What this weekend did not have was a game featuring two top-25 teams. What it did have was Kansas winning at Boston College, BYU stunning USC, an FCS triple-option team beating Georgia Tech, three hours worth of weather delays in the Cy-Hawk, Florida remaining undefeated despite losing its starting QB and the ACC having a royally bad go of it.
This was most likely the worst matchup weekend of the season and as college football typically does, it still greatly entertained us. The Rundown fills you in on the latest:
TOP 10… Teams
Last week: 1
Last game: Beat Syracuse 41–6
Next game: Saturday vs. Charlotte
Trevor Lawrence threw his fourth and fifth interceptions of the season but he also passed for a career-high 395 yards to help the Tigers take down a team that took them down two years ago.
Last week: 2
Last game: Beat South Carolina 47–23
Next game: Saturday vs. Southern Miss
New flash: The Crimson Tide are not perfect. Bama’s kicker missed a field goal and extra point, and the defense gave up 459 yards of offense. Nick Saban’s team also had 11 penalties. There are plenty of miscues for Saban to fix this coming week.
Last week: 3
Last game: Beat Arkansas State 55–0
Next game: Saturday vs. Notre Dame
Jake Fromm misfired on just five of his 22 attempts, and the Bulldogs got their final warmup before the top-10 clash with the Irish next weekend.
Last week: 4
Last game: Beat UCLA 48–14
Next game: Sept. 28 vs. Texas Tech
The fighting Chip Kellys drop to 0–3, and the Sooners soar to 3–0 behind another shimmering performance from their new transfer quarterback, Jalen Hurts.
Last week: 5
Last game: Beat Northwestern State 65–14
Next game: Saturday at Vanderbilt
The Tigers started slow but coasted in the second half against Ed Orgeron’s alma mater. Up next is a tricky one in Nashville.
6. Ohio State
Last week: 6
Last game: Beat Indiana 51–10
Next game: Saturday vs. Miami (Ohio)
Another Buckeyes’ domination. They scored on special teams, scored on offense (a lot) and scored on defense. They doubled Indiana’s amount of first downs (30) and held the Hoosiers to just three third-down conversions.
7. Notre Dame
Last week: 7
Last game: Beat New Mexico 66–14
Next game: Saturday at Georgia
The Lobos never had a chance. Brian Kelly’s team led 38–7 at halftime and got a whale of a game (360 yards and five TDs) from quarterback Ian Book. The Fighting Irish travel to Athens on Saturday for a significant affair.
Last week: 8
Last game: Beat Central Michigan 61–0 (Week 2)
Next game: Saturday vs. Michigan
The Badgers had the weekend off to prepare for a colossal Big Ten showdown with the Wolverines. Michigan could be the first team in 2019 to score on Wisconsin.
Last week: 9
Last game: Beat Kent State 55–16
Next game: Saturday at Texas A&M
Three Auburn running backs had over 100 yards, and the Tigers buried Kent State to set up a showdown with the Aggies in College Station.
Last week: NR
Last game: Beat Kentucky 29–21
Next game: Saturday vs. Tennessee
The Gators lost starting quarterback Feleipe Franks for the season (right ankle), but Kyle Trask stepped in to lead them to a comeback over the Wildcats.
Top 9… Oooh, That’s Ugly
1. The ACC
It’s been a bad few hours for the conference. A very-much-rebuilding West Virginia team whipped NC State 44–27. Georgia Tech lost at home to The Citadel 27–24 in overtime. On Friday, Kansas bashed Boston College 48–24. Virginia Tech escaped against FCS Furman 24–17 in an ugly affair. In the ACC, it’s Clemson and then Clemson’s scout team.
2. Pitt’s field goal
Alex Kessman’s 19-yard field goal in the final minutes doinked off the upright, but he should have never even been kicking it. Down by a touchdown at the Penn State 1-yard line with less than five minutes left, Pitt coach Pat Narduzzi opted for the field goal attempt rather than trying for a tying TD on fourth-and-goal. Here’s his explanation of the decision.
