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Week 3 is in the books and the topsy-turvy world of college football continues to unfold. Each week brings surprises and crazy games to add to the greatness of this exciting sport. Let’s hand out the PAPA DUDE AWARDS for Week 3.
No.1: Penn State and Their White-Out Crowd: The Nittany Lions recorded their 2nd big-time win Saturday night with a 28-20 victory over the ranked Auburn Tigers. We knew going into the game that they could play defense, but they also received a great game from quarterback Sean Clifford who threw for 309 yards. If Clifford plays like he did on Saturday, Penn State suddenly becomes a threat to derail the Buckeye train in the Big10 conference. And a special shout-out goes to the Penn State crowd and the 100,000 white pom pons that were shaken in unison the entire night. It was a very impressive sight and it is what makes college football what it is. EVERY PENN STATE PLAYER AND FAN GETS A GAME BALL
No.2: BYU Cougars: For the 2nd week in a row they defeated a ranked team from the Pac-12 conference in Provo. After dispatching of Utah a week ago, they took on the Arizona Sun Devils and methodically whipped them 27-17. The Cougars are pretty damned good and, while they have some tough games left, they have a legitimate chance to run the table. EVERYONE GETS A GAME BALL
No.3 Ole Miss Rebels Offense: Has anyone been more impressive than Matt Corral, the leader of the Mississippi high-flying offense? Admittingly, the competition hasn’t been great and it is going to get a lot tougher, but they are rolling up some pretty good numbers. They have a week off next week before a trip to Tuscaloosa against Bama will tell us how good they are. A thought to keep in mind, they torched the Tide defense last year in Oxford and they are better on defense this year. EVERYONE ON OFFENSE GETS A GAME BALL
No.4 Big12 Conference: Last week I bashed this conference but they redeemed themselves by winning 4 decent non-conference games. Oklahoma beat Nebraska (not a big deal really), Kansas State was sharp in their win over a good Nevada team 35-17, Oklahoma State went on the road and won at Boise State 21-20, and West Virginia beat 15th ranked Virginia Tech 27-21. This brings some credibility back to this dysfunctional bunch of teams. NO GAME BALLS, JUST A NICE ROUND OF APPLAUSE
No.5 Michigan State: The Spartans are probably the biggest surprise of the season so far. Picked last in the Big10 by a few preseason magazines, they have sprinted to a 3-0 record. Last Saturday, they went to Miami and decisively beat the Hurricanes 38-17. Quarterback, Payton Thorne has come out of nowhere and thrown for 726 yards with 9 touchdowns and zero interceptions. Kenneth Walker has rushed for 493 yards and is averaging 8 yards per carry. They have added a bunch of transfers and this team has come together in a short period of time. EVERYONE GETS A GAME BALL
No.1 Clemson Offense: The Tigers have been inept, to say the least, on offense to start 2021. It was supposed to be a smooth transition from Trevor Lawrence to D.J. Uiagalelei but to this point he has been a major disappointment. He has completed 51 of 86 passes for 475 yards and 1 touchdown and two interceptions. Against their two Division-1 opponents they have scored 17 total points, including 14 against a mediocre Georgia Tech team. Clemson has only 402 rushing yards and one of those games was against South Carolina State. They have to get the offense going if they are going to run the table in the weak ACC. GRADE FOR CLEMSON”S OFFENSE: F
No.2 Miami: The Hurricanes came into the season with high hopes, coming off of an 8-3 record in 2020, and an experienced quarterback returning also. But they were slaughtered in the opener against Alabama, eked out a 25-23 win over Appalachian State in Game 2, and then were blown out by Michigan State in Miami this past Saturday. They clearly are in a tenuous position that could cause them to go into a freefall and are lucky that they play a cupcake this week. GRADE FOR THE ENTIRE PROGRAM: F
No.3 Florida State: For the first time since 1976, Florida State has started the season 0-3. There are only two teams from the power conferences (Arizona being the other one) that are still winless. They started the season with a near-win against Notre Dame and looked like they were ready to climb back to respectability. Then came the last second, second debacle that resulted in a loss to Jacksonville State, followed by a 35-14 trouncing by Wake Forest. Fans are calling for Mike Norvell’s head and who knows what is going to happen with a red-hot Louisville team coming to town this week. GRADE FOR THE ENTIRE PROGRAM: F
No.4 SEC Conference Officials: It’s too bad that the SEC officials aren’t as competent as the football teams from the same conference. On Saturday there were 2 gaffes involving the SEC referees. The first (and not as noteworthy but it could have been), occurred in the Penn State-Auburn game when they lost track of downs. It should have been third down and instead they said it was fourth down. There are 7 referees in a game plus the people running the down markers, plus all the experts in the replay booths. How can it ever be possible for this kind of thing to happen? Could replay not have pointed out this mistake. But this incident pales in comparison to what happened in the Mississippi State-Memphis game. Mississippi State punted the ball and it was touched significantly by the Bulldogs. The referee was waving his arms signifying that the play was over, when a Memphis player swoops in and grabs the ball and stuns the Mississippi State defenders who thought the play was over. The play resulted in a 94-yard punt return that the SEC has said should have been overturned. Why wasn’t that decided then? Why have replay? Can’t seven officials concur and realize they made the wrong call? GRADE FOR THE OFFICIALS AND THE REPLAY BOOTH: F–
No.5 All of Us Alabama Worshippers: Yep, once again we all reacted prematurely to the opening game win for the Crimson Tide. I’m one of them and we all just assumed that Miami was a lot better than they have turned out to be. This week’s game against Florida was a one close for Alabama, and maybe, just maybe, there are flaws with the Alabama defense. Or are we all overreacting again. One game at a time people, one game at a time. If sports has taught us anything, it’s you never know what can happen from week to week. GRADE FOR US OVERREACTORS: F
Dishonorable Mentions: Arizona football, Spencer Rattler
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