It seems like Clemson’s protection goes to be simply tremendous.
This, after all, must be just about a given at this level. The Tigers were remarkable underneath coordinator Brent Venables, and their skill to reload on protection is a big a part of why they’re annual contenders for the nationwide name.
Nonetheless, what was once a surprisingly skilled and gifted unit a yr in the past scattered to the NFL draft, leaving the Tigers with simply a skilled defensive entrance this yr. In its first actual check (sorry, Georgia Tech), Clemson held Texas A&M to 53 yards speeding and 289 overall yards in a 24-10 triumph Saturday.
Given the state of the remainder of the ACC — Syracuse humbled at Maryland, Florida State sputtering to place away Louisiana-Monroe, Virginia rather in all probability the second-best crew within the convention — this might be the most productive crew Clemson faces sooner than the postseason.
That it pulled clear of the Aggies with a robust moment quarter and passed issues over to its protection is a touch that even with some new names, issues in point of fact haven’t modified a lot in Dying Valley.
LSU. Get started with the most obvious. The Tigers went to Texas and claimed a 45-38 victory. The price of this consequence for playoff functions goes to range because the yr unfolds. The most efficient-case for LSU (2-Zero) is that Texas regroups and runs the desk and leaves the Tigers with one of the most superb victories at the board.
However even supposing that doesn’t occur, Ed Orgeron’s crew walked out of Austin with one thing extremely helpful. The Tigers, who now and then have felt just like the closing critical contender enjoying by way of one thing equivalent to overdue 20th century typical knowledge (although there’s a case to be made for Stanford), endured to use power at the Longhorns.
It confirmed when LSU hustled to sew in combination a landing power sooner than the damage. It was once glaring when quarterback Joe Burrow tossed a 61-yard landing cross to Justin Jefferson on a third-and-long with 2:27 to visit lengthen a six-point lead fairly than play it secure and let the protection attempt to care for a bonus.
Burrow was once sensational (31 of 39, 471 yards, 4 touchdowns) and Jefferson a just about not possible quilt (9 catches, 163 yards, 3 touchdowns). However 3 Tiger receivers hauled in additional than 100 receiving yards, and LSU piled up 573 yards.
If LSU in point of fact has embraced a extra open, much less ground-and-pound id, it might be one of the vital significant offseason selections of 2019. Simply ask Texas, which yielded issues seven of the closing 8 occasions the Tigers attempted to transport the ball.
Oregon. The Geese had no hangover from their come-from-ahead loss to Auburn closing week, blasting Nevada, 77-6, to keep away from turning into the Wolf Pack’s moment Energy 5 sufferer in as many weeks. Justin Herbert threw for 310 yards and 5 touchdowns as Oregon did because it happy and averaged Eight.four yards a snap.
Colorado. In a single sense, it’s unwise to make an excessive amount of of the Buffaloes defeating their outdated Large 8-Large 12 rival for the second one yr in a row. In any case, Colorado snagged a five-point victory early within the 2018 season en path to Five-Zero sooner than collapsing, and Nebraska wasn’t intended to be all that groovy (and wasn’t).
Nonetheless, there’s a brand new trainer (Mel Tucker) in Boulder and Nebraska is theoretically higher (extra on that during a little bit). However the true takeaway for Colorado in its 34-31 time beyond regulation triumph is it didn’t fade away after recognizing Nebraska a 17-Zero halftime lead.
The Buffaloes (2-Zero) personal a pair contention victories (they hammered Colorado State of their opener) they usually found out tips on how to rally each over a complete part and within the ultimate mins of legislation. Steven Montez’s 26-yard landing cross to Tony Brown helped draw Colorado even with 46 seconds left. There’s nonetheless extra to turn out, however Saturday was once this type of revel in that are supposed to serve the Buffaloes effectively.
Ohio State. It was once affordable to suppose Cincinnati would give the Buckeyes complications. In any case, the Bearcats had been indisputably desperate to take a shot at a brand-name, in-state college and had been coming off a cast defeat of UCLA of their opener.
As an alternative, Ohio State distributed with issues in a rush, rolling to a 42-Zero victory. Quarterback Justin Fields threw for 224 yards and accounted for 4 touchdowns (two speeding, two passing). Tailback J.Okay. Dobbins ran for 141 yards and two rankings. The Buckeye protection made 3 red-zone stands with out surrendering some extent.
Keep in mind when Ohio State rolled previous Oregon State and Rutgers sooner than rallying previous TCU right through Ryan Day’s caretaker stint as trainer closing yr? Now in complete regulate of this system after City Meyer’s departure, the Buckeyes are off to each bit as spectacular a get started in 2019.
Tennessee. Getting beat up at house by way of Georgia State was once unhealthy sufficient. However the Volunteers will have one-upped their very own ineptitude in allowing Brigham Younger to get again into what was a 29-26 double OT victory for the Cougars.
BYU confronted a 3rd down at its 20 with lower than 25 seconds left and a three-point deficit, however finished a 64-yard cross in opposition to cushy protection to arrange a tying box objective. Theoretically, the loss to Georgia State was once arduous to fathom. Pragmatically, Saturday’s setback was once possibly extra befuddling.
And it’s price noting once more that the Volunteers — Zero-2 for the primary time since 1988 — face Chattanooga closing week, adopted by way of the primary part of SEC play in opposition to Florida, Georgia, Mississippi State and Alabama. Excellent good fortune with that.
