Skip to main content

What we learned: Cardale Jones' margin for error looking thin

After playing well in a win over Virginia Tech last week, Buckeyes quarterback Cardale Jones found out just how tenuous his hold on the Ohio State starting quarterback job really is. J.T. Barrett played early and often against Hawaii in a 38-0 win, perhaps signaling a keep-both-happy approach to the season from Buckeyes coach Urban Meyer.

This wasn't mop-up duty for Barrett. He was in the game in the second quarter with OSU holding a 7-0 lead. Both quarterbacks played fairly well, but if Jones was wondering how much margin for error he has for a bad Saturday, he got his answer in Week 2.

Here are eight other things we learned Saturday:

2. Not there yet. Tennessee's return to prominence is still misfiring. With a chance to make a statement against one of the top programs in the Big 12, the Volunteers blew a late 17-3 lead to visiting Oklahoma. And UT coach Butch Jonesreportedly had some words for one of OU's top players.

3. Goff on target. Cal's Jared Goff, one of the top quarterback prospects in the college game, got the Golden Bears off to a 2-0 start with 321 yards passing (17 of 24) and three touchdowns against San Diego State. It will be against competition like UCLA, USC and Oregon where Goff, a junior, will be judged closest by NFL scouts. But the early returns on Goff have been excellent.

4. Hargreaves*hurting. The best defensive back in the SEC, Florida CB *Vernon Hargreaves III, isn't quite right physically. That might not be a big deal in a home game against East Carolina, but it will be a serious concern for the Gators if Hargreaves isn't ready to open the SEC schedule against Kentucky, Tennessee and Ole Miss over the next three weeks.

5. Auburn has problems. After Auburn QB Jeremy Johnson struggled against Louisville last week, he got something of a Week 1 pass as a new starter. That pass was revoked Saturday as he struggled once again with a pair of interceptions in an overtime win over FCS foe Jacksonville State. The Tigers escaped a huge upset in spite of Johnson, not because of him.

6. Mike Leach found another one. You just knew the Washington State coach would land softly at the quarterback position after losing record-setter Connor Halliday last year. After a 24-17 loss to Portland State last week, we weren't so sure. But Luke Falk passed for 468 yards and four touchdowns Saturday in a 37-34 win over Rutgers, including a game-winning score with 13 seconds left.

7. Higgins, Clement sit. Two of the top offensive players in the country were sidelined Saturday as Colorado State WR Rashard Higgins was scratched with an ankle injury, and Wisconsin RB Corey Clements sat out with a groin injury. Clements isn't off to much of a start as the Badgers' new starter in the backfield after being held to 40 yards by Alabama in Week 1.

8. The workhorse works. LSU RB Leonard Fournette carried the LSU offense to a 21-19 road win over Mississippi State with 28 carries for 159 yard and three touchdowns. Sophomore QB Brandon Harris looks like he could be a decent threat to both pass and run, but make no mistake: Fournette is the beginning, middle and end of the Tigers' offensive prowess.

9. Kessler's first look. Let there be no question about whether the succession of USC star receivers Marqise LeeandNelson Agholor would produce a worthy torch-bearer. Granted, it came against Idaho, but JuJu Smith-Schuster caught 10 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. Trojans Heisman Trophy hopeful QB Cody Kessler has no worries about a No. 1 target.

*Follow Chase Goodbread on Twitter **@ChaseGoodbread*.

This article has been reproduced in a new format and may be missing content or contain faulty links. Please use the Contact Us link in our site footer to report an issue.

Related Content