Week 2 Rewind
September 10, 2018
By Brian Edwards
Week 2 Betting Results | VI Top 25 Rankings
Georgia stole the show in Week 2 by going on the road and winning 41-17 at South Carolina as an 8.5-point road favorite. UGA raced out to a 14-0 lead before the crowd could get comfortable in their seats.
On a third-and-seven play on USC’s opening drive, junior quarterback Jake Bentley hit junior RB Rico Dowdle in the hands with a pass that was going to come up short of the first-down marker. But Dowdle couldn’t handle the throw, which went through his hands and hit off his shoulder pads along the sidelines.
The ball bounced off Dowdle’s pads into the air and was caught by Deandre Baker, who returned the interception 56 yards to the fringe of the end zone. Baker then pulled a DeSean Jackson (circa MNF at Dallas when he was with the Eagles) and dropped the ball in celebration before he was across the plane of the end zone.
Fortunately for Baker, Juwan Taylor saw his teammates’ potentially crucial mistake and jumped on the ball to get credit for the TD. Two players later on a third-and-eight play, Bentley threw to Dowdle again. And once more, he dropped the pass, this time for what would’ve been a first-down conversion.
UGA promptly drove down the field in four plays and capped the drive with a D’Andre Swift TD run to silence the crowd and take a 14-0 advantage. To its credit, Will Muschamp’s team answered with an 11-play, 75-yard drive to trim the deficit to 14-7. Deebo Samuel found Bryan Edwards for a 13-yard TD pass off a gadget play.
The teams would trade field goals and USC was on the move and into UGA territory late in the second quarter. During that drive, it started to seem as if the Gamecocks might’ve taken Georgia’s best punch, only to weather that storm, and might be on the cusp of getting even just before intermission.
Well, not so much. The Gamecocks’ drive would stall on the fringe of field-goal range, and then UGA’s two-minute offense produced a field goal before halftime for a 20-10 lead. Georgia received to start the second half and produced a TD drive. Then after a defensive stop, UGA would score again to go ahead 34-10 and the outcome was no longer in doubt early in the third quarter.
Jimbo Fisher’s rebuilding job at Texas A&M might not take long. The Aggies certainly looked the part Saturday night in front of an electric crowd at Kyle Field, where they played host to Clemson, a program that’s been to the College Football Playoffs for three straight seasons.
The Tigers were able to get on the airplane to go back home unscathed, but they had to dodge a serious bullet in College Station. Dabo Swinney’s club won a 28-26 decision, but Texas A&M easily took the cash as a 12-point home underdog. The 54 combined points inched ‘over’ the 50.5-point total in the final minute.
Trailing 28-13 going into the fourth quarter, the Aggies made it a one-possession game when Kellen Mond found Quartney Davis for a 14-yard scoring strike with 14:07 remaining. With 46 seconds left, Mond avoided pressure and scrambled to his left and then zipped a dart high into traffic, and Kendrick Rogers elevated to make a spectacular TD grab. However, the two-point conversion failed and the onside kick was unsuccessful.
As gut-wrenching as the defeat was, Fisher had to feel great about producing 501 yards of total offense (compared to Clemson’s 413 yards) against one of the nation’s best defenses. Mond threw for 430 yards and three TDs without an interception. Rogers had seven receptions for 120 yards and two TDs.
Clemson’s Kelly Bryant threw for 205 yards and one TD without an interception. He also ran for a team-best 54 yards and one TD.
Stanford captured a 17-3 win over USC as a five-point home favorite. After being shut down by San Diego State’s defense in a 31-10 season opening win, senior RB Bryce Love rushed for 136 yards and one TD on 22 attempts. TE Kaden Smith had four catches for 77 yards for the Cardinal, which avenged a pair of losses to the Trojans last year.
Kentucky ended the longest active losing streak in an FBS rivalry when it won a 27-16 decision at Florida. The Wildcats had lost 31 straight games to the Gators and hadn’t won in Gainesville since 1979.
UK senior RB Benny Snell gashed the UF defense for 175 rushing yards on 27 carries. QB Terry Wilson ran for 105 yards and one TD on 10 attempts, in addition to completing 11-of-16 passes for 151 yards and two TDs with one interception. The ‘Cats won outright as 13.5-point road underdogs, hooking up money-line supporters with a +425 payout (paid $425 on $100 wagers).
After throwing five TD passes without an interception in a blowout win over FCS foe Charleston Southern last week, third-year sophomore QB Feleipe Franks completed only 17-of-38 passes for 232 yards and two TDs with one interception and a fumble that was returned for a TD on the game’s final play.
If you’re a Gator fan and UF alum (my hand is raised), what was most galling was what we saw out of the offense late in the fourth quarter. When you’re down by 11 points, how on earth is there any thought process other than scoring a TD and then, most importantly (BY FAR!!!), converting a two-point conversion?
I really can’t put into words how much my blood was boiling when Franks found Freddie Swain for a four-yard TD pass with 3:34 remaining. At this point, any QB with a clue signals to his teammates to immediately huddle up and get ready for the two-point conversion. Truth be told, it should be coached into the entire offensive unit that that’s the scenario, but it’s your QB that must lead in this situation. And he should’ve mentioned it beforehand in the huddle a time or two during the drive.
Instead, the entire offense swarms Swain in the end zone celebrating a TD. This is so disturbing on so many levels. First of all, what the hell is there to celebrate about cutting the deficit to five against a UK team you’ve beaten 31 times in a row with less than four minutes remaining and only one timeout left?
Nothing! Nothing is the answer to that question. When the television cameras focused in on Franks, he was literally running off the field without a clue and the play clock was already down to 17 seconds. In other words, it hadn’t even occurred to Franks yet that his team had to go for two. Finally, the offense had to hurriedly huddle up and get a play called.
