D’Eriq King threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns, Cam’Ron Harris rushed for 134 yards and a rating and the Hurricane protection pressured three turnovers in a 47-34 victory. Manny Diaz’s group additionally scored on 9 of its 12 possessions that didn’t finish with a kneel down.
It’s all spectacular, however the knowledge obscures Miami’s sheer willfulness on offense for a lot of the evening. It tossed up touchdowns in response to subject targets early, after which popped a pair of 75-yard scoring performs on its first two snaps of the second half. Both have been in response to lengthy Louisville scoring drives.
(To make sure, Louisville’s defensive shortcomings performed a job, too. A program doesn’t emerge from the Bobby Petrino Experience with out the lasting results of his traditional routine — particularly, paying far more consideration to procuring offensive expertise than defensive. The Cardinals merely need to outscore opponents once more this 12 months, they usually’ll achieve this as a rule.)
King, the graduate switch from Houston, was an electrifying determine with the Cougars, and he has offered stability for the Hurricanes even when they didn’t want him to do as a lot as he can within the speeding sport Saturday. So far, he’s delivered precisely what was anticipated of him, and perhaps extra.
Now, again to that skepticism. Can the Hurricanes stick with it? They ought to at residence subsequent week in opposition to Florida State, a rival they’ve gained three in a row in opposition to and a group that was offensively restricted in its opening loss to Georgia Tech. Win that, and an Oct. 10 journey to Clemson turns into mighty intriguing.
But one factor at a time. There’s a protracted path between erratic and elite, and the Hurricanes have solely intermittently flirted with the latter since getting into the ACC. Churning out constant, methodical performances is a massive step in between. Miami’s work at Louisville suggests it could be able to take it this 12 months.
Navy. It was honest to marvel at halftime of Saturday’s journey to Tulane if this would possibly turn into an particularly bleak season for the Midshipmen. Their first sport and a half didn’t supply a lot cause for optimism.
So naturally, it set the stage for the largest comeback at school historical past. Navy edged Tulane 27-24 on Bijan Nichols’s 33-yard subject aim as time expired, erasing a 24-Zero halftime deficit — which got here after an unsightly 55-3 Labor Day loss to Brigham Young.
Navy began plebe Xavier Arline at quarterback, however turned again to opening-week starter Dalen Morris. He responded with 139 yards and a landing by means of the air, a welcome signal for a participant who was overwhelmed in his first profession begin.
And the protection that was bulldozed in its first six quarters? It pressured 4 punts and two turnovers on downs and picked up a security within the second half in opposition to the Green Wave.
Last 12 months, Nichols secured bowl eligibility for Navy with a 48-yard subject aim from the left hash as time expired to seal a 41-38 defeat of Tulane. He might have performed one thing extra significant — additionally from the left hash — to assist save the Mids’ 2020 season in its early levels on this 12 months’s encounter with the Green Wave.
Boston College. Coach Jeff Hafley’s debut labored out fairly properly. The Eagles bought a 300-yard passing day from Notre Dame switch Phil Jurkovec, Zay Flowers caught 5 passes for 162 yards and a landing (when he couldn’t have been far more open) and the protection secured 5 takeaways in a 26-6 victory at Duke.
Not each Saturday will go so properly for Boston College, which was the definition of mediocre (and, far too typically, uninteresting) beneath Hafley’s predecessor, Steve Addazio. The Eagles weren’t excellent, however they have been energetic and something however boring of their 2020 opener. It’s a very good begin.
Louisiana-Lafayette. Heavy is the pinnacle that wears the crown. Or the nationwide rating, as is the case for the Ragin’ Cajuns, who responded to their first look within the Associated Press ballot since 1943 by recognizing Georgia State 14 factors and trailing by two touchdowns early within the second half.
It’s robust to get as enthusiastic about bullying a Big 12 faculty (Iowa State) love final week as it’s to, say, stay up for taking part in in a transformed baseball stadium. But the Cajuns bought by, ultimately pulling out a 34-31 triumph behind Elijah Mitchell’s 164 yards and two touchdowns on the bottom, together with the game-winner in time beyond regulation. They lastly get their residence opener subsequent week in opposition to Georgia Southern.
