College Football Update, September 14


College Football Update, September 14 park

College Football Update, Sept. 14, 2015

Week two of the college football season saw plenty of excitement with multiple games between ranked opponents, other games with top-ranked teams finding themselves on the ropes before recovering and one top-20 team being upended by an unranked foe. Here's a brief look back at the key games as well as previews of this week's top games and other college football related information.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Match-Up

This year's Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. The Sugar Bowl will feature the champions of each league unless one or both are selected for the College Football Playoff. In that case, the top non-playoff teams from those leagues will square off in New Orleans. This match-up is locked in for eight of the next 11 years. In the other three years (2017, 2020 and 2023), the Allstate Sugar Bowl will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.

SEC vs. Big 12

No. 19 Oklahoma 31, No. 25 Tennessee 24: Despite the Volunteers controlling the game for the first three quarters, leading 17-3, the Sooners came to life behind Baker Mayfield, who was 11-of-14 for 103 yards and three touchdown passes, as well as a TD run in the fourth quarter and overtime. Zack Sanchez' interception in the second overtime possession clinched the victory, which was played before the largest crowd (102,455) to ever seen an Oklahoma game.

Key Games from the SEC

No. 9 Georgia 31, Vanderbilt 14: Despite the continued struggles of their passing games (141 passing yards), the Bulldogs get 189 rushing yards from Nick Chubb, a 77-yard punt return touchdown from Isaiah McKenzie and three interceptions from the defense as they open SEC play with a road victory over a division foe.

No. 17 Ole Miss 73, Fresno State 21: Chad Kelly solidified his hold on the starting quarterback job for the Rebels by posting a near-perfect performance (20-of-25, 346 yards, 4 TDs) as Ole Miss cruised to a blowout victory by becoming the first SEC team in history to score 70 points in two straight games.

No. 24 Missouri 27, Arkansas State 20: With their ground game struggling, the Tigers fell behind 17-10 at the half, but Maty Mauk threw three touchdown passes as Mizzou extended its road winning streak to 11 games with a come-from-behind victory on the road over the Red Wolves.

Florida 31, East Carolina 24: New Gator coach Jim McElwain had an interesting reaction to his team's second victory of the year, "It was embarrassing. It was embarrassing to our administration, our university," McElwain said. "And almost came back to bite us in the end." The Gators had just 373 yards, converted only 4-of-13 third-down attempts, committed 12 penalties for 105 yards, missed two field goals and had two turnovers; however, when Alex McCalister recovered a fumble at the Florida 25 with 12 seconds left, the victory was secured.

Kentucky 26, South Carolina 22: The Wildcats hadn't won a road game in more than five years, but after jumping ahead 24-7 at the half, Kentucky held on late, getting a rare two-point score after the Gamecocks fumbled on a two-point conversion attempt and Denzil Ware returned the loose ball 98 yards to clinch the key SEC road victory.

No. 14 LSU 21, Mississippi State 19: A critical SEC road game proved to be a showcase for sophomore running back and New Orleans native Leonard Fournette, who rushed for a career-high 159 yards and accounted for all of the Tigers' points with his three touchdowns, as LSU held off the Bulldogs late rally for a key SEC West triumph.

Key Games from the Big 12

Iowa 31, Iowa State 17: C.J. Beathard's 25-yard touchdown pass, his third of the game, with 2:14 remaining broke a 17-17 tie as the Hawkeyes go on the road to upend archrival Iowa State (Iowa added another late score after a Cyclone turnover).

Texas 42, Rice 28: Redshirt freshman Jerrod Heard threw two long touchdown passes and ran for 96 yards in his first career start while Daje Johnson added an 85-yard punt return touchdown and the Longhorn defense forced five turnovers as Texas evened its record at 1-1.

