And but … the Red River Whatchamacallit emerged because the season’s most bonkers sport up to now, maybe its most maddening and certainly one in all its most entertaining.
Oklahoma’s 53-45 victory in 4 overtimes — the season’s longest to date — didn’t have to be a interval away from flirting with a five-hour sport. (At Four hours, 43 minutes, it put baseball playoff video games to disgrace). But even with Oklahoma much less related nationally than traditional and Texas perpetually much less related than it desires to be, it was enjoyable.
The Sooners (2-2, 1-2 Big 12) staved off their first 0-Three begin within the Big 12 since 1998 regardless of holding a 31-17 lead when the Longhorns (2-2, 1-2) took over possession with 4:38 to go. Texas tied it with 14 seconds to go, abetted by a befuddling alternative by Oklahoma to throw on third down on the possession sandwiched between two Longhorn touchdowns. The Sooners might have used 40 seconds off the clock slightly than an incompletion.
The groups traded touchdowns within the first two overtimes, then (in apt faculty soccer trend) missed discipline targets within the third. What’s one of the best ways to “top” Oklahoma blocking Cameron Dicker’s 33-yard try? Gabe Brkic’s 31-yard attempt, which veered nearer to Fort Worth than the purpose posts, was the reply.
The Sooners lastly received it when Spencer Rattler (who was benched within the first half) discovered Drake Stoops for a 25-yard rating to open the fourth OT interval and Tre Brown picked off Sam Ehlinger ultimately zone to finish it. No, Oklahoma isn’t climbing again into the nationwide title image, and no, Texas isn’t both.
Still, a vaunted rivalry produced a foolish marathon of a sport. In 2020, that counts for greater than traditional.
Texas A&M. It’s hyperbolic to recommend the Aggies are “back.” Their 41-38 defeat of No. 4 Florida was a toss-up till the ultimate couple of minutes, so it wasn’t a dominant displaying. And it’s going to take a couple of victory to proclaim the Aggies, who’ve spent one week within the high 5 of the Associated Press ballot this century and personal one top-10 end within the final 25 years, as a reputable nationwide contender.
But setting apart that skepticism, their potential to complete off the Gators was an essential milestone for the Jimbo Fisher period. In his first two seasons, the previous Florida State coach had a nifty seven-overtime victory over LSU and never a lot else to hold his hat on since receiving a 10-year, $75 million deal.
Saturday was a step in the precise path. Every week after getting drilled at Alabama, the Aggies (2-1, 2-1 SEC) had a number of alternatives to fade away and appeared on the verge of imploding with foolish penalties early within the second half.
What prevented it? Great work from veteran quarterback Kellen Mond (25 of 35, 338 yards, three touchdowns) and deft offensive line play paving the way in which for Isaiah Spiller (174 yards, two TDs dashing). Texas A&M’s offense didn’t cease Florida (2-1, 2-1) a lot, however Buddy Johnson compelled a fumble with 3:40 to go in a tie sport. It was sufficient, and Seth Small’s 26-yard discipline purpose as time expired locked up the Aggies’ first dwelling defeat of a top-five staff since 2002.
Texas A&M is in an interesting spot. It has no qualms shoveling cash into its program, regardless of comparatively modest returns (one 10-win season within the final 21 years). But don’t let that obscure the very fact the Aggies had been 51-27 within the six seasons earlier than Fisher’s arrival. Kevin Sumlin by no means constructed on Johnny Manziel’s Heisman season, however he didn’t depart a dumpster hearth for Fisher, both.
It’s truthful to argue Fisher shouldn’t face a quick-trigger analysis whereas making an attempt to maneuver the Aggies in a division with Alabama, Auburn and LSU. But he took over a good scenario, and it was all the time going to be smart for him to flash some progress in Year Three. Saturday, Texas A&M did simply that.
Georgia. Three weeks into their schedule, the No. 3 Bulldogs (3-0) sit alone atop the SEC East after a 44-21 defeat of Tennessee. Georgia scored the ultimate 27 factors after trailing 21-17 at halftime, giving up simply 71 whole yards within the ultimate 30 minutes and minus-1 yard on the bottom for your complete sport.