Pittsburgh. The Panthers are 2-Zero for the primary time in 4 years, so let’s not quibble concerning the slog-like parts of their 21-10 defeat of Syracuse. Besides, it’s Pitt. It feels love Pat Narduzzi’s group has one or two of those types of video games each season.
Let’s as a substitute dwell on the Panthers’ protection, which has yielded 10 factors and 308 complete yards in two video games (and the Orange’s subject aim on Saturday was reward wrapped due to a fumble contained in the Pitt 20). Defensive finish Rashad Weaver, who hadn’t performed since 2018 due to damage, rolled up seven tackles (three for loss) and two sacks in his season debut in opposition to Syracuse. He’s one of many nice particular person winners of the week.
Marshall. The Thundering Herd’s 17-7 smothering of Appalachian State was their first victory over a ranked group since gorgeous Kansas State in 2003. That in itself is an accomplishment for a program that’s gained not less than eight video games in six of the final seven seasons.
But maybe the play of the sport was a basic case of overcoming an opponent’s chic name with a little bit of defensive brilliance.
It’s robust to attract up a more practical play. Appalachian State quarterback Zac Thomas discovered a wide-open Mike Evans for what seemed to be a 46-yard landing that will have made it a one-possession sport. Instead, senior security Brandon Drayton punched the ball out on the 5, and teammate Nazeeh Johnson fell on the fumble in the long run zone.
Appalachian State would by no means rating once more (it missed a 26-yard subject aim with 2:54 left that successfully ended issues), and Marshall (2-0) has an opportunity to crack the nationwide rankings for the primary time since 2014.
Central Florida. It’s now not remotely stunning when the Knights manhandle a Power Five foe, particularly one within the midst of a rebuild love Georgia Tech. With a 49-21 bludgeoning, Central Florida added the Yellow Jackets (1-1) to a listing of distinguished victims that features Maryland, Auburn, Pittsburgh and Stanford because the begin of the 2017 season.
How the Knights went about doing it issues, too. They rolled up 660 yards behind quarterback Dillon Gabriel (417 yards, 4 touchdowns), pressured 5 turnovers and wore out Georgia Tech with their expertise and their tempo.
In brief, they took benefit of their one nonconference alternative, demonstrating they’re much better than a group destined for the underside third of the ACC. Central Florida most likely doesn’t have a lot of a shot at a playoff berth if it runs the desk, but it surely may get one other crack at a Power Five faculty if it will probably safe the Group of Five’s New Year’s Six slot. If it performs love that the majority weeks, they’ll positively contend for it.
Clemson. Got Trevor Lawrence 1 / 4 of labor. Beat The Citadel 49-0. Won’t play once more for 2 weeks. This evaluation is topic to reevaluation in case a serious contributor bought harm since avoiding accidents was at all times going to be probably the most important measure of success this week for the Tigers (2-0).
Ulysses Bentley IV. A great way to get some consideration is to accrue 227 yards and three touchdowns on 19 carries love the Southern Methodist redshirt freshman did in a 65-35 victory at North Texas.
It was the fourth most speeding yards in Mustang historical past, greater than Craig James ever had in a sport and simply 14 yards shy of the perfect outing Eric Dickerson had within the Pony Express period (the varsity report is Mike Richardson’s 244 yards in opposition to Texas A&M in 1968). SMU quarterback Shane Buechele (344 yards, 4 TDs) had himself fairly the day, too, as SMU improved to 2-0.
Griffin Hebert. The Louisiana Tech broad receiver will get credit score for one of many day’s greatest catches, ever-so-barely getting a foot down behind the top zone with 14 seconds left to cap the Bulldogs’ 31-30 comeback victory at Southern Mississippi. The Golden Eagles (0-2) led 27-10 earlier than Louisiana Tech (1-0) rallied to win the Conference USA opener for each groups.
Duke. As talked about getting into the weekend, if the Blue Devils are going to make a run at a profitable season, they should win a sport love Saturday’s: At residence, in opposition to a Boston College group that had but to play beneath its first-year coach.
So a loss is lower than ideally suited. A loss whereas committing 5 turnovers (two within the pink zone, 4 in Boston College territory) is egregious. Quarterback Chase Brice, a Clemson switch, had two interceptions and a misplaced fumble, on a usually sloppy day for Duke (0-2), which will get yet one more group making its season debut (Virginia) subsequent week.
