We’ve made it by means of seven weeks of a faculty soccer season not like some other. Main conferences just like the Massive Ten and Pac-12 have but to take the sphere, whereas some groups have performed as many as six video games. 

From what we’ve seen to date, a number of groups with vital preseason expectations have fallen nicely in need of these projections. Under, in alphabetical order, we’ve highlighted a number of of essentially the most disappointing groups of the faculty soccer season to date. 

Auburn (2-2): It seems like Auburn is in for an additional good-but-not-great season. And which may be optimistic. Final 12 months, Auburn had a stout protection and a lackluster offense. This 12 months, each side of the ball are utterly mediocre. Bo Nix, the Tigers’ acclaimed five-star quarterback recruit, doesn’t seem to have taken many strides as a passer. That was on show in Saturday’s 30-22 loss to South Carolina, a loss that dropped the Tigers to 2-2 on the 12 months. And if it weren’t for a questionable officiating choice in final week’s win over Arkansas, Auburn may very nicely be 1-3. 

Louisville (1-4): Scott Satterfield getting Louisville to eight wins in his first 12 months cleansing up Bobby Petrino’s mess was an amazing accomplishment. However it now seems that the dearth of roster depth is catching as much as UL. The Cardinals are off to a 1-Four begin and have been suffering from lackluster protection in most of these losses. The losses in opposition to Miami (47-34) and Georgia Tech (46-27) had been particularly ugly. Saturday’s effort, a 12-7 loss to Notre Dame in South Bend, confirmed some constructive indicators, although the often explosive offense actually struggled. 

LSU (1-2): Final week, we highlighted the very actual possibilities that LSU goes down because the worst defending nationwide champion in faculty soccer’s trendy period. LSU misplaced a lot expertise from that unbelievable 2019 crew, however no person anticipated such a staggering drop-off on protection with Bo Pelini within the fold as defensive coordinator. The Tigers had been embarrassed 44-34 by Mississippi State of their opener, a loss that appears even worse given MSU’s latest performances. The 45-41 loss to Missouri was dangerous, too. Not solely did Mizzou put up 586 yards of offense, it stuffed LSU on 4 performs from the 1-yard line within the last minute to seal the win. 

LSU head coach Ed Orgeron heads to the field with his team before the start an NCAA college football game against Missouri Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, in Columbia, Mo. (AP Photo/L.G. Patterson)

Oklahoma (2-2): Oklahoma’s five-year Massive 12 title streak is in severe jeopardy. OU is working in a first-year beginning quarterback and is lacking its often dependable expertise on the ability positions. These components, coupled with a protection that generally seems prefer it’s allergic to tackling, has the Sooners off to a 2-2 begin. OU dropped back-to-back video games to Kansas State and Iowa State, blowing leads in each video games. These losses marked the primary time OU misplaced consecutive regular-season video games since 1999. If it wasn’t for a 4OT win over Texas, Lincoln Riley’s group can be in even worse form. 

Mississippi State (1-3): Mississippi State, in its first 12 months beneath Mike Leach, was the speak of faculty soccer when it upset LSU in Leach’s SEC head-coaching debut. In a 44-34 win, KJ Costello threw for an SEC-record 623 yards. Since then, although, issues have been actually, actually tough for the Bulldogs. MSU has misplaced its subsequent three video games, scoring a mixed 30 factors within the course of. Earlier than the fourth-quarter TD the Bulldogs scored of their 28-14 loss to Texas A&M on Saturday, the offense had gone an absurd 28 consecutive drives with out reaching the top zone. For a Leach offense, that’s unthinkable. 

Tennessee (2-2): Final week, Tennessee was using excessive. The Vols had been ranked No. 14 within the nation and on an eight-game profitable streak coming into a high-profile matchup in opposition to No. Three Georgia. Tennessee even led UGA 21-17 at halftime. Since then, Tennessee has fallen again all the way down to earth. Perhaps crashed again all the way down to earth is extra correct. Within the six quarters since, the Vols have been outscored 61-7. Georgia stormed again final week and received, 44-21, forcing three second-half turnovers within the course of. And on Saturday in opposition to Kentucky, the Vols had been blown out, 34-7. The offense turned the ball over 4 extra instances and has a severe quarterback drawback. Jeremy Pruitt has undoubtedly improved the expertise on the Tennessee roster, and executed so considerably. However the previous few weeks have proven simply how far the Vols should go so as to compete for an SEC East title. 

