College Football Recap, October 28 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. Happy Halloween!
#24 LSU 10, #3 Ole Miss 7: The interception by LSU safety Ronald Martin with two seconds to go not only locked down a key SEC West victory for the Tigers, but they also "gained" ground over nearly every other two-loss team in the country, theoretically remaining in the mix for playoff consideration.
#4 Alabama 34, Tennessee 20: Amari Cooper "gains" a school record 224 receiving yards, including two touchdowns, on nine receptions, his sixth 100-yard game of the year as he now ranks second in the nation with 1,132 receiving yards as the Crimson Tide turns in its second straight impressive performance to climb back to the top four in the polls.
#10 TCU 82, Texas Tech 27: The Horned Frogs and quarterback Trevone Boykin are both huge "gainers" as TCU tallies a school-record in points (they now lead the nation in scoring at 50.4 points per game after averaging 25.1 last year) behind Boykin, who registers 433 passing yards and seven touchdown to thrust himself squarely into the Heisman Trophy picture.
#16 Nebraska 42, Rutgers 24: Ameer Abdullah not only "gained" a school record 341 all-purpose yards in this rout, he also gained more credibility in the Heisman race as he now has four 200-yard rushing games this year and leads the nation in rushing yards and all-purpose yards while ranking second in touchdowns.
#5 Auburn 42, South Carolina 35: Nick Marshall accounts for four touchdowns (one passing, three rushing) and Cameron Artis-Payne runs for 167 yards, but this one stays "scary" for Tiger fans until Dylan Thompson's last-second Hail Mary is intercepted by Jonathan Jones – his second interception in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
#13 Ohio State 31, Penn State 24: Since a surprising home loss to Virginia Tech in the second game of the year, the Buckeyes had been cruising with a school-record four straight 50-point games, but an under-manned Penn State squad provides quite a "scare" before falling in the second overtime when Ohio State tackle Joey Bosa sacked Michael Barrett on fourth-and-five to clinch the victory.
#19 Utah 24, #20 USC 21: Since joining the Pac-12 for the 2011 season, the Utes have struggled to a 9-18 conference record, but this year, head coach Kyle Whittingham has his squad rolling, but things were "scary" on Saturday until the final seconds when Travis Wilson connected on a short touchdown pass to stun the Trojans and give Utah one of its biggest wins since joining the league.
#25 UCLA 40, Colorado 37: The Bruins entered the season with national championship aspirations while Colorado was just hoping to win more than one game in Pac-12 play (after two years of posting 1-8 marks); after suffering two losses already, UCLA was hoping to avoid another "scare," but no such luck as the Buffaloes score 17 unanswered points to force overtime before Brett Hundley can "save" the day with an eight-yard TD run in the second overtime.
#1 Mississippi State 45, Kentucky 31: Playing their first game in history as the No. 1 team in the nation, the Bulldogs nearly get a "haunting" memory of Lexington as the Wildcats tally over 500 yards of offense and refuse to go away, pulling within a touchdown four times before Christina Holmes returns a kick 61 yards for a TD to clinch a victory which also features a career-high 198 rushing yards from Josh Robinson.
#6 Oregon 59, California 41: The Ducks seem to have their offense back to a national-championship caliber, but they could be "haunted" by games like this as an unranked Cal team piles up 560 yards of offense to nearly offset another sterling game from Marcus Mariota (326 yards, five touchdowns).
#15 Arizona 59, Washington State 37: Home games are supposed to be pleasant in college football but WSU's Martin Stadium is turning into a "haunted" house as California piled up 60 points in the Cougars' last home game and now Anu Solomon throws for five touchdowns as the Wildcats jump to a 31-0 advantage en route to a blowout victory.
#11 Kansas State 23, Texas 0: The Wildcats become the first "defense" to shut out the Longhorns since 2004 as they hold them to just 196 yards as Kansas State completes the Oklahoma-Texas sweep for just the second time in 87 years of action.
#14 Arizona State 24, Washington 10: The Sun Devils came into this game averaging nearly 39 points per game, but it's their "defense" that makes the difference, holding the Huskies to 290 total yards and just 3.3 yards per play while clinching the victory when Armand Perry returns an interception 61 yards for a score in the final minute.
#21 Clemson 16, Syracuse 6: The stout Clemson "defense," which came into the game ranked fifth in the nation, holds Syracuse to just 170 yards, which gives the offense time to get on track and 13 unanswered points to overcome a 6-3 halftime deficit.
#22 West Virginia 34, Oklahoma State 10: Two high-powered offenses, which came into the game averaging a combined 70.4 points per game, find themselves in a 17-10 "defensive" battle entering the fourth quarter, but it's the Mountaineers who come to life, scoring 17 unanswered points, including a 52-yard interception return score by Dravon Henry, to remain in the hunt for the Big 12 title.
TRICK OR TREAT
#35 Michigan State 35, Michigan 11: The Wolverines play a poor "trick" by driving a stake into the Spartan Stadium turf prior to the game – the trick backfires as Michigan State trounces Michigan, its sixth win in the last seven games against its state rival, as Jeremy Langford runs for 177 yards and three TDs.
