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What a Saturday it was as three teams lost but only two dropped out. We have a different top four for the first time in several weeks. Two new teams make an appearance this week as well. The regular season is finally over and the race to four comes down to conference championship week. Here’s the latest Top Ten.
1) Alabama Crimson Tide (12-0) defeated Auburn Tigers 52-21
The Crimson Tide exacted some revenge in dramatic fashion over the Tigers. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa was sensational, going 25-32 for 324 yards with five touchdowns and added a rushing touchdown. The defense was good, especially in the second half. They completely dominated Auburn’s offense. It’s on to the showdown in Atlanta.
Next game- SEC Championship vs #4 Georgia Bulldogs
2) Clemson Tigers (12-0) defeated South Carolina Gamecocks 56-35
The Tigers smashed in state rival Gamecocks to finish off a perfect regular season. Quarterback Trevor Lawrence was special, going 27-36 for 393 yards with a touchdown. Running back Travis Etienne ran for 150 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Tee Higgins had 142 receiving yards and a touchdown. The defense gave up a lot of passing yards but kept South Carolina out of the end zone early while building a big lead.
Next game- ACC Championship vs Pittsburgh Panthers
3). Notre Dame Fighting Irish (11-0) defeated USC Trojans 24-17
The Fighting Irish avoided a disastrous loss to the Trojans with a second half comeback. Quarterback Ian Book was good, going 22-39 for 352 yards with two touchdowns and an interception. The defense made the necessary adjustments and stymied USC’s offense in the second half. The passing yards given up could be concerning.
Next game- College Football Playoff Bowl Game: Opponent & Bowl TBD
4) Georgia Bulldogs (11-1) defeated Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 45-21
The Bulldogs jumped on the Yellow Jackets early and never looked back. Quarterback Jake Fromm was efficient, going 13-16 for 175 yards and four touchdowns. Running back D’Andre Swift ran for 105 yards and a touchdown. The defense dominated Georgia Tech’s triple option offense. They put on a tackling clinic. The season comes down to one game next week in Atlanta.
Next game- SEC Championship vs #1 Alabama Crimson Tide
5) Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1) defeated Michigan Wolverines 62-39
The Buckeyes made a statement, crushing the Wolverines in an unexpected lopsided win. Quarterback Dwayne Haskins was good, going 19-30 for 318 yards and five touchdowns. Wide receiver Paris Campbell had 145 receiving with a touchdown and a 78 yard rushing touchdown. The defense was better, getting key stops and turnovers against an average Michigan offense. Now they must finish the mission next week.
Next game- Big Ten Championship vs Northwestern Wildcats
6) Oklahoma Sooners (11-1) defeated #15 West Virginia Mountaineers 59-56
The Sooners outlasted the Mountaineers in an epic shootout in Morgantown. Quarterback Kyler Murray put on his cape again, accounting for 478 total yards with four touchdowns (one interception). Running back Kennedy Brooks ran for 182 yards and a touchdown. Wide receiver Marquise Brown had a monster day with 243 receiving yards and two touchdowns. The defense was again saved by the offense. They gave up a ton of yards and points again.
Next game- Big 12 Championship vs #15 Texas Longhorns
7) UCF Knights (11-0) defeated USF Bulls 38-10
The Knights made easy work of the Bulls but the victory was costly. Starting quarterback/leader McKenzie Milton suffered a gruesome lower leg injury and is done for the year. They leaned on running back Greg McCrae to shoulder the offense and he responded with 181 rushing yards and three touchdowns. The defense stood tall in containing USF’s offense. Can they finish the mission without Milton?
Next game- AAC Championship vs Memphis Tigers
8) Boise State Broncos (10-2) defeated #10 Utah State Aggies 33-24
The Broncos crash the Top Ten with a hard fought win over a ranked Aggie team. Quarterback Brett Rypien was efficient, going 23-32 for 310 yards and a touchdown. Running back Alexander Mattison was a workhorse, rushing for 200 yards and three touchdowns. The defense held the high flying Utah State offense in check enough to get the victory.
Next game- Mountain West Championship vs #9 Fresno State Bulldogs
9) Fresno State Bulldogs (10-2) defeated San Jose State Spartans 31-13
The Bulldogs crack the Top Ten with an easy victory over a bad Spartan team. Quarterback Marcus McMaryion was electric, going 20-29 for 317 yards and two touchdowns. Wide receiver Keesean Johnson had a game with 173 receiving yards and a touchdown. The defense had little trouble with San Jose State’s anemic offense.
Next game- Mountain West Championship vs #8 Boise State Broncos
10) Michigan Wolverines (10-2) lost to Ohio State Buckeyes 62-39
The Wolverines suffered an embarrassing, epic loss to the hated rival Buckeyes. Quarterback Shea Patterson was an enigma, going 20-34 for 187 yards with three touchdowns and an interception. Not establishing the running game hurt. Their vaulted, top ranked defense was a major disappointment. They got gashed to the tune of 567 total yards and many big plays. A terrible end to an otherwise good season.
Next game- Bowl Game: Opponent & Bowl TBA