COLLEGE FOOTBALL RECAP - 9/12/11Here's a brief look at the highlights of week two of the college football season, a week which saw a couple of big SEC games, but not a lot of surprises - at least not in the Top 25. Overall, 23 games were decided by seven points or less as college football turned in another weekend of the thrills that have its popularity surging. The rankings used in this recap are the preseason AP Rankings from prior to the games.
GAMES OF THE WEEK#12 South Carolina 45, Georgia 42: A game that could have SEC title ramifications features seven lead changes and plenty of excitement, but the Gamecocks take advantage of critical turnovers and star running back Marcus Lattimore (180 rushing yards and the go-ahead touchdown with 3:28 to go) to keep on track to defend their SEC East title.
Michigan 35, Notre Dame 31: Despite both being un-ranked, these two traditional powers put on an amazing show on Saturday night in the first game under the lights at the Big House. Notre Dame built a commanding 24-7 lead going into the fourth quarter, but Denard Robinson engineers four fourth-quarter touchdown drives, including throwing the game-winning pass with two seconds to go. The Wolverines had taken the lead for the first time on a Robinson TD pass with 1:12 to go, but the Irish battled right back, scoring themselves with 30 clicks on the clock.
UPSETTINGArizona State 37, #21 Missouri 30 (OT): Missouri knots the game with a late touchdown strike from James Franklin, but a missed 48-yard field goal at the end of regulation gives the Sun devils new life and they capitalize in overtime as Brock Osweiler tosses the game-winning TD.
BOUNCE BACK#13 Oregon 69, Nevada 20: Quarterback Darron Thomas matches a school record with six TD passes while LaMichael James ran for a TD, caught a TD pass and returned a punt for a TD as the Ducks recover in a big way from a tough loss to LSU.
#25 TCU 35, Air Force 19: After being upended by Baylor last weekend, the Horned Frogs get back on track by posting their 18th straight Mountain West victory with a workmanlike performance on the road.
SNEAKING BY#10 Nebraska 42, Fresno State 29: While the final score wasn't overly close, Nebraska has its hands full with the Bulldogs, trailing midway through the third quarter. However, a huge running day from Taylor Martinez (15 carries, 166 yards, two TDs) and a 100-yard kickoff return by Ameer Abdullah keeps the Huskers perfect.
#11 Virginia Tech 17, East Carolina 10: Picked by some to make the Allstate BCS Championship game, the Hokies have to come from behind to hold off East Carolina behind 138 rushing yards from David Wilson.
#15 Ohio State 27, Toledo 22: The Buckeyes nearly had their streak of 90� years without a loss to a state opponent come to an end, however, Toledo had 14 penalties, a missed field goal, a botched snap on another field goal and then an interception in the final minutes to allow Ohio state to escape.
Auburn 41, #16 Mississippi State 34: While this is an upset as far as standings, it's tough to see a loss to the defending national champ as a full upset - Auburn extends its winning streak to 17 games by stuffing Mississippi State's Chris Relf with a goal-line stand on the final play of the game.
#24 Texas 17, BYU 16: With BYU in control of the game, Mack Brown and Longhorns are forced to use three different quarterbacks before Case McCoy, the younger brother of former Manning Award winner Colt, sparking the victory with a fourth-quarter scoring drive.
DEFENSIVE DOMINANCE#3 Alabama 27, Penn State 11: The Crimson Tide swept a home-and-home series against 1975 and 1979 Sugar Bowl opponent Penn State; in this meeting the Nittany Lions manage just 248 yards of offense and are held without a touchdown in the final minutes.
#8 Wisconsin 35, Oregon State 0: The Badgers register their first shutout since 2009, holding the Beavers to 23 rushing yards and just 284 total as Russell Wilson completes 17-of-21 yards with three touchdowns.
#17 Michigan State 44, Florida Atlantic 0: After a sluggish opening week performance, Michigan State rolls to victory, holding the Owls to just 48 yards and one first down.
#18 Florida 39, UAB 0: The Gators hold UAB to just 212 yards while Chris Rainey has another big game, running for 119 yards and a touchdown.
ROLLING TO THE ROUT#6 Stanford 44, Duke 14: While Duke pulls out all the stops with trick plays, Stanford simply relies on star quarterback Andrew Luck as the senior connects on four TD strikes, including a 60-yard connection.
#9 Oklahoma State 37, Arizona 14: Brandon Weeden explodes for 397 yards and a pair of touchdowns as the Cowboys crush the Wildcats in a Thursday night game.
#14 Arkansas 52, New Mexico 3: The Razorbacks outgain the Lobos, 632-297, behind a solid first-half effort from quarterback Tyler Wilson, who had to sit the second half due to concussion-like symptoms.
