It was a chaotic weekend in college football and a chaotic weekend, period, for many in the southeastern U.S. I hope all of our readers are safe and sound after Hurricane Matthew. If you didn’t have power and missed the action this weekend, have no fear; I’ll wrap it up for you.
Things We Learned In College Week Six
As Hurricane Matthew approached the North Carolina coast, Notre Dame and NC State looked like they were playing football in a water park. I half-expected to see a family of four go sailing down the field in an inner tube. Notre Dame fumbled four times, NC State six, with each team losing two of them. In addition, Notre Dame’s DeShone Kizer threw an interception and the Wolfpack missed a field goal. Sloppy football all around, due to circumstances mostly out of the players’ control.
The weather in Chapel Hill didn’t look quite as bad, although the wet ball was clearly affecting Mitch Trubisky. The Tar Heels’ quarterback completed 13 of 33 passes for just 58 yards, two interceptions, and no touchdowns in #17 UNC‘s 34-3 loss to #25 Virginia Tech. (Hokies’ quarterback Jerod Evans‘ numbers weren’t a whole lot better, except instead of the two picks he had two TDs).
Charlie Strong‘s seat is probably hot enough to make s’mores on at the moment. The #20 Oklahoma Sooners racked up 672 yards of total offense against Texas– that’s bad enough. But they gained 672 yards of offense and committed four turnovers. How on earth do you turn the ball over four times and win, let alone win with that kind of yardage? Well, it helps when you have a receiver (Dede Westbrook) who finds the end zone for three touchdowns of over 40 yards each. Westbrook also set a school record with 232 receiving yards in the game. The run defense for the Longhorns wasn’t much stronger, with Samaje Perine gaining 214 yards and two touchdowns.
For the third week in a row, #9 Tennessee played with fire. This time, they got burned. The Vols overcame seven (seven!) turnovers and a 14-point deficit in the fourth quarter to force overtime against #8 Texas A&M. The teams exchanged field goals, the Aggies scored a touchdown on their possession in the second overtime, and on the Vols’ first play, Josh Dobbs was picked off. Game over.
Circle October 22 on your calendars, if you hadn’t already: Alabama-Texas A&M should be a good one. (Then again, I thought Alabama-Arkansas would be closer than 19 points, so…)
#21 Colorado had made it into the rankings in the first time in quite a few years before losing to USC. Head coach Mike MacIntyre is in his fourth year with the Buffs and is now 1-22 in Pac-12 games.
How on earth was Kansas in position to beat TCU? This is the same Jayhawks team whose fans stormed the field earlier this year to celebrate a win over an FCS opponent that broke a losing streak dating back to 2014, is it not?
Navy‘s upset of #6 Houston was the Midshipmens’ first win over a top-10 team since 1984. I always find it tough not to feel good for the service academies when they get big wins, given what’s down the line for those guys, so congrats to the Middies. (That was one of the games I really wanted to watch this weekend, so of course it was on one of the few sports channels I don’t get).
Three notes from the Michigan game: one, the Wolverines broke the school record for rushing touchdowns in a game with nine (yes, nine) against Rutgers in a 78-0 win. Two, you know your team is struggling when the band plays “Hard Knock Life” from Annie at halftime. Three, the broadcast crew finally noticed what I’ve been thinking all season: the resemblance between quarterback Wilton Speight and head coach Jim Harbaugh is uncanny. See for yourself. I think the funniest thing, and unfortunately I don’t have photographic evidence for it, is that when Speight makes a mistake on the field, his facial expression of disgust is almost identical to that of his coach.
Some food for thought this week: How is Jabrill Peppers not generating more Heisman talk?
There are some great games on the schedule for next week, among them UNC-Miami, Alabama-Tennessee, Ole Miss-Arkansas, and Ohio State-Wisconsin. Until then, have a great week everybody.