DEL OLALEYE

Week 2 college football around the country recap

Dabo Swinney has a decision to make. Bob Levey/Getty Images

Clemson is Kelly Bryant’s team

Clemson stuck to their plan of playing Trevor Lawrence in the first half. Of course when he threw a touchdown pass on his first play in the game the Rece Davis/Kirk Herbstreit love fest about Lawrence went into overdrive. But when Clemson needed plays to be made in the second half it was their senior signal-caller Kelly Bryant who got the call and the job done. The vibe at Kyle Field was awesome and the 12th man had it going but Bryant made enough of plays with his arm and his legs to keep Clemson rolling. That third and long strike to Amari Rodgers in the first quarter was big time. He followed that up by shaking one of the Aggies best defenders in Otaro Alaka on the way to end zone on the same drive. Those type of plays continued in the third quarter as the Aggies made their push. Dabo Swinney leaned on his senior QB and Bryant answered the call. Because of Lawrence’s immense talent Bryant may have to prove himself every week to people outside of the program. Inside the program? There shouldn’t be any questions.

Expect the unexpected in Arizona

After two weeks everything we thought we knew about the state of football in the Grand Canyon State needs to be thrown out. Arizona State beat a top 15 team in Michigan State in a defensive battle on Saturday night. Herm Edwards killed the game off with superb clock management and the team who’s nickname he didn’t know when he took the job is 2-0. Meanwhile, Kevin Sumlin made his return to Houston coaching Arizona and trailed 38-0 before scoring a point. Through two weeks all of us are dummies and Coach Herm is a Sun Devil legend in the making.

Oklahoma loses a Heisman Candidate

Rodney Anderson suffered a season ending knee injury in the second quarter of the Sooners 49-21 victory over UCLA. Anderson scored 18 total TDs in 2017 and was expected to be leaned on more this season after the departure to the NFL of Heisman winner Baker Mayfield. Oklahoma’s offense scored 63 and 49 points respectively in the first two games of the season and it appeared the show on offense was simply rolling along. With Anderson no longer available to be the feature tailback look for the Sooners to rotate backs until one of the backups emerges.

Hate Watch Game of the Week: LSU vs Auburn

Nothing against LSU really but once your team embarrases mine on national television I become a bit irrational. LSU’s first true road game of the season just happens to be against a top 10 team in Auburn who plays at a different level when they’re at home. Joe Burrow is completing less than 50% of his passes through two games as the LSU starter but his Tigers are 2-0. His first test in a hostile environment is against an Auburn defense who made life difficult for Washington’s Jake Browning in week one. I hope Auburn beats LSU into submission.

Current Hate Watch Record: 2-0

Kentucky beat Florida to end their 31-game losing streak to the Gators. The Gators touch a sign before they walk on the the field at The Swamp that says “Only Gators Get Out Alive.” Really that hasn’t been true for a while but Kentucky was one of the few teams that the statement actually still applied to. That is no longer the case. Now was the time for Wildcats to end the streak. They got it done.

 

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Another tough loss for the Texans. Photo by Bob Levey/Getty Images.

The Houston Texans started fast but faltered late as the New York Jets hand Houston their ninth loss of the season 21-14. Here are 11 observations from the game.

1. Starting safety Justin Reid was benched for the game. David Culley said after the game it was his decision as head coach and he would keep the matter internal with Reid.

2. This is the third defender benched for disciplinary reasons this season. Reid joins Zach Cunningham and Desmond King as players who missed time for discipline.

3. Justin Reid told Fox 26 he was benched because he had a disagreement with the coaching staff. He also said he was shocked the Texans benched him. You have to wonder if the “culture” the team is building is right when one of the more likable and personable players falls victim to their rules. Reid, who is a free agent this offseason, could leave the Texans.

4. Tyrod Taylor had a couple of nice plays early on for the Texans. His willingness to take some shots downfield was refreshing and led to a touchdown pass to Brandin Cooks.

5. Rookie tight end Brevin Jordan found the end zone. He has played well in recent weeks after finally getting on the field. Jordan is playing over Jordan Akins as Akins was a healthy scratch again this week.

6. Tytus Howard started at left tackle with mixed results. Howard has struggled to find his way at guard but could be a long-term option at tackle if given the chance.

7. The offensive line overall played poorly after some early success. The pass rush of the Jets got going and the run blocking was poor again. Lane Taylor played at left guard some, with Max Scharping also playing some at that spot.

8. The offense was horrendous after the two scoring drives. The Texans amassed 202 net yards with 91 yards coming on those two scoring drives. Houston gained just 49 net yards after their opening three drives.

9. After the game, I asked David Culley if he would be making a change with his play-caller. Culley stood behind offensive coordinator Tim Kelly and said he would remain the team’s play-caller.

10. Second-year defensive lineman Ross Blacklock had two horrible errors that handed the Jets a chance to turn three points into seven points. Blacklock got a personal foul on a field goal attempt giving the Jets a first down. The very next play his offsides penalty erased a sack. Each week Blacklock falls even more behind a bevy of players drafted after him who contribute positively on a regular basis.

11. The loss to another bottom-dweller has the Texans back in the second spot in the 2022 NFL Draft order. It also feels like the deflating nature of this loss erased some of the good feelings after the victory over the Titans. The Indianapolis Colts come to Houston next week to begin December’s portion of the schedule.

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