Sept. 6 Colorado 41, at Massachusetts 38
And You Care Because … Colorado avoided disaster, coming back from a 31-20 deficit with Christian Powell running for a 14-yard score and Nelson Spruce scoring on passes from 70 and three yards out to take the lead for good. But UMass wouldn’t go away, scoring on a six-yard Marken Michel touchdown run late. Blake Frohnapfel found Jean Sifrin on touchdown passes from 12 and 14 yards out to help the Minutemen stay alive, but Colorado and Sefo Liufau kept pressing – he completed 26-of-42 passes for 318 yards and three scores with a pick.
Game Rating: A-
Sept. 6 Eastern Kentucky 17, Miami University 10
And You Care Because … EKU WR Jeff Glover threw a 43-yard touchdown pass to Deno Montgomery for with just under five minutes to play, and the D held on with a late pick to pull off the upset. Andrew Hendrix threw a 40-yard touchdown pass to Jared Murphy and Kaleb Patterson hit a 22-yard field goal to give MU a 10-3 lead in the third, but a 55-yard interception return for a score from Stanley Absanon was part of six EKU takeaways. The MU defense was solid, allowing just 280 yards and 1-of-13 third down conversions, but the turnovers were the downfall. Henrdix threw for 359 yards with a score and three picks.
Game Rating: B
Sept. 6 Central Michigan 38, Purdue 17
And You Care Because … Central Michigan got out to a 14-0 first quarter lead and was up 21-7 at halftime, and was never truly threatened the rest of the way. Brandon Greer returned an interception 57 yards for a touchdown, and Anthony Rice caught a 65-yard touchdown pass to get things started for CMU, and Thomas Rawls put it away with his second touchdown run of the game, scoring from 16 yard out. Purdue tried to rally with Austin Appleby hitting Danny Anthrop for a 23-yard score, but 31-17 was as close as it got late.
What Else? Thomas Rawls was brilliant, running 31 times for 155 yards and two scores and catching three passes for 50 yards for CMU.
– Purdue has a quarterback issue now. Danny Etling completed 17-of-32 passes for 126 yards and two scores including the pick six, but he tied for the team lead with 53 rushing yards and a score on ten carries.
– The CMU defensive front did a nice job of controlling the Purdue backs. Joe Ostman made two sacks, but the linebackers got the job done to keep the big plays to a minimum.
– Purdue didn’t abandon the running game, but it didn’t work. Raheem Mostert ran for 53 yards, but couldn’t get free averaging 2.8 yards per carry, and Akeem Hunt ran just three times for nine yards.
Game Rating: C+
Sept. 6 at Penn State 21, Akron 3
And You Care Because … Christian Hackenberg threw three touchdown passes including a 44-yarder to Jesse James in the fourth quarter to put away a pesky Akron team. The Zips moved the ball a bit, but couldn’t score when they had their chances. Bill Belton took a pass 22 yard for a score in the first quarter, and tight end James took care of the second two with a 13-yard scoring play in the third before his 44-yarder.
What Else? Christian Hackenberg has to be more consistent, but he’s putting up huge yards. He threw for 319 yards, but he only completed 22-of-36 passes with two picks.
– The Penn State running game continues to sputter a bit, averaging 3.4 yards per carry, but Akeel Lynch averaged 6.4 yards per pop with a team-leading 45 yards on seven carries.
– Penn State LB Mike Hull came up with a game-leading 11 tackles with a sack and a broken up pass, but Akron’s defense came up with a few key stops and nice plays, getting behind the line here and there and pressuring Hackenberg enough to be a problem.
– Akron QB Kyle Pohl completed 24-of-46 passes for 208 yards, but he was under constant pressure. Even so, he spread the ball around well.
Game Rating: C+
Sept. 6 at Army 47, Buffalo 39
And You Care Because … The two offenses rolled without a problem, but it was the Army ground game that took over with 341 yards led by 174 yards and two scores from Larry Dixon including scoring dashes from 23 and 45 yards out. The Knights took a 28-3 lead before the Bulls started bombing away with Joe Licata finding Devon Hughes for a 20-yard score and Marcus McGill for a 65-yarder to make it interesting. Army came up with two more scores to put it away a 47-16, but UB didn’t quit late scoring 22 unanswered points. Licata ended up with 396 yards and five scores, but he threw three picks. The Army quarterbacks combined to complete all seven of their passes for 125 yards.
Game Rating: C
Sept. 6 at Kentucky 20, Ohio 3
And You Care Because … The Wildcats scored the first 17 points of the game with Dorian Baker catching an eight-yard touchdown pass and Stanley Williams running for a 53-yard score, and then it was all special teams with Austin MacGinning hitting field goals from 53 and 33 yards out. Ohio’s lone score came on a 44-yard Josiah Yazdani field goal.
What Else? The Kentucky offense started to stall after the first half. Without Braylon Heard, Week One’s star running back who was out with an ankle injury, UK still ran for 232 yards, spreading out the work.
– UK QB Patrick Towles, completed 17-of-31 passes for 170 yards and a touchdown, and ran 22 times for 59 yards.
– Ohio QB Derrius Vick took a massive step back, failing to complete any of his six passes and running for just 21 yards on two carries. J.D. Sprague completed 13-of-25 passes for 143 yards.
– Kentucky had the ball for 38:26 and allowed just 223 yards of total of Ohio total offense.
Game Rating: D+
Sept. 6 at Bowling Green 48, VMI 7
And You Care Because … The Falcons made up for their debacle against WKU by scoring the first 28 points of the day helped by one of Travis Greene’s two touchdown runs on the day and a 75-yard Ryan Burbrink punt return for a score. The special teams got into the act in the third on a 15-yard blocked punt for a touchdown. The Falcons only had the ball for just under 21 minutes, but they managed 526 yards with Travis Greene running 18times for 129 yards and two scores. After getting lit up by WKU’s passing game last week, Bowling Green allowed 321 yards.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 at Florida 65, Eastern Michigan 0
And You Care Because … Florida got the game in to finally open up its season with a light scrimmage. The offense rolled up 655 yards with Matt Jones and Kelvin Taylor taking off for long scores in the first quarter, short ones in the third, and Francisco Veles hitting three first half field goals. The backups kept the big plays going with Treon Harris finding Demarcus Robinson for a 70-yard touchdown and Mark Herndon for a 78-yard score in the fourth.
What Else? If it’s possible to still be a wee bit concerned after a dominant performance, Florida QB Jeff Driskel didn’t make too many things happen down the field. He dinked and dunked his way to 248 yards and a score completing 31-of-45 passes, but that’s nitpicking.
– Also, as always with Florida, the penalties were coming with ten on the game. Stalling and having to kick three field goals wasn’t a plus – again, nitpicking.
– The Gator D was humming, allowing just 45 yards of EMU passing and giving up nothing of significance. Florida came up with three sacks and nine tackles for loss – it was swarming.
– EMU’s Great Ibe and Ray Tillman each came up with 11 tackles, but there weren’t any truly big, stops.
Game Rating: D
Sept. 6 Colorado 41, at Massachusetts 38