Underclassmen Maroon Tiger players embrace HBCU challenge and culture in Howard U Showdown
Heading into week three of the 2022 college football season, several Big Ten teams are off to a strong start, including two top-four teams (No. 3 Ohio State and No. 4 Michigan) and two more in the top 25 (No. 11 Michigan State and 22 Penn State). Meanwhile, other conference teams aren’t starting 2022 the way they’d hoped, with Wisconsin coming off a surprising loss to unranked Washington State and Iowa losing to then-rival Iowa State. that the Hawkeyes are struggling to make something happen offensively.
However, no program has been as deeply disappointed as Nebraska, whose head coach Scott Frost was fired on Sunday. Among the storylines to watch in this week’s conference is Nebraska’s reaction, along with the intriguing off-conference road games at Michigan State and Penn State.
How will Nebraska react under the new head coach?
Huskers enter rivalry contest against No. 6 Oklahoma (2-0) under interim head coach Mickey-Joseph after Scott Frost ousting, which came after two early season losses to Northwestern and Georgia Southern of the Sun Belt. After paying Southern nearly $1.5 million for the loss, Nebraska (1-2) decided to pay an additional $15 million to buy out Frost, which the school deemed urgent enough not to. wait until October 1.st, while the buyout would have been reduced by $7.5 million. Frost had coached the Huskers to four losing seasons before this one, the worst of which came last year with a 3-9 record.
Joseph says he not only hopes to be a stopgap solution for Nebraska, where he played quarterback from 1988 to 1991 and joined the coaching staff this season after several seasons at LSU. He is Nebraska’s first black head coach, interim or permanent, in any sport. Joseph, 54, will coach the team for the rest of the season.
At 1-2, the Huskers are likely already out of the conversation to compete for a Big Ten division or conference title, but there are certainly points of reputation and pride at stake in the rivalry game this week. Oklahoma is a road favorite by more than a touchdown, but the Sooners are relatively untested this season with victories over UTEP and Kent State, and despite the endgame results, Nebraska stood proven capable of moving the ball in every competition this season. The Huskers have 866 yards through the air and 611 yards rushing in three games this season, scoring at least 28 points in each.
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Penn State’s No. 22 goes to Auburn in great test for both programs
One of the most exciting matchups on the Week 3 college football slate on Saturday will see the Nittany Lions travel to Auburn’s Jordan-Hare Stadium in a first litmus test for the two teams, who each sit a 2-0 somewhat untested, only having to face unranked teams.
Auburn head coach Bryan Harsin said turnovers and discipline are concerns for the Tigers ahead of this game after the team turned the ball over twice and gave up 85 yards on 9 penalties against San Jose State in the week 2. He called Penn State “much better” than the teams they’ve faced so far, noting the Nittany Lions’ quick and physical style.
The Tigers have an offensive star at junior running back Bigsby Reservoirbut with just one passing touchdown so far this season, they’ve shown little ability to mix up their offensive approach, which can haunt them against a stronger defense like Penn State.
The game could prove pivotal for Harsin, who many believed would not be around for a second season at Auburn after the Tigers went 6-7 in 2021.
Likewise, victory could bolster the legitimacy of Penn State and the head coach. james franklinwho just completed a 7-6 year.
First-year student Nick Singleton had a breakout week for Penn State last week, throwing for 179 yards and two touchdowns against Ohio and adding dimension to an offense that has been defined by by Sean Clifford passing performance in recent seasons.
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Washington hosts No. 11 Michigan State in tough defensive game
Despite the big numbers both teams had in their early-season wins, this showdown between the Spartans and Huskies in Seattle risks turning more into a defensive contest, as Michigan State (2-0) has an average 6.5 points allowed (sevene in FBS) and the Huskies (2-0) are averaging 13. Likewise, both teams are averaging under 300 yards allowed per game across two contests.
Michigan State has a standout defenseman at linebacker Jacoby Windmon, who leads all FBS players with 5.5 individual sacks and 4 forced fumbles this season. Windmon has played just two games as a Spartan since transferring from UNLV ahead of the 2022 season. His efforts helped Michigan State average just 81.5 rushing yards allowed over the two first games of the season.
As a result, Washington will likely rely on the junior quarterback’s continued success Michael Penix Jr.., who is averaging more than 330 yards per game with 6 touchdowns and 1 interception in the Huskies’ two wins this season.
Michigan State QB Payton Thorne is still looking for a rhythm, having thrown for 4 touchdowns but 3 interceptions so far. The Spartans running core led the way on offense, highlighted by the sophomore running back by Jalen Berger 4 touchdowns, including three last week against Akron.
The Huskies are the slight favorite heading into the weekend, but Michigan State’s defense is likely to keep the Spartans in contention throughout the night, and the head coach by Mel Tucker practice experience can give them even more advantage against Washington Kalen DeBoerwho is only in his third season in the NCAA and his first with the Huskies.