College Football Recap- Week 7
What another crazy and exciting weekend in college football! For this week’s College Football Recap- Week 7, I will discuss: The Upsets, The Close Calls, The Missed Opportunities, and The Utter Disappointments!
There is no way that I can possibly cover all of the events that unfolded from Thursday thru Saturday. But I will do my very best to adequately summarize the “Craziness” of college football. Let’s start with “The Upsets”!
Similar to last week, there were a large number of upsets that took place. In total, there were 8 teams from the Top 25 that lost. Six of those losses were considered “upsets”, and four of those losses came from teams that were ranked in the Top 10.
#13 LSU- 36,#2 Georgia- 16
Iowa State- 30, #6 West Virginia- 14
#17 Oregon- 30, #7 Washington- 27 (OT)
Michigan State- 21, #8 Penn State- 17
#12 Michigan- 38, #15 Wisconsin- 13
Virginia- 16,#16 Miami- 13
USC- 31, #19 Colorado- 20
Tennessee- 30, #21 Auburn- 24
Also, on Thursday night Texas Tech upset TCU, 17-14. The Red Raiders who are notoriously known for having a bad defense, and who typically give-up a lot of points, put forth a fantastic effort. They actually won the game “because of” their defense, which is something that happens about as frequent as a solar eclipse!
So needless to say, things were greatly shaken-up in the world of college football!
Oregon- 30, Washington- 27 (OT)
This contest was one of the best games of the day. At halftime the score was tied at 17, and at the end of the 3rd quarter the game was tied at 24.
Early in the fourth quarter the Oregon kicker missed a 42 yard field goal. After each team exchanged possessions, Washington got the ball back with 5:05 remaining and a chance to win the game. The Huskies went on a 12-play drive that covered 72 yards.
With 3 seconds left on the clock, Peyton Henry lined-up for a 37 yard field goal. It looked like a good kick, but the ball drifted just to the right of the goal post as time expired. What a break for the Ducks!
In overtime, Henry did connect on a 22 yard field goal to give Washington a 27-24 lead. But when Oregon got the ball, they did not squander their “Golden” opportunity. On a 3rd-and-goal play from the 6 yard line, C.J. Verdell rushed right-up the middle for the winning touchdown!
This was a fantastic game from start to finish! Of course this loss eliminates (In Theory) Washington from playoff contention, but they can still reach the Pac-12 Championship game with a little help from the Ducks. With the win, Oregon has now moved up to #12 in the AP Top 25, and they are now the front-runners in the Pac-12 North.
Other Upsets- Rapid Fire
LSU- 36, Georgia- 16
LSU- Continue to be very impressive and tough! Probably have the best “resume” in the country.
Georgia- No need to worry too much! They need to regroup, make some adjustments, and beat the Gators!
Iowa State- 30, West Virginia- 14
Iowa State- Dominating defensive performance! Better than their record! Very well coached!
West Virginia- Shocked that they were so bad on offense! Not sure about this team moving forward???
Virginia- 16, Miami- 13
Virginia- Defense was physical! Defense forced turnovers! Defense was great!
Miami- Likewise their defense was great- Only gave up 231 total yards and forced 3 turnovers! Offense- Pathetic!!!
Close Calls and Missed Opportunities
USF- 25, Tulsa- 24
On Friday night USF’s backs were against the wall. The Golden Hurricanes had shut-down the Bulls for the first three quarters, and they entered the 4th quarter with a 24-10 advantage. Tulsa was running the ball well and controlling clock, and it looked like USF didn’t have the momentum or the energy to mount a comeback.
With 7:10 remaining the Bulls scored a touchdown on a 1 yard run by quarterback, Blake Barnett. However, the PAT was blocked so they were still trailing by 8 points. USF eventually got the ball back, and proceeded to methodically drive down the field.
Once again Barnett used his running ability to scamper into the end-zone. With Tulsa leading 24-22, and just over 2 minutes left in the game, the Bulls had no choice but to go for 2.
On the 2 point attempt, the Tulsa defense came with a lot of pressure and forced Barnett out of the pocket. He didn’t have anywhere to go and they tackled him for a loss.
At this point it looked like the game was over. All Tulsa had to do was pick-up 1 first down and “victory” was theirs! But USF stuffed the Golden Hurricanes on three straight run plays, and fortunately they had all 3 timeouts to stop the clock after each play.
On 4th down the Tulsa punter only kicked the ball 36 yards, which gave the Bulls great field position with 1:03 remaining. With time winding down, Barnett converted a 32 yard pass to Tyre McCants, who was tackled at the Tulsa 5 yard line. After a “spike” to stop the clock, Coby Weiss booted a 22 yard field goal to win the game!
The Golden Hurricanes missed a “Golden Opportunity” to get their 2nd win of the season!
UCF- 31, Memphis- 30
This was a fast-paced game in the first half with a lot of points scored. You could tell that the Tigers really, really wanted to win this game! They wanted to be the team to end UCF’s 18-game win streak!
