College Football on Sling: Kent State vs. #1 Alabama, Penn State vs. #4 Michigan, #17 Arkansas vs. #10 Texas A&M, and Loads of Top 25 Action

Sep 20, 2016 by Sling Staff

Kent State (1-2) vs. #1 Alabama (3-0)
Noon ET on The SEC Network

Redshirt freshman QB Mylik Mitchell led Kent State to their first win of the season last week, 27-7 over Monmouth, completing 14 of 18 passs for 106 yards and a pair of touchdowns, while gaining another 77 yards on 14 carries, to also lead his team in yards from scrimmage. While it was easily Mitchell’s best game of the year, let’s not think for a moment that this kid is prepared for what he’s going to experience on Saturday.

The Alabama Crimson Tide dug themselves into a 24-3 hole late in the first half against then #19 Ole Miss, but managed to outscore their opponents 45-19 rest of the way for a 48-43 win that wasn’t as close as the score indicates. Bama QB Jalen Hurts enjoyed modest success throwing the ball against Ole Miss, hitting on 19 of 31 pass for just 158 yards, but on the ground he racked up 146 yards on 18 carries, while RB Damien Harris had 144 yards on 16 carries.

After not scoring their first TD until there was 2:10 left in the half, on a 6-yard run by Calvin Ridley, the Tide scored again, just a minute later, on an 85-yard punt return. In the span of a minute, Ole Miss had seen its lead go from 21 to 7, and things were about to get a lot worse. On Ole Miss’ first possession of the second half, Ryan Anderson sacked QB Chad Kelly, and the ball popped loose, whereupon Da'Ron Payne scooped it up and ran 3 yards for a touchdown. Tie game. Bama would keep rolling, until a Jonathan Allen 75-yard interception return for a touchdown gave them a 48-30 lead with 5 and a half minutes to play, at which point it was all but over.

Penn State (2-1) vs. #4 Michigan (3-0)
3:30pm ET on ABC & ESPN3

Penn State’s passing attack was humming on Saturday against Temple, as the Nittany Lions jumped out to an early lead on a 52-yard touchdown pass from Trace McSorley to Chris Godwin, en route to a 34-27 victory in which Temple was playing catch-up all day, but never quite getting ahead. McSorley connected on 18 of 24 passes for 287 yards, 1 TD and 1 interception, while Godwin would make a total of 7 catches for 117 yard. Penn State was hobbled by an injury to their leading rusher, Saquon Barkley, on the first play from scrimmage, as he pulled limping after gaining 8 yards. Barkley would return in the second half, finishing the day with 68 yards and a TD on 9 carries. to ground game wasn’t terribly efficient, gaining just 116 yards on 37 carries, but they rushed for 3 TDs.

Jim Harbaugh was surely losing his mind last weekend, while watching his Michigan Wolverines fall behind the Colorado Buffalos 21-7, this coming after Michigan had won their first two games by a combined score of 114-17. But the Wolverines went into quick strike mode, scoring a TD on a 2-play, 38-yard drive, finishing an 8-play drive with a field goal, and then a 1-play drive – a 45-yard pass from Wilton Speight to Amara Darboh – for another TD that put Michigan up 24-21 by the end of the half. Colorado would open the second half by taking the lead back in less than a minute, as QB Sefo Liufau hit Shay Fields for a 70-yard touchdown to make it 28-24 less. It would be the last score of the day for the Buffaloes, as Liufau went into the locker room after the following drive, hobbled by an ankle injury incurred just before his last TD pass of the day.

Speght was shaky, overall, hitting on just 16 of 30 passes for 229 and 1 TD. Kick returner and linebacker Jabrill Peppers ended being the star of the game for Michigan, with 9 tackles, including 3.5 for a loss, 2 rushes for 24 yards, a 54-yard punt return for a touchdown, a 55-yard kickoff return, and a grand total of 204 all-purpose yards. It was a performance that earned him the distinction of being the only player ever to be named Big Ten defensive player of the week and special teams player of the week, and he was also co-winner of the Walter Camp Player of the Week, along with Oklahoma’s James Washington, who hauled in 296 yards worth of passes.

The Michigan defense has been playing without All American cornerback Jourdan Lewis, who’s been battling injuries to his back, his hamstring and his quad. Harbaugh is “very hopeful” Jourdan returns in time for this week’s game.


#5 Clemson (3-0) vs. Georgia Tech (3-0)
7:30pm ET on ESPN


USC (1-2) vs. #24 Utah (3-0))
9pm ET on FS1


Kent State (1-2) vs. #1 Alabama (3-0)
Noon ET on The SEC Network

#12 Georgia (3-0) vs. #23 Ole Miss (1-2)
Noon ET on ESPN

#13 Florida State (2-1) vs. South Florida (3-0)
Noon ET on ABC & ESPN3

Penn State (2-1) vs. #4 Michigan (3-0)
3:30pm ET on ABC & ESPN3

#18 LSU (2-1) vs. Auburn (1-2)
6pm ET on ESPN

#6 Houston (3-0) vs. Texas State
7pm ET on ESPNU

Oklahoma State (2-1) vs. #16 Baylor (3-0)
7:30pm ET on FOX

#7 Stanford (2-0) vs. UCLA (2-1)
8pm ET on ABC

#17 Arkansas (3-0) vs. #10 Texas A&M (3-0)
9pm ET on ESPN

#9 Washington (3-0) vs. Arizona (2-1)
10:30pm ET on the Pac-12 Network

Stats courtesy SRCB and ESPN

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