Auburn's woes continue at Mississippi State; more early Snap Judgments
• Mississippi State 28, Auburn 10. We question the Bulldogs' commitment to tradition and history, friends and neighbors. We really, really do. It's almost like Dan Mullen doesn't read our blog, and went through Week 2 entirely unaware of our heart's dearest desire to see a repeat of the 2008 3-2 Tigers-Bulldogs tilt. What gives, Coach Mullen? We thought we were buds.
That first half was a thing of terrible beauty on both sides, to be passed down through the generations and cherished as one might preserve a lock of a baby's hair -- and then both teams just threw all our feelings away. Or ran away with them. Literally. Probably.
This Auburn team certainly did its part to honor that day, as quarterback Kiehl Frazier managed negative two passing yards and two interceptions in the first half. He finished with three picks and 125 yards on 13-of-22 passing as the Tigers fell to 0-2 on the season. Auburn did, however, display a complete disregard for this blog's express wishes with a 100-yard Onterio McCalebb kickoff return at the start of the second half.
Bright spots, if you are for some reason "into" good football and actual scoring: Mississippi State quarterback Tyler Russell's 20-for-29, 224-yard, three-touchdown performance for the Bulldogs offense, and defensive back Johnthan Banks' two interceptions for State's defense. The most valuable player, clearly, was Bully on a water treadmill.
Auburn gets a tune-up game next week against Louisiana-Monroe before facing division hopefuls LSU and Arkansas. Mississippi State, meanwhile, could pad its record in its next three games against Troy, South Alabama and Kentucky. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 14 Ohio State 31, Central Florida 16. In the matter of Braxtonball versus Bortlesball, we find the former Gallant and the latter Goofus. UCF quarterback Blake Bortles, who scored the first FBS touchdown of the new season last week, completed 25-of-41 attempts for 249 aerial yards and two touchdowns, but he also recorded three picks. One of them looked like this. Bortles' counterpart, Braxton Miller, provided a balanced offensive attack all by himself, racking up 155 passing yards and 141 rushing yards. He threw for one touchdown and rushed for three more, the first score coming on a 37-yard scamper midway through the first quarter.
Have you read this far without us making fun of George O'Leary? Are you disappointed? Despair not! Here he is saying UCF fans are more enthusiastic than Ohio State fans, and here he is blaming The Media for him having said that. We eagerly await his assessment of how coverage of this game caused today's loss. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 21 Kansas State 52, Miami 13. Collin Klein appeared to have a fun afternoon in Manhattan, throwing for 210 yards and a touchdown on just nine completions and rumbling through the Hurricanes for 81 more yards and three rushing scores. He was abetted in the ground attack by wee John Hubert, who rang up 109 yards on 19 carries and another touchdown. Daniel Sams added the Wildcats' final two rushing scores in the fourth quarter. K-State's defense sacked Miami's Stephen Morris five times. Also, this happened. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 9 South Carolina 48, East Carolina 10. Connor Shaw sat out to rest his injured shoulder, so if you're thinking "at least three Gamecocks took a snap at quarterback in his place," you are correct. But that's not because of any great failings on a backup's part. Dylan Thompson played most of the game, rolling up 330 passing yards and three touchdowns. Seth Strickland played cleanup, and receiver Ace Saunders assumed command just long enough to throw a touchdown pass. Marcus Lattimore had a light afternoon workout, carrying 13 times for 40 yards and a touchdown. [BOX | RECAP]
• Virginia 17, Penn State 16. And now, a series of sad numbers: The Nittany Lions outgained the Cavaliers, 329 yards to 294, and converted 10-of-23 first down chances. They converted 3-of-4 fourth-down tries. Most crucially for scoreboard purposes, they missed 1-of-2 extra points and 4-of-5 field goal attempts. Kicker Anthony Fera, you will recall, led the Lions in scoring in 2011 and transferred to Texas during the offseason. His replacement, sophomore Sam Ficken, did perform better in last week's loss to Ohio, going 2-for-2 in extra point attempts. [BOX | RECAP]
• Maryland 36, Temple 27. Here is an outcome we did not expect! After recording 23 second-quarter points to pile up a 26-3 lead, the Terps allowed the Owls to surge back to within a field goal, with Temple cutting the deficit to 29-27, until a Justin Pickett rushing touchdown with less than three minutes remaining put the game out of reach. True freshman Terps quarterback Perry Hills, thrust into the starting job after C.J. Brown tore his ACL in the preseason, bounced back from a three-pick performance against William & Mary to throw for 190 yards and two touchdowns, and he rushed for another score at the end of the first half. [BOX | RECAP]
• No. 12 Clemson 52, Ball State 27. The Tigers scored 32 points in the second quarter, culminating in a 61-yard field goal from Spencer Benton with eight seconds remaining in the half and Clemson already up 42-10. This is what we in the business call a "Reverse Tommy Bowden." [BOX | RECAP]
• Devon Walker update. Tulane safety Devon Walker was hospitalized Saturday afternoon after a collision with a teammate late in the second quarter of the Green Wave's game against Tulsa. A trainer told KTUL-TV's John Moss that Walker's injuries included a broken neck and a collapsed lung. The latest, via the Tulane football Twitter account: