College football has eight weeks in the books, but there is still a long way to go. Each week more is learned about each team, even though not everything can be known. Putting the pieces together on college football each season is part of why fans love it. With that being said, here is College Football: 5 things learned from week 8.
1. Ohio State has some really bad flaws
Ohio State suffered an upset loss at Purdue on Saturday which even left Urban Meyer saying that the Buckeyes got exposed. Purdue was able to exploit those flaws and now Ohio State has to work their way back to winning football.
The biggest flaw is pass defense, which has been seen in previous weeks, but the Boilermakers were the first team able to fully take advantage of this flaw. Quarterback David Blough threw for 378 yards and three touchdowns, while star receiver Rondale Moore had 12 catches for 170 yards and two touchdowns. They are defense that is incapable of keeping the ball in front of them and limiting big plays through the air.
Purdue running back D.J. Knox also gashed Ohio State for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 8.8 yards per carry.
While Dwayne Haskins played decently, the Buckeyes were unable to get anything going on the ground with only 76 yards for the game.
Ohio State has a lot to clean up and if they want to compete for the Big Ten and the College Football Playoff they better do it quickly.
2. Gardner Minshew is a star
Washington State provided a great atmosphere for this game, as ESPN’s College Gameday went to Pullman, Washington this week. Through it all, the most popular player on the Cougars made a name for himself.
Against Oregon, Minshew threw for 323 yards and four touchdowns to help lead the Cougars to victory. The game gives Washington State four straight wins over Oregon and puts their record at 6-1. Minshew has gotten recognition for his facial hair, but his play has been great and he, along with a great effort by the Cougar defense, is what led Washington State to victory.
The Cougars have some tough games down the stretch, but control their own fate in terms of the Pac-12 North.
3. Michigan can beat a rival; They are for real
The Wolverines have gotten two big wins in the span of two weeks. This week they beat rival Michigan State, which has not happened often in the Jim Harbaugh era.
In the win, Michigan got solid performances from quarterback Shea Patterson and running back Karan Higdon. The defense is elite and allowed just 94 yards of total offense. All in all, Michigan has the defense and just enough offense to win games and be at the top of the Big Ten.
They still have some big games left, but the Wolverines have already beaten some good teams. With their only loss being a tough one on the road at Notre Dame, it is safe to say this could be the best year of Harbaugh’s tenure.
4. Record doesn’t always reflect a team’s true talent level
Bill Parcells coined the saying, “You are what your record says you are.” That may be the case in the NFL, but college football is different. Some teams can be undefeated, yet they haven’t played anyone, while others can be win-less, but aren’t that bad.
NC State got throttled by Clemson this week after starting the season undefeated. They did have their game against West Virginia canceled, which could have exposed them. Without playing West Virginia, the Wolfpack continued to beat up on lesser teams and rise in the rankings (although their win over Virginia is a nice one).
Much has been made about UCLA and Nebraska going win-less to start the year. This week Nebraska got their first win with a 53-28 showing against Minnesota.
UCLA on the other hand, grinded out a win over Arizona, winning 31-30. After starting the season 0-5, they are now 2-5 and are in the thick of a not very competitive Pac-12 race.
This does not mean that any of these teams are magically good or bad now because of these results, just that they may not be as good or bad as originally thought.
5. LSU’s defense can win them games without much help
The Tigers took on the Mississippi State Bulldogs and only gave up three points. They secured the win 19-3, which was highlighted by their great defensive play. The offense still isn’t great, but they don’t need to be if the defense keeps up this pace.
This season, the most points that LSU has allowed in a game is 21. Over the past two weeks, they have allowed 19 total points in their games Mississippi State and Georgia. Mississippi State averages 27 points per game and were held to just the three, while Georgia averages 39.6 and were held to 16.
LSU’s defense will be put to the test after their week off, when Alabama comes to town to start November.
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