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College Football ’18: These teams are in trouble

trouble

It’s only two full weeks into the college football season, but there are already some Power 5 teams that find themselves in a rough situation. There is plenty of time for a turnaround or, in some cases, to find a way to win consistently and prove their worth against the best in the nation.

Here’s a look at some well-known programs in early trouble or that have a bit of a hole – some bigger than others – to dig out from.

Arizona

Kevin Sumlin didn’t think the start to his tenure at Arizona would be this bad.

An opening loss to BYU was somewhat stunning because it was at home and the Cougars were coming off a four-win season. However, losing at Houston, certainly no pushover, 45-18 set the alarm off as the trouble continued.

On defense, the Wildcats yielded 480 yards rushing and did not force a turnover in their two games.

Offensively, they’ve scored 10 first-half points and now must deal with a leg injury to all-everything quarterback Khalil Tate, whose status for Saturday’s game against Southern Utah is up in the air.

After that contest, Arizona has a winnable date with Oregon State before getting into the meat of its Pac-12 schedule.

Florida State

The Seminoles bounced back from an opening three-touchdown loss to a Virginia Tech squad that seems better than expected by beating FCS-program Samford 36-26.

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Photo by theathletic.com

If that score looks concerning, it should. Florida State trailed 13-0 in the first quarter and 23-21 at halftime. It needed a fourth-quarter rally just to escape with a victory.

Sophomore running back Cam Akers is averaging 5.6 yards per carry, but did not crack the 100-yard mark or score a touchdown in either game. Meanwhile, quarterback Deondre Francois needs to find his rhythm or this team will be in even more trouble.

This weekend, Florida State visits Syracuse, which is 2-0 and has totaled 117 points in two games.

Purdue

After posting their first winning record in six seasons and going to a bowl, the Boilermakers felt good about 2018. However, with two frustrating home defeats, the focus now is simply winning six games.

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Photo by chicagotribune.com

Struggles early and again late doomed Purdue in a 31-27 loss to Northwestern. An overall lack of focus did the Boilermakers in against Eastern Michigan, which made a last-second field goal for a 20-19 win.

A lack of discipline (16 penalties) and issues at quarterback have plagued the Boilermakers, who now host 2-0 Missouri and then undefeated Boston College before returning to Big Ten action.

UCLA

Dating to last year’s bowl loss to Kansas State, the Bruins have been outscored 110-55 during a three-game losing streak. UCLA actually led 7-0 at Oklahoma last weekend before things got ugly in the 49-21 defeat.

Chip Kelly has done nothing thus far to make the fans in the Westwood believe that better days are ahead. There also might be a quarterback controversy brewing between former Michigan signal-caller Wilton Speight and Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who handled his own against the Sooners.

The offensive line has been mostly responsible for the Bruins’ 11 sacks allowed and the defense gave up 373 rushing yards in the two games.

The trouble could continue with Fresno State this weekend before Pac-12 play starts at upstart Colorado.

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