Elite Eleven Series: What we learned from Week 2 in College Football

#1 Georgia:

Result: Won 45-3 vs Ball State

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Prove they can get off to a Fast Start ❌
  • Improved Run Game ❌
  • Improved Run Defense ✅
  • Improved Pass Rush ❌

Once again, Georgia won big but showed glaring causes for concern for the second week in a row. After a slow start in week one, they once more got off to an anemic start, unable to score a single point in the first half. The run game didn’t improve much this week either, with their leading rusher (Roderick Robinson II) having only 38 yards on the ground and averaging under 3.5 yards per carry as a team. The pass rush was once again nonexistent, unable to come up with a single sack on one of Ball State’s 37 pass attempts. The good news is the Bulldog’s defense was able to sure up their run defense, allowing only 77 total rushing yards and just 2.8 yards per carry. Another positive takeaway from the game was Georgia’s secondary remained outstanding, picking off Ball State Quarterback Kadin Semonza three times and holding the Cardinals to just 147 yards passing for the game.

#2 Michigan

Result: Won 35-7 vs UNLV

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Build off of their performance in Week 1 ✅
  • Their Defense Continuing to be great ✅
  • J.J. McCarthy having another good performance ✅
  • Improved Pass Rush ✅

Michigan checked all the boxes this week. The Wolverines dominated UNLV in every aspect of the game, building off of their week 1 performance. The defense didn’t allow a single point until the 4th quarter and held UNLV to just 229 total yards on offense. J.J. McCarthy once again had a jaw-dropping performance, proving he is one of the most talented Quarterbacks in the nation. Perhaps most impressive of all is that Michigan was able to fix their lone concern from week one, which was the pass rush. In week 2, the Wolverine’s defense was able to record 5 sacks after not recording a single one the previous week. If Michigan continues like this, they will cement themselves as one of the most complete teams in the country.

#3 Alabama

Result: Lost 34-24 vs Texas

What I wanted to see from them:

  • For the Defense to continue to dominate ❌
  • For Jalen Milroe to prove he can be a proficient passer not just rusher ❌

Alabama fell flat in week 2 versus Texas. Their stellar defensive performance from the previous week didn’t translate over as they got torn apart in the air by Quinn Ewers all night. Failing to record a single sack, interception, or forced turnover, the Crimson Tide defense looked helpless for most of the night. Looking over at the offensive side of the ball, Jalen Milroe didn’t impress with his arm, throwing two interceptions and making questionable decisions for the entirety of the game. He, as well as the play calling, will have to improve if Alabama has any hopes of making the playoff. The Alabama running game didn’t excite either, rushing for just over 107 yards as a team and only averaging 3.1 yards per carry.

Overall, this team will have to improve in nearly every facet of the game if they expect to compete against the big boys of college football this year.

#4 Florida State

Result: Won 66-13 vs Southern Miss

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Jordan Travis to continue to impress ❔
  • The offensive line continue to play at a high level ✅
  • Improvement in the run game on offense ✅
  • The defense continue to be elite ✅

While Jordan Travis wasn’t elite in this game, he didn’t have to be. The Noles were already up by 28 at halftime, so they didn’t need to rely on their star Quarterback much at all. He still didn’t look bad, throwing for 175 yards and two touchdowns with no interceptions. The offensive line looked satisfactory, allowing Southern Miss to record two sacks during the game, but where they really shined was the running game, where Florida State ran for a whopping 8.3 yards per carry during the game, which was a massive improvement from last week’s run game performance. The defense picked right up where they left off last week, allowing just 154 passing yards, recording a pick-six, and giving up only 13 points all game. Florida State is showing everyone in the college football world they are an extremely well-constructed and impressive team.

#5 Ohio State

Result: Won 35-7 vs Youngstown State

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Improved overall offensive performance ✅
  • Better performance from Kyle McCord ✅
  • Marvin Harrison Jr, Emeka Egbuka, and TreVeyon Henderson to get more involved ✅
  • For the defense to continue to dominate ✅

After a poor performance in week 1, the Buckeyes offense looked much improved against Youngstown State. Putting up a total of 482 yards on offense, as well as not having a single turnover, was a good signal after the concerning game against Indiana. What was even more of a welcomed sight was the re-emergence of Marvin Harrison Jr. and Emeka Egbuka, who combined for 254 yards receiving and 3 touchdowns. New starter Kyle McCord looked comfortable, throwing for 258 yards and 3 touchdowns. Perhaps the most dominant performance came from star running back TreVeyon Henderson, who averaged 11.2 yards per carry and ran in for two touchdowns on the evening. The other good news is the defense continued to hold up, allowing just 12 first downs all game and holding the Penguins to under 100 yards rushing and under 150 yards passing. If the Buckeyes can continue to improve on the offensive side of the ball, they have a chance to go all the way this season with how talented their roster is.

#6 USC

Result: Won 56-10 vs Stanford

What I wanted to see from them:

  • The offense to continue to impress ✅
  • Improved overall Defensive performance and give up fewer points and yards than in their first two games ✅

Once again, the USC offense proved why they are the most explosive offense in the country. Caleb Williams was nearly perfect, Marshawn Lloyd looked great running the ball, and Tahj Washington continued his amazing season, cementing himself as Caleb Williams’s number-one target. On the day, the offense had 573 total yards and put up another 50+ point performance. While the Trojan’s defense only allowed 10 points, which was progress over their last two weeks, the raw numbers still show they have much to improve on that side of the ball. They allowed Stanford to convert 20 first downs in the game, have nearly 350 yards of total offense, and run for over 200 yards on the day. Some good news is they were able to turn Stanford over 3 times, recovering two fumbles and picking off quarterback Ashton Daniels once. It was a positive first step for a defense that will have to improve during the season if USC wants to keep those playoff hopes alive.

