Well, this certainly had been an interesting week in college football full of upsets, blowouts, shootouts, and history making. In case you didn’t happen to see it all, I have taken the liberty once again to break down the highs, lows, and in-betweens of this weekend’s games.
The week started with Thursday and Friday night games featuring teams not ranked in the top 25 but full of drama (Texas A&M vs Oklahoma State) and history (BYU vs Utah State).
In the Thursday night game, Texas A&M looked to be controlling the pace of the game and led 21-7 at halftime. Oklahoma outscored the Aggies 31-14 in the second half, kicking the game winning field goal as time expired.
Denard Robinson continued his streak of amazing numbers this week as Michigan faced conference foe, Indiana. Ready for the future Heisman winner’s stats on the day? Rushing-19 attempts for 217 yards and 2 TDs. Passing-10/16 277 yards 3 TDs 0 INTs. The guy is an offensive machine that cannot be stopped or reasoned with. He is going to put points on the board and from all angles and directions. Michigan beat the Hoosiers 42-35. Again, defense doesn’t look good.
Alabama faced off against conference rival Florida in Tuscaloosa, AL and the Tide rolled the Gators. Turnovers in the redzone (INT in the endzone and a fumble later in the game cost Florida). Alabama won convincingly, 31-6 and Alabama’s defense proved themselves once again.
The Red River Rivalry was also played in the Cotton Bowl in Dallas today as #21 Texas took on longtime rival #7 Oklahoma. Texas lost miserably to struggling UCLA team last week, and slipped from top 5 team in the nation to almost out of the top 25 entirely. Even so, with Oklahoma having struggles beating mediocre teams by margins over 1 possession, many thought Texas would be able to win this game (myself included).
What did we learn about Texas this week? They are tanking on offense right now and are lucky that Oklahoma didn’t stay at their first half level of play all game because Oklahoma was up 21-7 at halftime but only managed another 7 points in the 4th quarter. Texas could get no type of momentum going and Oklahoma did just enough not to blow their 1 possession lead again.
I’m hoping Oklahoma eventually crosses a team that can not just expose Oklahoma’s weaknesses but capitalize on it and claim a victory. Otherwise, we might have to wait for the Oklahoma/Nebraska game in December.
Another huge game tonight included #9 Stanford vs #4 Oregon. Stanford started the game out huge by going up 21-3 on the Ducks in the 1st quarter. Oregon eventually found their rhythm on both defense and offense and the shootout everyone expected from the 2 teams began. At one point, the game was tied 31-31 in the 3rd quarter but Oregon layed on another 21 unanswered points and Stanford was unmatched. The game changing play in this game was a screen pass play for Stanford to WR # 81 Chris Owusu. Owusu caught the ball and ran around a block, only to be met by a shoulder straight to the side of the head. Owusu was knocked unconscious and fumbled the ball. It was picked up by Oregon’s Eddie Pleasant and returned to the 3 yard line. LaMichael James later scored on a TD run to give Oregon its first (and lasting lead). Oregon beat the Cardinal 52-31.
Noteworthy upsets this week; Michigan State 34 Wisconsin 24, Virginia Tech 41 North Carolina State 30, Washington 32 USC 31.
Friday night showcased 1-3 Utah State hosting instate rival and fellow 1-3er BYU. This game was surrounded with hype since before the season started because BYU preseason hopeful starter, Riley Nelson, played his freshman season as the starter for Utah State but during his mission decided to transfer to BYU (much to the disliking of the Aggie faithful who saw potential in Nelson as the Utah State starter).
Once the season got going, however, the game took on more significance when the Cougars started looking like they were actually going to be beatable for the Aggies this season. And even when Nelson was sidelined for the season a couple weeks ago against Florida State, Utah State fans still brought all the rivalry energy and hate you could ask for. It had been 17 years since Utah State last beat BYU. It had also been 37 years since BYU had lost 4 consecutive games. No one seemed able to catch Jake Heaps’ passes. Rough start for the Cougars but they have some easier games coming up that should serve well for practicing their timing on pass routes and to teach offensive coordinator, Robert Anae how to stop calling those plays when they aren’t effective (see also BYU@Utah 08). Utah State haas been waiting a long time for this win and they earned it.
With the number of games between ranked teams this week, and the number of upsets, there could be a lot of changes happening in the AP top 25. Can’t wait for the most updated polls.