Despite the lack of upsets in college football this week, it was still an intriguing week. To find out the biggest takeaways, most interesting facts as well as look ahead to next week, let’s get into this. Welcome to Full Press Coverage on college football week 11 edition.
Full Press Coverage on College Football: Week 11
UAB wins Conference USA West
UAB secured the Conference USA West title with a 26-23 overtime victory over Southern Miss. This is a remarkable story considering UAB was without football just two seasons ago. Head coach Bill Clark has done an admirable job of not only reviving the program but playing winning football. After two seasons of no football, they won eight games last season, despite low expectations. Much more was expected of the Blazers this year, and they have certainly delivered at 9-1 along with a division championship. Kudos to Bill Clark and the UAB program!
Northwestern actually did it
Northwestern is your Big Ten West champions. Yes, you read that correctly. The 6-4 Wildcats beat Iowa 14-10 on the road in a game where running back Isaiah Bowser ran for 165 yards along with a touchdown. The defense has been a key to success all season long and that was certainly the case against Iowa as well. Meanwhile, Wisconsin lost to Penn State and Purdue was crushed by Minnesota. Those results coupled with the Northwestern victory sealed the deal in the division.
Top 10 takes care of business
No upsets occurred in the top 10, while most of the teams handled their business with relative ease. Alabama dispatched Mississippi State 24-0. In doing so, they have now shut out back to back AP ranked opponents for the first time in school history. Additionally, they committed zero penalties.
Clemson was challenged by Boston College’s defense but still pulled away for a 27-7 win, aided by an Amari Rodgers punt return touchdown. The Clemson defense terrorized BC, holding them to just 113 yards.
Meanwhile, Notre Dame cruised against Florida State 42-13 while Michigan handled Rutgers after a slow start, 42-7. Washington, West Virginia and Ohio State cruised to victories while LSU struggled with Arkansas, but won by a touchdown. Lastly, Georgia defeated longtime rival Auburn 27-10.
The other top 10 team to come out victorious and keep their playoff hopes alive was Oklahoma against Oklahoma State. OU won the game 48-47 after Oklahoma State scored a touchdown with 1:03 remaining. The Cowboys decided to go for two in an attempt to avoid overtime and failed the attempt, therefore handing the Sooners the victory. Granted the game might still be going on as neither defense could stop the other, however that was a rather questionable decision by Mike Gundy. Oklahoma outgained Oklahoma State 702-640, while the Cowboys actually achieved 39 first downs to OU’s 29.
Kyler Murray furthered his Heisman hopes by completing 21 of 29 passes for 349 yards with a touchdown while also rushing for 66 yards. Kennedy Brooks and Trey Sermon combined for 289 yards with five touchdowns on the ground. Taylor Cornelius tossed the rock for 501 yards with three touchdowns while wide receiver Tylan Wallace grabbed 10 catches for 220 yards and two touchdowns for Oklahoma State.
Additional details include the fact that OU now has recorded three straight 300-yard passing plus 300-yard rushing games. They also now have five wins when allowing more than 45 points over the last three seasons. No other FBS team has more than one such win.
Only one upset
Tennessee won it’s second game over a ranked opponent this year as they took down Kentucky in Neyland Stadium 24-7. The Vols defense took advantage of a struggling UK offense, holding them to just 77 yards rushing as a team. Tennessee put up 215 yards on the ground themselves along with a touchdown. A hail mary from Jarrett Guarantano to Marquez Callaway at the end of the first half appeared to be a dagger, and it turned out to be. Marquill Osborne picked off two passes while Darrell Taylor had a monster game. Taylor had seven tackles along with four sacks in the game, which is just the third four-sack performance in Vols history.
Tennessee has now beaten Kentucky 17 straight times in Knoxville. Additionally, the Vols have knocked off UK 31 of the last 33 meetings.
