Bulldogs win in Jacksonville
The number one ranked, undefeated Georgia Bulldogs return from their week off to face a Florida Gators side who have struggled against their fellow SEC opponents this season. Could the Gators pull off an upset against the heavily favored Bulldogs?
On the opening drive, it looked like they could. The Gators restricted Georgia to only a 23-yard drive, giving them possession early on. They could not do anything with it and went 3 and out on a drive that only gained 4 yards. On their second drive, Georgia showed why they are unbeaten this year. In a combination of rushes from Kenny McIntosh and long passes from Quarterback Stetson Bennett, the Bulldogs drove the ball down the field, in a drive that ended with a 1-yard Daijun Edwards rushing touchdown. After another 3 and out from Florida, they did it again. Another long drive from Georgia, this time culminating in a 2-yard Kenny McIntosh rushing touchdown. Could the Bulldogs do this three times in a row?Embed from Getty Images
They could not. On the first play of the second quarter, Stetson Bennett was intercepted by Florida defender Jadarrius Perkins. However, Florida could not do anything with this, as Quarterback Antony Richardson was sacked for 13 yards on 1st down, and the Gators struggled to make up for what they lost. On the other hand, Georgia was not struggling. A 73-yard pass from Bennett to tight end Brock Bowers gave the Bulldogs are three-score lead. The Gators would finally get on the board in the middle of the second quarter, through a 52-yard field goal. However, Georgia would widen the gap again before halftime, via a 7-yard pass from Bennett to Ladd McConkey. 28-3 Georgia at halftime.
It would be Florida who would dominate the opening part of the second half. A 3-yard run from Trevor Etienne, the younger brother of Jaguars running back Travis Etienne, started a run of drives where the Gators would have momentum. A Kenny McIntosh fumble would be recovered by the Gators, who would convert this into a 26-yard field goal. Another Stetson Bennett interception turned into a 78-yard touchdown pass from Richardson to Xzavier Henderson to put the Gators within 8 points of the Bulldogs.Embed from Getty Images
The Gators’ momentum would suddenly end when Daijun Edwards scored a 22-yard touchdown run. In their response, the Gators went for it on 4th and 6, and failed, giving the Bulldogs possession at the 50-yard line. The Bulldogs would convert again, this time on a 4-yard Kenny McIntosh run. Florida would fail on 4th down attempts in their next two drives, with Georgia failing on their attempt in between these to end the game. The Bulldogs beat the Gators 42-20. Florida slipped to a 4-4 record, and next week travel to face Texas A&M. The Georgia Bulldogs remains unbeaten, and the number one team in the nation’s next game is against the Tennessee Volunteers.
Ohio State beat Penn State
After last week’s convincing win over Iowa, the number 2 ranked Ohio State Buckeyes faced a tougher challenge in the form of the number 13 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions, who were also fresh off a victory against Minnesota last week.
The Buckeyes converted their opening drive into a 38-yard field goal. In their reply, Penn State Quarterback Sean Clifford, who threw for 4 touchdowns last week, was intercepted by Ohio State. With a good field position, the Buckeyes could not do anything with the ball, resulting in a 53-yard field goal attempt. This missed. Penn State had been vindicated, and as we all know, the first thing you do once you’ve been vindicated from a mistake is to make the same mistake again. Clifford was intercepted again on the very next drive. This time, the Nittany Lions were not so lucky, as two throws from Ohio State Quarterback C.J Stroud moved the ball into the Penn State 5-yard line. Miyan Williams then converted this into a 4-yard rushing touchdown, giving the Buckeyes a 10-point lead.
Clifford and Penn State would finally have some luck on offense when he combined with Parker Washington for a 58-yard touchdown pass. It would get even better for Clifford, as on his next drive, he would combine with KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a 23-yard touchdown, to put the Nittany Lions 4 points up on the Buckeyes. Ohio States’ reply to this was a 37-yard field goal, meaning that Penn State would lead Ohio State 14-13 at halftime.
A 58-yard Penn State drive to begin the second half stalled just inside the Ohio State red zone, resulting in a turnover on downs. A few drives later, Ohio State would take the lead with a 40-yard field goal. Penn State would quickly reply, with a 1-yard Kaytron Allen touchdown run. Ohio State would continue the scoring next drive, through a 41-yard touchdown pass from Stroud to Henderson. Nittany Lions Quarterback Clifford would then lose the ball on a sack-fumble that was recovered by the Buckeyes’ defense. This was quickly converted by the Buckeyes, as Stroud threw a 24-yard touchdown to Cade Strover.Embed from Getty Images
A 44-yard field goal for Penn State made it a one-possession game again. But Ohio State soon widen their lead, as TreVeyon Henderson scored a 7-yard rushing touchdown. Things went from bad to worst for Clifford, as he was intercepted for a pick 6. He redeemed himself with a 5-yard touchdown pass at the end of the game, but it was not enough as Ohio State recorded a 44-31 win over the Penn State Nittany Lions. The Buckeyes remain unbeaten and will travel to Northwestern next week, while Penn State travels to Indiana
Kentucky collapse in Knoxville
In last week’s review, I was somewhat concerned that as Tennessee played significantly weaker opposition than their opponents, they could lose their number 3 ranking. I didn’t need to worry, and the number 3 ranked Tennesse Volunteers faced the number 19 ranked Kentucky Wildcats.
