Per usual, college football was rampant with craziness as multiple unranked teams took down ranked teams. Additionally, the complexion of several conferences was altered by the events of the weekend. Let’s take a look at the last word on college football week nine edition.
The Last Word on College Football: Week Nine Edition
Florida and Texas Eliminated
Florida’s defense certainly had their moments, including stopping Georgia on seven straight goal line plays at one point. However, three turnovers and Georgia’s defense prevented Florida from truly making headway in this game as UGA rolled to a 36-17 victory in Jacksonville. This was Georgia’s largest win against a ranked Florida team since 1997. Georgia outgained Florida 429-275, including 189 on the ground, while forcing three UF turnovers. Jake Fromm was effective playing his best game of the year throwing three touchdowns. The Gators are essentially eliminated from SEC East contention as well as playoff contention. Meanwhile, Georgia travels to Kentucky this week to determine who will win the East.
Sure, Texas is still alive for the Big 12 title. However, their chances at a national title are now dashed after their 38-35 loss at Oklahoma State. Taylor Cornelius led Oklahoma State to a 31-14 halftime lead as part of his dazzling performance. Overall, he threw for 321 yards with three touchdowns while rushing for two touchdowns as well. Tylan Wallace stepped up in a big way with 10 receptions for 222 yards along with two touchdowns. Texas shot themselves in the foot with 11 penalties in this game. Additionally, they gave up 502 total yards.
Pac-12 Championship: Washington State vs Utah?
Utah has yet to play in the Pac-12 championship game since joining the conference in 2011. In addition to that, they have never appeared in the Rose Bowl. The last time they won any conference title was in 2008 when they won the Mountain West Conference.
Meanwhile, Washington State has not won an outright Pac-12 championship since 1930! They, however, grabbed a share of the championship in both 2001 and 1996, appearing in the Rose Bowl both seasons. It certainly appears as if we are on a collision course for a Utes vs Cougars matchup, considering both teams have taken control of their respective divisions.
Utah dominated UCLA 41-10 led by 211 rushing yards and three touchdowns from Zach Moss. Meanwhile, Washington State went to Stanford and pulled out a 41-38 victory led by Gardner Minshew‘s 438 yards and three touchdowns.
Florida State’s Bowl Streak in Jeopardy
Florida State has incredibly made an NCAA record 36 straight bowl games. Surprisingly, that streak is at great risk at the moment. FSU is 4-4 after Clemson thumped them 59-10 and conceivably could go winless the rest of the way. The talent on this team is undeniable, however, with a below average offensive line and inconsistent defense, that talent is not showing up. Looking at their schedule, there is no cupcake remaining. First, they make a trip to NC State who is coming off of two losses and will be hungry for a win. Then they travel to undefeated Notre Dame. Following that Boston College and Florida, both 6-2, visit Tallahassee. Good luck finding two wins against that schedule.
Cincinnati picked up a walk-off win at SMU as James Wiggins intercepted a Ben Hicks pass and returned it 86 yards for a touchdown in overtime. SMU played well defensively as they accumulated 10 tackles for loss during the game. They also held star running back Michael Warren to 67 yards on 14 carries. Cincy overcame three turnovers to get the important win over SMU. The Bearcats are now 7-1 on the season.
Kentucky overcame a 14-3 fourth quarter deficit to steal a 15-14 win over Missouri on the road. Lynn Bowden, who had 13 catches for 166 yards, returned a punt 67 yards for a touchdown with 5:18 remaining. Then the UK defense, led by Josh Allen, stopped Missouri to get the ball back with 1:24. The UK offense then drove 81 yards in eight plays securing victory on a walk-off two-yard touchdown pass from Terry Wilson to C.J Conrad. The game-winning touchdown came on an untimed down thanks to a Missouri penalty. This sets up a colossal matchup with Georgia this week.
What’s Up With Jake Browning?
Washington lost a defensive slugfest to California, 12-10, in a game where Jake Browning struggled mightily. In fact, there was a point where Browning was benched due to his ineffectiveness. Browning completed just 11 of 21 passes for 148 yards with one touchdown along with an interception. He has been on a downward spiral since his stellar sophomore campaign. This season, he has completed 64% of his passes for 2,049 yards with 12 touchdowns and eight interceptions. He is continually making questionable decisions as well as putting the ball in areas where it does not belong.