Other Top Games From Around the Country

No. 7 Michigan State 31, No. 5 Oregon 28: For the second year in a row, the Spartans held a third-quarter advantage over the Ducks, but this time, Michigan State's defense held off a furious Oregon rally, forcing a fourth-down incompletion in the final minute to avenge last year's loss. The Spartans were led by solid performances from quarterback Connor Cook (192 yards and two touchdowns) and running back LJ Scott, who ran for a pair of long scores.

BYU 35, No. 23 Boise State 24: BYU lost star quarterback Taysom Hill to injury in its opening game, but freshman Tanner Mangum is showing a flair for the dramatic. After beating Nebraska in the opener with a last-second Hail Mary pass, he connected on a 35-yard touchdown with 45 seconds to go to complete a comeback from a 10-point fourth-quarter deficit (the Cougars added a pick-six to account for the final deficit).

Other SEC Scores

No. 6 Auburn 27, Jacksonville State 20: Auburn nearly fell victim to one of the biggest upsets in college football history, but the sixth-ranked Tigers scored with 38 seconds to go to force overtime and then notched a touchdown on the opening possession to pick up the victory.

No. 2 Alabama 37, Middle Tennessee 10: Jake Coker passed for 214 yards and Derrick Henry ran for 96 yards and three touchdowns as the Crimson Tide rolled over the Blue Raiders.

Toledo 16, No. 18 Arkansas 12: The Rockets notched what may be their biggest victory in history, holding the Razorbacks to just 12 points despite allowing 515 yards of total offense and 30 first downs. Arkansas was victimized by penalties (nine for 85 yards) and a failure to convert on some key fourth-down attempts as Toledo, led by former Alabama quarterback Philip Ely (237 passing yards), earned its first win against an SEC team.

No. 16 Texas A&M 56, Ball State 23: Kyle Allen threw for 126 yards and three touchdowns in the first half as the Aggies dominated early (49-3 at the halftime) against the visiting MAC foe.

Other Big 12 Scores

Kansas State 30, UTSA 3: The Wildcats tallied 418 yards of offense and had touchdowns from three different players as well as three field goals from Jack Cantale while holding the Roadrunners to 229 yards without a touchdown.

Texas Tech 69, UTEP 20: Pat Mahomes threw for four long touchdowns while also adding a pair of rushing scores as the Red Raiders cruised over the Miners.

West Virginia 41, Liberty 17: Skyler Howard threw for three touchdown passes while the Mountaineers held Liberty scoreless for the first half and for the second straight week, West Virginia didn't have a turnover, as it improved to 2-0 for the first time since 2012.

No. 3 TCU 70, Stephen F. Austin 7: The Horned Frogs scored five touchdowns in a span of 10 minutes in the first half to break open their game against the Lumberjacks as Trevone Boykin threw for 285 yards and four scores in just over a half of action.

Memphis 55, Kansas 23: Paxton Lynch completed 22-of-25 passes for 354 yards and two scores on the road as he helped the Tigers snap a 19-game losing streak against power-five teams.

Oklahoma State 32, Central Arkansas 8: Mason Rudolph threw for 400 yards and the Cowboy defense held the Bears to just 220 yards and 12 first-downs.

No. 4 Baylor 66, Lamar 31: Corey Coleman set a school record by catching four touchdown passes as the Bears broke open a close game in the second quarter, finishing with 700 yards of offense for the second straight week.

Sugar Bowl Spotlight Event

In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with over 50 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week's spotlight event is the sponsorship of the New Orleans Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. As part of the sponsorship, the Allstate Sugar Bowl hosts an annual Scholar-Athlete Awards Luncheon.

Thirty-three local high school football players were recognized for their achievements in the classroom and on the football field at last spring's luncheon. The honorees were chosen from a nominated group of talented scholar athletes from the New Orleans area. Archie Manning, the national chairman of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame, recognized each of the 33 student athletes at the event. From that group of 33, five were selected to receive Allstate Sugar Bowl Scholarships for $10,000 each. The scholarship winners were chosen based on essays submitted after being notified of their selection as scholar-athletes.