The Bulldogs now have a head-to-head defeat of the Volunteers (2-1) and are additionally a sport up on Florida after the Gators’ 41-38 stumble at Texas A&M.
Kansas State. The Wildcats didn’t have injured quarterback Skylar Thompson and nonetheless snagged a 21-14 victory at TCU. Freshman Will Howard began in Thompson’s stead and managed a team-high 86 dashing yards for Kansas State (3-1, 3-0 Big 12), which will get an open date and a house sport in opposition to Kansas over the subsequent two weeks. Put one other approach: The Wildcats look love they’ll be a Big 12 contender into November.
North Carolina. So, that’s what the Tar Heels’ offense can accomplish underneath the precise circumstances.
“Dominant” doesn’t do justice to explain No. 8 North Carolina’s assault in a 56-45 defeat of No. 19 Virginia Tech. The Tar Heels rolled up 656 yards, together with 399 on the bottom (at a nifty 9.Three yards a rush) and scored touchdowns on eight of their first 11 possessions.
North Carolina (3-0, 3-Zero ACC) wasn’t significantly sharp in its opener in opposition to Syracuse (although the Orange had one thing to do with that earlier than sporting down), and it then went three weeks earlier than surviving a visit to Boston College. But enjoying back-to-back weeks for the primary time this season, the Tar Heels rolled.
Michael Carter rushed for 214 yards and two scores, whereas Sam Howell threw for 257 yards and three touchdowns. With an enviable quantity of firepower, North Carolina illustrated why it belongs within the ACC title dialog.
N.C. State. Credit the place it’s due. The Wolfpack was a haphazard bunch final yr and, after successful a defense-optional opener in opposition to Wake Forest, was pounded at Virginia Tech in what appeared love a predictable regression.
But the final two weeks, N.C. State (3-1, 3-1 ACC) has eked out a last-minute victory at Pittsburgh and pounced early in a 38-21 triumph at Virginia. Dave Doeren’s staff is off to a commendable begin, and a victory over Duke subsequent week would put the Wolfpack at 4-1 heading right into a rivalry sport at North Carolina on Oct. 24.
Army followers with postgame plans (or some curiosity within the Oklahoma/Texas sport). The Black Knights’ 14-9 defeat of The Citadel kicked off at 1:34 p.m., almost a full 90 minutes after Oklahoma and Texas received underway. It additionally concluded 20 minutes earlier than the Red River Whatchamacallit wrapped up, clocking in at a tidy 2 hours, 54 minutes.
Ken Niumatalolo. The Navy coach collected profession victory No. 100 because the Midshipmen fended off Temple, 31-29. The academy’s profession victories chief, Niumatalolo noticed his staff enhance to 2-2 total and 2-Zero within the American.
Najee Harris. The Alabama operating again tore aside Mississippi for 206 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 63-48 victory over the Rebels. Go forward and rely Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones as a winner, too; he carved up the hapless Ole Miss protection for 417 yards and two touchdowns on 28 of 32 passing.
Alabama scored touchdowns on its ultimate eight possessions, and confronted a mere seven third downs your complete night time (changing six of them). Of course, the Crimson Tide averaged 10.2 yards a play, so possibly the actual shock was stumbling into third-and-anything greater than a handful of instances.
LSU. The Tigers aren’t superb proper now, and that’s very true of their protection. Two weeks after Mississippi State picked aside the defending nationwide champs, Missouri piled up 586 yards in a 45-41 triumph in a sport moved from Baton Rouge to Columbia due to issues over Hurricane Delta.
Much love Mississippi State, Missouri principally did because it happy within the passing sport. Connor Bazelak got here into the day with 430 yards and an interception in 5 profession appearances. The redshirt freshman torched LSU’s secondary for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns (and on 29 of 34 passing).
It bears repeating: With an exodus of expertise on account of commencement, early draft entries and opt-outs, LSU merely wasn’t going to match final yr’s dominance. But at 1-2 (and with losses to a pair of comparatively unheralded groups), that actuality is now particularly clear.
Tennessee. The Volunteers (2-1, 2-1 SEC) at the very least performed properly for the primary half at Georgia earlier than falling 44-21. But tiny went proper within the second half. They had three turnovers and three punts of their first six possessions. Georgia managed 13 factors off the giveaways (two discipline targets and a fumble return for a rating) and tacked on a pair of lengthy landing drives.