Tennessee opened the game with a touchdown. A 55-yard Hendon Hooker pass to Jalin Hyatt put the Vols in the lead. Kentucky soon scored a touchdown of their own, however. A 3-yard run for Chris Rodriguez Jr found the endzone. However, the extra point was blocked, keeping Tenneesse’s lead. A lead they would widen on the next drive. A 2-yard rush from Princeton Fant topped off a 15-play 75-yard drive for Tennessee. The endzone would be found again by Tennessee a few plays later, as Jaylen Wright found the endzone for a 1-yard touchdown. Tennessee would find the endzone for the 4th time before halftime, through a 31-yard Hooker pass to Hyatt.Embed from Getty Images
The second half was much of the same. The Wildcats were completely overpowered by Tennessee. Two inceptions thrown by Kentucky Quarterback Will Lewis just added to the Wildcats’ misery in the second half. An 8-yard touchdown run by Hendon Hooker and a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jabari Small cemented a 44-6 win for Tennessee, who remain unbeaten. Kentucky fall to 5-3 on the season, and will try to be more competitive when they face Missouri next week, while Tennessee has a mouthwatering encounter with another unbeaten side, the number one ranked Georgia Bulldogs.
The Wolverines devour the Spartans
Going into this game, the number 4 ranked Michigan Wolverines were another team that was unbeaten so far in the season. They faced rivals the Michigan State Spartans and were heavily favored to win.
It would not be that easy to begin with. On their first possession, Wolverines wide receiver Corneilus Johnson fumbled the ball away to the Spartans. Luckily, they could not do anything with it. A 22-yard field goal put Michigan ahead. But then, Spartans Quarterback Payton Thorne connected with Keon Coleman for a 26-yard touchdown, to put Michigan State into the lead. The lead would be short-lived, as Wolverines Quarterback J.J McCarthy would throw for a two-yard touchdown, and a 25-yard field goal would give the Wolverines a 13-7 lead at halftime.Embed from Getty Images
Three consecutive field goals from Michigan, the longest one being 54 yards would put the game on ice for the Wolverines. A final 4-yard touchdown from Blake Corum would widen their lead, giving the Wolverines a 29-7 win over their state rivals, and remain unbeaten. The Spartans fall to 3-5 on the season, and visit Illinois next week, while the Wolverines head to New Jersey to face Rutgers.
The Frogs and the Mountaineers can’t stop scoring
The number 7 ranked TCU Horned Frogs came from behind to beat Kansas State last week and remain unbeaten. What could they do this week during their visit to West Virginia to face the Mountaineers?
West Virginia struck first. A 1-yard CJ Donaldson touchdown on 3rd down gave them the lead. TCU quickly responded with a 71-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Duggan to Taye Barber. The Mountaineers scored on their next play to return their lead, through a 4-yard CJ Donaldson touchdown. Parity would continue as TCU would score on their next play, with Duggan throwing a 55-yard touchdown pass to Quentin Miller to tie the game again.
West Virginia could not score on their next drive. A JT Daniel run ended in a fumble, which was scooped up by TCU, who would immediately score on a 51-yard touchdown run by Kendre Miller to put them 7 points ahead. The scoring would continue, with Daniels shaking off his fumble and throwing a 5-yard touchdown to Justin Johnson Jr to tie the scores up at 21-21. It would not end there though, as just before halftime, a 30-yard Emani Bailey touchdown run gave TCU the lead again, and scored the seventh touchdown of the half.Embed from Getty Images
The second half would be a lot calmer. A 33-yard field goal from the Mountaineers put them within 4 points of TCU, who would score a 30-yard field goal for themselves to restore the lead to 7 points going into the fourth quarter. TCU would score another field goal to widen the lead to 10 points. The Mountaineers responded to this by scoring a 23-yard touchdown, to make it a one-possession game with 4 minutes to go. Could TCU hold on?
On their next drive, Max Duggan was intercepted, giving the Mountainers possession and a potential game-winning drive. This did not happen, as they could not move the ball. To add further insult to injury, the Horned Frogs scored another touchdown to seal their 41-31 victory over the West Virginia Mountaineers. TCU remains unbeaten, and faces Texas Tech next week, while the Mountaineers face the bottom team of the Big 12 in Iowa State.
The Cowboys lay an egg
Last week, the number 9 ranked Oklahoma State Cowboys capitalized on the mistakes made by Quarterback Quinn Ewers to beat the Texas Longhorns, while the number 22 Kansas State Wildcats (who I referred to as the “Bearcats” on at least one occasion last week) had a surprise victory taken from then against TCU. What would this game bring?