3. Feleipe Franks
The Florida quarterback has been inconsistent on the field, but that’s not why he’s on this list. Franks suffered a season-ending ankle injury. He was carted off the field during the second half of the Florida-Kentucky game. Tough luck for Franks, who is a redshirt junior and the unquestioned leader of the Gators. Watch—or better yet don’t watch—his right ankle here.
This was one weird game. The Owls won 20–17, but the two teams started 0-for-16 on third-down attempts. Neither team cracked the 280-yard mark through the air.
5. Stanford’s defense
The Cardinal have allowed a combined 90 points in the last two games after a 45–27 loss to UCF on Saturday. It’s the first time that’s happened in a single season since November of 2002.
6. How Iowa State lost
The Cyclones, down one to Iowa with 90 seconds left, muffed a punt. The Hawkeyes took over to win the Cy-Hawk, 18–17.
7. LSU’s Longhorns hangover
The Tigers got the big W last week at Texas, but they limped around against Northwestern State on Saturday, scoring their first touchdown in the second quarter and holding just a 24–14 halftime lead. LSU was playing without several starters because of injury or suspension, but the Demons aren’t supposed to give you that much trouble.
8. The Rose Bowl
UCLA fans don’t have much of a reason to show up these days to a football game, and they are definitely not showing up. The Sooners played a home game in Los Angeles
9. ACC officials
The ACC announced Saturday an officiating miscue that took place in Wake Forest’s 24–18 win over North Carolina on Friday night. The Tar Heels should have gotten one more snap.
Top 8... Performances From Heisman Contenders
1. Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama QB
The Crimson Tide QB passed for a career-high 444 yards, five touchdowns and completed 28 of 36 attempts in the win at South Carolina.
2. Jalen Hurts, Oklahoma QB
Oh, it’s just another ho-hum week of work for Lincoln Riley’s latest pawn in his Air Raid operation. Hurts ran for 150 and passed for 289, scoring four touchdowns in a win at UCLA.
3. Sam Ehlinger, Texas QB
He threw incomplete four times in 27 attempts, ran for 27 yards and threw for 279 in a rebound win over Rice.
4. Joe Burrow, LSU QB
Burrow remains so very accurate. He’s now completing 83% of his passes after carving through Northwestern State on 21-for-24 passing with two scores and 373 yards.
5. D’Andre Swift, Georgia RB
He gobbled up 140 yards of offense, including a snazzy 48-yard touchdown reception in the Bulldogs’ win over Arkansas State.
6. Travis Etienne, Clemson RB
Etienne had 108 all-purpose yards on 14 carries and three catches. He never got into the end zone, but he did shake back from what looked at first like a major injury. It was apparently nothing.
7. Justin Fields, Ohio State QB
He spent most of the second half on the bench, after tossing for three touchdowns in a blowout of Indiana. Through three games, he’s got nine TD passes and four TD runs.
8. Trevor Lawrence, Clemson QB
Yes, he did throw two more interceptions (he’s tossed five this season, one more than he had in all of 2018), but Lawrence also threw for a career high, tossed three touchdowns and ran four times for 42 yards, including a touchdown.
Top 7… Coolest Numbers
The number of Mountain West teams with wins over Power 5 programs. That’s one more than the ACC, which has five Power 5 non-conference wins.
Points the Clemson defense has given up after three Lawrence interceptions in the Tigers’ red zone.
The difference between LSU QB Burrow’s touchdown passes this season (11) versus his incompletions (15). That is something.
The number of first-quarter series for Ohio State’s opponents. The Buckeyes have forced eight three-and-outs.
The number of missed field goals for Alabama since 2007, which ESPN says is the most of any team in the FBS.
The combined points in which Minnesota has won its three games: 28–21 over San Diego State, 38–35 over Fresno State and 35–32 over Georgia Southern.
Top 6… Video Highlights
1. Alabama’s Najee Harris
He’s not a track star. He just looks like it here.
