New coach Brian Kelly made his bones with a high-powered offense, but it was his defense that was the story in a 34-3 rout of Oregon State. The Bearcats had six interceptions. Cincy had only 229 yards of offense, but the low total didn't matter. Marcus Barnett caught a touchdown pass and recovered a blocked punt in the end zone for the Bearcats. Next: Saturday, at Miami University.
Junior college transfer Tyler Lorenzen had a big day at quarterback in a 38-0 rout of I-AA Maine. Lorenzen threw for 186 yards and two touchdowns, and rushed for 35 yards and another score. Maine didn't get into UConn territory until the third quarter. UConn scored on an interception return on the second play of the game, and never was threatened. A 4-0 start is a legit goal for the Huskies.
Next: Saturday, vs. Temple.
Senior Brian Brohm threw for a career-high 401 yards and five touchdowns, and sophomore Anthony Allen added a school-record 275 rushing yards and two scores in a 58-42 victory over Middle Tennessee State. But while the offense deserves accolades, the defense deserves derision. The Cardinals' defense was carved up to the tune of 555 total yards by the Blue Raiders, who had struggled to move the ball in their opening-game loss to Florida Atlantic. It was the 20th home victory in a row for the Cardinals.
Next: Saturday, at Kentucky.
Freshmen came up big as the Panthers downed I-AA Grambling 34-10. LeSean McCoy ran for three touchdowns, and Kevan Smith threw for 202 yards and a touchdown in his first career start. Pitt led 21-0 late in the first quarter and cruised from there. "We're happy to be 2-0, but we should be 2-0," said Panthers coach Dave Wannstedt, whose team opened the season with a victory over Eastern Michigan.
Next: Saturday, at Michigan State.
The Scarlet Knights got a big game from TB Ray Rice and from their pass defense in a 41-21 victory over Navy. Rice ran for 175 yards and scored three times, and Rutgers had three interceptions. It was the ninth consecutive home victory for Rutgers, which was a bit undisciplined (11 penalties for 100 yards) in the win. It also was a school-record fourth consecutive sellout for the Scarlet Knights, who play their next three games at home, too. Navy ran for 254 yards but passed for just 35.
Next: Saturday, vs. Norfolk State.
It's not nice to pick on teams when they're down, so we'll be nice to the Orange. Syracuse finished with 103 total yards and gave up 408 yards in a 35-0 loss to Iowa. The Orange has 310 yards of offense after two games. The biggest problem: They have rushed for 32 total yards this season.
Next: Saturday, vs. Illinois.
The Bulls got their first marquee nonconference victory with a 26-23 overtime triumph at Auburn. USF forced five turnovers but didn't convert any into points. The defense was strong throughout, and QB Matt Grothe made enough plays with his arms and legs to get the Bulls the victory. Grothe – who remains underrated nationally – was 18-of-27 for 184 yards and the game-winning touchdown. He also rushed for 31 yards and a touchdown.
Next: Sept. 22, vs. North Carolina.
The Mountaineers didn't look that good early, but came alive and eventually pulled away for a 48-23 victory at Marshall. WVU scored six second-half touchdowns after a desultory performance in the first half. It ended up being Marshall's worst home loss since Joan C. Edwards Stadium opened in 1991. QB Pat White ran for one touchdown, and TBs Steve Slaton and Noel Devine ran for two each.
Next: Thursday, at Maryland.