Friday night brought about the second straight nailbiter between the Big 12 and Big East, with Connecticut hanging on to the 31-28 win over Baylor to move to 4-0. Donald Brown was as good as advertised on the night, rushing for two touchdowns and 150 yards on the night. But the Husky defense had its hands full with Baylor quarterback Robert Griffin III, who accounted for 254 yards of total offense and four touchdowns (3 passing, 1 rushing).
Last night's game was thriller, with the homestanding Buffaloes pulling out the win 17-14 in overtime thanks to a Aric Goodman 25-yard field goal. Where did things go wrong for the Mountaineers? You can start with falling behind 14-0 in the first quarter, but the end of regulation had a lot more to do with their demise. Clock management? Virtually nonexistent on that final drive, with a receiver failing to get out of bounds when short of the first down marker...and the Mountaineers holding on to both of their remaining timeouts.
Round two of the Big East/Big 12 "Challenge" is on the docket for Thursday, with Louisville putting the Big East up 1-0 with a 38-29 home win over Kansas State last night. Redshirt freshman Victor Anderson had a big night for the Cards, rushing for 176 yards on just eighteen carries and three touchdowns. Louisville's defense also had two key interceptions in the second quarter that resulted in thirteen Cardinal points. But the task tonight will be much tougher for the defending Big East champions, who head into the high altitude to take on a young program on the rise.
Kansas State @ Lousiville, 8PM EST on ESPN2
Did the Buckeyes get beat like they stole something or what? The "Collision in the Coliseum" was more like "Concussed in the Coliseum" as Ohio State had no answers for USC on either side of the football. Mark Sanchez threw four touchdown passes and Joe McKnight ran for more than 100 yards on the night. The 35-3 loss marks Ohio State's worst regular season loss since 1989, when they lost 42-3 to...USC. But while the headliner for Saturday was a dud, there were plenty of close finishes including two Hail Marys- one that worked and another that fell one yard short.
Before we get to the preview of tomorrow night's games, one between ranked teams and the other originally scheduled for Saturday, I have to get a couple of things out there in regards to North Carolina's 44-12 pasting of Rutgers.
1. You could make a case that Ray Rice was the biggest loss for any team in America heading into this season.
The third weekend of the season is now upon us, and it's safe to say that this is one of the most anticipated Saturdays in recent history. Of course you have some big games beginning with South Florida hosting Kansas tomorrow, and the showdown Saturday night between Ohio State and USC. But is there really a better way to kick off the weekend than a matchup between teams from two leagues in desperate need of a big non-conference performance? That's what we have tonight, and here's a preview of the game.
North Carolina @ Rutgers (7:30 PM on ESPN)
The second Saturday of the college football season has given us a little more in the way of fireworks than many anticipated. One Top 10 team fell while another struggled with the temptation of next weekend's glamour opponent. And after the day's events, the Big East will now be on the receiving end of a lot of the criticism sent the ACC's way last week. Lastly, given the sneaky nature of this weekend's schedule, it's appropriate that Weber State leads Hawaii 17-7 at the half (Tyler Graunke takes over for Inoke Funaki at quarterback for Hawaii in the second half) as I write this.
The second Saturday of the college football season is here, and the first two games of the weekend could be a harbinger of things to come. Both home teams (Vanderbilt and Ball State) won, and with a largely unimpressive slate of games this could be the trend for Saturday. But there are some upset possibilities on the schedule, most notably ECU hosting West Virginia in a game that could end up being downright sloppy due to the weather. Temple looks for justice against Connecticut, and the night games are headed by a young Miami team visiting The Swamp.