Week 2 was the most exciting week of college football that we have had in nearly 2 years. You had upsets, rivalry games, and utter blowouts. We’re going to go in depth on Auburn’s throttling of Alabama State and few other big games from the weekend.
Auburn took care of business on Saturday beating Alabama State 62-0. Auburn made big plays and scored in all three phases of the game. Auburn blocked a field goal and returned it for a touchdown in the first half. Roger McCreary had a pick-six in the third quarter, the first of his Auburn career. True freshman running back Jarquez Hunter set a program record for the longest rushing touchdown with his 94-yard run. Hunter filled it as Tank Bigsby back up with Shaun Shivers unable on Saturday. Auburn did not look focused early as they committed 6 penalties in the first half. I blame that on the early kick, and I trust Bryan Harsin will get that cleaned up for later 11 am kicks this season. It is a bit concerning though, because Auburn has not had problems with discipline and penalties in recent years. Demetris Robertson caught his first Auburn TD pass in the second quarter and added another in the third. Robertson had a big day with some good punt returns to go along with those 2 TD catches. Bo Nix was not as sharp as he was against Akron. On Saturday, Bo was 9-17 for 108 yards and 2 TDs. Auburn relied on the running game and gave carries to five different running backs. I love seeing the rotation at the RB position. As Auburn fans know, Gus Malzahn would pick a favorite back, and run him into the ground a la Kerryon Johnson in 2017. Auburn cannot afford to lose Tank Bigsby against an Akron or Alabama State, so it was good to see the carries get shared by the entire running back room. Bryan Harsin had a lot of praise for Alabama State and their coaching staff. Harsin praised the game plan the Hornets had at the start of the game. It caused Auburn to have a slow start, scoring only two fields goals in the first quarter. It was great to see Auburn face some adversity after receiving basically none against Akron. Overcoming that little adversity will probably go a long way in how Auburn responds to adversity this week at Penn State.
All in all, a solid performance for Auburn. They will have to find that focus they had against Akron and have it at kickoff for Saturday’s game. We all know how difficult it can be to play at Penn State, especially during their “White-Out” game. I do feel really good about Auburn’s chances in that game. I will have a full preview of that game later in the week.
Around the Rest of College Football
Oregon 35, Ohio State 28
I think just about everyone outside of Eugene, Oregon had this game wrong. Ohio State was a two touchdown favorite at home against Oregon, who was without future top 5 NFL Draft pick Defensive End Kayvon Thibodeaux. Oregon was also without star linebacker Justin Flowe. Ohio State could not stop the rushing attack of QB Anthony Brown and RB CJ Verdell. CJ Stroud had a really good day for Ohio State, but it wasn’t enough to overcome the Ducks. I don’t think this knocks Ohio State out of the Playoff just yet, but if Oregon keeps winning, it almost certainly will.
Iowa 27, Iowa State 17
The Iowa Hawkeyes own the Iowa State Cyclones. I don’t think there is any other way to describe this rivalry. I think Iowa State has the better team. In rivalry games, you have to throw everything out the window. Iowa is still a good team, and are now in the driver’s seat to represent the Big Ten in the College Football Playoff. This was a classic, old school Iowa football game. They relied on their defense and rushing attack and just wore down Iowa State. Just like Ohio State, Iowa State is not out of the Playoff picture. They still have so much to play for, and after Oklahoma’s scare against Tulane, I’m going to be keeping a close watch on the Big 12 to see if the Hawkeyes can finally unseat the Sooners at the top.
BYU 26, Utah 17
Another big upset this week was BYU taking down their rival Utah. Another game I had wrong here. I did not expect BYU to stay in the national picture after the departure of Zach Wilson to the NFL. Wilson’s replacement Jaren Hall had his breakout game for the Cougars, as he tossed 3 TDs and zero INTs against Utah. Utah has a new QB as well: former Baylor QB Charlie Brewer. Brewer struggled for a lot of the game as he was 15-26 for 147 yards with 1 TD and 1 INT. The 2 turnovers by Utah proved to be the difference in the game. What a huge week for BYU, they officially become a future member of the now-expanding Big 12 and take out their hated rivals. It’s a great week to be a BYU Cougar!
As I said earlier, be on the lookout for a full preview of the Auburn- Penn State matchup later this week. That one is really shaping up to be the biggest game of the week. Follow The Crowded Booth on all social media platforms, and sign up for our newsletter so you don’t miss any college football, high school football, or any other sport we might discuss. Follow me on Twitter @Maness_Will to grill all my sports opinions.