KNOXVILLE, TN - OCTOBER 17: Jarrett Guarantano #2 of the Tennessee Volunteers looks to make a pass against the Kentucky Wildcats at Neyland Stadium on October 17, 2020 in Knoxville, Tennessee. (Photo by Andrew Ferguson/Collegiate Images/Getty Images)

Texas (2-2): Texas beginning 2-2 in Tom Herman’s fourth season as head coach is fairly troublesome for UT followers to simply accept. That’s very true with the best way the Longhorns have been dropping. Herman has had the time to construct a roster and 16 starters had been again within the fold from a 2019 crew that performed fairly nicely late within the 12 months. As a substitute of taking part in like an skilled group, UT has been suffering from turnovers, penalties, poor tackling and particular groups points. Worse, place teams like vast receiver and offensive line proceed to be weak spots for this system. The Longhorns had a bye this week, so maybe we’ll see a extra disciplined crew after they subsequent return to the sphere. 

UCF (2-2): How do you reconcile placing up 798 yards of offense and nonetheless dropping? UCF is confronted with that query this week after Saturday’s 50-49 loss to Memphis, a loss that dropped the Knights to 2-2 on the 12 months. UCF had second-half leads of 35-22 and 43-29, however nonetheless allowed Memphis to come back again and win. Memphis scored two touchdowns within the recreation’s last 4 minutes to beat a 12-point deficit. Each of UCF’s losses function blown leads. Two weeks in the past, UCF led Tulsa 23-5 late within the first half, however ended up dropping, 34-26. The UCF protection has been a problem, little question, however the Knights have additionally been the most-penalized crew within the nation. Whether or not the Knights can get again into the AAC race stays to be seen.

— Sam Cooper

Listed below are this week’s winners and losers:

Winners

Clemson: The No. 1 Tigers couldn’t cease scoring in opposition to Georgia Tech. Clemson beat the Yellow Jackets 73-7 on Saturday as 10 totally different Clemson gamers had a carry and 16 totally different Clemson gamers had a catch. Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 404 yards and 5 touchdowns — 391 of these yards got here within the first half — as Clemson turned a 7-7 recreation within the first quarter right into a 52-7 halftime lead. The win moved the Tigers to 5-Zero on the season and Clemson has now received its 4 ACC video games by a median of 33 factors. 

Arkansas: The Razorbacks compelled seven turnovers in a 33-21 win over Ole Miss. Six of these had been interceptions of Ole Miss QB Matt Corral as Arkansas defenders had been fearless in leaping in entrance of Ole Miss receivers when studying Corral’s eyes. The win pushes Arkansas to 2-2 although Hogs followers will gladly inform you that Arkansas ought to be 3-1 after the SEC’s officiating blunder price the Razorbacks a win at Auburn every week in the past. Moreover, Arkansas’ social media division will get a giant shout out for this tweet.

Kentucky: Kentucky beat Tennessee at Neyland Stadium for the primary time since 1984 on Saturday, and did so in blowout trend. The Wildcats protection compelled 4 turnovers, together with returning two interceptions for touchdowns within the 34-7 win. It was a powerful efficiency for the Wildcats, particularly when you think about Tennessee’s dominance within the collection. Kentucky coach Mark Stoops was going to soak all of it in. This quote says all of it. 

BYU: The march towards New Yr’s Six consideration continued on Friday night time for No. 14 BYU. The Cougars trailed 26-14 to Houston within the third quarter however reeled off 29 consecutive factors for a 43-26 win. Zach Wilson was 25-of-35 passing for 400 yards and 4 touchdowns and likewise led the crew with 40 yards speeding. Wilson’s completion share of 71.Four was his lowest of the season as he retains exhibiting how he might be a possible first-round choose within the 2021 NFL draft. 

Virginia Tech: The No. 23 Hokies obtained blown out every week in the past at North Carolina and bounced again properly with a cushty 40-14 win over Boston Faculty. Virginia Tech was dominant on the bottom as QB Hendon Hooker had 18 carries for 164 yards and star Kansas switch Khalil Herbert had 18 carries for 143 yards. Hooker ran for 3 touchdowns and added one other by means of the air as VT scored the ultimate 23 factors of the sport to show an in depth one right into a rout. 