Purdue is weird
Come to think of it, almost the entire Big Ten West is strange. Purdue specifically, however, is weird. The Boilermakers started off the season with three tough losses, by four to Northwestern, by one to Eastern Michigan and by three to Missouri. Then they rattled off four straight blowout victories over Boston College, Nebraska, Illinois, and Ohio State. The offense was clicking in each of those contests and even in the Missouri loss. Following that, they lost at Michigan State by 10, then won against Iowa in a shootout by two. This week, they proceeded to get pummeled by Minnesota who had just been throttled by Illinois the week before. Minnesota outgained Purdue 415 to 233 in the 41-10 final.
Where’s the offense?
Miami (FL) has been playing musical chairs with their quarterbacks, trying to find anything that will work. However, no matter who has started between Malik Rosier and N’Kosi Perry, the results have been embarrassing. Now, they find themselves at 5-5 including 2-4 in ACC play after losing to Georgia Tech 27-21. To say this season has been a massive disappointment would be a colossal understatement. The Hurricanes are currently ranked 85th in total offense per game. They rank 50th in rushing yards per game while their anemic passing offense ranks 102nd. They are undeniably wasting one of the nations best defenses as Miami ranks fourth in the country. Just imagine what kind of a year they would be having if their offense was performing at even a mediocre level.
Michigan State ranks 111th in the nation in total offense per game after suffering a 26-6 loss to Ohio State. Ohio State won that game due to punter Drue Chrisman and a defense that took advantage of an offense that could not move the ball effectively. The Spartans have a defense that ranks 21st overall, including first against the run nationally. Michigan State was unable to stay on the field on top of starting in bad field position all game long against the Buckeyes. The Spartans only managed 54 yards on the ground. Certainly, that game felt like it could have been different had Michigan State played effective offense.
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Houston defense, or lack thereof
When you look up the word atrocity in the dictionary, there is a good chance the words “Houston’s defense” would appear as the definition. Despite D’Eriq King throwing for 322 yards with five touchdowns as well as rushing for 125 yards with a touchdown, Houston was shredded by Temple 59-49. Temple running back Ryquell Armstead had a field day against the Cougar defense, running for 210 yards along with six touchdowns. Ed Oliver missed the game, however with as bad as the defense has been, it would have made minimal difference in the outcome. Houston now ranks 121st in the country in total defense after the Temple game. Yes, somehow nine teams have worse defenses. Additionally, they find themselves in a three-way tie in the division, although SMU has the tiebreaker currently.
Around the country
Full Press Coverage on college football brings you the most interesting accomplishments and facts from the weekend.
Unsurprisingly, Louisville fired head coach Bobby Petrino after their 2-8 start to the season. In his nearly five years of being back at Louisville, he compiled a record of 36-26.
Florida State has given up 148 points in their last three games. That is the worst three-game stretch in the history of FSU football, dating back to 1947.
Buffalo defeated Kent State 48-14. In doing so, Buffalo moved to 9-1 for the first time in school history as well as 6-0 in MAC play for the first time ever.
During Texas A&M’s 38-24 victory over Ole Miss, running back Trayveon Williams ran for 228 yards with a touchdown on 31 carries. It is his fourth career 200-yard rushing game, which is tied for the second most in the SEC over the last 15 seasons. Leonard Fournette had five while Derrick Henry also had four.
Washington State continued its pursuit of the college football playoff with a 31-7 victory over Colorado. The win moves WASU to 9-1 on the season. The Cougars are now seeking their first 10 win season since 2003.
Behind 367 yards and four touchdowns rushing, Florida came back from a 31-14 third-quarter deficit to beat South Carolina, 35-31. The Gators became the fourth SEC team with multiple 17 point comebacks in a season over the last 15 years. Tennessee in 2016, Arkansas in 2011 and Auburn in 2010 also achieved it.
Colorado State will miss a bowl game for the first time since 2012 after losing 49-10 to Nevada.
Central Florida has now scored 30 points in 22 consecutive games after their 35-24 win over Navy. That is the third longest streak in the AP era (since 1936).
After Army’s 31-13 win over Lafayette, they now have three straight seasons of eight or more wins. This is the first time Army has won eight or more in three consecutive seasons since a stretch from 1948-1950.
