College Football Recap, October 21 park
Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25 from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the AP standings entering the games.
#2 Florida State 31, #5 Notre Dame 27: The Seminoles extend their all-time best winning streak to 23 games with a thrilling defeat of the Fighting Irish as Jameis Winston takes charge in the second half, completing 15 of his 16 passes for 181 yards, before the victory is clinched when the Irish get flagged for a penalty on the potential game-winning TD pass in the final seconds.
#25 Marshall 45, Florida International 13: Rakeem Cato sets an NCAA FBS record by throwing a touchdown pass in his 39th straight game, connecting four times as the Thundering Herd remains perfect on the year with a win in Cato's hometown.
#14 Kansas State 31, #11 Oklahoma 30: Michael Hunnicutt, one of the top placekickers in the country, has an extra point blocked and misses two field goals, including a 19-yard chip shot with 3:43 to go, as the Wildcats hold on for the critical victory behind a three-touchdown performance from Jake Waters.
#20 Utah 29, Oregon State 23: Devontae Booker carries 32 times for a career-high 229 yards and three touchdowns, including a 19-yard burst in the second overtime which lifts the Utes to their best start since 2010.
#10 Georgia 45, Arkansas 32: With star running back Todd Gurley still sitting out due to possible NCAA issues, true freshman Nick Chubb shines, running for 202 yards and two touchdowns as the Bulldogs roll to their fifth straight win while sending the Razorbacks to their 16th straight loss in SEC play.
#13 Ohio State 56, Rutgers 17: The Buckeyes, who lost star quarterback Braxton Miller to injury before the season began, continue to rise, as backup J.T. Barrett throws for 261 yards and three TDs and runs for 107 yards and two more scores in leading his team to their school-record fourth straight 50-point performance.
#3 Ole Miss 34, Tennessee 3: The Rebel defense, which has allowed six touchdowns while scoring four of its own, holds the Volunteers to just 191 yards and forces four turnovers, while the offense gets clicking in the second quarter to help Ole Miss stay perfect at 7-0.
#7 Alabama 59, #21 Texas A&M 0: The Crimson Tide defense turns in a very impressive performance, becoming the first team to shut out a Kevin Sumlin-coached team (86 games), not even allowing the Aggies to attempt a field goal, while the offense scores on every one of its first-half possessions as Blake Sims throws for three touchdowns, Amari Cooper adds another 100-yard receiving game and T.J. Yeldon collects 100 rushing yards.
#12 TCU 42, #15 Oklahoma State 9: The Cowboys are held without a touchdown for the first time 2009 while Trevone Boykin tallies a career-high 410 passing yards, including catch-and-run plays of 77 and 84 yards.
#17 Arizona State 26, #23 Stanford 10: In a rematch of last year's Pac-12 Championship game dominated by Stanford, the Sun Devils shut out the Cardinal in the first half (the first time in 87 games it has been held scoreless in the opening half) and hold it to just 288 total yards in a critical conference victory.
#24 Clemson 17, Boston College 13: The Tigers hold Eagle quarterback Tyler Murphy 63 yards below his rushing average while Cole Stoudt has his best game as the Clemson starter, completing a career-high 29 passes for 285 yards despite battling a sprained left shoulder.
West Virginia 41, #4 Baylor 27: Clint Trickett tallies his eighth-straight 300-yard passing game and tosses two of his three touchdown passes in the fourth quarter as the Mountaineers shock previously undefeated Baylor in Morgantown.
#8 Michigan State 56, Indiana 17: The Spartans, who rank third in the nation in points per game, collect their fifth game of 40-plus points this year behind Connor Cook's fourth career 300-yard passing game as he improves to 13-0 all-time against Big Ten opponents.
#9 Oregon 45, Washington 20: The Ducks, known for the high-octane passing attack directed by Marcus Mariota, get another 300-yard game from the talented signal-caller, but they also get 169 rushing yards and four touchdowns from true freshman running back Royce Freeman as they upend the Huskies for the 11th straight time.
#19 Nebraska 38, Northwestern 17: Ameer Abdullah bursts past the 1,000-yard mark for the season while rushing for four touchdowns to climb to 14 ground scores on the year – tops among Big Five players, as the Huskers close the game with a 24-0 run.
#22 USC 56, Colorado 28: Cody Kessler sets the USC record for touchdown passes with seven while also becoming the first Pac-12 quarterback to connect on seven scores in just three quarters of action, finding Nelson Agholor three times, as the Trojans roll.