Kansas State struck early. A 38-yard pass from Quarterback Will Howard found receiver Kade Warner. It also found the endzone, giving Kansas State a 7-point lead. On their opening drive, the Cowboys decided to go for it on 4th and 8, at the Kansas State’s 38-yard line. They failed, turning possession over to the Wildcats, who took full advantage of this. A 62-yard touchdown run from Deuce Vaughn widened the Wildcats’ lead. This lead would be made bigger soon after, as Quarterback Will Howard found Phillip Brooks for a 31-yard touchdown. Oklahoma State’s reply to going 3 scores down. A Spencer Sanders interception. This led to another Kansas State touchdown. This time, Howards found Warner for a 41-yard touchdown. A fifth score for the Wildcats would come just before halftime. A 1 yard Howard pass to Vaughn put them 35-0 up on the Oklahoma State Cowboys at halftime.
Oklahoma State needed a miracle in the second half. Unfortunately, this miracle never came. Two Kansas State field goals (one from 23 yards, the other from 29 yards), and another touchdown for the Wildcats gave them a 48-0 victory over the ninth-ranked team in the country. The Cowboys fall to 6-2 on the season and will hope to score points next week when they head to Kansas, while the Wildcats welcome the Texas Longhorns to Manhattan, Kansas.
How did the other ranked team fare?
#8 Oregon @ California
The high-scoring Bo Nix and the number 8-ranked Ducks cruised to victory against the California Golden Bears. Nix scored 6 touchdowns (3 passes, 3 rushes) and threw for 412 yards, as the Ducks beat the Golden Bears 42-22, continuing their excellent form since their opening-week loss to Georgia.
#10 USC @ Arizona
The number 10 ranked USC faced Arizona in a very high-scoring affair. Quarterback Caleb Williams threw for 411 yards and 5 touchdowns, while the team made a combined 621 yards, in their 45-37 win.
#10 Wake Forest @ Louisville
Last week, Sam Hartman was dominant in number 10 ranked Wake Forest’s win. This week, he became human. Hartman threw for 3 interceptions as the Demon Deacons lost 48-21 against the Louisville Cardinals.
Stanford @ #12 UCLA
Coming off their loss to the Oregon Ducks last week, the now 6-1 number 12-ranked UCLA Bruins faced Stanford. UCLA utilized a strong running game, as running back Zach Charbonnet ran for 198 yards and 3 touchdowns in the Bruins 38-13 win.Embed from Getty Images
#14 Utah @ Washington State
The number 14 ranked Utah Utes escaped a late comeback fourth quarter comeback from the Washington State Cougars in their meetup. A 7-yard Cameron Ward touchdown run was not enough for Washington State, as the Utes won 21-17.
#15 Ole Miss @ Texas A&M
Another team that had lost their unbeaten record last week was the number 15 ranked Ole Miss Rebels. They trailed the struggling Texas A&M for a while in their encounter, but 3 touchdown passes from Jaxson Dart and an impressive 205 yards from running back Quinshow Judkins sealed a narrow 31-28 win for the Rebels over the Aggies.
Notre Dame @ #16 Syracuse
After narrowly losing to Clemson last week, (and losing their unbeaten season) the number 16-ranked Orange faced Notre Dame. It did not start well for them, as on the opening play, Quarterback Garrett Shrader was intercepted for a pick 6. The Fighting Irish outplayed Syracuse throughout this game, with running back Audric Estime scoring two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to seal a 41-24 win. The Orange has gone sour.
#17 Illinois @ Nebraska
Tommy DeVito scored two touchdowns and Chase Brown rushed for 149 yards as the number 17 ranked Illinois cruised to victory over the Nebraska Cornhuskers 26-9
#20 Cincinnati @ UCF
The number 20 ranked Cincinnati Bearcats staged a late comeback in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough, as UCF running back RJ Harvey scored a 17-yard touchdown in the final minute of the game to give the Knights a 25-21 victory
Pittsburgh @ #21 North Carolina
Tar Heels Quarterback Drake Maye scored 5 touchdowns as the number 21 ranked North Carolina cruised to victory over the Pittsburgh Panthers. Going into the half 17-14 down, the Tar Heels scored 4 touchdowns without reply to seal a 42-24 win and go 7-1 for the season.Embed from Getty Images
Virginia Tech @ #24 NC State
Virginia Tech scored three touchdowns in the third quarter, but it was not enough, as the number 24 ranked North Carolina State, scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to beat the Hokies by 1 point 22-21.
Missouri @ #25 South Carolina
The number 25 ranked South Carolina Gamecocks struggled on offense in their meetup with Missouri. In a game that had more field goals than touchdowns, The Gamecocks turned the ball over twice as Missouri recorded a 23-10 victory.
Miami @ Virginia
In a game that would have suited Thursday Night Football as only field goals were scored, the Hurricanes beat the Cavaliers 14-12 in the fourth period of overtime.