College Football Recap, October 16

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.


Syracuse 27, No. 2 Clemson 24: Eric Dungey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns and Cole Murphy booted a 30-yard fourth-quarter field goal to break a 24-24 tie as the Tigers struggled after losing starting quarterback Kelly Bryant to injury. The loss snapped a 12-game road winning streak for Clemson and it was Syracuse’s third all-time against the defending national champion (also topped Penn State in 1987 and Michigan in 1998).

California 37, No. 8 Washington State 3: The Golden Bears forced seven turnovers, including five interceptions of Heisman-Trophy hopeful Luke Falk, as they picked up their first win in 14 years against a top-10 team (they had been 1-51-1 against Top-10 teams dating back to 1978).


Arizona State 13, No. 5 Washington 7: A powerful Husky squad expected to snap a string of futility in Tempe on Saturday. Instead, the Sun Devils defeated Washington for the seventh straight time at home as their defense, ranked No. 120 in the nation entering the game, held an offense which came in averaging 43 points per game to just 230 total yards.

Boise State 31, No. 19 San Diego State 14: The Broncos scored early on a punt return and a fumble recovery, then their stout defense, which hasn’t allowed a 100-yard rushing game this year, held Aztec star back Rashad Penny to just 53 yards on 21 carries as they foiled San Diego State’s hopes for a perfect season.


LSU 27, No. 10 Auburn 23: Trailing 20-0 early in the second quarter, LSU settled down and mounted an impressive comeback – the defense gave up just 64 yards and no points in the second half, D.J. Chark (who also had 150 receiving yards) scored on a 75-yard punt return and Connor Culp booted two field goals in the final three minutes to cap the comeback.

West Virginia 46, No. 24 Texas Tech 35: The Mountaineers found themselves in a 35-17 hole early in the third quarter, but then quarterback Will Grier took over, throwing for four of his five touchdown passes, while the defense shut down the Red Raiders for their first win over a ranked team since 2014.


No. 11 Miami 25, Georgia Tech 24: For the second week in a row, the Hurricanes managed a miraculous win in the final seconds. This week, Darrell Langhan snagged a tipped pass from Malik Rosier for a 28-yard gain to set up the game-winning 24-yard field goal from Michael Badgley with four seconds remaining to stun the Yellow Jackets.

No. 12 Oklahoma 29, Texas 24: The Sooners jumped out to a 20-0 advantage in the annual Red River Rivalry, but then the Longhorns battled back to take a 24-23 fourth-quarter lead. However, Baker Mayfield, while battling a shoulder injury, found a wide-open Mark Andrews for a 59-yard scoring connection to put OU back on top for good.

No. 13 USC 28, Utah 27: Three unanswered touchdowns to open the second half (two on Sam Darnold passes and one on a Ronald Jones run) gave the Trojans a 28-21 advantage, but then Troy Williams and the Utes drove 75 yards to pull within one – coach Kyle Whittingham opted for the two-point attempt on the road and Williams was tripped up just short of the goal line in a critical Pac-12 South showdown.

No. 17 Michigan 27, Indiana 20 (OT): A long punt return by the Hoosiers’ J-Shun Harris set up one touchdown and a Griffin Oaks field goal as time expired knotted the game at 20 to force overtime. However, the Wolverines’ Karan Higdon (25 carries for 200 yards and three scores) dashed 25 yards for a TD on the first play of overtime to cap off an impressive day before Tyree Kinnel clinched the win with an interception.

No. 21 Michigan State 30, Minnesota 27: L.J. Scott (194 yards, 2 TDs) had a huge day running the ball for the Spartans and they needed every bit of it as the Gophers closed the game with a 21-7 rally, including a pair of TD passes from Demry Croft to Tyler Johnson in the final 5:20, but ran out of time in their comeback bid.

Memphis 30, No. 25 Navy 27: Riley Ferguson threw three touchdown passes and the Tigers took advantage of five Navy turnovers as Memphis won its third straight game over a ranked opponent – this one in a critical AAC West match-up.


