College Football: Week 2 Winners & Losers

Well, that was another jam packed slate of games to digest. There was a 0-0 score at half time, a walk off win for an FCS school over a former National Champion and countless highlight worthy plays.

With so much to choose from it was hard to narrow down three winners and three losers, but we’ve given it our best shot!

Let us know what you make of the column @Full10YardsCFB…

Winners – Andy (@ajmoore21)

CJ Verdell – Oregon 

When the news broke that Kayvon Thibodeaux was injured, a tweet was sent from the @Full10YardsCFB account suggested that Ohio State would win by 25 points (I may have sent that tweet). Three hours later and that tweet should have been reported to Freezing Cold Takes.

CJ Verdell was the main reason that tweet aged so badly. The junior Running Back put up a huge 195 all-purpose yards and three touchdowns as the Ducks punched the Buckeyes in the mouth and left Columbus with the win. Throughout the game Verdell came up big at just the right time, first opening the scoring, then putting Oregon up just before the half. However, it was his third touchdown that was the most clutch, as the California native rushed for 77 yards to put the Ducks up by two scores – something which OSU never recovered from.

The win has already been hailed as the biggest in Oregon football history by some, and it’s easy to see why. With five starting defensive players out of the game, the Ducks overcame the odds and went toe to toe with one of the best offenses in the country.

The AP Poll has already reflected the magnitude of the win, elevating Oregon into the top four and above the likes of Clemson, Texas A&M and of course Ohio State. Can they stay there, it’s going to be an interesting season!

Sam Pittman and the Arkansas Razorbacks

When Sam Pittman took over as Head Coach of the Arkansas Razorbacks, they had gone 2-10 twice in a row and were the laughing stock of the SEC. A pretty decent 2020 gave Hogs fans some hope, but more importantly it gave the team a basis to build off. Bringing Feleipe Franks in from Florida was a clever move, giving a young QB room some time to develop and learn from a decent SEC starter.

That development is clearly on show when you view the play of KJ Jefferson. The redshirt-sophomore may not have wowed with his stat-line but his imposing physique is already causing opposing defenses a whole world of problems. The Razorback RPO game has been impactful through two games, and the Texas defense was clearly preparing for the QB run more often than not in the Hogs’ 40-21 victory. That freed up space for the Arkansas running back room, who had a field day against the jittery Longhorns’ defense.

Pittman and Defensive Coordinator, Barry Odom, are also doing a great job in solidifying the Hogs’ defense. On Saturday, Hayden Henry started at LB in place of Bumper Pool and led the team in tackles, but it was a solid performance across the board. Both Casey Thompson and Hudson Card were limited below 65 yards passing on the day and star RB, Bijan Robinson, was held to just 70 on the ground. 

It’s fair to say that Arkansas might be hoping that this fixture is a bit more regular once the Longhorns join the SEC.

Arkansas vs No. 15 Texas final score: Hogs manhandle Longhorns, fans rush  the field - DraftKings Nation
KJ Jefferson takes off against Texas (photo: Draft Kings)

BYU wins the Holy War

You’d be hard pressed to find a single pundit who was high on BYU this year – after a year of living the high life with Zach Wilson under center, the Cougars were expected to shrink back into the shadows as a half decent out of conference matchup for PAC-12 teams. 

Well, someone should have told Jaren Hall and the Cougs squad that. Against a strong Utah team, they looked fairly comfortable throughout – and despite the best effort of Brant Kuithe, they cruised to a 26-17 victory. Hall has quickly solidified himself as a true dual threat Quarterback – with his stat line on Saturday night reading; 18/31 passing- 150 yards – 3TDs – 8 rushes – 92 yards. The accuracy will improve in time, but for now Hall can hurt teams in both phases of the offensive game.

Tyler Allgeier played a small role in BYU’s 2020 success, on Saturday he stepped up at the heart of the Cougars offense. Allgeier rushed for 109 yards and constantly ground out important yardage to keep the chain moving. His play contributed towards the offense’s impressive 11 of 19 third down conversion rate, in turn allowing BYU to possess the ball for 11minutes longer than Utah. 

A challenging schedule lies ahead for the Cougars, but if they keep up this form then it could be another memorable season in Provo.  

Losers – Lee (@Wakefield90) 

Ohio State’s Defense

First things first here… This loss was not CJ Stroud’s fault. Say it with me, this loss was not on CJ Stroud.

I refuse to place the blame squarely at the feet of second-time starter, 19-year old, Redshirt Freshman QB for the #3 team in the country and their failing to overcome another good team. I just can’t do that. There are too many other moving parts and other people at fault put this one on Stroud.

