College Football Recap- Week 11

Well, this was definitely not the most exciting or dramatic weekend that we’ve had in college football thus far. For the most part everything went as expected, and the Top 25 match-ups were not very competitive. But don’t worry, there is still much to discuss in “The Cluster’s” College Football Recap- Week 11!

Even though it may have seemed like not much happened, there were still a handful of very exciting games. There were also 4, Top 25 teams who lost to unranked opponents. So let’s begin there!

Top 25 Upsets 

Tennessee- 24, (#11) Kentucky- 7 
Well, the Wildcats have officially “run out of gas”! Last week, Kentucky was playing for a trip to the SEC Championship Game. But this week, they were just “plain-old Kentucky”. The Volunteers held the Wildcats to 262 total yards and forced 3 turnovers. Tennessee is in the “rebuilding stage”, and they have improved greatly over the course of the season.

Wake Forest- 27, (#14) NC State- 23 
This is a game that you probably missed because it occurred on Thursday night. Coming into this one, everything seemed to be lining up for NC State. They were (6-2) and ranked #14 in the nation. It was also “Senior Night”, and their senior quarterback, Ryan Finley, was making his final start in front of the home crowd. On top of that, they were playing a (4-5) Wake Forest team. A team that has given up a lot of yards and points in several games.

But the Wolfpack fell flat on their face! They dropped passes, committed several penalties, couldn’t run the ball, gave up a lot of yards, and allowed Wake Forest to score 2 touchdowns in the final quarter. The winning score occurred with 30 seconds left in the game when quarterback, Jamie Newman, completed a short pass to tight-end, Jack Freudenthal, who proceeded to scamper about 30 yards into the end-zone.

Northwestern- 14, (#21) Iowa- 10 
This was a “Typical” Northwestern vs Iowa game- Low-scoring and Uneventful! I honestly can’t believe that Iowa couldn’t “Rise-Up” and find a way to win. Bennett Skowronek made an unbelievable touchdown catch for the Wildcats with 9:27 left in the 4th quarter to give them a 14-10 lead.

The Hawkeyes had the ball for three more possessions following the Northwestern touchdown. They proceeded to go 3-and-out, 4 plays and fumble, 5 plays and fumble…Pathetic!!! The Wildcats ran-out the clock, and clinched the Big Ten West in the process because both Wisconsin and Purdue had already lost.

Boise State- 24, (#23) Fresno State- 17 
This Mountain West battle took place on Friday night in Boise, Idaho. The Bulldogs were coming in at (8-1) and ranked #23 in the CFP Rankings. The Broncos missed some opportunities in the first half and found themselves trailing 10-3 at halftime.

Fresno State opened the 3rd quarter by marching right down the field and punching it in for a touchdown to go up 17-3. But from that point forward, Boise State began to “take over”. Defensively, the Broncos stifled the Fresno offense. And offensively, they began to run the ball effectively. Boise scored 21 unanswered points and came away with a nice victory!

Top 25 Match-Ups 
Each of these 4 games were neither exciting nor competitive. In each case, the higher-ranked team won. Therefore, each of these “winners” preserved their playoff hopes!

#1 Alabama- 24
#16 Mississippi State- 0

#2 Clemson- 27
#17 Boston College- 7

#5 Georgia- 27
#24 Auburn- 10

#10 “TTFDB”- 26
#18 Michigan State- 6

Exciting Games 

Oklahoma- 48, Oklahoma State- 47 
This rivalry truly lived up to its’ name- “Bedlam”! The teams combined for 1,342 yards and 95 points! Early in the 4th quarter, Oklahoma State running back, Chuba Hubbard, scored on a 2 yard run which tied the game at 41. However, the place-kicker missed the PAT! This missed extra point ended up being the “key” play in the game. The Sooners later responded with a 1 yard touchdown run to regain the lead, 48-41.

With time ticking away, Taylor Cornelius led his team down the field, all the way to the Oklahoma 19 yard line. After two incomplete passes and a false start penalty, the Cowboys were facing a 4th-and-12 from the 24. But with “ice in his veins”, Cornelius fired a dart to wide receiver, Tylan Wallace for a touchdown! However, Oklahoma State still trailed by 1 point, 48-47.

Instead of tying the game with an extra point, coach Mike Gundy elected to go for the win (A’ La West Virginia from last week). The play call was good and the receiver was open. But Cornelius threw the ball a little behind the intended receiver and a Sooner defensive back knocked down the pass. Oklahoma survived!!!

Florida- 35, South Carolina- 31 
This was an entertaining, back-and-forth game! The Gamecocks led 21-14 at halftime, and then they scored the first 10 points of the 3rd quarter to go up 31-14. At this point, it honestly looked like the Gators had no hope. But they managed to score with 56 seconds remaining in the 3rd to cut the deficit to 31-21. Then Florida proceeded to dominate the final quarter and avoided what would have been a 3-game losing streak!

Utah- 32, Oregon- 25 
Another very close and very competitive game! At halftime, the Utes held a 19-7 advantage. But the Ducks stormed back in the second half, and briefly grabbed the lead about midway through the 4th quarter, 25-22. However, Utah responded with a very nice touchdown drive of their own, and then they sealed the game with a late field goal. This was another tough loss for Oregon as they fell to (6-4). But it was a very important win for Utah because it keeps them in contention for a Pac 12 Championship birth.

Remaining Playoff Contenders 
Believe it or not, our list of “Contenders” remains unchanged from last week. All 11 teams won, and therefore each team still has 0 or 1 loss. However, we know at least one team will drop out this coming week because the (9-1) Cincinnati Bearcats will be traveling south (to Florida) to take on the (9-0) UCF  Golden Knights. Should be a great game!

AAC
UCF (9-0) and Cincinnati (9-1) (2 Teams) 

ACC 
Clemson (10-0) (1 Team) 

Big 12 
Oklahoma (9-1) and West Virginia (8-1) (2 Teams) 

Big 10 
Michigan (9-1) and “TTFDB” (9-1) (2 Teams) 

Pac 12 
Washington State (9-1) (1 Team) 

SEC 
Alabama (10-0) and Georgia (9-1) (2 Teams) 

Other 
Notre Dame (10-0) (1 Team)