Florida State had never surrendered 60 points in a football game in school history. They were lucky Louisville didn’t score 70.
Oklahoma knew it needed a win if it wanted to hold onto any Playoff aspirations. Instead they were run off the field by a clearly superior Ohio State team.
Notre Dame was a heavy favorite against Michigan State. The Spartans outclassed the Irish.
It was a weekend when major statements were made, particularly by three teams that – for now – would have to be considered Playoff contenders, if not favorites.
Florida State was instantly in a major hole, much like the Seminoles were in the opener against Ole Miss, but against Louisville there would be no second-half comeback. Instead the Cardinals, behind (at this point) Heisman favorite Lamar Jackson just poured it on against the ‘Noles. Jackson was efficient threw the air, passing for 216-yards and a touchdown, but was unstoppable running with the football. He ran for 146-yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries.
As impressive as Jackson was and has been this season – and impressive does not properly highlight his performance – you cannot overlook the work done by the Louisville defense. They held the Seminole offense to just 284-yards and only two third down conversions.
The standard conversation in Houston has been about having Louisville on the UH schedule was good for the Cougars because it would provide another opportunity to impress the Playoff committee. At this point a victory over the Cards would seemingly guarantee a playoff appearance. It also makes the November 17 match-up ESPN Gameday worthy and epic. Oh, and a significant task for Herman’s team.
UH jumped into the Top 10 off the momentum of beating Oklahoma at NRG stadium in the opener. Following Ohio State’s win in Norman Saturday night, “beating Oklahoma” might be a common phrase this fall. As good as the Cougars looked in winning Labor Day weekend, the Buckeyes were that much more impressive.
Despite losing a dozen players to the NFL draft in May, Urban Meyer has a team more than capable of winning a second title in three years. J.T. Barrett completed just 14 passes, but four resulted in touchdowns to Noah Brown. Brown pinned one of those scored to the back of an OU defender. Brown reached around Michiah Quick and held onto Quick and a pass from J.T. Barrett while falling out of bounds for a 21-yard touchdown reception. It was that kind of impressive performance by OSU, and that kind of deflating performance by the Sooners.
It will take a supreme effort by OU head coach Bob Stoops to keep this team from coming unglued. Like Notre Dame and Ole Miss, the Sooners stand at 1-2 after a very difficult opening slate. Unlike the Irish and Rebels, that can at least play the “what if” game, the Sooners can’t look back and look at anything other than two complete defeats.
Who knows if Michigan State will make the playoffs for a second straight year, but for those that doubted their chances against the Irish, shame on you. You wouldn’t have known it my watching him on the MSU sideline, but Spartan head coach Mark Dantonio significantly outcoached Brian Kelly – which is proving less difficult with each national telecast of Notre Dame football. Watching the Spartans I see a very well coached team that the opponent knows what they’re going to try to do, yet still can’t stop them. Unless they’re also well coached, and have more talent – like say Alabama.
As for the Irish, a very good season is still likely, but that won’t include a playoff appearance.
If forms holds, UH – Louisville will be one of the most anticipated games of the season, and you wouldn’t have said that before Saturday. We already believed that Michigan-Michigan State, and Wolverines-Buckeyes would be special, but following the weekend’s activity, we can truly be more confident in that sentiment.