Snap judgments from college football’s second Saturday afternoon. For Snaps from the early games, click here; evening games are here. For Andy Staples’ column on Alabama-Penn State, click here. For Stewart Mandel’s Michigan-Notre Dame column, click here. For more video highlights from SI.com, click here. There; you’re caught up.
• No. 12 South Carolina 45, Georgia 42: The Bulldogs and Gamecocks seem constitutionally incapable of playing a normal football game when occupying the same stretch of green. An expected Carolina cakewalk turned into a shootout in bucolic Athens, but a potent combination of on-field trickery and turnover margin ultimately gave the Gamecocks the edge. South Carolina scored 21 points off turnovers to Georgia's three, and made highlight reels coast-to-coast with a fake punt that culminated in a 68-yard touchdown run by a 276-pound defensive lineman. From Carolina's own 32. You read that correctly.
The SEC East youth movement made a strong showing, with the Gamecocks' Jadeveon Clowney recording his first career sack (and his second). Opposite Clowney's marauding limbs, Georgia's Isaiah Crowell rushed for 117 yards on 16 carries and his first career touchdown.
That touchdown, by the way, came right in the middle of a fourth quarter that saw 39 points added to the scoreboard, including three touchdowns within the span of a minute. Have a paper bag handy when you read the box score.
Perhaps the most surprising twist of the evening involved Steve Spurrier not benching Stephen Garcia after two interceptions. Garcia was his vintage self, with a shoddy completion rate but results when they were called for. He also managed to hand the ball to Marcus Lattimore 27 times for 176 yards, which is always helpful.
Heading into Week 3 and staring down two very winnable games against Coastal Carolina and Ole Miss, glaring questions about Todd Grantham's Bulldogs defense remain. But hearken back to last week, and ask yourself: Just how good is Boise's defense looking about now? Finally, a favor for the Broncos. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 3 Alabama 27, No. 23 Penn State 11: Two teams with quarterback questions entered Happy Valley Saturday afternoon; only one emerged reasonably satisfied. 'Bama partisans turned out up North en masse to witness AJ McCarron deftly conduct over 20 Trent Richardson handoffs. Meanwhile, Penn State's most remarkable action of the afternoon involved burning three timeouts on a single drive. Andy Staples, our man on the scene, has more on the SEC-Big Ten tilt. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• New Mexico State 28, Minnesota 21: Dispensing entirely with the game, which was nothing to write home about, the latest update on Golden Gophers head coach Jerry Kill: Team officials confirmed that Kill did suffer a seizure on the sideline in the fourth quarter, and was taken to a nearby hospital for tests. Kill has a history of seizures, and according to the Gophers' team doctor, "was at no time under any risk in any way." Our sincere best wishes to the Minnesota football community, and to Coach Kill and family.
• No. 13 Oregon 69, Nevada 20: This being Nevada and this being Oregon, this one can be explained almost entirely in numerical form. Problematic Nevada stat: 220 passing yards from Colin Kaepernick's pass-happy replacement, Tyler Lantrip; four running backs with rushing totals over 50 yards; and a big turnover habit. Eye-popping Oregon stat: Darron Thomas completed 13 passes, six of which went for touchdowns. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• No. 25 TCU 35, Air Force 19: Casey Pachall looked solid today, despite an unfortunate sack that resulted in a fumble; Andy Dalton's replacement registered 206 aerial yards, 42 ground yards and two touchdowns. The Horned Frogs also managed over 200 rushing yards despite playing without starting running back Ed Wesley, and the defense stood firm absent leading tackler Tanner Brock. The 10 points allowed to the Falcons in an otherwise scoreless fourth quarter, while attained against an insurmountable lead, might be a bit of a concern; it's going to take a couple more weeks for the Frog defenders to shrug the stigma of the Baylor game. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 11 Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 10: So much for last week's promise of points. And so much for the notion that ECU can't defend its way out of a wet paper bag. I wasn't aware VPI's boring meat-mill brand of football was contagious, but I hope ACC officials are looking into containment measures. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• California 36, Colorado 33 (OT): The Buffs take a new conference-mate to the wire (though not in a conference game, as this was scheduled before Colorado joined the Pac-12), but cannot withstand the power of blood: Cal clinched the overtime win with a five-yard touchdown pass from Zach Maynard to his half-brother, Keenan Allen, lurking in a back corner of the endzone. No word on whether the two players are also roommates, which would trigger a rare Giddy Announcer Trivia Singularity. (RECAP | BOX)
• Tennessee 45, Cincinnati 23: When involved in a shootout, it's always helpful to be the team with the most bullets. Tyler Bray broke Peyton Manning's passing record for consecutive games with more than two touchdown passes by the third minute of the second quarter, then tossed two more and generously rushed for another, for kicks. Butch Jones was much more selfish with his quarterbacks, refusing to trot out Munchie Legaux until the game's final seconds and robbing us all of the chance to write "Munchie Legaux" as many times as possible. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• Wake Forest 34, N.C. State 27: Mike Glennon is able enough, with 315 passing yards and three touchdowns, but the Wolfpack are going to miss Russell Wilson's completion percentages more and more this season if they can't defend against the likes of Wake Forest. (RECAP | BOX)RECAP | BOX)