College soccer Week 3 highlights

It is a product of faculty soccer’s uniquely significant common season that, as every Saturday’s slate attracts to an in depth, we assume we have realized one thing important. Via two weeks, we had realized that Oregon was overrated, that Notre Dame was toast, that LSU was no higher beneath Brian Kelly than it was beneath Ed Orgeron, that Texas A&M could not rating sufficient to win an enormous sport.

However to paraphrase the good Scottish thinker Sir Roddy Piper, simply once you suppose you might have all of the solutions, school soccer adjustments the questions.

And so it was in Week 3 that Bo Nix emerged from the abyss — for the 106th time in his profession — to ship an emphatic Geese win over BYU. After Oregon was demolished by Georgia in Week 1, the Geese felt like an afterthought, however Saturday’s win was a pointy shift in perspective. Welcome to the Bo Nix Expertise, Geese followers. So few Auburn followers lived to inform of it.

And so it was that LSU scored 21 factors within the fourth quarter to knock off one of many SEC’s presumed energy gamers in Mississippi State. Jayden Daniels threw for 210 yards, ran for 93 extra and accounted for 2 touchdowns. Oh, certain, it would be much less aggravating if he might play nicely previous to the fourth quarter sooner or later this season, however LSU followers will take what they’ll get.

And so it was that Notre Dame’s offense flickered to life within the waning moments of Saturday’s win over Cal, then managed to fend off a ridiculous Hail Mary strive — and no, not probably the most ridiculous Hail Mary of the day — to earn win No. 1 for Marcus Freeman. It is nonetheless most likely finest to not dig too deep into this one. A win is a win.

And so it was that Texas A&M rebounded from final week’s depressing loss to Appalachian State by wanting almost as inept on offense, but nonetheless managing a crucial win over No. 13 Miami. Jimbo Fisher switched QBs and Max Johnson did simply sufficient to earn the win. It was ugly, however not almost as ugly as final week, and given the Aggies had been down 4 DBs by halftime, it was a defensive effort worthy of celebration.

Up and down the schedule, Saturday supplied its share of shaken expectations.

We assumed USC was the Pac-12’s finest hope for a playoff staff, however Washington delivered a formidable 39-28 win over Michigan State, with Michael Penix Jr. tossing 4 touchdowns within the effort.

We assumed Anthony Richardson’s shaky Week 2 was a results of a stout Kentucky protection, and Florida’s rising star would shine as soon as extra in opposition to woeful USF. As an alternative, Richardson threw for simply 112 yards and tossed two picks because the Gators narrowly held on, escaping with a 31-28 win solely after USF missed a 49-yard field-goal strive.

We assumed Texas may battle with out Quinn Ewers, however that was dumb, as a result of the Longhorns nonetheless have Bijan Robinson, and he’s a nasty, unhealthy man.

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Bijan Robinson scores 41-yard dashing TD

We assumed Iowa forgot the place the tip zone was positioned, however the Hawkeyes really scored two touchdowns in only one quarter. (Then the sport obtained delayed, and nobody ought to have to attend round to see extra Iowa.)

We assumed the robust begin for the basketball colleges could not final, however Kansas, Syracuse and Duke are all 3-0.

Pitt, all the way down to its third-string QB, would battle on the highway in opposition to a staff it misplaced to final 12 months? Nope.

A QB debate may stifle Ole Miss’ offense? Nope.

Penn State could be rattled by a visit into SEC nation? Ha. Not even shut.

And, in fact, there stays the very actual chance that no matter classes we would take from Week 3 will show fleeting, too. We so desperately wish to consider every week is a essential course, however we have hardly completed the amuse-bouche. (Notice: That is what we assume Stetson Bennett IV calls an appetizer.) That is the fantastic thing about the faculty soccer season. Each sport issues, however nothing is ever sure.

Nicely, besides Georgia. Do not doubt Georgia.


Georgia appears to be like higher than ever

A 12 months in the past, the world was a really totally different place. A highschool staff named Bishop Sycamore was the discuss of the nation. Now, it is a school staff known as Nebraska making questionable monetary choices off the sector and searching embarrassing on it.

A 12 months in the past, school soccer followers couldn’t escape an Applebee’s business. This 12 months, it is Nick Saban chasing a goat.

A 12 months in the past, Georgia was 3-0, having totally dominated its early schedule, however there was one massive pink flag, one clear Achilles’ heel for an in any other case terrific soccer staff. His identify was Stetson Bennett IV.

What a distinction a 12 months makes.

