College Football Nation: Mariota’s Heisman Moment and Trojans Fight On

Jeff Hostetler FishWrap, FishWrap Archive


What a great weekend of college football with so many Top-25 match ups. The PAC-12 was on center stage this weekend with key matchups for the country to watch and enjoy. While the PAC-12 was celebrating its success, the B1G will be looking on to next week after a couple of humiliating losses. All of these great matchups are something fans should look forward to as teams look to strengthen their schedules with the new playoff format.

Now, let’s get right into Top-25 action to get all caught up:

The time is now! That is what Oregon fans were telling themselves this weekend before their game against Michigan State. At first everyone thought Oregon was going to roll to an easy victory and show everyone this is their year, as they took an early lead. The Spartans then went on to score 24 straight and smack Oregon right in the mouth. What impressed me the most was the calmness of Marcus Mariota in the second half, as he rallied the troops and then led Oregon to 28 straight points. The Ducks prevailed, 46-27, and showed everyone they can handle “Smash Mouth” football. Look out Stanford!

Keeping it in the PAC-12, there was another key game going on between USC and Stanford. Trojan coach Steve Sarkisian kept the Week 1 momentum going against the Cardinal and turned it into a 13-10 win. This win for the Trojans is a wake-up call for the rest of the PAC-12. Another highlight of this game was USC Athletic Director, Pat Haden, coming down to the sideline to assist Sarkisian after some “bad” calls.

FSU might be the No. 1 team in the nation, but after a sluggish 37-12 win over The Citdael, we might see a new No. 1 thanks to Oregon’s thrashing of Michigan State. Alabama took care of business against FAU by winning 41-0, even with the game called early due to lightning. The Crimson Tide is still uncertain on who will officially be their starting quarterback as Blake Sims and Jacob Coker split reps. This could bite them in the butt if they do not make up their mind soon, as SEC play is about to begin.

Oklahoma steam rolled Tulsa, 52-7, and their star wide receiver, Sterling Shepard, had a career day of eight catches and 177 receiving yards. Auburn and their offense just kept things rolling as they beat San Jose State, 59-13. Both the Sooners and the Tigers are fine-tuning their games as conference play is about to begin, but seem to be right on track.

Despite Baylor’s Heisman quarterback, Bryce Petty, sitting out the game vs Northwestern State, the Bears still rolled to a 70-6 win. It seems Bear coach, Art Briles, can just plug in anyone to run the offense and it just goes. LSU devoured its cupcake opponent Sam Houston State, 56-0. Looks like LSU coach Les Miles has the offense clicking again.

If you are a Big Ten fan then just move on from this paragraph. It was an ugly day for B1G fans as most of their top teams struggled and failed to achieve victory. There was Michigan State losing big to Oregon, 46-27. To make matters worse, Ohio State was manhandled in front of a record crowd, 35-21, vs Virginia Tech.

Nebraska scored on a miracle play as time was expiring to avoid losing to upset-minded McNeese State, 31-24. Michigan was looking to go out with a bang vs Notre Dame but ended up losing 31-0. That will hang over the Wolverines’ heads for awhile since no one is sure of when the two teams will meet again. Then to top it off, you have Central Michigan beating Purdue 38-17, and Northern Illinois winning 23-15, over Northwestern. Wisconsin did manage to handle Western Illinois 37-3, despite the rest of the conference’s struggles. So much for trying to change College Football Nation’s perception of the B1G’s strength.

Ole Miss recovered from its offensive struggles and put up a 41-3 victory over Vanderbilt. Vandy fans are certainly missing James Franklin now. Arizona State kept its offensive juggernaut going against New Mexico with a 58-23 win. Kansas State rallied to beat Iowa State 32-28 – the Cyclones are still reeling from their loss to North Dakota State last week.

South Carolina rebounded from its loss to Texas A&M by beating East Carolina, 33-23. It was not an easy win for the ‘Cocks, but they are hoping to get back on track. Clemson let out all of their offensive frustration by beating up on South Carolina State, 73-7, while North Carolina survived a scare against San Diego State with a last second touchdown to secure the 31-27 win. Missouri continued through its non-conference schedule with a 49-24 win over Toledo. Louisville beat up on in-state rival Murray State, 66-21. The Cardinals will be a force to reckon with in the ACC now that they seem to have things clicking on offense.

That pretty much rounds out  the Top-25 action from this past week. We have the PAC-12 stepping it up in a big way. Oregon and USC both look to make some noise on the national stage this season, the B1G looks to forget this weekend of games even happened, and we have yet to have any major upsets. It is still to early in the season to say who will make the playoffs, but Oregon certainly stated its case today.


1. Florida loses Tight End

2. BYU manhandles Texas

3. USC AD making moves

4. College football mailbag

5. Notre Dame says goodbye


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