Tulsa’s penalties. If you had by no means seen the Golden Hurricane play all of final season and watched its opener at Oklahoma State, two issues would have stood out. The Tulsa protection regarded delightfully spunky in its 16-7 loss, and it couldn’t have performed extra to get in its personal manner with penalties.
Both observations ring true over what Tulsa was whereas going 4-Eight in 2019. It stored half of its 12 opponents to lower than 400 complete yards, no imply feat whereas taking part in within the explosive American Athletic Conference. And it was useless final nationally in penalty yards per sport (79.08) and next-to-last in penalties per sport (9.08, forward of Florida State’s 9.15).
The Golden Hurricane restricted Oklahoma State to 287 complete yards, bottling up tailback Chuba Hubbard (27 carries, 93 yards) and benefiting from Tylan Wallace’s relative lack of labor (4 catches, 94 yards).
But 15 penalties for 120 yards? It doesn’t matter how bizarre a 12 months it’s and the way exhausting it’s to observe. That’s no approach to attempt to earn this system’s first victory over a Power Five group since dealing with Iowa State within the 2012 Liberty Bowl.
Appalachian State. There’s no disgrace in shedding at Marshall in a pairing of previous Division I-AA powerhouses (again when it was nonetheless referred to as Division I-AA). But whenever you’ve gone 11-2 and 13-1 over the past two seasons and bought a pair of coaches promotions to Power Five jobs, expectations are that good instances will proceed indefinitely.
The Mountaineers (1-1) will most likely be superb as soon as they dive into Sun Belt play, however the 17-7 setback to the Thundering Herd successfully eliminates Appalachian State from New Year’s Six competition.
Middle Tennessee. Not to select on this Conference USA faculty, however even whereas accounting for the numerous causes a group would have points early this season, issues have been grim for the Blue Raiders. They dropped their opener at Army 42-Zero two weeks in the past. Saturday might need been worse; they fell 47-14 at residence to Troy, and that included a garbage-time landing within the ultimate two minutes.
Offense is a matter, however even getting it on the sphere is an enormous downside for Middle Tennessee (0-2). Opponents have transformed 26 of 34 of their third-down makes an attempt (and each of their fourth-down tries) within the early going this season.
The SEC nonetheless isn’t underway, so this listing stays very a lot a piece in progress, but it surely does mirror a few of the higher performances seen over the season’s first two weeks.
1. QB Trevor Lawrence, Clemson. The junior threw for 351 yards and a landing whereas speeding for 2 extra in a rout of Wake Forest. The Tigers’ star high obstacle to claiming the No. 1 spot at 12 months’s finish could be the probability his outings finish earlier than the fourth quarter as Clemson rolls up comfy victories.
2. QB Sam Ehlinger, Texas. Yes, it was in opposition to Texas-El Paso, however Ehlinger roasted the Miners for 426 yards and 5 touchdowns within the Longhorns’ lone nonconference sport.
3. QB Brady White, Memphis. The lone holdover from final week, White’s 280 yards and 4 touchdowns in opposition to Arkansas State look a small higher after the Red Wolves upended Kansas State of their second outing.
4. QB Spencer Rattler, Oklahoma. Already assured of a spot on the all-name group, Rattler sliced up Bobby Petrino-coached Missouri State for 290 yards and 4 touchdowns in his first profession begin for the Sooners.
5. TB Travis Etienne, Clemson. Remember, Etienne (and never Lawrence) is the reigning two-time ACC participant of the 12 months. He opened his senior 12 months in workmanlike vogue, rumbling 102 yards and a landing on 17 carries.
6. QB D’Eriq King, Miami. King wasn’t at his very best within the Hurricanes’ opener in opposition to UAB, however he was a transparent enchancment over The U’s manufacturing on the place the final couple years. If Miami retains profitable, we’ll hear a lot concerning the Houston graduate switch.
7. TB Sincere McCormick, Texas-San Antonio. A shout-out to the Roadrunners’ bell cow again, who adopted up his Conference USA rookie of the 12 months marketing campaign with a 29-carry, 197-yard displaying in a double-overtime defeat of Texas State. McCormick broke his personal single-game faculty speeding report within the course of.