Skip to main content

The 10 Most Impressive College Football Teams During Week 2 Of The 2014 Season

Week two did not look like a great slate of games on its face, but a few of the results from this weekend had major impacts on the season ahead.

The story of the weekend was the decimation of the Big Ten's playoff hopes. Ohio State, Michigan State, and Michigan all lost big games by multiple touchdowns, Nebraska needed a miracle play by Ameer Abdullah to get by McNeese State, and many other teams struggled to beat inferior opponents. Of course, many of those games also featured amazing performances by the victors. Notre Dame made history against Michigan, Virginia Tech proved that it will be a factor in the ACC with its win over Ohio State, and Oregon solidified its standing as College Football Playoff favorite after drubbing Michigan State.

Two of the teams who showed up on last week's list once again put together a great performance in week two. Here are the 10 most impressive college football teams from week two: 

Get Started: No. 10 - Baylor >>>

10. Baylor – defeated Northwestern State 70-3

It would have been easy for Baylor to put up a 20 or 30 point win against Northwestern State and be happy with it. The Bears missed star quarterback Bryce Petty and four other players—Devin Chafin, Corey Coleman, Antwan Goodley and Levi Norwood—against the Demons. Instead of coasting to a win, remaining players did what Baylor always does: score points with impunity.

Sophomore backup quarterback Seth Russell threw for 438 yards and five touchdowns, and Baylor rushed for 265 yards and five touchdowns as a team.

While the team definitely needs Petty back for when Big 12 play starts if it wants to compete for a conference title and a playoff berth, this game further proves just how potent this Art Briles system is, even when facing adversity.

Next: No. 9 - Cal >>>

9. Cal – defeated Sacramento State 55-14

Cal went 1-11 in its first year under Sonny Dykes, burying a young, promising offense with a historically bad defense. Wins over a reeling Northwestern team and FCS Sacramento State wouldn’t normally be anything to write home about, but coming from where Cal is as a program, this is a major step in the right direction.

The 55-14 final doesn’t completely tell the story of the Golden Bears’ game on Saturday either. Cal scored its sixth touchdown of the game and took a 42-0 lead with 8:42 in the second quarter. If Dykes really wanted to keep the gas on, his team looked like it could have scored 80 or 90. Even against a team like Sacramento State, it was an impressive performance, and showed a ton of improvement from 2013.

Next: No. 8 - Florida >>>

8. Florida defeated Eastern Michigan 65-0

After having its opener against Idaho cancelled due to weather, Florida had a very long wait in between football games from 2013 to 2014, made even longer by how poorly Will Muschamp’s program performed last season.

The Gators, who were incredibly deficient on offense last season, dropped 65 points on Eastern Michigan in a week two blowout at the Swamp. The Gators didn’t score more than 31 points in a game in 2013, and only managed 58 points in their final four games combined.

Veteran quarterback Jeff Driskel didn’t exactly set the world on fire, throwing for 248 yards and a touchdown, but he managed an offense that put up 259 yards on the ground and looked far more comfortable and potent under former Duke offensive coordinator Kurt Roper. He'll need to become an upper-echelon quarterback for Florida to emerge as one of the SEC’s best teams this season, but at the very least, UF should take a significant step forward this year.

Next: No. 7 - Georgia Southern >>>

7. Georgia Southern – defeated Savannah State 83-9

What’s a small school like Georgia Southern doing on here? They didn’t pull off another huge upset over an SEC team, did they?

No, Georgia Southern beat Savannah State, a week after nearly topping ACC program North Carolina State in a 24-23 loss. While this game won't wind up being as memorable as last year's upset of Florida, the box score is extremely impressive. The Eagles put a Division One-high 83 points on the board, while only throwing the ball five times. Take a look at how they pulled it off, it is miraculous:

">September 8, 2014

The Eagles dropped 83 points on Savannah State, rushed for 599 yards, and converted every third down they faced. Nine different players rushed for at least eight yards per carry, and even though it probably wasn’t necessary, Georgia Southern’s quarterbacks went 4-for-5 for 96 yards and two touchdowns.

For college football fans who love amazing box scores, Georgia Southern provided the one heck of a treat this week.

Next: No. 6 - Missouri >>>

6. Missouri – defeated Toledo 49-24

Toledo is consistently a strong team at home, and bettors loved the Rockets. Missouri only opened as a 5.5 point favorite, and that line moved down two full points towards Toledo by kick-off. The game wasn’t nearly as close as anticipated, as the Tigers took down the Rockets 49-24.

Toledo hung in tough for a while, but Missouri overpowered the home team with its high-flying attack led by quarterback Maty Mauk, who threw for 325 yards and five touchdowns, and had an impressive 10.16 yards per attempt. Missouri lost a ton from its 2013 SEC East championship roster, but Mauk has one of the league’s biggest arms, and even without names like Henry Josey and Dorial Green-Beckham, Gary Pinkel has a lot of firepower on the roster.

Missouri may have to contend with Georgia and South Carolina in the division, but it through two weeks it certainly looks like the Tigers plan on being a factor in the race this season.

