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Ping Pong
  • Eric Martinez

Week 2 of NCAAF displays a magnitude of David taking down Goliath

With week 2 approaching earlier this week, it was apparent that college football will be unpredictable on how the final College Football Playoffs standings end in December. Several contenders in week 1 had resistance by opponents especially against teams that weren’t even expected to make it that close. One example of a week 1 success was Notre Dame. Last Saturday night, the resiliency of the Fighting Irish in the first half had many of the Ohio State fans questioning if the Buckeyes would survive this game at the Horseshoe in Columbus, OH. Even though Notre Dame lost 21-10, the Fighting Irish showed potential and made new coach Marcus Freeman excited for what is to come. Building a program is truly difficult. Consistency is always the key to the foundation. With that being said, week 2 brought in a Marshall University team that was 1-0 into South Bend to play Notre Dame. The Fighting Irish were heavily favored; however, no one could foresee what would happen to Notre Dame. Three interceptions that resulted in the most turnovers by both teams, allowing over 219 rushing yards, and allowing the Thunder Herd to have a slight edge in time of possession ultimately resulted in a 8th ranked Notre Dame loss of 26-21 to a surprising 2-0 Sun Belt Conference team. That was just the beginning of upsets to follow.

Anyone that follows college football can agree that the SEC conference produces National Championships, and landscapes the college football playoffs in recent years. In 2022-2023 nothing has changed. Experts have predicted three teams to reach the CFP, Alabama, Georgia and Texas A&M. Alabama escaped a near hiccup upset on Saturday as University of Texas filled the stadium in Austin with fans that are always prepared to cheer on their ‘Horns. Alabama’s second half defensive dominance resulted in a road win 20-19 avoiding a loss. As we travel east in the great state of Texas, you reach another great town/city of College Station where the entire fan base will continuously remind you of the “Gig ‘em Aggies” mindset every chance they can. A home opener at the Texas A&M Kyle Field is a tremendous experience. Enter the Mountaineers of Appalachian State. After dropping a heart breaker in week 1, the Mountaineers were ready to climb a mountain and send a shockwave to the SEC conference and the entire CFP committee. One of the highlights for App St was quarterback Chase Brice that went 15 of 30 completions, passing for over 134 yards, 1 touchdown thrown and most importantly 0 interceptions/turnovers.

It’s key to highlight that statistic as the counter QB for Texas A&M, Sophomore Haynes King, threw for 13 of 20 with 97 passing yards, 0 touchdowns thrown and fumbled the football twice in crucial moments. Although the Aggies offense seemed to not be the same as week 1, the defense allowed 315 total yards to the Mountaineers and allowed 22 first downs, and App St. accumulated 41:29 minutes as compared to the 18:17 minutes that Texas A&M had based on possession. Ultimately, Appalachian State upset a 6th ranked Texas A&M 17-14 and tacks on an impressive win for another team from the Sun Belt Conference in addition to Marshall to take down a giant contender.

If that wasn’t enough upsets for a college football fan, there was way more to follow. Washington State traveled to Madison, WI as a heavy underdog against a stout Wisconsin Badgers team. A Pac-12 victory for the Cougars of Washington St. 17-14 over a 19th ranked Wisconsin was a trend of upsets in week 2. Another stop on the Texas upset train had a stop in Lubbock, TX where the Red Raiders of Texas Tech produced a total of 468 total yards and a 33-30 victory over number 25th ranked Houston Cougars in double overtime. The trend continued towards the evening games. The Florida Gators have always been a different type of team playing in the “Swamp” home field in Gainesville, FL. With the predicted SEC East contender arriving Saturday in University of Kentucky Wildcats, the Gators were looking to go back-to-back wins after a week 1 home win vs. Utah. More importantly, Gators wanted that first SEC victory. Gators came into the game ranked 12th. In the words of legendary Lee Corso, “Not so fast my friend.” Number 20th ranked Kentucky played a grit type of game to control the line of scrimmage and secure an upset win over Florida by defensive plays (2 interceptions and 1 fumble recovered) and a 26-16 win in the Swamp. Keeping the Sun Belt Conference trend was also the Georgia Southern Eagles traveled to Nebraska and outscored the Cornhuskers 45-42 and secured a great day for the Sun Belt non-conference wins. Saturday night ended with a matchup of 2 top 25 schools. Baylor traveled to Provo, UT to take on the BYU Cougars. An exciting game under the lights resulting in questionable play calls by Baylor, missed field goals by both teams, and the trouble for road teams to win in Provo continued. Number 21st ranked BYU outlasted number 9th ranked Baylor 26-20 in double overtime.

If this is any indication of what College Football will produce this year, then we are in for a “hold on to your seat” season. Knowing that every game has a chance of an unpredictable outcome excites College Football fans in a time of college football expansion plans have begun to roll out.

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