College Football 2013: 5 Things We Learned In Week 2
While there weren’t many big-name matchups this week, it was still an entertaining week of college football. Here are some things we learned in Week 2 on the gridiron.
Don’t Count Georgia Out Just Yet
A year ago, Georgia lost on the road at South Carolina but was still able to win out from there to make the SEC championship game. A week after falling to Clemson, the Bulldogs once again put themselves in title contention by ending a three-game losing streak to the Gamecocks. Already the school’s career passing leader, senior quarterback Aaron Murray was nearly perfect, throwing for 309 yards and four touchdowns as the offense gashed Jadeveon Clowney and the South Carolina defense for 538 yards. The Bulldogs now get a bye week and then a paycheck game against North Texas before returning to stout competition against #9 LSU. There’s still a lot of football to be played but, if the Bulldogs’ offense can continue clicking at this pace, they will be very much in the title mix late in the season.
No Chip Kelly? No Problem
One of the big questions when Chip Kelly left Oregon for the Philadelphia Eagles was how the Ducks’ high-octane offense would fare in his absence. Based on the early returns, the answer appears to be that they’ll be just fine. On the fifth play from scrimmage, quarterback Marcus Mariota busted off a 71-yard touchdown run against Virginia and the Ducks kept on the throttle after that in Saturday’s 59-10 win. Offensive coordinator Scott Frost relied heavily on an up-tempo run game that racked up 350 yards and six scores on the ground. Running back De’Anthony Thomas rushed for 124 yards and three scores before being pulled early in the second half. Through two weeks, Oregon’s offense has now rolled up 1,329 yards and 125 points.
The ACC Is Hot
A week ago, Clemson inserted itself squarely into the national title picture with a big win over Georgia while Florida State’s freshman quarterback phenom Jameis Winston announced that the Seminoles would once again be a force with which to be reckoned. The ACC’s hot start continued this week with Miami pulling off a 21-16 upset of #12 Florida. And outside of Syracuse and Virginia falling to ranked opponents, the rest of the conference went undefeated in nonconference games as well. While it remains to be seen if Miami can continue its hot start or if Florida State can reassert itself as a national contender, the early returns for the once-maligned conference are very positive.
The Big 12 Is Not
It could be a long year for much of the Big 12. No one in the conference was ranked in the Top Ten and few really expect anyone from the conference to compete for a national title. And through two weeks, its apparent that the conference looks to be in for a down year. Pre-season conference favorite Oklahoma State has looked solid in two games against lesser opponents and Baylor has rolled up some video game-type numbers. But the conference’s other top teams have struggled thus far. Defending conference champion Kansas State and Iowa State both lost to FCS opponents last week. This week, #15 Texas gave up 679 yards and fell to BYU, 40-21. #16 Oklahoma made a fourth quarter quarterback change and struggled to get by a West Virginia squad that barely eked out a Week 1 win over William and Mary. The conference still has some talent to be sure, but it looks like it could be one of those years in which everyone beats up on everyone else and no one gets out unscathed.
Eye-Popping Stat of the Week
In a 70-13 win over Buffalo, #23 Baylor rolled up 576 total yards—in just 11 minutes. Four different receivers averaged more than 26 yards per reception for the Bears.