Three-Point Stance: Most surprising, disappointing teams

Rivals nationwide columnist Mike Farrell is right here with probably the most attention-grabbing 4-0 groups thus far this season, probably the most disappointing groups thus far and 5 puzzling inquiries to which nobody appears to have a solution.


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1. Most shocking groups

Wake Forest's Sam Hartman

Wake Forest’s Sam Hartman

Wake Forest

With a 4-0 begin, together with going 2-0 in convention, the Demon Deacons have proven that they’re one of the well-balanced groups within the nation. Sam Hartman has been nice, throwing for 9 TDs to just one choose, and as a crew they’ve finished an awesome job taking good care of the ball. They’ve the fourth-best turnover margin within the nation. Nonetheless, they end the yr out with three straight powerful video games, towards NC State after which at Clemson and at Boston School. However there is a good likelihood that they enter these previous few weeks 9-0.

Boston School

Talking of Boston School, the Eagles have appeared nice even with a season-ending damage to Phil Jurkovec. Pat Garwo III has stepped up at operating again, and Dennis Grosel has finished sufficient to maintain the remainder of the offense above water behind their excellent offensive line. Zay Flowers remains to be one of many best-kept secrets and techniques within the nation at broad receiver, and as a crew, they convert 57% of their third downs, good for fourth within the nation. They have back-to-back video games towards ranked opponents arising, with video games at Clemson and towards NC State, however they management their very own future within the Atlantic, which is all you may ask for.

Michigan State

It is crowded atop the Massive Ten East, and plenty of that has to do with the truth that Mel Tucker and his merry band of transfers have appeared unbelievable to open the season. Kenneth Walker is a legit Heisman contender, Payton Thorne has been environment friendly with 10 TDs and just one interception, and the protection will get stops when wanted.


You possibly can’t actually begin a dialogue about shocking 4-0 groups with out speaking in regards to the Razorbacks. If the season ended in the present day, Sam Pittman would in all probability get my vote for coach of the yr, contemplating that he is overwhelmed each Texas and Texas A&M handily, they usually can transfer the ball each on the bottom with their steady of backs and thru the air. Treylon Burks has been probably the greatest receivers in faculty soccer, and KJ Jefferson is taking part in above his head. This week’s recreation with UGA is the most important this program has seen in a very long time. And in the event that they’re in a position to pull off the upset, all bets are off.


The most effective crew that nobody is speaking about, the Roadrunners are 4-0 and have wins over Illinois and Memphis on their resume. Led by tailback Honest McCormick and a powerful protection, Jeff Traylor has UTSA ready to go to back-to-back bowl video games for the primary time in program historical past. They’re clearly the highest crew in C-USA in the meanwhile, and Traylor goes to change into a sizzling teaching commodity within the close to future.


With Zach Wilson gone to the NFL, lots of people anticipated the Cougars taking a step again, however they’ve finished the precise reverse thus far this season and after defeating three consecutive Pac-12 South groups in addition to South Florida, they’re as much as No. 13 within the polls with good purpose. They are not blowing anybody out, however Kelani Sataki has them taking part in as arduous as ever.


It wasn’t fairly towards Rutgers this previous weekend however the Wolverines have appeared dominant in any other case and lots of anticipated a 2-2 begin. The operating recreation has been superb and the protection appears to be like quick.

Oklahoma State

Mike Gundy continues to do an awesome job for the Cowboys with little to no nationwide reward. They beat a stable Boise State crew and downed a ranked Kansas State program as they head towards some key showdowns.


The jury remains to be out on Dave Aranda for me as a top-level Energy 5 coach however you may’t argue with the beginning this season together with the upset win over Iowa State final weekend. After final season I anticipated a a lot worse begin.


You possibly can say the Terps haven’t overwhelmed anybody if you’d like however West Virginia simply gave Oklahoma all it may deal with this previous weekend and Mike Locksley has this crew rolling.


It hasn’t been fairly and there have been some changes made with a brand new offense however wins over Missouri and South Carolina are okay and being undefeated with a brand new quarterback and so many adjustments is an effective factor.


2. Most disappointing groups

Whereas the 4-0 groups above are a pleasant story, it’s not so good being a fan of those groups who’ve been a disappointment thus far.


We knew that the offense was going to take some type of step again with out Trevor Lawrence, Travis Etienne, Amari Rodgers and others, however nobody may have anticipated this. In three video games towards FBS opponents, the Tigers have scored 38 factors whole. DJ Uiagalelei appears to be like misplaced and is clearly overthinking issues. However the actual trigger for concern is the offensive line, which is a sieve permitting 9 sacks already and getting zero push within the run recreation. That is the place they should enhance most if they will salvage this season and get again to a New Yr’s Six bowl recreation.


Sure, the Sooners are 4-0 and nonetheless in form to make the playoff, however this offense has been extremely underwhelming. Spencer Rattler is in his second yr on this system, they have a bevy of high-end playmakers at receiver and tight finish, and the return of Kennedy Brooks and the addition of Eric Grey within the backfield ought to have meant a really explosive offense. But, they’ve struggled to maneuver the ball and rating factors. OU is averaging solely 26 factors per recreation versus FBS groups and scoring 16 towards a West Virginia crew that’s not world-beaters on protection by any stretch.


