The U is back? Maybe. The defense looks to be a step down from 2019, but the offense looks the best its been in a half-decade. OC Rhett Lashlee and new QB D’Eriq King (325 yards, three touchdowns) led the ‘Canes to 47 points @ Louisville on Saturday. Jaylan Knighton and Cam’Ron Harris look to be a viable RB duo, and TE Brevin Jordan is up there with the best in the country. I’d like to see the ‘Canes prove themselves against a top-25 defense, but the early returns all come up aces in Coral Gables.
Loser: Oklahoma State Hype
Sure, QB Spencer Sanders got injured, but a team thought to have one of the best offenses in the country coming into the year should put up more than 16 points on Tulsa. The Cowboys were lucky to escape Stillwater with a 16-7 win, Tulsa killed itself with penalties and frankly looked like the more talented team for most of the game. The gap between the Big 12’s elite and middle class looks to only be widening.
It wasn’t pretty, but by the end of four quarters, the scoreboard read UCF 49, Georgia Tech 21 as the Golden Knight put up 660 yards of total offense on the Yellow Jackets, led by QB Dillon Gabriel’s 417 yards and four touchdowns. Cincinnati looked great too, and the race for the AAC Title looks to be close as ever.
Loser: Tulane’s 24-0 lead
After coming back to win last week, Tulane got a taste of their own medicine on Saturday, blowing a 24-0 lead on a Navy team that was outscored 79-3 in their first six quarters of football this season. The Midshipmen, led by Dalen Morris, rattled off 27 straight points to pick up a 27-24 victory on the backs of a Bijan Nichols game-winner.
Winner: Boston College
Game one for new head coach Jeff Hafley at Boston College was nothing but a massive success. The Golden Eagles dominated Duke on the road, holding the Blue Devils to just six points and forcing five turnovers. The story, however, was Notre Dame transfer QB Phil Jurkovec, who threw at a 74% clip for 300 yards and two scores. This team is good.
Loser: Western Kentucky
I thought the Hilltoppers, who won eight of their final ten to close out 2019, would be a contender in Conference USA this year, but September has not been nice to WKU. Losing a game 35-21 at Louisville is understandable, dropping your week two game to Liberty is something else. The defense looks to have taken a step back this year, and with an 0-2 start, WKU enters C-USA play on their heels.
Winner: UTSA RB Sincere McCormick
McCormick has helped lead UTSA to a 2-0 start and will enter week four as the nation’s leading rusher with almost 300 yards through two games. He was key in UTSA’s 24-10 over Stephen F. Austin on Saturday and will run all over Middle Tennessee Friday night.
Loser: Middle Tennessee
An MTSU team that lost a lot but was still thought to be a solid team in Conference USA this year has been throttled to open the year, losing their first two games to Army and Troy by a combined score of 89-14. After being ranked 63rd in the preseason, the Blue Raiders have already dropped 11 spots to 74th, third-worst in the country only ahead of UL Monroe and UTEP.
Winner: Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
I mean, come on, this one is too easy. The guy threw nine passes and three of them were touchdowns. Lawrence was special, and the Tigers cruised to a 49-0 win over The Citadel. They now have an off week to prepare for Virginia in a rematch of last year’s ACC title game.