#7 Penn State

Result: Won 63-7 vs Delaware

What I wanted to see from them:

  • For Drew Allar to continue to show out ✅
  • For KeAndre Lambert-Smith to continue to look explosive ✅
  • Consistent play on defense and a more Dominate defensive performance ✅

Penn State absolutely dominated Delaware in every aspect of the game. Drew Allar was nearly perfect, throwing 22/26 for 204 yards with a touchdown, as well as using his legs to run in a touchdown during the game. KeAndre Lambert-Smith continues to be his go-to receiver, hauling in 6 receptions for 74 yards. The real standout performance was on the defensive side of the ball. The Nittany Lions allowed just 58 yards passing, 82 yards rushing, and just 6 receptions the entire game. They allowed Delaware to convert just 5 first downs and forced two turnovers on the day. This was a defensive masterclass, and it will be interesting to see if they can translate that performance into next week’s game vs. Illinois.

#8 Washington

Result: Won 43-10 vs Tulsa

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Improve on the defensive side of the ball overall ✅
  • Improve the run defense ❌
  • The offense prove they are one of the best in the Nation with another elite performance ✅

Washington is proving to everyone this year that they are an elite football team. The main concern all season was on the defensive side of the ball and whether that defense would be able to hold up against good offenses. We got a hint this week as they held Tulsa to just 10 points and allowed just 150 yards passing. Now, this doesn’t tell the entire story because Washington did give up nearly 170 rushing yards, 22 first downs, two 4th down conversions, and over 30:00 minutes of possession time. While this was an improvement and a step in the right direction, this wasn’t a dominant defensive performance. There is no question about what the strength of this Washington team is, and that’s the offense. They once again had an elite performance, racking up 563 total yards and scoring 43 points. Michael Penix Jr. threw for over 400 yards and three touchdowns, while his go-to receiving duo (McMillan and Odunze) caught 15 passes for 227 yards and two touchdowns. If the Husky’s defense can keep improving week to week, they might be off and running by the time they play Oregon on October 14th.

#9 Tennessee

Result: Won 30-13 vs Austin Peay

What I wanted to see from them:

  • The continued maturation of Joe Milton ✅
  • The continued dominance of the Vols running game ✅
  • The continued dominance of the Vols defense ❔

This was not a pretty game played by Tennessee versus a team they should have beaten by over 30 points. The score was 13-6 at halftime, and the whole team just didn’t look ready to play. Luckily, they picked it up a bit more in the second half, but this was still a lackluster performance overall. On the offensive side of the ball, Joe Milton played well enough, throwing for 228 yards and two touchdowns while also running in another score himself. The running game was outstanding with the two-headed monster at running back Jaylen Wright and Jabari Small, who rushed for a combined 213 yards. Looking at the defensive side of the ball, the Vols racked up 7 sacks, forced two turnovers, and allowed just 13 points. Where some concern might lie is in the fact Tennessee allowed the Governors to rack up 260 passing yards and allowed 6 different receivers to catch 3 or more passes, as well as allowing nearly 40:00 minutes of possession time. Where the defense stepped up was the run game, allowing just 79 total rushing yards and giving up just 2.3 yards per carry. As Tennessee starts to enter into SEC play, they are going to need to get more defensive stops and sure up that secondary if they want a chance at the SEC title and a playoff berth.

#10 Note Dame

Result: Won 45-24 vs NC State

What I wanted to see from them:

  • The continued showing of an elite defensive team ✅
  • Improved running game ✅
  • Good offensive performance ✅

In their opening games this season, the Fighting Irish have shown they’re a force to be reckoned with, slamming their rivals with a whopping score difference of 98-6. But this week, they faced their first true challenge, hitting the road to clash with the tough NC State Wolfpack in Raleigh. The big question was if they could replicate their defensive performances over the first two weeks and bring that momentum with them to the game this week. While the defense did give up 344 total yards, the surrounding metrics were outstanding. The Irish defense was able to record three interceptions three forced fumbles, held the Wolfpack to just 2.8 yards per carry, and didn’t allow a single player to record over 65 yards receiving. The offense was also clicking on all cylinders. Sam Hartman threw for 286 yards and four touchdowns, but the most important part is the running game, and Audric Estime got going to relieve some of the pressure off Hartman. Estime rushed for nearly 10 yards per carry, 134 yards, and scored two touchdowns. If Notre Dame can get these types of balanced performances week in and week out, they are going to be hard to beat.

#11 Texas

Result: Won 34-24 vs Alabama

What I wanted to see from them:

  • Quinn Ewers proving he is the man for the job ✅
  • The continued domination of the Texas run defense ✅
  • Improvement on the offensive line ✅
  • Improved running game on offense ❌
  • Get off to a fast start ❔

This Texas versus Alabama game showed us what both of these teams are made of. Texas is the real deal this season and corrected almost every weakness they had shown in week 1 against Rice to come back and absolutely crush the Crimson Tide. Quinn Ewers had an amazing game, throwing for 349 yards and 3 touchdowns, proving he is the man for the job this season for the Longhorns. The offensive line stepped up big time, not allowing a single sack and just two tackles for loss all game. The Texas running game still couldn’t get going, only averaging 2.8 yards per carry, which might cause some issues as the season progresses. Flipping over to the defensive side of the ball, the Texas run defense put on a great performance, not allowing a single Bama player to rush for over 45 yards and only allowing 3.1 yards per carry. The secondary also stepped up at times, picking off Jalen Milroe twice but also allowing a few big plays. This is a huge win for Texas, and if they can ride the momentum off of this win, the sky is the limit.

About Gabriel 134 Articles
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