College football winners, losers, overreactions for Week 3: There’s an absence of elite teams this season

School soccer is, maybe above all, a recreation of bizarre bounces. If just a few balls bounced in numerous methods in Week 3, we might have been speaking a few Saturday for the ages. As a substitute, video games from across the nation as soon as once more gave us a style of what might have been. 

Florida took top-ranked Alabama to the limit in a 31-29 loss in The Swamp, sticking with beginning quarterback Emory Jones for the entire recreation fairly than mixing in rising star Anthony Richardson as a complementary piece. Oklahoma held off Nebraska 23-16 in one of many worst scoring outputs of the Lincoln Riley period. Clemson wanted a goal-line stop to beat Georgia Tech

With so many video games coming right down to the wire, a number of the nation’s most-hyped gamers discovered themselves below a extra intense magnifying glass. Some made heroic performs below the strain whereas others wilted. In a sport with a compact common season, each element will matter for weeks to return. 

Sure, Week 3 was about what might have been, however maybe simply as importantly, it confirmed us what remains to be to return. Listed here are the winners, losers and overreactions from an thrilling Week 3 of the 2021 college football season. 


Ohio State RB TreVeyon Henderson: Stepping foot on campus as one of the crucial heralded operating again recruits in recent times at Ohio State, Henderson blew away each potential expectation on Saturday in a 41-20 win over Tulsa, breaking Archie Griffin’s 49-year-old freshman dashing file with 24 carries for 277 yards and three touchdowns. The sport marked the third-best dashing efficiency in Ohio State historical past behind solely Trey Sermon and Heisman winner Eddie George. Ohio State has a number of the finest receivers in America, however coach Ryan Day most likely must reshape his offense round Henderson. 

Penn State: Beating an offensively-challenged Wisconsin group within the season-opener was a begin. Knocking off 22 Auburn in a truly entertaining matchup is a development. With the Tigers’ stout defensive entrance inflicting points, Nittany Lions QB Sean Clifford delivered in an enormous means, finishing 28 of 32 passes for 280 yards, two touchdowns and one interception within the 28-20 victory. Penn State’s protection did a fantastic job of throwing completely different appears to be like at Auburn quarterback Bo Nix to maintain him below management. With two spectacular wins towards ranked opponents on the résumé, it is time to take Penn State severely as a Massive Ten contender. 

USC QB Jaxson Dart: The long run arrived in Los Angeles, and it was spectacular. Dart, a real freshman, was thrust into the limelight after longtime starter Kedon Slovis suffered a game-ending harm. After throwing an interception on his first drive, Dart bounced again by main the Trojans to 45 unanswered factors towards Washington State. Dart accomplished 30 of 46 passes for 391 yards and 4 touchdowns, and he even led the group with 32 yards dashing. There’s optimism that Dart might be the following nice quarterback at USC. Whichever coach takes over this job in 2022 may have a fantastic piece to construct round. 


SEC referees: Because the outdated saying goes, should you discover the refs, it is most likely a nasty factor. This week, the SEC refs have been the celebs of the present … for all of the flawed causes. Issues began going sideways within the Alabama-Florida recreation, starting with plenty of inconsistent go interference calls and ending with a clock problem within the closing two minutes. Then, a crew of SEC refs inexplicably misplaced observe of downs throughout Penn State’s battle with Auburn, forcing a Nittany Lions punt on third down. There was additionally a controversial focusing on name amongst quite a few different points in Blissful Valley.

However the wildest name of the day got here Saturday afternoon when SEC officers incorrectly allowed a dead punt to be advanced in Memphis‘ 31-29 win over Mississippi State. Tigers vast receiver Calvin Austin III picked up the stay ball and returned it for a game-deciding landing, however due to the decision on the sector, it ought to by no means have counted. The decision was so complicated that the SEC officials truly launched a press release acknowledging the error. School soccer is likely one of the hardest sports activities to officiate, however it’s a disgrace when this stuff take away from the product. 

