Sep. 18, 2015
Week 2 Summary
WEEK 2 SUMMARY
Another week, another Hail Mary. BYU found its go-to play for the season. Bronco Mendenhall and his Cougars have shaken off the loss of star Taysom Hill, and proved they belong in the national conversation……either that or Sports Center Top 10. For those who stayed up for this night game, they were treated to another thriller. Week 2 didn’t provide much more clarity about playoff contenders as Week 1 did, but give it a few weeks and the pack will be getting thinner. Tuscaloosa is the home for ESPN’s College Gameday this week, and there are rumors of the show going to a non-D1 school next week. Week 2 provided much late game drama, and there will be more nail-biting, thrilling, and unbelievable games in weeks to come.
Just like the stock market, each team fluctuates every week, and here are the latest trends after week 2.
Rockets Ready for Takeoff---- Toledo may not make the playoff, but they sure know how to make some noise and disturb the SEC West. The Rockets went to Arkansas and beat the Razorbacks at home 16-12. Maybe Bielema should worry about his own soft schedule that isn’t as soft as he thought (more below).
Cougars on the Rise----BYU found one play that opponents can’t stop: chuck it to the endzone and let one of its receivers come down with it. The Cougars shocked Boise State, who seemed to have control over the game until Tanner Mangum had déjà vu. The Broncos then proceeded to throw a pick-six to ultimately seal the game. The Cougars one play has them sitting at 2-0 with a matchup at UCLA looming this week. Speaking of Cougars, Houston is also 2-0. Tom Herman’s first year in the AAC is off to a great start after his team shocked Louisville and sent the Cardinals to 0-2.
Rollin in the Mud----Bret Bielema came out this week criticizing Ohio State’s soft non-conference schedule. Maybe he should have spent that time worrying about Toledo. The Rockets came in and made the Razorbacks look bad at home. Bielema has done a good job of improving Arkansas’ program, but a loss to Toledo really hurts them.
Injured Quarterbacks----Malik Zaire, Travis Wilson, and Connor Mitch all add to a list which is scaring many by how quickly it’s growing. Zaire and Wilson hurt the most due to both of their teams being playoff hopefuls, while Mitch is still a notable injury. Zaire’s broken ankle might (and hopefully will) be the most gruesome injury we see this season.
PERFORMERS OF THE WEEK
Tanner Mangum, BYU----Mangum has helped ease the pain of losing star Taysom Hill for the season by pulling off the two most miraculous, Doug Flutie-like plays of the year. Mangum threw for 309 yards and 2 touchdowns, but no touchdown will be remembered like the last one. The Cougars old true freshman (he’s 22 years old) is showing that his arm can write storybook endings.
Leonard Fournette, LSU---- Fournette had comparisons to Adrian Peterson last year, and critics brushed those aside. Fournette didn’t do much to disproved those critics. This season, at least after one game, the sophomore is showing why he is in the running for the Heisman. The Tigers back ran 28 times for 159 yards and 3 touchdowns, while survived a late Mississippi State field goal to win 21-19. The Tigers threw the ball 14 times during the game, and that maybe have been 14 times too many.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma---- Mayfield’s stats are less than impressive, but his confidence and composure down the stretch are enviable. The OU quarterback only threw for 187 yards with three touchdowns and two picks, but he provided late game heroics as the Sooners beat Tennessee in overtime. Mayfield can also thank his defense for keeping the Volunteers at 17 points so that he and his offense could figure out how to move the ball down the field to force overtime.
Will Fuller, Notre Dame----The Irish lost their quarterback and all seemed lost. Fuller showed why Notre Dame should still be considered a contender for the playoff. With a backup quarterback and his team struggling to hold off Virginia, Fuller went for 124 yards and 2 TD. While the Irish need to figure out the QB situation, whoever they put back there should have some comfort knowing they can always count on one of their receivers being open.
GAME BALL: Mangum and Fournette. LSU’s back accounted for all of its touchdowns and showed why he deserves to run the ball to punish defenses. However, after pulling a Hail Mary off two weeks in a row, Mangum also deserves to be here. What he has done the last two weeks is nothing short of miraculous.
WEEK 1 PREDICTIONS
My Pick: Oregon 45 Michigan State 34 Actual: Michigan State 31 Oregon 28
It’s funny to me that the perception of this game is that Michigan State won this game and is automatically a contender for the playoff. The Spartans looked good in this game, don’t get me wrong, but they were expected to play well at home. The Ducks came in with the biggest question mark in Vernon Adams as well as their secondary. I don’t know if people are forgetting, but the Ducks were a foot away from Byron Marshall pulling down a go ahead touchdown. Granted that didn’t happen, but it shows how scary the Ducks will be this season. Adams has been reported with a broken finger, but we will see how much that affects him this season.
My Pick: Oklahoma 27 Tennessee 21 Actual: Oklahoma 31 Tennessee 24
Oklahoma looked awful. They showed they were one the road and Bob Stoops was one half away from firing both coordinators again. Then, something clicked. Baker Mayfield started finding receivers open, and the offense began moving the ball down the field. OU’s defense help Tennessee’s offense in check for the second half to push the game to overtime. Mayfield took over from there, providing the Sooners with a big win against a rising SEC team. Butch Jones and his Volunteers came so close to getting a signature win at home against a ranked team. So very close, but in the end, the Volunteers showed they are still a year away.
My Pick: LSU 24 Mississippi State 14 Actual: LSU 21 Mississippi State 19
If Leonard Fournette weren’t wearing a Tigers uniform, LSU’s offense may not have a yard this season. If Dak Prescott was wearing purple and gold, this team would be unstoppable. These two players carried their offenses to put on a show, but the Bulldogs came a missed field goal short at home. If this is a preview for the SEC West, every team may go .500 in conference play.
My Pick: Boise State 34 BYU 21 Actual: BYU 35 Boise State 24
I think we’ve heard enough about Tanner Mangum. But did you see Tanner Mangum? His first start every and at home was something BYU fans will talk about for years. The freshman QB three for 300+ yards in his debut as a starter for the Cougars as they pulled off the upset against Boise State. Mangum’s Hail Mary put BYU up 28-24 and on the ensuing drive, the Cougars defense picked off a pass and returned it to the house to seal the victory. It will be tough to pick against the Cougars this week, but can they go to the Rose Bowl and continue the magic?