BY MICHAEL LEESE
FCS SCHOOLS STUN THE BIG BOYS Eight FCS schools pulled upsets this weekend, sending shock waves throughout the college football landscape. Typically, smaller FCS (formerly Division II) schools schedule games against the FBS (formerly Division I) schools to generate income for their own programs. The most stunning upsets included Eastern Washington defeating No.25 Oregon State 49-46 in Corvallis, and perennial power Kansas State falling to North Dakota State 24-21 in the Little Apple. A few others were closer, as Southern Utah beat South Alabama 22-21, Northern Iowa slipped by Iowa State 28-21 and and Samford beat Georgia State 31-21. But a few others were not as close, as Eastern Illinois drubbed San Diego State 40-19, Towson State stunned UCONN 33-18 and McNeese State hammered South Florida 53-21 I fully expect Oregon State, Kansas State and San Diego State to bounce back and have good seasons. The losses by UCONN and South Florida could be a sign of things to come!
FRESHMAN QUARTERBACKS Three Freshman quarterbacks of note made their first collegiate starts and led their teams to big wins. Cristian Hackenberg completed 22 of 31 tosses for 278 yards and two scores, to Penn State over Syracuse 23-17. Jameis Winston was almost perfect in his debut, leading Florida State to a 41-13 win at Pitt. Winston completed 25 of 27 for 356 yards and four TDs. He also added a rushing touchdown. But I may have been most impressed by a walk-on QB. Baker Mayfield was simply outstanding as he led Texas Tech to a 41-23 win over SMU. Mayfield completed 43 of 60, for 413 yards and four TDs. Astounding to think he was a walk-on in the spring!
MY OBSERVATIONS I attended Boise State at Washington, and was surprised just how the Huskies dominated the Broncos, even without leading receiver Seferian-Jenkins who was suspended. Boise State has only four returning starters on defense, and that sure was evident in Saturday night. The Broncos will need to find some answers on that side of the ball if they expect to challenge for a Mountain West crown. The Huskies unleashed a new “Fast Paced” offense, and were very crisp, looking much improved from last season.
I LOVED WHAT I SAW FROM KLIFF KINGSBURY AND TEXAS TECH In his first season, it looks as though he has put his imprint on this program. If you remember last year he was the offensive coordinator at Texas A&M, and helped develop Johnny Manziel.
TAJH BOYD was the better quarterback on the field in the big match-up against Aaron Murray and Georgia. I expect the Tigers to 6-0 when they host Florida State on October 19. Georgia hosts South Carolina this Saturday, in a game that is a must win for the Bulldogs.
Louisville, Michigan, and Texas all dominated with big wins and were outstanding defensively, combining to allow only 23 points.
PLAYER NEWS AND NOTES
ARIZONA.….Ka’ Deem Carey will return from suspension this saturday
CALIFORNIA…..Starting cornerback Avery Sebastian was lost for the season with a knee injury
CENTRAL MICHIGAN…..Starting quarterback Cody Kater and running back Zurlon Tipton out indefinitely
FLORIDA…..Running Back Matt Jones will return from a virus
FLORIDA INTERNATIONAL…..Running backs Anthon Samuel, Kedrick Rhodes and Jahkari Gore out for season!
GEORGIA…..WR Malcolm Mitchell out season
LSU…..Running Back Jeremy Hill to return from suspension
MISSISSIPPI…..OL Aaron Moriss out for season. LB Denzel Nkemdiche out 4-6 weeks
TEXAS A&M.….Expected to get seven players back from suspension.
YOUR NOTES, SUGGESTIONS OR COMMENTS ARE WELCOME