Yes, the fourth quarter pick was ugly but this game wasn’t lost on that play alone.

Those people in the media who are calling this one as Stroud’s fault have the ulterior motive of wanting to write about a QB controversy for clicks and to fill their column inches. Of course, Quinn Ewers looms large, he’s been a storyline ever since we heard he was skipping his Senior year of high school and enrolling early at Ohio State, and yes, if Stroud doesn’t play well the rest of the way then surely Ohio State gives Ewers a shot… But now is not that time.

Stroud put up 484 yards, had three receivers over 100 yards and made plays all day. I’ll say again, yes the pick was ugly but so was Ohio State’s vaunted defensive line putting zero pressure on Anthony Brown and having zero sacks. So was the Ohio State defense allowing two identical TDs to CJ Verdell and it was ugly that they allowed 35 points and 505 yards of offense to a team with no star-power on offense.

I was an Ohio State truther at the start of the year, ranking them #1 in the country and whilst I’m a Pac-12 guy first and foremost, Ohio State should have been winning this game. Oregon wobbled past Fresno State in week 1, and Ohio State needs to take the games to be taken seriously as a National Championship contender.

If Oregon runs the table, I wonder if they make it into the College Football Playoff over Ohio State because of this win? Now, there’s a storyline.

Washington Huskies

The Pac-12 North was surely very close to being included in the losers column that Andy put together last week. The division had an abysmal start to the season last week, with the only win coming in the one mentioned above – Oregon’s iffy win over Fresno State.

The division bounced back yesterday with Oregon, Oregon State, Washington State and Stanford all registering wins. Cal ran TCU close – The choice to go for 2 points after their opening two TDs, failing on both tries and ultimately losing by two points almost put the Golden Bears in this column alone – And Washington followed up their embarrassing loss to FSC Montana by going to the Big House and getting slapped by the Wolverines.

The worry for me yesterday was Washington was their defense and in particular their run defense. I mentioned in our Week 2 TV preview that I expected the Washington defense to make it difficult for Michigan and Cade McNamara to move the ball through the air – And I was right. However, what Michigan proceeded to do was just run, run and run some more. 

The UW defense isn’t built to withstand that kind of pressure on the ground – They play with 5 or 6 defensive backs on the field pretty much exclusively and Michigan knew that. Montana put up over half of their offense in week 1 on the ground and the Wolverines and in particular Blake Corum had themselves a day. This is a worry for Jimmy Lake and the Huskies – They’re 0-2 and in a hole with their Pac-12 gauntlet to run yet – They have UCLA, Oregon and Arizona State to play in particular, who are all looking strong, as well the Apple Cup in their traditional season finale, and just ask Utah fans about coming unstuck in a local rivalry game.

I am worried about Washington’s season and in particular I wonder how much they are missing star pass rusher Zion Tupuola-Fetui? 

Brock Purdy (and Iowa State as a whole)

Iowa State was the hottest name on the lips of college football fans and media preseason. This was the season where the Cyclones were going to cement themselves as Big XII royalty and potentially go one step further and make a real run at the Big XII title.

Digging down a little, many people (including us) were looking at the offensive talent of Breece Hall, Charlie Kolar and Xavier Hutchinson and of course, QB Brock Purdy as reasons for optimism for the 2021 season.

However, it’s not really ignited for the Iowa State offense yet this season.

Hall has two games where he’s been fine but nothing like what you’d expect from the number one rusher in college football that many (myself included) rated him as. Across two games, Kolar has 4 catches for 34 yards and zero scores, Hutchinson has 110 yards from 10 catches, zero scores and the only quarterback to throw a touchdown this year is Hunter Dekker. 

Not great, Bob.

It’s great having the offensive playmakers but if the QB isn’t functioning then the cogs of the offense will grind to a halt.

Although Purdy was efficient in week 1 against Northern Iowa, he didn’t set the world alight and only put up 199 yards and zero TDs. On Saturday the Senior QB threw for 138 yards, zero TDs but also threw the rock to Hawkeyes defenders three times.

The Iowa defense is good, probably one of the more underrated defenses in college football but in a game between two closely matched rivals, throwing three picks was always going to be terminal to Iowa State’s chances in this one.

Hunter Dekker came in once the game was already over, so I am not sure that Purdy will have lost his job here but it is alarming for Iowa State’s season and Purdy’s draft stock that he got benched after what has been a poor start to the season. 

By @Wakefield90 & @ajmoore21

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