Early Snaps: Gothic horror under noonday sun
Snap Judgments from the Week 5 early shift. For Snaps from today’s swing shift, click here.
• No. 18 Arkansas 42, No. 14 Texas A&M 38: There’s been a sneaking suspicion percolating in the SEC this season that Arkansas might not be built to compete with the likes of its division-mates. After jumping out to a 3-0 start on the backs of an FCS team and two non-AQ squads, the Hogs confirmed some of those suspicions last week by getting walloped in Tuscaloosa, 38-14.
Arkansas won today, but we still might not know just what it’s made of thanks to another patented second-half Texas A&M collapse. The Aggies led by as much as a 35-17 margin, but were shut out in the third quarter and held to a single field goal in the fourth as the Razorbacks reeled off three touchdowns, a field goal and one successful two-point conversion. And you might not have known this if you were watching on television, but Arkansas accomplished this without two key weapons: Joe Adams and Ronnie Wingo.
Sound familiar? It should: A&M held a blistering Oklahoma State offense to three points in the first half last Saturday before coming completely unglued and allowing a 21-point third quarter that ultimately made the difference in its 30-29 demise. That loss cost A&M its top 10 ranking, and today’s implosion should ding up the Aggies quite a bit more.
Whether Arkansas is “any good” (a bar that’s set a good bit higher than the national median in the lobster-pot SEC West) is a question that deserves to wait for another day: Tyler Wilson, despite getting laughable protection from his line at several crucial points throughout the afternoon, set a school passing record with 509 yards. Wilson helped Jarius Wright set a school record of his own, with 281 receiving yards in one game. Let today belong to him. (RECAP | BOX)
• No. 1 LSU 35, Kentucky 7: The Wildcats avoided becoming a horrible historical footnote with a garbage-time touchdown and Jarrett Lee got through another game with a little help from some very capable receivers. Lee himself was only directly responsible for the Tigers’ second score, a 51-yard pass to Odell Beckham to put LSU up 14-0. The man of the hour for the Bayou Bengals was again Tyrann Mathieu, who sacked Maxwell Smith late in the third quarter, clawed for the ball and ran it in for a 20-yard defensive touchdown. With that play, Mathieu set a school record for forced fumbles. As a sophomore. Gulp. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• No. 19 Michigan 58, Minnesota 0: The Wolverines ran up 580 yards of offense on the Golden Gophers in the kind of rout usually reserved for Michigan-on-directional-Michigan violence. Michigan had 32 first downs and ran 73 plays, and Minnesota seemed uninterested in making things easier on itself, committing two turnovers and nine penalties for 74 yards. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• No. 24 Illinois 38, Northwestern 35: Northwestern, it turns out, is not so easy to push around with Dan Persa back in action. But even when the erstwhile Heisman hopeful was sidelined late with a re-aggravation of his Achilles, the somehow-undefeated Illini almost managed to throw this one away. After three consecutive second-half touchdowns pulled the Zook boys out of a 28-10 hole, a Wildcats touchdown with 1:15 remaining gave the lead back to Northwestern, 35-31. Only a Nathan Scheelhaase sneak with 13 seconds remaining in the game kept Illinois’ eyebrow-raising win streak alive. (RECAP | BOX | HIGHLIGHTS)
• Toledo 36, Temple 13: It’s a shame nobody showed up to see this one, especially after the Owls’ ACC upset adventures in Week 4. But don’t take too much away from Temple for this loss: This is the Toledo team, remember, that played Ohio State to within five points. The Rockets are good in fits, and today was quite a fit. Owl everyback Bernard Pierce was bottled up for 75 yards, just his second game rushing total below 147 yards this season. (BOX)
• Air Force 35, Navy 34 (OT): Overtime in the Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy race! An 18-point comeback by the Midshipmen in the final 10:25 of the fourth quarter was thwarted by a blocked extra point in overtime. The Falcons’ ensuing touchdown and successful kick make Air Force the favorites to take the trophy in December, seeing as how it just has to play Army now. It’s a smarting loss especially for Navy quarterback Kriss Proctor, who scored two of the rally touchdowns only to have the ball moved back for the extra point in overtime after what I’m charitably going to call a “questionable” personal foul penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct. (RECAP | BOX)
• Texas Tech 45, Kansas 34: A 20-point first quarter for the Jayhawks? Not a problem for the Red Raiders, who answered with 17- and 21-point second and third quarter totals of their own. (RECAP | BOX)