The word of the weekend in college football was “upsets”. There were 3 major upsets, Missouri’s win was technically an upset, but with all the injuries Georgia has sustained, it was predictable. Ole Miss very nearly upset 9th ranked Texas A&M, and bringing up so many questions about the two teams. It is now 5 days until the BCS starts its swan song, and things are getting serious in the world of college football.
How I Fared: This week I was 4-3 in my picks, and given the upsets, I feel I did pretty well. This brings me to 29-11 overall on the season.
Utah 27 5Stanford 21; This was the upset of the weekend, and maybe of the season (at least so far). 5th ranked Stanford was unable to hold off Utah on the road. Stanford made it all the way to the Utah 6 yard line but was unable to score on 4th and goal, turning the ball over with 47 seconds left to play. Stanford’s Ty Montgomery was able to start off hot again this week, taking a Utah kick 100 yards for the Cardinal’s second TD as well as having 131 receiving yards. But after that, it was almost all Utah. The Utes scored 20 unanswered points from the end of the first quarter to the beginning of the fourth quarter. Stanford scored another TD to come within 6 points, but were unable to score again. Utah QB Travis Wilson was 23/34 for 234 yards, 2TD and an INT. Dres Anderson caught and rushed for a TD, and Karl Williams caught another score. RB Bubba Poole also rushed for 111 yards for the Utes. Stanford QB Kevin Hogan suffered his first loss as a starter and now has a record of 10-1 as a starter. He was 15/27 for 246 yards and a TD to Devon Cajuste. Tyler Gaffney rushed for 108 yards and a TD. This loss dropped Stanford to 13 in the AP poll, meaning they still have a chance to make it to a BCS game, and if they can beat Oregon, maybe they might even make it to the National Championship.
25Missouri 41 7Georgia 26; To those who haven’t been following college football much this season might think this was a huge upset, but it really wasn’t. Georgia is missing so many playmakers because of injuries, and Mizzou is a good team, or at least they were. I’m not trying to say the Tigers can’t continue to be competitive without QB James Franklin, but I’m saying Franklin was a huge reason why Missouri was where they were. Franklin was injured in the 4th quarter and is likely out for the rest of the season with a second degree shoulder separation. This game didn’t start out close, but Georgia had the chance to tie the game in the 4th quarter. The Bulldogs scored 16 unanswered points, but couldn’t finish the tying 2-point conversion. After that, Missouri scored two more TDs, and sealed their SEC road victory over a top 10 team. Before leaving the game James Franklin was 18/27 for 170 yards, a TD, and also rushed for a TD. Bud Sasser threw a 40 yard TD to L’Damian Washington, who also caught the TD from Franklin. Marcus Murphy and Henry Josey each rushed for TDs as well. The other Mizzou TD came when Michael Sam recovered an Aaron Murray fumble and returned it 21 yards for the score. Even though Murray was missing some of his biggest playmakers, he still had a pretty good game, going 25/45 for 290 yards, 3TD and 2INT(each came with less than 4:30 left in the game). The TDs were caught by Brendan Douglas, Chris Conley, and Rantavious Wooten.
9Texas A&M 41 Ole Miss 38; This game brings up so many questions. How good/bad is A&M’s defense? Wait, didn’t Ole Miss just get beat by Aubrn? How was this such a close game? Does this mean Auburn can beat Texas A&M? I really don’t know. I’m sure once the season is over, I will have the answers and will wonder how I didn’t notice how obvious they were, but we are only halfway though the season now. Something I wrote in my notes for the preview may help answer the first question: “A&M’s defense couldn’t hold Arkansas, are they improved?” I don’t think so, and I don’t think they will too much this season. I only saw the 2nd half of this game, so I kept hearing about Manziel getting hurt. Well, he coulda fooled me. Manziel was 31/39 for 346 yards and an INT. But, this is Johnny Football, so the stats don’t stop there. He also rushed for 124 yards and 2 scores, both in the second half, one of which tied the game with 3 minutes to go. Ben Malena rushed for a TD and Trey Williams rushed for 2. Now for those Ole Miss Rebels: QB Bo Wallace was 22/36 for 301 yards, 3TD and an INT, Barry Brunetti was 3/4 for 2TD. Those TDs landed in the hands of Vice Sanders, Jaylen Walton, Evan Engram, and Laquon Treadwell caught 2. If you are keeping score, that is 5TDs on the ground for Texas A&M, and 5TDs in the air for Ole Miss. Both of these teams have very tough games coming up. Texas A&M gets a 5-1 and 24th ranked Auburn team, Ole Miss a very good LSU team. I can’t wait for those games. And to hopefully get some questions answered.
10LSU 17 17Florida 6; Florida was angry that no one thought they would be able to score on LSU. Well, I guess they did technically score, but they didn’t get into the end zone. This game was pretty much what everyone predicted: a defensive battle that would be won by LSU. LSU was able to rush for 175 yards, 125 belonged to Jeremy Hill, while Florida only rushed for 111. The Florida defense gave up 2 rushing TDs to JC Copeland and Anthony Jennings. Tyler Murphy had another good game for the Gators, and Zach Mettenberger did well for the Tigers, neither had extravagant stats though. Next week Florida heads to Missouri to play the now Franklin-less Tigers. Will the Gators be able to outscore Mizzou?
