stoops’ defense remains mostly intact from a season ago. But it wasn’t enough on the road against No. 8 Auburn. Bo Nix and his three second-half touchdowns proved to be the difference after this one was close for two quarters.
Seth Williams and Eli Stove were Nix’s favorite targets. Williams led all pass-catchers with six receptions for 112 yards and a pair of scores. Stove added four for 55 and a touchdown of his own. For the Wildcats, Wilson was okay in his return throwing for 239 with a touchdown and a pick. Kavosiey Smoke still has the best name in sports, and the UK tailback went for 62 yards and a rushing score. Wildcat receiver Josh Ali added nine receptions for 98 yards.
No. 4 Georgia 37, Arkansas 10
The Bulldogs had all kinds of problems in the first half against Arkansas. Former Ohio State commit D’Wan Mathis got the start, but he clearly wasn’t ready as Kirby Smart was forced to pull him in the second quarter after an interception and several other miscues. Georgia trailed 7-5 at halftime before putting together a dominant 32-point second half and leaving Fayetteville as a winner.
Stetson Bennett took over at quarterback and the redshirt junior looked far more comfortable under center. Bennett completed 20 of 29 passes for 211 yards and a pair of third-quarter touchdowns. The Bulldog ground game wasn’t its usual potent self against the Razorbacks. Zamir White ran for 71 and a score on 13 carries, but the team averaged just 2.9 yards per carry on the day. Eric Stokes’ 30-yard interception return for a score helped the Bulldogs pull away late in the third.
Former Gator Feleipe Franks had some struggles in his Arkansas debut. Franks threw for 200 yards with a touchdown and two picks. Treylon Burks caught seven passes for 102 yards and a score. It’s no real surprise that the Hogs had some issues against a Georgia defense that returned eight starters from 2019.
Dumb Game of the Week
No. 12 Miami 52, Florida State 10
I’ve now watched two Florida State football games and have officially surpassed the year’s quota. The Noles might be one of the worst FBS teams right now; let alone one of the ACC’s worst. This rivalry matchup is one that I used to really look forward to. Sadly, that is no longer the case.
Miami is a pretty good college football team. The D’Eriq King addition is proving to be the biggest moves of the offseason as he was phenomenal once again last night. King threw for 267 yards with two scores and added another 65 on eight carries. Cam’Ron Harris and Don Chaney both found the end zone twice on the ground. Tight end Brevin Jordan hauled in another touchdown pass and has now scored in each of the Canes’ three games.
The Seminole offense did next to nothing against the Miami defense. James Blackman still looks really bad under center and three different FSU quarterbacks threw interceptions on the night. True freshman tailback Lawrance Toafili had a few decent runs, and that was one of the few bright spots for the Noles.
Next week’s lineup is looking pretty juicy. The headliners will be in SEC land with Georgia hosting Auburn and the Aggies hitting the road to Tuscaloosa. Clemson returns to action with a home game against Virginia. Jeff Hafley is sitting at 2-0 and he’ll host Mack Brown and the Heels in the 3:30 slot.
Matt Campbell and the Cyclones haven’t looked too impressive so far, but his team has been known to give Oklahoma some troubles in the past. Iowa State took down Baker Mayfield and the Sooners back in 2017. Next weekend Lincoln Riley will hit the road and look to bounce back in Ames.