The five scholarship winners were Matt Adams (Fisher High School), Miguel Hewitt Black (Northlake Christian), Isaiah Carter (Covington High School), Montana Giordano (Holy Cross) and William Kenyon (St. Paul's). Carey Wicker, the President of the Sugar Bowl Committee, recapped their accomplishments and referenced their winning essays prior to presenting each scholarship winner with a commemorative check.

Bowl Projections

Allstate Sugar Bowl, Jan. 1, 2016

SB Nation (Kirk): Baylor vs. Ole Miss (no change)
ESPN (Schlabach): Texas A&M vs. TCU (Texas A&M replaces Auburn)
ESPN (McMurphy): Alabama vs. Baylor (no change)
CBS Sports (Palm): Baylor vs. Alabama (no change)
Campus Insiders (Fiutak): Oklahoma vs. Georgia (no change)
Fox Sports (Mandel): Alabama vs. Baylor (no change)
USA Today (Smith): Baylor vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Alabama)

YouTube Clips of the Week

Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights. This week's clips include:

An electrifying touchdown run by Florida State's Dalvin Cook;

An interesting feature on Tennessee quarterback Josh Dobbs, who is pursuing a degree in aerospace engineering;

And a look at a rare defensive two-pint conversion when Kentucky's Denzil Ware returned a fumbled two-point conversion attempt to clinch the victory for Kentucky over South Carolina.

Manning Award

The Manning Award, sponsored and coordinated by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, will be recognizing its 12th winner following the 2015 season. Each week, the Bowl selects eight "Stars of the Week" and fans can vote on their overall "Quarterback of the Week" on the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page.

2015-16 Manning Award Stars of the Week

C.J. Beathard, Iowa
(15-of-25, 215 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 83.7)
Beathard, who adds 77 rushing yards in his third career start, throws a 25-yard TD strike with 2:14 to go to break a 17-17 tie as the Hawkeyes go on the road to upend archrival Iowa State, 31-17.

Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
(28-of-38, 441 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, QBR: 87.0)
Doughty tallies the fifth 400-yard game of his career as he helps the Hilltoppers hold off a stubborn Louisiana Tech squad, 41-38, for their seventh straight victory.

Luke Falk, Washington State
(47-of-66, 478 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 62.6)
Falk registers his third career 400-yard game (in just six starts) and throws the game-winning touchdown with 13 seconds to go as the Cougars top Rutgers, 37-34, on the road.

Matt Johnson, Bowling Green
(36-of-55, 491 yards, 6 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 77.3)
Johnson sets career-highs in passing yards and touchdowns, including four fourth-quarter TD passes to break the game open, as the Falcons roll to a 48-27 win over Maryland – the second straight season that Johnson has led his team to a victory over a Big Ten foe.

Chad Kelly, Ole Miss
(20-of-25, 346 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 96.6)
Kelly starts fast, leading the Rebels to a 28-0 first-quarter advantage, finishing with 305 yards and four scores in the first half, as Ole Miss becomes the first team in SEC history to score 70 points in consecutive games in a 73-21 win over Fresno State.

Paxton Lynch, Memphis
(22-of-25, 354 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 90.3)
Lynch registers his fifth 300-yard game as he leads the Tigers to a blowout win on the road over Kansas, 55-23, to snap a 19-game losing streak against power-five teams.

Brogan Roback, Eastern Michigan
(17-of-24, 330 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 96.7)
Roback keys the Eagles' offense, which scores on six of its first seven possessions, as Eastern Michigan wins on the road, 48-29, over Wyoming for its first non-conference road win over in 27 years.

Greg Ward, Houston
(23-of-33, 236 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 80.3)
Ward throws for three touchdowns including a 15-yard connection with Demarcus Ayers with 3:09 remaining to rally the Cougars to a 34-31 victory over Louisville in an American Athletic Conference road game.

Top Upcoming Games

All times are Central. Rankings are the AP Rankings from this week.