Bennett wrapped his day early Saturday, main the Bulldogs to a 48-7 thrashing of South Carolina. Within the sport, Bennett accomplished 16 of 23 passes for 284 yards and two TDs, then added one other 36 yards on three rushes, one going for a landing.

How good was Bennett on Saturday? He did all this whereas, in accordance with the ESPN broadcast, he was sick and throwing up on the sidelines throughout the sport.

The play earlier than Bennett vomited featured one of the vital spectacular grabs a decent finish has ever made.

After he vomited, Bennett was 6-of-10 for 159 yards with a passing and dashing rating.

The person is a legend.

A 12 months in the past, Bennett was maintaining the QB1 chair heat for JT Daniels. Now, he is finishing 74% of his passes and averaging 11 yards each time he throws the ball.

In a sport during which no Georgia participant ran for greater than 36 yards (that was Bennett, by the best way), the Bulldogs nonetheless cruised to a straightforward highway victory in opposition to an SEC East foe. It is mind-boggling simply how good this staff has appeared.

Like final 12 months, Georgia opened in opposition to a ranked foe. However this time, relatively than a slender 10-3 win over Clemson behind a stagnant offense, the Bulldogs dominated Oregon 49-3.

Like final 12 months, Georgia moved to 3-0 with a straightforward win over the Gamecocks, however this time round, it wasn’t a check run for Bennett helming the offense however relatively the newest instance that he is simply constructed totally different.

A 12 months in the past, Georgia outscored its first three opponents by a rating of 106-23.

One nationwide title and a busload of NFL draft picks later, the Dawgs are 3-0 once more by a mixed rating of 130-10.

No, this isn’t the 2021 Georgia Bulldogs. This staff is likely to be even higher as a result of this is not 2021’s Stetson Bennett. The man spent final season doing what nobody believed attainable, then celebrated with a championship and an look on “Good Morning America.”

This 12 months? As unimaginable as it’d sound, he may find yourself doing much more.


Hogs escape catastrophe

Bobby Petrino’s return to Fayetteville, Arkansas, on Saturday started like a pleasure journey, however went off the highway late, and finally left his Missouri State staff red-faced, falling 38-27 to the No. 10 Razorbacks.

Missouri State jumped out to a 17-0 lead within the second quarter, and was nonetheless up 10 after batting a 31-yard subject purpose early within the fourth. That is when Arkansas hit the throttle.

KJ Jefferson threw a 73-yard TD cross earlier than Bryce Stephens returned a Missouri State punt 82 yards for a TD, a three-minute unfold that worn out the Bears shot at an upset. Petrino’s staff could not put the brakes on the Razorbacks’ offense, with the entire affair coming to an finish with one final Arkansas TD on a one-yard Jefferson run.

Arkansas is now 3-0 for a second season in a row and has crucial SEC West video games in opposition to Texas A&M and Alabama upcoming. Petrino, in the meantime, will possible be employed again at Louisville by 2025.


The Enjoyable Belt rides once more

Oh, you thought Week 2 was drama-filled within the Solar Belt? Appalachian State was simply getting warmed up.

One week after the Solar Belt pulled off three stunning upsets, the convention delivered one other trio of video games that culminated with last-second drama.

Outdated Dominion almost pulled off its second shocker of the season in opposition to Virginia, scoring late to take a lead over the Cavaliers. However a frenetic drive down the sector put UVA in vary for a chip-shot subject purpose and a last-second win.

Out West, South Alabama got here oh-so-close to taking down undefeated UCLA. The Jaguars tried a pretend subject purpose from the UCLA 22 with 2:52 remaining, and it went horribly. Tanner McGee was tackled for an 11-yard loss, the Bruins obtained the ball again, drove 61 yards on 10 performs and delivered a game-winning subject purpose as time expired.

The Solar Belt has 4 wins over Energy 5 groups this season, nevertheless it additionally now has three losses on the ultimate play of the sport.

And talking of ultimate performs, App State delivered one for the ages, as Chase Brice’s Hail Mary heave got here up in need of the tip zone, was deflected and caught by receiver Christian Horn on the 8, who then took a looping path towards the sideline and sprinted into the tip zone for a stunning 32-28 win.

A fast flashback to the previous three weeks for the Mountaineers:

Week 1: App State scores 40 factors within the fourth quarter in opposition to North Carolina, together with two touchdowns within the last 31 seconds, however was upended by two failed 2-point tries.

Week 2: App State goes on the highway to Texas A&M and pulls off the huge upset of the sixth-ranked Aggies, the most important win for this system since its famed victory over Michigan in 2007.

