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Things We Learned in College: Week Nine in College Football

Week Nine In College Football

My theme for the week is lack of discipline- I don’t think I’ve ever seen so many flags thrown in one Saturday. Here are my musings on week nine in college football:

Michigan 35, Rutgers 14

It wasn’t last year’s 78-0 beatdown, but the Wolverines pulled off a convincing win over the Scarlet Knights. However, more significant than the result may be coach Jim Harbaugh‘s lineup change. In the second quarter, with the score tied at seven, Harbaugh pulled quarterback John O’Korn in favor of freshman Brandon Peters. (Remember, starter Wilton Speight was injured and ruled out for the year a few weeks ago).

Peters played well, completing 10 of 14 pass attempts for 124 yards and a touchdown. The running back crew definitely helped him out- Karan Higdon and Ty Isaac each rushed for over 100 yards, and the team scored four touchdowns on the ground.

Almost as important was the emotional lift that the team- and the Big House crowd- seemed to get from the quarterback change. If Peters isn’t the starter next week against Minnesota, I’ll be very surprised.

Texas 38, Baylor 7

I watched just over a quarter of this game, and it was enough for me to understand why Baylor is winless. Although I wasn’t impressed with their discipline (granted, Texas wasn’t much better in that department), the Bears’ biggest issue is that they cannot run the ball. The NCAA website ranks their rushing offense 108th, and I was actually expecting it to be lower. Against the Longhorns, they managed just 31 yards on the ground and averaged less than a yard per rush.

If Baylor is going to win a game this year- and that’s a big IF- it will probably be next week at one-win Kansas. I’ll be surprised if they manage to beat Texas Tech, and stunned if they somehow beat Iowa State or TCU.

Ohio State 39, Penn State 38

I won’t say much about this game since most people probably watched it. However, I will say that I was disappointed with the parade of penalties. Each team was flagged for over 70 yards. I can’t imagine either coaching staff was thrilled about the discipline, or lack thereof. A repeat of that performance could cause big problems down the road… say, in a Big Ten championship game.

Another thing that stood out to me, and probably everyone who watched this game, was how the Buckeyes shut down Saquon Barkley. A week after he ran roughshod over a pretty good Michigan defense, Ohio State held him to 44 yards on 21 carries and one touchdown.

Georgia 42, Florida 7

I’m not sure if Georgia is this good, Florida is this bad, or a combination of the two. But this was an ugly, ugly. game. Georgia quarterback Jake Fromm attempted only seven passes, completed just four of them, and threw for 101 yards. However, the Bulldogs rushed for nearly 300 yards to Florida’s 183. Another big problem for the Gators was their 14 penalties for 85 yards. The NCAA website ranks teams in terms of fewest penalties per game, and Florida is currently tied for 120th.

All that said: people making death threats to Jim McElwain, just stop. It’s football. It’s a game. Coaching a bad football team does not mean he should have to fear for his and his family’s safety. Also, you’re not exactly making the Florida job look attractive to potential candidates.

Uniform of the Week:

I like North Carolina’s dark blue with the light blue accents. I’ve always felt that color combo is underutilized.

North Carolina Tar Heels. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)


Surprise of the Week

BC 35, Florida State 3 A friend of mine who’s a BC alum said that leading up to the Louisville game, a lot of people wanted coach Steve Addazio fired. Now, with BC on a three-game winning streak that includes an upset of Louisville and the thumping of Florida State, I’m guessing those voices have quieted. With their fifth win and three games left, the Eagles should be able to get bowl-eligible. I’ll be interested to see how they fare against a good N.C. State team in two weeks.

Honorable Mention: Iowa State 14, TCU 7 I did not see this coming. While I’ve been aware of the Cyclones’ resurgence, I’ve been more aware of TCU’s unbeaten record. The Horned Frogs are still a very good team, but I think it’s time to start paying more attention to Iowa State. They face West Virginia next week and travel to Oklahoma State the week after. Both of those are games to keep an eye on.

So there you have it: My thoughts on week nine in college football. Thanks for reading, and remember to check out our Top 25 rankings later today. Happy Halloween, everybody!

Main Photo Credit:

WR Matthew Eaton #23 of the Iowa State Cyclones is lifted up by teammate OL Jake Campos #67 after he scored a touchdown in the first half of play against the TCU Horned Frogs. (Photo by David Purdy/Getty Images)


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