No. 1 Alabama 41, Arkansas 9: After a bit of an aberration last weekend (only an eight-point win), the undefeated Crimson Tide returned to its unstoppable form, out-gaining the Razorbacks 496-227, including 125 yards and two touchdowns from Damien Harris, as it picks up its sixth win by 15 or more points.

No. 6 TCU 26, Kansas State 6: Kenny Hill passed for 297 yards and ran for a touchdown and the Horned Frogs held the Wildcats, who were without their injured starting quarterback, to just 216 yards and 10 first downs.

No. 7 Wisconsin 17, Purdue 9: Jonathan Taylor ran for 219 yards, including a 67-yard TD run on the Badgers’ first drive to set the tone, as Wisconsin held the Boilermakers to 221 yards while tallying a dominant 39:18 time of possession.

No. 18 USF 33, Cincinnati 3: Quinton Flowers passed for 184 yards and ran for 80 more as he went over 3,000 career rushing yards and the Bulls extended the nation’s longest winning streak to 11 games while also scoring 30 points for the 23rd consecutive game, matching the longest streak in the nation since 1936.


No. 4 Georgia 53, Missouri 28: The Bulldogs broke open a 21-21 game with a bruising rushing attack (370 yards) that keyed 26 unanswered points and a 696-yard day (the second-most in school history) as well as a defense that allowed just 112 yards and seven points in the second half.

No. 20 N.C. State 35, Pitt 17: Nyheim Hines ran for 135 yards and an 83-yard touchdown, as well as scoring on a 92-yard punt return, and Jaylen Samuels added two fourth-quarter rushing scores as the Wolfpack won its sixth straight – the best stretch since 2002 when Phillip Rivers was at quarterback.

No. 23 Stanford 49, Oregon 7: Bryce Love, the nation’s leading rusher, ran for two touchdowns, including a 67-yard dash, in the first 4:23 of the game to give the Cardinal all the offense it would need as he finished with 147 yards on 17 carries for his ninth-consecutive 100-yard outing.


No. 9 Ohio State 56, Nebraska 14: J.T. Barrett completed 27-of-33 passes for 325 yards and five touchdowns while running for two more scores as he led the Buckeyes to 633 total yards, 41 first downs and touchdowns on their first eight possessions.

No. 19 Oklahoma State 59, Baylor 16: Mason Rudolph (19-of-31, 459 yards, 3 TDs) recorded his second 400-yard game of the season, finding James Washington six times for 235 yards, as the Cowboys cruised to a school-record 747 yards and picked up their first win over the Bears since 2013.

No. 22 UCF 63, East Carolina 21: McKenzie Milton passed for 324 yards and two touchdowns, five different players ran for touchdowns and the Knights added scores on a punt-return and an interception return as they improved to 5-0 for the first time in their Division I history.

Allstate Sugar Bowl Projections

ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Alabama vs. Clemson (Clemson replaces Washington)

ESPN (David Hale): Alabama vs. Clemson (Alabama replaces TCU)

CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Alabama vs. Clemson (Clemson replaces Penn State)

SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Alabama vs. Clemson (Alabama replaces Washington)

The All-American (Stewart Mandel): Alabama vs. Clemson (Alabama replaces Washington)

College Football News (Pete Fiutak): Alabama vs. Clemson (Clemson replaces Ohio State)

Sporting News (Bill Bender): Alabama vs. Clemson (Clemson replaces Washington)

Sports Illustrated (Eric Single): Alabama vs. TCU (TCU replaces Penn State)

USA Today (Erick Smith): Alabama vs. TCU (TCU replaces Washington)

The Score (Brett McMurphy): Alabama vs. Clemson (Alabama replaces Penn State)

Random Stats of the Week

0 – Games between ranked teams this past weekend. It was the latest in the season with no match-ups between ranked teams since Week 12 of 2009 – that week saw four ranked teams lose to unranked opponents (from ESPN Stats & Information). Seven ranked teams fell this week. 

