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1) Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) defeated West Virginia Mountaineers 59-31
This game was over at halftime with Oklahoma comfortably leading 45-10. The defense gave up 387 total yards but a lot of those came with the game out of reach. The 250 rushing yards given up could be a cause for concern. They did create two turnovers. The offense was rolling, piling up 646 total yards. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was 14-17 for 281 yards with three touchdowns. Running back Rodney Anderson had 118 yards with four touchdowns. Wide receiver CeeDee Lamb had four catches for 92 yards and a touchdown. The season comes down to a rematch with TCU in the Big 12 championship game.
2) Clemson Tigers (11-1) defeated South Carolina Gamecocks 34-10
This was a final tune up, as Clemson made easy work of South Carolina. The defense gave up 207 total yards. They held the Gamecocks to 6-15 on third down, had two takeaways and harassed the quarterback all game. The offense gained 469 total yards. Quarterback Kelly Bryant was 23-34 for 272 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Something seems missing from the offense and it may come back to hauntt them. They lack the consistent explosive plays. Next up is the ACC championship showdown with Miami.
3) Auburn Tigers (10-2) defeated Alabama Crimson Tide 26-14
Auburn was simply the better team this game. This win created a lot of chaos regarding the playoff picture. The Tigers executed the perfect game plan, which was being efficient on third down (9-18), establish the run (168 yards) and winning the time of possession (36 minutes to 24). Quarterback Jarrett Stidham was solid, going 21-28 for 237 yards and added a rushing touchdown. Running back Kerryon Johnson was a workhorse before leaving the game with an injury, rushing for 104 yards with a touchdown and also threw a touchdown pass. The defense was very good, holding Alabama to 3-11 on third down, 1-4 on fourth down, and pressured the quarterback throughout the game.
4) Wisconsin Badgers (12-0) defeated Minnesota Gophers 31-0
OK Badger fans, you can stop whining about no respect now. They had no trouble with Minnesota. The defense was terrific, only giving up 133 total yards. They held the Gophers to 3-13 on third down and 40 passing yards. The offense gained 456 total yards. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook had his best game, going 15-19 for 151 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Jonathan Taylor continued his sparkling play with 149 rushing yards and a touchdown. They completed an undefeated regular season. Can they finish the deal and beat Ohio State in the Big 10 championship game?
5) Alabama Crimson Tide (11-1) lost to Auburn Tigers 26-14
Alabama was outplayed by Auburn. The defense struggled to contain the Tigers’ offense, giving up a whopping 408 total yards. The offense generated plenty of yards (377) but could not turn that into points. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was not sharp, going 13-23 for 177 yards and a touchdown. He also rushed for 80 yards. It’s rare that they rush for over 200 yards and not control the line of scrimmage. The Crimson Tide were awful on third down on both sides of the ball. Now they have to hope some teams lose for them to make it back to the playoffs.
6) Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) defeated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 38-7
Georgia made it look easy against crosstown rival Georgia Tech. The defense gave up 226 total yards and really bottled up the Yellow Jackets’ triple option. They held them to to 0-1 on fourth down and picked off a pass. The offense gained 471 total yards. Quarterback Jake Fromm was good, going 12-16 for 224 yards and two touchdowns. The ground attack pounded out 247 rushing yards. Running back Sony Michel led the way with 85 yards and a touchdown. They have a chance to exact some revenge on Auburn in the SEC championship game.
7) Miami Hurricanes (10-1) lost to Pittsburgh Panthers 24-14
Things finally caught up to Miami, and there was no miracle comeback to be made. The defense was not good, giving up 345 total yards. They could not stop the Panthers’ rushing attack and tired towards the end. The offense was not much better, gaining only 232 total yards. Quarterback Malik Rosier was wildly inefficient, going 15-34 for 187 yards and two touchdowns. The running game was anemic, gaining only 45 yards. All is not lost for the Hurricanes though. There is still the matter of the ACC championship game against Clemson. The winner punches their ticket to the playoffs and the loser gets a good bowl game.
8) Ohio State Buckeyes (10-2) defeated Michigan Wolverines 31-20
Ohio State took care of business against bitter rival Michigan. The defense got the job done, giving up 295 total yards. They held the Wolverines to 0-1 on fourth down, had 5 sacks and picked off a pass. The offense gained 350 total yards. Quarterback J.T. Barrett was having a decent game before he aggravated a knee injury. Back up quarterback Dwayne Haskins came in and did not miss a beat, going 6-7 for 94 yards. Running back J.K. Dobbins had 101 rushing yards and a touchdown. Now they get a shot at Wisconsin in the Big 10 championship game.
9) USC Trojans (10-2) Regular season over
PAC 12 championship game vs Stanford/Washington
10) Penn State Nittany Lions (10-2) defeated Maryland Terrapins 66-3
Penn State routed Maryland in their final regular season game. This could have easily been a let down game with no Big 10 title in play or hope for a playoff berth. The defense allowed 303 total yards. They held the Terrapins to 1-15 on third down, 0-3 on fourth down and forced two turnovers. Quarterback Trace McSorley was 22-33 for 237 yards with two touchdowns. Back up quarterback Tommy Stevens led the team in rushing with 113 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Saquon Barkley had 77 rushing yards and two touchdowns. A disappointing season, but they still need to prepare for a bowl game. Will they be motivated?