This week saw college football return in full force. While some ranked teams played easy, non-conference games, we saw this year’s first clash of top 10 ranked teams. Most victories for top 10 teams were easily predicted: No. 2 Alabama beat Hawaii 38-0, No. 3 TCU beat Stephen F. Austin 70-7, and No. 17 Ole Miss won 73-21 over Fresno State. In a week of blowouts however, there were quite a few surprises.
No. 5 Michigan State 31
No. 7 Oregon 28
Michigan State and Oregon met again this year, continuing an enticing trend of scheduling challenging, non-conference games. In the second week of the season, the Spartans of Michigan State were locked in a tight game against Oregon. On the opening drive, Oregon showed flashes of last year’s National Championship contenders, marching down the field to score a touchdown. Oregon had a chance to grab the win in the last minutes of the game, but new quarterback Vernon Adams Jr. overthrew open receiver Byron Marshall on what would have likely been the winning touchdown. The Michigan State defense then came up big with a sack for a 10-yard loss on the next play, definitively pushing the Ducks out of field goal range and ensuring the victory for the Spartans. In a tight game, senior quarterback Connor Cook and the Michigan State Spartans came out as victors and possible challengers to Ohio State for Big 10 dominance. Oregon, on the other hand, will fall in the rankings, but they can take solace in losing to the no. 5 team in the country by only three points, while playing with a quarterback who had only been on the Oregon campus for four weeks.
No. 9 Notre Dame 34
Notre Dame was the first top ranked team to struggle against an unranked opponent. However, Virginia is no slouch opponent, the Cavaliers came from behind to take the lead in the fourth quarter. With 12 seconds left in the game, Notre Dame quarterback Deshone Kiser completed a 39-yard touchdown pass to Will Fuller to win the game. Although Notre Dame came out with the heart pounding victory, they did have one big loss on the day. Starting QB Malik Zaire was sidelined with a broken right ankle injury, which will keep him out the rest of the year. Notre Dame managed to win without Zaire, something they will need to get used to this coming season. Now, title hopeful Notre Dame will have to put their faith in redshirt first-year DiShone Kizer as they vie for a spot in the College
No. 6 Auburn 27
Jacksonville State 20 (OT)
This weekend, we almost witnessed arguably the biggest upset in college football history. An FCS team, Jacksonville State, took the no. 6 team in the nation, Auburn, to overtime. A 40-point underdog, Jacksonville State lost a heartbreaker as Auburn scored a touchdown to send the game to overtime and another touchdown to win the game. Auburn looked vulnerable and it showed in the new rankings, as they moved down 12 spots in the Associated Press poll.
No. 18 Arkansas 12
While Auburn was the upset that almost happened, Toledo managed to pull off a massive victory over the No. 18 Arkansas Razorbacks. Credit should go to the Toledo Rockets for putting up 16 points, while Arkansas played an extremely sloppy game. Plagued by penalties, Arkansas just could not score. Razorback QB Brandon Allen threw for 412 yards – and zero touchdowns.