Week Nine is in the books, which means by press time, we’ll have the first set of official CFP rankings. Here are my Week Nine Midweek Musings:
Normally, when you watch a college game and think, “Wow, that offensive line reminds me of an NFL offensive line,” it means the team is good. When it’s 2018 and the NFL line you’re thinking of is that of the New York Giants, it means something very different. Thank goodness Deondre Francois is more mobile than Eli Manning (although really, who isn’t?). Already this season, Francois has thrown seven interceptions to 13 TDs, and has been sacked 22 times. (Florida State ranks 110th in the country in fewest sacks allowed). Against Clemson, Francois completed just under half of his passes for 180 yards and an interception before leaving the game injured.
Discipline was a major issue for the ‘Noles this week as well. They lost safety Hamsah Nasirildeen to a targeting foul in the first half; receiver Nyquan Murray and linebacker Zaquandre White were each ejected in the second half for, according to ESPN, punching a Clemson player. All told, Florida State was penalized 16 times for 134 yards. Only four teams in the country have been called for more penalties this season than the Seminoles.
After a lackluster performance against LSU before their bye week, many wondered if Bulldogs’ coach Kirby Smart would go to freshman Justin Fields at quarterback. As Lee Corso would say, “NOT SO FAST, MY FRIEND!” Smart stuck with sophomore Jake Fromm, and it was clearly a Smart decision (sorry). Fromm and the offense were firing on all cylinders against the Gators’ 28th-ranked defense. D’Andre Swift (talk about a great name for a running back) carried the ball 12 times and averaged over 8.5 yards per carry. Another advantage the Bulldogs have on offense is the number of capable targets they have for Fromm. Seven different players caught at least one pass in this game.
A huge difference between this game and the LSU game was the turnover margin. Georgia was on the losing end of a 4-0 turnover differential against the Tigers. Against Florida, they won the battle 3-0.
The Wildcats pulled off a win, but not without controversy. An incomplete pass from Terry Wilson looked to have given Mizzou a 14-9 win, but the referee called pass interference on the Tigers. Kentucky got an untimed down, and made the most of it as tight end C.J. Conrad caught a touchdown pass from Wilson. Missouri, needless to say, did not care for the call.
This was the scene in the Wildcats’ locker room after the game. I think it’s safe to say coach Mark Stoops was excited:
Best of the Rest
#14 Penn State 30, #19 Iowa 24
Iowa had two safeties in this game. I’m trying to remember the last time I saw a game with two safeties, let alone two for the same team.
Also, if you missed it, Maggie Yarnell had an article about the history of Iowa-Penn State here.
Arizona 44, Oregon 15
It’s games like these that remind me why I don’t gamble on sports. Also, this was the Khalil Tate who was getting Heisman love in the pre-season. Glad to see him back.
Northwestern 31, Wisconsin 17
So who was wearing the purple uniforms three weeks ago when Michigan was in Evanston? It definitely wasn’t these guys.
Houston 57, South Florida 36
What has happened to the Bulls? Two weeks ago they barely beat UConn, and now this? Houston’s a good team- I’m not shocked that USF lost this game. I’m surprised that they got obliterated like this.
Those are my Week Nine Midweek Musings, (rankings are reflective of the newly released college football playoff rankings). Be sure to join me next week, and follow our college football coverage all season long!