Louisville might have been the story of the early Week 3 games, but Wisconsin, Tennessee and Penn State struggled. Iowa lost, and Miami made a statement.
Iowa, Miami, Tennessee, Wisconsin, Penn State: 5 Things That Matter
North Dakota State 23, Iowa 21
Obviously North Dakota State isn’t your normal FCS team, but this isn’t supposed to be the North Dakota State team that’s been so dominant over the last several years.
Iowa couldn’t get physical enough on the lines and got ripped up for 239 rushing yards while running for just 34 yards on 25 carries. C.J. Beathard was supposed to be the difference-maker in a game like this, and he wasn’t. The No. 13 team in the nation was supposed to been the bully at home, and it wasn’t. The offense was supposed to put up more than 231 yards against anyone in America, and it didn’t.
Give North Dakota State credit for doing what a champion does, but this was a poor, poor performance for a program that’s supposed to be the one that owns the time off possession battle, doesn’t make the big mistakes, and comes up with the key stop. It didn’t.
Wisconsin 23, Georgia State 17
So that’s what Wisconsin is going to be without RB Corey Clement, who was out with an ankle injury? The Badgers made mistakes with a missed field goal and two turnovers, and the defense made Conner Manning look like a Manning brother – no relation, by the way – of your choice, and it was way too tight a game in the fourth. Georgia State had the ball with a chance for the win, but the Badger D finally held.
Don’t look too much into it other than the bad day from QB Bart Houston. The offense didn’t move when he was in, and freshman Alex Hornibrook took over completing 8-of-12 passes for 122 yards and a score with a not-his-fault pick. Now the Badgers have a QB controversy going into Michigan State.
Tennessee 28, Ohio 19
It’s not that Tennessee was awful – the offense was almost perfectly balanced – and it’s not that the defense didn’t do its part with a great day against the Ohio running game or the Bobcat offense, but it wasn’t an inspired performance by a team that’s supposed to start looking the part by Week 3.
Part the injuries and the issues on both sides of the ball, there were positives for the Vols. Joshua Dobbs looked solid completing 19-of-27 passes for 203 yards and two scores with a rushing touchdown. Tennessee can’t win if he’s not playing well, and this was a cool, calm game to get the win when his team wasn’t all that great.
Miami 45, Appalachian State 10
12 tackles for loss. How has Miami been able to overcome the questions, concerns and youth in the linebacking corps and on the defensive front? Three sacks, 12 tackles for loss, and lots and lots of pressure stuffing Appalachian State star RB Marcus Cox for just 30 yards and crushing the Mountaineer O throughout.
The biggest deal might have been Brad Kaaya – he had a day. Mark Walton might have carried the offense at times with 130 yards and two scores, but it was Kaaya who finally busted out with a 21-of-27 day for 368 yards and three scores with a pick.
That’s what you do against a Sun Belt team if you’re a Miami team looking to breakout.
Penn State 34, Temple 27
It wasn’t as ugly as the disgusting tribute to Joe Paterno, but the Nittany Lion running game regressed. It ended up with three touchdowns, but outside of one Saquon Barkley dash, it wasn’t able to establish any sort of control throughout the game against a Temple defense that isn’t the same Temple D of last year. Fortunately for the Nittany Lions, Trace McSorley came up with a good bounceback game after the tough pick thrown against Pitt last week.
McSorley ran for a score and completed 18-of-24 passes for 287 yards with a touchdown, and while it’s still a ragged offense overall, he’s been a positive so far. Penn State has the skill talent now – it’ll all come together at some point. It had better for a team that should’ve have a much easier time than this against a mediocre Temple team.