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The week that had all the potential with numerous ranked matchups delivered. With all of these undefeated teams meeting up, someone had to lose, unfortunately. Check out who capitalized in their key matchups in our newest rankings!
1.) Ohio State Buckeyes (6-0) on BYE
Next Week: Home vs. Iowa Hawkeyes
2.) Tennessee Volunteers (6-0) defeated #3 Alabama Crimson Tide 52-49
There’s only so much analysis that can be added to a game that was action-packed as this one. To state the obvious, quarterback Hendon Hooker likely took over the Heisman front-runner odds after his heroic performance. His 385 yards and five touchdown (TD) tosses led the charge that toppled the Tide.
Other performances to note are that of wideout Jalin Hyatt, who happened to catch every single one of those TDs en route to 207 yards of his own. The other performance was that of the offensive line. They clamped up the dangerous Crimson Tide front seven, giving Hooker plenty of time to read or takeoff if nothing was there.
The Vols defense still has work to do but they did just enough to pull off the stunner. This team looks much like the 2019 LSU Tigers that was so good on offense that the defense was able to get better each week.
Next Week: Home vs. Tennessee-Martin Skyhawks
3.) Michigan Wolverines (7-0) defeated #10 Penn State Nittany Lions 41-17
Penn State’s defense was able to hold Michigan to field goals in the first half, forcing three kicks in four red zone trips for the Wolverine offense. To fix their struggles, Michigan decided to cash in multiple rushing scores from 60+ yards out, without ever having to stop in the redzone.
The strong running game was the theme all afternoon as the Nittany Lion defense had absolutely no answers. Both Blake Corum and Donovan Edwards ran for 166 and 173 yards respectively. The dominance in the run game quieted all the J.J. McCarthy questions as all he really needed to do was hand the ball off and let the horses run.
Speaking of defense, that Wolverine defense completely smothered the Nittany Lions offense. Sean Clifford was an abysmal 7-19 through the air, which doesn’t help his case at remaining the starter. Overall, holding Penn State to only 268 yards shouldn’t be taken lightly in what is the best win for the Wolverines.
Next Week: BYE
4.) Georgia Bulldogs (7-0) defeated Vanderbilt Commodores 55-0
Picking up from last year’s beat down, which was 62-0, the Bulldogs were kind enough to spare seven points this time around. Quarterback Stetson Bennett was a near perfect 24/30 through the air, never feeling pressured as he tossed two TDs. Also throwing two TDs was backup quarterback Carson Beck, which is always nice to get the reserves some experience.
There was a lot of speculation that Arik Gilbert, who is a freakishly talented wideout/tight end hybrid, would be a large part of the Bulldogs offense this year. So far he hasn’t been at all, but seeing him on the field and getting into the endzone should open the eyes of Bulldog fans.
It seems similar to last year and how wideout George Pickens was slowly ushered into the offense later in the season. If All-American Brock Bowers and his elite partner in the tight end room, Darnell Washington, can get reinforced with Gilbert, then this offense may hit a new level.
Next Week: BYE
5.) Clemson Tigers (7-0) defeated Florida State Seminoles 34-28
This was a game that got away late for the Tigers. Having a 34-14 lead going into the fourth, they allowed a late Seminole rally to make it much closer than they would have liked. It’s a win nonetheless and one the Tigers needed before welcoming in the undefeated Syracuse next week.
Quarterback DJ Uiagalelei didn’t have a ton of opportunities in the pass game but did take advantage of what he had with three passing scores on only 15 completions. Running back Will Shipley was solid, going for 121 yards on the ground.
The issue was the defense gave up 460 yards, 206 of that being on the ground. They’ll have to shore that up quickly as Syracuse has one of the best running backs in Sean Tucker coming to town next week.
Next Week: Home vs. #14 Syracuse Orange
6.) TCU Horned Frogs (6-0) defeated (then top 10, now #11) Oklahoma State Cowboys 43-40 (2OT)
The Horned Frogs got knocked down all day but never bowed out. The offense that was #1 in the country in yards per play at 8.08, had to come to life eventually…and did. Down 30-16 entering the fourth quarter, quarterback Max Duggan led two scoring drives to tie the game and send it into overtime.
Once it hit extra time, it was all Horned Frogs. Wideout Quentin Johnston, who has been playing possessed the last two weeks, nearly called game in the first round of overtime, until a 4th & 9 conversion saved the Cowboys. In the second overtime, all TCU needed was a TD since Oklahoma State could only salvage three points.
Running back Kendre Miller, who had a solid day on the ground, took matters into his own hands and finished it with a 3-yard plunge up the gut. With three straight ranked wins at the time of the game against Oklahoma, Kansas and Oklahoma State, this TCU team is on an absolute roll.
Next Week: Home vs. 17 Kansas State Wildcats
7.) Alabama Crimson Tide (6-1) defeated by Tennessee Volunteers 52-49
The loss felt imminent here as the Tide just haven’t looked themselves all season long, aside from the second half comeback against Arkansas. After sleepwalking their way to a win in the final seconds a week ago against Texas A&M, the writing was on the wall. Crazy enough, they still almost managed to pull this game out against the Vols, hence the small
slide to #7.
Quarterback Bryce Young dazzled in his return from injury, throwing for 455 yards and two TDs. Running back Jahmyr Gibbs didn’t have an elite performance but his three scores on the ground were hard earned.
Star safety Jordan Battle seemed to be nowhere on the field, not being able to make his mark on the game. DeMarcco Hellams, the other safety, constantly got torched deep and couldn’t make the needed breaks on the ball in zone coverage. Terrion Arnold may have had the worst performance as he was nowhere near the pass catcher in his zone or in man coverage.
At the end of the day, everything is still on the table for this team. Possibly, a rematch with Tennessee in the SEC Championship if both teams win out.
Next Week: Home vs. #24 Mississippi State Bulldogs
8.) Ole Miss Rebels (7-0) defeated Auburn Tigers 48-34
The Rebels went bananas in the run game, going for a total of 448 yards on 69 carries. It was a day for tandem efforts because just like both Michigan running backs, the pairing of Zach Evans and Quinshon Judkins piled up over 130 yards each. Also, quarterback Jaxson Dart joined the 100-yard rushing club, despite his 9-19 day through the air that did have three TDs.
The Rebel defense has to tackle better if they want to have a chance in the SEC West. Auburn’s Tank Bigsby may be one of the best in the country but they still need to pick it up in the stretch run. As of now, they sit firmly in the thick of it with everything in front of them.
Next Week: Away vs. LSU Tigers
9.) UCLA Bruins (6-0) on BYE
Next Week: Away vs. #10 Oregon Ducks
10.) Oregon Ducks (5-1) on BYE
Next Week: Home vs. #9 UCLA Bruins