Week eight was perhaps the best weekend of the college football this season. Plenty of wild and crazy finishes, upsets and bizarre antics were on display. There was also plenty of movement in the top 25 poll. The Baylor Bears made the biggest jump in the poll moving up four spots to number 14. The biggest loser was Boise State who dropped eight spots to 22. Missouri and Washington dropped out of the poll, while Iowa State and Wake Forest moved back in.
The wildest game of the season took place at Virginia Tech Saturday evening. In a game that took six overtimes and more than four hours to play, Virginia Tech finally put away the North Carolina when third-team quarterback Quincy Patterson’s two-point conversion run in the sixth overtime propelled the Hokies to a wild 43-41 victory in the longest game in ACC history. Both teams squandered opportunities to win in earlier overtime periods, as Virginia Tech kicker Brian Johnson missed game-winning attempts from 41 and 42 yards and North Carolina kicker Noah Ruggles missed from 35 yards and had a 44-yard attempt blocked. North Carolina has now played in six games that have been decided by six points or less. Wake Forest got bowl eligible when kicker Nick Sciba booted a 25 yard field goal late in the fourth quarter. It was Sciba’s fifth field goal of the game. The Deamon Deacons had lost seven straight games to the Seminoles. Georgia Tech’s Ahmarean Brown caught a 35 yard touchdown pass from James Graham with 53 seconds left and then Jordan Mason scored on a one yard touchdown run in overtime to lift the Yellow Jackets past Miami 28-21. The Jackets used a fake punt for a touchdown, fumble recovery in the end zone for another score, and a blocked field goal in the final seconds of regulation to stay in the game. “Unbelievable resolve from our guys,” Georgia Tech coach Geoff Collins said. “The way they played and the way they attacked. The way they stayed in the moment. It was a complete offense, defense and special teams victory.” The win was the first for the Jackets in ACC play.
I’m still in shock by Illinois 24-23 win over Wisconsin in the final seconds. Three crucial turnovers cost the Badgers a chance to meet Ohio State in a battle of undefeated teams. James McCourt nailed a 39 yard field goal as time expired giving the Illini the improbable win. The Badgers led 23-14 with just nine minutes left in the contest, before the Illini rallied. Illinois coach Lovie Smith was all smiles after the game. “Our program, we needed to get a signature win,” Smith said. “I was just hoping today was the day, and the day came.” Wisconsin was a 30 point favorite in the contest. Minnesota moved into the top spot in the BIG-10 West by drubbing hapless Rutgers 42-7. The Gophers (7-0) forced three Scarlet Knight turnovers and held the Knights to just 189 total yards. Tailback Rodney Smith paced the Gopher offense with 111 yards rushing and two scores. The “White Out”, in Happy Valley was an epic battle. Penn State hung on for a 28-21 victory, but if there is such a thing as a moral victory, it will surely manifest itself next week for Michigan. The Lions jumped out to a 21-0 lead, but need a dropped touchdown pass in the final minute to secure the win. A peek inside the numbers reveals that the Wolverines clearly had the advantage. The Wolverines head home to face Notre Dame on Saturday.
Baylor made me eat a good helping of crow, with their impressive 45-24 win over Oklahoma State. I had picked the Cowboys to give the Bears their first loss of the season. The Bears forced three crucial turnovers, that all led to points in the win. Chuba Hubbard continued his assault on a rushing title with 171 rushing yards. Baylor (7-0) now has a bye week before hosting West Virginia. Kansas nearly pulled off another huge upset Saturday at Texas. Cameron Dicker, the kicker for Texas, calmly booted a 33-yard field goal as time expired to send the No. 15 Longhorns to a 50-48 victory in a wild game with a frantic fourth quarter that saw the teams exchange six touchdowns, two field goals and a blocked extra point for a 2-point safety. The Jayhawks came in with the worst offense in the Big 12 but they were explosive under new offensive coordinator Brent Dearmon, who was calling his first game after being promoted by Miles two weeks ago. Dearmon was coaching at NAIA program Bethel University last season but dialed up big-hit plays against the Longhorns time and again. “I got guys that are fighting like hell to be a part of what we’re doing here and Dearmon is one of them,” Miles said. Iowa State jumped out to a 20-7 halftime lead and cruised to a 34-24 victory over Texas Tech. Quarterback Brock Purdy had another stellar performance tossing for 378 yards and three scores. Breece Hall had his second standout performance in two weeks, with 183 yards rushing. The Cyclones need just one more win to get bowl eligible.
Oregon rallied in the fourth quarter to beat Washington 35-31. Jaylon Redd hauled in a 5 yard scoring pass from Justin Herbert to cap the scoring for the Ducks who had trailed 28-14 in the third quarter. The Huskies had gashed the Ducks defense for three quarters, before the Ducks turned up the heat. This was a huge victory for head coach Mario Cristobal, who was still in search of a signature win. The win gives the Ducks a commanding two game lead in the PAC-12 North standings. The South became a little more clearer, with Utah’s dominant win over Arizona State 21-3. A nasty Ute defense limited the Sun Devils to just 136 total yards. The Utes held Jayden Daniels to just 25 yards passing. Tailback Zach Moss returned from injury, rushing for 99 yards and two touchdowns. Washington State snapped a three game losing streak in front of a homecoming crowd Saturday night 41-10. Anthony Gordon had another banner night, throwing for 369 yards and four touchdowns. Gordon is now tied with Joe Burrow of LSU with 29 touchdown passes.
Just when I thought that Vanderbilt had thrown in the towel, they decided to play an inspirational game against Missouri. The result was a big upset of the ranked Tigers 21-14. Feeling under the gun all week, head coach Derek Mason and his Commodores responded with the program’s first win over a Top 25 team since beating No. 18 Kansas state in 2017. Quarterback Joe Burrow continued his assault on opposing defense’s with another standout performance. The Heisman candidate tossed four more touchdown passes bringing his total to 29 on the season. The Tigers easily handled Mississippi State 36-13 in what many thought would be a trap game. The Tiger defense played a huge role in the victory, forcing three crucial Bulldog turnovers. Auburn crushed Arkansas 51-10 behind a bruising rushing attack, that accounted for 298 yards rushing. The win by Auburn sets up a monster game Saturday, as the Tigers will travel to LSU in a huge SEC West showdown.
GROUP OF FIVE GRUMBLINGS
BYU stunned Boise State with a big second half rally 28-25. The Cougars were down to third-string quarterback Baylor Romney, while the Broncos played Chase Cord for the injured Hank Bachmeier. The loss really hurts the Broncos in their quest to play New Years day. Appalachian State now appears to be in the drivers seat for that honor if they can continue to win out. The Mountaineers easily disposed of Monroe 52-7. I was in Dallas to see SMU remain unbeaten (7-0) as they drubbed Temple 45-21. The Mustangs still have games left with Tulane, Navy and Memphis. Jump to Toolbar