If you’re anything like my friends, you flew in from all over the country for homecoming and spent all day tailgating and waiting for the game. Around dinner time you became suspicious that we didn’t have a game this week, but you were already committed. So you missed a fun Saturday of football, but don’t worry, I’m here to catch you up on everything you need to know.
The big game of the day was definitely Alabama vs. Texas A&M. Naturally, Alabama rolled the Aggies for the decisive 33-14 win. The Tide dominated early, but the Aggies held them to several short field goals to stay in the game. In the last drive of the first half and the first drive of the second half, A&M scored touchdowns to take a 14-13 lead. They looked like they had turned the game around and had a shot at the upset. Then on Alabama’s next drive, the defining play of the game happened. On a third down, Alabama QB Jalen Hurts threw an incomplete pass, but the Aggies were called for a roughing the passer. The Tide took advantage and never looked back.
Nebraska beat Purdue to remain undefeated, but they still have to play all of the toughest teams on their schedule. I would say they have the worst schedule of any undefeated team, but Baylor’s best two wins are Oklahoma State and...SMU? Iowa State by three? Yeah... West Virginia stayed undefeated with an easy win against TCU. It is really time to start taking them seriously. Michigan easily beat Illinois and are looking crazy dominant. Washington rolled Oregon State as they continue their west coast destruction. The big shake up of course was the Ohio State Buckeyes losing at Penn State. The Nittany Lions really gutted out a win in pretty miserable weather. The winning points came off a returned blocked field goal with only 4:30 left in the game to make it 24-21. This was a game where it really felt like the Buckeyes were the better team, but they were unable to come away with the win.
General College Football
The race for best G5 team just got interesting as Houston fell hard, 38-16, at SMU. They are likely to be knocked out of the lead for the major bowl spot. That gives Boise State, who beat BYU this week, and Western Michigan, who beat EMU, a huge break and both of these will be neck and neck for the title with Navy lurking behind if these falter.
The SEC West had two other interesting matchups between ranked teams. In the first, Auburn obliterated Arkansas 56-3. They really dominated straight from the first snap. They averaged 9.5 yards per carry and held Arkansas to 0.8 yards per carry. Just total domination. In the second, LSU took down Ole Miss 38-21. Remember Leonard Fournette? He’s pretty good. Like 284 yards on 18 carries good. Like 17.8 ypc good. Like breaking the LSU single game rushing record on just 8 carries good. Like three touchdowns of over 50 yards good. Fournette’s backup also had 16 carries, but only managed 57 yards. Ole Miss could not stop Fournette and Chad “Swag” Kelly struggled with 2 interceptions and only 200 yards through the air. The Rebels are now sitting at 3-4 and their latest quality loss will likely help them move up in the polls. LSU and Auburn are sitting at 2 losses, but both have very outside chances of winning the SEC and heading to the playoffs. LSU of course would need to beat both A&M and Alabama and hope Auburn loses, while Auburn would need to beat Bama and hope A&M loses again. But both have hope.
In the hot seat department, Texas lost to Kansas State which means Strong’s seat is somewhere between a nuclear meltdown and the surface of the sun. BC lost to Syracuse which means that BC is looking at another winless ACC season unless they can upset NC State or Wake Forest. That would likely be the end for Steve Addazio. Missouri lost to MTSU (Remember them?) so first year head coach Barry Odom is likely already on the hot seat. After a loss to Kentucky, Mississippi State stands at just 2-5, so Dan Mullen’s seat has to be heating up.
Mercer 41-Austin Peay 34
The Bears advance to 4-3 on the season.
Georgia Southern 22-New Mexico State 19
Southern has not been very good this year, but at 4-3 they are just two wins away from making a bowl.
Vanderbilt 35-Tennessee State 17
Vandy struggled early, but put TSU away with little issue. I don’t know if the Commodore’s struggles were funny because they beat Georgia, or sad because this is our best win so far.
There were a lot of teams on bye this week, so there was only 4 ACC games.
Syracuse 28-BC 20
Do you hear that? That is Steve Addazio’s hopes of retaining his job flying away. The Eagles had their chances at this game, but once again they fell short. The vaunted BC defense let Syracuse QB Eric Dungey throw 32-38 for 434 yards. BC at least was able to say they were great defensively last year, now what do they have? The Orange have played better than many expected this season, but still have a tough job of making a bowl. They sit at 4-4 with Clemson, NC State, FSU, and Pitt left on the schedule. It’s tough finding two wins in there, but they showed against VT that they can beat better teams.
Louisville 54-NC State 13
This game got ugly fast. Lamar Jackson didn’t run nearly as much as he has in past games, but he looked very good through the air with 355 yards and three touchdowns. It was the three interceptions by the Cardinals, though, that really let the game get out of hand. The Cardinals were up 44-0 at halftime and let their foot off the gas a little in the second half. NC State is sitting at 4-3 with a bowl really necessary to keep Dave Doeren off the hot seat. With games against FSU, Miami, and UNC, they really need to win the Syracuse and BC games to hit 6 wins.
Virginia Tech 37-Miami 16
Miami was coming off of back-to-back tough losses on the road in Blacksburg on a Thursday night on five days rest against an angry Hokies team. I’m not surprised the Hurricanes lost. But they really got destroyed. They only lost one turnover, but Brad Kaaya was sacked 8 times and they could not force even one turnover against a team with major fumbling issues. The Hurricanes have now fallen to 4-3 and 1-3 in conference, while VT is 3-1 in conference and just a half game behind the Tar Heels for first place in the Coastal.
UNC 35-Virginia 14
Despite Virginia’s fake field goal touchdown, this game was not even close at all. Mitch Trubisky threw for 310 yards on 24-31. UNC running backs Elijah Hood and TJ Logan both averaged over 6 yards per carry. Virginia is back to their early season form after a two game win streak. They are now 2-5 and would need a miracle to make a bowl. They are pretty much playing to wreck other team’s seasons at this point. UNC is in first place by a half game with only Duke, NC State, and Georgia Tech on the ACC schedule. However, due to their loss to VT, they need the Hokies to lose one more to if they want to win the Coastal.
I hope everybody enjoyed the bye week and got refreshed for the rest of the season.