Texas 36 12Oklahoma 20; This is not what I thought would happen in this game, but I wasn’t too surprised. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to watch the game because I was at the Arkansas game. Texas controlled this game from the beginning. The most impressive statistic to me was third down conversions: Texas was 13-20, while Oklahoma was only 2-13. It is hard to win a game if you only convert 2 3rd downs. Half of the touchdowns scored in this game were by the defense or special teams. Texas’ Chris Whaley had a 31 yard pick 6 and Daje Johnson returned an Oklahoma punt 85 yards for the score. Oklahoma’s Geneo Grissom picked off Case McCoy and ran it 54 yards for a TD as well. Texas was able to run all over the Sooners and had two players rush for more than 120 yards(Johnathan Gray 123, Malcolm Brown 120). QB Case McCoy was 13/21 for 190 yards and 2TDs to Marcus Johnson and Mike Davis, and an INT. Oklahoma QB Blake Bell was 12/26 for 133 yards and 2INT, Damien Williams rushed for a TD for the Sooners as well. I was right about Oklahoma not having the firepower of last season, but I underestimated how Texas would play with everything on the line.
Penn State 43 18Michigan 40 4OT; I guess it was just a matter of time before this Michigan team got beat. This game was full of miscues and missed opportunities. The two teams combined for 7 turnovers and 5 missed FG, 4 of which came in the 4th quarter or OT. Michigan was able to take one of Penn State’s fumbles back for a TD. Penn State was leading the Wolverines by 11 going into the half, but with 10 minutes left to play in regulation, they found themselves down 10 points. After a FG, QB Christian Hackenberg ran 1 yard for the score that would ties the game. Overtime saw many missed opportunities. Michigan had a FG blocked and Penn State missed a FG in the 1st OT, both teams scored a FG in the 2nd OT, Penn State fumbled in the 3rd OT but Michigan was unable to capitalize on it. After making a FG in the 4th OT, all Michigan needed to do was hold Penn State to another FG, but Penn State’s Bill Belton was able to get into the endzone for the winning score. You can bet they were happy in Happy Valley on Saturday night.
UNLV 39 Hawaii 37; Don’t mind me doing my happy dance over in the corner because UNLV has 4 wins and the chance to make a bowl game. (To all those people who told me Bobby Hauk needed to be fired because he hadn’t turned the program around in 2 years, I forgive you.) But, this should have been a much more dominant win. Hawaii is not that great of a team, and they were playing (technically) in Las Vegas. UNLV was up by 19 points two minutes into the 4th quarter. Then they let Hawaii score 20 unanswered… Luckily our kicker was on and hit a 44 yard FG as time expired to get the win. The dynamic duo of QB Caleb Herring and RB Tim Cornett once again put up some big numbers. Herring was 34/56 for 385 yards, a TD and an INT, and rushed for a TD as well. Cornett rushed for 162 yards and 2TD. Next week might end the Rebels’ 4 game win streak. UNLV travels to Fresno to play 17th ranked Fresno State. I don’t know if they have the defense to stop the Bulldogs. But at least until Saturday, UNLV has a better record than 29 AQ schools(of 72, thats 40%), and at least the same number of wins(4) as 50 AQ schools(thats 69%). UNLV. The University of Nevada Las Vegas. (And all of you complaining about how they don’t play the same quality of opponent, can be quiet and let me have my moment. And I never said they were as good as the AQs, just that their record was.)
14South Carolina 52 Arkansas 7; Now to my other team. If you read my blog last year, you might remember my review of the Arkansas vs Alabama game. This review is going to be about the same. The first offensive and defensive possessions for Arkansas were great. But then QB Brandon Allen threw another pick (at the same place on the field as the last two games). Though it wasn’t technically a pick 6, I see it as one. And apparently so did the team. At that point Arkansas was only down 3 points, but they played like they were down, oh, I don’t know, 52-7. If you believe something hard enough, it will come true. It is hard to write a review of a team who stops playing 5 minutes in. The defense didn’t look good, but they had to be on the field for 45 minutes of the game. The offense did nothing to help. There were 2 fumbles on huge plays for Arkansas. The plays might not have put them in the position to win, but they would give them some confidence. I was there the whole game. I got to my seat at 9am, the game started at 11:21am, and I left at about 3pm. I will say how impressed I was with the students who stayed. There weren’t many of us, but we were trying to give a spark to the team. Just show them we cared. Unfortunately, it didn’t work, Alex Collins almost had an awesome TD run late, but fumbled the ball at the pylon, meaning a touchback. South Carolina’s Connor Shaw outgained Arkansas, but Clowney was a non-factor and had 1 tackle. Had the Hogs played hard and lost 52-7, I wouldn’t be angry. But they didn’t play hard. It seemed like they gave up. I’m sure there are exceptions to that, there were probably some guys trying to pump everyone up. But overall, the vibe I got from the team was very close to that of last year’s team when they played Alabama. At least we scored this time.
1Alabama 48 Kentucky 7
2Oregon 45 16Washington 24
3Clemson 24 Boston College 14
8Louisville 24 Rutgers 10
11UCLA 37 California 10
15Baylor 35 Kansas State 25
Wisconsin 35 19Northwestern 6
20Texas Tech 42 Iowa State 35
23Northern Illinois 27 Akron 20
24Virginia Tech 19 Pittsburgh 9
Maryland 27 Virginia 26
BYU 28 Georgia Tech 20
Michigan State 42 Indiana 28
Tulane 36 ECU 33 OT
Marshall 24 FAU 23
Central Michigan 26 Ohio 23
Ball State 27 Kent State 24
USC 38 Arizona 31
Mississippi State 21 Bowling Green 20
San Diego State 27 Air Force 21
Stats and Scores from ESPN.com