What a wild weekend of college football, yet again! Nine teams that were ranked in the first College Football Playoff poll bit the dust. Additionally, several other teams were pushed to the brink. Here is your Full Press Coverage on college football, week 10 edition!
Full Press Coverage on College Football: Week 10 Edition
Yep, a Bama vs UGA rematch is happening
Alabama handled LSU, and their awful play calling, with relative ease 29-0 in Baton Rouge. In doing so, they emphatically claimed the SEC West title. Bama rushed for 281 yards while holding LSU, who ran for 275 yards against Georgia, to just 12 yards on the ground. In total, Alabama accumulated 576 yards to LSU’s measly 196. Led by Quinnen Williams, the Alabama defense totaled 10 tackles for loss and five sacks along with seven pass deflections.
More notes on this game include the following. The last time LSU was shut out occurred in 2016, at the hands of Alabama. The last three times LSU has been shut out at home? All by Alabama. Meanwhile, Alabama joined Michigan, Ohio State, and Texas as the only FBS programs with 900 wins. Additionally, this will be the Crimson Tide’s 12th SEC title game appearance, which ties Florida for the most in SEC history.
In the other massive SEC matchup of the weekend, Georgia handled their business against Kentucky, 34-17. By defeating UK, Georgia wins the SEC East, setting up a national title game rematch with Alabama in the SEC championship game. The key differentiator between the two teams simply came down to the running game. Georgia ran for 331 yards and three touchdowns while holding Benny Snell and the Wildcats to just 84 yards. D’Andre Swift carried the rock 16 times for 156 yards with two touchdowns. Meanwhile, backfield mate Elijah Holyfield ran 18 times for 115 yards along with a touchdown.
Wait, Northwestern and Pittsburgh are in first place?
Amazingly, 5-4 Northwestern is in sole possession of first place in the Big Ten West. Obviously, their 31-21 loss to Notre Dame this weekend does not impact their conference standing. Thanks to Iowa’s 38-36 loss at Purdue, Northwestern is in a fantastic spot. They are 5-1 in conference play and will visit Iowa, who is now 3-3, this weekend. Even if Northwestern loses, they still hold the tiebreaker over two-loss teams Purdue and Wisconsin. Those two teams play each other in two weeks, while the Badgers visit Penn State this weekend. The Wildcats would have to lose to Iowa AND lose to either Minnesota or Illinois while either Wisconsin or Purdue wins out to NOT win the division. Crazy stuff.
If 5-4 Pittsburgh wins their next two games against Virginia Tech and at Wake Forest, they will be ACC Coastal division champs. That is thanks for their huge 23-13 win on the road at Virginia this weekend. Albeit, the Coastal is still a mess. Pitt sits atop at 4-1 in conference play while Virginia Tech is 3-2. If the Hokies manage to beat Pitt, they get Miami (FL) (2-3 ACC) and Virginia (4-2 ACC) both at home, meaning they still control their destiny. Pitt is sitting in a good position, that is for certain.
Gardner Minshew threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Easop Winston with 32 seconds remaining to lead Washington State to a 19-13 win over California. With the win, Washington State stays alive not only for a Pac-12 title game berth but also a College Football Playoff berth. The game was a strangely played defensive battle in which California kept switching quarterbacks for some unknown reason. The Cougars have been extremely solid defensively this season, which is uncharacteristic for a Mike Leach team. Meanwhile, this is the first 8-1 start for Washington State since 2002.
In one of the most exciting games of the weekend, Will Grier tossed a beautiful 33-yard touchdown to Gary Jennings with 16 seconds left to lead West Virginia to a 42-41 victory over Texas. The Mountaineers converted a two-point conversion to win the game in Austin. Grier completed 28 of 42 passes for 346 yards with three touchdowns in the game. Meanwhile, Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger threw for 354 yards along with three touchdowns while running for 52 and a touchdown. West Virginia managed to overcome 14 penalties while staying alive in both the College Football Playoff and Big 12 title hunt. Also of note, this is the first time WVU has won multiple road games over ranked AP teams since 2007..;/
Props to Baylor
Oklahoma State’s Justice Hill scored to put the Cowboys ahead of Baylor 31-21 with 8:55 remaining on Saturday. Baylor’s Jalen Hurd then caught a nice 36-yard touchdown nearly three minutes later to pull within three. Following that, the Bears defense made a stop, which set up some late game heroics. Denzel Mims made a wonderful catch with seven seconds left to put Baylor up for good, 35-31.
