Michigan: As if you expected me to start off with any other game! It wasn’t as close as the one two years ago, but there was still plenty of drama. Devin Gardner, who was wearing Michigan legend Tom Harmon’s No 98, proved he can be as dynamic a playmaker as any QB, throwing for just under 300 yards and 4 TDs in addition to 82 yards and a TD on the ground. Perhaps the best part of the game was after it was over, the ‘Chicken Dance’ song serenaded Notre Dame via the stadium loudspeakers as they left the field.
Aaron Murray: In the weekend’s other marquee matchup, Georgia picked up a huge divisional win over South Carolina. The biggest star of the night had to be Murray. The Bulldog QB had a reputation of a kind as one who couldn’t win big games and this game dispelled that. He threw for over 300 yards and 4 TDs, one of which came after scampering away from Jadeveon Clowney. He showed plenty of poise in leading his team to a major victory.
Clowney: He sure hasn’t been doing alot to justify all the offseason hype through these first two weeks. Whether it’s illness injury or opponents double teaming him, he looks nowhere near the same as the terror that he was last season. He did get a sack against Georgia, but hasn’t appeared all that effective so far. Obviously it’s still early and Clowney could step up, but his Heisman and draft stock might have taken a but of a hit.
Western Kentucky: Generally to win a game you have to hold on to the ball. That proved a problem for the Hilltoppers as during the first quarter against Tennessee, they turned the ball over 5 times in the span of 6 plays. Once or twice might have been bad and still kept them in the game, but it kept getting worse. Then worse. Then even more worse. They ended the day with 7 total turnovers, including 5 INTs. Needless to say, it’s something they’ll focus on in practice this week.
Texas: It’s not just that they lost to BYU, it’s that the Longhorns seemingly had no answer for the Cougar ground game. The defense, which has plenty of talent, were continually fooled and were continually outsmarted no matter what they tried. The offense wasn’t much better as the disruptive Cougar defense lived up to its billing and kept the Longhorns from getting into a rhythm. In a sign of how serious things have gotten, Manny Diaz has been fired as Texas’ DC.
USC: The first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem and for USC that problem is Lane Kiffin. Despite having tons of talent on both sides of the ball, the Trojans got outclassed by a game Washington State team. They had plenty of chances to win, but just couldn’t find a way. Kiffin was already on the hot seat, but it’s started to significantly heat up. It got so bad that at several points during the game, the crowd was chanting ‘Fire Kiffin’ and USC was playing at home! At this point it’d be a minor miracle if Kiffin survives the season.
The ‘Charlie Weis Ate My Cheeseburger’ Award for Defense: Washington State. It wasn’t pretty, but the defense wast he big reason WSU upset USC. They held the supposedly talent laden Trojan offense to under 200 total yards, including just 54 passing and were able to hold star WR Marqise Lee to just 27 yards on 7 catches. They also picked off both USC QBs, one of which was returned for a touchdown.
The ‘Shirley, You Must Be Joking?’ Offensive Performance Of The Week: BYU ground game. The Cougars made fools of the Longhorn defense to the tune of 550 rushing yards. That includes 259 and 3 TDs from QB Taysom Hill on just 17 carries, as well as 182 from Jamaal Williams and 87 and 1 TD from Paul Lasike. The effort might get overshadowed a biut by the drama its causing for Texas, but it should stand out as one of the top offensive performances of the early season.
The ‘These Are Not The Droids You’re Looking For’ Mystery Of The Week: So who was it that decided that it was a good idea to have Eminem join Herbstreit and Musberger in the booth during halftime of the Michigan-Notre Dame game? Whoever it was should be congratulated as the exchange made for awesome TV. Yes it was as weird and awkward as expected, but if you somehow missed it, go back and watch it in all its glory. Musberger even asked him at one point if he thought the Lions would cover the spread. Yes Brent asked for gambling advice on national TV. From Eminem. Our lives are now complete.