College football winners and losers: Texas, Alabama notch statement wins; Oklahoma disappoints
The 2021 college football season is already at top speed after Week 1 slate full of implications for the College Football Playoff and national title.The 2021 college football season is already at top speed after a Week 1 slate full of implications for the College Football Playoff and the national championship.
PROVO, Utah —The setting was different. It was a small room in the northwest corner of LaVell Edwards Stadium, the outer wall made of cinder block and a sponsor's backdrop banner draped over a television on the wall behind Herm Edwards. © Rick Bowmer, AP Arizona State quarterback Jayden Daniels warms up for the team's NCAA college football game against BYU on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, in Provo, Utah. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
But the comments from Arizona State's football coach Saturday night were nearly the same as ones he made in the north end of Sun Devil Stadium after his team's previous two games this season.
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We make too many mistakes. We lack discipline. We aren't going to beat good teams until we fix it.
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That latter part, the Sun Devils proved to be true in losing to BYU 27-17. Sixteen penalties for 121 yards. Four turnovers. A handful of mistimed or busted plays. Breakdowns on defense.
"The discipline of our team is not very good," Edwards said. "It starts with me. I've got to fix it. It's my responsibility."
WEEK 3 OBSERVATIONS: Oklahoma's offense sputtering and more
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He is correct on all counts. The Sun Devils are talented, more so than BYU, which is 3-0 after victories over three Pac-12 schools. But BYU committed one turnover and was penalized just three times.
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After loss to Holy Cross dropped the Huskies' record to 0-2, Edsall, 63, announces his 17th season at Connecticut over two stints will be his last.Edsall, who is in his second stint at UConn, has led the Huskies to a 6-22 record since returning to Storrs four years ago.
The Cougars are a well-coached team. ASU is not right now, and if that doesn't change soon, we're going to hear a lot more post-game press conferences like the last three.
The Sun Devils have too much talent and experience to be playing like this. They entered the season with 10 returning starters on defense. They have a veteran offensive line, an experienced quarterback and NFL-caliber running backs.
Yet, the more they play, the sloppier they seem to get.
"You can't play football that way," Edwards said. "It's embarrassing. It's not a good look."
Reasons for that "look" elude the Sun Devils. It's convenient to blame the ongoing NCAA investigation into alleged recruiting violations, and no doubt a dark cloud hovers over the program.
But is that causing players to grab face masks and commit false starts?
Three coaches are on paid leave, but they were the least experienced coaches on the staff, known as great recruiters but unproven as teachers.
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Edwards said discipline is emphasized in practice and will continue to be.
Asked how to fix the lack of discipline, defensive coordinator Antonio Pierce answered with one word.
"Consequences," he said.
If players don't have discipline "they just won't play," Pierce said.
In the first half, Arizona State excavated a large hole and jumped in. They trailed 21-7 at halftime thanks to six penalties, three turnovers, a handful of busted plays and a bunch of other stuff that good teams don't do.
While the Sun Devils didn't play smart, they played hard. And in the second half, they played much better.
If they can ever clean up the mental errors — and that will take a lot of cleanser, Magic Erasers, buckets and mops — the Sun Devils might develop into a decent team.
Now would be an opportune time for that to happen since Pac-12 play begins next Saturday against Colorado.
Coaches need to provide more help with better preparation or quicker adjustments.
For instance, in the fourth quarter, ASU took possession at its 5-yard line, with BYU students at its backs. It trailed, 21-17, with 11:34 left.
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But the Sun Devils let the crowd noise get to them. They committed four false starts and ended up punting from their 14-yard line.
"They got to us, rattled us a bit," coordinator Zak Hill said. "We've got to figure out a better way to operate."
The Sun Devils ended up changing to a different type of silent count, but why were they so ill-prepared to handle it in the first place, especially with an experienced quarterback and offensive line?
What Edwards and his staff have going for them is this team played hard throughout Saturday's game.
ASU shut BYU down on its first two possessions of the third quarter, and the offense scored 10 points on its first two possessions to close to within four points.
Then the defense finally came up with a turnover when linebacker Merlin Robertson intercepted a pass and began sprinting down the ASU sideline.
He returned it 60 yards and was on his way to perhaps setting up the go-ahead score. But Robertson was stripped of the ball by running back Tyler Allgeier at the BYU 15, and quarterback Jaren Hall recovered.
Replays and still photos later showed Robertson appearing to step out of bounds before the fumble, but no one on ASU's sideline or in the booth knew it in time for Edwards to ask for a review.
It was a wild sequence that could have flipped the game in ASU’s favor. Instead, the Sun Devils still trailed 21-17 as the fourth quarter started.
Analysis: Oklahoma's offense sputtering and three other observations from Week 3
Oklahoma's sputtering offense is why the Sooners are nowhere close to being able to think about making a run to the playoff. Saturday against Nebraska, a team that gave up 30 points to Illinois in its opener, Oklahoma managed just 23 points and 408 yards in a closer-than-necessary 23-16 defeat of the Cornhuskers. Those numbers wouldn't raise alarms for some teams, but the Sooners have been one of the best offenses in the country in the previous four years with Lincoln Riley as coach, averaging at least 42 points per game and ranking at least sixth in scoring.
It was an important moment, but as Edwards notes, there were many others in the game.
