College Football Powerhouses Thus Far

By Owen Kutlu, Staff Writer 

Isn’t it nice? The smell of tailgates, the sight of school colors everywhere and the noise of crazed fans yelling at a TV screen. That’s right, college football is back! The week one and two slates were packed with entertainment, leaving fans with many blowouts and even some surprises.

After two weeks of play, the contenders are starting to distinguish themselves from the pretenders. Here we’ll take a look at eight teams to keep an eye on as the season progresses.    

NCAA Football (Photo Courtesy of Ozark Radio News)

NCAA Football (Photo Courtesy of Ozark Radio News)

Colorado Buffaloes (2-0)  

Talk about a statement win. In his first game with a new program, Head Coach Deion Sanders not only lived up to but also surpassed expectations. Sanders’ son, Shedeur, is the Buffaloes’ starting quarterback and threw for 510 yards and four touchdowns en route to their three-point upset over the #17 ranked TCU Horned Frogs. Following Coach Deion from Jackson State, talented sophomore Travis Hunter began making his case for the Heisman by having an impact on both sides of the ball at cornerback and wide receiver.   

The Buffaloes followed that up with another impressive win in the second week of the season over their Big Ten opponent University of Nebraska. Shedeur delivered once again, and the game was mainly one-sided throughout. If this level of play can be sustained by the offense, they are a scary team with a very high ceiling. Colorado has officially burst onto the scene.  

Duke Blue Devils (2-0)  

In the biggest upset of the first week, the Blue Devils stunned #9 Clemson at home. The game went about as well as it could have gone for Duke, forcing multiple red zone turnovers on defense, and taking care of business on the offensive end. Duke’s junior quarterback Riley Leonard managed the passing game well and was able to take advantage with his legs also, rushing for nearly 100 yards and a touchdown.   

In week two, the Blue Devils were on the opposite side of the spectrum, being the heavy favorite over Lafayette. They did exactly what they had to do and blew the Leopards out by 35 points. Duke has sent a message to the ACC and the rest of the college football world that they can hang with the best.  

Florida State Seminoles (2-0)  

Florida State against LSU was the highlight matchup to kick off the season and the Seminoles dominated. LSU had a three-point lead coming out of halftime, but it was all Florida State from then on out. Senior quarterback Jordan Travis threw for four touchdowns and tacked on a rushing  

one as well to overpower the Tigers. The Seminoles kept rolling a week later with a commanding 50+ point win over Southern Miss. If Florida State can keep this up, there is a good chance you will see them in the College Football Playoffs come January.  

USC Trojans (3-0)  

USC has played in three contests so far, all being very lopsided as expected. The 2022 Heisman winner Caleb Williams picked up right where he left off last season, as he has put up video game numbers. The team has looked overpowering in their victories over San Jose State, Nevada, and Stanford. While they haven’t been thoroughly tested yet, this USC team is firmly in the pack of college football’s best teams.  

Washington Huskies (2-0)  

There were high expectations surrounding the Washington program this year after Michael Penix Jr. decided to return for another year to lead the Huskies as quarterback. It is safe to say that this start to the season is exactly what Penix hoped for when he elected to come back. He threw for 450 yards and five touchdowns as Washington dismantled Boise State.   

Penix and the Huskies continued their ascendancy with a large margin of victory over Tulsa in week two. This high-octane Husky offense will be sure to frighten opposing defenses for the remainder of the season.   

Oregon State Beavers (2-0)  

Oregon State was looking to carry over the momentum from a strong finish last year, and plucking star quarterback DJ Uiagalelei out of the transfer portal from Clemson was a perfect start. In his first game, Uiagalelei accounted for five total touchdowns and led the way for the Beavers’ blowout win over San Jose State.     

Following the trend of many other teams listed, the Beavers’ week two game was not close. They destroyed UC Davis, and had many starters sit out for a good portion of the affair. Oregon State has a talented roster that can go toe to toe with almost any team in college football.  

Penn State Nittany Lions (2-0)  

A new era began in State College, Pennsylvania with sophomore Drew Allar at the helm. In the first start of his career, Allar threw for 325 yards and three touchdowns to push the Nittany Lions past West Virginia. Junior pass catcher KeAndre Lambert-Smith chipped in with 123 receiving yards and two touchdowns.  

Behind a stellar running game, Penn State’s dominance resumed with a 63-7 win over Delaware in the second week. Many were interested to see how the Nittany Lions would fare in a season without Clifford at quarterback, and it is clear that they will be just fine with Allar leading the troops. Penn State plays in the gauntlet that is the Big Ten East, but they have just as good a chance to come out on top as anyone else.  

Utah Utes (2-0)  

Last but not least, Utah has looked solid against two very respectable opponents. This was accomplished without their usual starting quarterback, Cam Rising, who is dealing with an injury. In a highly anticipated season opener, Utah controlled most of the game against Florida and came out on top with a 24-11 win. No players jumped out of the stat sheet, but the Utes put forth an impressive team effort to build off a strong season from last year.  

In their second game, Utah found themselves trailing late to Baylor. As with most games, the better team usually finds a way to win and that is what Utah did. They scored two touchdowns in the final two minutes to fight off the Bears. The Utes are not a squad that will blow other teams away, but they will show up in every single game that they play. Once Rising is healthy and returns, Utah is a force to be reckoned with.  

Although college football is just getting started, fans certainly have a lot to be excited about already. The road to the National Championship has just begun 



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Author: Gettysburgian Staff

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