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Another week of some blow outs, nail biters and some head scratching games. The playoff picture is still up in the air but some teams made some important statements throughout their play.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (8-0) defeated Tennessee Volunteers 45-7
Alabama’s defense was stout in getting this shut out while Tennessee’s only score came on an interception return. They held them to 108 total yards, seven first downs, 1-12 on third down and 64 rushing yards. They continue to shut down offenses. This is the best defense in the country. The offense keeps chugging along with over 600 total yards. Quarterback Jalen Hurts was good, going 13-21 for 198 yards with a touchdown in a half of football. Running back Damien Harris led the rushing attack with 72 yards and a touchdown. The Crimson Tide has clearly separated themselves from everyone else.
2) Penn State Nittany Lions (7-0) defeated Michigan 42-13
Penn State’s defense got the better of Michigan’s offense. They gave up 269 total yards but most of that was gained late when the game was well in hand. They also sacked the the Wolverine quarterback eight times. This defense is making a name for itself. The offense had over 500 total yards. Quarterback Trace McSorley was very good, going 17-26 for 282 yards with a touchdown and an interception. He added 76 rushing yards and three touchdowns. Running back Saquon Barkley had 108 yards with two touchdowns. He also added 53 receiving yards with a touchdown. They passed the test with flying colors. Very impressive win.
3) Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) Idle
Next game vs Florida
4) Texas Christian (7-0) defeated Kansas Jayhawks 43-0
Texas Christian’s defense was lights out against an overmatched Kansas team. They held them to four first downs, 2-15 on third down and 21 total yards (that’s not a misprint). I did not realize Kansas was that bad. Quarterback Kenny Hill was 19-28 for 278 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver John Diarse had four catches for 130 yards with a touchdown. The rushing attack punished the Jayhawk defense with 191 yards. Still would like to see running back Darius Anderson featured more. This Horned Frog team is flying under the radar but are a very dangerous team that no one is talking about.
5) Wisconsin Badgers (7-0) defeated Maryland Terripans 38-13
The Badgers defense continues to get it done. They held Maryland to 268 total yards, 5-14 on third down and 125 passing yards. More yards than they normally give up but kept them out of the end zone. Running back Jonathan Taylor continues to pile up the yards as he gained 126 yards and a touchdown. Quarterback Alex Hornibrook was solid, going 16/24 for 225 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. There is nothing sexy about this Wisconsin team but they get the job done.
6) Miami Hurricanes (6-0) defeated Syracuse Orange 27-19
Another close win for the Hurricanes. The defense struggled to contain the Orange’s rushing attack, giving up 264 yards. Not a good sign. They did force four turnovers, which led to points. Again, the defense got the crucial stops when needed. How much longer can they win like this giving their fans heartburn. Quarterback Malik Rosier was 26-43 for 344 yards and two touchdowns. Running back Travis Homer had 95 yards and the game clinching 33-yard touchdown. Wide receivers Ahmmon Richards (99 yards/16.5 yards per catch) and Christopher Herndon (96 yards and a touchdown) did a lot of damage. The season will come down to two games against Virginia Tech Hokies and Notre Dame Fighting Irish.
7) Ohio State Buckeyes (6-1) Idle
Next game vs Penn State
8) Clemson Tigers (6-1) Idle
Next game vs Georgia Tech
9) Notre Dame Fighting Irish (6-1) defeated Southern California Trojans 49-14
The Fighting Irish entered my Top 10 for the first time this season. Notre Dame’s defense gave up a lot of yards (336) but kept Southern California out the end zone (only 14 points). Forcing three turnovers helped their cause tremendously. The running attack gashed the Trojans’ defense to the tune of 377 yards (10.1 yards per carry). Led by running back Josh Adams 191 yards and three touchdowns. Quarterback Brandon Wimbush was 9-19 for 120 yards and two touchdowns. He also added 106 rushing yards and two more touchdowns. I worry about the lack of a passing game. If they want to be a serious playoff contender, that part of the offense must get better.
10) Oklahoma Sooners (7-1) defeated Kansas State Wildcats 42-35
Although Oklahoma’s offense is prolific, the defense is not very good. They gave up 412 total yards to Kansas State. Poor tackling really highlights their issues. Forcing two turnovers helped save their season for now. This will ultimately be their downfall. The offense gained over 600 total yards. Quarterback Baker Mayfield was spectacular, going 32-41 for 410 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. Wide receiver Marquise Brown had six catches for 126 yards including some big catches to set up some scores. Running back Rodney Anderson rushed for 147 yards and a touchdown.