ONLINE EXCLUSIVE STORY BY DERRICK FRIDLEY
If last week was the week of the upset, then this week was the week of the almost, as many underdogs had the chance to knock off a top opponent but failed to do so in the final minutes. Even if there were several upsets left undone, week two was just as exciting as last week.
In a game that was almost the greatest upset of all time, Jacksonville State was ahead 20-13 in the fourth quarter against No. 6 Auburn, and looked like they were going to escape with the W. However, a last minute touchdown pass by Auburn’s Jeremy Johnson forced the game into overtime. Auburn would seal the victory with touchdown run and a defensive stop to avoid an upset.
No. 9 Notre Dame was also on upset alert against Virginia after starting quarterback Malik Zaire went down with an injury. However, backup quarterback DeShone Kizer threw a perfect 39-yard touchdown pass to William Fuller with 19 seconds remaining in the game to avoid the upset.
The near-upset trend also continued in bigger games as No. 23 Tennessee blew a 14-point lead against No. 19 Oklahoma Sooners at halftime, forcing the game into overtime. The Sooners had no issue getting into the end zone in the extra period, winning 31-27.
However, one unranked team was able to knock off a top-25 team this week, and it was fitting that it was last week’s Cinderella team that did it again.
Facing a fourth down with 40 seconds left in the game, BYU quarterback Tanner Mangum heaved a Hail Mary pass to the end zone to take the lead against No. 20 Boise State. During Boise State’s last-ditch attempt, junior Kai Nacua snagged his third interception of the game and returned it for a touchdown to make for a final score of 35-24.
Mangum, a freshman, has now won his first two games with the Cougars on last-minute Hail Mary passes. BYU looks to pull off another upset next week as they take on no. 10 UCLA.
Two top-10 teams squared off this week in an evenly matched game between No. 7 Oregon and No. 5 Michigan State. This game was back and forth, each team matching the other, but Oregon fell short, losing 31-28.
This week was also the week that every Iowan looks forward to, as Iowa and Iowa State took to the gridiron for their annual rivalry – the battle for the Cy-Hawk Trophy.
Iowa players and coaches played with heavy hearts as they honored the death of former player Tyler Sash, who passed away earlier this week.
The game was a battle, remaining deadlocked into the fourth quarter, but the Hawkeyes were able to pull out a 31-17 victory with two late touchdowns.
Iowa looks to continue their perfect season next week against Pittsburgh, while Iowa State hopes to rebound as they travel to Toledo.
Next week, expect to see things tighten up, as conference play picks up and will feature more matchups between ranked teams.
One game that is sure to be entertaining features Georgia Tech at Notre Dame. Both teams have started the season in the top-15, making this game one that many will want to watch.
Several SEC teams face off next week against one another, including Mississippi at Alabama, Auburn at LSU and South Carolina at Georgia.
Teams are going to have to start playing better and get into a groove next week as conference play begins to hype up. We are only two weeks into the college football season, but this start has been one of the most entertaining in years.