Matt Rhule deserves a ton of credit for the remarkable job he is doing at Baylor. Considering the sexual assault scandal, plus the resulting attrition of the roster just two years ago, it is almost unfathomable that Baylor is 5-4 right now. After starting 6-0 under Jim Grobe in 2016, Baylor lost 15 of their next 17 games coming into this season. Last season, they were 1-11 with losses to Liberty and UTSA. Now, they have a chance to attain bowl eligibility. The Bears have a tough road test at ranked Iowa State this weekend followed by games against TCU and Texas Tech.
Pac-12 South madness
With Arizona State’s 38-20 win over Utah, the Pac-12 South is officially messier than anyone anticipated. Weirdly enough, Arizona State is actually the team that controls its destiny thanks to wins over USC and Utah. If they win out over UCLA, at Oregon, and at Arizona, they will appear in the Pac-12 title game. That is obviously easier said than done. Utah seemingly has the best team, however, their season has taken a drastic turn due to quarterback Tyler Huntley’s season-ending broken collarbone. Plus, they still play Oregon while visiting Colorado.y
Arizona is back in contention despite having to play at Washington State before ending the season against Arizona State. They have to be kicking themselves for losing by four to USC and especially for losing by one to UCLA. If USC can knock off a tough Cal team this weekend and win their rivalry game at UCLA next, then they will be in position. However, they have to hope for a Utah or Arizona State loss.
More Nebraska issues
Nebraska squandered many opportunities in their 36-31 loss to Ohio State. They had the ball for a little over seven minutes longer than Ohio State. Additionally, they converted four more first downs. Ohio State committed three turnovers to only one for Nebraska. Nebraska only committed five penalties to Ohio State’s six. Yet the Cornhuskers did not take advantage of their chances by dropping passes or making other costly mistakes.
Around the Country
Next, on Full Press Coverage on college football, we take a look at the important facts and accomplishments from the weekend’s action.
Kansas fired head coach David Beaty after going 6-39 during his time in Lawrence.
Buffalo benefitted from eight receptions by Anthony Johnson for 238 yards with three touchdowns in their 51-42 win over Miami (Ohio). They are now 8-1 for the first time since 1959.
Colorado started the season 5-0, however, they have now lost four straight. Arizona took down the Buffaloes 42-34 behind a career night from Khalil Tate. In fact, his five touchdown passes tied a career high while his 350 passing yards set a career high.
Western Kentucky fell to Middle Tennessee 29-10 in underwhelming fashion on Friday. In doing so, they dropped to 1-8, which is the most games they have lost since 2010. WKU went 2-10 that season which was Willie Taggart’s first as head coach.
Despite being outgained 421-278, Auburn came back to beat Texas A&M 28-24. The Tigers scored a TD on a Jarrett Stidham to Seth Williams pass with 1:41 remaining. A&M dominated time of possession 38:41 to 21:19 and held Auburn to just 19 yards rushing, yet still lost. Two A&M turnovers aided Auburn’s effort.
UTEP snapped a 20 game losing streak by defeating Rice 34-26 in Houston. The win also snapped a 13 game road losing streak. Meanwhile, the last FBS win for Rice is against UTEP, coincidentally, last season. They have now lost 19 straight versus FBS opponents.
Michigan ran for 259 yards while crushing Penn State 42-7. The Wolverines are now impressively 34-0 under Jim Harbaugh when they rush for at least 125 yards.
Syracuse is 7-2 for the first time since 2001 after picking up a 41-24 road win against Wake Forest.
Cincinnati got their first ever win (previously 0-3) over Navy 42-0. This marks the first time Navy has not been bowl eligible since 2011. Furthermore, 2011 was the only season since 2002 that Navy has missed bowl eligibility. Additionally, this is the first time Navy has suffered a shutout since September 29, 2012, against San Jose State. Previous to that, you have to go all the way back to 2006 to find another shutout.
During South Carolina’s 48-44 victory over Ole Miss, Deebo Samuel tied the SEC record for most kickoff return touchdowns with his fourth.
Duke defeated Miami (FL) 20-12 marking their first win over the Hurricanes in 42 years.
Illinois wallopped Minnesota 55-31. The last time the Illini scored 55 or more points in a game was September 10, 2011, in a 56-3 win over South Dakota State. A 67-65 loss against Michigan on November 6, 2010, was the last time Illinois scored that many against an FBS opponent.