BEATING UP ON THE FCS#2 LSU 49, Northwestern State 3: Two touchdowns each from Michael Ford and Spencer Ware lead the Tigers to a cakewalk victory over a lower-division state rival and LSU gets the added advantage of resting the bulk of its starters for the full second half.
#5 Florida State 62, Charleston Southern 10: E.J. Manuel passes for 330 yards and four touchdowns as the Seminoles roll to victory in a warm-up for their showdown with No. 1 Oklahoma on Saturday.
#19 West Virginia 55, Norfolk State 12: The Mountaineers actually trailed, 12-10, at the break, but then they scored on their first seven possessions of the second half with Geno Smith leading the charge by passing for 271 yards and four scores.
INTO THE RANKINGS#21 Auburn: See above.
#22 Arizona State: See above.
VOTE FOR MANNING STARS
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Player of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for what you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
MANNING AWARD STARS OF THE WEEKWhile 31 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, additional players may be added later in the season and every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Here's a look at the best performances of the second week of the football season:
Ryan Aplin, Arkansas State
(19-of-21, 274 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT)
Aplin was near-perfect in a blowout victory over Memphis as he posted the second-best completion percentage in Sun Belt Conference history, connecting for 274 yards and three scores in essentially one half of action.
Tyler Bray, Tennessee
(34-of-41, 405 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Bray leads the Volunteers to a blowout victory over Cincinnati, throwing for a career-high 405 yards and four TDs while also rushing for another score.
Steele Jantz, Iowa State
(24-of-36, 271 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT)
Jantz connects on four touchdown passes, including the game-tying strike with 1:17 to go in regulation, forcing overtime where the Cyclones would snap a three-game losing streak to their archrival.
Marshall Lobbestael, Washington State
(24-of-32, 361 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT)
Lobbestael sets career-highs with 361 yards and five touchdowns as he leads the Cougars to a 59-7 blowout victory over UNLV - WSU had three FBS wins in the last three years by a total of 23 points.
Andrew Luck, Stanford
(20-of-28, 290 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT)
Luck rolls to another great performance, matching his career-high with four TD passes in three quarters of play as he leads the Cardinal to a rare East coast victory over Duke.
Brock Osweiler, Arizona State
(24-of-32, 353 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT)
Osweiler connects on an 11-yard touchdown strike in overtime to finish with 353 passing yards and three scores as well as a running TD as he leads the Sun Devils to a 37-30 upset of nationally-ranked Missouri.
Darron Thomas, Oregon
(13-of-19, 295 yards, 6 TDs, 0 INT)
Thomas matches a school record with six touchdown passes, including a 69-yarder and a 44-yarder, as the Ducks get back on track by crushing Nevada.
Brandon Weeden, Oklahoma State
(42-of-53, 397 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT)
Weeden completes his first 13 passes en route to a school record 42 completions in an impressive 37-14 victory over Arizona.
(current AP Rankings)
#3 LSU at #25 Mississippi State (Thursday): Mississippi State's loss to Auburn on Saturday takes some of the luster of this rare Thursday night SEC affair, but it remains a huge SEC West game with LSU having to prove itself on the road. It will also mark the first time in history that both the Tigers and Bulldogs were ranked entering a game.
#1 Oklahoma at #5 Florida State: The latest "biggest game of the year" features a pair of top five teams with their sights set on the Allstate BCS Championship in New Orleans. Oklahoma crushed the Seminoles in Norman last year (47-17), but FSU has much more experience in its second year under Jimbo Fisher.
#17 Ohio State at Miami: History may be the biggest drawing card for this game as both teams are reeling from NCAA investigations, however, interim head coach Luke Fickell has kept Ohio State undefeated and ranked despite a host of player suspensions.
#21 Auburn at Clemson: Head coach Gene Chizik has pulled out a pair of magical wins to extend the Tigers' undefeated streak to 17 games, but last year's battle with Clemson was a defining moment in the season as Auburn held off the tenacious other Tigers in a 27-24 overtime thriller.
#24 Texas at UCLA: Texas hopes that it's back, but results have not been dominant. UCLA coach Rick Nueheisel can cool a considerably hot seat with a home victory over the Longhorns, who suffered their first loss of 2010 to the Bruins in Austin.
#15 Michigan State at Notre Dame: Michigan State has plans to win the Big Ten title outright after sharing the pennant last year, while Notre Dame fans look squarely in the face of a potential 0-3 start for a team that had high expectations.
Tennessee at #16 Florida: Florida has looked solid (giving up a total of three points) against less-than-stellar opposition; now Will Muschamp gets his first SEC test as Tennessee and fast-improving quarterback Tyler Bray come to town. #6 Stanford at Arizona: Andrew Luck and the Cardinal jump into the Pac-12 schedule with a battle against another potent offense - Arizona and its own star QB Nick Foles.