Week 3: A walk-off Hail Mary in a win over Troy on a day ESPN’s College GameDay got here to campus.

That the mayor of Boone hasn’t introduced some type of “Purge” scenario during which every part is authorized for twenty-four hours most likely does not matter a lot. The social gathering on the mountain may final till subsequent week’s kickoff in opposition to James Madison.


It is getting ugly at Auburn

Throughout the state of Alabama, Auburn boosters are sitting in smoke-filled rooms, maniacally patting their checkbooks and cackling like Bond villains.

It is buyout season once more on The Plains.

It should’ve been irritating final week for all these Auburn cash males to witness Nebraska make an costly teaching change and suppose, “Why not us?”

Undoubtedly, there was a powder keg of nervous anticipation Saturday, as Penn State — the primary Massive Ten customer to Jordan-Hare Stadium — ran the ball to the tune of 245 yards and 5 touchdowns in a 41-12 win, with the data that spending a bunch of cash on one other failed teaching rent was now inside arm’s attain. Boosters had been possible reaching for his or her wallets quicker than Nick Singleton runs the 40.

There was, to make sure, a quick second of horror when Robby Ashford entered the sport and created a spark for the Tigers. Might Bryan Harsin, amid a blowout loss, have discovered a savior? No. The Auburn offense rapidly regressed to its elementary mediocrity, and once more, order was restored and boosters breathed a sigh of aid.

After almost nixing Harsin final winter, then forcing out the athletics director who employed him final month, the query all the time felt extra about when a change was coming than if it will occur. And at Auburn, there’s nothing the Tigers do higher than letting a head coach twist within the wind.

How lengthy will Harsin twist? Auburn has received simply two of its previous eight video games, has scored 24 factors or much less in six of them. After a house sport in opposition to Missouri in Week 4, the remaining schedule contains video games in opposition to 5 ranked groups. Bowl eligibility could possibly be powerful, and that is an awfully low bar for a fan base that, by its very nature, should examine itself to Alabama.

That is unhealthy information for Harsin, in fact. However not that unhealthy. That $18 million buyout is cathartic for everybody.


Sooners make an announcement

The change at Nebraska was instantaneous. Scott Frost is gone, and all of the sudden the Huskers aren’t dropping shut video games anymore.

As an alternative, Nebraska obtained blown out by former Massive 12 rival Oklahoma 49-14.

OK, so the issues in Lincoln did not finish with a training change. As an alternative, Saturday supplied emphatic proof that Oklahoma’s fortunes have not shifted with a training change both.

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Dillon Gabriel takes off on a 61-yard run for Oklahoma to tie the sport in opposition to Nebraska.

In its first sport in opposition to a Energy 5 foe with Brent Venables on the helm, Oklahoma appeared an terrible lot just like the Sooners we have come to count on. The offense was potent, with Dillon Gabriel throwing for 2 touchdowns and working for an additional. The protection dominated. After Nebraska scored on its opening drive, the Huskers did not sniff the tip zone once more till the sport was nicely out of hand. As with Venables’ finest Clemson groups, the Oklahoma defensive entrance dominated the road of scrimmage, tormenting Casey Thompson to the tune of 4 sacks.

For the Sooners, it was an announcement that Lincoln Riley’s departure will not preserve this staff from being within the playoff hunt.

For the Huskers, it was an ideal alternative to interview City Meyer for the open head-coaching job. In spite of everything, Nebraska has a number of wide-open areas for a person to show his picture frames.


Heisman 5

Technically, Appalachian State’s Chase Brice does not make our high 5, but when there was some award for probably the most magical participant in school soccer this 12 months, it would be him. As for the Heisman, this week’s leaderboard contains 4 different QBs.

1. Alabama QB Bryce Younger

Younger accounted for 4 TDs in Alabama’s 63-7 win over Louisiana-Monroe, however he additionally threw two picks for simply the second time in his profession. Nick Saban most likely made him stroll residence.

2. Georgia QB Stetson Bennett

Bennett had three touchdowns in a 48-7 win. He additionally ate a 96-ounce sirloin at halftime, sketched out a tough plan to handle inflation on his wristband throughout one third-quarter huddle, and after the sport, he brokered a fragile peace between Chris Pine and Harry Kinds. The man is a legend.

3. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Stroud had as many touchdowns (5) on Saturday as he had incompletions. He threw for 367 yards, averaged almost 14 yards per throw and noticed three totally different Buckeyes receivers high 100 yards.