#18 East Carolina 31, Connecticut 21: The top-ranked team from the Group of Five conferences (American, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and Sun Belt) will earn an automatic bid to one of the New Year's Six bowls and right now, the school in position for that "treat" is East Carolina, which improved to 6-1 as star quarterback Shane Carden passed for a season-high 445 yards.
#23 Marshall 35, Florida International 16: The Thundering Herd enter the week as one of four undefeated FBS teams and thanks to a "treat" from running back Devon Johnson, who tallies a school record 272 rushing yards, they remain perfect, while also remaining the top rival for East Carolina for the Group of Five's automatic berth in a New Year's Six bowl.
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 Metro Swimming Championships, which will be held this Friday and Saturday at the UNO Aquatic Center. The Metro Championship is the premier swimming event for high school athletes in the metropolitan area. The popularity and significance of the event exceeds that of the City and State championship meets as it includes the schools of all five classes of LHSAA, including Catholic, public and private schools – ensuring that the best swimmers compete against each other, regardless of classification. The meet includes schools not only from New Orleans but also from the Northshore and other metropolitan areas.
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 a touchdown pass by Arkansas' Sebastian Tretola, a 350-pound lineman who delivered the pass to the long snapper on a fake play, and this 57-yard touchdown catch by North Carolina receiver Mack Hollins.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Notre Dame vs. Mississippi State (No change)
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Auburn vs. Oregon (Auburn replaces Ole Miss)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Florida State vs. Oregon (no change)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Florida State vs. Michigan State (no change)
Phil Steele: Florida State vs. Michigan State (Michigan State replaces Oregon)
Yahoo! Sports (Pat Forde): Mississippi State vs. Auburn (Auburn replaces Oregon)
WIN TWO TICKETS!
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be giving away two free tickets to the 2015 Allstate Sugar Bowl, which will also serve as one of the first College Football Playoff Semifinals in history, in early December. Fans can sign up at the official website of the Allstate Sugar Bowl. One lucky winner will be chosen to receive two free tickets to the College Football Playoff Semifinal at the Allstate Sugar Bowl to be played on Thursday, Jan. 1, 2015 at the Mercedes-Benz Superdome. Prize includes two tickets to the game only. Parking, accommodations and any other expenses related to the game are the responsibility of the winner. Contest will continue until Thursday, Dec. 11 when a winner will be selected and contacted by an Allstate Sugar Bowl representative.
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):
Brandon Doughty, Western Kentucky
Garrett Grayson, Colorado State
Grant Hedrick, Boise State
Marcus Mariota, Oregon
Nick Marshall, Auburn
Keenan Reynolds, Navy
Anu Solomon, Arizona
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(Rankings are from current AP Poll, all times Central)
#2 Florida State at Louisville (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., ESPN): The Seminoles look to remain one of the three undefeated teams in the country, but could be challenged on the road by Bobby Petrino's squad, which leads the nation in rushing defense – a category that Florida State has struggled with this season.
#10 TCU at #20 West Virginia (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): The two newest Big 12 teams haven't made a lot of noise in the conference, but this season, they both remain in the mix to win the Big 12 title; West Virginia has won four straight after a loss to Oklahoma, while TCU is coming off an 82-point explosion against Texas Tech.
#4 Auburn at #7 Ole Miss (Saturday, 6 p.m., ESPN): This could be one of the best case studies of offense vs. defense thus far this season. The Tigers are averaging 39.0 points per game and 6.9 yards per play, while the Rebels have allowed just 10.5 points per game, the best mark in the nation.
Arkansas at #1 Mississippi State (6:15 p.m., ESPN2): The Bulldogs handled their first road game in history as the No. 1 team in the nation; now they need to manage the pressure of their first home game atop the rankings as the Razorbacks visit Starkville in search of their first SEC victory in the Bret Bielema era.
Stanford at #5 Oregon (6:30 p.m., Fox): In another offense-defense case study, the Cardinal will be looking for its third straight win over the Ducks; and despite struggling with turnovers (16 this year), it still has a defense which ranks second in points allowed (12.5) and yards allowed (250.6) per game, which could prove detrimental to the Ducks' high-powered offense (45.5 points and 535 yards per game).
#6 Notre Dame at Navy (7 p.m., CBS): After a bye week, the Fighting Irish face an underrated challenge as Navy is one of the top teams in the nation at executing the triple-option thanks to veteran quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who tallied a career-high 251 rushing yards last weekend.
Oklahoma State at #11 Kansas State (7 p.m., ABC): Kansas State is the last undefeated team in Big 12 action, meaning it is the best bet for a College Football Playoff bid if it can remain perfect; the Wildcat defense is coming off a shutout of Texas, while Oklahoma State is coming off two of its worst offensive games in recent years.
#14 Arizona at #25 UCLA ( 9:30 p.m., ESPN): The Bruins came into the year considered one of the Pac-12 favorites to qualify for the College Football Playoff, while Arizona, under head coach Rich Rodriguez was simply an afterthought; now the Wildcats have rolled to a 6-1 record and could deal a serious blow to UCLA's Pac-12 title hopes.
#18 Utah at #15 Arizona State (10 p.m., Fox Sports 1): Utah is putting together its best season since joining the Pac-12 in 2011 and a win over the defending South Division champs would be another impressive feather for its cap.