Coastal Carolina running back CJ Marable (1) and quarterback Grayson McCall (10) celebrate after Marable scored a touchdown during the first half of an NCAA football game against Louisiana-Lafayette in Lafayette, La., Wednesday, Oct. 14, 2020. (AP Photo/Paul Kieu)

Coastal Carolina: It’s time for Coastal Carolina to be ranked within the Prime 25. The Chanticleers went on the highway and upset No. 21 Louisiana 30-27 on Wednesday night time and at the moment are sitting fairly because the lone undefeated crew remaining within the Solar Belt at 4-0. Coastal Carolina pulled out the win by way of a 40-yard subject objective by Massimo Biscardi within the last seconds. It marks the primary win over a ranked opponent in program historical past. CCU is in its fourth season on the FBS stage and had only a mixed 13-23 (6-18 Solar Belt) file in its first three years. Now it is without doubt one of the favorites to win the Solar Belt title. 

Memphis: What a comeback for the Tigers. Memphis outscored UCF 21-6 over the ultimate 12:40 to win 50-49 and snap a 13-game dropping streak in opposition to the Knights. The go-ahead TD got here when Calvin Austin III caught a four-yard TD go from Brady White with 1:08 left. UCF then missed a possible game-winning subject objective with 19 seconds left. The 2 groups mixed for an absurd 1,501 yards of offense as UCF had 798 and Memphis had 703. White was 34-of-50 passing for 486 yards and 6 TDs whereas UCF’s Dillon Gabriel was 35-of-49 for 601 yards and 5 touchdowns. 

SMU: The Mustangs are the one 5-Zero crew within the AAC after a 37-34 time beyond regulation win in opposition to Tulane on Friday night time. Tulane obtained the ball to begin time beyond regulation however Brandon Crossley intercepted Michael Pratt. SMU merely performed for the sphere objective and Chris Naggar hit a 34-yard kick for the win. It’s the second straight season SMU has began 5-Zero and now heads into an enormous AAC recreation in opposition to No. eight Cincinnati on Oct. 24. 

Losers

Georgia QB Stetson Bennett: The man who took over as Georgia’s beginning quarterback in the course of the first recreation of the season appeared like a participant who began the season as a backup. Bennett threw three interceptions in No. Three Georgia’s 41-24 loss to Alabama and his last two interceptions led on to 14 Alabama factors within the second half. The Crimson Tide scored 21 consecutive factors within the last 30 minutes to show a 24-20 deficit right into a 17-point win as Bennett was simply 18-of-40 passing for 269 yards. Whereas Georgia’s recipe of nice protection and respectable passing recreation is sufficient to win most video games, it’s not sufficient to hold with groups like Alabama.

North Carolina: A lot for the dream of an undefeated common season for the No. 5 Tar Heels. UNC was down 31-7 to Florida State earlier than mounting a valiant comeback. That comeback wasn’t sufficient, nevertheless, and UNC misplaced 31-28. The offense did its half; Sam Howell threw for 374 yards and UNC rushed for 184. However Florida State gained 241 speeding yards on 36 caries as each La’Damian Webb and Jordan Travis rushed for over 100 yards apiece. 

Auburn QB Bo Nix: Interceptions thrown by Bo Nix instantly led to 21 of the 30 factors South Carolina scored in its 30-22 win over Auburn. Nix threw three interceptions and all three of them gave South Carolina’s offense a brief subject, leading to landing drives of 29, 49 and eight yards. Nix’s third interception got here late within the third quarter and allowed the Gamecocks to increase their lead from 20-19 to 27-19. Nix’s points didn’t finish with interceptions. He missed loads of throws and made dangerous choices, constantly holding onto the ball for much too lengthy. It occurred on the ultimate play of the sport, a fourth-down play when Auburn wanted a landing to maintain its hopes alive. As a substitute, Nix did this. 