FAU Disappointing While FIU Surprising
Florida Atlantic was expected to basically run away with the Conference USA title this year. After winning 11 games last season along with 15 returning starters, 10 of which on defense, it would seem FAU was primed for a big season. However, that has been far from the case as they have stumbled to a 3-5 record, including 1-3 in Conference USA play after a 21-13 loss to Louisiana Tech. Their next game is on the road against rival Florida International, who has been the surprise team of Conference USA.
Florida International only returned 11 starters from last years 8 win team, four of which on defense. Led by coach Butch Davis, with the inexperience on the roster and replacing quarterback Alex McGough, it looked like a bowl game was the best case scenario for the Panthers. Nonetheless, they sit at 6-2 including 4-0 in C-USA play. The defense has played extremely well overall. Additionally, quarterback James Morgan, a transfer from Bowling Green, has kept the offense rolling. They lost to Indiana by just 10 and hung within two touchdowns of Miami (FL) for their two losses. Might we be looking at an FIU versus UAB Conference USA title game?
Dino Babers has 6-2 Syracuse bowl eligible for the first time since 2013 as the Orange defeated NC State 51-41. This game was evenly matched in many areas. Syracuse outgained the Wolfpack 561-541. Both teams committed nine penalties. The main differences were, Ryan Finley threw an interception while Syracuse achieved 30 first downs to NC State’s 21. Neither team ran the ball effectively, that is for certain. Kudos to Syracuse for putting themselves back in a bowl game. Additionally, the Cuse is ranked for the first time since 2001.
Around the Country
D’Eriq King resoundingly led Houston to a 57-36 win over USF, which was the first loss of the season for the Bulls. King completed 28 of 40 passes for a whopping 419 yards along with five touchdowns. Not only that, but he also ran for 132 yards with two touchdowns. Solid day at the office. Houston is now 7-1 overall and 4-0 in AAC play.
Georgia Southern assumed control (pending a matchup with Troy) in the Sun Belt East with a 34-14 win over ranked Appalachian State. App State was unable to overcome an injury to starting quarterback Zac Thomas. Thomas left the game after just one pass. GA Southern picked off four passes en route to the win. The Eagles are now 7-1 overall with a 4-0 Sun Belt record.
Ohio ran for 411 yards along with six touchdowns while Nathan Rourke added another TD passing as they beat Ball State 52-14.
Justin Fuente moved to 0-3 against Georgia Tech as Virginia Tech’s head coach. Two of those losses have come in Lane Stadium. Georgia Tech ran for 465 yards and seven touchdowns, while not completing a pass during the 49-28 thrashing.
After manhandling Florida State 59-10, Clemson has now won their last three games by a combined score of 163-20.
Oklahoma bowled over Kansas State 51-14. Kyler Murray continued his Heisman campaign by completing 19 of 24 passes for 352 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 46 yards and another score. OU outgained K State by a margin of 702-245.
Mississippi State turned in another stellar defensive performance in their 28-13 win over Texas A&M. They racked up seven tackles for loss while accumulating 11 quarterback hurries as well as breaking up seven passes. That is not surprising. The surprising part is how well Nick Fitzgerald played as a passer. He completed 14 of 22 passes for 241 yards with two touchdowns along with no picks. Additionally, he added 88 yards with two touchdowns rushing.
Five FBS teams now have three players who have at least five rushing touchdowns this year. Those teams include Georgia Tech, Wisconsin, Ohio, South Florida, and Western Michigan.
Penn State beat Iowa 30-24 which coupled with Northwestern’s 31-17 win over Wisconsin, firmly puts Northwestern in the Big Ten West driver’s seat. Iowa did accomplish something unique, however. They recorded two safeties in the game. Iowa is the first FBS team to do that against an FBS opponent since Memphis in October of 2015. It has not been done by a Big Ten squad since November 2008 when Wisconsin did it.
Matt Colburn carried the ball 20 times for 243 yards along with three touchdowns in Wake Forest’s 56-35 win over Louisville. Louisville pulled Colburn’s scholarship offer 48 hours before signing day back in 2015. Colburn is apparently still angry.
After defeating North Carolina 31-21, Virginia is now bowl eligible in two consecutive seasons for the first time since a four year stretch from 2002-2005.
TCU’s problems (including a butt fumble) have come to a head as they lost to Kansas 27-26. This was the first October win for KU since 2009. Additionally, KU snapped a 14 game conference losing streak, which was the longest active streak in the nation. Lastly, they were 3-33 the last three seasons. This season, they have three wins.
