College Football Week 3 Winners and Losers

Jake Myers

What a week for College Football. We had resurrected rivalries, electric atmospheres, and a variety of intriguing matchups. As always after the week of College Football comes to a close, we have winners and losers. 

 

Winners

 

Michigan State

What a win for Mel Tucker and the Spartans. Went into Miami against the ranked Hurricanes, and controlled this football game behind the running attack of Kenneth Walker III. Sparty pulled away in the fourth quarter while the Hurricanes looked gassed. The seat is getting warm for Manny Diaz, and Mel Tucker has the Spartans trending up. 

 

East Carolina

The Pirates suffered two hard-fought losses in the first two weeks to App State and South Carolina. This week they had a test in always tricky Marshall Thundering Herd with. ECU rallied to score 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter to defeat the Herd and pick up their first victory of the year.

 

West Virginia

West Virginia fans were more than upset after their opening loss to Maryland and with a Virginia Tech defeating ACC darkhorse North Carolina things did not look good on paper. That is why you play the game. The Mountaineers looked better on offense and sent the Hokies packing without the Black Diamond trophy.

 

Minnesota

After losing star running back Mohamed Ibrahim the Gopher offense was expected to take a step back. Last week both the offense and defense looked less than stellar against Miami of Ohio. With Colorado holding Texas A&M to only 10 points (with or without their starting quarterback) no one was sure how the offense will fair. The result was a Golden Gopher beatdown that sent a message that Minnesota is not going to be taken lightly this season. 

 

Fresno State

In the late game, Fresno State prevailed over UCLA, who was one of the biggest surprises in the last two weeks. Jake Haerner put up 455 passing yards, and the Bulldogs improve to 3-1. Their only loss is a hard-fought defeat to the Oregon Ducks, who are now the clear favorites to win the Pac-12. Bulldogs are building the resume to be the top group of 5 schools at the end of the year. 

 

Losers

Miami

Manny Diaz’s seat is getting warm. What was supposed to be a resume-boosting win against Michigan State turned into a fourth-quarter nightmare for the Hurricanes. The defense allowed Kenneth Walker III  to run wild, and “The U” is already losing its edge and it’s only week 3.

 

Pitt

From the Winners circle last week to the Losers bench this week. Pitt had some real momentum coming out of Knoxville with a win over the Volunteers. To take the next step as a program they couldn’t have a letdown, especially to a MAC school. The Panthers lost to Western Michigan losing all of that positive energy they gained against Tennessee. 

 

SEC Officiating

College Football has an officiating problem. It was on full display last weekend, and both instances featured an SEC crew. . First, in the Penn State/Auburn game, there were multiple missed facemask penalties and an intentionally grounding penalty that was clearly miscommunication on the offense. To make the grounding penalty worse, the officials on the field, as well as in the booth, skipped 3rd down all together forcing the Nittany Lions to punt on their actual 3rd down. James Franklin and the staff were irate, luckily that did not have an impact on the game. The most impactful blown call came at the expense of an SEC team. Late in the Mississippi State/Memphis game, the Bulldogs were punting down 21-17 under 6 minutes to go. The punt bounces, batted by one player, and then a Miss State player puts his hand on the football as he is kneeling. Miss State player then gets up and talks to his teammates on the field. The referee then starts to signal for the play to stop but as the referee is going into the motion a Memphis player scoops the ball up and returns it for a touchdown. Mississippi State would later lose on a failed 2 point conversion play 31-29. 

The problem is that there is zero accountability by the conference. There will most likely not be any suspensions, and the only sense of awareness is a statement sent out by the SEC conference that they got the calls wrong. This is the greatest sport, but something needs to be done about officiating crews not being held responsible for terrible calls that change the outcomes of games.

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