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On College Football 2022: Week 6 Recap and Week 7 Pre...
Ken said:
Yeah, we've both had our share of hope and disappointment in this game. Let's just hope for a good b...
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Glad to see you'll be back writing football again, Ken! Congrats on the easy win today. You didn't ...
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College Football 2022: Week 1 Recap and Week 2 Preview
Wednesday, 2022 September 7 - 5:02 pm
Michigan wins easily; Penn State and NC State survive nail-biters.

Michigan 51, Colorado State 7
This didn't feel as good as the scoreboard looked. While Michigan dominated in every statistic, every now and then CSU managed to put together a couple of runs and complete some passes (before a devastating turnover or sack destroyed the drive). Take the opening drive:
  • 1st & 10 at CSU 20: A'Jon Vivens run for 5 yds
  • 2nd & 5 at CSU 25: Clay Millen pass complete to Tory Horton for 8 yds
  • 1st & 10 at CSU 33: Clay Millen pass complete to Tanner Arkin for 9 yds
  • 2nd & 1 at CSU 42: A'Jon Vivens run for 3 yds
  • 1st & 10 at CSU 45: Clay Millen pass complete to A'Jon Vivens for a loss of 1 yard
  • 2nd & 11 at CSU 44: A'Jon Vivens run for 5 yds
  • 3rd & 6 at CSU 49: Clay Millen sacked by Mike Sainristil for a loss of 2 yards
I definitely saw some struggles with linebackers trying to cover receivers in space. Part of that was Nikhai Hill Green being out with an injury, to be sure. And while we saw some spectacular sacks from the defensive line, there was the occasional instance where the ends lost containment or rushed too far upfield. But still, that's all correctable. And it was encouraging to see the new ends playing well: Jaylen Harrell and Eyabi Anoma stood out to me as guys to watch.

On offense, Cade McNamara didn't have a great day. His stats were heavily padded by a 61-yard catch and run by Roman Wilson. On his other 17 attempts, he only threw for 75 yards. He rarely looked downfield, made bad reads at times, and was bafflingly inaccurate. Meanwhile, when JJ McCarthy came in, he was 4/4 for 30 yards and he also rushed for 50 yards, and looked every bit like the more polished quarterback. If JJ performs well next week against Hawaii, I think he wins the starting job.

The running game looked decent, but not great. It'll look better once starting LT Ryan Hayes returns from an injury. Backup Karsen Barnhart got hurt during the game as well.

Mostly, CSU was just bad, particularly on both lines. It's hard to take much away from this game.

Michigan vs. Hawaii, 8:00 PM BTN
At least Michigan isn't going to make Hawaii play a noon game (6AM Hawaii time) after a 14-hour plane ride to Michigan. As it is, 0-2 Hawaii is a 51 point underdog going into this game. 51 points. Vanderbilt put up 404 rushing yards on them. They just lost to Western Kentucky by 32 points. It's hard not to see this being a slaughter.

The QB is bad. For a pass-reliant offense, that's a problem. The defense is undersized; most of them will be face guys across the line of scrimmage that outweigh them by 80 pounds. Michigan could probably win this by not passing the ball once, but I'd expect JJ to put up some bombs downfield when the opportunity presents itself. The only question will be, when will Michigan bring in the reserves, and will Hawaii ever cross into Michigan territory.

Prediction: Michigan 63, Hawaii 0.

Penn State 35, Purdue 31
Penn State needed a last minute touchdown to pull out this win. To be sure, the last drive was a thing of beauty, an 80-yard march in 8 plays. But the three drives before that were: horrible pick-6, 4-and-out, 3-and-out. Meanwhile Purdue put up 21 points in the second half, and had 426 yards of offense. The defensive line failed to put much pressure on Purdue quarterback Aidan O'Connell, and the linebackers often looked lost in coverage.

There are lots of things that need fixing. The OL still needs work. But it's always better to find areas for improvement on the back of a win instead of a loss, and Penn State has some time to get better. While an away game against Auburn in week 3 looks like it might be tough, Penn State has the Ohio Bobcats this week, Central Michigan in week 4, and Northwestern in week 5. And there's a bye in week 6. That might be enough to get a little bit of a rhythm before PSU has to travel to Ann Arbor in week 7.

