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Week Two Headlines

Scott Haynes, College Football Senior Editor

Philadelphia, PA (Sports Network) - The second week of the season provided plenty of fast-paced, heart-stopping action. The marquee matchups left the nation salivating for more, while an upset or two sprinkled in only added to a highly enjoyable weekend.

WORTH THE PRICE OF ADMISSION: The games in both Columbus and Ann Arbor certainly lived up to the hype. Both Michigan and Notre Dame have seen better days, but if this weekend brought a glimpse of the future, things are looking up for both programs. It was fun to watch a meaningful game between these two traditional powers again, as the two teams traded blows until the final minute. The Irish definitely had their chances in this one and got a second straight stellar performance from junior signal-caller Jimmy Clausen. However, Rich Rodriguez got the most out of his troops and to the Wolverines' credit, they never gave up. Freshman QB Tate Forcier showed unbelievable poise under center in a huge game, and is a future star.

Tate Forcier is a future star.
Not many thought the Buckeyes had much of a chance of stopping the Trojans, especially with a flat performance in the season-opener against Navy. However, Jim Tressel's squad did just about everything right, except for outscoring USC, in a thrilling 18-15 decision at the Horseshoe. It was a defensive battle that came down to the end, with USC capping off a long drive with a two-yard TD run and two-point conversion to provide the difference with just over one minute to play. Another future star was born, as freshman QB Matt Barkley was as cool as a cucumber on that last drive, with a pair of long passes for first downs and a QB sneak for a third on fourth-down.

HOUSTON, WE HAVE A PROBLEM: That familiar saying was probably not heard on the Cougar sideline in Stillwater this past weekend, but OSU top man Mike Gundy could be seen whispering something similar under his breath, as Houston provided plenty of problems for the then fifth-ranked Cowboys, in a 45-35 upset win. Second-year coach Kevin Sumlin now has his biggest win at the helm of Houston. Quarterback Case Keenum, who led the nation in total offense a year ago, was once again masterful under center, throwing for 366 yards and three TDs, while adding a rushing score as well. It also marked the Cougars' third straight win over a ranked opponent dating back to last season and was the first over a top-five foe since 1984. Houston has undeniably arrived, and this is a well-balanced offensive team that will cause headaches for the competition the rest of the way.

ROAD WARRIORS: The aforementioned Cougars outlasted the Cowboys in Stillwater and that was no small feat, but the way the UCLA Bruins played in extremely hostile territory in Knoxville was equally impressive. The Bruins didn't do it with flashy offense, but rather, completely shut down the hometown Volunteers in Neyland Stadium, en route to a hard-fought 19-15 victory. The win came at a price however, as UCLA quarterback Kevin Prince suffered a broken jaw in an obviously brutal slugfest and will be lost for a few weeks.

PLAYERS OF THE WEEK: Quarterback play dominated week two. Keenum's performance against Oklahoma State is definitely one of the top performances, but the way Texas Tech's Taylor Potts lit up Rice was amazing. Sure, the Red Raiders have a long history of gaudy offensive numbers by their QBs, but Potts' outing ranks right up there, as he threw for 456 yards and a whopping seven TDs. Toledo made light work of Colorado thanks in large part to Aaron Opelt's 319 yards and four TD passes. He also added 109 yards rushing and two more scores. Florida's Tim Tebow (237 yards passing and four TDs, 71 yards rushing and one TD) and Texas' Colt McCoy (337 yards passing and three TDs, 44 yards rushing and one TD) kept pace in their Heisman race, as both abused inferior competition in Troy and Wyoming, respectively.

SNEAK PEEK: There are a pair of top-25 showdowns this week, both involving the ACC, as 14th-ranked Georgia Tech and 20th-ranked Miami battle it out in south Florida on Thursday and 19th-ranked Nebraska pays a visit to Blacksburg to take on 13th-ranked Virginia Tech. A well-rested Miami team will get a chance to make a huge move in the conference and prove that the season-opening win over Florida State was no fluke. Similarly, Nebraska has the opportunity to entrench itself in the top-25 with a huge road win in one of the toughest venues in the country. Although not a top-25 matchup, it is always a good time when Florida and Tennessee get together. The Gators are clicking on all cylinders right now, but the Vols come in off a tough loss to UCLA. Expect fireworks in Gainesville.

Comments? Criticism? Applause? Contact Scott Haynes at shaynes@sportsnetwork.com.
Scott Haynes

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