When Graham Mertz arrived on campus, it was purported to mark a turning level for this system. He was the primary elite, nationally recruited QB to ever select the Badgers. However he has appeared terrible this season, with just one TD and 6 INTs, together with two backbreaking pick-sixes within the fourth quarter towards Notre Dame at Soldier Subject. Whereas the protection has finished yeoman’s work holding different groups at bay, the offense is in shambles. It is a crew that was purported to be a giant favourite within the Massive Ten West and now it appears to be like impossible that it will get again to the convention title recreation contemplating how properly Iowa is taking part in.


We knew that Clay Helton was perpetually on the new seat heading into this season, however this was nonetheless a crew that appeared loaded. However the Trojans have been discombobulated all season, and the one time they bought sustained offense was with Jaxson Dart taking part in QB at Washington State (a crew that may be a mess in its personal proper). Losses to Stanford and Oregon State at dwelling, each by double-digits, present simply how far the lads of Troy have fallen. They are going to must hit a house run with their subsequent rent particularly as crosstown rival UCLA retains ascending.

North Carolina

The Tar Heels got here into the season with about as a lot fanfare as they’ve in a long time, with Sam Howell being a Heisman favourite and Mack Brown nonetheless on the helm. Nicely, Howell could be fairly positive that he will not be headed to New York in December at this level after getting completely labored by a pedestrian Georgia Tech squad over the weekend to pair with their loss at Virginia Tech. They’ve given up 84 mixed factors of their final two video games to UVA and Georgia Tech, and at present rank ninety fifth within the nation in scoring protection.

Texas A&M

We must always have recognized that the loss to Arkansas was coming after a particularly lackluster efficiency at Colorado two weeks prior. A darkhorse nationwide title contender within the preseason as a consequence of their protection and talent positions, the Aggies have scored a grand whole of 20 factors in two video games towards Energy 5 opponents. They’re getting subsequent to nothing from the quarterback place in these video games.

Florida State

Whereas there weren’t lots of people saying that the Seminoles have been going to be within the ACC title hunt this yr, I doubt anybody predicted simply how unhealthy they’d be. They’ve began 0-4 for the primary time since 1975, together with losses to FCS Jacksonville State, Wake Forest and Louisville. Nothing goes proper for this crew proper now. It might neither block on the offensive line nor cease anybody with a reliable offense. The Seminoles ought to be glad that they have UMass on their schedule in Week 7 as a result of that is in all probability the one recreation they will be favored in for the remainder of the season. It may take a miracle for Mike Norvell to nonetheless have his job by the tip of the yr.

Iowa State

The Cyclones have been a preseason high 10 crew and whereas I didn’t purchase into that hype, many others did. They’re now 2-2 after a drubbing by Iowa and a nasty loss towards Baylor and this season might be headed right into a tailspin.


The Hoosiers have been purported to make a run at Ohio State and others this season however a crushing loss to Iowa early indicated in any other case. Cincinnati destroyed them they usually barely beat Western Kentucky final week.


3. 5 puzzling questions 

And at last listed here are 5 questions I actually can’t determine the reply to. Possibly you may assist.

1. What’s with Clemson’s play-calling? When Dabo Swinney has to come back out and defend his offensive coordinator Tony Elliott, you already know issues aren’t going properly offensively for Clemson. The play-calling is astonishingly unhealthy and predictable, possibly as a result of DJ Uiagalelei can’t deal with the offense or the offensive line stinks. However I do know this — this Clemson offense is unoriginal and simply schemed towards this season and that has nothing to do with personnel. It’s teaching.

2. Why is the Oklahoma offensive line so unhealthy? I can’t determine this out. Sure the Sooners misplaced some key gamers to the NFL, most notably middle Creed Humphrey. However Invoice Bedenbaugh is a superb offensive line coach and there are four-stars throughout the road. However but they’re getting dominated on the line of scrimmage, can’t create a crease for the run recreation and quarterback Spencer Rattler is operating for his life on many performs. This has been the power of the OU crew in some ways for thus lengthy, however why is it so unhealthy this yr?

3. Why haven’t sure quarterbacks been benched? Possibly I can see why Uiagalelei remains to be the starter at Clemson. However what about Graham Mertz at Wisconsin? Or Tanner Morgan at Minnesota? Jarret Doege at West Virginia? Michael Penix at Indiana? There are numerous examples the place it seems a greater reply needs to be on the roster someplace.

4. Why is Ohio State’s protection so porous? Is there any purpose for Ohio State to be second-to-last within the Massive Ten in yards given up per recreation and forward of solely Illinois and Indiana in factors given up per recreation? With all of the recruiting success the Buckeyes have had, there isn’t any excuse for this in any respect. I’ve seen poor inside line play, an erratic cross rush, a ton of missed tackles and a secondary led by a real freshman in Denzel Burke, who appears to be like higher than anybody else by far.

5. Why is Iowa ranked so excessive? This isn’t a shot on the Hawkeyes as they’re profitable the video games on the schedule however No. 5 within the nation? We’ve seen that Indiana and Iowa State aren’t nice groups and a wrestle over Colorado State doesn’t make for a high 5 program to me. The Iowa offense ranks 122nd out of 130 groups in whole offense, 119th in yards per play, 113th in passing and 104th in dashing. And the Hawkeyes are high 5. Once more, why?

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