USC and Virginia Tech suffered unexpected losses over the weekend. USC was coming off a huge Pac-12 victory at Stanford, while Virginia Tech was heading home after shocking Ohio State in Columbus, 35-21.
The Trojans made the cross-country trip to Chestnut Hill and were manhandled by a fired-up Boston College team. Quarterback Tyler Murphy, a transfer from Florida, directed a flawless ground game that produced 452 yards rushing! Murphy led the Eagles in rushing with 191 yards, while Miles Willis added 89. The Eagles dominated both sides of the line of scrimmage, limiting the Trojans to a shocking 20 yards rushing. The win by Boston College was the first time they had defeated a Top-10 team since 2002.
East Carolina sailed into Blacksburg and jumped out to a 21-0 lead. Quarterback Shane Carden was the catalyst for the Pirates, throwing for 427 yards and three scores. The Hokies fought back, tying the score with 1:20 left, when Michael Brewer hit Cam Phillips with a 18-yard scoring pass. The Pirates took the ensuing kickoff 64 yards in three plays, to take the lead on a Carden run with only 16 seconds left in the game.
CINCINNATI FINALLY OPENS SEASON……Bearcat fans finally got to see the highly anticipated debut of Gunner Kiel. Kiel, a transfer from Notre Dame and Indiana didn’t disappoint He threw for 418 yards and six TDs, leading the Bearcats to a 58-34 win over Toledo. The Bearcats were the last FBS team to open the season.
- Pittsburgh continued their impressive play moving to 3-0 with a 42-25 win over Florida International. The Panthers fell behind 16-0 before roaring back. James Conner paced the Panthers with 177 yards rushing on 30-plus attempts and three Tds. Pitt faces Iowa this Saturday in what should be a premier non-conference game.
- Duke, North Carolina State and Georgia Tech all won, all improving to 3-0 on the season.
- Louisville lost their ACC road opener, falling to Virginia 23-21. The Cavaliers again rode a hot defense, forcing four turnovers. Will Gardner was held to 164 yards passing and threw two interceptions. Ian Frye kicked the game winning field goal with 3:42 left.
BIG TEN NOTES
- As a conference, the Big Ten struggled again, going 3-6 on Saturday. Michigan, Ohio State and Nebraska managed to rout their opponents.
- Penn State rallied past Rutgers 13-10. The Nittany Lions used a five-yard TD run by Bill Belton with 1:13 left to beat the Scarlet Knights. The Lions picked off Quarterback Gary Nova five times. Rutgers was playing in their first ever Big Ten game.
- Iowa lost at home to rival Iowa State 20-17. Cole Netten booted the game-winning field goal with just two seconds left. He missed his first kick, but was given a second chance because Iowa called a timeout to ice the kicker moments before the snap. The Cyclones held the Hawkeyes to 275 total yards.
- The Big 10 has a chance for redemption this weekend as Iowa travels to Pittsburgh and Indiana goes to Missouri.
BIG 12 NOTES
- West Virginia paid rival Maryland back for last year’s 37-0 beating with a dramatic 40-37 victory, making a game-winning field goal as time expired. Clint Trickett had another outstanding game for the Mountaineers, tossing for 511 yards and four TDs.
- TCU enjoyed another dominant performance in their win over Minnesota 30-7. The Horned Frog defense held the Gophers to 268 yards and forced five turnovers. SMU is next up for the Frogs, before they host Oklahoma on October 4.
- Oklahoma rolled past Tennessee 34-10. The Sooners sacked quarterback Justin Worley five times, and forced him into three turnovers. Oklahoma opens league play at West Virginia Saturday, in what now has become an interesting battle as Keith Ford, the Sooners leading rusher, has been ruled out this weekend.
- Baylor welcomed back Bryce Petty who promptly threw for 416 yards and four scores. The Bears are averaging 59 points per game!
- The Pac-12 went 9-1 on Saturday, with USC taking the only loss at Boston College.
- Quarterbacks Taylor Kelly of Arizona State (foot) and Brett Hundley of UCLA (elbow) both were injured Saturday and forced to leave the game. Both teams are off this week, before meeting in Tempe on September 25. Jerry Neuheisel rallied the Bruins to victory over Texas in the final minutes of a 20-17 win.
- Oregon, Washington and Arizona moved to 3-0 on the season.
- Washington State finally got in the win column with a 59-21 win over Portland State, following losses to Rutgers and Nevada.
The best game of the weekend was the thrilling South Carolina 38-35 win over Georgia. The Gamecocks rode the hot hand of quarterback Dylan Thompson who passed for 271 yards and three TDs in the victory. Head coach Steve Spurrier is now 16-6 against Georgia in his career.
Mississippi State and LSU both cruised to easy wins and remained undefeated at 3-0. The two teams face off Saturday night in Baton Rouge.
Kudos to Kentucky who went toe-to-toe with Florida in Gainesville. The Gators needed three overtimes to hand the Wildcats a 36-30 loss, and there’s even a bit of controversy.
Missouri and Mississippi continue to get outstanding quarterback play from Maty Mauk and Bo Wallace.
MY PLAYOFF PICKS IF I WERE ON THE “GANG OF 13” I would have the following four teams in the playoffs after three weeks:
- FLORIDA STATE
- TEXAS A&M
STATS OF THE WEEK
- Brandon Daughty of Western Kentucky 593 yards passing good and four TDs
- Shaun Wilson of Duke 245 yards rushing with three TDs
- Isiah Myers of Washington State 227 yards receiving with three TDs
QUOTES OF THE WEEK
After his team had defeated USC in what was called the “red bandanna Game” for the heroics of Welles Crowther a September 11th victim and hero. “The red bandanna game meant a lot. We talked a lot about Welles Crowther; we talked a lot about who he was and what it takes to be a BC man,” said Boston College Head Coach Steve Addazio, who had one of the colorful handkerchiefs hanging out of each front pocket. “Our guys dug deep on this. This was a great win.”
After Brett Hundley was injured, Jerry Neuheisel rallied the Bruins past Texas. “My first thought was excitement for Jerry Neuheisel. This kid is everything that’s right about college football and about UCLA,” coach Jim Mora said. “I just thought, `Wow. You couldn’t write a better script than this right here. His dad was a great player here. For him to come to Texas and bringing his team from behind to get a win. It’s incredible. It’s awesome.”