TEAM OF THE MONTH
Utah’s first win over Oregon since joining the Pac-12 put the Utes on the national radar, and deservedly so. The 62-20 beating Utah threw the reigning national runners-up way was the most lopsided loss Oregon sustained at Autzen Stadium in 12 years.
However, as September progressed, the Utes’ Week 1 defeat of Michigan looked increasingly impressive. The Wolverines are undefeated since leaving Rice-Eccles Stadium, most recently drilling BYU, 31-0.
Utah is flourishing with the stout defense typical of any Kyle Whittingham-coached team. At Oregon, the Utes also showed off some offensive punch not seen from them in a few years.
Running back Devontae Booker earned Heisman buzz heading into the season, but the emergence of the aforementioned Britain Covey has introduced an explosive, new dynamic into the mix.
Ole Miss Rebels: By scoring 76 and 73 the first two weeks out, Ole Miss football had an official point-per-game average going that challenged that of its basketball team’s 2014-’15 output.
The Rebel offense came back down to Earth, especially in a narrow escape over lowly Vanderbilt in Week 4. However, Ole Miss’ best work came in scoring a more modest 43 points — albeit against one of the most celebrated defensive programs of the last seven years, Alabama.
Ole Miss’ 43-367 win at Alabama Week 3 is arguably the biggest victory of the season thus far.
Northwestern Wildcats: Northwestern’s Week 1 upset of Stanford was initially viewed through the prism of much of the media as an indictment of the Cardinal.
But really, Week 1 was a fitting introduction to what is one of the nation’s nastiest defenses.
Northwestern probably has the best claim to Team of the Month aside from Utah, having shut down both Stanford and David Cutcliffe’s Duke Blue Devils. The Wildcats head into October looking like a real contender in the Big Ten West.
Toledo Rockets: The Rockets gave everyone with SEC fatigue reason to cheer, beating chief drum-beater Bret Bielema’s Arkansas Razorbacks in Week 2, 16-12.
They followed that up with an overtime win over another Power Five team, Iowa State, and finished out September blowing out Arkansas State, two weeks removed from the Red Wolves taking the SEC’s Missouri Tigers to the brink.