When Tony Pollard galloped 19 yards into the end-zone with 2:04 left before halftime, Memphis found themselves leading 30-14. But UCF put together a very nice 2-minute drive, and Matthew Wright was able to connect on a 44 yard field goal as time expired in the 2nd quarter.
Unfortunately the second half was played in a very heavy rain, which definitely slowed down the offenses and the scoring. A very big play in the game occurred late in the 3rd quarter with the Golden Knights facing a 4th-and-1 from their own 29 yard line.
Coach Heupel decided to go for it (Big Gamble) and it paid off “Big Time”. Taj McGowan broke through the line, saw no one in front of him, and took it 71 yards to the house!
At the beginning of the 4th quarter, UCF managed to put together a very nice touchdown drive which covered 8 plays and 74 yards. McKenzie Milton capped-off the long drive with a 7 yard run to give the Knights a 31-30 lead.
Each team exchanged a couple of punts as time continued to tick away. Memphis got the ball back at their 15 yard line with 1:06 left on the clock. This was the their last chance! The Tigers managed to move the ball down the field, but could not get any closer than the UCF 31 before time expired.
Memphis did not manage the clock very well, and as a result they were unable to attempt the “game-winning” field goal. Their hearts were broken yet again by the UCF Golden Knights!
Northwestern- 34, Nebraska- 31 (OT)
Out of all the “Missed Opportunities” on Saturday, the Nebraska Cornhuskers reigned supreme! What happened to Nebraska was “Heart-Breaking, Tragic, Shocking, Unbelievable, and Jaw-Dropping”! How they lost this game is beyond comprehension…But they did!!!
As you are probably aware, Scott Frost led UCF to a 13-0 record last season, and he was “riding high”. Frost left UCF to coach his alma mater, and to help restore this once great program to national prominence.
However, it has been a very difficult start to his coaching tenure. Up to this point, Nebraska has really struggled, and they have not been able to catch a break! So what happened on Saturday afternoon was just “icing on the cake”!
The Cornhuskers were by far playing their best game of the season. And when Barret Pickering made a 34 yard field goal with 5:41 remaining in the 4th quarter, Nebraska was looking at a comfortable 10-point lead, 31-21.
Northwestern responded with a field goal to trim the lead to 31-24. However, the Wildcats had used up a lot of time (3:14), so their was only 2:27 left in the game.
Northwestern had all 3 timeouts remaining, but instead of kicking it deep, coach Fitzgerald elected to go with the on-side kick (which was surprising to everyone). Nebraska recovered the kick-off at the Northwestern 47 yard line.
So no way they’re going to lose now…right???
The Wildcat defense did their job by stopping the run on 3 consecutive plays, forcing the Cornhuskers to punt. In response, punter, Isaac Armstrong, also did his job beautifully by dropping a perfect kick that was “Downed” at the 1 yard line!
So Nebraska, as well as everyone in the stands, was still certain that they would come away with the victory. Northwestern was out of timeouts, and they were pinned at their own 1 yard line with 2:02 remaining. However, on the very first play of the drive, Nebraska got hit with a 15 yard, roughing the passer penalty…Oh No!
From there, Northwestern did the unthinkable! They continued to make one play at a time until they reached the Nebraska 5 yard line.
With 17 seconds left on the clock, Clayton Thorson completed a 5 yard pass to JJ Jefferson for the game tying touchdown!
The Wildcats went on to complete the comeback in OT for the 34-31 win…Unbelievable!!! Nebraska fell to (0-6), which is their worst start in school history!
Other Close Calls- Rapid Fire
“TTFDB”- 30, Minnesota- 14
This game was 20-14 entering the 4th quarter. Minnesota drove into “TTFDB” territory on 5 occasions and came away with 0 points. The Golden Gophers committed 3 turnovers and missed 2 field goals!
Notre Dame- 19, Pitt- 14
The Fighting Irish trailed the entire game until Ian Book connected with Miles Boykin on a 35 yard touchdown pass with 5:43 left in the 4th quarter. Luckily for Notre Dame their defense is really, really good!
Texas- 23, Baylor- 17
Texas’ starting quarterback, Sam Ehlinger, was injured in the first quarter and did not return. The Longhorn’s had to “hold-on” against a persistent Baylor team who had a chance to win on the final play of the game.
Florida- 37, Vanderbilt- 27
The Gators fell behind 21-3 about mid-way through the 2nd quarter, and they did not regain the lead until early in the 4th quarter. Once Florida “woke-up” they dominated the Commodores. However, the score remained close because it took awhile to overcome the large deficit they found themselves in.
Texas A&M- 26, South Carolina- 23
Texas A&M dominated this game for the most part, but South Carolina made just enough plays to keep things interesting. Heading into the 4th quarter the score was nodded-up at 16, but then the Aggies finally created some breathing room with a field goal and a late touchdown.
This category is reserved for Penn State and Auburn. I really don’t need to make any further comments about these two teams. I’m sure that all of you Nittany Lion and Tiger fans have already said it all…and then some!!!
All that Penn State can do at this point is to try and run the table, which would make them (10-2), and hope to get invited to a New Year’s Six Bowl for the 2nd straight year.
All that Auburn can do is play for “self respect”…and beat Alabama!!!