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September 12 College Football Recap

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Here's a brief look at the highlights of the second week of the college football season, a week which featured three re-matches of past national championship games as well as a host of sensational rushing performances and a pair of shocking upsets. The rankings used in this recap are the AP rankings from prior to the games.

GAME OF THE WEEK
Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24:
Quarterback Denard Robinson continues to establish himself as a national star by registering a Michigan record 502 total yards and leading the Wolverines to the winning drive in the final minutes, scoring on a run with 27 seconds remaining.

CHAMPIONSHIP REMATCHES
#1 Alabama 24, #18 Penn State 3:
In a rematch of the 1979 Sugar Bowl national title battle, Alabama again wins as Trent Richardson runs for 144 yards as the Crimson Tide proves way too much for the Lions and a true freshman quarterback.
#2 Ohio State 36, #12 Miami 24: Miami wanted revenge for a loss in the 2002 national championship, but no such luck as Ohio State tallies four interceptions and Terrelle Pryor passes for 233 yards and runs for 113.
#10 Oklahoma 47, #17 Florida State 17: A rematch of the 2001 Orange Bowl, Oklahoma wins again as quarterback Landry Jones is near-perfect in the surprisingly easy blowout victory.

UPSETS
James Madison 21, #13 Virginia Tech 16:
In a classic letdown, the Hokies can't recover from emotional opening loss to Boise State and FCS-Dukes shock one of the ACC favorites.
Kansas 28, #15 Georgia Tech 25: After losing to North Dakota State in their opener, the Jayhawks give the ACC another shocking loss as freshman QB Jordan Webb throws for three TDs in his first start.

RUNNING BACK ATTACKS
#7 Oregon 48, Tennessee 13:
LaMichael James ran for 134 yards, including a 72-yard TD as Oregon blows open a tie game with 34 unanswered points.
#8 Florida 38, USF 14: Jeff Demps tallies a career-best 139 rushing yards as the Gators outscore the Bulls, 31-7, in the second half.
#9 Iowa 35, Iowa State 7: Adam Robinson registers a career-best 156 yards on just 14 carries and Ricky Stanzi throws for three scores as Hawkeyes take care of business against state-rival.
#19 LSU 27, Vanderbilt 3: Steven Ridley finishes with a career-best 144 yards, including a key 65-yard TD run as the Tigers open SEC play with a win.
#24 South Carolina 17, #22 Georgia 6: True freshman Marcus Lattimore carries 37 times for 182 yards as Steve Spurrier's offensive-style changes and Gamecocks pick up huge SEC win.

CLOSE CALLS
#21 Auburn 17, Mississippi State 14:
Big QB Cameron Newton has another impressive day and the Tigers held the Bulldogs on a last-minute drive to open SEC play.
#23 West Virginia 24, Marshall 21 (OT): Quarterback Geno Smith rallied the Mountaineers from 15-points down in the second half to force overtime where West Virginia won with a field goal.

SOLID WINS
#16 USC 17, Virginia 14:
USC defense has better effort against Cavaliers as Matt Barkley throws for a pair of scores.
#20 Utah 38, UNLV 10: Backup QB Terrance Cain filled in ably for Jordan Wynn and the Utes posted another solid win after topping Pitt on the opening weekend.
#25 Stanford 35, UCLA 0: The Cardinal dominates UCLA on both sides of the ball to open Pac-10 play with victory.

GUARANTEE GAMES
#4 TCU 62, Tennessee Tech 7:
Nine different Horned Frogs combined for 270 rushing yards as Tennessee Tech drops to 0-26 against FBS opponents.
#5 Texas 34, Wyoming 7: Quarterback Garrett Gilbert gets his first TD pass of the year as Longhorns stop Wyoming, which was battling emotions after a player died in a car accident earlier in the week.
#6 Nebraska 38, Idaho 17: Nebraska defense collects five interceptions and seven sacks and QB Taylor Martinez runs for 157 yards and two scores.
#11 Wisconsin 27, San Jose State 14: John Clay has his eighth straight 100-yard rushing game as Wisconsin tops San Jose State, which had played Alabama in the opening weekend.
#14 Arkansas 31, UL Monroe 7: Razorback defense has strong effort as offense scores just seven in first half before coming alive in the second half behind Ryan Mallett.