No. 11 Clemson at Louisville (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN): The Tigers have dominated a pair of lesser opponents (Wofford and Appalachian State) and now sophomore quarterback Deshaun Watson, a possible Heisman candidate, will have an interesting road game against a Cardinal squad which is engaged in a quarterback controversy and coming off a tough home loss to Houston.

Tulsa at No. 16 Oklahoma (11 a.m., Fox Sports 1): The Sooners picked up a huge win over Tennessee this past weekend, but they can't afford to look past Tulsa and new head coach Phillip Montgomery (former offensive coordinator at Baylor), who has directed the Golden Hurricane to a 2-0 mark and 43.5 points per game.

Memphis at Bowling Green (2 p.m., ESPN3): An off-the-radar game for many, these two teams are among the best of the Group of Five conferences, who have one guaranteed bid to a New Year's Six Bowl (Peach Bowl or Fiesta Bowl this year). Bowling Green is the favorite in the MAC race while Memphis is among the top teams in the American.

No. 18 Auburn at No. 13 LSU (2:30 p.m., CBS): These two teams are coming off much different games – LSU picked up an impressive, hard-fought victory on the road over Mississippi State as Leonard Fournette (three rushing TDs) and its defense (43 rushing yards allowed) flexed their muscles, while Auburn narrowly escaped being the biggest upset victim of recent years, needing a last-minute touchdown and overtime to escape Jacksonville State.

No. 14 Georgia Tech at No. 8 Notre Dame (2:30 p.m., NBC): After escaping with a victory against an unheralded Virginia squad this past weekend, the Fighting Irish will have to step up their play against a very tough Yellow Jacket team which has used the triple option to win two games by a 134-16 margin with 947 rushing yards. On the flip side, a win for Georgia Tech makes it a very viable contender for the College Football Playoff.

South Carolina at No. 7 Georgia (5 p.m., ESPN): The Bulldogs made a solid jump in the rankings after picking off Vanderbilt on the road, but their passing game is still very much a work in progress (166.5 yards per game), though sophomore Nick Chubb is living up to his early Heisman hype (averaging 8.8 yards per carry). The Gamecocks, meanwhile, are not only coming off a home loss to Kentucky, but they also lost their quarterback to a season-ending shoulder injury.

California at Texas (6:30 p.m., Fox): The Longhorns picked up their first victory on Saturday and now Charlie Strong's squad can add a quality win with the Golden Bears and highly-touted quarterback Jared Goff coming to town.

Stanford at No. 6 USC (7 p.m., ABC): Trojan quarterback Cody Kessler is somehow not getting Heisman attention, despite the long history the school has with the award; Kessler has completed 79 percent of his passes for 650 yards, seven touchdowns and zero interceptions in two games – last year, he threw for 3,800 yards with 39 TDs and just five picks. Stanford has a tough defense and will be Kessler's biggest challenge to date in 2015.

SMU at No. 3 TCU (7 p.m., FSN): The Mustangs have shown significant improvement already under rookie head coach Chad Morris (former offensive coordinator at Clemson) as they stayed with Baylor for a half in the opener, then topped North Texas last week; TCU will be another test as the Horned Frogs are considered to be a top contender for a slot in the College Football Playoff.

No. 15 Ole Miss at No. 2 Alabama (8:15 p.m., ESPN): The Rebels are the first team in SEC history to score 70 points in consecutive games and they defeated the Crimson Tide in Oxford last year; Alabama, meanwhile, has turned to bruising tailback Derrick Henry to wear down its first two opponents and will be looking for some revenge at home (a place where Ole Miss hasn't won since 1988) this year against its SEC West rival.

No. 19 BYU at No. 10 UCLA (9:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1): The Bruins and freshman quarterback Josh Rosen are getting increased attention as a possible favorite in the Pac-12 race, but BYU has shown a flair for the dramatic with their own freshman quarterback Tanner Mangum, who has won the last two games with last-minute touchdown passes.