1. Jim Harbaugh’s first victory at Michigan showed his old-school tendencies
Things got a bit tense at the Big House on Saturday when the Oregon State Beavers jumped out to an early 7-0 lead over Harbaugh’s Wolverines. However, Michigan bounced back nicely, going on a 35-0 run to finish the game.
Utilizing an old-school mixture of power-running and punch-you-in-the-mouth defense to pummel the Beavers into submission, the Wolverines took control of the game and brought pride to their new head coach, not to mention the throng of delighted fans.
In particular, Michigan’s offensive line took a huge step in the right direction, paving the way for 225 rushing yards and four touchdowns on the ground.
It wasn’t all fun and games, however. At one point Harbaugh completely lost it on the sideline arguing with an official about a penalty.
In the end, Harbaugh was all smiles after his team dominated its opponent following the sloppy start. The one big concern going forward must be the play of Jake Rudock, who once struggled to find open receivers, finishing with 180 passing yards, zero touchdowns and one interception.
2. Auburn (No. 6) offense in trouble as Jeremy Johnson struggles again
For the second week in a row, Auburn nearly lost against an inferior opponent, and Johnson failed to live up to the massive Heisman hype he carried into the season. Jacksonville State almost pulled off one of the biggest upsets in recent college football history, eventually losing in overtime after Auburn’s offense finally woke up in the waning minutes of the ball game.
Johnson’s touchdown pass to Melvin Ray with just 00:39 left on the clock was a thing of beauty, but overall the junior quarterback continues to struggle. Through two weeks, Johnson has completed 32-of-53 passes (60 percent) for 373 yards (seven yards per attempt) with three touchdowns and five interceptions. None of these numbers are particularly attractive, and the touchdown-to-interception ratio is downright abysmal.
The thing that is even more concerning is neither Louisville nor lowly Jacksonville State feature dominant defenses. It makes one wonder how in the world Johnson is going to somehow improve when he faces LSU and Mississippi State the next couple of weeks. Without a doubt, Auburn’s offense is in big trouble heading into Week 3.
3. Dalvin Cook is the driving force behind FSU (No. 11) offense
Everett Golson busted out with four touchdowns in Week 1, but the former Notre Dame quarterback had a much more difficult go of it against South Florida on Saturday. While he struggled to get anything going in the passing game, Cook took the game over with an eye-opening performance on the ground.
Cook rushed for 266 yards on 30 carries and scored three long rushing touchdowns. His 74-yard burst in the first quarter set the tone for FSU, and it was a thing of beauty.
He just wouldn’t be stopped, and his juggernaut performance carried Florida State’s offense to a big win over an extremely tough South Florida squad that played much better than the final score (34-14) would indicate.
With his outstanding showing on Saturday, Cook now has 422 yards on 49 carries (8.6 yards per carry) with five rushing touchdowns in just two games to start the season. No doubt head coach Jimbo Fisher will continue to trust his star sophomore with a heavy volume of carries throughout the season.
4. Trevone Boykin bounces back, TCU (No. 3) defense suffers another blow
Boykin didn’t get his 2015 campaign off to a hot start against Minnesota, but he rebounded nicely against Stephen F. Austin in Week 2. The Heisman hopeful passed for 285 yards and four touchdowns and showed nice pocket awareness while doing all his damage through the air in this contest.
Big plays were the order of the day, with five TCU receivers catching passes of 28 yards or longer. Boykin was particularly effective throwing to Kolby Listenbee, who caught six passes for 142 yards—including this 60-yard bomb for a score.
A big win was to be expected, and TCU obliged 70-7.
However, given the fact that TCU’s defense had already taken a big hit earlier in the week—losing both starting inside linebackers for the year—it was nice to see the defense dominate like it did.
Unfortunately, this already depleted unit lost another player when safety Kenny Iloka left the game with a knee injury. He could miss the rest of the season, meaning the pressure is on Boykin even more to carry the Horned Frogs the rest of the way.
5. Watch out for Ole Miss (No. 17)
While most people would say Oregon or maybe Baylor features the most explosive offense in college football, don’t sleep on Ole Miss this year. The past two games, the Rebels have scored 149 points to open the season. Granted, these contests were against lesser competition, but that’s no different than most SEC teams right now.
Against Fresno State in Week 2, Ole Miss dominated through the air and on the ground, scoring four touchdowns on both fronts. Quarterback Chad Kelly has been magnificent, especially this Saturday, and he has already racked up 557 yards and six touchdowns through the air with only one interception.
The crazy thing about Ole Miss’ offensive output to this point in the season is that it’s coming from seemingly every available offensive playmaker, including mammoth defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche, who has now scored an offensive touchdown in both contests in 2015. He couldn’t be stopped on this goal-line score.
The real test comes next for the Rebels.
After a couple of easy opponents, Ole Miss now must brace for the fury of the Alabama Crimson Tide. The No. 2 team in the nation awaits in Week 3, and the Rebels must find a way to keep this offensive juggernaut going on the road against one of the toughest defenses in the nation.