Next: No. 5 - USC >>>

5. USC – defeated Stanford 13-10

It wasn’t a pretty win, but that may be exactly what Southern California needed against a power football program like Stanford. The Trojans topped the Cardinal 13-10, and while David Shaw’s unbelievably conservative play calling and punting probably didn’t hurt, Steve Sarkisian’s team proved that it could win a game in the trenches.

Javorious Allen had a big day on the ground, accruing 154 yards in a game where yards weren’t easy to come by. Nelson Agholor continues to impress, catching nine passes for 91 yards against the very strong Stanford defense. Cody Kessler played an entire game just days after having surgery on his toe to treat staph infection.

Steve Sarkisian wasn’t the most favorable hire of the off-season, and few expected USC to come out of the gate as a Pac-12 championship contender in his first year, but it seems like he’s eliminated any of the softness that plagues Lane Kiffin’s program. The Trojans look very dangerous, and have now shown that they aren’t afraid to win a rock fight, and can definitely outduel another team in a shootout.

Next: No. 4 - BYU >>>

4. BYU – defeated Texas (again) 41-7

With his host of motivational techniques, one would imagine that Charlie Strong, with a talented Texas roster, should have been able to get his team ready to play against a team that embarrassed it last season. Last year’s BYU game was a disaster for the Longhorns, who lost 40-21 after surrendering 550 yards on the ground. This year’s performance, at least by score, was even worse. BYU, led by quarterback Taysom Hill, buried Texas 41-7.

The yardage numbers for the Cougars are not as gaudy as 2013, but the defense stepped up and dominated new quarterback Tyrone Swoopes and the Longhorns, holding them to just 258 yards. BYU did not allow a point until the last minute of the third quarter, when it had already scored 34 of its own.

Texas is one of strongest historical programs in the nation and the flagship of a state where football is a way of life. Strong, like Mack Brown before him, shouldn’t even need to put forth a huge effort outside of his state lines to build a top-10 roster. However, for the second year in a row, Brigham Young completely outclassed this powerhouse program.

Next: No. 3 - Virginia Tech >>>

3. Virginia Tech – defeated Ohio State 35-21

The Hokies have been a middling program in the ACC for a few seasons, but it has little to do with Bud Foster’s defense, which has been consistently excellent. Virginia Tech has struggled to find an offense that could match its defensive efforts, but based on the result in Columbus over the weekend, it looks like Texas Tech transfer Michael Brewer may be the guy to break the Hokies from that rut.

Brewer was far from perfect against a talented Buckeyes defense, but he made winning plays down the stretch, including the clutch go-ahead touchdown throw to Bucky Hodges mid-way through the fourth quarter.

Meanwhile, the Hokies defense was as good as ever. They held Ohio State to 4-for-16 on third down and 327 total yards, and intercepted three J.T. Barrett passes. Donovan Riley’s pick-six with 46 seconds left in the game nailed down the win for Virginia Tech.

The Hokies have emerged as a favorite in the ACC Coastal, which is still unpredictable, but looks stronger than anticipated after strong starts from schools like Pitt, and even Virginia, which was expected to finish last once again.

Next: No. 2 - Notre Dame >>>

2. Notre Dame – defeated Michigan 31-0

Michigan used week one to exorcise its demons against Appalachian State, but Notre Dame exposed the Wolverines with a week two 31-0 win. The Irish held the Wolverines under three yards per carry, picked off Devin Gardner three times, sacked him three times, and recorded eight tackles for loss.

Notre Dame struggled to get things going on the ground as well, but Everett Golson looks very good under center in Brian Kelly’s offense. He threw for 226 yards and three touchdowns, and completed 68% of his passes against the Wolverines.

Notre Dame became the first team to shut out Michigan since 1984, and it came in the final scheduled game in the series between these two rivals. While we hope that the Irish and Wolverines figure out a series in the near future, things couldn’t have been scripted better for this final matchup for Notre Dame and its fans.

Next: No. 1 - Oregon >>>

1. Oregon – defeated Michigan State 46-28

When Michigan State extended its lead to 27-18 early in the third quarter at Oregon, it sure looked like the “Oregon can’t beat physical teams” narrative had a lot of truth behind it. Instead of folding under the Spartans’ aggressive defense and effective offense, Oregon closed the game with 28 unanswered points, and finished with 46 against one of the nation’s strongest defenses.

The fact that few are questioning Michigan State as the Big Ten favorite after this game shows how huge this win was for Oregon. Not only did the Ducks knock off a top 10 team, but they did it against one that seemed designed to counter their high-flying offense, much like Stanford’s been able to do over the last few seasons.

Marcus Mariota looked as good as ever, throwing for 318 yards and three touchdowns, and putting up over 11 yards per pass attempt. The rushing attack was also able to grind out 173 yards against a very stout Sparty defense.

With the win, Oregon, more than just about any other team, looks like a good bet for the College Football Playoff. With the Big Ten on the outside looking in, and Stanford coming off of a loss, the Ducks are in great position to finally make the leap from elite program to national champion.

Back To Start >>>