College football Week 2 recap

Week 2 of college football really brought the heat.

Not one, but two top 10 teams were upset with – drum roll, please – the Fun Belt. Texas isn’t back (yet), but it stayed with Alabama all game and gave the Tide a run for their money. Kentucky went into the swamp and beat Florida, Kansas Football started the season 2-0 after a 55-42 OT win over West Virginia, and as if Week 2 didn’t have enough drama, we got a Hail Maria.

Here are some of the best moments from the weekend.

game of the day

After trailing 7-21 to Buffalo late in the second quarter, the Patriot League’s Holy Cross hit back with a 21-7 run of their own to make this game a far bigger game than expected. The Crusaders took a 31-28 lead in the fourth quarter, but while UB leveled the game with a 52-yard bomb with 31 seconds remaining, Holy Cross had no intention of letting this thing go into overtime. It doesn’t seem fair to have a team called Holy Cross attempt a Hail Maria, but as you’d expect, it worked.

Crusaders 37, Bulls 31. – Bill Connelly



Holy Cross defeats Buffalo when Matthew Sluka throws a Hail Mary touchdown to Jalen Coker.

excitement of the weekend

When Marshall coach Charles Huff searched the transfer portal for players to fill out his roster, one thing became clear to him: The Group of 5 is just a label. In the end, Marshall added 24 transfers.

“We put the list together and we’re like, ‘Guys, we’ve got a Power 5 list if we just count the starters,'” Huff told ESPN on Sunday.

Huff’s concerns ahead of Saturday’s game at Notre Dame were more about Marshall’s depth, particularly regarding scrimmage. The drop from starter to backup could be significant, especially if Notre Dame could wear down the Thundering Herd.

Despite being underdogs with three touchdowns, Marshall knew he could go head-to-head with the Fighting Irish in eighth place. It led Notre Dame most of the time in a 26-21 win, its second win ever against an AP Top 10 opponent.

Huff knew Marshall needed a clean performance against the Irish, and apart from getting a punt blocked late on, he got one. He had studied Notre Dame’s recent games against Group 5 teams, a loss to Cincinnati last year and wins by one point against Toledo (2021) and Ball State (2018). In both losses, the Group 5 team made errors that allowed Notre Dame to split.

“I just kept walking to the sidelines and yelled, ‘Competition discipline, competition discipline, just do your job man. I know you want to make a game, but just do your job,” Huff said. “They went for it and probably what happened was that we put a little pressure on Notre Dame as the game got deeper and deeper.”

Marshall won without his best player, running back Rasheen Ali, who is sidelined until the second half of the season. Backup Khalan Laborn had 163 rushing yards and a touchdown, while quarterback Henry Colombi completed 16 of 21 passes with a touchdown and no interceptions. Steven Gilmore had a 37-yard interception return for a touchdown to give the herd a two-point lead at 4:35.

The victory then sparked an incredible celebration.

“A lot of the guys who moved here were in places where they didn’t feel they wanted,” Huff said. “They feel like family here and it was a family celebration in the dressing room. There were old players, new players, players who have been here for six years, players who have been here for six months.” who kind of all came up here and threw their chips in the middle of the table and said, ‘We’ll do this together.’” – Adam Rittenberg

celebration of the weekend

As the seconds ticked down after App State’s 17-14 win over Texas A&M — the program’s second win against a top-10 team — the town of Boone, North Carolina, descended into chaos fairly quickly.

Many football programs may be BIGGER than App State, but few are more passionate. The Mountaineers won back-to-back FCS national titles in the 2000s, and when their ambition propelled them to the FBS level in 2014, it took them exactly half a season to find their footing. They won their last six games in 2014 and have won at least nine games in each season since.

App State’s win over A&M was a feat of game management and situational awareness. The Mountaineers played keep-away, held the ball for 41:29 and only allowed the Aggies 38 snaps. Two goals in the second half lasted nearly 16 minutes, and after missing a potentially crucial field goal, A&M claimed the final 3:43 with aplomb. And then it was time to celebrate.

In all honesty, there is perhaps no stronger and more entertaining football culture in America than in Boone. That’s why College GameDay is on its way to town. – Bill Connelly

troll of the week

Austin meteorologist Avery Tomasco issued an impressive warning for Austin residents Thursday, complete with graphic backup. Citing the “turn back, don’t drown” warning often quoted when people attempt to drive through flooded streets, he warned of a massive flow of tears that would fill the whole damn football stadium with water after the Crimson Tide smashed it up the Longhorns had brought .

The twist, you see, is that Tomasco is an Aggie. And the kid backfired on his prediction. Not only did he feel the Texan heat on Saturday when temperatures were still in the 90s, he also felt the heat on Twitter for daring to mock the Longhorns, who almost pulled the Alabama fuss.

Then his No. 6 Aggies lost at home to Appalachian State in one of the biggest home losses in Texas A&M history. And he was double-doubled by his own bit. – Dave Wilson


1. Notre Dame’s season is picking up speed

Coaches watching Notre Dame’s season-opening loss to Ohio State concluded that the Fighting Irish went conservative on offense to shorten the game and salvage their defense. It almost worked. The next step called for Notre Dame to open the playbook, loosen quarterback Tyler Buchner and hold his ground against Marshall at the line of scrimmage.

None of that happened in the 26-21 loss to Marshall. The Irish averaged 3.5 yards per carry on rushes longer than 15 yards. It took them 27 minutes to get their first points of the game and they faded out in the third quarter. The offensive line, a signature unit under former coach Brian Kelly, has surprisingly struggled under Marcus Freeman, who became the first Notre Dame coach to lose his first three games.

“I’m not going to sit here and say the offensive linemen are to blame,” Freeman said. “It ranges from the offensive line to the quarterback to the running back to the wideouts and the tight ends. There are several different levels of under-execution. But again, we are an O-Line driven program and it starts at the front.”

Freeman assesses everything after an unsettling start to his tenure. But if Notre Dame can’t start winning the line of scrimmage, the season will continue to spin. — Rittenberg

2. Ewers might be just what Texas needs to win

In just two games as a starter, Quinn Ewers’ experience in Texas was already unforgettable. He threw an interception against Louisiana-Monroe on his second pass attempt of the season, then settled and threw for 225 yards and two touchdowns in a 52-10 win, followed by a tweet that his car had been towed during the game.

Then the Mulleted One came out and fired at Alabama, looking airy and confident, throwing quick sidearm passes while keeping the Crimson Tide on their heels. He was 9 of 12 for 134 yards in just one quarter and led two scoring drives. But Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner threw him out of the game, hit him on a pass rush and was called out to rap the passer for driving Ewers into the turf. Ewers went into the dressing room for an x-ray and came out in street clothes. Coach Steve Sarkisian said after the game he had a sprained collarbone. There’s no timeline for Ewers’ return just yet, but there’s even greater anticipation for what Sarkisian’s offense might look like now that Ewers is quick to let go and ready to put in deep shots. -Wilson

For more Alabama and Texas takeaways click here. College football Week 2 recap

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