11 – Consecutive games that Arizona State had given up 30 or more points (the longest streak in the country) coming into Saturday night’s game against No. 5 Washington. The Sun Devils held the Huskies, who came into the game averaging 43.0 points per game, to just seven points in a shocking 13-7 upset. 

1999 – The last time that Auburn won in Baton Rouge. The visiting Tigers appeared on track to break that streak, but LSU rallied from a 20-0 deficit for a shocking upset. 

500 – Wins in Big Ten play by Michigan following its defeat of Indiana on Saturday afternoon.  Not to be outdone, Ohio State rolled to a 56-14 win over Nebraska on Saturday night for its 500th Big Ten victory. Ohio State now has an all-time Big Ten record of 500-173-24 (.734) in its 105th season. Michigan is now 500-203-18 (.706) in its 111th season of Big Ten play. 

72 – Consecutive home wins over unranked teams when ranked in the AP Top-10 for Georgia. The Bulldogs stopped Missouri, 53-28, on Saturday. 

1-52-1 – Cal’s record against Top-10 teams dating back to 1978 entering Friday. The Golden Bears, behind quarterback Aaron Rodgers, defeated No. 3 USC, 34-31, in three overtimes in 2003. Then on Friday night, Cal snagged five interceptions in a mind-boggling 37-3 blowout of No. 8 Washington State. 

38-4 – TCU’s record in seasons that have followed non-winning seasons under coach Gary Patterson. The Horned Frogs went 6-6 in 2001, Patterson’s first full season, but then posted a 10-2 mark in 2002. After posting a 5-6 record in 2004, the Frogs went 11-1 in 2005; and then they followed a 4-8 2013 season with a 12-1 record in 2014. TCU is 6-0 this year after last year’s 6-7 finish. 

1947 – The last time both Texas and Oklahoma had new head coaches for the Red River Rivalry. The Longhorns and coach Blair Cherry defeated Bud Wilkinson’s Sooners in 1947 and they went on to defeat Alabama in the Sugar Bowl.

15 – Number of players who caught passes in Western Kentucky’s 45-14 victory over Charlotte on Saturday.

557 – Rushing yards for Arizona’s Khalil Tate in the last two games – the former backup came off the bench two weeks ago against Colorado and then started in a win over UCLA on Saturday. He has averaged 19.2 yards per carry in those two games and is the first FBS quarterback with back-to-back 200-yard rushing efforts since Navy’s Chris McCoy in 1997.

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.

J.T. Barrett, Ohio State (27-of-33, 325 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 98.4)
Barrett also runs for 48 yards and two touchdowns as he leads the Buckeyes to touchdowns on eight straight drives before leaving the game early in the fourth quarter of a 56-14 road win over Nebraska in Big Ten play.

Eric Dungey, Syracuse (20-of-32, 278 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 84.7)
Dungey, who also runs for 68 yards, keys the Orange’s first-ever win over the No. 2 team in the nation as they top defending national champion Clemson, 27-24, in ACC action.

Mason Fine, North Texas (20-of-34, 354 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 80.1)
Fine, who also rushes for a touchdown, tosses a 22-yard TD pass with 10 seconds to go to lift the Mean Green to a 29-26 win over UTSA as they remain perfect in C-USA action.

Will Grier, West Virginia (32-of-41, 352 yards, 5 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 75.3)
Grier throws four touchdowns in the final 20:07 of the game as the Mountaineers scored four unanswered touchdowns to erase a 35-17 deficit in a 46-35 Big 12 win over No. 24 Texas Tech.

Justice Hansen, Arkansas State (24-of-37, 286 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 80.5)
Hansen, who also rushes for 68 yards, ties his own school-record for TD passes as he leads the Red Wolves to a 51-17 victory over Coastal Carolina in Sun Belt action.

