5 Things I Think: After Week 2!

Another weekend of games completed and it was quite eventful. The lineup of games in Week 2 wasn’t overly strong, but it turned out to be an exciting Saturday nevertheless. We saw an SEC team fall to an ACC team for the second straight week. We saw that Devin Gardner is the real deal at quarterback. We saw our first coaching casualty as Texas’ defensive coordinator, Manny Diaz, as fired. We saw a potential Heisman candidate go down (Braxton Miller) and another one who might finally be getting noticed (Lache Seastrunk). How about Washington State, a team starting three former walk-ons on their offensive line, beating USC in Los Angeles Coliseum? I don’t think anyone saw that coming. Auburn fans had to be happy about that as it only helps their résumé, having beaten the Cougars in Week 1. Let’s talk about a few things from Week 2.

1. I hope Braxton Miller is okay! Miller went down during the first drive of the game against San Diego State Saturday and I know Buckeye Nation’s collective heart stopped for a second. We all had flashbacks of the Purdue game last year, after which I think we felt a little better about it as we remembered Kenny Guiton playing very well and leading the team to an overtime victory against the Boilermakers. Miller’s status is unclear. Coach Meyer said he expects him to be back next week, but I don’t know if I believe that. In addition, I don’t know if I want him to rush Miller back so quickly so that he can recover fully if the injury isn’t serious enough to require surgery. I think Guiton can play well against California next week and Florida A&M the week after. Why not rest Miller until Week 5 when Wisconsin comes to Columbus? I realize Miller is making a run for the Heisman, but Miller’s health and winning games are more important. Miller obviously gives the Buckeyes the best chance to win every week, but it’s not as if Guiton is terrible. He has a strong arm, he’s mobile, and handles pressure well. He’s a senior, so it’s not as if Meyer would be throwing a freshman out there to the wolves. I’m sure we’ll hear more details about Miller’s injury status as the week progresses and I certainly wouldn’t be upset to see number five in the shotgun on Saturday versus the Golden Bears (doesn’t that always make you think of Super Golden Crisp cereal?), but I would be fine seeing number thirteen back there as well.

2. The best player in the country is being wasted. Marqise Lee, wide receiver for USC, is the victim in the quarterback race. Lane Kiffin is having trouble choosing a starter and after this week, it’s clear why. Cody Kessler and Max Wittek are both terrible. I think we now know why Robert Woods left after his junior season, as he knew what the quarterback situation was going to be and his draft stock had no chance of rising if he stayed. I know Kiffin will reevaluate after losing to Washington State Saturday, a game in which his quarterbacks threw for a combined 54 passing yards. That wasn’t a typo … 54 yards! Athletic Director Pat Haden was adamant in the preseason that Kiffin’s job was in no danger, but if the passing game doesn’t improve, I don’t see how that remains true. I realize both guys are sophomores, but that’s no excuse. Texas Tech is starting a walk-on true freshman (Baker Mayfield) and he has more completions (64) in two games than the Trojans had passing yards on Saturday. It’s a shame too, because Lee is a beast and they should be feeding him as much as they can, but neither guy can seemingly handle the spoon. Boston College comes to town next week. The Eagles have allowed an average of 175 yards passing in their two games so far and those were against Villanova and Wake Forest. If USC can’t throw against them, they can’t throw against anyone. Any chances of Lee winning the Heisman, already minimal because of his position, are nearly gone and it’s a shame.

3. What the heck happened in Provo? BYU played host to the Texas Longhorns on Saturday in a game that many experts thought was going to be close because of BYUs highly-ranked defense last year. I picked Texas to win going away in the fourth quarter. Boy was I wrong on that one! Look at the box score of this game and you’ll do a double take. BYU rushed for 550 yards on 72 carries! This was not Madden, folks. It really happened. Maybe the rain slowed them down against Virginia in Week 1 because they only rushed for 187 yards on 53 carries against the Cavaliers. Manny Diaz, the Longhorns’ defensive coordinator, was fired yesterday which seems like a bit of a kneejerk reaction in my opinion. I realize that allowing that many yards is never acceptable (we’ve all hit the reset button on the Playstation when things get out of hand), but I don’t know that you can totally blame Diaz. What is Greg Robinson (Diaz’ replacement) going to do so radically different that will result in the Longhorns being able to tackle? Teaching tackling is one of the things for which Diaz is best known. Offensively, Texas didn’t play poorly at all, but it’s hard to put up a lot of points when the opposition is able to run it 72 times. The strange thing is that with that many carries you’d think BYU would have dominated the time of possession, but they only had the ball a little over 2 minutes longer than the Longhorns. If Texas wants to make a run at a title this year, and I still think they can, they’ll have to really look at that run defense. I realize that the Big 12 is known more for the passing game, but teams like Oklahoma and Baylor run quite a bit.

4. The ACC is starting off with a bang. I realize it’s just Week 2, but the ACC is already dominating the headlines. Clemson started it with their win over Georgia in Week 1. Then redshirt freshman Jameis “Famous Jameis” Winston lit up the box score in his debut to finish that week off when he completed 25 of 27 passes for 356 yards and 4 touchdowns (he also ran for one). Saturday, Miami took down another SEC foe, when they beat Florida. Friday I wrote that if Miami was going to win the game, “Either they’ll need to get a fairly big lead (ten points or so) early and force the Gators to go to the passing game or Florida will have to turn the ball over three or four times.” Miami was up 8 after the first quarter and the Gators turned the ball over 5 times. Jeff Driskel averaged nearly nine yards per pass, but both of his interceptions were horrible throws that were easy picks. Florida State beat a decent Pitt team in Week 1 (and had a bye last week), but we don’t really know yet how good they really are. They certainly look like they’re overrun with talent, especially in the backfield, with Winston, James Wilder, Jr., and Devonta Green, but I want to see them against a better opponent. Nevada comes to town next week, and that should be an interesting one to watch. Clemson, Florida State, and Miami could all be undefeated going into Week 7, as I don’t think any of them will really be tested until then. That week Clemson and Florida State play each other and Miami plays a solid North Carolina team. This is the best I’ve seen the ACC look in a while, but it’s only Week 2 so I’m not too excited just yet.

5. R.I.P. Nick Pasquale. Pasquale was a redshirt freshman receiver for the UCLA Bruins. The former walk-on was killed after a car hit him as a pedestrian in San Clemente, CA. It happened at 1:27am PST Sunday morning. There have been no arrests but authorities are investigating why he was in the street. Reportedly, there was no indication that the driver was intoxicated and it was the driver who called police and remained at the scene. Pasquale was pronounced dead at the scene. Pasquale was in San Clemente, his hometown, this weekend as the Bruins had a bye week. I feel badly for his family, friends, and football team, as all indications were that he was a hard worker. I love the game of college football and I could talk about it all day, but I felt like it was the right thing to do to give mention to Mr. Pasquale in this spot this week. I’m sure the Bruins will honor him with a patch or decal for the rest of the season and I look forward to seeing what they do. Remember folks, every day we wake up is a great day!

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