4. USC QB Caleb Williams

Williams as soon as once more appeared dominant. USC’s offense saved buzzing alongside in a 45-17 win over Fresno State, with Williams accounting for 4 TDs within the course of. None of that is shocking, so let’s use this area to notice that the man Williams changed at Oklahoma final 12 months, Spencer Rattler, struggled mightily as South Carolina fell to Georgia on Saturday and now has two landing passes and 5 picks this season. Arduous to consider this time final 12 months Rattler appeared like an clearly higher choice than Williams.

5. Minnesota RB Mohamed Ibrahim

The Golden Gophers are 3-0 with one of many highest scoring offenses within the nation, and Ibrahim is a large purpose why. Towards Colorado on Saturday, Ibrahim married the ball 23 occasions for 202 yards and three touchdowns. It was his third profession 200-yard sport and his twelfth straight with 100 on the bottom. The really wild factor about that streak is, it dates all the best way again to the 2019 season. Ibrahim went for 140 in Minnesota’s bowl sport in opposition to Auburn Tigers that season, then hit the century mark in all seven of Minnesota’s video games within the COVID-shortened 2020 marketing campaign. He ran for 163 within the opener for 2021, however obtained damage and missed the remainder of the season. He returned for 2022 and has gone over 100 in every of Minnesota’s first three of this 12 months. It is the longest streak by an FBS again since Texas’ D’Onta Foreman had 13 straight in 2015.

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Landing! Mohamed Ibrahim scores vs. Colorado


Below-the-radar play of the day

It is ironic that Liberty raised eyebrows this week when gamers referred to the Wake Forest offense as “cute,” nevertheless it seems, it was the Demon Deacons’ protection that obtained just a little too cute and almost price them the sport.

This is a lesson for all of the defensive backs on the market: Bat down the ball.

Oh, we all know, the interceptions look cool on the stat sheet. However what will not look cool? Watching this play in movie examine on Monday.

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Liberty scores to get inside one level, however Wake Forest’s protection holds robust to disclaim the Flames the 2-point conversion.

Wake Forest managed to flee 37-36 after Liberty tried a 2-point conversion for the win and got here up quick.


Below-the-radar sport of the day

Every week in the past, Marshall pulled a stunner by beating Notre Dame.

Every week in the past, Bowling Inexperienced was dealt a heartbreaker, dropping to Japanese Kentucky in seven overtimes.

So, what occurred when the 2 confronted off on Saturday? It is school soccer, so in fact the Falcons rebounded and pulled off an upset of their very own.

Bowling Inexperienced took a 28-21 lead early within the fourth quarter, solely to see Marshall cost again and tie it, sending the sport to yet one more additional time for the Falcons. This time Bowling Inexperienced persevered, countering Marshall’s subject purpose with a 2-yard Matt McDonald TD cross for the win.

That most likely serves as the tip of Marshall’s transient hope for a New Yr’s Six berth, however hey, you may’t play Notre Dame each week.


Quote of the day

Colorado fell to 0-3 with a blowout loss to Minnesota on Saturday. All three losses have come by 25 factors or extra. After the sport, head coach Karl Dorrell summed issues up succinctly.

In different phrases, the Buffaloes like soccer, they simply aren’t good at taking part in it.

We are able to empathize. That is how we ended up writing about soccer.


Across the horn for the FCS

Week 3 once more had its share of FBS-FCS mismatches, however that did not imply the video games got here with none curiosity.

The nice: Southern Illinois’ protection compelled 4 turnovers because the Salukis scored the upset over Northwestern 31-24 on Saturday. Reminder: Northwestern beat Nebraska however is no longer even near being the very best staff within the state of Illinois.

The unhealthy: Virginia Tech cruised to a 27-7 win over Wofford, however that wasn’t all unhealthy for the Terriers. Nathan Walker’s 3-yard TD run with 9:34 to play marked the primary factors of the 12 months for 0-3 Wofford. That is progress!

The ugly: Kent State earned its first win of the season, thumping Lengthy Island College 63-10. LIU cashes its share of FBS checks, however what it has carried out with that cash is anybody’s guess. Along with Saturday’s defeat, the Sharks (we appeared that up) misplaced 37-0 to Toledo in Week 1, 42-7 to Miami (Ohio)and 66-0 to West Virginia final 12 months, and opened the 2021 season with a 48-10 loss to a Florida Worldwide staff that did not win once more that season.

So, in the event you’re maintaining rating at residence, that is 5 video games vs. FBS foes previously 13 months that resulted in an 0-5 file by a mixed rating of 256-20. Lengthy Island College is to school soccer groups as Lengthy Island iced teas are to drinks — it is comprised of a haphazard assortment of components and ends in a seemingly countless collection of unhealthy choices.