(via ESPN)

Notre Dame’s passing recreation: In case you didn’t watch Notre Dame’s win over Louisville you didn’t miss a lot in any respect. The No. Four Combating Irish received 12-7 in a recreation the place 13 of the 19 factors had been scored on back-to-back drives within the third quarter. Louisville’s protection entered the sport permitting practically 390 yards per contest however Notre Dame couldn’t actually take benefit. Ian Guide was simply 11-of-19 passing for 107 yards. The Irish did, nevertheless, proceed to be one fo the perfect speeding groups in faculty soccer. Notre Dame ran 49 instances for 232 yards and ended the sport with a 14-play, 57 yard drive that took the ultimate 7:55 off the clock. 

Pitt head coach Pat Narduzzi: Pat Narduzzi as soon as despatched his subject objective unit out on fourth-and-goal from the 1-yard line with beneath 5 minutes left in regulation when his crew trailed its rival by a landing. So it shouldn’t have been stunning when he opted for a subject objective on fourth-and-Three from the Miami 12-yard line when his crew trailed 28-16 with 31 seconds left within the third quarter on Saturday. 

As a substitute of making an attempt to chop a two-score deficit to a one-score deficit, Narduzzi as a substitute wished to chop Miami’s result in simply 9, 28-19. Predictably, Pitt’s offense wouldn’t even enter Miami territory the remainder of the best way in an eventual 31-19 loss. Narduzzi’s clarification after the sport didn’t make a lot sense, both. He additionally claimed the choice got here “early” or in “the center” of the third quarter, when it truly got here within the last minute of the quarter. 

“You need to go for it on one hand, however you need to take factors,” Narduzzi stated. “It’s nonetheless early within the third quarter or center of the third quarter, I feel. There’s nonetheless loads of time left and I feel you bought to take the factors.”

Pittsburgh head coach Pat Narduzzi yells to his team as they play against North Carolina State during the first half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Oct. 3, 2020, in Pittsburgh. North Carolina State won 30-29. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Ole Miss QB Matt Corral: Saturday was a tough day for a number of SEC quarterbacks, however no person had a worse day than Ole Miss’ Matt Corral. Corral had been great by means of the Rebels’ first three video games, combining for 1,080 yards, 9 touchdowns and only one interception on 76.1 % throwing. Corral’s stats appeared a lot totally different in Saturday’s 33-21 loss to Arkansas: 20-of-38 for 200 yards, two TDs and 6 interceptions. Sure, six interceptions. On the heels of such a stellar efficiency in opposition to Alabama, Corral had the worst recreation of his profession in opposition to the Razorbacks. 

Syracuse: Issues usually are not going nicely in 2020 for Syracuse. The Orange dropped to 1-Four on Saturday with one more loss, and this one got here within the crew’s lone non-conference recreation of the 12 months: a 38-21 defeat by the hands of Liberty. It was an unpleasant loss, too. The Orange protection allowed the Flames to realize 338 yards and 4 TDs speeding, together with 170 yards and two scores on simply 10 carries from Shedro Louis, a sophomore whose earlier profession excessive was 57 yards. 

Sure, Syracuse performed this recreation with out beginning QB Tommy DeVito, however the video games he has performed haven’t gone significantly better. It’s truthful to begin questioning concerning the path of this system beneath Dino Babers. Syracuse went 10-Three in 2018, however that 12 months is beginning to seem like a major outlier. Syracuse is 14-27 in Babers’ 4 different seasons. 

South Florida: USF took a 31-20 lead late within the third quarter at Temple on Saturday, however ended up blowing that lead in a 39-37 loss. Temple scored three touchdowns, together with a scoop and rating off a USF turnover, to flip that 31-20 deficit to a 39-31 lead. USF had an opportunity to tie the sport, although, after scoring a landing with 1:03 to play. All that USF wanted was a two-point conversion play, however the play name failed miserably and USF fell to 1-4.

(via ESPN)

Western Kentucky: What’s occurred to the Hilltoppers? WKU misplaced 37-14 at UAB on Saturday to fall to 1-Four on the season. A once-powerful offense struggled once more because the crew rushed for simply 88 yards on 32 carries and Kevaris Thomas threw for simply 162 yards on 35 go makes an attempt. WKU’s solely win came to visit hapless Center Tennessee State and whereas a gimme recreation in opposition to Chattanooga is on the schedule subsequent, WKU’s subsequent two FBS opponents are No. 14 BYU and Florida Atlantic.

 

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