College Football Week 2: Who's Hot, Who's Not

Lesar: How ND Moves On Without Zaire

Who's Hot

The hottest, the best and the brightest from Week 2 of the 2015 college football season.

Houston head coach Tom Herman

It's only Game 2, yet Herman has already secured a signature win with the Cougars. Houston rallied to beat Louisville on the road, which is what the administration envisioned when it fired Tony Levine last December. Herman, who tutored the Ohio State quarterbacks in 2014, is impacting the development of Greg Ward Jr. The junior was instrumental in the upset, throwing three touchdown passes and accounting for 334 total yards.

SEE MORE: Big Ten roundup

Florida State RB Dalvin Cook

South Florida threatened in Tallahassee, but Cook wouldn't allow his Noles to succumb on Saturday. The sophomore rushed for 266 yards, second-most in school history, and three touchdowns on 30 carries. Cook has shown zero rust since being acquitted of an offseason misdemeanor battery charge. And if he hasn't made a move in the Heisman race, he most definitely will be a primary contender for the Doak Walker Award.

VIDEO: Dalvin Cook Runs Wild Against USF
Bowling Green QB Matt Johnson

Johnson became a daily fantasy god on Saturday, torching the Maryland defense for a school-record-tying six touchdown passes and 491 yards on 36-of-55 passing. WR Roger Lewis caught 15 of Johnson's throws for 200 yards, as the Falcons garroted the Terps for almost 700 yards in the 48-27 upset. The way this offense scores in bunches, it'll take a major upset to keep Bowling Green out of December's MAC title game.

Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes

When Red Raider Kliff Kingsbury envisions his ideal quarterback, that kid probably looks an awful lot like Mahomes. The second-year gunslinger is a great fit for his coach's offense, fearless and with a quick trigger. After picking apart an overmatched UTEP defense, Mahomes has now thrown for at least 300 yards and four scores in five consecutive games dating back to the Oklahoma loss last Nov. 15.

Ole Miss QB Chad Kelly

It's early in the season, but the Rebels' quarterback worries don't seem as bad today as they did a month ago. Kelly was the catalyst in Ole Miss' 73-21 blowout of Fresno State, completing 20-of-25 for 346 yards, four touchdowns and no picks. Kelly plus athletic Devante Kincade in sub packages is promising news for Hugh Freeze's offense going forward.



At last, the SEC road losing streak is over at 22 games. The Wildcats held on to upset South Carolina in Columbia, 26-22, for their first conference win outside of Lexington since 2009. It was a seminal moment for third-year head coach Mark Stoops, who's been methodically building toward a point when his team can compete at a higher level. The talent is improving at Kentucky, as is the team's confidence level now that the road skid has mercifully ended.

Michigan State

In the game of Week 2, the Spartans exacted revenge on Oregon, 31-28, for last year's crushing loss in Eugene. And in so doing, Michigan State enhanced its position as a playoff contender and the Big Ten's next best thing to Ohio State. The defense came up big when it was needed, and the offense now boasts a pair of young power backs, LJ Scott and Madre London, to balance out Connor Cook's passing.


At 17-3 midway through the fourth quarter, the Sooners looked destined for a deflating loss in Knoxville. At 31-24 at the conclusion of the second overtime, the Sooners had just authored a miraculous comeback that could serve as a launching point. The offense was stale, and neither QB Baker Mayfield nor RB Samaje Perine flourished. But when OU needed a big play, WR Sterling Shepard delivered with the game-tying and game-winning grabs.

SEE MORE: Big 12 roundup

Who's Not

The disappointments from Week 2 in college football.


Just because the Green Wave wasn't expected to beat either Duke or Georgia Tech to start the season doesn't mean that losing by a combined score of 102-17 is remotely acceptable. Tulane was ambushed by the Yellow Jackets in Week 2, allowing a flood of points even when the backups came on the field. If the Green Wave can't turn things around in a hurry, Curtis Johnson's fourth season with the program might be his last.

Penn State QB Christian Hackenberg

Hackenberg was sacked 10 times last week by Temple, so he had a valid excuse for his performance. But Buffalo didn't reach the junior this weekend, yet he was still just 14-of-27 for 128 yards, one touchdown and no picks in another listless Penn State effort. Isn't it possible that Hackenberg's slow development is attributable to more than just his awful protection? And that the franchise needs a lot more seasoning before fulfilling enormous expectations?

Georgia Quarterbacks

A steady diet of Nick Chubb and Sony Michel is sufficient against UL-Monroe and Vanderbilt, but it won't be enough versus the better teams on the schedule. The defense and ground carried the Dawgs in Nashville, as quarterbacks Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey combined to go 13-of-25 for 141 yards and no touchdowns. Remember, Lambert is the same kid who was unable to win the Virginia starting job.

Notre Dame Health

Great win in Charlottesville. Heroic effort by rookie QB DeShone Kizer, who found Will Fuller for the game-winner with 12 seconds left. But the Fighting Irish have now lost a key part of the offense for a second straight week. RB Tarean Folston was lost for the year to a knee injury in Week 1, and now QB Malik Zaire is out with a right ankle injury. Those are two crushing injuries for a team with title aspirations.

Sugiura: Tech Rolls, Now It Gets Real

Big Ten Newcomers

The Big Ten is not off to a rousing start in 2015. And its two newest members, Maryland and Rutgers, did nothing to improve the league's reputation in Week 2. Both teams lost at home as favorites. The Terps were thrashed by Bowling Green, 48-27, allowing six second-half touchdowns. The Scarlet Knights, meanwhile, blew a late lead to the same Washington State program that fell to FCS Portland State in the opener.


It turns out that all of the hype surrounding the Hogs this offseason was just that—hype. Arkansas inexplicably fell at home to Toledo in a stunningly improbable collapse. The Rockets are hardly known for their defensive prowess, yet they bottled up the vaunted Razorback ground game and allowed just a single offensive touchdown. It's back to the drawing board for Bret Bielema.


The fact that the overrated Tigers needed overtime to defeat Jacksonville State was no fluke. The FCS Gamecocks outplayed Auburn at the point of attack. Not only did Will Muschamp's D yielded 420 yards, but Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson was downright shaky for a second consecutive week. The Tigers must be wondering if they have their answer behind center. And that is not a question they can have with at trip to LSU next on the schedule.

ACC Gridiron LIVE: Biggest Key for Louisville's Defense Vs. Auburn


It was an overall humbling weekend for the nation's best conference. And ironically it came just a few days after it put a record 10 teams in the AP Top 25. Who from the league blew you away? Ole Miss over Fresno State? Kentucky's breakthrough win came at the expense of South Carolina. Meanwhile, Arkansas lost to Toledo, and Auburn, Florida and Missouri defeated non-Power Five opponents by a touchdown. Still the top league, but a some warts were exposed in Week 2.

Pac-12 conference roundup
ACC roundup
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