This past week didn’t see as many upsets, but it did see a couple great games. The top 4 teams all had statement wins and seemingly unbeatable Missouri was taken down in 2OT by South Carolina. Once again, Virginia Tech slipped up after being ranked and San Diego State almost busted the BCS hopes of Fresno State. This was another great week of college football, especially for all of those UNLV fans out there, but I’ll get to that at the end.
How I Fared: I went 4-3 this week, and because I accidentally chose Oklahoma(I chose Texas Tech here) on my ESPN Pick’em I only picked 3 games wrong there. This brings my grand total to 35-20 for the season. But one of those miss picks is just fine with me. Thank you UNLV for proving me wrong.
3Oregon 42 12UCLA 14;This game started close. The Ducks and Bruins were tied at 14 at the half, and stayed tied until about 3 minutes to go in the 3rd quarter. In those last 18 minutes, Oregon scored 4TDs to UCLA’s 0. UCLA proved me right in respect to their ranking in the top 15. They were overrated. Oregon, on the other hand, is not. The Ducks out gained UCLA 555-283 in what turned out to be a blowout. Oregon needed those style points to jump Florida State in the BCS standings and get back to number 2. Oregon QB Marcus Mariota was 21/28 for 230 yards and a TD to Bralon Addison. Byron Marshall was the Duck’s workhorse, running for 133 yards and 3TDs, with Thomas Tyner and De’Anthony Thomas each adding a rushing TD as well. UCLA QB Brett Hundley was 13/19 for 64 yards 2INTs, a TD to Thomas Duarte and also rushed for 72 yards and a TD. The Bruins have now dropped games to Stanford and Oregon, but get Colorado at home next weekend. Oregon has a bye before their November 7, a Thursday, meeting with Stanford.
21South Carolina 27 5Missouri 24 2OT; Firstly, I have missed all of the great SEC East games this year. Secondly, I wish it was more fun to watch the replay of a game, but if you know what happens, is it really worth watching? Now to the game. Undefeated Missouri was supposed to be able to handle South Carolina, but then again, Connor Shaw wasn’t supposed to play either. In the first half, Shaw’s backup, Dylan Thompson, was 15/27 for 222 yards and an INT. In the second half and overtime, Shaw was 20/29 for 201 and 3TD, showing that even injured, he is the better QB. WR Bruce Ellington gained 136 receiving yards and caught two TDs, the other going to Nick Jones. On the other side, Mizzou QB Maty Mauk was 10/25 for 249 yards, a TD and an INT. The TD was to L’Damian Washington. Marcus Murphy rushed for the other 2TDs. South Carolina was down 17-0 going into the 4th quarter, and tied the game with 42 seconds left in regulation. The teams traded TDs in the first OT, but Missouri kicker Andrew Baggett missed a 24-yard FG that gave the Gamecocks the win. With this upset, South Carolina has given themselves the chance to win the East division. They get Mississippi State next week and should get the win, but given what has happened so far in the SEC, I’m not so confident. Missouri gets a good Tennessee team, and has to win to stay in the driver’s seat of the SEC East.
6Stanford 20 25Oregon State 12; Though the score looks close, this is the kind of game Stanford likes to play. Ok, I’m sure they would have liked to win by a few more points, but it is hard to win on the road in the Pac-12, and that is something Stanford knows too well. Stat-wise this wasn’t a big game, except for Stanford’s Tyler Gaffney who rushed for 145 yards and all 3 of Stanford’s TDs. QB Kevin Hogan was 8/18 for 88 yards and Oregon State QB Sean Mannion was 41/57 for 271 yards and a TD. Oregon State made it all the way to 4th and goal on the Stanford 7, but was unable to convert and turned the ball over with 1 second remaining. Stanford has a bye this week to prepare for a Thursday showdown with Oregon on November 7th. Oregon State gets a climbing USC team that is looking to keep their bowl hopes alive.
7Miami(FL) 24 Wake Forest 21; Miami had another close game this week against an unranked team. This is the second week in a row that Miami has needed to score a TD in the last minute of the game. In my opinion, the Hurricanes are very overrated. I have yet to see Miami play like the 7th ranked team. But, they have been able to win these past two weeks. Next week won’t be as easy. Miami QB Stephen Morris was 17/28 for 111 yards and a TD to Herb Waters. Duke Johnson was the hero of the team, rushing for 168 yards and 2TDs, including the game winner with 53 seconds to go. Wake Forest QB Tanner Price was 25/45 for 302 yards, 2TD and an INT with 37 seconds to go in the game. Those two TDs went to Michael Campanaro and Dominique Gibson. The other Demon Deacon score came on a rush by Josh D Harris. Antonio Crawford’s interception sealed the victory for Miami, keeping them undefeated as they head into a battle with ACC foe Florida State.
