Shaffee’s College Football Recap [WEEK 2]
After being limited to 200 yards passing and just 27 rushing yards in the Wolverines’ 41-14 season opening blowout loss to Alabama, Michigan quarterback Denard Robinson exploded for 208 passing yards and more impressively, 218 rushing yards in a 31-25 home victory over Air Force. Michigan improved to 1-1 and should be able to move the ball at will and score as many points as they want to this week against Massachusetts. The next big test will come the following week when they travel to South Bend to take on Notre Dame. I’m impressed that the Wolverines were able to put the embarrassing loss to Alabama behind them to prepare for and defeat an Air Force team that plays smart football and never quits. Though they were able to hang on for the victory, Michigan must improve in all areas in order to beat Notre Dame and the upper half of the Big Ten this season.
The Spartans rolled in Mt. Pleasant, pounding Central Michigan on their way to a 41-7 victory as they improved to 2-0, setting up a big time match up this week against Notre Dame. MSU is running the ball very well and playing excellent defense. More times than not, a team will be successful with that formula. I expect Spartan Stadium to be rocking this Saturday night, which will no doubt lead to the Irish offense struggling against the stout MSU defense. Barring turnovers, MSU should be able to do enough to improve to 3-0 with a big win over Notre Dame.
The Irish kicked a 27 yard field goal with 7 seconds left to beat Purdue 20-17 in their home opener to improve to 2-0. Throughout the game, it seemed like it was taking Notre Dame too long to get their plays in, resulting in the unnecessary use of timeouts. That is a problem that needs to be fixed before they enter a hostile Spartan Stadium this week in order for the Irish to upset MSU. If MSU is smart, they will throw multiple blitz packages at Irish quarterback Everett Golson. The offensive line needs to play the game of their lives in order for Golson to have a chance to make big plays against MSU. The good news is that running back Cierre Wood will return to Notre Dame’s lineup after sitting the first 2 games out on suspension.
The Broncos picked up their first win of the season with a 52-21 win over Eastern Illinois. They round out a tough non-conference schedule with a game this Saturday at Minnesota and a home game against Connecticut. Western’s first 4 games should definitely prepare them for MAC play and a split between Minnesota and UCONN would be more than respectable.
The Chips took a good old fashioned beating from Michigan State. The good news is they don’t have to play MSU again, the bad news is that their next game is at Iowa on September 22nd. With an extra week to prepare, CMU could compete with an Iowa team that has struggled so far this season to score with an 18-17 victory over Northern Iowa and a 9-6 loss to in-state rival Iowa State.
After losing at home 31-14 to FCS team Illinois State, it doesn’t look like EMU has a prayer to win a football game until October 6th when they face Kent State. The next 2 games are at Purdue and at Michigan State. A reasonable goal for the Eagles is to try to not allow more than 100 points combined in those 2 games. The Eagles are certainly looking at an 0-4 start. Ouch.
GRAND VALLEY STATE
The Lakers were way too much for Notre Dame (Ohio) as they cruised to an 83-46 victory at home to improve to 2-0. I’ve respected GVSU’s winning tradition for years and so it’s exciting for me to be so close now that I live in Grand Rapids. The Lakers look for win number 3 this Saturday at Tiffin.
BIG WINNER OF THE WEEK…
It has to be the Louisiana-Monroe Warhawks for going into Little Rock and knocking off the 8th ranked Arkansas Razorbacks of the mighty SEC in overtime proving once again that nothing is won on paper in college football. If they can win this week at Auburn, it would be a historic feat for a team from the Sun Belt to win on consecutive weeks in SEC stadiums. I hope they do it.
BIG LOSER OF THE WEEK…
Of course I expected Penn State to struggle this year, but not only are they losing, they are choking. They have started the season by blowing a lead to lose at home to Ohio and then having a kicker miss 4 field goals and an extra point attempt in a 17-16 loss at Virginia. Despite the Jerry Sandusky ordeal and the loss of most of their better players, this team could still easily be 2-0. Instead, they are 0-2 and looking at the remaining schedule, I’d say they must beat Navy and Temple if they have any hopes of salvaging what could be a very horrible season. They are certainly up against it this year so they can’t afford to lose games the way they have lost them so far.
SHAFFEE’S PLAYER OF THE WEEK - KOLTON BROWNING, QB, Louisiana-Monroe
Browning was 42 for 67 with 412 yards passing with 3 touchdown passes along with 69 rushing yards and the game-winning 16-yard touchdown run in overtime at Arkansas.
SHAFFEE’S TOP 10 [Week 2]
RANK, TEAM, RECORD, THIS WEEK’S OPPONENT
1. ALABAMA, 2-0, at Arkansas
2. LSU, 2-0, Idaho
3. USC, 2-0, at Stanford
4. OREGON, 2-0, Tennessee Tech
5. FLORIDA STATE, 2-0, Wake Forest
6. WEST VIRGINIA, 1-0, James Madison
7. CLEMSON, 2-0, Furman
8. OKLAHOMA, 2-0, No Game
9. OHIO STATE, 2-0, California
10. MICHIGAN STATE, 2-0, Notre Dame
Dropped from my rankings – Nebraska (#8 last week)