INTO THE RANKINGS
Here are the teams that have jumped into the national rankings this week (new ranking used here).
#20 Michigan 28, Notre Dame 24: See "Game of the Week."
#23 Houston 54, UTEP 24: Cougars dominate Miners and surprisingly, they do it with just one TD pass as Heisman-candidate Case Keenum gets injured early in the second half.
#24 Arizona 52, Citadel 6: Arizona making noise out West behind touted QB Nick Foles.
#25 Oregon State (bye): In an interesting development, the Beavers drop out of the rankings after losing to TCU in their opener; however, they jump back in without playing a game this weekend.

This Week's Key Games (with current AP rankings)
#12 Arkansas at Georgia:
The first real test for Arkansas and quarterback Ryan Mallett; will they live up to hype? Georgia needs a win after losing to South Carolina.
Clemson at #16 Auburn: Tiger vs. Tiger; Auburn looking to solidify its national ranking with its best opponent yet, while the ACC is in desperate need of a marquee win.
#10 Florida at Tennessee: Derek Dooley's SEC debut may not be pretty, but Florida's offense has been struggling.
#9 Iowa at #24 Arizona: Iowa has avoided the heart-racing finishes of last season thus far, but playing on the road at red-hot Arizona with quarterback Nick Foles will provide a serious challenge.
#8 Nebraska at Washington: Huskers defense without Suh gets major test against potential NFL top pick Jake Locker and Huskies.
#6 Texas at Texas Tech: The Big 12 debut for Tommy Tuberville; Leach's biggest win may have been over Horns in 2008.
Baylor at #4 TCU: Robert Griffin returns from injury for Bears, but TCU's Andy Dalton has been getting Heisman whispers.
Georgia Tech at North Carolina: Tech's vaunted option offense fell from the rankings after losing to Kansas; Carolina's vaunted defense has been decimated by suspensions, but still a crucial ACC contest.
#23 Houston at UCLA: If Cougars are going to play BCS Buster, they need an undefeated season with key wins, unfortunately, UCLA has struggled mightily thus far in 2010.

Manning Award Stars of the Week
From the players currently on the Watch List for the Manning Award, here are some of the standout stars from week two:

Robert Griffin, III, Baylor (20-of-35, 297 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
Griffin tallies career-best 297 yards and runs for two more scores in 24-6 win over Buffalo.

Jerrod Johnson, Texas A&M (25-of-38, 349 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT
Johnson helps Aggies shake off a sloppy start to blowout Louisiana Tech, 48-16.

Landry Jones, Oklahoma (30-of-40, 380 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Jones dominates Florida State; his 321 first-half passing yards are the second-most in a half in school history.

Colin Kaepernick, Nevada (21-of-29, 241 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT)
Kaepernick adds 161 rushing yards and two more scores in blowout victory over Colorado State.

Ryan Mallett, Arkansas (28-of-43, 400 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Big quarterback comes to life, completing 9-of-11 third-quarter passes as Razorbacks roll over UL Monroe.

Manning Award Players to Watch
While 33 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season. Here's a look at the best performances from players making a bid to be added.

Dominique Davis, East Carolina (27-of-38, 244 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Davis has another big week, adding two rushing scores in blowout of Memphis.

Bryant Moniz, Hawaii (25-of-36, 343 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Hawaii travels across country to face Army and Moniz has big passing day including driving team to game-winning field goal in fourth quarter of 31-28 win.

Denard Robinson, Michigan (24-of-40, 240 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Robinson dazzles with 502 yards of offense (258 rushing yards, 2 TDs) as well as game-winning drive completed with 27 clicks to go against Notre Dame.

Geno Smith, West Virginia (32-of-45, 316 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT)
Drives Mountaineers to game-tying TD and two-point conversion with 12 seconds left as West Virginia survives in overtime against state-rival Marshall.

Week 2 Bowl Predictions
ESPN (Schlabach): Florida vs. Oklahoma
ESPN (Adelson): Alabama vs. TCU
CBS Sports: Auburn vs. Iowa
College Football News: Alabama vs. Nebraska
SI.com: Florida vs. Texas