College football Week 2 winners, losers, overreactions: Texas A&M falls flat, USC offense makes a statement

College football Week 2 winners, losers, overreactions: Texas A&M falls flat, USC offense makes a statement

Texas A&M entered the 2021 season ranked 6th in the nation, but finished 8-4 and dropped out of the AP Top 25 at the end of the year. A year later, the Aggies inexplicably started the year at No. 6 again. Unfortunately, giant coaching deals and stellar recruiting classes don’t guarantee immediate success on the field.

The Aggies put on one of their worst offensive performances of the SEC era in a 17-14 loss to Sun Belt foe Appalachian State on Saturday. Texas A&M has only made two offensive plays in App State territory until its last practice of the game. Suddenly, the Aggies go from a playoff contender to a dark horse to an afterthought with nine loseable games to go. This is how quickly fortunes can change in college football. And in a busy Week 2, the Aggies aren’t the only ones.

Notre Dame No. 8 also lost a Sun Belt game to Marshall on a shocking six pick to quarterback Tyler Buchner. 25 Houston fell in double overtime to rival Texas Tech thanks to a monster game from Red Raiders quarterback Donovan Smith. Tennessee’s No. 24 and Kentucky’s No. 20 also pulled off upsets against Pittsburgh’s No. 17 and Florida’s No. 12, respectively.

Down the slate, defending Mountain West champion Utah State lost an embarrassing 35-7 decision to FCS Weber State. UIW also outscored Nevada 55-41, and Holy Cross shocked Buffalo 37-31 on a last-second Hail Mary for three FCS upsets in one week.

Here are more winners, losers and overreactions from a chaotic Week 2 of the college football season.


Kansas: Don’t look now, but the Jayhawks are on a winning streak after beating West Virginia 55-42 on the road. Kansas is 2-0 for the first time since 2011, and it won a Big 12 opener for the first time since 2009. The 55-point production is the highest since…well, the Last Big 12 victory for Kansas against Texas. Kansas quarterback Jalon Daniels was incredible with 215 passing yards and 82 rushing yards in the win. It’s finally a serious Power Five team, and coach Lance Leipold is a star.

USC Offense: Putting 66 points against Rice was a nice appetizer, but all the fireworks went out for the Pac-12 opener against Stanford. The Trojans scored 35 points in the first half with shocking ease, scoring on the first five drives of the first half before claiming a 41-28 victory skewed by 14 unanswered foul time scores from Stanford. If you thought Jordan Addison was good before, playing on one of the most stacked reception halls in college football certainly helps. He had 172 receiving yards and two touchdowns on his own. The offense is already national in scope. Next week against Fresno State is a marquee game and an even better test for the defense.


Our Lady: Fighting to move the ball against Ohio State in The Horseshoe is one thing. Having massive offensive issues at home against Marshall? It’s something completely different. The Fighting Irish threw three interceptions and averaged just 3.5 yards per carry against the Sun Belt team. Marcus Freeman became the first Notre Dame manager since Lou Holtz to start 0-2, and the first Fighting Irish manager to start a career 0-3.

Nebraska: We’ve had enough. Get this program out of its misery. On the same day Adrian Martinez dropped 40 points for Kansas State against Missouri, Nebraska lost 45-42 to Georgia Southern, a team picked No. 5 in its own Sun Belt Division. He ended a 214-game winning streak at home by scoring over 35 points. Nebraska changed quarterbacks, assistants, coordinators and players. It doesn’t work for Scott Frost. At some point, the guy in the biggest office has to be held accountable for these embarrassing performances.

Week 2 Overreactions

Alabama receivers aren’t title caliber: When Jameson Williams and John Metchie III were injured last season, the Alabama offense suddenly fell to earth. Nick Saban has had quite the offseason to fix the unit, adding a pair of highly touted transfers to Jermaine Burton and Tyler Harrell while developing more freshmen. The first returns are disturbing to say the least.

Heading into the fourth quarter, Alabama wide receivers had just three catches total for 14 yards in the 20-19 win over Texas. No receiver finished with more than 40 receiving yards despite accurate passes from Heisman Trophy-winning QB Bryce Young. Oh, and by the way, a strong showing against Utah State just got a whole lot less impressive after the Aggies lost big to Weber State.

Luckily, Traeshon Holden and Ja’Corey Brooks had a few catches in the fourth quarter to set up the decisive field goal, and running back Jahmyr Gibbs was huge in the passing game. But with so much top-notch talent at receiver, those kinds of performances from wide receivers are embarrassing — and barely worthy of a title.

Sun Belt is the top Five Fives conference: It wasn’t a perfect weekend, but the Sun Belt made a hell of a case for the top five-tier league in college football. The Sun Belt became the first Five-Four conference to beat multiple top-10 opponents since 2003 when Appalachia State and Marshall took down Texas A&M and Notre Dame, respectively.

That was not all.

As mentioned earlier, Georgia Southern shocked Nebraska. Southern Alabama flew past Michigan Central in an important non-conference game, while Georgia State pushed North Carolina to the limit. Oddly, the only bad place was Coastal Carolina who needed a late score to beat Gardner-Webb, but the Chanticleers can handle a bad game.

It doesn’t hurt that the three supposed AAC contenders — Houston, Cincinnati and UCF — have all lost by now. The Sun Belt can steal the New Year’s Six spot.

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