College football never seems to disappoint. There may have been a few blowouts in some marquee games, but the level of excitement in some other games more than made up for it. Let’s take a look at the top stories you may have missed last week and some stuff you should know for the week ahead.
Playing to Win the Game
Herm Edwards no doubt told his Arizona State team that they should play to win the game when they hosted Michigan State on Saturday, and the Sun Devils did just that. Arizona State scored 13 unanswered points in the 4th quarter, including a last-second field goal to knock off the no. 15 Spartans 16-13 in the desert. It was a statement win for Edwards and the Sun Devils, especially in just his second game as a college head coach. ASU still has to play four more ranked teams this season, so getting this win was huge for their bowl hopes.
Oklahoma has looked as good as any team in the country through two games. But they suffered a huge blow on Saturday with running back Rodney Anderson being lost for the season due to a knee injury that occurred on the final play of the 1st quarter. Anderson had battled injuries throughout his career but was healthy enough to win the starting job this season. He had 119 yards on 11 carries and three touchdowns through the first five quarters of the season. Sophomore Trey Sermon and freshman T.J. Pledger will be counted on to fill the void left by Anderson’s injury.
Not an Ideal Start
There was incredible excitement for the Scott Frost era to begin in Nebraska, but things didn’t turn out as the Cornhuskers envisioned. They blew a lead to former Big 12 rival Colorado, losing 33-28. In the process, true freshman starting quarterback Adrian Martinez left the game with an injury after a promising start to his career. As of Monday morning, there is no firm diagnosis on the injury. However, Martinez is the only scholarship quarterback on Nebraska’s roster. The backup is sophomore walk-on Andrew Bunch, who could be forced to take over as the starter if Martinez has to miss time. The Cornhuskers host Troy this week followed by a road trip to Michigan the following week.
Double Dukie Trouble
Duke is off to a 2-0 start after Saturday’s win over Northwestern, but they will be missing some key players going forward. Quarterback Daniel Jones, who has looked exceptional through two weeks, suffered a broken clavicle against Northwestern. It’s not considered a season-ending injury, but he will be out indefinitely. Experienced junior Quentin Harris will start at quarterback for the foreseeable future. Meanwhile, cornerback Mark Gilbert has been lost for the season with a hip injury. Gilbert, a junior, led the ACC in interceptions last season, so he’s been a big part of the Duke defense that has performed well early in the year.
The Streak is Over
The longest current winning streak of one team over another came to an end on Saturday night. The Florida Gators had won 31 consecutive games over the Kentucky Wildcats, but that streak is no more. After a heartbreaking loss in this matchup last season, Kentucky stunned the Gators in Gainesville 27-16, scoring on a 30-yard fumble recovery on the final play of the game to put the finishing touches on a historic win.
Adding Injury to Insult
Things got worse for Florida even after their loss to Kentucky. Soon after the game, the father of starting cornerback Marco Wilson said that he tore his ACL in the game and will miss the rest of the season. Wilson, just a sophomore, started 11 games as a freshman last season, so he was a bit of a rising star in Florida’s secondary. Also, reserve running back Adarius Lemons announced via social media within a half hour of the game ending that he is transferring. Lemons returned two kickoffs during the Kentucky game but had not received a touch as a running back through two games this season.
One of the biggest stories to monitor in the days to come is Hurricane Florence and the impact the storm could have on this week’s college football schedule. The storm is expected to make landfall on Thursday, bringing heavy run and wind to the Carolina and Virginia, making travel late in the week difficult and possibly making conditions on Saturday unplayable.
Among the teams in those states that are hosting games this week are N.C. State, Wake Forest, North Carolina, Virginia, Virginia Tech, Clemson, and South Carolina, among several other mid-majors, so things could get messy either on the field or with scheduling makeups.