There was four seconds remaining on the play clock when the Gators broke the huddle. They didn’t get the play off, but the referees inexplicably didn’t whistle them for a delay-of-game flag. The two-point conversion predictably failed and Dan Mullen nearly had to burn his last timeout due to the incompetence of a QB who had zero awareness of time and score.
Ok, let’s move on. As Auburn can attest to circa 2014, it’s not easy to win at Kansas State. Mississippi State made it look that way, though. Joe Moorhead’s club went into Manhattan and dominated from start to finish in a 31-10 victory as a 6.5-point road ‘chalk.’ Sophomore RB Kylin Hill ran for 211 yards and two TDs on only 17 carries, while QB Nick Fitzgerald produced 159 rushing yards on 19 attempts. The Bulldogs enjoyed a 538-213 advantage in total offense.
Arkansas had a 27-9 lead at winless Colorado State midway through the third quarter, but Mike Bobo’s team rallied to win a 34-27 decision as a 14-point home underdog. The Razorbacks joined Tennessee and Texas A&M as the only SEC teams to lose non-conference contests so far, although the Aggies acquitted themselves extremely well.
Missouri generated 601 yards of total offense against one of the nation’s best Group of Five defenses in a 40-13 home win over Wyoming. Drew Lock connected on 33-of-45 passes for 398 yards and four TDs without an interception. We’ll find out more about the Tigers this week when they go on the road in revenge mode to face a Purdue team’s that’s in desperation mode after dropping a pair of nail-biters at home vs. Northwestern and Eastern Michigan.
I feel like at least 90 percent of college football scribes destroyed Arizona State for hiring Herm Edwards. I was in the minority, praising the hire of a coach who has infectious energy and wreaks of class and integrity. The thinking here was that he’d be able to motivate and recruit extremely well, traits that have led some coaches to enormous success even if when they didn’t have a clue about clock management and other in-game decisions (yes, Les Miles to come to mind here). And after coaching in the NFL for as long as Edwards did, he certainly knows what he’s doing with in-game moves.
This was on full display Saturday night in Tempe as Edwards milked the entire clock to allow his kicker to make a game-winning field goal in walk-off fashion. ASU and Michigan State were tied and the Sun Devils were in the red zone with about 1:45 remaining and had a first down. If you score on the next play, the Spartans have plenty of time to answer and force overtime.
Edwards opted to kneel on it a few times and have the game decided on a chip-shot FG. The strategy worked and ASU improved to 2-0 with a 16-13 win over the Spartans, who brought back 19 starters from a 10-3 team, as a 4.5-point home underdog. The Sun Devils have another tough non-conference game on deck at San Diego State, and the early returns on the Edwards hire are making most national pundits look foolish.
Staying in the Pac-12 South, the hire of Kevin Sumlin at Arizona is a different story compared to the new guy at arch-rival ASU. The Wildcats lost 45-18 at Houston, which was losing to Rice at halftime of its opener last week. Khalil Tate, who ran for 1,411 yards and averaged 9.2 yards per carry in 2017, has run for a total of 22 yards on 15 attempts through two games.
Hawaii QB Cole McDonald continues to light it up. The Warriors knocked off Rice 43-29 to improve to 3-0, but the Owls covered the number as 17-point road underdogs. Bettors on the ‘over’ like me got a super-fortunate win when three TDs were scored in the game’s final 3:01.
In his first three career starts, McDonald has thrown for 1,165 yards and 13 TDs without being intercepted. He’s also run for 125 yards and two TDs, and he’s only been sacked five times. Hawaii is in a horrific travel spot this week at Army in a noon Eastern kick. The Warriors were 6.5-point underdogs as of early Monday afternoon. Remember, they have already won outright at Colorado State (+17) and vs. Navy (+13) when catching a double-digit ‘dog number.
-- Houston is 2-0 and QB D’Eriq King has a 7/0 touchdown-to-interception ratio.
-- LSU’s Joe Burrow wasn’t nearly as sharp in a 31-0 home win over SE Louisiana.
-- Eastern Michigan is 12-1 ATS in its past 13 games as a road underdog after winning 20-19 at Purdue on a late FG.
-- Maryland was in a letdown spot at Bowling Green and trailed 14-10 at intermission. The Terrapins outscored the Falcons 35-0 in the second half, however, to win by a 45-14 count. They enjoyed a 565-158 advantage in total offense.
-- Texas looked awful again in a 28-21 non-covering home win over Tulsa. The Longhorns host USC this week after losing to the Trojans in double overtime last year.
-- Shea Patterson threw three TD passes without an interception in Michigan’s 49-3 win over Western Michigan.
-- Syracuse QB Eric Dungey is the country’s most important player to his team.
-- Samford enjoyed a 535-457 advantage in total offense in its 36-26 loss at Florida State as a 31-point underdog. The Bulldogs, who jumped out to a 13-0 lead midway through the first quarter and had two different nine-point leads, took a 23-21 advantage into the fourth quarter and the Seminoles didn’t get their first lead of the season until scoring a go-ahead TD with 4:03 remaining. A 63-yard pick-six by Levonta Taylor created the misleading final score in FSU’s favor.
-- The Sonny Dykes Era at SMU is off to a dreadful start.
-- It’s only two games, but Barry Odom’s hire of OC Derek Dooley is looking good so far (I had my doubts coming into the season).
-- Vandy has blown out Middle Tennessee (35-7) and Nevada (41-10) to start Derek Mason’s crucial fifth season with a 2-0 record. The Commodores travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame in Week 3. The other two SEC coaches considered to be on the hot seat entering the 2018 campaign are also 2-0 (LSU’s Ed Orgeron and UK’s Mark Stoops).
Follow Brian Edwards' sports gambling opinions on Twitter at @vegasbedwards.
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