Week two is in the books, and we’re creeping ever closer to OVC play.
So we’ve got these teams figured out, right? Right?
…right? Here are the 10 things we learned from Week two of the college football season in the Ohio Valley Conference.
1) WEEK TWO IS THE NEW WEEK ONE — That’s not a positive thing. An extra week in the FCS season appears to just mean an extra “money game,” which means another week of boring, non-competitive blowouts. It also makes teams harder to evaluate for us media types before OVC play begins in Week 5.
Money games are important to FCS schools, but that doesn’t make them any more frustrating from a fan point of view.
How much money is a beating worth? Here’s how much money OVC teams made last week:
Tennessee Tech: $500,000
UT Martin: $425,000
Southeast Missouri: $375,000
Austin Peay: $325,000
2) AN FCS RECORD ISN’T ENOUGH TO WIN OUTRIGHT “OVC PLAYER OF THE WEEK” HONORS — Last week, I praised the conference coaches and athletic directors for an “out of the box” choice for the offensive player of the week: The Eastern Illinois offensive line, who were terrific against FBS San Diego State.
This week, Jacksonville State had four 100-yard rushers, the first time that’s ever happened in FCS history, and only the sixth time in Division I history.
They’re sharing the offensive player of the week honors with Eastern Illinois quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo, who was 34-56 for 440 yards in an OT win over Southern Illinois. That’s a great week, don’t get me wrong. It’s not an FCS record. It’s not close to an FCS record. EIU scraped by a SIU team that wasn’t exactly great last year. (Although they look much better this year.) The two feats are far from equal.
3) JACKSONVILLE STATE MIGHT NEED 523 YARDS OF RUSHING EVERY WEEK — The quarterback situation isn’t good. Even with the backs running wild, which should have easily opened up the Jacksonville University defense to the pass, Gamecock quarterbacks combined to go 7-15 for 45 yards, and two interceptions. Eli Jenkins was especially ineffective: 2-6 for 12 yards and a pick.
I’m a firm believer in picking a quarterback, so one is getting the majority of reps in practice. That being said, I don’t know who that should be. Maybe they could call Lane Kiffen for advice.
(Please, please don’t call Lane Kiffen for advice. For anything.)
4) AUSTIN PEAY HAS A QUARTERBACK — After two weeks of a dual QB system, Austin Peay head coach Kirby Cannon says Andrew Spivey will be the quarterback going forward for the Governors. Jacob Sexton‘s upside was his run game, but Cannon says there wasn’t enough variety for it to be a serious option. Spivey has a tough task ahead of him, but it’s a smart move to finally pick one.
How tough a task, you might be asking? Austin Peay’s offense, with Spivey at the helm, in the first half against Vanderbilt: 28 yards passing, 15 yards rushing, zero first downs. Those are…small numbers. Yes, it’s Vanderbilt. But remember, just a week ago, Murray State put up quite a few yards (and points) against Missouri’s first-team defense.
5) MURRAY STATE SHOULD NOT PLAY CAMPBELLSVILLE EVER AGAIN — What the Racers did to Campbellsville was just disrespectful. They weren’t trying to run up the score, but they did, winning 83-14. With 7:44 to go in the second quarter, it was 62-0. I could go into all the records the Racers broke, but honestly seeing them just puts me back into a rage.
Making matters worse, the final quarter was just six minutes long. The coaches agreed to the shortned quarter to keep the Racers from hitting triple digits. This game should have never been scheduled. It should never be scheduled again.
6) BRIGHT SPOT OF EKU’S BIG LOSS TO LOUISVILLE: THEIR RUN DEFENSE — If only the rest of the OVC was known for their rushing, and not their air attacks. EKU only allowed 78 yards on the ground on 28 carries, holding the Cardinals to 2.8 yards per carry. That’s teriffic. They were picked apart by Teddy Bridgewater, but holding a bigger, stronger FBS team under 100 yards of rushing is great.
Insert your own Texas rush-defense joke here.
7) TO WHOMEVER IS RUNNING TENNESSEE TECH’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACCOUNT, IT’S NOT ALL SUNSHINE AND RAINBOWS — If you’re only way of keeping up with the game was on Twitter, Tennessee Tech’s twitter account might have slightly mislead you. The Golden Eagles were shut out 48-0 by No. 21 Wisconsin, a fact overlooked by nearly every tweet during the game. TTU posted their own big plays (as is fully expected, and highly encouraged) but posted the score exactly once, at the end of the third quarter. Not even a final.
Hey guys, I get that you’re expected to be positive. It’s one reason why I would never be a great fit. But, a rare break for, I dunno, reality wouldn’t cause the University to come crashing down. I promise.
8) DON’T OVERREACT TO TENNESSEE STATE’S BIG WIN — …because the Rattlers are bad. Florida A&M averaged 0.9 yards per rush, and finished with just 156 yards of offense. TSU’s defense deserves credit, but only partial. The Tigers defense is their strength, but even a mediocre team rushes for more than .9 yards a rush against virtually any defense.
9) DYLAN FAVRE IS THE QUARTERBACK OF THE FUTURE FOR UT MARTIN — Favre was 15-22 for 155 yards against Boise State, although three of those incompletions turned into interceptions. He also rushed 11 times for 35 yards. The turnovers would be alarming if the opponent weren’t an FBS team that started the season ranked in the top-25. Favre has a great arm, is mobile, but needs to make smarter decisions going forward.
10) EASTERN ILLINOIS IS STILL THE FAVORITE; WILL LOSE A GAME BECAUSE OF KICKING — Southern Illinois nearly knocked off FBS Illinois last week, and played especially well this week also. But if I’m an EIU fan, the kicking game would have me concerned. EIU missed an extra point, that would have helped avoid overtime, and had a chip shot as time expired in regulation blocked, which, again, would have helped avoid overtime. I’m making a prediction now: EIU will drop an OVC game from a missed field goal that shouldn’t be missed or a missed extra point. Or both.