College Football Recap- Week 8
As week #8 came to a close, we were left with more chaos, and more possibilities to debate and ponder. This season has been a roller coaster ride for so many teams, and it has been extremely fascinating to watch how all the story-lines have played-out from week to week. As always, I am very excited to share my thoughts and opinions with you as we take a look at College Football Recap- Week 8.
As the Boilermaker faithful stormed the field late Saturday night, in the cold, fall air of West Lafayette, Indiana, the rest of the of the nation sat in stunned silence, shocked at what we had just witnessed on our televisions (or electronic devices).
The only thing that came to my mind was, “Did that really just happen? Was that Real?” I couldn’t believe what I had just seen! But it definitely happened, and it was most definitely real! Purdue just pummeled the #2 ranked team in the country!
Purdue- 49, “TTFDB”- 20
The Boilermakers played an incredible game from start to finish! They were really good on both sides of the ball, and they made big plays all night! Outside of Alabama, I not sure that any team could have escaped West Lafayette with a victory. The bottom line is that Purdue played “out of their minds”!!!
1. First, we have to give credit to the Purdue defense. They did not give up any big plays until late in the fourth quarter (when the game was out of reach). “TTFDB” was not able to run the ball at all. Purdue completely shut-down the run game, holding “TTFDB” to 76 yards on 25 carries.
Another “Big” stat in the game was that “TTFDB” drove deep into Purdue territory on 4 different possessions during the first three quarters, but only came away with 6 points. These stops did not occur because of penalties, turnovers, dropped passes, etc. Purdue was able to keep “TTFDB” out of the end-zone because they were just making great defensive plays!
The Boilermaker defense was very fast and aggressive. They were able to get sufficient pressure on Dwayne Haskins all game, and they did a great job of tackling in space. It was a great all-around effort on their part!
2. Second, the offense was absolutely awesome!
The offensive line was physical, did a good job in pass protection, and “took-over” the game in the 4th quarter. Quarterback, David Blough, did everything that you could possibly want a quarterback to do. He protected the ball (no turnovers), made really good decisions, and made “clutch” throws when his team needed a big play. Blough did a great job of not forcing anything, and just taking what the defense gave him.
D.J. Knox is a very good, and very explosive running back. He ran for “tough” yards all game, and was able to bust open a couple long touchdown runs in the 4th quarter. Knox ended up with 16 carries, 128 yards, and 3 touchdowns.
And then there was Rondale Moore!!! A freshman wide-receiver and “Big Time” recruit from the state of Kentucky. He has been really good all season long, but on Saturday night he was spectacular!!! There are really not enough adjectives to describe this young man- Moore is dynamic, explosive, elusive, talented, etc.
Rondale Moore ran the ball twice for 24 yards, and tallied-up 12 receptions for 170 yards and 2 touchdowns. He made big plays throughout the entire game, and he kept the “TTFDB” defense on their heels all night.
3. Third, the Purdue coaching staff deserves a great deal of credit. Purdue has greatly improved in the past few weeks, and you could tell that the entire team was well prepared for this big game. I thought that the play-calling on offense was brilliant. The coaching staff did an outstanding job of calling the “right” plays at the “right” time.
Head coach, Jeff Brohm, kept using the word “Aggressive” each time he was interviewed. And that’s exactly what the Boilermaker offense was…Aggressive! Purdue remained on the attack from beginning to end, which is exactly what you have to do when you are playing a really good team!
Washington State- 34, Oregon- 20
Congratulations to Washington State! They came ready to play on Saturday, and it showed! The Cougars jumped out to a 27-0 lead in the first half, held on in the second half, and then scored a late touchdown to seal the game.
It seemed like the Ducks were a little “flat” to start the game, which did help contribute to Washington State’s success. Remember that in recent weeks Oregon has already played in several big games, including a very physical and emotional contest last week against Washington.
But even though Oregon may have been a bit “drained” both emotionally and physically, we still have to give credit to the Cougars.
Washington State had 400 yards of total offense, 25 first downs, and won the time-of-possession battle. First year starter, Gardner Minshew, threw for 323 yards and 4 touchdowns. Minshew has been having a really good season, and he has put-up some big numbers through 7 games.
Meanwhile, the defense held Oregon to 328 yards and 20 points (including a shut-out in the first half). The defense seems to be the main difference for the Cougars in 2018. They are playing more physical, and they are giving up less points and less yards than in years past.
Now, Washington State is the Pac-12’s last remaining hope to put a team in the college football playoff! Who would have guessed that at the beginning of the season??? However, the Cougars do not have any easy path to the finish line. They still have some very tough games ahead of them, which include: Stanford, California, Colorado, Arizona, and Washington.
Michigan- 21, Michigan State- 7
The Wolverines are playing really well, and they overcame another big “hurdle” on Saturday by beating their bitter, in-state rivals. There was some pregame drama (which you probably heard about), a weather delay in the first quarter, and poor weather conditions throughout. However, Michigan was able to remain focused, and the Wolverines did what they had to do in order to get the win.
The final score probably should have been a lot worse for the Spartans, as they were out-gained by Michigan 395 total yards to 94 total yards. Michigan missed a short field goal in the second quarter which would have added 3 more points. The Wolverines also had 2 fumbles: The first occurred deep in Spartan territory, and the second set-up Michigan State for their only score of the game.
Nebraska- 53, Minnesota- 28
Congratulations to Nebraska for getting their first victory of the season! It has been a rough couple months for the Cornhuskers, but they were finally able to “Break-Through” with a big win.
Nebraska probably would have won their first game of the season against Akron, but remember that game ended-up getting cancelled because of severe weather. In week #2, the Cornhuskers lost a very close game against Colorado…a game that could have gone either way.
And then of course last week Nebraska was on the cusp of victory against Northwestern, but let the game slip through their fingers at the last minute (literally)! You can read about this game at College Football Recap- Week 7. So needless to say, I’m sure that this win is a huge relief for coach, Scott Frost, as well as the entire Nebraska nation!
Remaining Playoff Contenders
On Tuesday night, October 30th, the playoff committee will reveal the first college football playoff rankings of the season! It is going to be very interesting to see how the committee views, and ranks each of these teams.
But remember, it doesn’t really matter where “Your” team ends up in the initial ranking (Take a deep breath)! All that matters is that “Your” team continues to win! If “Your” team does continue to win, then they will be right at the top come “Selection Day”.
So let’s take a look at the teams that currently have playoff aspirations (Teams with 0 or 1 Loss).
AAC- UCF (7-0), USF (7-0), Cincinnatti (6-1), and Houston (6-1) (4 Teams)
ACC- Clemson (7-0) and NC State (5-1) (2 Teams)
Big 12- Texas (6-1), Oklahoma (6-1), and West Virginia (5-1) (3 Teams)
Big 10- Michigan (7-1), “TTFDB” (7-1), and Iowa (6-1) (3 Teams)
Pac 12- Washington State (6-1) (1 Team)
SEC- Alabama (8-0), LSU (7-1), Georgia (6-1), Florida (6-1), and Kentucky (6-1) (5 Teams)
Other- Notre Dame (7-0) (1 Team)
So we have a total of 19 teams that are still “mathematically” alive. Now I do realize that when it comes to the AAC, UCF is probably the only team that would be given any consideration at all, but I left the other teams on the list just for the fun of it.
Also, if you haven’t been paying attention, there are 3 teams in the Mountain West Conference with 1-Loss that are very good- Utah State (6-1), Fresno State (6-1), and San Diego State (6-1). These teams have no chance of making the college football playoff, but I wanted to mention them because they are all having really nice seasons!