2. Helicopter Bulldogs
Mississippi State lost at home to Kansas State (poowee), but Bulldogs freshman quarterback Garrett Shrader provided the best entertainment.
3. Ames’s unusual field rushing
Iowa State’s student section ran onto the field during a weather delay and then five hours later, loss to Iowa.
4. Amari Rodgers’s ACL is fine
The Clemson receiver tore his ACL in the spring. Then he did this Saturday.
5. Kalani Sitake’s dance moves
BYU’s head coach celebrated the Cougars’ overtime win over USC with a jig.
6. Oh no, ACC
This is more of a … lowlight.
Top 5… for Hugh Freeze’s Next Act
Editor’s note: In one of the most bizarre and continuing storylines of the college football season, Liberty coach Hugh Freeze finally coached his team from the field—in a raised platform. Week 1, it was a hospital bed. Week 2, it was a dental/medical chair. From where and in what will Freeze coach his team during Week 4? We asked Twitter…
1. A Rascal scooter
I’m a Seinfeld snob so…
2. Celine Dion’s rising platform
3. A motorized podium
Don’t you just love SNL?
4. A hover board
Can you imagine you jetting over the field in this thing? A bird’s eye view.
5. A TV crane
Remember Booger McFarland’s crane from MNF? The Hugh version would be spectacular
Top 4… New Coaching W’s
1. Les Miles and Kansas
On a Friday night, the Jayhawks stormed into Chestnut Hill to beat three-touchdown favorite Boston College, breaking a 48-game losing streak in road games against Power 5 teams. First-year coach Les Miles got his signature win in Game 3 at Kansas, and KU rolled up a whopping 567 yards offense.
2. Chris Klieman and Kansas State
Chris Klieman last lost a football game on Nov. 4, 2017. That is insane. The first-year Wildcats coach won a big one Saturday, taking his squad to Mississippi State and pulling out a wild 31–24 victory. The former North Dakota State head man got a dazzling performance from his defense. The Bulldogs were 4-for-14 on third downs and 11-for-27 passing with two picks.
3. Rod Carey and Temple
The Owls stuffed Maryland on two incredible goal-line stands to beat the Terrapins 20–17 in a stunner in Philadelphia. QB Anthony Russo threw for 277 yards and three touchdowns. Carey, the former Northern Illinois coach, has started his tenure 2–0.
4. Neal Brown and West Virginia
Brown landed his first signature victory in Year 1 with the Mountaineers, beating NC State 44–27 behind transfer quarterback Austin Kendall’s big day (27-for-40, 272 yards, 3 TDs).
Top 3… Letdowns
The Terps scored 142 points in their first two games, including a 63–20 win over Syracuse last week, and vaulted into the top 25. And then came Temple. The Terps were 6-for-27 in third and fourth down attempts. That’s 22%.
The Buffaloes stormed back last week for a rousing home win over rival Nebraska. Air Force and its 30–23 win reminded everyone that Colorado is still a long way off.
The Trojans opened the season with a victory over Fresno State and stomped Stanford last week before heading to BYU as a near-touchdown favorite. The Cougars won in overtime 30–27. USC QB Kedon Slovis threw three interceptions.
Top 2… Good Deeds
1. Georgia fans
Sanford Stadium was speckled with pink during the UGA’s 55–0 win over Arkansas State on Saturday. Bulldogs fans wore the color in honor of ASU coach Blake Anderson’s late wife Wendy, who passed last month of breast cancer.
2. South Carolina fans
The Gamecocks honored the late Tyler Hilinksi during the loss to Alabama. Hilinksi’s brother, Ryan, started at quarterback on Saturday against the Crimson Tide.
Top 1… Quotes
1. Will Muschamp on fining
The South Carolina coach during a halftime TV interview was asked about the officiating and, well, here was his response. “I’ll get fined for the rest of my life if I comment on that.”
Have a college football question? Email it to email@example.com for a chance to have it answered in our weekly mailbag.