After a tremendous opening week that saw a number of ranked teams clashing, Week 2 (or three to some) didn’t feature as many. In fact, just two games saw a pair of ranked foes pitted against one another. But those, of course, yielded big wins for someone and big losses for the losers. The Oregon Ducks were one of the big winners, producing an impressive display to defeat the #3 Ohio State Buckeyes in Columbus by a score of 35-28. The soon-to-be-higher than #12 Ducks got an unsurprisingly strong showing from running back CJ Verdell. He followed up a rough Buckeye defensive effort last week by posting 161 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries.
He also caught three passes and had a TD through the air as well in what was a slight upset too many. CJ Stroud threw for nearly 500 yards for the Buckeyes, but it wasn’t enough to propel his team to victory, and it could well prove their lack of hope in the College Football Playoff this season. Elsewhere, the Iowa Hawkeyes also got themselves a big win, vanquishing in-state rivals Iowa State in a battle pitting 9 vs 10 in the rankings. It was the sixth straight win for the Hawkeyes over their rivals and it came despite their offense only managing to move the ball 173 yards total in the entire game. They did, however, force four turnovers defensively and that determined the outcome. Jack Campbell’s scoop-and-return from a fumble was the difference-maker, and it gives the Hawkeyes the chance to lay claim to being the favorite in the Big Ten this campaign. Most of the other ranked teams rolled over the poor competition, but some were made to work for it. #5 Texas A&M narrowly escaped 10-7 over Colorado. #8 Notre Dame also won a close one over Ball State, knocking them off 32-29. #22 Miami kept itself from starting 0-2 by barely beating Appalachian State 25-23. Luck was not on the side of all the ranked squads, though. Texas, ranked #15, lost 40-21 at Arkansas while #21 Utah fell 26-17 to BYU.