Oregon State overcame a 28 point deficit to take down Colorado 41-34 in Boulder. The 28 point comeback is the third-largest comeback in Pac-12 history. In addition to that, the Beavers snapped a 22 game road losing streak, which was the longest in the nation. On top of that, they snapped a 13 game conference losing streak.
Eno Benjamin ran for 185 yards with two touchdowns to lead Arizona State to a 38-35 win at USC. This marks USC’s first home loss under Clay Helton. In fact, it is their first home loss since 2015. This is yet another reason why Helton’s seat continues to increase in heat.
Maryland went from scoring zero points against Iowa to scoring 63 while putting up 712 yards of offense on Illinois. During the game, Maryland wide receiver Jeshaun Jones became the first Big Ten freshman to record both a rushing and receiving touchdown in multiple games since Maurice Clarett in 2003.
Pittsburgh still has a chance to win the ACC Coastal, amazingly enough. They beat Duke 54-45 in a wildly entertaining game. The game featured 1,253 combined yards, three running backs who ran for 137 yards or more and only eight combined penalties with just one combined turnover.
Fresno State wide receiver KeeSean Johnson grabbed eight balls for 102 yards in their 50-20 win over Hawaii. In doing so, Johnson surpassed Davante Adams‘ school receptions record, which was 233. What makes this more impressive is Adams caught every pass from Derek Carr. Meanwhile, Johnson has had seven different quarterbacks in which he has caught a pass from during his career.
Aaron Dawson of Central Connecticut State set an NCAA Division I record with 308 rushing yards in the second half of their 49-24 win over Wagner. The record-setting half enabled Dawson to rush for 361 yards total on 24 carries. He added five touchdowns as well. Also joining the 300-yard rushing club was Sacred Heart running back Jordan Meachum. He ran 23 times for an incredible 318 yards with three touchdowns.
Looking Ahead to Week Ten
As we continue the last word on college football week nine edition, we look ahead to the five biggest games coming up this week.
Georgia at Kentucky
Both teams will arrive in Lexington with identical 7-1 overall, 5-1 SEC records. Both teams have already defeated Florida, thus eliminating the Gators from East contention. Therefore the winner of this game will win the SEC East, which means they can book a trip to Atlanta for the SEC championship game. Question is, can Kentucky generate enough offense to hang with UGA? This matchup could certainly be a defensive struggle. Georgia has won eight straight in this series.
Alabama at LSU
Alabama and LSU almost always produce a gem of some sort when they play each other. This year’s game appears to be for all the marbles in the SEC West. Alabama comes into this game, relatively untested, at 8-0 overall and 5-0 in SEC play. LSU meanwhile sits at 7-1 overall with a 4-1 SEC record. Expect a tight, defensive battle, despite Alabama’s potent offense.
West Virginia at Texas
Texas and West Virginia both enter this contest at 4-1 in Big 12 play, along with Oklahoma. Texas has already defeated OU, while West Virginia will take on OU at the end of the season. If Texas wins this game, they are still in the driver’s seat to win the regular season Big 12 title. Likewise, if West Virginia wins, they would control their destiny within the conference. WVU has larger aspirations as they still have an outside shot at a playoff berth.
Penn State at Michigan
Penn State’s chances of winning the Big Ten East are quite slim at this point, but this is another gigantic game for Michigan. The Wolverines are 7-1 overall and 5-0 in the Big Ten. For them to continue their dream of reaching the playoff, they must win this game. Penn State is only 3-2 in the Big Ten, but still a formidable threat. You know Penn State would love to play spoiler in the Big House.
Pittsburgh at Virginia
Virginia and Pittsburgh both come into this contest with just one conference loss apiece. The loser of this game puts themselves in a precarious position in the messy ACC Coastal. On the flip side, the winner remains in the driver’s seat. One loss Virginia Tech still lurks on the schedule for both teams, which makes the stakes even larger. Although, Virginia Tech has a tough game this weekend themselves against Boston College. This game should demand your attention on Friday night.
Five more intriguing games: Stanford at Washington, Ohio at Western Michigan, Florida State at NC State, Cal at Washington State, Boston College at Virginia Tech.
Do you want upsets? Here are five potential upsets that if any were to happen, you should not be surprised.
Temple over Central Florida
Wake Forest over Syracuse
Northwestern over Notre Dame
Texas Tech over Oklahoma
Arizona State over Utah
There you have it, the last word on college football week nine edition. Week ten is shaping up to be yet another stellar week. Come back and visit http://www.lwosports.com each week to stay caught up on the action.
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