In a weekend filled with upsets, clutch field goals, and bad beats, CD had a lot to take away from this past weekend in both the college and professional ranks. This is CD’s Cover Two.
Arkansas Is Back
Close your eyes and think about the Arkansas Razorbacks program over the last decade. Now open your eyes. Pretty bad, huh? In just two years, head coach Sam Pittman has largely undone the sins of Bret Bielema and the abysmal Chad Morris eras.
Not only did they beat a much improved Texas program, but they manhandled a top-10 Texas A&M program with a 20-10 victory. Were the Aggies without their QB1 due to injury? Yes, but you have to take notice and respect what Arkansas has done in their first three games.
This Saturday will be the Hogs biggest challenge yet but you know that Pittman is more than up for the challenge and win or lose, this is a massive step for a program that only won one game in the SEC in a three-year span from 2017-2019.
Golden Domers Look Like a Contender
We always have the complaint about Notre Dame and their independent schedule being littered with cupcakes and while yes there are some of the typical jobbers in this year’s slate they proved something after Saturday night.
It was impressive to see Notre Dame take down the Wisconsin Badgers that felt like a heavyweight title fight for three quarters of the ballgame. Then the Fighting Irish opened it up and racked up 31 points in the final fifteen minutes against a Wisconsin defense that held up nicely. Give every bit of credit to the Golden Domers for taking Graham Mertz and making him look like an amateur with four interceptions in the contest.
Much like Arkansas, Notre Dame will have another chance to prove their worth as a contender when they play the group of five’s only hope of making the CFP in Cincinnati.
Clemsoning Part Deux
You just hate to see Clemson get eliminated from playoff contention in the month of September. After losing Trevor Lawrence to the NFL (does he miss playing for Clemson after the way his pro career has started?) Dabo Swinney has already lost two games within the first month of the season for the first time since 2014.
While you can talk away the season-opening loss to Georgia, the loss to North Carolina State is completely unacceptable after the way this program has held dominion over the conference. Dabo is going to have to do a lot of soul searching going forward because this offense doesn’t have a pulse four games in. Also, how is Clemson STILL in the Top 25?
QB Controversy on the Plains?
Headed into the season, Bo Nix had a lot to prove after the clear regression that he showed compared to his freshman campaign in 2019 where he led the Tigers to a win in the Iron Bowl that effectively kicked the Crimson Tide out of the College Football Playoff.
He showed that regression once again and if not for former LSU quarterback TJ Finley leading them on an outstanding game winning drive in the waning moments of the fourth quarter, first-year head coach Bryan Harsin may have been on the hot seat. That said, this quarterback controversy makes the contest against LSU late Saturday night a lot more interesting.
There’s A Youth Movement in AFC North
The AFC North reminds me of an old Sesame Street bit “One of These Things Is Not Like the Others”. You have three QBs under the age of 30 and then there’s the old stalwart in Ben Roethlisberger who seems to be hanging on by a thread.
After a less than ideal rookie campaign, Joe Burrow looks to be getting better with every game he plays and that was pretty evident in the way the Cincinnati Bengals beat the Pittsburgh Steelers. The Ja’Marr Chase-Joe Burrow pairing is lethal not just in the actual game of football, but in fantasy as well and it’s proving to a certain extent that youth is letting the previous generation that the game is passing them by (unless your name is Tom Brady).
Kick Six + Gus Johnson = Masterpiece
I mentioned in last week’s column how Gus Johnson doing the call for the NFL on Fox during the Arizona Cardinals-Minnesota Vikings contest was a ton of fun. That streak continued yesterday with the Jacksonville’s Jamal Agnew ran back a field goal 109 yards (an NFL record btw) at the end of the first half. Yes the Jags wound up losing, but everyone has been talking about that play.
I’m convinced that Johnson knows exactly where the Buffalo Wild Wings’ secret button is because of how amazing it is he’s right where the big plays are.
Justin Tucker Breaking Records and Hearts
Tucker’s legacy of being one of the most consistent kickers in the league is something to marvel at. He had missed one during the Ravens matchup against the Lions, but no one is going to remember the one he missed. Instead, Baltimore’s fans are going to remember the one he made with a 66-yarder bouncing off the crossbar and unlike Cody Parkey, this one bounced the right way to break an NFL record and break the hearts of the Detroit Lions fanbase.
This was a weekend filled with what felt like glitches in the matrix, but this stood out above the rest.
Teddy Two Gloves Undefeated
After spending last season with the Carolina Panthers, it looks like Teddy Bridgewater has a home that is going to get this team back to relevance for the first time in six years. Yes, the Broncos have had a favorable schedule but knowing that Teddy Bridgewater is undefeated in the NFL is a pretty cool thing to think about and you can’t help but to root for the former Saints QB.