Things We Learned In College, Week Eight

Week eight in college football is in the books, and we’re down to nine unbeaten teams. Texas A&M‘s loss to Alabama wasn’t a surprise, although I’m sure Aggie fans had their hopes up when the Tide led by just six points at halftime. (Best wishes to Alabama’s Eddie Jackson. Jackson, one of the Tide’s best defensive backs and their primary punt returner, broke his leg against A&M and is done for the season). Ohio State going down was a HUGE surprise, especially to an unranked Penn State team. The Nittany Lions needed overtime to beat Minnesota three weeks ago and were demolished 49-10 by Michigan the week before.

Speaking of huge surprises, I thought Arkansas-Auburn would be a good game. Even after Auburn scored on a 78-yard touchdown run on the first play of the game, I fully expected Arkansas to respond. Losing 56-3 was not the response I had in mind.

After scoring a total of 14 points in their previous four games combined, Rutgers put up 32 against Minnesota… and lost. However, third-string quarterback Giovanni Rescigno performed well enough that I’d be stunned if he didn’t start for the remainder of the season. The sophomore is more mobile than either Chris Laviano or Zach Allen, and is a better fit in coach Chris Ash’s offense. Rescigno went 22 of 38 for 220 yards, three touchdowns, two picks, and a lost fumble. I’ll have a full article about the game, with a look ahead to Minnesota’s match-up against Illinois, later in the week.

A few weeks ago, you’ll remember Clemson beat Louisville. Last week, Clemson needed overtime to beat NC State. So naturally, Louisville rolled over the Wolfpack 54-13 (it was 41-0 at halftime). Lamar Jackson was doing Lamar Jackson things, as he set the Louisville record for touchdowns in a single season with numbers 31-34.

How dominant is Michigan? I was a bit late turning the game on, and missed the first four minutes and thirty-seven seconds. In that time, the Wolverines went on a 10-play, 75-yard scoring drive during which Jabrill Peppers lined up at quarterback, running back, and wide receiver. Oh, and he also returned the opening kickoff 21 yards. The team’s website, in case you were wondering, lists Peppers as a LB/DB.

Speaking of Michigan, the game against Illinois featured the first ever college football game between two teams whose coaches have each coached a Super Bowl (Lovie Smith with the Bears in Super Bowl XLI, Jim Harbaugh with the 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII). A couple of notable sons played in this game too- Tyrone Wheatley, Jr. for Michigan and Jeff George, Jr. for Illinois, both of whose fathers played for the same schools and later in the NFL.

So what happened with Oklahoma and Texas Tech? Did the buses with the defenses on them get lost on the way to the stadium? The teams combined for 1,289 yards passing. Tech QB Patrick Mahomes completed 52 of 88 pass attempts and threw five TD passes; the Sooners’ Baker Mayfield threw seven. Oklahoma also rushed for over 300 yards. Are we sure this was a real football game and not a couple of kids playing video games in their dorm?

I would have loved to watch more of Oklahoma-Texas Tech, but I was mostly watching The Leonard Fournette Show. LSU didn’t get into the red zone until the fourth quarter, by which point they led 31-21. Who needs to get inside the 20 to score when you have Fournette? He set LSU’s single-game rushing record last night on his first eight carries and had touchdown runs of 59, 76, and 78 yards. In total, Fournette rushed for 284 yards, averaging 17.8 per carry, and three touchdowns. Then there was this play, which made me sit up and yell… well, I won’t repeat what I yelled, but this stiff arm is amazing.

Ole Miss had some terrible luck on offense last night. Not only were they facing the LSU defense, but their left tackle got hurt and had to be replaced by a true freshman. A freshman against Arden Key is a mismatch, plain and simple.

There were a couple of really crazy interceptions yesterday. Here Northwestern’s Kyle Queiro gets in touch with his inner Odell Beckham and makes an insane one-handed pick:

This bouncer between Syracuse and BC was one of the stranger interceptions I’ve seen:

 

Make a note, East Coast readers- next week, Washington and Utah play what will be an afternoon game even for us (3:30 EST on FS1). Nebraska-Wisconsin, Auburn-Ole Miss, and Clemson-Florida State are among the other match-ups to look forward to. Have a great week everybody!

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