SUGAR BOWL SPOTLIGHT EVENT
In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with nearly 50 other events throughout the year. Each week, we will spotlight one event in the weekly recap. This week's spotlight event is the Allstate Sugar Bowl Chapter of the National Football Foundation and College Football Hall of Fame. The Sugar Bowl has sponsored the chapter, one of 120 chapters throughout the country, since 2000. Each spring, the NFF Chapter sponsors an honors luncheon for outstanding high school football scholar-athletes. This past year, four young men were presented with $10,000 scholarships at the event.
YOUTUBE CLIPS OF THE WEEK
Each week the Allstate Sugar Bowl will make its YouTube Picks of the Week, including impressive off-field performances, great games, illuminating features and top highlights. This week's clips include this sensational touchdown by North Greenville University (in South Carolina) as quarterback Nelson Hughes has his pass deflected back to himself before he runs it home for the score as well as a great play on the sideline by Maryland head coach Randy Edsall.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State (Notre Dame vs. Oregon)
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Ole Miss vs. Oregon (no change)
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy): Mississippi State vs. Notre Dame (no change)
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Florida State vs. Ole Miss (replaces Baylor vs. Mississippi State)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Florida State vs. Oregon (Oregon replaces Mississippi State)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Florida State vs. Michigan State (no change)
Phil Steele: Florida State vs. Alabama (Alabama replaces Oregon)
Yahoo! Sports (Pat Forde): Mississippi State vs. Oregon (no change)
The official philanthropic initiative of the College Football Playoff is Extra Yard for Teachers. The program, supported through the College Football Playoff Foundation, honors and supports teachers nationally and in the communities that host the College Football Playoff National Championship and Playoff Semifinals. The Allstate Sugar Bowl will host one of the inaugural College Football Playoff Semifinals on Jan. 1, 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome in New Orleans. Click here or the graphic above to make your contribution.
VOTE FOR MANNING STARS
College football fans, be sure to "like" the official Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page (linked above) and vote each week for the Manning Award Quarterback of the Week. The top quarterback performances from each week will be posted giving you the chance to vote for what you think was the best effort each week of the college football season.
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. Here's a look at some of this week's top quarterback performances (follow the Facebook link above to vote):
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State
Rakeem Cato, Marshall
Connor Cook, Michigan State
Drew Hare, Northern Illinois
Jaquez Johnson, Florida Atlantic
Cody Kessler, USC
Clint Trickett, West Virginia
Marquise Williams, North Carolina
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(Rankings are from current AP Poll, all times Central)
Texas at #11 Kansas State (11 a.m., ESPN): The Wildcats have thrust themselves into the College Football Playoff picture with a strong surge in Big 12 action; they will look to continue their success against a Longhorn squad which has been reduced to playing the role of spoiler in head coach Charlie Strong's debut season.
#1 Mississippi State at Kentucky (2:30 p.m., CBS): While the Bulldogs are arguably the most surprising team in the nation, jumping from unranked all the way to the top position in the pools (for the first time ever), however, Mark Stoops has his Kentucky squad on the path to improvement as well; despite the Wildcats' loss to LSU on Saturday, they are 5-2 for the first time since 2008.
Michigan at #8 Michigan State (2:30 p.m., ABC): The struggles of the Wolverine program have taken much of the luster off this game, but Michigan could salvage much of its season with an upset of the red-hot cross state rival Spartans who have their eyes set on a College Football Playoff appearance.
#22 West Virginia at Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m., ESPN): Following its upset win over previously No. 4 Baylor on Saturday, the Mountaineers find themselves squarely in the Big 12 title picture, but a road game in Stillwater against a Cowboys squad smarting from a thumping by TCU could prove to be challenging.
#3 Ole Miss at #24 LSU (6:15 p.m., ESPN): The Tigers made the trip to Oxford last season with a No. 6 national ranking and proceeded to be shocked by a Rebel team on a three-game losing streak; the tables are turned this year as Ole Miss heads to Baton Rouge with College Football Playoff aspirations while LSU looks to continue its climb back up the rankings.
South Carolina at #5 Auburn (6:30 p.m., SEC Network): Despite a loss to Mississippi State, which lifted the Bulldogs to No. 1 in the country, Auburn remains in the College Football Playoff mix and will look to strengthen its position against Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks – the Tigers are 9-1-1 all-time against South Carolina.
#20 USC at #19 Utah (9 p.m., Fox Sports 1): Utah is finally settling down after three tumultuous years since joining the Pac-12, climbing into the national rankings with impressive victories over Oregon State and UCLA, while USC has been one of the most unpredictable teams in the country, but still has a 5-2 record with wins over Arizona and Stanford.