Tigers Own the State of Texas – Week 2 Recap and Observations

A wild weekend of college football that saw plenty of high scores highlighted by LSU’s shoot-out win in Austin. Photo courtesy of Sports Illustrated.

Week 2 was not a good week in The Lone Star State as the Top 2 teams in the state were both taken down by Tigers. Clemson dominated Texas A&M at home in Death Valley, while LSU won a gunfight in Austin, a game in which LSU’s offense was hotter than the Texas heat.

Week 2 also produced a lot of points, as the average number of points scored by the winning teams was 41! Much of that coming from teams in the Top 25 that played lesser competition, like Alabama beating New Mexico State 62-10, Georgia beating Murray State 63-17 or Oregon beating Nevada 77-6. The biggest surprise to me was Maryland dropping 63 on #21 ranked Syracuse.

There were also a few upsets that took place in Week 2. After a two and a half hour weather delay, Cal was able to pull off a stunner against #14 Washington. The Golden Bears were able to capitalize on a couple of Washington turnovers to seal a 1 point victory on the road. This was a Cal team that went 6-6 a year ago, which also included a upset victory of Washington at home in Berkeley.

Colorado was able to comeback from a 17-0 halftime deficit and ended up winning a thrilling game in overtime against rival Nebraska. The #25 Nebraska team missed the tying 49-yard field goal in overtime that gave Colorado the win.

Louisiana-Monroe nearly pulled the upset over Florida State in Tallahassee had it not been for a missed extra point in overtime. And finally, Coastal Carolina had a program defining winning over Kansas, 12-7. This was the first win by the Chanticleers against a Power 5 school in program history.

What I got right

There really was not a whole lot of doubt that Clemson would pull out a win against Texas A&M. Clemson, from the outset, proved they were the better team and took advantage of Aggies QB Kellen Mond not being very sharp in the first half. The Tigers were able to build a lead, and unlike a year ago in College Station, TX, were able to fully maintain that lead.

A couple of teams that didn’t get any love before the season, Maryland and North Carolina are proving that they are really good teams. North Carolina has already matched their win total from a year ago with a thrilling last minute score to beat Miami at home. The Syracuse defense is still having nightmares of the Maryland offense after the Terps dropped 63 on them. This is a Maryland offense that has already scored 142 points through 2 games.

What I got wrong

I didn’t get a whole lot right this week. I honestly thought that Texas’ defense would be better than they proved on Saturday night. On the flip side, I didn’t think Joe Burrow and the LSU offense had what it took to match the firepower that Texas has. Boy was I wrong. LSU’s offense is scary good and I know teams all across the SEC were watching that game and thinking about how they are going to try to stop them. Texas has a lot of work to do with their defense if they now what to beat Oklahoma next month.

Nebraska and West Virginia both let me down in Week 2. Nebraska’s defense, who was so good in the opening week, let Colorado comeback and take the lead in overtime. That would be the lead Colorado needed to win. And West Virginia didn’t even attempt to show up against Missouri as Kelly Bryant and the Tigers decimated the Mountaineers 38-7.

I didn’t get anything right with my SoCon picks this week. All three SoCon teams I picked lost. The Citadel, for the second week in a row, lost a heartbreaking game against a really good opponent. Chattanooga got beat down by a Jacksonville State team that was trying to rebound after getting beat down in Week 1. The Mocs’ offense never got going in this one. And Furman lost a nail-biter to Georgia State, who beat Tennessee a week ago in Knoxville.

Not a good week for teams I picked to win. Hopefully we can rebound next week.

My Takeaways

Clemson’s defense really grew up this week. Coming into the game, there was a lot of talk by analysts and fans about if Clemson’s young defense would be able to keep a very talented Aggies offense in check. Those guys were able to do just that as they held Texas A&M to just 289 yards of total offense and forced two turnovers. Whereas Texas A&M did a lot of talking before the game, Clemson’s defense let their play on the field do all of the talking.

LSU is scary. The new spread offense that the “Bayou Bengals” are running has this LSU team playing on a different level. I wasn’t too sure how good the offense would be, but Joe Burrow showed that he can really sling the ball. It also helps that he has a number of weapons to throw to. I personally see LSU as the biggest threat to challenge Alabama in the regular season, a showdown that will take place November 9th in Tuscaloosa.

If I’m in the BIG 10 right now, I’m keeping my eye on the guys from College Park, MD. The Terrapins have looked sharp through the first two weeks and have shown they can score a lot of points. This is a team that just might compete for a BIG 10 title this year. Their first test comes in Week 5 with a home game against Penn State. Win that game and then it’s four straight against bottom tier teams in the conference before finishing with Michigan, Ohio State, Nebraska and Michigan State.

Tennessee and Florida State are really, really bad. Tennessee starts 0-2 for the first time in 30 years, and Florida State blew a three score lead to Louisiana-Monroe, a program that hasn’t finished over .500 since 2012 and only done it the once since moving up to the FBS level in 1993. There are very serious problems in Knoxville and Tallahassee and I don’t see it getting fixed any time soon.

And lastly, I felt that even in the loss to Georgia State, Furman proved to be a really good team that has the talent to win some championships. QB Darren Graiger balled-out and had it not been for the quarterback on the other sideline, would have easily done enough to give the Paladins the win. Furman jumped out to a 20-3 lead early. The defense is really good, but were gassed in the second half from having to try to stop a really talented quarterback for Georgia State. If I’m in the SoCon, I’m definitely scared to play this Furman team.

My Top 4

After two weeks, here are who my top 4 teams in the country are.

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Georgia
  4. LSU


The first week of the NFL regular season is nearly complete. So far we have seen some really close games and some not-so close games. Cleveland, Jacksonville, Miami and Pittsburgh all got blown out in Week 1. All but Pittsburgh were at home. The struggles continue in New York and Tampa as they both lost by double-digits. Cam Newton looked really shaky in the Panthers season opening loss to the defending NFC Champions Rams. However, Christian McCaffrey proved he can be a difference maker for the Panthers offense this year.

Monday Night Football gets underway tonight with a double-header. First, Houston travels to New Orleans to take on Drew Brees and the Saints. I really want to see the Texans do well this season. Huge fan of Deshaun Watson, but I just believe New Orleans may be the best team in the NFC. I’m going with Saints at home.

The second game takes place between Denver and Oakland. I just don’t know where Oakland is mentally after the Antonio Brown sideshow. Denver is very good defensively and have a veteran QB in Joe Flacco. Denver only enters as a 2.5 point favorite, but I really don’t think it will be that close. I like Denver by two scores.

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