Week three started out with a battle of two undefeated squads in Clemson and Ohio State, and wrapped up with a defensive match up of what looks like a new rivalry between Florida and USC. Here are the five takeaways from week three in the CFSL.
Who would have thought after week three that Alabama would be undefeated and sitting atop the SEC. They have done what the needed to do against two of the Big Ten preseason playoff contenders in Michigan and Nebraska, and handed the USC Trojans there only loss of the season. They have also been doing this with both offense and defense play tops in the country. Right now, Alabama ranks first in the country and are putting up a league best scoring and rushing. In fact their rushing total per game is a blistering 301.7 yards per game, no one else is even close. A big part of that is the resurgence of tailback Joe Pantoja, who leads the country in rushing, and newcomer quarterback Balion Seige who is second in the country in rushing. Teams are game planning to stop the run and it still isn’t slowing them down, which is scary. The true test for the Crimson Tide will start this coming week as they open up SEC play and face Miami, who has the number four run defense in the country. As of right now, though, the Tide are rolling and look really good. Good luck to everyone trying to catch them.
2. The TEXAS SKID
No one saw this one coming at all, and Texas for sure wasn’t expecting the start to there season the way they have. Texas has been out scored 71 to 98 over the last three games, which is not like Texas football at all. The adjustment at quarterback has been one of the big factors as Walker Mills is eighth in the country in passing and has only thrown four touchdown passes in three games. The other concerning stat is the three teams Texas has played have a combined record of 4-5, with Auburn the only one with a winning record. Finally Texas has always had one of the best defenses in the league, but is currently last in the country. With all that, things look to only get tougher for the Longhorns as Defending Big Ten Champions and undefeated Ohio State welcome them into the Shoe this upcoming week. Follow that up with a Championship schedule against the rest of the SEC is an uphill battle for Texas. With all that said, Texas is the defending National Champions and still have a lot of season left to play. If any one can flip the switch and go on a big winning streak it is Texas, and I’m not ready to bet against them.
3. Linebacker DOMINANCE
If the first three weeks of college football has shown us anything, it’s that the linebackers in this league are dominating. The top six league leaders in tackles are all linebackers, and Aaron Davis of Notre Dame is leading the way. He currently has 43 tackles with nine of them for a loss. Mika Raikkonen of Nebraska follows him with 35 tackles and Mark Calloway of Auburn, Jack Tyler of Clemson, and Florida’s Wyatt King are all tied with 33 tackles. Wrapping up the group is Texas anchor in Howard Cook. Some teams have realized the importance of The linebacker and have amass three monster at the position alone. With teams looking to not only stop the run, but also defend the pass, these giants have been very effective, with two of the top four guys already having four interceptions and one returned for a touchdown. Offenses beware, you not only have to worry about corners and safeties, but the linebackers too and they are enjoying it.
4. Another Win
Ohio State is currently 3-0 on the season and sit atop the Big Ten. They seem to only be continuing where they left off last season in which they finished 8-0 in the regular season. That gives them an eleven game win streak and counting. The surprise to this also is they have defeated two of the top three teams from the SEC in Auburn and Clemson, not to mention beating Alabama is a preseason game. There defense is number one in points allowed at 22 per game and second in the country overall defense. That is a defense that has upgraded ant the linebacker, safety, and defensive line. Everyone plays together and if you look at the stats contributes. The bigger surprise to the Buckeyes though isn’t the defense, it’s their offense. They days of teams loading up on the run has ended and through the first three games this year Ohio State has shown they can move the ball with ease through the air. Xavier Garcia-Allen is second in the country in passing with a rating of 168.5 and has only thrown one interception. Tight end Marcus “Big” Buford has also arrived on the scene with some big performances already in his young career and all the wide receivers are stepping up in key moments. Can the Buckeyes keep this up for the entire season? We will have to wait and see, but Texas is up next and they will be just as hungry for a win and to stop that winning streak.
5. the gunslingers
Every one loves the big play and deep pass quick strike touchdown. No three guys have done it better this year than quarterbacks Dewey Ainge, Denvonta Cribbs, and James Kovach. How is this for stats all three guys have already thrown for over a thousand yards, with Devonta Cribbs leading the way with 1,116 yards. Dewey Ainge on the other hand leads the group in touchdowns with eleven. Combined, these three have thrown for 3,150 yards and 28 touchdowns, that’s just amazing. The only down side to all three of these players is when you throw it that much you set yourself up for the turnover, they have combined for 13 interceptions this early season and defenses have made them pay for mistakes. All in all, though, you have to take the good with the bad, and asking most coaches the risk-reward is more than worth it. So keep on slinging it young men, we love to see those highlights.