The Sunday Football Review is coming at you a bit late this week, but never fear, it is here and there is plenty to recap from an exciting weekend in college football. Thursday night got the college football weekend off to a rough start around these parts but, personally, kicking back and watching football with friends without the stress of a Tech game made for an entertaining day. If you didn’t spend the day in front of television or glued to your phone, here’s some of what you missed.
General College Football
- It was an uneventful week at the top of the standings, where the top 6 teams all cruised to easy victories. #1 Alabama took no mercy on Nick Saban’s alma mater, shutting out Kent State 48-0. The Crimson Tide’s starting tailback, Damien Harris, did go down with an injury, but was said to be day-to-day. #4 Michigan crushed Penn State 49-10 and #6 Houston decimated Texas State 64-3.
- #14 Tennessee overcame a 21-3 halftime deficit to defeat #19 Florida 38-28, snapping an 11 game losing streak to the Gators. The Volunteers’ senior QB Joshua Dobbs was nothing short of phenomenal in the second half.
- In Jerry World, #10 Texas A&M won a huge game 45-24 over #17 Arkansas. This win likely solidified the Aggies as the second best team in the SEC West.
- Auburn upset #18 LSU, giving the purple and gold Tigers their second loss on the season. If you missed the end of the game, it was something else. The initial ruling on the field was that LSU had scored a game-winning touchdown with no time left on the clock, but upon review the officials decided that LSU did not get the play off before the clock read 0:00 giving Auburn the win.
- #11 Wisconsin made a statement, defeating #8 Michigan State 30-6 in East Lansing.
- On Friday night, #24 Utah need a final minute touchdown to complete the comeback against USC, sending the Trojans to a 1-3 record.
- In another Pac-12 game that went down to the wire, #7 Stanford came back to defeat UCLA 22-13.
- In yet more exciting Pac-12 action, #9 Washington needed overtime to beat Arizona, winning 35-28. This game was back and forth the whole way, with the Huskies and Wildcats combining to score three touchdowns in the final 5 minutes of regulation.
- Finally, in a matchup outside the top 25, Colorado upset Oregon in Autzen Stadium. The Buffaloes may quietly be the best team in the Pac-12 South.
Out of Conference Opponents
Mercer - BYE
Vanderbilt 31 - Western Kentucky 30 (OT)
Vanderbilt needed a comeback and overtime to take care of the Hilltoppers. RB Ralph Webb scored a touchdown on the final play of regulation to force overtime. There, Vanderbilt got the ball first and went up 31-24. Western Kentucky responded with a touchdown of their own but went for the win and failed to convert the two-point play.
Georgia Southern 31 - Western Michigan 49
The Eagles were handed their first loss of the season by a very good Western Michigan team. Georgia Southern held their own but couldn’t overcome two touchdowns by the Broncos’ defense and special teams.
#12 Georgia 14 - #23 Ole Miss 45
Oh boy, if there was anything that could make Tech fans feel better after Thursday night, watching Georgia go down 45-0 in the first game of the day sure did the trick. I think most reasonable Bulldog fans would have said they were overranked at #12, but not many expected this absolute thrashing. Jacob Eason looked like a freshman while his counterpart, Chad Kelly, slung the ball all over the field. To make matters worse, star RB Nick Chubb suffered a sprained ankle in the second quarter and did not return.
ACC: Conference Game
North Carolina 37 - Pittsburgh 36
The Tar Heels got a key ACC Coastal win with a last second victory over the Panthers. Pitt was able to completely shut down UNC’s ground game, but had no answer for QB Mitch Trubisky, who went 35/46 for 453 yards and 5 touchdowns, including a 2-yard pass to Bug Howard to go ahead with 0:02 on the clock. Pitt was able to put up yards and control the clock, holding the ball for over 41 minutes, yet their secondary again proved to be a major weakness.
ACC: Non-Conference Games
Saturday was a fantastic day for the conference, as ACC teams went 8-0 against non-conference opponents, including some great games from supposed cellar dwellers.
#13 Florida State 55 - South Florida 35
In a high scoring affair, the Seminoles proved to be too much for the upset-minded Bulls to handle. The Florida State running game put up 478 yards and 6 touchdowns on the ground, with Dalvin Cook going for 267 yards and 2 touchdowns on his own.
Virginia 49 - Central Michigan 35
One week after scoring only 10 points against UConn, Virginia put up 49 on a good Central Michigan team and gave head coach Bronco Mendenhall his first win in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers jumped out to a 28-0 lead before letting Central Michigan tie the game early in the 4th quarter. Just when it looked like the game was shifting away from UVA, QB Kurt Benkert took over, leading the team to 3 4th quarter touchdown drives and putting the game away.
Virginia Tech 54 - East Carolina 17
The Hokies look like the real deal as they vanquished ACC-kryptonite East Carolina behind another stellar performance from QB Jerod Evans (282 yards passing, 3 TDs, 97 yards rushing, 1 TD). Evans has put himself firmly into the ACC Player of the Year discussion should Lamar Jackson falter. The hiring of Justin Fuente and retention of Bud Foster may have been the best moves any team made this offseason.
Boston College 42 - Wagner 10
After getting torched by Virginia Tech last week, Boston College’s defense took out their frustrations on an FCS foe. The Eagles’ held Wagner’s offense to 107 total yards, with 55 of those yards coming on one touchdown rush. On offense, BC rushed for 300 yards and got a couple of big plays through the air from QB Patrick Towles.
Syracuse 31 - UConn 24
UConn was unable to come up with their second consecutive victory against an ACC foe, falling at home to Syracuse. The Orange were able to throw the ball up and down the field against their former Big East foe, with QB Eric Dungey throwing for 407 yards.
Duke 38 - Notre Dame 35
We may have been too quick to completely write off Duke. In what may have been the conference’s most impressive victory of the weekend, the Blue Devils came into South Bend and handed Notre Dame their third loss of the season. For all that Duke lacks this year, they do have some young talent and a really good head coach. There is also a building case that Notre Dame is just not good this season, especially on defense. In fact, after giving up 134 points over four games the Fighting Irish announced they have relieved defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder of his duties earlier today.
Wake Forest 33 - Indiana 28
Wake Forest is 4-0? In football? Lead by a defense that picked off Indiana 5 times and blocked a field goal, the Demon Deacons went on the road and defeated Indiana, picking up head coach Dave Clawson’s 100th career win in the process. Wake was outgained nearly 2 to 1, but 5 turnovers was far too much for the Hoosiers to recover from.
#3 Louisville 59 - Marshall 28
Lamar Jackson threw for a career-high 417 yards and accounted for another 7 touchdowns as he lead the Cardinals to an easy win against the Thundering Herd. After four games, Jackson has accounted for 25 touchdowns which is absolutely insane. Not to be outdone, the Louisville defense also had a better day than the score would indicate. The Cardinals held Marshall to 59 yards passing and 207 total yards, most of which came on their last two drives once the game was in hand.
Miami and NC State were off this weekend