Essentially the most school soccer factor to occur Saturday

There is a lengthy and colourful historical past of mascot shaming amongst rivals in school soccer, however this week, Virginia took issues too far.

On Wednesday, Hudson — the yellow lab pet and Outdated Dominion’s unofficial mascot — introduced by way of his Twitter account that he’d been denied subject entry for Saturday’s highway sport in Charlottesville.

Virginia claimed that Hudson was technically a service canine and never a mascot, and subsequently he would not be allowed on the sector. On condition that Virginia’s offense, which scored simply three factors in a loss to Illinois final week, was allowed on the sector for the sport, the bar for entry could not have been that prime.

Not surprisingly, furor erupted on social media. In spite of everything, Hudson is a pet who wears rec specs and crocs. Who does not need a pet carrying crocs on the sideline for a sport? That is Showbiz 101.

Fortunately, the issue was rectified when Virginia’s personal service canine, Champ, obtained concerned. (It is a comparatively little identified reality, however upon his loss of life, Thomas Jefferson bequeathed management over all college choices to a line of yellow labs. Historical past is wild.)

With that transient little bit of drama resolved, there have been however two lingering questions.

The primary, would the pups really meet? The reply, in fact, was sure. However this was nonetheless an enormous sport for each groups, so Champ and Hudson had been all enterprise. No fraternizing with the enemy.

The second, would Hudson’s presence rally Outdated Dominion to its second win of the season over an in-state, Energy 5 opponent?

For a quick second, it appeared prefer it may. ODU scored with 1:01 to play to take a 14-13 lead. However that is when the Monarchs — uh — stepped in it.

Brennan Armstrong hit Lavel Davis Jr. for 30 yards, then ran for an additional 13. A cross interference name set UVA up on the Outdated Dominion 5, and Brendan Farrell, who’d missed a 36-yard kick one drive earlier, delivered because the clock expired, giving Virginia a 16-14 win.

Now, if Champ can begin lining up within the slot for Virginia, the Hoos may actually be on to one thing.


Massive bets and unhealthy beats

In case you had the beneath within the Purdue-Syracuse sport, you had been feeling fairly good on the half. The whole closed at 59.5. The sport went to the break with Purdue nursing a 9-3 lead.

Even after the third quarter, the scoring was nonetheless in brief provide. However within the fourth, that is when issues obtained bizarre.

Purdue scored with 11:25 to play to take a 15-10 lead. Then Syracuse scored. Then Purdue threw a pick-six. Then the Boilermakers accomplished a 55-yard landing throw and located the tip zone once more on their subsequent drive, taking a 29-25 lead with simply 51 seconds to play.

Nonetheless, the beneath would cowl if Purdue might preserve Syracuse out of the tip zone.

Alas, it wasn’t meant to be. Two penalties after Purdue’s landing gave Syracuse glorious subject place for its last drive, and Garrett Shrader linked with Oronde Gadsden II for a 25-yard TD with 7 seconds to go.

Last rating: Orange 32, Purdue 29. The over hit after 42 factors had been scored within the last quarter.

Oh, and in the event you additionally had Purdue plus-1.5 — good luck recovering from this one.


Michigan hasn’t precisely challenged itself with its nonconference schedule to start out the season. In Week 1, the Wolverines had been 31-point favorites in opposition to Colorado State. In Week 2, Michigan was a 52-point favourite in opposition to Hawaii. And on Saturday, UConn arrived on the Massive Home as a 47.5-point underdog.

In response to ESPN, Michigan is the primary staff because the FBS/FCS break up in 1978 to be favored by at the least 45 factors in consecutive video games and the primary staff to be favored by at the least 31 in its first three video games of the 12 months since 2001 Florida.

And even with the hefty unfold, Michigan nonetheless had no hassle masking Saturday. Behind 5 touchdowns from Blake Corum, the Wolverines topped UConn 59-0.


It is simply three weeks into the season, and each Kansas and Vanderbilt have already hit the over for his or her preseason win complete at Caesars Sportsbook. The Jayhawks toppled Houston 48-30 to maneuver to 3-0. Kansas hasn’t received greater than three video games in any season since 2009, and it might get to 4 subsequent week in a showdown in opposition to one other shocking 3-0 staff — Duke.

In the meantime, Vandy went on the highway and knocked off Northern Illinois to get its third win of the season 38-28.

The preseason win complete at Caesars for each groups was 2.5.