The competition seems to be getting better every single week as teams are finally finding their groove. True playmakers are emerging and some would-be-superstars — who were just posing as playmakers for the opening weeks — are being uncovered as well; their true identities revealed. Not to mention the fight to maintain good health through all of the pounding has begun.
Who rushed to the fields of glory this week and who was left in their wake, mending their wounds?
The “Larry David” – Moment of the Week:
This week’s Larry David Moment of the Week comes courtesy of the Pittsburgh Panthers special teams. Though the Panthers went on to pull off a monumental upset of Virginia Tech this past weekend, their pursuit of punt returner Kyshoen Jarrett on a particular play failed miserably as both linebacker Eric Williams AND wide receiver Mike Shanahan were taken out by an excellent Hokie block which sprung Jarrett to a 94-yard return touchdown.
“Suits” – Game of the Week:
USC – 14 vs. Stanford – 21
If there was any doubt that the Stanford Cardinal defense would remain tenacious under new head coach David Shaw there should be none now. The Cardinal defense was absolutely brilliant in a shellacking of one of the best offenses in the country. DT Terrence Stephens and the rest of the defensive front was constantly in the Trojan’s backfield, pressuring Barkley into throwing two interceptions and zero touchdowns just one week after he set a personal best six touchdown passes in the win versus Syracuse.
Linebackers Chase Thomas, Shayne Skov and the rest of the Stanford defense gave up just 280 total yards to the mighty Trojans, with just 26 on the ground! USC went a miserable 1-13 on third downs. Anyone who was taking Stanford lightly this season just because Andrew Luck has gone to the NFL should have taken note this past weekend. Their defense is as good as ever. Oh, and running back Stepfan Taylor isn’t bad, either. He only went for 153 yards on the ground (213 yards in total) and two touchdowns overall.
“CSI: Anywhere” – Most Forgettable Game:
Colorado – 14 vs. Fresno State – 69
Any true college football fan knew before this past weekend that the Colorado Buffalos were bad, but no one could have predicted what happened in week 3. Losing to Sacramento State is bad, but allowing 55 points in a single half of football is just unfathomable; and let’s be honest, inexcusable. I don’t care who you are playing, the Fresno State Bulldogs beat the Buffs so bad that their starters hardly even needed to play in the second half. Running back Robbie Rouse had a career half – totaling 186 yards of offense and four touchdowns on just 13 touches! Meanwhile, the stable of Colorado quarterbacks were busy completing just 11 passes on the day while throwing four interceptions. Bad is not the word we are looking for here – there are no words, frankly.
“Mad Men” – Player of the Week:
Duke Johnson – RB, Miami Hurricanes
The Miami Hurricanes improved to 2-1 this past weekend by defeating Bethune-Cookman out of FCS. Johnson put on a singularly spectacular performance and is showing why he was the top rated running back in the country last year coming out of high school. He led the Hurricanes in both rushing and receiving this past weekend, racking up 151 total yards and three touchdowns. Tack onto that a 95-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and you see why he is my Player of the Week. The true freshman is single-handedly fueling the Hurricanes offense this year – he has 638 all-purpose yards through just three games this year, ranking him 2nd in the nation in that category and is averaging almost 213 yards per game.
“David Caruso” – Worst Performance of the Week:
David Piland – QB, Houston Cougars
The Houston Cougars are currently longing for the days of coach Kevin Sumlin and quarterback Case Keenum to return after beginning the season 0-3. Some college football fantasy owners picked up Piland early, thinking he would be Case Keenum 2.0, but sadly it hasn’t turned out that way at all. Piland looked solid in his backup quarterback role the last couple of seasons, but is barely completing over half of his passes this season and already has thrown more interceptions than touchdowns through three games. A big part of the QB’s downfall was this past weekend’s game against UCLA where Piland completed just 28 of his 60 passes and threw exactly zero touchdowns against five interceptions! Bruins defensive back Sheldon Price was the more-than-happy recipient of three of those interceptions.
“Bachelor Pad” – Surprise Team of the Week:
The Pittsburgh Panthers football team (especially the defense) came fired up and ready to play this week against the #13 Virginia Tech Hokies in Heinz Stadium. True to form, the Hokies abruptly abided and lost fairly badly to a Pitt team who had previously this season looked, for lack of a better word, awful. The Hokies played very sloppy football early on, falling in a 21-3 hole at halftime. The two teams traded blows in the third quarter, but the Hokies defense just wasn’t up to par and the Panthers offense was firing on all cylinders. Panther running backs Ray Graham and Rushel Shell paced the way combining for 251 yards on the ground and a couple of touchdowns while the Hokies were just too mistake-prone and turned the ball over four times in the game. If this game is any indication, how close are the ACC and Big East races going to be now?
Photo Credit: Getty