In the end, ASU's issues in the first half were too much to overcome.
Somehow, the Sun Devils were 3-½ point favorites over the Cougars. ASU was ranked 19th in the AP poll and 21st by USA Today but will be fortunate not to fall out of both polls.
It was the first serious test for the Sun Devils, who were supposed to contend for a Pac-12 title. They failed it, not because they were less talented than their opponent, but because they were less disciplined and not coached as well.
If that doesn't change, the only thing that might be left for the Sun Devils to brag about is they aren't as bad as their rival down South.
Reach Kent Somers at [email protected] Follow him on twitter @kentsomers.
Mississippi quarterback Matt Corral scores against Tulane at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.
UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson passes under pressure from Fresno State defensive tackle Kevin Atkins in the first quarter at the Rose Bowl.
Georgia linebacker Channing Tindall knocks the helmet off South Carolina wide receiver Dakereon Joyner during the first half at Sanford Stadium.
A general view of Beaver Stadium prior to the game between the Auburn Tigers and the Penn State Nittany Lions.
LSU running back Corey Kiner is tackled as he leaps over Central Michigan defensive back Dishon McNary during the first half at Tiger Stadium.
The Air Force Falcons celebrate a second-quarter touchdown against the Utah State Aggies at Falcon Stadium.
North Carolina wide receiver Josh Downs catches a touchdown in the first quarter against Virginia at Kenan Memorial Stadium.
Florida running back Dameon Pierce scores a touchdown during the fourth quarter against Alabama at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
San Diego State wide receiver Jesse Matthews tries to make the catch during the first half against Utah at Dignity Health Sports Park.
Oregon quarterback Anthony Brown dives into the end zone for a touchdown during the first half against Stony Brook at Autzen Stadium.
Rutgers running back Isaih Pacheco stiff-arms Delaware defensive back Nic Ware during the second half at SHI Stadium.
Wake Forest wide receiver A.T. Perry celebrates a first down catch during the second quarter against Florida State at Truist Field.
Wyoming tight end Treyton Welch has his pass broken up by Ball State linebacker Jaylin Thomas during the first quarter at War Memorial Stadium.
Kansas State wide receiver Kade Warner misses a catch against Nevada during the first quarter at Bill Snyder Family Football Stadium.
Alabama Tide tight end Jahleel Billingsley celebrates scoring a touchdown against Florida.
A view of the crowd during the Florida-Alabama game.
Tulsa wide receiver JuanCarlos Santana makes a catch against Ohio State.
Iowa players huddle during the first quarter against Kent State.
Clemson Tigers linebacker Trenton Simpson is called for targeting after a hit on Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets quarterback Jordan Yates.
Alabama linebacker Henry To'oTo'o tackles Florida's Kemore Gamble.
Kansas State running back Joe Ervin in action against Nevada.
Pittsburgh wide receiver Tre Tipton leads the team onto the field before the game against Western Michigan.
West Virginia receiver Sam James celebrates a first down during the second quarter against Virginia Tech.
Army quarterback Christian Anderson celebrates a rushing touchdown against UConn..
A Miami cheerleader before the Hurricanes' game against Michigan State.
Michigan players take the field prior to the game against Northern Illinois.
Michigan State defensive end Jacub Panasiuk sacks Miami quarterback D'Eriq King during the first half at Hard Rock Stadium.
Texas A&M players celebrate a touchdown against New Mexico.
West Virginia fans celebrate a touchdown against Virginia Tech.
Army takes the field before its game against UConn.
Army defensive back Marquel Broughton during the game against UConn.
Cincinnati wide receiver Alec Pierce misses a pass under coverage from Indiana defensive back Reese Taylor.
Nebraska defensive lineman Deontre Thomas tackles Oklahoma running back Eric Gray.
Nebraska's Cameron Pieper reacts to an Oklahoma Sooners missed field goal during the second quarter.
Illinois Fighting Illini defensive back Jartavius Martin (21) deflects a pass intended for Maryland Terrapins wide receiver Rakim Jarrett (5) in the second half at Memorial Stadium.
Maryland Terrapins running back Roman Hemby (24) lifts kicker Joseph Petrino (27) after Petrino kicked the winning field goal against the Illinois Fighting Illini at Memorial Stadium.
Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) celebrates a touchdown with tight end Dez Melton (84) during the second half against the UCF Knights at Cardinal Stadium.
UCF Knights linebacker Bryson Armstrong (30) and linebacker Eriq Gilyard (10) tackle Louisville Cardinals quarterback Malik Cunningham (3) during the second half at Cardinal Stadium.
This article originally appeared on Arizona Republic: Opinion: Herm Edwards is right — Arizona State's lack of discipline begins with him
32 things we learned from Week 2 of the 2021 NFL season .
The NFL season is only two weeks old, but several players – including Kyler Murray, Tom Brady and Derek Carr – are building cases for MVP honors.1. Tough day for quarterbacks throughout the league, the Chicago Bears' Andy Dalton (knee), Houston Texans' Tyrod Taylor (hamstring), Miami Dolphins' Tua Tagovailoa (ribs) and Indianapolis Colts' Carson Wentz (ankle) all going down. The Las Vegas Raiders' Derek Carr and Cleveland Browns' Baker Mayfield also endured (kneeling) eight counts, but persevered and continued in victorious efforts.