Photo courtesy of Notre Dame Athletics
PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (Sports Network) -
ARMY - After losing big at San Diego State in their opener a week earlier, Army put up a better fight on Saturday against Northern Illinois, but ultimately fell, 41-40. It was a back and forth battle, but NIU was able to rally for the victory in the fourth quarter. The Black Knights (0-2) dropped their fifth straight home opener despite three 100-yard rushers on the day. Larry Dixon had 136 yards and three TDs rushing, while Raymond Maples posted a game-high 159 rushing yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Trent Steelman finished with 116 yards and two TDs on the ground. After a 75-yard touchdown drive on their opening possession, the Black Knights allowed NIU to score three straight TDs. The Black Knights lost despite a 25-minute edge in time of possession and notching touchdowns on all four of their trips inside the red zone. The Huskies held a 342-8 advantage in passing yards, and they converted 8-of-9 third downs. Army will try to rebound at Wake Forest this Saturday.
BYU - The Cougars suffered their first loss of the season with Saturday's 24-21 setback at rival Utah. As a result, they dropped from the national rankings. It was a loss that almost never happened, thanks to some over- anxious Utah fans. The Cougars were backed up to their own 8-yard line to start a drive with just over a minute left. On 4th-and-12, Cody Hoffman got behind the defense and caught a 47-yard pass down the right sideline to the Utah (2-1) 34. Quarterback Riley Nelson killed the clock and then threw incomplete to the left side. Fans rushed the field, but Nelson held up his finger pleading that one second remained. After a video review, BYU got its wish, and Justin Sorensen was called upon to attempt a 51-yard field goal, which was blocked. But fans again stormed the field before the play was over. Officials huddled and penalized Utah 15 yards for a live ball foul, resulting in one untimed play. Riley Stephenson's 36-yard field goal attempt then clanked off the left upright. BYU must shake off the tough loss with a quick turnaround at No. 24 Boise State on Thursday.
NAVY - The Midshipmen had two weeks to prepare for Saturday's showdown at winless Penn State, but they wound up suffering another lopsided loss. After falling to Notre Dame 50-10 in their opener, the Midshipmen were on the wrong end of Saturday's 34-7 outcome against the Nittany Lions. Navy's defense had no answer for PSU quarterback Matt McGloin, who tied a career-high with four touchdown passes. Three of those scores went to sophomore Allen Robinson. For Navy (0-2), quarterback Trey Miller struggled to get into any sort of rhythm against the Nittany Lions defense. He completed just 6-of-16 pass attempts for 17 yards, and ran for 21 yards on 18 carries. Gee Gee Greene led the Midshipmen with 70 yards and a touchdown on eight carries. After watching PSU's offense score TDs on each of its first two possessions, the Midshipmen had an opportunity to cut into the Penn State lead late in the first quarter. However, Miller was intercepted on third-and-goal, ending a 12-play drive and Navy was never able to recover. The Midshipmen will try again for their first win of the season when VMI comes to town this Saturday.
NOTRE DAME - The Fighting Irish looked sharp in Saturday's 20-3 triumph over No. 10 Michigan State. As a result, they moved from No. 20 to No. 11 in this week's poll. Everett Golson passed for a touchdown and ran for another, as he completed 14-of-32 passes for 178 yards in the victory. Cierre Wood added 10 carries for 56 yards for the Fighting Irish (3-0), who lost their first two games last season before beating Michigan State in the third week. The second half started with the Irish holding an 11-point lead, and it stayed that way through the third quarter as both sides had trouble mounting any offense. By game's end, the teams had combined for 16 punts. Although it wasn't pretty, the Irish were able to snap a six-game losing streak against ranked teams and beat a top-10 opponent for the first time in seven years. It also came against a Spartan squad that had won 15 straight at home, including a win over the Irish in 2010 on a fake field goal in overtime. Notre Dame, which is off to its best start since 2002, will host No. 18 Michigan on Saturday.