College football is officially back, and so is Monday morning. Well, sort of. It’s a holiday, but the Pants takes no days off. Whether you’re enjoying an extra day off or back to the grind, we’ve got you covered the key takeaways from the weekend.
1. The sky is falling!
Wait, no, it was just an earthquake. No really. The world was literally shaken awake Saturday morning, and not just for college football. A magnitude 5.6 earthquake let loose in Pawnee, Oklahoma in the early morning hours while most of us were enjoying the glorious goodness that was college football at 6 in the morning. I, too, was in shock. I assumed the shaking was the college football community shaking in their boots at the thought of facing the Iowa Hawkeyes this season. Stranger things, I suppose.
2. Putting the “Out” in Outlaw
If you were late to the party Saturday afternoon, you may have missed all of Josey Jewell’s day. The Outlaw was tossed from the game after Miami’s opening series, just 2:53 into the game. He also killed a man. No, he literally decapitated a human being with his block on what would have been a fantastic punt return from Desmond King. I’ll let you all debate the ruling of “targeting” but I’m going to say it was a less than stellar call for a couple reasons. First, I think Jewell was actually coming with a low target and the guy started to trip a split second before the hit, dropping his head into the Outlaw’s strike zone. And second, I don’t want to go against Jewell, just in case someone would forward this to him. I would like to keep my head attached, thanks.
3. Iowa Runs Wild
Leshun Daniels with TD number two! pic.twitter.com/9AQjjLJirT— Heavens! (@HeavensHawkeye) September 3, 2016
Leshun Daniels Jr. and Akrum Wadley had themselves a day Saturday. Like a really good day. Daniels finished with 83 yards on 10 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Wadley ended with 121 yards on 12 carries with a pair of touchdowns as well. 9.3 yards per carry, is that good? A touchdown every 6 carries, what does that mean? Iowa is going to have themselves some success running the football this year, that’s what it means. I, for one, am excited to watch these guys work. It’s going to be fun.
4. The sky is falling on our defense!
Thank goodness the run game looked so good, ‘cuz it looks like Iowa is going to have to put up some points. If you’re a glass half empty type, there was a hell of a lot to be worried about Saturday. The defense had some major issues getting off the field. Miami held the ball for 13 minutes more than the Hawkeyes did and outgained them 424 yards to 404. Not what I was hoping to see out of a unit I thought we be a positive. More concerning to me was the complete lack of a pass rush for most of the game. We didn’t see the “Raider” package at all on Saturday and there were very few blitzes. My gut tells me this had more to do with Iowa losing it’s man in the middle of the defense out of the gate than anything else, but boy is it something to keep an eye on as we move forward.
5. Mabin, Mabin, Mabin?
Speaking of concerns on the defense, Greg Mabin has me a little concerned. I get it, Miami threw at him a ton because the alternative was throwing at King, but let’s face it, every team this season is going to have the same issue. After Saturday, I think they are all going to take the same approach. Mabin had pretty solid coverage most of the time, he just really seems to struggle with his feel for the ball and getting his head around. King is so excellent not just because he stays with his guy, but because he read the receiver, gets his head around and plays the ball. Mabin got eaten alive down the stretch when Miami realized their bigger-bodied WR wasn’t going to be challenged for the ball, even if Mabin was right there in coverage. I’d like to say I think he gets that corrected as the season goes on, but the kid is a senior and had to know coming in he was going to have a ton of opportunities. Mark me down as worried.
6. Burn, Baby, Burn
The redshirts that is. By my count, 10 true freshman threw their redshirts on the bonfire Saturday. Perhaps most notably was QB Nathan Stanley. There was much debate heading into the opener about whether Stanley should see time as C.J.’s backup given that he could redshirt and Wiegers seems capable of spot duty. We saw New Kirk walk the walk Saturday after all his talk about playing a number of freshmen and how good Stanley has looked. Other freshman who got in included TE Noah Fant, LBs Amani Jones and Kristian Welch, RB Toks Akinribade, DB Manny Rugamba and DT Cedric Lattimore, among others.
7. Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs
Alabama looked legit in their utter destruction of USC Saturday night. The rest of the SEC? Not so much. Tennessee set the tone with their OT victory over App State on Friday. Mississippi State couldn’t be outdone and went out and lost to South Alabama (not Alabama, South Alabama) on Saturday. Arkansas kept it snug late with Louisiana-Monroe, Mizzou lost to West Virginia, Kentucky got beat by Southern Miss and the crown jewel came courtesy of our friends up north in Wisconsin, as the Badgers took down #5 LSU. In total, the SEC went 7-6 with more close calls than ESPN will likely admit. The league truly looks like Alabama and a bunch of question marks.
Bonus! LOL ISU
A storm is brewing in Ames. A sh!t storm, that is. It’s hate week, so let’s kick it off right, with a glimpse inside the juggernaut that is Iowa State.
Iowa State FB looks like their dominant selves again this season: pic.twitter.com/bINp14KARA— America's Team (@KirkFerentzGum) September 4, 2016
The Cyclones lost to UNI 25-20 Saturday night in front of six viewers on Cyclone.tv. L.O.L.