Clemson QB D.J. Uiagalelei: Bear in mind when Uiagalelei entered began in aid of Trevor Lawrence final yr towards Boston School and Notre Dame trying like the following huge factor in school soccer? That appears like a decade in the past. Uiagalelei struggled to rekindle that magic towards a dreadful Georgia Tech group Saturday, throwing for simply 126 yards on 25 makes an attempt. For comparability, Clemson beat this identical Georgia Tech group 73-7 final yr with 500 yards passing. Clemson has work to do across the offense, however three straight video games below 200 yards passing is an actual shock after what Uiagalelei confirmed final season. 

Virginia Tech: After bodily crushing North Carolina within the opener, it appeared like Virginia Tech may be able to once more ascend to the highest of the ACC Coastal competitors. Seems, it was foolish to assume we’d know something about school soccer’s most mercurial division. The Hokies could not full a comeback towards West Virginia. Explosive performs early within the recreation have been a difference-maker, as WVU opened with an 80-yard dashing landing from operating again Leddie Brown. This type of irritating inconsistency has plagued Justin Fuente’s groups all through his six years in Blacksburg. Sadly, it appears the Hokies haven’t turned any type of nook. 

School soccer chaos is on the horizon

Each group within the AP prime 10 gained on Saturday, however for the primary time in a protracted whereas, just a few of school soccer’s superpowers seemed fallible. The center class of the game has placed on a present by the primary few weeks. Ole Miss has been placing collectively an offensive exhibition. Applications like Virginia and Maryland have proven that they’ll trigger some points with their offensive playmakers. As most packages head into convention play, there is not any query that upsets are coming as soon as these groups play persistently higher competitors. Is there any actually good group this yr? Prepare, we’re about to search out out. 

The ‘elite’ tier of QBs is open

Heading into the 2021 season, Professional Soccer Focus ranked Oklahoma’s Spencer Rattler, UNC’s Sam Howell, Miami’s D’Eriq King, UCF‘s Dillon Gabriel and Indiana‘s Michael Penix Jr. as the highest 5 quarterbacks in America. Even bearing in mind new starters like Uiagalelei and C.J. Stroud at Ohio State, that prime tier has been surprisingly inconsistent. 

Each Penix and King have had main turnover points that proved expensive in losses to eight Cincinnati and Michigan State, respectively. Rattler’s manufacturing has been good, however Oklahoma has struggled to complete drives and Rattler threw some errant passes towards Nebraska. And now, Gabriel is out indefinitely with a damaged clavicle. 

The one younger star who has performed properly up to now is Alabama quarterback Bryce Young. Exterior of him, although, the elite quarterback tier is open for the taking. Underneath-the-radar names like Ole Miss‘ Matt Corral and Maryland’s Taulia Tagovailoa ought to enter the nationwide conversion quickly. 

It is time to take Michigan faculties severely

It was simple to dismiss Michigan State‘s spectacular victory over a struggling Northwestern within the opener, however occurring the highway and crushing Miami by three scores is tough to disregard. Operating again Kenneth Walker III seemed like a Heisman Trophy candidate in one more necessary victory. 

Michigan has additionally seemed remarkably constant on each side of the ball. Whereas the Wolverines have not performed anybody of specific word, they’ve taken care of enterprise — one thing that did not all the time was once the case below coach Jim Harbaugh. It actually helped that Western Michigan, one of many Wolverines’ earlier opponents, upset Pitt on Saturday. Heck, even Northern Illinois’ win over Georgia Tech within the opener earned some credibility after the Yellow Jackets took Clemson to the brink. 

Will the Massive Ten championship run by the state of Michigan? In all probability not. Regardless, each groups have achieved sufficient by three weeks that they need to be taken severely. Their battle on Oct. 30 shall be probably the greatest fights for the Paul Bunyan Trophy in years. | School soccer winners, losers, overreactions for Week 3: There’s an absence of elite groups this season


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