College Football Recap, November 27
Here’s a brief look at the latest rankings, recaps and previews of top games and bowl projections, as well as the eight Manning Award Stars of the Week. This year’s Allstate Sugar Bowl will double as a College Football Playoff Semifinal and will be played on January 1, 2018.
Top 25 Recaps
(CFP Rankings entering the week)
WRECKING THE RANKINGS
No. 7 Auburn 26, No. 1 Alabama 14: Kerryon Johnson carried 30 times for 104 yards and a touchdown and also tossed a TD pass, Jarrett Stidham passed for 237 yards and ran for a key fourth-quarter touchdown and the Tiger defense kept the Crimson Tide off balance as Auburn upended their top-ranked archrivals to earn a berth in the SEC Championship game.
Pitt 24, No. 2 Miami 14: Freshman quarterback Kenny Pickett ran for two touchdowns and threw for another and the Panther defense held the previously-undefeated Hurricanes to just 232 yards. Miami remains in the playoff mix, however, as they had already clinched a slot in the ACC title game against Clemson.
No. 21 Stanford 38, No. 8 Notre Dame 20: K.J. Costello threw for a career-high four touchdowns and Bryce Love ran for 125 yards despite an injured ankle as the Cardinal scored three unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter to come from behind to upend the Fighting Irish.
No. 17 Washington 41, No. 13 Washington State 14: Myles Gaskin rushed for 192 yards and four touchdowns and the Huskies forced four turnovers while allowing just -24 rushing yards to spoil their archrival’s hopes for a Pac-12 North title.
Fresno State 28, No. 23 Boise State 17: Marcus McMaryion threw for a career-high 332 yards and a pair of touchdowns, including an 81-yard connection in the fourth quarter, as the Bulldogs continued their astounding turnaround (they have nine wins after winning one game last year) with their first win over a ranked opponent in 22 tries. The two teams will meet again for the MW Championship.
No. 3 Clemson 34, No. 24 South Carolina 10: Kelly Bryant and Hunter Renfrow hooked up for a pair of touchdowns as the Tigers build a 34-0 advantage through three quarters to earn their fourth straight victory over their rivals.
No. 4 Oklahoma 59, West Virginia 31: Despite not starting for disciplinary reasons, Baker Mayfield (14-of-17, 281 yards, 3 TDs) directed the Sooners to touchdowns on all six of the drives he played and Rodney Anderson ran for 118 yards and four touchdowns.
No. 5 Wisconsin 31, Minnesota 0: Alex Hornibrook connected on 15-of-19 passes for 151 yards and three touchdowns, freshman Jonathan Taylor (149 rushing yards, 1 TD) pushed his season total to 1,806 yards, the third most by a freshman in FBS history, and the Badger defense allowed just 133 total yards as Wisconsin completed its first undefeated Big Ten season.
RULING THE RIVALRY
No. 7 Georgia 38, Georgia Tech 7: Jake Fromm passed for 224 yards and two touchdowns, the Bulldogs had rushing scores from Sony Michel, Nick Chubb and D’Andre Swift and the defense contained the Yellow Jacket option offense, allowing just 226 yards.
No. 9 Ohio State 31, Michigan 20: Despite losing star quarterback J.T. Barrett to injury in the third quarter, Buckeye backup Dwayne Hoskins was solid (6-of-7, 94 yards) and J.K. Dobbins and Mike Weber combined for 158 rushing yards and two scores as Ohio State held the Wolverines scoreless for the final quarter-and-a-half of their comeback win.
Ole Miss 31, No. 14 Mississippi State 28: Jordan Ta’amu threw for 247 yards and two touchdowns, but the Rebels still needed Jordan Wilkins’ second rushing score, a 46-yard fourth-quarter burst to hold off a Bulldog team which lost starting quarterback Nick Fitzgerald early to injury – though New Orleans native true freshman Keytaon Thompson (13-of-27, 195 yards, 1 TD) was solid in his first extended action.
No. 15 UCF 49, USF 42: One of the wildest fourth-quarters of the year saw UCF score back-to-back touchdowns to take a 42-34 lead with 2:24 to go. However, USF responded as Quinton Flowers (school record 605 yards of offense) connected on an 83-yard touchdown and then successfully converted the two-point effort to knot the game with 1:41 to go. The undefeated Knights weren’t looking for overtime however, as Mike Hughes returned the ensuing kickoff 95 yards for a touchdown and the victory.
