There were some less-than-interesting games this weekend, but, luckily, the two Top 10 matchups were not the only ones worth watching. Clemson gave us some intrigue, Kentucky continued what they do, and a lot more continued.
Let’s go ahead and dive in:
There are only 11 undefeated teams left.
6 weeks are in the books, and – out of 130 FBS teams – there are only 11 undefeated teams remaining.
- SEC (2)
- Big 10 (1)
- Ohio St
- ACC (2)
- NC State
- Independents (1)
- Notre Dame
- Big 12 (1)
- West Virginia
- Pac 12 (1)
- AAC (3)
Here’s the schedule for the coming weekend for the undefeated teams:
- Missouri @ Alabama (6pm ESPN)
- Georgia @ LSU (2:30pm CBS)
- Minnesota @ Ohio St (11am FS1)
- Clemson (bye week)
- NC State (bye week)
- Pitt @ Notre Dame (1:30pm NBC)
- West Virginia @ Iowa St (6pm FS1)
- Colorado @ USC (9:30pm FS1)
- UCF @ Memphis (2:30pm ABC)
- USF @ Tulsa (Friday 6pm ESPN)
- Cincinnati (bye week)
Texas survives late Oklahoma rally, kicks game-winning FG to be “BACK.”
Dating back 4 weeks now, when Texas outscored USC 34-0 in the 2nd half of their week 3 game, the phrase “TEXAS IS BACK” has been uttered by countless media personalities… and a ton of Texas fans.
Honestly, every time Texas got a decent win in the last few years, people said it, almost hoping that it was true.
But then would come the proverbial loss to Kansas, or Texas Tech, or the annual pounding by TCU, etc.
The run that Texas has been on… well, I think this might actually deem them worthy of being considered “back.”
- hammered USC 37-14
- beat TCU 31-16 (first win over TCU since 2013)
- beat Kansas St 19-14 (not a good K State team, but first win in Manhattan since 2002)
- beat #5 Oklahoma 48-45 (and Oklahoma fired their defensive coordinator after the game)
Sam Ehlinger, Texas’s sophomore QB, led the way against Oklahoma on Saturday, going 24/35 for 314 yds, 2 TDs, and rushing 19 times for 73 yds and 3 TDs. The offense was actually scary, as Texas raced up to a 45-24 lead heading in the 4th quarter.
Oklahoma showed valiant effort in erasing that deficit, but Texas owned the day, and now looks primed to possibly make their first Big 12 championship game since 2009.
Notre Dame stomps Virginia Tech to get closer to first playoff appearance.
A 17-16 Notre Dame halftime lead ballooned early in the 2nd half, and the Irish never looked back.
After Virginia Tech had a 5 play drive that ended in a punt on their opening possession of the 2nd half, Notre Dame running back Dexter Williams took a handoff 97 yds for a touchdown that made it 24-16.
After that, Virginia Tech drove to the Notre Dame 30, but then missed a 47 yd field goal, and ND went right back down the field, scoring on a 40 yd TD pass from Ian Book to Miles Boykin. That made it 31-16, and the rout was on.
If you look at the stats, it didn’t appear that one team completely dominated the other. VaTech outgained ND in total yardage (441 to 438), but it was the efficiency that helped Notre Dame get a dominant win on the scoreboard. Notre Dame outgained VT in yds per play 6.54 to 5.19. That’s a huge difference.
So Notre Dame continues to be a playoff favorite, as they will be favored in every game left. Here’s their remaining schedule:
- Oct 13th: Pitt
- Oct 20th: -bye-
- Oct 27th: Navy (San Diego, CA)
- Nov 3rd: @ Northwestern
- Nov 10th: Florida St
- Nov 17th: Syracuse (Yankee Stadium)
- Nov 24th: @ USC
Barring a significant upset, this team will be 12-0, and will keep a couple of Power 5 conferences out of the playoff.
Florida takes down undefeated LSU… so what do we make of the Gators and Tigers?
LSU gained only 4.95 yds per play, while Florida gained 5.51. Pretty sizable advantage there for the Gators.
The Tigers were handled at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, and Joe Burrow couldn’t figure out what to do with the football in crunch time.
Now, to be honest, Burrow didn’t get a ton of help from his receivers. There were a lot of dropped passes.
I’m not going to pretend like Felipe Franks was great, by any means. His passing stats were 12/27 for 161 yds with 1 TD and 1 interception, but he made big plays when he had to, and the offensive line got a great push and allowed the running game to go for 215 yds on 43 carries (5.0 avg) and 2 TDs.
Combine that with 3 LSU turnovers (2 ints & 1 fumble) and you’ve got a Florida win.
Now LSU gets Georgia in Death Valley this weekend (2:30pm kickoff – not a night game), and Florida travels to Vanderbilt hoping to get to 6-1 on the season. Is LSU good enough to beat Georgia? My gut tells me no way… but I’ve seen crazy things happen in Baton Rouge.
Kentucky finally takes an L… at Texas A&M, in overtime.
Texas A&M held Kentucky to 70 yds rushing on 30 carries (only 2.33 ypc), and was able to survive their own problems in a 20-14 win.
Kentucky is still good.
So is Texas A&M.
But man, what a weird game.
Kentucky was on able to gain 3.56 yds per play to Texas A&M’s 5.2… but A&M lost a fumble and an interception, which kept Kentucky in the game, and sent it to overtime.
Kentucky’s missed field goal in overtime only really mattered to bettors, as Texas A&M was able to score a touchdown to win 20-14 (and killing those of us with the Wildcats +5.5).
So Kentucky takes a tough L, and gets a week off before Vandy comes to town, while Texas A&M takes their show on the road to Columbia, SC this weekend.
Who is Auburn right now?
Auburn loses in Starkville 23-9. And that’s totally reasonable, as everybody had Mississippi State as a darkhorse contender before the season started.
What I’m most curious about is what has happened to the Auburn running game.
Auburn has now failed to rush for 100 yds in 3 consecutive games. First off… that’s never happened under Gus Malzahn. Second, Malzahn has never had an entire season at Auburn where he had more than 2 games under 100 yds rushing.
The offensive line is bad. The running back situation is bad.
And somehow, they’re still able to generate at least some offense. Against Mississippi St, Auburn still averaged 5.15 yds per play, even if they only had 304 yds of total offense on 59 plays.
And that vaunted Auburn defensive line? They just gave up 349 rushing yds to Mississippi St… the same Mississippi St that Florida and Kentucky completely dominated at the line of scrimmage.
I’m very curious to see where things go from here, because their schedule doesn’t exactly get easier: