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In a week where two of the top four teams were sitting comfortably on their couches, the slate was still surprisingly loaded. The unbeaten duo of Clemson and Syracuse clashed to determine who would walk away unscathed. Across the country the Oregon Ducks, who have recovered mightily from the 49-3 shellacking they received from the Georgia Bulldogs week one, were set to spoil the UCLA Bruins untarnished record.
I’ll tell you a few things about these games and more with my week eight college football review. But first, let’s kick it off with a good laugh.
And The Oscar For Best Name Goes To…
There’s always a plethora of funny names when it comes to college football. You have Storm Duck at North Carolina, General Booty at Oklahoma and my personal favorite, Fish McWilliams at UAB. When tuning into the Kansas State and TCU game, I think I found a new favorite.
I appreciate the obviously funny names, but I’m really impressionable to the names that fit the bill. Perfect example would be Dee Liner, the guy who ironically played defensive line at Alabama. So when I saw Kansas State had a right guard named Hadley Panzer, I was hooked.
That is such a fitting name since he’s built like a tank. I just love when things fall into place, like when quarterbacks have the first name Gunner, and when kickers have the last name “Boot” or “Legg.” College football names never fail to impress.
Make It Even
In the Clemson Tigers and Syracuse Orange game, there were two very similar plays called differently. Tigers quarterback Cade Klubnik was contacted on the white out of bounds and a flag was called to extend the drive. On the other end, Garrett Shrader was shoved to the ground when already out of bounds, and nothing was called. Nothing is worse than a game decided by the refs, but wow that was awful officiating.
Staying in Clemson, the Orange running back, Sean Tucker, was criminally underused. He’s one of the best in the country, and giving him five….FIVE carries is ridiculous. Obviously the officials hurt them, as stated above, but giving him the limited number of touches hurt them just as bad.
I get Shrader is a bigger quarterback and can run, but it’s nothing like Tucker. Honestly, it’s selfish for him pull the ball so many times while also dumb to run so many read options. If they had more designed runs for Tucker, you know the one who averaged over 10 yards per carry against the Tigers, then the Orange likely win this game. It’s very simple.
All About The Franklins, Hold The Benjamin
Oregon Ducks’ wideout Troy Franklin is becoming a star. He was basically unguardable on Saturday, taking the top off the defense with his speed and making circus grabs in traffic. His eight catches, 132 yards and two TDs were not just statistically great, but aesthetically as well.
He’s only a sophomore this year, but he’s definitely living up to the hype as a top five wideout in the class of 2021. Franklin is undoubtedly on track to be one of the top wideouts in the NFL Draft for the following year. He’s that good.
Blinded By The Light
Speaking of Oregon, they wore quite the gaudy uniforms. The team known for their thousands of combinations added another to the collection with their highlighter pink and yellow on black. I understand and appreciate the gesture towards breast cancer, but wow was it hard to look at.
Christmas In Columbus
It’s no secret that the Iowa Hawkeye offense is as close to an 11-man dumpster fire as it comes. Sometimes, I feel like it would be better if they just punted the ball on 1st down, rather than face the embarrassment of trying to get a first down for the other three downs. On Saturday, that theory actually may have been a better idea than what they tried to do offensively.
It really looked like the Hawkeyes were determined to hand out presents all afternoon, beginning with the first play of the game. Hawkeye quarterback Spencer Petras rolled left on a sprint out and threw the ball right between the one and the five of Ohio State defensive back Tanner McCalister, who wears #15. It literally looked like he was the target since the ball was thrown right at him and nowhere near the receiver.
The run game wasn’t working at all since Ohio State just loaded the box and dared Iowa to pass. When they did, almost every time it was a sack or heavy pressure on the quarterback. Add in the other five turnovers, including the pick six thrown right at Tommy Eichenberg, and you have Christmas early with a total of six turnovers. If Iowa’s defense wasn’t elite, this team could be 0-7 right now.
To be honest, Texas Longhorns quarterback Quinn Ewers is extremely lucky to still be able to play this season. After being slammed to the ground week two by Alabama linebacker Dallas Turner, and with his full body weight, I was positive it was a broken collarbone. The way he was laying on the ground post-hit made it seem like the injury was far more severe.
Last week in his return, you could see the difference from where he was before the hit. The ball had less zip and he was less accurate, which unfortunately carried over to this week’s contest. Overthrow after overthrow was the common theme on Ewers’ way to a 19-49 performance, with three interceptions.
Maybe he was forcing a little bit, but I think he came back too early. His favorite target, wideout Xavier Worthy, was targeted 17 times and only had four receptions due to the sailed and floated balls. Wind does heavily factor in Stillwater, being named the second most windy stadium, but that doesn’t account for all those misses.
Heading into the fourth quarter against the Buffalo Bulls, the Toledo Rockets held a solid 27-10 lead. With arguably the best dual threat quarterback in the conference, Dequan Finn, I surely thought this game was a wrap. How wrong I was to underestimate the Mid American Conference action, termed “MACtion,” in its finest.
The Bulls really started bucking in the fourth quarter, going on a 24-0 run to win the game 34-27. The improbable comeback left them with an unblemished 4-0 record in the MAC, and on target for a possible conference championship berth.