Week 3 Recap: Big Ten Struggles; Winston, Guiton Impress


Sep 14, 2013; Berkeley, CA, USA; Ohio State Buckeyes quarterback Kenny Guiton (13) looks to pass the ball against the California Golden Bears in the third quarter at Memorial Stadium. The Buckeyes defeated the Golden Bears 52-34. Mandatory Credit: Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY Sports

The latest Game of the Century lived up to the hype, as Alabama beat Texas A&M 49-42.

Of the two major programs desperately in need of a win, only one got it — that would be USC, which handled Boston College; Texas, however, was crushed by Ole Miss, partly because of a highlight reel play you’ll find below.

OK, let’s get started before Oregon scores another touchdown on Tennessee.

Jame is good 

The home crowd in Tallahassee got its first look at Jameis Winston on Saturday. Florida State returned from a bye to route Nevada 62-7 as the redshirt freshman quarterback completed 15 of 18 passes and two touchdowns. Through two games, Winston has more touchdown passes (six) than incompletions (five).

Two years ago, Robert Griffin III, then a senior at Baylor, pulled off that feat through three games. With a game against Bethune-Cookman next week, might Winston be able to maintain his ridiculous ratio?

Braxton who? 

Kenny Guiton, Ohio State’s back-up quarterback, led the Buckeyes to a 52-34 thrashing at Cal on Saturday. The fifth-year senior, making his first career start in place of the injured Braxton Miller, set a school record on Ohio State’s second play from scrimmage when he connected on a 90-yard touchdown pass. It was one of four touchdowns he threw on the evening.

Here’s how the Ohio State official athletic website describes him: “Like Michael Jordan, who always could finish on the break, Guiton is a finisher for the Buckeyes.”

This is in reference to Guiton stepping in for Miller last season and finishing off touchdown drives. Also in his bio: “He even earned the nickname ‘Coach’ last season from Coach Urban Meyer because of his knowledge of the game and his preparedness.”

At the very least, Coach Kenny makes it a lot easier for Coach Urban to rest Miller another week if need be. It is clear the Buckeyes will be fine against Florida A&M without Miller, and if he’s still not ready the following week (or goes down again later in the season), Guiton has proven he can keep the offense humming. Most teams in the country would love to have such a capable backup quarterback.

Not so Big Ten 

Bashing the Big Ten has become as much a part of college football as Corso’s headgear. Saturday was certainly a day that will fuel the haters. Nebraska allowed 38 unanswered points at home and lost to UCLA 41-21. Penn State lost at home to UCF.

Illinois lost to Washington 34-24 in Chicago. Purdue led Notre Dame at home entering the fourth before imploding. Michigan, a 38-point favorite at home against Akron, looked for much of the afternoon like it might be haunted by Jim Tressel. Tressel, the former Ohio State coach who went 8-1 against Wolverines, is now the Vice President of Strategic Engagement at Akron (don’t ask why).

Michigan needed a touchdown and a goal line stand in the final minutes to win. And while this had nothing to do with football, Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill had another game-day seizure, this one at halftime of the Gophers’ eventual win over Western Illinois, and was taken to a hospital. He was back in his home in good condition shortly after the game.

And then there is the Wisconsin-Arizona State game, covered by my Saturday Blitz colleague Kyle Kensing. Wisconsin lost, giving the Big Ten a 1-3 record against the Pac-12 on Saturday, but the Badgers should have been given a chance to attempt a game-winning field goal.

Wisconsin’s very odd kneel-down started the chaos, but the refs still blew it. As you can see, Arizona State first jumps on it when there are still 13 seconds left:

Six seconds later, the referee is still explaining what’s happening, likely saying that it was a legal kneel-down and therefore not a fumble:

Not until there are four seconds left does the referee finally spot the ball:

That screenshot also shows a Wisconsin offense not prepared to take a snap. Had they showed more urgency, they could have overcome the lack of a delay of game penalty and slow spotting to spike the ball with time still on the clock. At the very least, they could have had their field goal try. The refs screwed this up, but the Badgers put themselves in a bad spot.

Play of the Week 

Check out this awesome punt return by Jeff Scott of Ole Miss. Spoiler alert: he scores. When you get to this exact moment, your brain is going to wonder how:

And be sure to check out the Ole Miss staffer running down the sideline with Scott. Mack Brown should consider offering him a scholarship.

Grand announcement 

Rutgers retired Eric LeGrand’s No. 52 before Saturday’s win over Eastern Michigan. He spoke to the home crowd and announced the launch of Team LeGrand, a partnership program with the Christopher & Dana Reeve Foundation. LeGrand, paralyzed while making a tackle in 2010, has made it his mission to help others in his situation. I had a chance to interview Eric last year. His upbeat attitude was inspiring and it’s great to see him continue to do amazing things.