Tennessee was 3-27 over the past 10 years in opposition to Alabama, Florida and Georgia, and Saturday suggests there’s nonetheless a yawning hole between the Vols and the highest of the league, although it’s arguably narrowed a tiny since final yr.
Louisiana-Monroe’s punt staff. Under regular circumstances, it might be unfair to pile on the Warhawks’ woes. After all, they’re 0-5 after a 40-7 loss at Liberty they usually’ve but to love their first lead of the season.
But UL Monroe was unusually dangerous within the punting sport. Liberty scored a landing on a fumbled snap by the punter within the second quarter, recovered a blocked punt ultimately zone within the third quarter and tacked on Demario Douglas’ 73-yard punt return for a rating within the fourth quarter.
ACC parity. Those hoping Clemson would show a teensy bit susceptible with Miami coming to city walked away disenchanted. The Tigers cruised to a 42-17 victory over the Hurricanes, who had a glimmer of hope getting into the second half largely due to a blocked discipline purpose returned for a landing on the ultimate play earlier than the break to tug inside 11.
Travis Etienne managed to extinguish these hopes, utilizing a 72-yard scoring scamper within the third quarter to reestablish a three-possession cushion. The senior wound up with 149 yards and two touchdowns on the bottom, plus eight catches for 73 yards. Clemson (4-0, 3-Zero ACC) gave up simply 210 whole yards to the Hurricanes (3-1, 2-1) in its newest demonstration of superiority over the remainder of the league.
Mississippi State. Either the SEC has adjusted in a rush to the Pirate King, or Louisiana State’s protection is de facto, actually dangerous. Or, most definitely, each. The Bulldogs threw six interceptions (one which was returned for a landing) in a 24-2 loss at Kentucky.
Mike Leach’s first season as an SEC head coach is already a whiplash-inducing journey. From dealing LSU its first loss since Thanksgiving weekend in 2018 to being on the unsuitable finish of Arkansas snapping a 20-game convention dropping streak to having his offense shut out by Kentucky, Leach is presiding over an uncommon sequence of occasions.
Just a number of extra weeks from Ohio State’s Justin Fields becoming a member of the listing …
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson; 848 yards, 7 TDs, Zero INT passing. The junior hasn’t thrown a choose in his final 314 makes an attempt, although Miami’s Turnover Chain protection stands in his approach this week. His environment friendly work in opposition to Virginia (329 yards, three TDs) did nothing to decrease his standing as the favourite to assert the Heisman. (Last week: 1)
2. QB Kyle Trask, Florida; 684 yards, 10 TDs, 1 INT passing. The Gator senior wasn’t fairly as ridiculous in opposition to South Carolina as he was in Florida’s opener, however he was nonetheless a crisp 21 of 29 for 268 yards, 4 touchdowns and an interception. He’ll attempt to preserve rolling in opposition to No. 21 Texas A&M. (LW: 4)
3. QB D’Eriq King, Miami; 736 yards, six TDs passing; 157 yards, 1 TD dashing. King has completed every thing the Hurricanes might have hoped for in his one season in Coral Gables, at the very least to date. The graduate switch from Houston will get an upper-level take a look at Saturday when Miami visits Clemson. (LW: 3)
4. WR Jaylen Waddle, Alabama; 13 receptions for 276 yards and three TDs. Already a high quality deep risk coming into the season, Waddle is averaging 21.2 yards per catch and has a pair of 100-yard receiving video games as quarterback Mac Jones’s high goal in Tuscaloosa. (LW: Not ranked).
5. TE Kyle Pitts, Florida; 12 receptions for 227 yards and 6 TDs. The Gator’s landing common dipped from 4 to 3 final week, however anybody who will get into the top zone each different time he touches the ball is tough to disregard. (LW: 6)
6. RB Khalil Herbert, Virginia Tech; 311 yards, three TDs dashing; 2 receptions for 46 yards. Line it up nevertheless you love, however 12.Four yards a carry is 12.Four yards a carry. But his 207-yard outburst at Duke wasn’t fully out of nowhere; the Kansas switch rushed for 291 yards in opposition to West Virginia in 2017. (LW: Not ranked)