Things We Learned in College: Week 7 College Football

It was another crazy week in college football. I suppose the obvious place to start this week is with what ESPN is already calling the Michigan State Miracle. This play will be to Michigan fans what the Miracle At The Meadowlands is to my father and Giants fans of his generation. I hate to say it, Maize and Blue faithful, but this play and all the details will be seared into your memories for a long, long time. My father is now 65 years old and probably couldn’t tell you what he had for lunch yesterday, but he remembers every detail of the Joe Pisarcik mishap like it happened this morning. He even remembers which chair he was sitting in, in the living room of a house my parents sold in 1985.

Things We Learned in College: Week 7 College Football

In other news:

This ridiculous catch took place Thursday night, but it was hard to miss on the highlight shows on Friday. I’m really impressed by how Stanford has rebounded from their week one loss. They’re playing really, really well right now.

-Speaking of that loss, what on earth has happened to Northwestern since then? Through the first five games, the Wildcats allowed just 35 points, or seven per game. In their last two games, they’ve allowed a total of 78 and scored just 10.

-Yesterday should have been, at the very least, a competitive game for Northwestern. Iowa signalcaller C.J. Beathard, normally a pretty mobile QB, was limited by injury. The offensive line of the Hawkeyes was banged up and shuffled, and early in the game, leading rusher Jordan Canzeri was injured and couldn’t return. Instead, Beathard threw for 176 yards and one interception, and backup running back Akrum Wadley (who had all of eight carries heading into this game) rushed for 204 yards and four touchdowns. This is a Northwestern team that hadn’t allowed a 100-yard rusher all season, shutting down guys like Stanford’s Christian McCaffrey and Michigan’s De’Veon Smith, and Iowa’s backup runs for over 200 yards and four scores?

-I think it’s safe to say that Iowa is now the favorite in the Big Ten West. Who saw that coming?

-The major upset of the day was clearly Memphis beating Ole Miss. The schools are close together, and Ole Miss recruits heavily in and around Memphis (11 current Rebels are from the area), so even though this isn’t a conference game, it’s an emotional one. Aside from the score, the important thing in this game may be the concussion suffered by Ole Miss defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche. He’s a huge part of their defense and a leader on the team- losing him for any length of time would be a big problem for a Rebels team that now has two losses.

-Ole Miss wideout Cody Core gets overlooked, probably because of Laquon Treadwell being the top receiver on the team, but he’s very underrated.

-Memphis’ Paxton Lynch is a heck of a quarterback. He was getting very little time to throw against the Ole Miss defense, and was frequently throwing off his back foot, but he completed 39 of 53 passes for 384 yards, three scores, and one pick.

-LSU fans are watching a quarterback grow up before their eyes. Sophomore Brandon Harris gets better each week, but last night was probably his best performance of the season. The coaching staff has done a really nice job of not asking him to do too much (which is easy when you have Leonard Fournette to hand off to, but I digress). For example, last night Harris attempted just 19 passes, completed 13 of them (ok, that number could be higher), for 202 yards and two touchdowns and no interceptions.

-Lewis Neal isn’t a name I had heard a lot so far this season, but he had a fantastic game for LSU last night. The 6’2″, 264-pound defensive end harassed Florida QB Treon Harris relentlessly.

Les Miles is just the best

-Speaking of the Tigers’ defense, how about that run defense? Fifty-five yards on the ground for the Gators.

-Obligatory Leonard Fournette “Holy crap!” note of the week: he leads all FBS rushers with 1202 yards. Oregon’s Royce Freeman is second on the list, more than 200 yards behind Fournette. Remember, because of the lightning cancellation in Week One, LSU has still played one fewer game than some teams.

-Here’s a crazy stat: Baylor’s Corey Coleman now has 16 receiving touchdowns this season, a school record. Baylor has five more games to play.

-Baylor also became just the second school in NCAA history to score 60 points or more in five consecutive games. They would have reached that milestone last week had it not been for their lousy 56-point effort against SMU in week one. (I kid, of course).

-Another milestone, this one a bit of a surprise to me: Alabama cornerback Minkah Fitzpatrick became the first player in the Tide’s illustrious history with two interceptions returned for touchdowns in the same game. I would have assumed that had happened before.

That’s all for this week!

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