College Football is deep in to “Championship November”. After Alabama and Georgia booked their tickets to the SEC title game last week, Week 11 saw more teams guarantee meaningful December football. There were more shocks. We had more coach sackings. One more record broken. Want some MORE? Let’s go!
Sooners Sink State in Shootout
The Bedlam Series is the name given to the rivalry between the Oklahoma Sooners and the Oklahoma State Cowboys. Bedlam is what we got on a wild Saturday night in Memorial Stadium.
Trey Sermon running in a 1 yard touchdown to give the Sooners a 48-41 lead with 3:29 wasn’t the start of the story. Neither was it the end.
Taylor Cornelius found Tylan Wallace for a 24 yard touchdown with just 1:03 left to bring the Cowboys back to 48-47. With kicker Matt Ammendola having missed an early PAT, Coach Mike Gundy signalled for the two point attempt to try and win it all.
Cornelius’ 501 yards and 3 touchdowns on the game possibly made it an easier call.
It wasn’t to be. The pass was incomplete and the Sooners escaped with their ninth win of the season.
All out offence
Before all this, 87,635 witnessed an all out offence shootout for the ages. Fans of defence look away now.
There were five lead changes. There were 1342 total yards.
For Oklahoma State, Cornelius’ passing yards were the third highest in Cowboy history. Freshman running back Chubba Hubbard looked impressive on his way to 3 touchdowns and 104 yards. Tylan Wallace snagged 220 yards and two touchdowns.
It wasn’t enough to stop Kyler Murray and his Sooners.
The junior quarterback continued his push for a Heisman consideration with 349 yards and a touchdown. Oklahoma had their own freshman running back sensation as Kennedy Brooks hit three touchdowns and 165 yards.
The Sooners control their own Big 12 destiny. The 3-7 Kansas Jayhawks visit Memorial Stadium next week for what should be an easy Sooner win.
That win would set up a probable winner takes all showdown with Will Grier and his West Virginia Mountaineers.
Franks Fuels Florida Comeback
For a long time on Saturday night this looked like being the upset of Week 11. In the end, Feleipe Franks was the hero no-one asked for but everyone needed inside Ben Hill Griffin Stadium.
South Carolina controlled the first quarter. Two Jake Bentley touchdowns gave the Gamecocks a 14-0 lead.
The Gators responded in the second quarter. Lamical Perine’s rushing touchdown pulled it back to 14-7. Then Franks ran in for his own score to even it up.
Bentley wasn’t done with the Gators defence and added his own rushing touchdown to give South Carolina a 21-14 lead at the half.
The second half started much the same as the first with the Gamecocks opening up a 31-14 lead. Parker White hit a 34 yard field goal and Rico Dowdle ran in a four yard touchdown to put the nation on upset alert.
Quite Frankly my dear…
Feleipe Franks had other ideas. Benched last week, he would have been riding the pine this week if not for a practice injury to back up quarterback Kyle Trask.
Down 17 points, Franks strapped the team on his back with a 18 yard touchdown pass to Kadarius Toney to make it 31-21.
Lamical Perine added a 23 yard touchdown run to make it 31-28 before Franks had his final say.
Booed at the start of the game, Franks rushed in to the end zone with 4:09 remaining for the game winning score.
He raised his index finger to his lips in celebration, silencing the doubters.
Wildcats Wowed by Tennessee
The Kentucky Wildcats came in to Tennessee looking to banish a losing record at Neyland Stadium. The Volunteers sent them home with a 17th straight defeat in what was the shock of the night.
Kentucky couldn’t get anything going on offence. Benny Snell was held under 100 yards for the second straight week. Terry Wilson could only manage one touchdown to his one interception.
Wilson was held in check by an impressive Tennessee defence lead by Darrell Taylor who had 4 sacks on the game.
The game swung on a two minute period at the end of the first half.
With just over two minutes before the half, Tim Jordan’s 3 yard run put the Vols 10-0 up.
Jarrett Guarantano found Marquez Callaway with a 39 yard pass for a touchdown as time expired to give Tennessee a 17-0 lead at the half.
The Wildcats never recovered.
Although the teams traded third quarter touchdowns, a scoreless fourth quarter saw the Vols run out 24-7 winners to go 5-5 on the season. They are just one win from Bowl eligibility.
For Kentucky, their fairytale season now has a two game losing streak. Two weeks ago they were in contention for the SEC Championship Game.
Now, less meaningful December football looms.
The Fantastic Four
The College Football Playoff top four ranked teams all won out this weekend.
Alabama’s defence forced another shutout as the number 1 ranked Crimson Tide rolled over Mississippi State 24-0. Heisman front runner Tua Tagovailoa again missed the fourth quarter as he nurses a knee injury. Alabama remain undefeated.
Number 2 ranked Clemson Tigers roared past Boston College 27-7. In a cold and wet game, any questions about Trevor Lawrence’s ability “up north” were distinguished as the freshman quarterback put in an accomplished performance. The much lauded Tigers defence limited the Eagles to just 113 yards on offence.
Without starting quarterback Ian Book, Notre Dame faced a poor FSU team. Brandon Winbush had 3 touchdowns in relief of Book as the Fighting Irish won 42-13. Dexter Williams added 2 touchdowns and 202 yards on the ground as Notre Dame remain unbeaten.
Fourth ranked Michigan has been accused of not having the offensive prowess of some of the other playoff contenders. Don’t tell that to Rutgers who were on the receiving end of a 42-7 battering. Shea Patterson had three touchdowns and Karan Higdon added two more, as he continues his climb up mock draft boards.
Best of the West
The Michigan Wolverines are the favourites for the Big Ten East title.
Waiting for them in the Big Ten title game with be Northwestern. The Wildcats knocked off #21 Iowa 14-10 to win the Big Ten West for the first time.
If Michigan makes it, Northwestern will be looking to avenge their 20-17 defeat from earlier this season.
Rushing Record Ripped Up
Division II Davidson Wildcats might not be a name on the College Football radar.
They are now record holders.
In a 56-52 loss to San Diego, the Wildcats rushed for 789 yards setting a new FBS and FCS record.
Cardinals kick out Coach
In 2016 Louisville were riding high on the back of Heisman winner Lamar Jackson.
Fast forward two years and the Cardinals are 2-8 after suffering a 54-23 to Syracuse.
Cardinals Athletic Director Vince Tyra had seen enough and dismissed head coach Bobby Petrino.
As per ESPN.com, Tyra said “he did not have the confidence” that Petrino could turn things around next season and that the change “needs to happen now”.
Petrino leaves Louisville with a 77-35 record over his two stints.
As we celebrate Remembrance Day in England, the United States paid tribute to their veterans and serving members of the Armed Forces this week with Veterans Week and Salute to Service.
In their honour, I finish this week’s review with a look at the college teams of Navy, Army and Air Force.
Navy travelled to Orlando to face unbeaten UCF. McKenzie Milton had three total touchdowns on the game to overcome the visitors 35-24, despite a spirited fourth quarter comeback attempt.
Army had four rushing touchdowns including two for running back Darnell Woolfolk as they beat Lafayette 31-13.
Air Force got on the back of quarterback of Donald Hammend III for a 42-24 over New Mexico. Hammend had two passing touchdowns and a rushing touchdown and almost 300 scrimmage yards in the win.
photo credit: USA Today