MAKING THEIR POINTS
No. 10 Penn State 66, Maryland 3: Trace McSorley accounted for three touchdowns, backup quarterback Tommy Stevens ran for three scores and Saquon Barkley added two more TDs as the Nittany Lions posted their third straight blowout victory (by a combined score of 157-53).
No. 12 TCU 45, Baylor 22: The Horned Frogs locked down a slot in the Big 12 Championship as Kenny Hill threw for three touchdowns and ran for another while defensive end Matt Boesen set a school record with 5.5 sacks.
No. 18 LSU 45, Texas A&M 21: Danny Etling had the most prolific passing game of his LSU career, connecting for 347 yards, including six completions of 25 yards or more, while the Tiger defense forced four turnovers as LSU outgained the Aggies, 601-282.
No. 19 Oklahoma State 58, Kansas 17: Mason Rudolph threw for 438 yards and two touchdowns, while also running for two more scores, as he found three different receivers (Dillon Stoner, Marcel Ateman and James Washington) for 100-plus yards as the Cowboys sent the Jayhawks to their 45th consecutive road loss.
No. 20 Memphis 70, East Carolina 13: Riley Ferguson threw for 299 yards and three touchdowns, Patrick Taylor ran for 127 yards and two touchdowns, Darrell Henderson added 122 rushing yards and two more scores and the Tigers cruised to a victory heading into the AAC Championship game.
DEFENSE DOESN’T REST
No. 16 Michigan State 40, Rutgers 7: The Spartans controlled the ball for an amazing 47 minutes, 50 seconds as they passed for 222 yards and rushed for 209 yards while holding Rutgers to just 112 total yards and forcing three turnovers to improve to 9-3 one season after finishing 3-9.
No. 22 Northwestern 42, Illinois 7: Justin Jackson ran for 144 yards and a touchdown, Sam Miller scored on a fumble recovery after a strip-sack (one of three Illinois turnovers) and the Wildcats allowed just 239 yards in their seventh straight victory.
No. 25 Virginia Tech 10, Virginia 0: The Hokie defense allowed just 191 total yards, including just five rushing yards, and Josh Jackson tossed a short third-quarter
Allstate Sugar Bowl Projections:
ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Clemson vs. Wisconsin (Clemson replaces Alabama)
ESPN (David Hale): Clemson vs. Wisconsin (Clemson replaces Alabama)
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Clemson vs. Wisconsin (Clemson replaces Alabama)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Clemson vs. Alabama (Clemson replaces Miami)
Sports Illustrated (Eric Single): Clemson vs. Wisconsin (Clemson replaces Alabama)
College Football News (Pete Fiutak): Clemson vs. Oklahoma (Clemson replaces Alabama)
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Auburn vs. Clemson (replaces Alabama vs. Wisconsin)
The All-American (Stewart Mandel): Clemson vs. Ohio State (Clemson replaces Alabama)
Random Stats of the Week
6 – The lowest ranking (in the fourth ranking or later) for any team to make the College Football Playoff in the first three years of the system.
7 – Times in the last eight years that the winner of the Iron Bowl has played for the national championship.
8 – Losses for Tennessee, the first eight-loss season in program history. The Volunteers went 0-8 in SEC play.
100-40 – J.T. Barrett’s career passing touchdowns and rushing touchdowns. The Buckeye quarterback is just the second player in FBS history to reach those totals, joining Dan LaFevour, who reached those milestones while playing for Central Michigan from 2006-09.
30 – Texas became the first Big 12 team since 2006 to hold all of its opponents below 30 points.
100 – Career victories for Clemson coach Dabo Swinney following Saturday’s win over South Carolina. After 10 years, he ranks second all-time for the Tigers behind Frank Howard who won 165 games in 30 years (1940-69).
47:50 – Time of possession for Michigan State in its win over Rutgers. While the NCAA doesn’t track time-of-possession records, it is believed to be the best mark on record.
2 – Number of weeks to feature four games between AP Top-10 teams in the 81-year history of the poll. The second time will be this weekend with four major match-ups in conference championship games.
Manning Award Stars of the Week
While 30 quarterbacks are on the Manning Award Watch List, every quarterback in the country remains eligible for the honor. Below are our selections for the top eight quarterback performances of the past week. Click here to be redirected to Facebook for voting.
