Eddie’s Week 2 College Football Recap
It might not have been Jimbo that made FSU terrible. His A&M team pushed Clemson to their limits exposing a possibly soft secondary. Meanwhile, FSU struggled to score on Samford for three and half quarters. I watched the FSU game and I can safely say that while Taggert, who is a great offensive mind with running the ball, might not have the offensive line to do so. Virginia Tech is going to stifle almost any run game but Samford shouldn’t be meeting you in the backfield. They better get it together offensively because they play Syracuse who has it together on offense this year.
Duke won rather easily vs Northwestern but, in the process, lost their quarterback Daniel Jones (no timetable or severity revealed other than OUT vs. Baylor) and there might not be a bigger injury in college football. Duke is a very reliable offense but leans on smart quarterback play. Jones, a third-year starter, is the epitome of just that almost never turning over the ball and keeping within the efficiency standard that Cutcliffe has created.
Head coaches can be fickle and we saw some pretty odd approaches on Saturday that I believe we can learn from. Paul Johnson got into a full-blown shootout after two returned touchdowns at UCF. Johnson runs the triple option and is a lean-on-the-clock type of conservative mind who hired away Appalachian State’s defensive coordinator. They ran a whopping 75 plays (18 passes). Even when the game became tight he was calling plays at a rate I have never seen from him prior to Saturday.
Georgia Tech was highly touted in the offseason by everyone. If he sticks with this system, he can’t win in my humble opinion. He has no experience with it and I sincerely doubt that Georgia Tech has 18 passes in their playbook.
Well, Larry Fedora you had a nice run at UNC but you got blasted by ECU. Your offense, which was the only quantity anyone ever considered an asset, is officially one of the worst in the nation on several different levels. Whatever players he got suspended (I’ll leave my thoughts on that to rest here) is no excuse for an inability to score on the likes of ECU. He lost his star running back to targeting and good luck with UCF on Saturday sir.
Pitt scored 6 points on the youngest defense this season. Pat Narduzzi has not fared well since Matt Canada left him and they could score with anyone with very little talent. Narduzzi might be a top defensive mind in the nation but he needs to find an offense or it will matter very little.
Purdue, you have a problem. If you can’t stop Eastern Michigan from running and controlling the clock you are not going to play the shootouts you desire in the Big 10.
Where was the news that Khalil Tate was injured? Is this the fake news I’ve heard about? A Heisman candidate last year who had a say in who Arizona hired as a head coach is a statue in the pocket and Kevin Sumlin has shown he has become as vanilla of an offensive mind in the entire nation.
Nebraska has a bright future no doubt. Frost at head coach means big-time recruits are coming. But in the close loss to Colorado many didn’t notice the mismanagement of the clock by Frost. He allowed Colorado around one minute more than necessary on the last drive. It dawned on me that I know very little about Frost’s end game poise as he hasn’t coached many close games. With his background at UCF and Oregon, close wins weren’t the norm. If Nebraska is going to bounce back to make a bowl, he will need to be better.
Florida, much like FSU, hired an offensive mind to fix a flat offense. Turns out Dan Mullen, just like Taggert, might have to crawl before he walks. He has an extremely inefficient quarterback. Apparently, that’s all they ever have at Florida (just kidding Gator fans). But it is very alarming that Florida, with as much returning talent at offensive line, cannot find a push to help a running game full of four-star athletes.
Arkansas hired Chad Morris for his offensive prowess and his ability to be an aggressive play caller. Unknown to myself is that Morris thought he was at Clemson still and had a defense that could protect an 18-point lead. Morris ran the ball the entire fourth quarter hoping his ultra-thin defense could hold on. When Colorado State answered back with 25 straight, Morris lost a young quarterback’s confidence. Arkansas fans who wanted him so badly have now turned on him via social media. He better find some offensive answers this week as North Texas has a lot of firepower.
Texas nearly lost to Tulsa who doesn’t have a passing attack yet. After being up 21-0, the Longhorns went into a shell on offense and Phillip Montgomery of Tulsa found the gaps. Texas is in trouble if they can only score 28 versus the likes of Tulsa and Maryland.
USC might have the best freshman quarterback in the nation according to recruiting charts. But if he doesn’t have time to pass, he isn’t going to show us much. Stanford didn’t have to rush but four all game long and still constantly found him.
While everyone was clamoring over Clemson’s front four there was Mississippi State who quietly amassed two All-Americans and a deep rotation of massive defensive tackles. Add in a now experienced quarterback and wide receivers, add a little Joe Moorhead and I think you have to consider them every week as undervalued.
Temple has proved capable of losing by not moving the ball and then capable of not be able to stop others from doing so. Buffalo might be special but probably not 500 yards of offense special.
Matt Campbell of Iowa state found success in 2017 by playing at a plodding pace and using many Big 12 shootout teams’ eagerness to pass and push pace against them. Yesterday it became quite clear they miss All-American wide receiver Lazard who bailed them out on third down often last season. But Campbell, who found late game magic last year, will need to find a big play or two if he wants to duplicate that success. Unfortunately, I don’t have a clear answer on where they find one on the current offense.
On the other hand, Iowa who looked like they might be more pass-heavy and vulnerable on defense, has never looked more like a Kirk Ferentz coached-team after two weeks than ever before; run four yards to capitalize on field position and rely on a great defense.
Louisiana Monroe has a defense? The ULM squad was a defenseless, pass first squad who had an intense pass offense with quarterback Caleb Evans who kept games close in shootout after shootout. The young defense would inevitably lose leads and inevitably close games. That same defense returned intact and was capable of shutting down Southern Miss; escaping with a one-point win in a 21-20 affair. The Sunbelt has a lot of talent and some changing dynamics in 2018.
Until next week and may all the bounces and late covers go your way.
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