BY MICHAEL LEESE
Inexplicable home losses on Saturday, have South Carolina and Virginia Tech fans scratching their heads and left wondering if there will be a post season bowl game. The Gamecocks dropped a 45-42 overtime loss to Tennessee falling to 4-5 on the season. The Hokies fell to Boston College 33-31. The loss dropped the Techsters to 4-5 on the season.
This Gamecocks took a 42-28 lead with 4:52 remaining after Brandon Wild’s 70-yard scoring run. But the Gamecocks struggling defense, which gave up double-digit, fourth-quarter leads in losses to Missouri and Kentucky, struck again. Quarterback, Joshua Dobbs making his first career start for the Volunteers scored on a three yard run with 1:50 left in the fourth quarter to cut the lead to 42-35. Dobbs then found Jason Croom in the end zone with a nine yard scoring pass with 11 seconds left to tie the score at 42. An overtime field goal sealed the win for the Vols.
South Carolina has now dropped four straight SEC games. The Gamecocks must now win two of three remaining games to qualify for a bowl. This could prove to be a daunting task as they travel to both Florida and Clemson to end the season! The Gamecocks have gone bowling for six straight years!
Virginia Tech rallied from a 23-10 deficit to take a 24-23 lead midway through the fourth quarter. Boston College then put the game away with a ten point spurt late in the quarter. The once vaunted Hokie defense gave up 258 yards rushing to the Eagles. The Hokies will need, two wins in the final three games to see post season play. They have road games at Duke and Wake Forest, before closing the season with in-state rival Virginia. The Hokies have appeared in bowl games for 21 years in a row! The last time they missed going bowling was back in 1992.
* Boston College win over Virginia Tech will send the Eagles to a bowl game for the second straight year under coach Steve Addazio.
* After trailing by as many as 21 points and turning the ball over twice in the first half, Florida State turned it around in the second half. The Seminoles recorded 374 yards after halftime, more than Louisville had allowed in a full game this season.
* Duke’s offensive line didn’t allow a sack all day in their 51-48 overtime win over Pitt. They have allowed only four sacks all year, lowest in the FBS.
* Pittsburgh’s James Conner ran for a career-high 263 yards and three touchdowns.
* Duke Johnson’s career-long 90-yard TD rush was the 6th 50+ yard TD run in his career, tied for 2nd most in the FBS since 2012.
BIG 10 NOTES
* Since Week three, Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett ranks seventh with a 70.5% completion percentage.
* Michigan kept their faint bowl game hopes alive with a 34-10 victory over Indiana. The Wolverines will likely need victories over Northwestern and Maryland the next two weeks to reach six wins.
* Nebraska Heisman hopeful Ameer Abdullah injured his right knee in the first quarter and left the game with just 1 rushing yard.
* Nebraska has 35 plays of 25 yards or longer this season, most in the Big Ten and fifth-most in the FBS.
* Maryland used a defense that forced 11 punts and sacked Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg six times to beat the Nittany Lions 20-19 and get bowl eligible.
* This was the second time this season that Iowa has scored 38 points in the first half. In the other six games, the Hawkeyes haven’t topped 31 points for the full game.
BIG 12 NOTES
* Oklahoma had 751 total yards, which ranks fourth all time in program history for most in a single game. The Sooners had 510 yards rushing, the most since rushing for 518 versus New Mexico State in 1989.
* Oklahoma has won its last 36 games when rushing for 200 or more yards.
* TCU forced five turnovers Saturday, all of which occurred in West Virginia territory.
* TCU is one of two teams (Alabama) that ranks in the top 10 in the FBS in offensive and defensive efficiency.
* Baylor has an FBS-high 16 touchdowns of 30 yards or longer. This is the fifth straight season Baylor ranks in the top 2 in this category.
* Oklahoma State was held to just 48 yards of offense in the second half, as Kansas State moved to 7-1 setting the stage for this weekends match with TCU.
PAC 12 NOTES
* Since the start of the 2012 season, Oregon is 31-0 when scoring at least 30 points.
* Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota extended his streak of games with a touchdown pass to 35, which is tied for fourth in FBS history.
* Washington’s 38-23 win over Colorado assured the Huskies of a boel game for the fifth year in a row.
* UCLA quarterback Brett Hundley threw his 68th career touchdown pass, moving into a tie with Cade McNown as the Bruins’ all-time leader.
* The Sun Devils have now beaten the Utah 11 consecutive times, with the last loss coming in 1976.
* USC wide receiver Nelson Agholor is the second FBS player in the last 10 seasons to tally at least 200 receiving yards and a punt return touchdown in the same game. The other was Oklahoma State’s Dez Bryant in 2008.
* Washington State quarterback was lost for the season with a leg injury in the loss to USC.
* Arkansas coach Bret Bielema has now lost 13 straight SEC games. That’s the third-longest streak to begin an SEC tenure.
* Mississippi State was playing their first ever home game as the No.1 ranked team in the country!
* Florida gashed the Georgia Bulldog defense for 418 rushing yards! It was the second most rushing yards ever allowed by a Georgia team.
* Auburn’s 35 points broke Ole Miss’ streak of 10 games in which its defense hadn’t allowed more than 20 points.
* Auburn shredded Ole Miss’ run defense with 248 yards, including nine rushes of 10 yards or more, the most such runs that the Rebels have allowed this season.
STARS OF THE WEEK
TOP PASSER……..USC quarterback Cody Kessler passed for 400 yards and five touchdowns.
TOP RUSHER……..Pittsburgh running back James Conner rushed for 263 yards and three scores.
TOP RECEIVER……South Carolina receiver Pharoh Cooper had 11 receptions, good for 233 yards and two scores.