College Park, Maryland has seen it’s share of dark days in recent times. The death of offensive lineman Jordan McNair bought to light a culture of questionable practices at the program. The subsequent investigation ended the tenure of head coach D.J. Durkin. With a new head coach, and a new direction, the 2019 Terrapins had impressed in a week 1 cupcake clash.
Their crushing 63-20 defeat of 21 ranked Syracuse illuminated not just College Park, but the whole of College Football in week 2.
Former Alabama offensive co-ordinator turned Maryland head coach, Mike Locksley, has Maryland ticking over at a pace. With Virginia Tech quarterback transfer Josh Jackson at the wheel, The Terrapins up-tempo offence has teams reeling. Syracuse have some serious defensive talent but they just couldn’t keep up.
“Our style of play, it’s hard to match it, our tempo and the way we executed it” said Jackson after the game, per ESPN.
Jackson has been seriously impressive in executing Locksley’s offence.
On Saturday afternoon he threw for 296 yards and 3 touchdowns, to take his season total to 7 touchdowns. He opened the scoring with a 7 yard pass to Tyler Mabry. For his second, he found Carlos Carriere in the end zone with a fade despite pressure coming around the edge.
His third touchdown of the day was to Anthony McFarland Jr. The sophomore running back added two rushing touchdowns, on a day he accounted for 120 total yards. His 20 yard score at the start of the 2nd quarter made it 28-7 and put the game to bed before the half.
McFarland’s yardage contributed to a Maryland ground game that racked up 354 yards. Juniors, Javon Leake and Jake Funk accounted for over 200 yards and 3 touchdowns. Leake had a 64 yard run early in the 3rd, after making a man miss at the Maryland 40 and speeding to the end zone unchallenged.
With the defeat, Syracuse dropped out of the Top 25. Their defeat was the biggest for a ranked team against unranked opposition for nearly 20 years. A pre-season favourite after a strong 2018, the Orange look out of sorts. They face Clemson next week, in a repeat of a matchup that they so nearly caused an upset in last season.
Tigers take down Texas A & M
Clemson go in to that week 3 clash with Syracuse 2-0, after a dominant win over the Aggies on Saturday night.
Trevor Lawrence accounted for 2 touchdowns and 268 yards, and the Tigers defense held Texas A & M under 300 yards, on their way to a 24-10 victory.
After Travis Etienne had carried Clemson in week 1, Lawrence returned to form. A Seth Small field goal had given the Aggies a 3-0 lead, but the Tigers struck a decisive blow on the next drive. Coming under pressure in the pocket, Lawrence scrambled to his left then dropped a bomb to Justyn Ross at the pylon, for a 30 yard touchdown and a lead they’d never relinquish.
Dabo Swinney will have been particularly impressed with the defensive performance. Aggies quarterback, Kellen Mond, torched the Tigers for 400+ yards in the fixture last year. This time around it was less than 250. Mond also gave up a fumble, after Nolan Turner’s jarring tackle. Senior safety, K’von Wallace, led the team with 9 tackles, 1 sack and 1 tackle for loss.
The win takes them to 17 straight victories. They’ll be looking to extend that streak to a program record 18 when they travel to Syracuse on Saturday night.
Sixty Minutes = Sixty Points (and more)
Maryland’s sixty score against Syracuse wasn’t the only score in the sixties and above during week 2. A total of 10 teams racked up more than a point per minute.
Johnathan Taylor and Jack Coan accounted for 6 touchdowns as Wisconsin beat Central Michigan 61-0. Quintez Cephus had 2 touchdown receptions for the Badgers, putting an end to a nightmare 18 months that included a broken leg, and sexual assault charges that he was acquitted of.
Alabama beat New Mexico State 62-10 after Tua Tagovailoa, Henry Ruggs III, and Jerry Jeudy ran wild in the first half. Ruggs showed blazing speed on a 75 yard, opening play touchdown.
Freshman George Pickens hauled in a highlight reel catch, and added a touchdown as Georgia beat Murray State 63-17.