Nebraska. The Cornhuskers had been intended to blossom on Scott Frost’s moment season again at his alma mater, however it’s getting tougher to look it going down. They let South Alabama hang out effectively into the second one part closing week, then coughed up a 17-point halftime lead Saturday.
May Nebraska nonetheless, say, win seven or 8 video games and achieve a bowl? Certain. However Large Ten West competition could be a little bit a lot to invite according to early returns.
Syracuse. The Orange was once, rather merely, overmatched in its 63-20 loss at Maryland. It had few solutions on offense when the sport was once nonetheless aggressive, or even fewer on protection because the Terrapins posted 7.83 yards a play (a determine that hovered above Eight.Zero yards a snap sooner than a pair merciful kneeldowns to finish it).
Syracuse was once one of the most recreation’s breakout groups closing season, profitable 10 video games, just about scary Clemson and amplifying expectancies in Central New York to a point they haven’t reached in a era.
Obviously, there’s nonetheless paintings for brand new beginning quarterback Tommy DeVito to do within the weeks to return. However the Orange was once disorganized on protection, and Maryland gleefully exploited Syracuse’s aggression. The Terps’ closing two scoring drives, when reserve operating backs piled up a blended 150 yards in 10 makes an attempt, was once an indication of each Maryland’s offensive intensity and your complete loss of pastime Syracuse had by way of the tip of the day.
UCLA. The Bruins authored every other dud in opposition to a well-established Crew of 5 program, this time a 23-14 loss to San Diego State. The Aztecs gave up a landing on UCLA’s opening ownership, then just one extra at the Bruins’ closing 11 drives. UCLA, which opened with a loss at Cincinnati, fell to Zero-2.
Simply suppose: There’s nonetheless a complete %-12 time table nonetheless to return. UCLA were given off to its first Zero-Five get started since 1943 closing yr. With Oklahoma, Washington State and Arizona up subsequent (the latter two at the street), Chip Kelly’s crew may fit that “feat” within the coming weeks.
West Virginia. Final in the case of former Large East colleges that fled for greener pastures, the Mountaineers seem to have taken a predictable (however nonetheless noteworthy) step again this yr.
The Neal Brown generation opened with a 20-13 get away of James Madison because the Mountaineers controlled simply 294 yards. Issues were given a lot worse Saturday at the street in opposition to an offended Missouri bunch that opened with a loss at Wyoming. West Virginia controlled simply 140 yards in a 38-7 loss, and subsequent will get N.C. State at house adopted by way of the Large 12 time table.
The Mountaineers had been sure to have some regression, however it has the glance of a specifically lean season in Morgantown.
Rutgers. Let’s opt for the ex-Large East trifecta! Any optimism concerning the Scarlet Knights’ offensive development after its opening defeat of Massachusetts fizzled right through a protracted travel to play a league foe. Iowa blanked Rutgers, 30-Zero, preserving the Scarlet Knights to 125 overall yards (and simply 41 in the course of the air). Chris Ash’s crew has lots to paintings on because it heads into an open date.
5 issues to remove from the Week 2’s Friday appetizers:
Boise State’s protection inspired once more. The Broncos scored a gap week victory at Florida State once they close out the Seminoles in the second one part of a 36-31 victory, yielding simply 68 yards on 29 performs after the part.
In Friday’s 14-7 defeat of visiting Marshall, Bryan Harsin’s crew surrendered 172 yards for the sport, together with none — that’s 0 — on 14 performs in the second one part.
To check, Boise State has given up no issues and 68 yards on 43 performs after halftime this season. That can paintings for a crew greater than residing as much as expectancies as the favourite in its part of the Mountain West.
I’ll pressure to mention one thing great about Arizona State. It’s foolhardy to brush aside all FCS techniques in matchups in opposition to primary faculty foes — a few of them have as a lot (if now not extra) skill of their lineups than some Energy 5 colleges. The massive distinction is intensive, a results of the disparity in scholarships.
Having established this, an FCS crew coming off a 2-Eight season (like Sacramento State) almost definitely shouldn’t be giving Arizona State as excellent a run because it did Friday. The Solar Devils controlled simply 78 overall yards and 3 issues within the first part and led simply Nine-Zero after 3 quarters of an eventual 19-7 victory. Herm Edwards’s crew didn’t make it into the tip zone till the sport’s ultimate 5 mins.
So right here’s the nicest factor that may be mentioned for Arizona State: Its experts, already with the most productive leg lineage of someone within the faculty recreation, had a heck of an evening. Sophomore kicker Cristian Zendejas (son of former Solar Satan all-American Luis Zendejas, who had a three-year NFL profession) made 4 box objectives whilst Michael Turk (nephew of Matt Turk, a former all-pro punter with the Redskins) averaged 47.6 yards whilst pinning 3 of his 5 makes an attempt throughout the 20.
Wake Wooded area would possibly have one of the most ACC’s superb quarterbacks. The Demon Deacons aren’t identified for all the time taking part in an abundance of riches at quarterback, so get conversant in Jamie Newman. The redshirt junior’s emergence allowed the crew now not most effective to transport former starter Kendall Hinton to receiver, but additionally to stay in reserve a sophomore (Sam Hartman) who threw for 1,984 yards, 16 touchdowns and simply 8 interceptions in 9 video games closing season.
Newman inspired in a four-game stint as a starter closing yr, and has stood out once more two video games into this season. He has finished 55 of 74 passes for 713 yards and 6 touchdowns in two opening victories, over Utah State in Week 1 and by way of a 41-21 margin in opposition to Rice on Friday.
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