15Oklahoma 38 10Texas Tech 30; I picked Texas Tech to win this game by less than a TD, but Oklahoma was just too much for the Red Raiders. Oklahoma has now cracked the top ten in the BCS rankings and their only loss is to Texas. This was Texas Tech’s first loss, and it came on the road to a fairly good Oklahoma team. Sooner QB Blake Bell was less of the “Belldozer” that he has been in years past, going 14/22 for 249 yards and 2TDs, both to Jalen Saunders who gained 153 receiving yards as well. Damien Williams rushed for 2TDs and Lacoltan Bester also rushed for a TD. For the Red Raiders, Davis Webb was 33/53 for 385 yards, 2TD and 2INT. Kenny Williams passed for a TD and also rushed for one. Eric Ward had 106 receiving yards and 2TDs, with Jakeem Grant hauling in the other score. Texas Tech got the ball at the end of the game, but they weren’t able to move the ball, turning it over on downs to end the game. Oklahoma gets a bye next week while Texas Tech welcomes in Oklahoma State.
Duke 13 14Virginia Tech 10; Once again, Virginia Tech gets beat after being ranked. It seems like this happens every year, making me wonder why they ever even get ranked. This year, the Duke Blue Devils took down the 14th ranked Hokies to reach bowl eligibility. The numbers for this game make no sense at all. Both QBs threw 4 picks, and each rushed for a TD, but VT’s Logan Thomas rushed for 101 yards as well. The difference in the game was Duke’s kicker, Ross Martin, who made FGs of 51 and 53 yards in the second quarter. Duke was 0-11 on 3rd down and Virginia Tech was 4-6 on 4th down. The time of possession was skewed greatly toward Virginia Tech, who had the ball for 40 minutes. Eight interceptions in this game, wow. Also, how can you go 0-11 on 3rd down and win the game? I guess I should be asking Duke. Nonetheless, a top 14 team was beat at home by an unranked opponent, even if it was messy on both sides.
17Fresno State 35 San Diego State 28 OT; Usually I don’t get to watch the exciting Fresno State games because of west coast timing, but I made an exception this week. Mainly because I slept on a bus ride earlier that night, so I wasn’t tired during the game. But, you don’t come here to read about my life, so here’s what happened in the game. If you have been following Fresno State, you know that they have had a lot of close games, and have somehow been able to win them all. This week was no different for the Bulldogs. The San Diego State Aztecs almost pulled off a huge upset for the second time this season after almost beating Oregon State earlier in the year. As the game was nearing the end of regulation, it became clear that the only way the Aztecs could pull the upset was if they could win in 60 minutes. But to do that, they had to rely on a Kicker who had one FGA in his career, and that attempt was earlier in the game. Seamus Mcmorrow’s game winning FG was blocked at the end of regulation. (It was an amazing block.) In OT, Fresno State scored a TD, meaning to continue SDSU had to get in the end zone. They were unable to, and Fresno State and their BCS hopes survived. Fresno State goes back home next week to play a not so good Nevada team.
Western Michigan 31 Massachusetts 30; It is quite possible that you know nothing about either of these teams. And that was part of my reasoning behind recapping this game. You might be thinking that they are locked in a battle for their conference or looking for bowl eligibility. You would be very, very wrong. As of this game, the combined record of these two teams is 2-15. Why should you care, you ask. Well, let me tell you why I care: the athletes on these two teams knew from the start that they probably won’t be competing for a national championship. They might not be facing top opponents, but they deserve just as much respect as teams like Alabama. The players might not have names that everyone recognizes, and you might not be able to name either coach, but they work all week, like any other college football team. And do you see the score? It was a good game. But hey, do you expect any less when it comes to MACtion? This game came down to the wire, the difference being a failed two point conversion at the end of the game. The game started with a 90 yard kickoff return TD by UMass’ Khary Bailey-Smith. The teams traded scores the rest of the game. With 22 seconds left, Lorenzo Woodley rushed for a TD to cut WMU’s lead to one point. Instead of going for a tie and OT, UMass decided to go for 2, but were unable to connect, giving the Broncos their first win of the season. WMU QB Zach Terrell was 23/36 for 275 yards and 4TDs. Corey Davis caught 2TDs, and Antoin Scriven and Kendrick Roberts each caught a TD as well. Minutemen QB AJ Doyle was 15/24 for 194 yards and a TD to Rob Branchflower. Jamal Wilson also rushed for a TD.
Texas State 33 South Alabama 31; Another game featuring not-so-well-known teams. This comes to us from the Sun Belt conference. The score going into the 4th quarter was 17-10 Texas State. That means South Alabama scored 21 in the 4th and Texas State scored 16. So anyone who left the stadium after the 3rd quarter missed almost all of the scoring. One of Texas State’s 4th quarter scores was when Justin Iwuji picked off Ross Metheny and returned it for a TD. There are some teams I know, that I will not name, who can’t seem to score after a pick 6 is thrown. South Alabama is not one of those teams, and after the pick, scored 2TDs and were able to take the lead. Unfortunately for the Jaguars, Texas State’s hero, aka kicker Jason Dann, couldn’t miss. He made a 42 yarder with 4 seconds to go to lift the Bobcats to victory. Dann was 4/4 on the day, all in the second half. Texas State QB Tyler Jones was 15/25 for 218 yards, 2TD and an INT. The TDs went to Ryan Carden and Brandon Smith. For the Jaguars, QB Ross Metheny was 27/43 for 300 yards, 3TD and an INT, and also rushed for a TD. Danny Woodson caught 2 of the touchdowns and Shavarez Smith caught the other. Both of these teams are relatively new to the FBS, and Texas State has a chance to become bowl eligible.