Danny Etling, LSU (19-of-30, 347 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 97.3)
Etling has his most yards during his LSU tenure, connecting on six passes of more than 25 yards, as he leads the Tigers to a 45-21 SEC win over Texas A&M, their sixth win in their last seven games.
Quinton Flowers, USF (24-of-45, 503 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 85.8)
Flowers, who sets the school record for passing yards, also runs for 102 yards (and a TD) to set the USF total offense record as the Bulls come up just short in a 49-42 loss to No. 15 UCF.
Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (26-of-38, 520 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 93.4)
Hansen, who adds a pair of rushing touchdowns, sets school records for passing yards and total offense (550) while leading the Red Wolves to a Sun Belt record 781 yards of offense in a 67-50 win over UL Monroe.
Drew Lock, Missouri (25-of-42, 448 yards, 5 TDs, 2 INT, QBR: 85.2)
Lock tallies his third 400-yard game of the year and sets the SEC season record for touchdown passes (43) in a 48-45 road win over Arkansas, the Tigers’ sixth straight victory.
Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (14-of-17, 281 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 99.1)
Mayfield leads the Sooners to touchdowns on all six drives that he plays in a 59-31 win over West Virginia.
Kenny Pickett, Pitt (18-of-29, 193 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, QBR: 92.1)
Pickett making his first career start, also runs for 60 yards and two touchdowns, as the Panthers upset No. 2 Miami, 24-14.
Mason Rudolph, Oklahoma State (31-of-43, 438 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 86.4)
Rudolph, who also runs for a pair of touchdowns, tallies his fifth 400-yard effort of the year in a 58-17 victory over Kansas.
Jarrett Stidham, Auburn (21-of-28, 237 yards, 0 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 88.0)
Stidham, who also runs for 51 yards and a touchdown, becomes the first quarterback since 2012 to complete 75% of his passes against Alabama as the Tigers upset the No. 1 Crimson Tide, 26-14.
Top Upcoming Games
(Rankings are this week’s AP Rankings; All Times Central, please check local listings)
Pac-12 Championship: No. 14 Stanford vs. No. 11 USC, Santa Clara (Friday, 7 p.m., ESPN): The Cardinal will make their fourth Pac-12 Championship appearance while the Trojans make their second trip as the two teams have a rematch from the 2015 title game won by Stanford. It is also a rematch of week two showdown won by the Trojans.
AAC Championship: No. 16 Memphis at No 12 UCF (Saturday, 11 a.m., ABC): The winner of this game should wrap up the Group of Five’s automatic bid to one of the New Year’s Six Bowls. Expect a shootout as UCF leads the nation with 48.3 points per game while Memphis is second with 47.0 points per game. The Knights host due to their impressive 40-13 regular-season win over the Tigers.
Big 12 Championship: No. 10 TCU vs. No. 2 Oklahoma, Arlington (Saturday, 11:30 a.m., FOX): Oklahoma ranks fourth in the nation with 45.3 points per game while TCU ranks eighth in scoring defense (15.7), but in their first meeting, the Sooners piled up 38 points in a 38-20 victory.
SEC Championship: No. 6 Georgia vs. No. 4 Auburn, Atlanta (Saturday, 3 p.m., CBS): The Tigers will be looking for their third straight win over an 11-win team, which should lock them into the College Football Playoff, despite their two losses. A win for the Bulldogs, meanwhile, should also be a lock for the Playoff as it would give them revenge for their only loss of the year.
ACC Championship: No. 7 Miami vs. No. 1 Clemson, Charlotte (Saturday, 7 p.m., ABC): The winner of the ACC title game should also be a lock to make the Playoff as both teams only have one loss while each owns impressive wins, both in and out of conference play.
Big Ten Championship: No. 8 Ohio State vs. No. 3 Wisconsin, Saturday, 7 p.m., FOX): Three years ago Ohio State, with a backup quarterback under center, defeated Wisconsin in the Big Ten Championship game. While J.T. Barrett did come out of their last game due to injury, he has said he will be ready to go on Saturday. While the undefeated Badgers would seem to be a lock for the Playoff with a win, the Buckeyes will present an interesting scenario with their two losses, including a blowout loss to unranked Iowa.