What on paper was an uninspired Week 3 in college football produced plenty of intriguing plot points. The College Football Huddle has some of the buried headlines aggregated in one place for your enjoyment–In Case You Missed It.
LSU Shutout Streak Reaches Nine Quarters
LSU fell behind Wisconsin 24-7 early in the third quarter of the Tigers’ come-from-behind, Week 1 victory over the Badgers. Since surrendering the last of three Wisconsin touchdowns, LSU has not given up a single point.
The Tigers’ defensive domination may be flying somewhat under the radar, given their level of competition since beating Wisconsin–they blasted FCS opponent Sam Houston State in Week 2, 56-0, and the Sun Belt’s UL-Monroe in Week 3, 31-0.
Quality of opponent aside, LSU’s nine-quarter scoreless streak is impressive. Even the best teams will allow a garbage time touchdown; Alabama even trailed Southern Miss when the Crimson Tide gave up the first score on Saturday.
It’s almost a shame LSU’s SEC opener against Mississippi State is next, and not the Tigers’ Sept. 27 date against New Mexico State. It’s not implausible to think John Chavis’ defense could extend its scoreless streak to 13 quarters if it faced the Aggies next.
As it stands, Dak Prescott and Bulldogs clearly pose the LSU defense its stiffest challenge yet. LSU will have a clear advantage, however.
The Week 4 contest is slated for a nighttime kickoff in Death Valley. Of the Tigers’ 400 wins scored at home, the prime-time contests have often been the most memorable.
K.C. Keeler Era Off to a Rocky Start
Sam Houston State opened the season on the road against FCS championship contender Eastern Washington and traveled to Death Valley for its paycheck beating–a challenging beginning to the K.C. Keeler era indeed. But a Week 3 date against a Div. II opponent was to be FCS No. 15 Bearkats’ springboard into the Southland Conference season and a possible fourth straight playoff appearance.
However, Colorado State-Pueblo, ranked No. 2 in the Div. II poll, extended SHSU’s woes in their transition to Keeler. The Thunderwolves jumped all over the Bearkats in this battle of oddly nicknamed teams, en route to a 47-21 win.
Keeler called it “the most embarrassing loss I’ve been involved with,” in his postgame press conference.
Keeler is now 1-3 in his debut campaign with Sam Houston State–a program that has a three-year streak of playoff appearances and played for the national championship in 2011 and 2012.
Sam Houston State’s sluggish start could be the result of facing LSU. Such contests can take a physical toll on FCS teams.
“It’s pretty obvious it was their men against our boys,” Keeler said after the LSU game.
There were rumblings last week that Sam Houston State would avoid scheduling SEC teams in the future, though that’s unsubstantiated rumor. Regardless, the Bearkats need to regroup in their upcoming bye week before facing Lamar in the Southland opener.
Nicholls State Coach Steps Down
In another Div. II domination of an FCS opponent, fifth-ranked Henderson State overwhelmed Sam Houston State’s Southland Conference counterpart, Nicholls State, in a 27-10 decision.
After the loss, Colonels head coach Charlie Stubbs announced his immediate resignation.
Nicholls State head coach Charlie Stubbs has stepped down. Details on the Coaching Search Ticker: http://t.co/UIQ7EKh4db
— Pete Roussel (@coachingsearch) September 14, 2014
It’s Finally Safe at UNLV
UNLV’s rally effort against Northern Illinois fell short, 48-34, but the Rebels scored one important victory in the loss. Their first-quarter safety was the program’s first since 2003.
UNLV just picked up its first safety since 2003…by being the recipient of a chop block penalty in the end zone
— Kyle Bonn (@the_bonnfire) September 13, 2014
With that drought ended, the next dubious streak worth keeping tabs on this season is UCLA’s spell without a punt returned for a touchdown. Maurice Jones-Drew is the last Bruin to do so, running one back 81 yards against Cal on Oct. 8, 2005.
UCLA cornerback Ishmael Adams had one called back in the Bruins’ Week 1 win over Virginia because a teammate lost his helmet. Talk about snake-bitten.
Though the Bruins may not have notched six on a punt return since George W. Bush was in office, Adams did have a long return Saturday to set-up back-up quarterback Jerry Neuheisel’s game-winning touchdown pass to Jordan Payton.
Long as UCLA’s punt return drought might be, however, the Bruins must go another three decades to match the home losing skid College of Idaho ended on Saturday. Idaho Statesman reporter Brian Murphy has a great look at the school’s first home victory since 1977. Quite a deviation from LSU and its 400 home victories:
Howl yes: College of Idaho wins its first home game since 1977, starts season 2-0. My game story. http://t.co/HkYKO1tU2b
— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) September 14, 2014
Slip ‘n’ Slide
Quarterbacks having issues with their slides after rushes seems to be more prevalent this season than in year’s past.
USC back-up Max Browne had this doozy in Week 1:
But his was nowhere near as potentially disastrous as Arizona’s Anu Solomon last night in the Wildcats’ win over Nevada.
Holding onto a two-touchdown lead and driving for a potential door-slamming score, Solomon broke off a long run on fourth down. His form on a feet-first slide was textbook, but he was about a yard shy of the first-down marker.
RichRod chewing on Solomon for not knowing where yard marker was _ slide too early and came up short on fourth down
— John Marshall (@jmarshallap) September 14, 2014
Nevada took possession and scored a touchdown on the ensuing drive, making the final few minutes much more tense than they needed to be for the Wildcats.
Both Solomon and Browne are freshmen, so their sliding should improve–in theory. Sliding has been an issue for Robert Griffin III throughout his career.