1988 was a fun year. George Bush was elected president. U2 won a Grammy. The USSR wasn’t dead yet, but it definitely started to smell. It was an awesome year for sports as well. Kirk Gibson (on two bad knees) hit a dinger of some importance. Carl Lewis set a world record in the 100-meter in Seoul.
…and it was the last time Tennessee started 0-2. That 1988 team started 0-6.
None of that mattered to me, of course. I was four. I thought Legos were the most important thing in the universe.
Anyway, here are some weird numbers from Week 2 of the college football season.
Maryland hangs 63 points on Syracuse
Syracuse was ranked. Many of my sports media colleagues were pegging the Orange to be Clemson’s biggest ACC test of the year when they meet in the Carrier Dome next weekend. Maybe that’s still true. And maybe, just maybe, they were looking past Maryland to their date with Dabo. Totally understandable, but Dino’s boys never learned from the hare. They slept on the turtle.
Maryland put up 650 yards of offense on their way to those 63 points. New signal caller Josh Jackson was a serviceable 21 for 38 with three scores, but the ground attack was the real weapon for the Terrapins. They racked up 354 yards on the ground, with junior Javon Leake and Three Wide Name-of-the-Year candidate Jake Funk leading the charge.
The duo torched the Syracuse D, each averaging over 15 yards a carry. Maryland had three rushers with more yards than the entire Syracuse team. Mike Locksley is only in his first year, but he’s already got the Terps in shape to do some damage in the loaded Big Ten East.
Joe Burrow – 31 for 39, 471 yards and 4 Touchdowns against Texas
Well look what we have here. Actual, 21st-century offense from our Cajun cousins.
LSU has often been behind the times offensively, often choosing big, dumb stompy football over actually getting the ball in space to playmakers. And I openly admit that when they tapped Ed Orgeron to be head coach, I expected more of the same.
Someone forgot to tell Joe Burrow that.
While starting slow with only three points in their first three drives, Burrow led the Tigers offense to scores on the next seven. Burrow spread the ball around as well, hitting seven different targets. Three of those (Jordan Jefferson, Ja’Marr Chase, and Terrace Marshall) went over the century mark in receiving. I don’t think anybody had Burrow as a Heisman candidate before the season started, but if he turns out a couple more games like this one, it will be difficult for voters to ignore him.
Kansas manages only 280 yards of offense against Sun Belt team.
Speaking of the days when LSU couldn’t do anything on offense…here’s their old coach.
Now, Kansas losing isn’t really all that weird. Outside of a few years in the mid-2000s, they’ve been a perennial doormat in the Big 12. So having said all that, why am I including them here?
Because they lost to a team from the Sun Belt. A team that’s only been in the FBS for two years: the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers.
Poor offense is a staple of Miles’ teams, and this game is a prime example. A woeful 107 yards through the air, combined with only 173 on the ground led to one of the worst days from a power five offense in recent memory. I don’t know what Jayhawk fans were expecting, but I think anybody that followed college football during The Hat’s tenure at LSU could have warned them.