by Chris Carslon
#1 Clemson outlasts FSU 23-13: The number #1 ranked team in the country avoids their yearly choke in big games by defeating ACC rival #16 Florida State. The victory will go down as the most important win in the Dabo Swinney era as long as the Tigers don’t have a late season “Clemsoning” moment.
Dalvin Cook got things started on the second play from scrimmage for the Seminoles with a 75-yard TD run. Another run, right up the gut for 38-yards from Cook put FSU in scoring possession. QB Sean McGuire’s interception proved costly as it likely took away points in the red zone. A penalty on Clemson’s fake punt attempt was their only hope of adding to the halftime score of 10-6 in favor of FSU. Dalvin Cook had 129 rushing yards in first quarter alone and 174 at the break.
Early in the second half Clemson pulled ahead 13-10, on a 7 play, 80 yard scoring drive capped from a Deshaun Watson touchdown pass to WR Deon Cain. Both defenses took over in the third and controlled most of the afternoon, only two field goals total allowed until deep in the fourth quarter.
Florida State’s offense failed to take advantage of Kermit Winfield’s 41-yard kickoff return getting stuffed at the Tigers 39-yard line on 4th and 1.
In a crucial spot on 3rd and 6, QB Watson found Charone Peake for a 21-yard pick up and a first down. RB Wayne Gallman’s 25-yard TD run and a LB Ben Boulware forced fumble recovered by Clemson defense put the nail in the coffin.
Nebraska stuns # 7 Michigan State with late rally 39-38: Nebraska does the unthinkable in the closing minutes to derail Michigan State’s shot of an unbeaten season. Unthinkable for other sports, for the regular season of College Football it’s just another week in a crazy string of last second endings.
Two touchdowns in two minutes sealed the deal for Nebraska’s miraculous comeback. The Cornhuskers wouldn’t go away, every time Michigan State extended their two-score lead they’d fight right back. If any program in College Football deserves a late-rally victory its Nebraska, losers of 4 incredibly-close outcomes.
#4 Alabama, Henry too good for #2 LSU, 30-16: Derrick Henry’s 210 rushing yards and his three touchdowns stoled the show from fellow Heisman candidate LSU RB Leonard Fournette. It didn’t start particularly well for the Tide on the first possession of this primetime matchup. Alabama took a risk that went awry on fourth and one. Defense ruled in the first quarter until Alabama began to chip away with 15-play, 87-yard field goal drive.
Followed by a defensive three and out from the Bama defense. A TD run by Derrick Henry, set up on a 40-yard rush by Henry, put Alabama in front 10-0. The largest deficit of the season for LSU
LSU wide receiver Travin Dural made up for an early drop on a third down play, when Brandon Harris hit him in stride for a 40-yard TD. A late 55-yard FG put Bama up13-10 at half. Derrick Henry had outgained Fournette 90-9 on the ground in one-half of football.
The first interception of the season by Harris came at an untimely moment in LSU territory. Alabama made the Tigers pay for it with a Kenyan Drake 25-yard reception and a punch-in touchdown near the goal line by Henry. Henry would visit the endzone again, on a punishing 11- play 73-yard drive by the Crimson Tide.
#14 Oklahoma State trounces #8 TCU 49-29: It was supposed to be a Marquee Matchup featuring two undefeated teams in the Big-12. What we got was an absolute thrashing by Oklahoma State on both sides of the ball. Cowboys WR James Washington scored one of his three touchdowns, early in the game and completely destroyed TCU’s defensive secondary all day to the tune of 5 catches for 184 yards and 3 touchdowns (Averaging 36.8 per reception). The Horned Frogs answered back to make it 7-6 but it was 28-6 at halftime and never a contest in the second half.
Arkansas upsets 18 # Ole Miss in an overtime thriller 53-52: Quarterbacks Brandon Allen and Chad Kelly put on a spectacular air-show in this tit-for-tat affair that was won on a two-point conversion to end the game in overtime. This wildly-entertaining shootout featured a stretch of 9 out of 10 possessions with a score. And strangely the score was tied at the end of each quarter. Not to mention not a one turnover with all those points.
Down 31-24, the Razorbacks scored back to back touchdowns. Ole Miss retailed scoring two touchdowns in as many possessions and with 4:55, led 45-38.
Razorback RB Alex Collins did the dirty-work to set up a Brandon Allen 17-yard TD pass to TE Dominique Reed with 53 seconds left in the game. Arkansas defender D.J. Dean made a timely hit right before overtime on a 4th and 6 with Ole Miss entering field goal range. TE Reed’s 21-yard reception to the Rebel 30 yard line gave Arkansas a chance to win the game in regulation. However, their 47-yard field goal was blocked by WR Lequon Treadwell forcing an overtime session.
Kelly scored his third rushing touchdown to put the Rebels up 52-45. RB Alex Collins made a heady play to pick up the ball off a bounce and run for a first down. TE Hunter Henry had lobbed the ball backwards out of desperation because he would’ve been short of the first down on 4th and 25 scenario. Two plays later, Allen found Drew Morgan for a TD catch to pull within a point. Arkansas went for a two-point conversion but failed on their first try. A facemask penalty on Ole Miss’s defense gave another two-point opportunity to the Razorbacks.
Allen faked a pitched than leaped in the end zone for the game winning score giving Arkansas a great victory on the road. Allen finished with 442 passing yards and 6 touchdowns. Chad Kelly had 368 passing yards and 110 rushing yards totaling 6 TD’s in the heartbreaking loss.
Top 25 Quick Hits
-#10 Florida sneaks by Vanderbilt 9-7, the Gators needed a 43-yard field goal with 2:22 to secure a victory and a spot in the SEC Championship game.
-#3 Ohio State stays undefeated with a home win 28-14 over Minnesota.
-#5 Notre Dame outlasts Pittsburgh 42-20 and their one-loss is looking better every week with #1 Clemson still without a loss.
-#9 Iowa wins another competitive game this time versus Indiana 35-27.
-Navy gives 13th ranked Memphis Tigers their first loss of the season 45-20
-Auburn upsets #19 Texas A&M in Texas Station 26-10.
#25 Houston holds off Cincinnati 33-30 and move to 9-0 on the season with still a few big games left in the AAC.
Written by Chris Carlson Producer and Host of The College Ball Show blogtalkradio.com/ropeadoperadio
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