Baker Mayfield, Oklahoma (17-of-27, 302 yards, 2 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 79.5)
Mayfield shakes off a second-half injury to connect on a 59-yard scoring strike which proves to be the difference with 6:53 to go in a 29-24 win over Texas in the Red River Rivalry.

Conner Manning, Georgia State (26-of-35, 446 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 90.1)
Manning registers career-bests in passing yards and touchdowns as he leads the Panthers to a school-record 670 yards in a 47-37 Sun Belt road win over UL Monroe, which had been perfect in league play.

Khalil Tate, Arizona (9-of-13, 148 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, QBR: 98.5)
Tate runs for 230 yards and two TDs, his second straight 200-yard rushing game, as he leads the Wildcats to a 47-30 Pac-12 win over UCLA.


Top Upcoming Games

(Rankings are this week’s AP Rankings; All Times Central, please check local listings)

No. 10 Oklahoma State at Texas (11 a.m., ABC): The Cowboys bring their high-powered offense to Austin to take on a Texas squad which is improved but still looking for a marquee win under first-year head coach Tom Herman.

Maryland at No. 5 Wisconsin (11 a.m., FOX): Every game increases in importance for the eight undefeated teams remaining in the country, such as the Badgers who are outscoring opponents by 23 points per game.

Tennessee at No. 1 Alabama (2:30 p.m., CBS): This is expected to be a tough game for Tennessee and head coach Butch Jones, who appears to be on one of the hottest seats in the country – on the other hand, last weekend’s chaos showed that a team with little to lose could give a scare to a highly-ranked foe.

Syracuse at No. 8 Miami (2:30 p.m., ESPN): The Hurricanes have been living on the edge, using late-game heroics from quarterback Malik Rosier and receiver Darrell Langham to win their last two games in the final seconds. Now they host a Syracuse team coming off one of the biggest wins in school history – a surprising upset of defending national champion Clemson.

No. 20 UCF at Navy (2:30 p.m., CBSSN): This game features co-leaders from each of the ACC divisions with the Midshipmen hoping their option offense, which leads the nation with an average time of possession of 36:01, will keep the high-scoring Knights off the field – UCF leads the nation in scoring with 50.6 points per game.

No. 9 Oklahoma at Kansas State (3 p.m., FOX): After losing to Iowa State two Saturdays ago, the Sooners needed some chaos to get them back into the mix for the CFP. They didn’t have to wait long as this past Saturday lifted them right back into the top-10. Kansas State is coming off a 26-6 loss to TCU, but they are always a threat to anyone coming to Manhattan.

No. 11 USC at No. 13 Notre Dame (6:30 p.m., NBC): The Pac-12 race has become far more muddled as everyone now has a loss, but in regards to the CFP, USC is the top candidate to earn a bid if they win out as it has a very challenging schedule – including this showdown with the Fighting Irish, who are also looking to climb into the playoff picture.

No. 19 Michigan at No. 2 Penn State (6:30 p.m., ABC): The Nittany Lions are ranked No. 2 for the first time since Oct. 31, 1999, but their schedule has featured just two teams over. 500 (4-3 Akron and 4-2 Iowa). Michigan, despite struggles on offense, still features a rugged defense that should make them the most challenging foe thus far for Penn State.

Kansas at No. 4 TCU (7 p.m., FOX): The Horned Frogs, have used a potent defense and a fast-improving passing game to continue to climb in the rankings – now they’ve reached the all-important top four and need to avoid any letdowns. Kansas is unlikely to be able to threaten TCU, but the Frogs need to continue impressive play to hold onto their lofty position.

Colorado at No. 15 Washington State (9:45 p.m., ESPN): The Cougars were off to one of their best starts in program history; now they need to regain focus after their upset loss on Friday. They remain fully in the mix for the Pax-12 title and a potential bid for the CFP, but a second loss will likely finish hopes for the latter.