Baylor went 2-0 with a 63-14 victory over UTSA. Highly rated senior WR, Denzel Mims, had 3 touchdowns and 101 receiving yards in the win.
Jalen Hurts continued his early run at the Heisman Award in Oklahoma’s 70-14 win over South Dakota.
He threw for 3 touchdowns, on a night where Oklahoma had 3 different quarterbacks with a touchdown pass.
Justin Herbert and Oregon bounced back from the Auburn defeat with a 77-6 routing of Nevada. Herbert had 5 touchdowns in 3 quarters of action, including a 66 yarder to Jacob Breeland.
Utah State racked up 717 yards on Stony Brook, on their way to a 62-7 victory. Jaylen Warren had 105 rushing yards and 2 touchdowns, and Deven Thompkins returned a punt 45 yards for a touchdown.
Khalil Tate went 14/17, 138 yards and 3 total touchdowns as Arizona smashed Northern Arizona 65-41 to get their first win of the year.
Finally, there wasn’t a dry eye in the house as South Carolina beat Charleston Southern 72-10. The Gamecocks started freshman QB Ryan Hilinski, as starter Jake Bentley was injured in week 1. Hilinski is the brother of former Washington State QB Tyler Hilinski, who killed himself. After a 60 yard touchdown score, Ryan raised his fingers to the sky in homage to his older brother.
As the NFL battles with it’s contentious overtime rules, College Football continues to throw up excitement when the game goes past regular time. There was a number of overtime upsets this week, with either fancied teams getting upset, or upset for fans who thought their program were about to pull off a shock.
BYU pulled off the big upset of the weekend. For the second straight week, Tennessee were on the receiving end of a shock result. It’s only a matter of time before them being beaten by a non-Power 5 team isn’t a shock.
The Vols were 13-3 up at the half, but a second half BYU comeback was capped by a game tying, last second, Jake Oldroyd 33 yard field goal. BYU took the overtime lead with a 14 yard touchdown for Talon Shumway. However, the Vols tied it up when Jarrett Guarantano found Jauan Jennings for a 13 yard score.
Tennesee had to settle for a field goal to open the second overtime period, and a 5 yard Ty’Son Williams rushing touchdown gave BYU the 29-26 win. The defeat piles more pressure on beleaguered Vols coach Jeremy Pruitt.
Colorado edged out Nebraska in battle in Boulder.
The only lead the Buffaloes held all night was the one that gave them the win. They’d gone scoreless in the first half and the Huskers had ran up a 17-0 lead.
Although Colorado mounted a second half comeback, the two teams traded scores until a 26 yard touchdown from Steven Montez to Tony Brown tied the game 31-31 with 0:46 on the clock.
Colorado’s James Stefanou hit a 34 yard field goal in overtime to seal a 34-31 win for the Buffaloes, who go 2-0 on the season.
It was so close yet so far for Army and Louisiana Monroe.
After twice holding the lead in Ann Arbor, Army fell 24-21 to Michigan in second overtime. A missed field goal at the end of regular time deprived them of the win. It was the second year in a row that the Black Knights lost to a Top 10 team.
Not that Michigan played like a Top 10 team. They were poor in a game that piles pressure on Jim Harbaugh and starting quarterback Shea Patterson.
Another coach with a ton of pressure on him is FSU’s Willie Taggart. After a week 1 defeat to Boise State, the Seminoles only just scraped past ULM in overtime. After Cam Akers had given FSU the overtime advantage, Caleb Evans replied with a rushing touchdown to make it 45-44. However, Jacob Meeks missed the PAT to break the hearts of Warhawks fans.
How week 2 impacted the race for the final four
The top 3 in the AP Poll remain the same as Clemson, Alabama, and Georgia all won. If anything, Clemson strengthened their grasp on the top spot with their win against Texas A & M.
LSU’s impressive win over Texas vaulted them two sports in to 4th, whilst the Longhorns dropped out the top 10.
Maryland find themselves in the top 25 for the first time since 2013.
Virginia crept in to the top 25, and their game against FSU is one of the standout games in week 3.
Feature Image Credit: Sports Illustrated