Louisiana-Monroe moved into first place of the Sun Belt’s West division with their 44-25 upset of Georgia Southern. ULM is 3-2 in conference play with games remaining against Arkansas State and rival Louisiana, who each has 3 conference losses. ULM has never won an outright Sun Belt title, however, they won a share of the title in 2005.
In one of the most surprising results of the season, struggling Florida Atlantic destroyed rival Florida International 49-14. FIU entered the game 6-2 while FAU was 3-5. FAU racked up 439 rushing yards along with five touchdowns on the way to victory.
UMass and Liberty played a three-overtime thriller with UMass eventually coming out on top, 62-59. Umass accumulated 777 yards of total offense compared to 488 for Liberty.
Missouri dominated Florida 38-17 in Gainesville, giving quarterback Drew Lock his first victory over a ranked team as a starter. Lock moved into third place on the SEC’s career passing touchdown list with 90. This was also the first SEC win of the season for the Tigers. Meanwhile, the Gators have dropped two straight games.
Clemson continued their dominant run of late with a 77-16 victory over hapless Louisville. They piled up 492 yards on the ground during their romp. The Tigers now have two 60 plus point victories this season in ACC play. That matches the number of 60 point victories in the entire 65 years of the ACC’s existence entering this year.
Usually, when Oklahoma meets up with Texas Tech, things get crazy. This year was no exception as OU beat the Red Raiders 51-46 in Lubbock. Trey Sermon ran for 206 yards with three touchdowns in the game. Notably, Kyler Murray became the first OU quarterback in the last 20 years to pass for 350 yards while rushing for 100 yards in a game. Overall this season, he is the fourth quarterback to do that.
Looking ahead to this week
As we continue the Full Press Coverage on college football, let’s take a peek at the five most important games of the week.
Clemson at Boston College
Clemson has been rolling, outscoring opponents 240-36 over the last four games. They head to Chestnut Hill with a perfect 9-0 record including 6-0 in ACC play. Meanwhile, BC comes into the contest at 7-2 overall and 4-1 in ACC play. If Boston College were to win, they would actually move into first place in the ACC Atlantic division.
Clemson is 16-9-2 all-time against BC. The Eagles have not won a game in this series since 2010.
Virginia Tech at Pittsburgh
Virginia Tech is coming off of their second ACC loss, to Boston College. They enter the game at just 4-4, including 3-2 in ACC play. Pittsburgh is 5-4 including 4-1 in conference play after their victory over Virginia. This game will go a long way in determining how the ACC Coastal race will shake out. Virginia Tech still controls their destiny, as does Pittsburgh.
Fresno State at Boise State
Fresno State enters this game at 8-1 overall including 5-0 in conference play. Meanwhile, Boise State comes in with a record of 7-2 overall, 4-1 in MWC play. Win or lose for Fresno, next weeks game against San Diego State will be for the Mountain West Conference West division title. However, if they want a chance to finish the season as the highest group of five teams in the rankings, they must win this game.
For Boise, the stakes are extremely high. If they lose, they will fall two games behind Utah State, thus potentially making their matchup with the Aggies in three weeks meaningless in terms of the Mountain division race.
These teams split meetings last season with Fresno winning the regular season finale while Boise took home the conference championship trophy.
Ohio State at Michigan State
Ohio State is fighting for two important achievements. First, they are fighting for a chance at another Big Ten title. Secondly, they are trying to prove themselves worthy of the College Football Playoff. If Ohio State slips up and loses to the tough Michigan State Spartans, they will fall two games behind Michigan in the Big Ten East standings. That would basically eliminate the Buckeyes from conference title aspirations. Michigan State, at 6-3 overall, 4-2 in conference play, is trying to play spoiler and improve bowl status.
Interestingly, Ohio State has won six straight games in East Lansing during this series.
Auburn at Georgia
Georgia has already clinched the SEC East division title and a berth in the conference championship game. However, they still have work to do regarding reaching the College Football Playoff. At 8-1, they cannot afford any slip-ups, especially to a 6-3 Auburn squad. This is an intense rivalry game, where anything can happen. Last season, Auburn beat the Bulldogs 40-17 in the regular season. However, Georgia got revenge in the SEC title game by a score of 28-7.
Other games of note include: Mississippi State at Alabama, South Florida at Cincinnati, Wisconsin at Penn State, Northwestern at Iowa, Oklahoma State at Oklahoma, Southern Miss at UAB, Oregon at Utah, California at USC, Troy at Georgia Southern
That concludes this week’s edition of Full Press Coverage on college football.
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