UNLV 27 Nevada 22; This is the game I have been waiting to recap. I picked Nevada to win and I have never been so happy to be wrong in my life. This rivalry is a big one. Maybe not in the last 8 seasons, but now, oh man, now it is. UNLV, who at one point was referred to as the “University of Notta Lotta Victories” by UNR, finally beat the Wolf Pack, and in Reno, no less, the place UNR upset Boise State not too long ago. UNR has dominated the rivalry, winning the last 8 in a row, but that has all come to an end. If you are not from Vegas or Reno, you probably don’t care about either of these teams, or see why they hate each other so much. I am biased to Las Vegas because I was born and raised there, and so was my mom. I have family in Northern Nevada and spent most of my summers and winters in Lake Tahoe. But I am, and always will be, a Rebel fan. I had the chance to experience this in-state rivalry on the basketball court last season, and I can’t repeat what the Rebellion said about Reno, but I will say it wasn’t nice. One thing I can tell you is that they did everything possible to interfere with the Wolf Pack. But that is basketball. The last time UNLV beat UNR on the gridiron, I was 10 and didn’t pay much attention to football or the rivalry. Growing up in this era of UNLV football, there was always one opinion I got from many people: UNLV should get rid of football. I was reluctantly starting to agree, especially after seeing the practice facilities and making the drive all the way out to Sam Boyd. But a new era began on Saturday night, at 6:36 pm PT, when the clock showed all zeros and UNLV had more points than the hated Wolf Pack, ending the 8-year drought.
But this has bigger implications for UNLV than just beating Reno. This win is the 5th of the season for UNLV, putting them only one away from bowl eligibility. In Bobby Hauck’s first 3 seasons, the Rebels have totaled 6 wins, 2 each year. I heard the calls for a new coach, but I chose to ignore them. When Hauck took the job, I knew he would be able to do something special, but I also knew it would take time. And things are looking up for UNLV football. At the beginning of October of this year, a board was finalized to plan a new, on-campus stadium for UNLV. Not only is a bigger stadium needed for UNLV football, but for events of all kinds. The Thomas & Mack is great but small compared to competing venues like Cowboy’s Stadium. This is still very, very early in the planning stage, but there has been talk for one as long as I can remember, so seeing this kind of action and support is great.
But as of right now, the most important thing is the the Fremont Cannon is red again. Here’s how it happened: The Wolf Pack struck first, scoring two unanswered FGs. The teams then traded TDs. After that, UNLV scored a TD to take the 14-13 lead, but with 24 seconds left in the half, UNR kicked a FG and went into the break with a 16-14 lead. The score stayed that way for about 18 minutes. UNLV scored 2TDs and failed a 2point conversion on the second. The Rebels were in control and had a comfortable lead until 3:25 left in the game when the Wolf Pack scored again but also failed the 2point conversion. No more points were scored, leaving the final at 27-22, an odd football score. Stat-wise the teams were very even and well matched, UNR edged UNLV in total yards 487-484, but amassed 105 penalty yards. UNLV QB Caleb Herring shined again for the Rebs going 29/42 for 335 yards and 3TDs. His partner in crime, RB Tim Cornett, also had another great game, rushing for 122 yards and a TD. Deante Davis had 121 receiving yards and 2TDs and Maika Mataele caught the other TD. On the other side, UNR QB Cody Fajardo was 24/40 for 357 yards, 2TD and an INT. WR Ricky Turner had 149 receiving yards and a TD with Aaron Bradley catching a TD as well.
Wow, that was a lot of information. I just have one more thing to say: Go Rebels! Beat San Jose State! (#GoRebelsBeatSpartans)
1Alabama 45 Tennessee 10
2Florida State 49 North Carolina State 17
4Ohio State 63 Penn State 14
8Baylor 59 Kansas 14
9Clemson 40 Maryland 27
11Auburn 45 Florida Atlantic 10
13LSU 48 Furman 16
16Texas A&M 56 Vanderbilt 24
18Northern Illinois 59 Eastern Michigan 20
19Oklahoma State 58 Iowa State 27
20Louisville 34 South Florida 3
23UCF 62 Connecticut 17
Minnesota 34 24Nebraska 23
Mississippi State 28 Kentucky 22
Iowa 17 Northwestern 10 OT
Middle Tennessee 51 Marshall 49
BYU 37 Boise State 20
Houston 49 Rutgers 14
Navy 24 Pittsburgh 21
Toledo 28 Bowling Green 25
Texas 30 TCU 7
Ole Miss 59 Idaho 14
SMU 59 Temple 49
Kansas State 35 West Virginia 12
USC 19 Utah 3
Troy 32 WKU 26
Notre Dame 45 Air Force 10
North Texas 55 Southern Miss 14
Stats and Scores from ESPN.com