Miami stifles No. 12 Florida in Sunshine State upset; more early Snap Judgments
• Miami 21, No. 12 Florida 16: For all of its defensive struggles last season, the Hurricanes certainly looked formidable on that side of the ball on Saturday at Sun Life Stadium. Unranked Miami blitzed the Gators 21-16 thanks largely to its D, which forced five Florida turnovers. The Hurricanes recovered three fumbles while pressuring quarterback Jeff Driskel into two interceptions.
The Gators fell to their in-state rival despite outgaining Miami (424 yards to 211), picking up more first downs (22 to 9) and converting more third downs (6-of-15 to 1-of-11). But Florida's offense failed to convert that production into points, and the Hurricanes' defense deserves credit for forcing the critical miscues.
The 'Canes, only a season removed from having one of the worst defenses in program history and playing against a talented SEC East opponent, looked like legitimate ACC contenders. Quarterback Stephen Morris completed 12-of-25 passes for 164 yards and two touchdowns, and despite a mediocre afternoon from running back Duke Johnson (21 carries for 57 rushing yards and a touchdown) the offense did well enough with the chances given to it by Miami's opportunistic defense. That should be a point of pride for coach Al Golden; he constantly stressed defensive improvement during the offseason, something that seems to have paid dividends. Two weeks into the 2013 campaign, the ACC has some very intriguing contenders.
As for the Gators, their offense needs to make major strides in a hurry. Driskel's inconsistency had much to do with Florida's poor performance, especially with one of his two interceptions coming in the red zone. There's little excuse for losing when you outgain your opponent by more than 200 yards. Offensive coordinator Brent Pease must go back to the drawing board or else Florida is going to have a hard time winning the SEC East. For more from Miami Gardens, read Andy Staples' game story. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 13 Oklahoma State 56, Texas-San Antonio 35: The Cowboys' quarterback competition -- between senior Clint Chelf and sophomore J.W. Walsh -- made headlines for much of the offseason in Stillwater, but Walsh put on a one-man show on Saturday. Coming off an impressive Week 1 showing, he completed 24-of-27 passes (88.9 percent!) for 323 yards and four touchdowns against the Roadrunners. Walsh also punched in a four-yard rushing score. If the Cowboys are to contend for the Big 12 title (as many have predicted), coach Mike Gundy will need more performances like this from his quarterback.
Also encouraging? Chelf, who started last week in the victory over Mississippi State, took over for much of the fourth quarter and completed 11-of-16 passes for 191 yards and two touchdowns. Gundy seems to have a pretty efficient duo on his hands. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 8 Louisville 44, Eastern Kentucky 7: Cardinals quarterback Teddy Bridgewater added luster to his early-season Heisman campaign with another efficient performance. He connected with eight different receivers on the day to finish 23-of-32 for 397 passing yards and five scores. On the season, Bridgewater now has 10 touchdowns and a single interception. Still, he couldn’t inspire Louisville to record a second straight shutout? C’mon, Teddy … [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 21 Wisconsin 48, Tennessee Tech 0: Even with a new coach, the Badgers still look like the Wisconsin of old. Coach Gary Andersen's offense rushed for 387 yards and gained 606 altogether in the rout of the Golden Eagles. Three Badgers running backs (Melvin Gordon, Corey Clement and James White) surpassed the 100-yard mark for the second straight game. Quarterback Joel Stave wasn’t too shabby either, throwing for 219 yards, three touchdowns and, at one point, completing 13 consecutive passes. [RECAP l BOX]
• No. 24 TCU 38, Southeastern Louisiana 17: Could more uncertainty at quarterback be on the way for the Horned Frogs? Starter Casey Pachall left Saturday's game against the Lions after injuring his forearm in the second quarter, and backup Trevone Boykin took over under center and engineered three straight scoring drives in the second half. Pachall and Boykin split time in last week’s loss to LSU, but Pachall took almost every snap in this one before going down. For now, his status as the starter appears to be in jeopardy.
• No. 4 Clemson 52, South Carolina State 13: One week after stealing the spotlight in a big win over Georgia, Tigers quarterback Tajh Boyd took a relative breather in this week’s contest against the Bulldogs. He passed for 169 yards and ran for a touchdown in only one half of action as Clemson cruised. Meanwhile, the Tigers' defense stepped up for the second straight week, returning two interceptions for touchdowns for the first time in school history. [RECAP l BOX]
• Tennessee 52, Western Kentucky 20: The Vols’ offense was hardly a thing of beauty in Knoxville, but the Hilltoppers' turnovers doomed them from the get-go. Coach Bobby Petrino’s offense turned the ball over seven times, including five times in the first quarter alone. That’s disappointing for a Western Kentucky team that actually outgained Tennessee 393 yards to 382. Things might have been ugly, but at least Volunteers receiver Marquez North kept things entertaining with a crazy circus catch. [RECAP l BOX]
• Illinois 45, Cincinnati 17: The feel-good start to Bearcats coach Tommy Tuberville’s debut season came to a sudden end against a surprisingly potent Illini offense. Illinois jumped out to a 21-0 first-half lead and never looked back. Quarterback Nathan Scheelhaase completed 26-of-37 passes for 312 yards, four scores and no picks. Cincinnati quarterback Munchie Legaux went down with a gruesome injury. [RECAP l BOX]
• Rutgers 38, Norfolk State 0: The Scarlet Knights suffered a heartbreaking loss to Fresno State in last week’s season-opener, but they bounced back strong in Week 2. Running back Paul James rushed for 119 yards and three touchdowns, becoming the first Rutgers player to run for three scores in a game since Jourdan Brooks in 2009. [RECAP l BOX] • Penn State 45, Eastern Michigan 7: Nittany Lions quarterback Christian Hackenberg threw for 311 yards -- a school freshman record -- and a score as Penn State rolled in its home opener. But the Nittany Lions might be even more indebted to their rushing attack, which scored five touchdowns. [RECAP l BOX]