Week two of the college football season kicked off in the perfect way.
In Columbus, Ohio, there was a military flyover, and the crowd at “The Shoe” chanted “U-S-A” on the 20-year anniversary of the 9-11 attacks as No. 3 Ohio State prepared to take on No. 12 Oregon.
All over the country, stadiums and teams did what they could to honor the victims of that terrible day, all while attempting to play a game.
Before the game between Army and Western Kentucky, the entire Black Knights football team ran out carrying American flags.
Every Army football player ran on the field carrying an American flag today. This is fantastic. pic.twitter.com/2yaCuWk4My
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) September 11, 2021
It was a day filled with remembrance, but there were also many games of importance on the slate. Let’s take a look at a few.
Oregon goes into Ohio State and wins for the first time
Talk about a great start to the season for the Pac-12. In week one, UCLA beat SEC powerhouse LSU, and now Oregon has put themselves squarely in the College Football Playoff conversation, albeit a very early conversation.
Oregon’s offense was incredibly balanced, passing for 236 yards and rushing for 269 on the ground as Ohio State head coach Ryan Day lost for the first time in the regular season as the head man of the Buckeyes. For Oregon, the 35-28 victory was the school’s first road win over a top-5 opponent since 2011.
“We’ve been building toward this for a while now, but we’re not there yet,” Oregon head coach Mario Cristobal said. “I don’t want to in any way shape or form give that impression. We’re not, and our guys know that too, but we’ve taken massive steps, and I think even more importantly, we’ve taken massive psychological steps, understanding how important that is going to be on Saturdays. … All those things, they just come into play and they just further strengthen the culture and the direction of the program.”
Oregon did it all without star defensive end Kayvon Thibodeaux, who was missing the game with an ankle injury. It’s not like the defense was able to shut down Ohio State’s offense which wound up with 612 total yards, but they got stops when it mattered, only allowing Ohio State to convert two of five fourth downs.
“The play-calling was great. It was excellent,” Cristobal said. “But you got to give an unbelievable amount of credit to the players just coming out with heart with toughness, with the discipline that executed a high level against a great football team, and that’s what it came down to.”
It was a stunning victory for Oregon, and a massive win for an entire Pac-12 conference that has missed out on the College Football Playoff the last four years.
No. 10 Iowa goes into Ames and handles their in-state rival
ESPN showed up for “GameDay” in Ames — it was the first game with both teams ranked in the history of the rivalry — but Iowa won their sixth-straight game against the No. 9 ranked Cyclones 27-17 at Jack Trice Stadium.
Four turnovers for Iowa State was the difference in the contest, including three interceptions from quarterback Brock Purdy.
“As I told our team, when we’ve played really great in these moments during our tenure, we’ve had great calm, we’ve had great clarity to do our job and most importantly we’ve had great execution,” Iowa State Coach Matt Campbell said. “Unfortunately, we didn’t have that today.
“When that doesn’t occur, it comes back to the head football coach and his responsibility of how he prepares the football team to be ready for those moments and opportunities. I would put the onus on myself to make sure our kids are able to execute the way they need to execute.”
Iowa managed only just 173 yards of total offense, but the game turned midway through the third quarter when Cyclones running back Breece Hall fumbled the ball with Iowa State pinned deep in its own territory before Jack Campbell returned it for a touchdown. On the next possession, Purdy was intercepted after a pass went through the hands of his receiver and Iowa State was never able to mount a comeback.
Arkansas dominates No. 15 Texas
It turns out that Texas is not back.
In what will be a future SEC matchup, Arkansas ran all over Texas en-route to a 40-21 victory in Fayetteville. The Razorbacks rushed for a staggering 333 yards on the ground, jumping out to a 33-7 lead after three quarters.
“If you want to enter this conference,” Arkansas linebacker Hayden Henry said, “you’re gonna get a little taste of it tonight. You’re gonna play a team that, you know, we’re not the biggest, baddest team in the SEC physically, but we play really hard. We play really tough. We don’t back down from anybody. We like competition. We like playing. So I guess, Welcome to the SEC.”
Head coach Sam Pittman was not a big-name hire when he took over the struggling program in 2020, but he has Arkansas going in the right direction.
“I hope it was a big one for us,” Pittman said. “I hope the state wants to come see the Hogs play … When you go see entertainment, whether it be a movie or whatever, you know, you want something to inspire you and hopefully we did and hopefully they’ll come back. I expect ’em to.”
Texas was never able to get going offensively, with quarterback Hudson Card being pulled in favor of Casey Thompson at the end of the third quarter. There was reason for optimism in Austin after head coach Steve Sarkisian’s first victory as coach in week one over then-No. 23 Louisiana, but Texas returned to reality Saturday night.
“This was not a performance I was anticipating,” first-year coach Steve Sarkisian said. “But we’ll find out about ourselves and what we’re made of, because I really believe this one games not going to define us. But we’ve got work to do, that’s for sure.”
No. 5 Texas A&M scored their only touchdown of the game late in the fourth quarter to beat Colorado 10-7. Quarterback Haynes King was forced to leave the game early with a lower leg injury.
Stanford beat No. 14 USC late Saturday night in another disappointing loss for head coach Clay Helton. Helton is squarely on the hot-seat.
Florida State lost to Jacksonville State 20-17 in the program’s first loss to an FCS opponent since its creation in 1978 on a 59-yard touchdown as time expired.
— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) September 12, 2021
“I apologize to our fan base, to our university, to all Seminoles for the performance we had,” Florida State head coach Mike Norvell said. “I take ownership of it, but we go in and work, correct the things that have to be corrected to play to the level we’re capable of playing. This team has talent, they have heart, they truly do believe in what we can accomplish, but we have to go execute. It can’t just be something we talk about in the moment. I’ve been a part of challenging times before. Tonight is a challenging time for our university and our football team. We will get it corrected.”
Joe Morgan is the Sports Reporter for The Daily Wire. Most recently, Morgan covered the Clippers, Lakers, and the NBA for Sporting News. Send your sports questions to [email protected].
The views expressed in this piece are the author’s own and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.
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Author : Joe Morgan
Source : Week Two College Football Recap