Week 2 of the college football season did not disappoint. Maryland earned a dominant win, Virginia took care of an FCS foe, Virginia Tech earned some revenge and Penn State overcame a slow start.
Here's a recap of the week's action.
Virginia 52, William & Mary 17
The good: A triple threat
Just like in their game against Pitt, all three aspects of the game played a huge role for Virginia. The Cavaliers got points from the offense, defense and special teams all in the first half.
Joe Reed got the scoring started with a 40-yard touchdown catch from Bryce Perkins. Later in the first quarter, William & Mary quarterback Hollis Mathis appeared to get his wires crossed with his receiver. He threw the ball in between two routes where the only player who was even aware the ball had been thrown was cornerback Nick Grant who picked it off and took the ball 80 yards for the touchdown.
In the second quarter, already up 28-3, Joe Reed returned a kickoff 100 yards for the first half exclamation point.
The bad: 2 interceptions for Perkins
Perkins threw for 192 yards and two touchdowns, but he also threw two interceptions. The Tribe's first touchdown of the night came off a pick as Arman Jones was able to return it 47 yards to the end zone.
The silver lining, of course, is that neither interception was a big factor in a game that was never really in doubt, but it was certainly a sour note to an otherwise dominant performance.
The ugly: What the defense did to Hollis Mathis
William & Mary quarterback Mathis rushed for 127 yards and threw for another 66 in their Week 1 win. Virginia, however, had no problem bottling the freshman quarterback up.
Mathis rushed for just 10 yards on 15 carries on Saturday. He was even less effective through the air as he completed more passes to Virginia (one) than he did to any of his own receivers. Mathis had zero completions on four attempts.
Maryland 63, Syracuse 20
The good: Anthony McFarland
McFarland was, by far, the best player on the field on Saturday. On 14 carries, McFarland rushed for 75 yards and two touchdowns. He also added two catches for 45 yards and another touchdown.
His best play came late in the first half when he hauled in a pass from Jackson, turned on the jets and weaved his way through traffic for a 39-yard gain, setting up a six-yard touchdown pass the very next play caught by...McFarland.
The bad: The unnecessary quarterback tandem
Maryland was dominant from start to finish so it is hard to find a real negative on the day. If you want to nitpick, however, then let's go to early in the second quarter when Tyrrell Pigrome entered the game. At that point, Josh Jackson had completed seven of 10 passes for 127 yards and one touchdown to give Maryland the 21-7 lead. He was the hot hand and there was no reason to put Pigrome in.
I get that Mike Locksley wants to keep a quarterback tandem and that Pigrome is a different quarterback who brings a different dynamic. I get it. But don't mess with success. The Terps were rolling with Jackson and Locksley knew it as Pigrome ran two plays and did not get back into the game the rest of the day.
The ugly: Jake Funk's drive
Late in the fourth quarter, Maryland forced a turnover on downs at their own eight-yard line. From there, the Terps just ran it down Syracuse's throat. Running back Jake Funk carried the ball three times the first for 54 yards, then 28 yards and finally 10 yards into the end zone.
Three plays, 92 yards, all by one running back.
The Orange defense quit on that drive and it was obvious to everyone watching.
Virginia Tech 31, Old Dominion 17
The good: This catch
.@Huncho_Hez is a BAD MAN 😱 pic.twitter.com/pdrxpeOQt0— ACC Network (@accnetwork) September 7, 2019
The bad: ODU's comeback
Maybe you were feeling good about this game when the Hokies were up 24-3. After the Monarch's handed Virginia Tech a stunning defeat last season, a dominant win for the Hokies would certainly feel satisfying. Yet, from there ODU made things uncomfortable.
The Monarch's marched down the field in a 10-play, 75-yard drive capped off by a three-yard Stone Smartt touchdown run. They then forced a punt from the Hokies in the next drive and scored another touchdown -- this time in five plays and 78 yards -- to make it a one-possession game. Virginia Tech would respond with a touchdown of their own to extend the lead to 14, but Old Dominion's comeback hardly fills one with confidence going forward.
The ugly: Turnovers
Through the first two games of the season, Virginia Tech has turned the ball over seven times. After five against Boston College, the Hokies turned it over another two times on Saturday. Of those seven turnovers, quarterback Ryan Willis has accounted for five of them with three interceptions and two fumbles including one fumble against the Monarchs. This has to be a major area of focus for the offense going forward, especially for Willis.
Penn State 45, Buffalo 13
The good: Sean Clifford
The first-year starter is quickly establishing himself as the next big quarterback at Penn State. Clifford threw for 280 yards and four touchdowns and added another 51 yards on the ground. Three of his four touchdown passes came in the second half when the Nittany Lions finally exerted control over the game.
The bad: The first half
After putting up 79 points last week, it was jarring to see Penn State held to only seven points in the first half on Saturday. The offense righted the ship in the second half with 38 points, but it was a rough first half that saw Buffalo take a 10-7 lead to the locker room.
The ugly: An efficient offense
It wasn't hard to figure out what the Bulls gameplan was: Keep the ball away from Penn State.
The Nittany Lions were dominated in time of possession against Buffalo 42:32 to 17:28. Yet, Penn State still managed 38 points on offense in what was a hugely efficient night in Death Valley.
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