News & Analysis

College Football, Week 2: Immediate Takeaways

Sep 7, 2019; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Michigan Wolverines quarterback Shea Patterson (2) runs the ball in the first half against the Army Black Knights at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Week 2 of the college football season saw some highs and some lows as the games came and went. We highlight the most talked about moments in our immediate takeaways.

Michigan escapes

The spread offense was supposed to make Michigan a feared Big Ten foe but instead, the Wolverines narrowly escaped an Army team hellbent on an upset in The Big House. Michigan saw a strong defensive effort but QB Shea Patterson couldn't take advantage of some great blocking in front of him and needed two overtime periods to knock off Army.

Patterson finishes the game with a 69.2% completion percentage but just an average yards per attempt of 7.6 as Michigan ran Zach Charbonnet 33 times for just 100 yards. Patterson was inaccurate on deeper shots and struggled to find any consistency while he was certainly bailed out by a great performance on defense. Safety Josh Metellus recorded three defensive stops while DI Carlo Kemp and Aidan Hutchinson combined for nine stops in run defense. Hutchinson's strip-sack in the second overtime period was ultimately the game-sealing moment emphasizing how strong an effort it was on defense.

Iowa explodes, Wirfs dominates

The Hawkeyes' offense took off against Rutgers, scoring 30 points while the tackle duo of Tristan Wirfs and Levi Paulsen excelled in all facets. Wirfs, despite being called for a penalty, finished with plus grades in both run-blocking and in pass protection. He allowed just one hurry on 36 pass-blocking snaps while Paulsen kept a clean sheet in 27 snaps.

Wirfs was dominant for the run as the Iowa offense churned out 5.3 yards per attempt and secured 12 rushing conversions (first downs, touchdowns).

Justin Fields continues strong start

After a record-breaking performance in his debut for Ohio State, QB Justin Fields was once again hot against Cincinnati in Week 2. He combined to throw two touchdowns and run for two more, giving him nine total touchdowns through two games. He connected on two deep shots for 61 yards while he worked the short-area of the field with great success.

His rushing ability is known and his passing ability will certainly be tested against Big Ten defenses but with him at the helm, the Buckeyes are certainly strong favorites to once again take down the B1G.

Ryan Hilinski steps in for Jake Bentley

The Hilinski name is famous around the college football world and Ryan, the younger brother of the late Tyler, was extremely impressive in his first action as a Gamecock for South Carolina. He connected on 24-of-30 passes for 280 and a terrific downfield-shot to WR Bryan Edwards against Charleston Southern. The competition steps up next week when South Carolina takes on Alabama but early signs are the Gamecocks won't miss a beat with Hilinski at the helm.

Over the middle of the field, Hilinski connected on 15-of-19 passes for 201 yards and both touchdowns. He was very sharp and he'll have to be next week against the Crimson Tide.

Utah's defense impressive, once again

The Utes defense was once again stellar, seeing some extremely strong individual performances against Northern Illinois in Week 2. Edge defender Bradlee Anae recorded eight pressures including four combined sacks and hits. Safety Julian Blackmon intercepted his lone target as the primary coverage defender while CB Tareke Lewis recorded two pass breakups and allowed just 16 yards on 29 snaps in coverage.

Utah's defense is an extremely talented group with great depth and yet another strong performance only highlights what makes them an early favorite for Pac-12 Champions.

New stars emerge for Missouri

If Kelly Bryant wasn't a star before, he is now in Columbia. He completed just 17 passes for 150 yards but three scores and a strong display of accuracy that we last saw lead the ACC in adjusted completion percentage in 2017. Shaking off the season-opening loss to Wyoming, Bryant finished as the team's highest-graded offensive player in a great sign of things to come.

Everyone knows Cale Garrett is the star linebacker on the Tigers but Nick Bolton threw his name into contention as the team's top player on Saturday, intercepting two passes, recording four defensive stops and finishing with eight total tackles without a miss. Bolton, Garrett and Jordan Elliott each had strong performances as they'll need all three of them on defense to contend against SEC opponents this year.

UAB rolls along behind their star

The Blazers won their second in a row to open the year as their star signal-caller Tyler Johnston III needed all of 15 completions to throw for 319 yards and four scores. He even had three of his passes dropped and his day could have been even bigger but he's officially emerged as a quarterback to watch for this season and for the 2020 draft.

Also for UAB, DI Garrett Marino put forth an impressive performance, racking up a ridiculous nine pressures including three sacks. He rounded out the night with two more hits and four additional QB hurries for an all-around top-notch pass-rushing performance.

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