Penn State vs Ohio, 12:00 PM ABC
Penn State is a 25-point favorite against the 1-0 Ohio Bobcats. But Ohio isn't going to be a cakewalk. Ohio QB Kurtis Rourke is an accurate and dangerous passer, and if the Penn State linebackers don't get things figured out, things might get scary. The Ohio defense is not great; if there was ever a chance for Clifford to exorcize some demons and put together a big passing day, this might be it.

Prediction: Penn State 43, Ohio 24.

NC State 21, ECU 20
I rescind my glowing expectations for NCSU this year. The Wolfpack looked downright awful in this "win", a game that ECU should have won had it not been for a missed extra point and a missed field goal at the end of the game. Oh yeah, and one of State's touchdowns came on a punt block. Otherwise, the defense looked slow and lost. The offense was anemic, with six punts, a failed fourth down conversion, a fumble, and an interception. I think it's safe to say that Devin Leary's Heisman campaign is done.

There was perhaps one bright spot with tailback Demie Sumo-Karngbaye having a decent day, putting up 79 yards on 14 carries with almost no help from the offensive line. Otherwise, it's hard to point out much that went right for State. They'll need every bit of the next three weeks (against Charleston Southern, Texas Tech, and UConn) to figure things out before playing Clemson week 5.

NC State vs Charleston Southern, 12:30 PM Streaming ESPN3
ESPN doesn't have a betting line on this game, but puts NC State with a 99.5% to win. But look out, because the Buccaneers' quarterback Ross Malmgren is a gunslinger. State can't sleep their way through this game. Fortunately, Charleston Southern will be woefully overmatched on the line. I think the Bucs may score some points, but knock on wood, this won't be much of a test for State.

Prediction: NC State 45, Charleston Southern 16.

Notable Results
The bonkers game of the week was clearly UNC vs App State. App State scored 40 (40!) points in the fourth quarter and somehow still lost. With 31 seconds left in the game, App State scored what could have been a game-tying touchdown, but they went for the 2-point conversion and failed. The subsequent on-side kick attempt, was recovered by UNC and returned for a touchdown; if the returner had just gone down before scoring, the game would have been over. As it was, App State got another chance with 28 seconds left, and promptly scored another touchdown in two plays. But they failed on the two point conversion again, and the game was over.

#2 Ohio State beat #5 Notre Dame 21-10. Notre Dame hung in this one for a long time, mostly by sitting in a two-deep zone and forcing Ohio State to put together long drives. Then, they inexplicably decided to send a delayed blitz, which CJ Stroud promptly torched for a touchdown. That was pretty much it. I think Ohio State showed some weaknesses in this game.

#3 Georgia absolutely demolished #11 Oregon 49-3. I think Oregon was vastly overrated. Meanwhile, Georgia's 6'7" 270-pound tight end Darnell Washington was a sight to behold. He looked absolutely monstrous against the 5'11" cornerbacks trying to cover and tackle him.

Iowa beat South Dakota State 7-3... by scoring a field goal and two safeties. The QB rating for Iowa's Spencer Petras: 1.1. Out of 100.

Florida upset #7 Utah 29-26. Indiana won an surprisingly exciting game against Illinois 23-20.

Games to Watch on TV
It's a pretty slow week. Penn State plays Ohio at noon on ABC. #1 Alabama is at Texas on Fox. At 3:30 PM, #24 Tennessee plays at #17 Pitt on ABC. Washington State is at #19 Wisconsin on Fox. App State is at #6 Texas A&M on ESPN2. At 4:00, Iowa plays Iowa State in what should be another slugfest on BTN.

At 7:00, #20 Kentucky plays at #12 Florida on ESPN. I suppose this is your Game of the Week. At 7:30, #10 USC plays at Stanford on ABC. The #4 Michigan game against Hawaii is at 8:00 PM on BTN. Boston College plays at Virginia Tech on ACCN. At 10:15, #9 Baylor plays at #21 BYU on ESPN.
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