WVU, BC, Michigan, Rutgers & All The Early Games: What Does It All Mean?
It was a wild early Saturday of games with crazy results and some big losses by teams that couldn’t afford them. What does it all mean?
West Virginia 46, Texas Tech 35
The Mountaineers got the massive comeback it needed – and it got the second half performance from the defense it needed. Will Grier’s five touchdown passes will be the story, but give credit to the Mountaineer D for allowing just seven second half points.
Texas Tech continues to show just how far it has come under Kliff Kingsbury, and there’s no shame in this loss, but it would’ve been nice to have built on the hot start. Nic Shinonek and the O fell flat in the second half.
Really, Texas Tech? 16 penalties for 159 yards were a killer. The Red Raiders outgained WVU 513 yards to 396.
NC State 35, Pitt 17
This was supposed to be the letdown game for NC State, and for a while, it was. The good teams get past a mediocre start. Nyheim Hines tearing off a huge TD run and taking over the game helped that.
With the gig all to himself, Ben Dinucci was okay, but didn’t get any help – the Pitt ground game didn’t go anywhere. Dinucci hit 19-of-32 passes for 170 yards and a score with a pick.
Is there a more underappreciated player than Jaylen Samuels? The do-it-all Wolfpack star ran for 62 yards and two scores, blocked well, and caught four passes for 28 yards.
Boston College 45, Louisville 42
No one is doing more to try saving a bad team than Lamar Jackson. 332 yards, two scores, 180 rushing yards and three touchdowns – and the D couldn’t stop a horrible BC offense.
ACC, welcome to AJ Dillon. The BC back ran 39 times for 272 yards and four scores, and the Cardinals didn’t have any answered.
Boston College gave up 625 yards of total offense and won. Think about that. The Eagles won the turnover battle, the time of possession battle, and the third down battle.
Michigan 27, Indiana 20 OT
Michigan, just win and move on. It’s not going to be pretty, and it’s not going to be smooth, but take the win and get to Penn State. The D might not have played like it needed to, and John O’Korn – 10-of-20, 58 yards – is an issue, but Karan Higdon ran for 200 yards and three scores. There’s your plus.
Indiana almost won this without any offense whatsoever. There was no ground game, Peyton Ramsey struggled, and getting first downs was like pulling teeth, but IU got Michigan into overtime. Sometimes, there are moral victories.
Besides O’Korn and the passing game, what does Michigan have to work on? Red zone – again – third downs after going 2-of-13, and penalties. 16 for 141 yards isn’t okay.
Rutgers 35, Illinois 24
Yeah, Illinois, you’re playing a ton of freshman, but it’s not okay to lose at home to Rutgers. It’s not okay to lose to Rutgers two years in a row. It’s not okay to lose to Rutgers.
Finally, the (offensive coordinator) Jerry Kill offensive style worked. Pound away, control the clock, own the game. Rutgers ran for 274 yards and five scores. Illinois ran for 86 yards and a TD.
Both teams are still awful. Each one turned it over three times, each one committed three penalties, each one made way too many mistakes.
Mississippi State 35, BYU 10
That’s exactly what you do to a miserable team. Get up early, make it push, just keep on rolling. Nick Fitzgerald threw two picks, but he also threw for 241 yards and two scores, and he ran for 103 yards and two touchdowns.
17 carries for 29 yards. BYU just gave up on the run after a while with absolutely nothing happening. Mississippi State didn’t even crash the backfield or sell out. It didn’t have to.
Mississippi State outgained BYU 546 yards to 176. BYU doesn’t have any ideas right now – nothing is working. This was a total embarrassment in a year full of them.
Florida State 17, Duke 10
This is how it’s going to be for FSU. It’s going to be a grind, but as long as it can start to amass wins, the season won’t fall into the abyss. The biggest plus? James Blackman completed 18-of-21 passes for 197 yards and a score with two picks. Only one pass failed to be caught.
Yeah, the FSU defense only allowed ten points, but at some point it has to rise up and stomp on a team. Duke ran a little too well, and the Seminole pass rush wasn’t there.
Blackman was excellent, and FSU held the ball for 36:44 – and it was ill just a 17-10 win. That’s going to be Seminole football this year.