California, led by their stellar defense, defeated USC 15-14. That win snaps a 14 game losing streak to the Trojans while also helping Cal achieve bowl eligibility for the first time since 2015.
Amazingly, 5-5 SMU is in first place in the AAC West officially, holding the tiebreaker over Houston and Tulane. SMU beat UConn 62-50 in a game that featured 1,177 total yards of offense. UConn actually dominated time of possession and as a result, achieved 10 more first downs. UConn also has the nations worst defense, which is certainly unhelpful.
Duke quarterback Daniel Jones had perhaps the offensive performance of the week. Jones threw for 361 yards and three touchdowns while also rushing for 186 yards with a touchdown in Duke’s 42-35 win over North Carolina.
Georgia’s De’Andre Swift became the first Georgia player to record multiple 75-yard touchdown runs in a season since Herschel Walker in 1980.
Behind a dominant second half, Boise State took down Fresno State 24-17 to remain alive in the Mountain West Conference title picture. Early in the game, Brett Rypien passed San Diego State’s Ryan Lindley as the all-time leading passer in conference history.
Auburn’s Ryan Davis set the record for most career catches in school history.
Despite losing to Nebraska 54-35, Illinois quarterback A.J Bush broke the school record for rushing yards in a single game. Bush ran for 187 yards, which broke the record previously held by Juice Williams set in 2008.
FCS Davidson broke the Division I record for rushing yards in a game as they ran for 789 yards against San Diego on 73 carries. That breaks Oklahoma’s record of 768 set in 1988 against Kansas State. Incredibly, four players ran for at least 150 yards in the game. The kicker, however, is that Davidson lost the game, 56-52.
Syracuse recorded their fifth 50 plus point game this season as they handled Louisville, 54-23. Only Alabama has more such games this season. The previous school record was three.
Looking ahead to this week
Full Press Coverage on college football looks ahead to five big matchups for this week.
Cincinnati at Central Florida
Certainly, the implications in this game are enormous. 9-0 UCF is looking to stretch their 22 game winning streak as well as clinch the AAC-East title. Cincinnati comes in at 9-1 with other ideas as they to have a chance to win the division title with a win against UCF and next week against East Carolina. UCF blew Cincinnati out last year by a score of 51-23.
Notre Dame vs Syracuse
Syracuse is chasing their first nine-win season since 2001 while also attempting to improve their bowl status. Meanwhile, Notre Dame is clinging on to their playoff lives as they must remain undefeated. This would clearly register as Notre Dame’s best win other than Michigan, further solidifying their case if they can grab a victory. The Irish lead the all-time series 5-3.
Stanford at California
This is the 121st edition of the “Big Game” as Stanford leads the series 58-43-10, including eight straight wins. Both teams enter at 6-4 after Cal ended a 14 game losing streak to USC and Stanford defeated Oregon State easily. Interestingly, Cal has the nations 16th ranked defense while Stanford sits at 74th.
Iowa State at Texas
Texas overcame a furious Texas Tech comeback attempt to win 41-34 on Lil’Jordan Humphrey’s Michael Crabtree like catch with 21 seconds remaining. Iowa State meanwhile knocked Baylor off 28-14. Iowa State plays a defensive style of football that is hard to operate against, so this will be a big test for Sam Ehlinger and the Longhorn offense. Texas is trying to reach eight wins for the first time since 2013.
San Diego State at Fresno State
Both teams are coming off of losses, but that does not diminish the importance of this game. The winner will win the MWC-West division title, therefore earning a trip to the conference championship game. San Diego State and Fresno State both play strong defensive styles, however, Fresno has the decided advantage offensively. This should be a terrific game.
Games involving playoff contenders: Arizona at Washington State, West Virginia at Oklahoma State, Ohio State at Maryland, Indiana at Michigan, Kansas at Oklahoma, UMass at Georgia, The Citadel at Alabama
That concludes this week’s edition of Full Press Coverage on college football week 11 edition.
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