College Football Recap, October 7 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.
MAGNOLIA STATE MADNESS
#11 Ole Miss 23, #3 Alabama 17: On arguably the biggest football day in state history, the Rebels do their part for Magnolia State pride by shocking the second-ranked Crimson Tide as Bo Wallace tosses a pair of fourth-quarter touchdown passes, Senquez Golson clinches the win with an acrobatic interception in the end zone with 37 seconds to go and Ole Miss takes advantage of key Tide mistakes, including two missed field goals – Alabama has lost five games since 2011; in those games, it is 5-of-16 on field-goal attempts.
#12 Mississippi State 48, #6 Texas A&M 31: The Bulldogs open up the historic day for their home state by letting quarterback Dak Prescott thrust himself fully into the Heisman Trophy picture; the senior accounts for 345 total yards and five touchdowns while linebacker Richie Brown matches a school record with three interceptions to help Mississippi State pick up its second win over a Top-10 team for the first time in program history.
MAYHEM ON THE MENU
Arizona 31, #2 Oregon 24: For the second year in a row, the Wildcats deal a serious blow to the Ducks' national title hopes as Terris Jones-Grigsby tallies 115 rushing yards and 95 receiving yards in a result that launches undefeated Arizona all the way from unranked to No. 10 in the country.
#25 TCU 37, #4 Oklahoma 33: Trevone Boykin logs 395 yards and a pair of touchdowns and Paul Dawson has a 41-yard yard interception return touchdown in the fourth quarter as the Horned Frogs hand Sooner quarterback Trevor Knight his first loss in 10 games as a starter (though presumably he still has Katy Perry as a fan) as TCU launches itself from No. 25 in the country all the way to No. 9.
Utah 30, #8 UCLA 28: Andy Phillips boots a 29-yard field goal with 34 seconds left to put the Utes on top, then UCLA misses two last-second chances at the game-winning field goal (one after a penalty), to cap a great day for Utah which has 156 rushing yards from Devontae Booker and 10 sacks of Brett Hundley by its defense.
Arizona State 38, #16 USC 34: Trailing 34-32 as the clock hits 0:00, Sun Devil backup quarterback Mike Bercovici threw 46 yards to the end zone where Jaelen Strong makes a leaping catch to shock the Trojans; Bercovici finishes the evening with 510 yards and five touchdowns.
Northwestern 20, #17 Wisconsin 14: The Wildcats force four turnovers, including three interceptions from Godwin Igwebuike to offset another bruising performance by Badger back Melvin Gordon, who tallies a career-high 259 yards and a touchdown.
Utah State 35, #18 BYU 20: Cougar fans have good reason to be disappointed as not only do their hopes of a trip to the College Football Playoff come to an end, but star quarterback and Heisman darkhorse Taysom Hill is lost for the season with a broken leg in a loss to the in-state rival Aggies, who get 321 yards and three TDs from quarterback Darell Garretson.
MISSING THE MISSTEPS
#5 Auburn 41, #15 LSU 7: Auburn avoids the upset bid that plagued many top teams as Nick Marshall (207 passing yards, 119 rushing yards, four TDs) leads his Tigers to scores on each of their first four possessions and the Auburn offense outgains LSU, 566-280 – two LSU quarterbacks combined for just eight completions.
#9 Notre Dame 17, #14 Stanford 14: Ben Koyack slips free in the end zone and Everett Golson finds the wide-open receiver for a 23-yard go-ahead touchdown with 1:01 to go as the Fighting Irish pick up a critical victory while holding the Cardinal to just 47 rushing yards, its least since 2007.
#10 Michigan State 27, #19 Nebraska 22: The Spartans completely control their Big Ten showdown with the Cornhuskers, taking a 27-3 lead into the fourth-quarter, but then Ameer Abdullah scores on a pair of short runs and De'Mornay Pierson-El adds a 62-yard punt return touchdown before time runs out; Michigan State's defense holds the vaunted Husker running game to just 47 yards, 308 below its average.
CRUSHING THE CONFERENCE
#1 Florida State 43, Wake Forest 3: The Seminole defense holds the Demon Deacons to just 126 yards and with Jameis Winston turning in a pedestrian performance (23-of-39, 297 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), star kicker Robert Aguayo gets the chance to shine, booting a career-high five field goals as the defending Lou Groza Award winner has now connected on a school-record 21 consecutive field goals.
#7 Baylor 28, Texas 7: The high-octane Baylor offense was slowed down by a stout Longhorn defense, but Shock Linwood stepped up with 148 rushing yards and the Bears played some defense of their own, forcing three turnovers as it sends Texas to its worst start after five games since 1993 while Baylor improves to 20-2 since a 2012 victory over then-No. 2 Kansas State.
#13 Georgia 44, Vanderbilt 17: Every time he steps on the field, Todd Gurley seems to add to his Heisman campaign; this time he runs for 163 yards and two touchdowns while also completing a 50-yard pass – Georgia's longest pass play of the year.
#20 Ohio State 52, Maryland 24: J.T. Barrett continues to mature for the Buckeyes as he goes on the road and completes 18-of-23 passes for 267 yards and four touchdowns while also running for a score as Ohio State tallies its 12th 50-point game since Urban Meyer's arrival in 2012.
#21 Oklahoma State 37, Iowa State 20: Tied late in the first half, Oklahoma State gets a break on a review of the final play of the half which resulted in a touchdown, then the Cowboys open the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return touchdown by Tyreek Hill which turned the game into an eventual blowout.
#22 East Carolina 45, SMU 24: Shane Carden helps the Pirates successfully open their first American Athletic Conference season by throwing for 410 yards to become the school's all-time passing yardage leader while receiver Justin Hardy catches three of Carden's four touchdown passes.
#23 Kansas State 45, Texas Tech 13: The Wildcat defense forces four turnovers and Jake Waters dominates with 290 passing yards and four touchdowns as well as 105 rushing yards and another score.
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 Eddie Robinson Coach of the Year Award. The Allstate Sugar Bowl took over title sponsorship of the prestigious honor this past summer; the Robinson Award is presented to the most outstanding collegiate coach at the FBS level each year. The winner will be announced at a reception at the College Football Playoff National Championship in January.
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 leaping touchdown catch by former Greater New Orleans Amateur Athlete of the Month Speedy Noil, now a freshman receiver at Texas A&M, and one of the wildest trick plays of the year as a TCU player "plays dead" before jumping up to receive a lateral on a kickoff.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2015
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Notre Dame vs. Auburn (replaces Oregon vs. Florida State)
FoxSports.com (Stewart Mandel): Auburn vs. Oklahoma (Auburn replaces Florida State)
ESPN.com (Brett McMurphy): Auburn vs. Florida State (replaces Alabama vs. Oklahoma)
ESPN.com (Mark Schlabach): Florida State vs. Mississippi State (Mississippi State replaces Oklahoma)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Florida State vs. Oklahoma (Oklahoma replaces Oregon)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Florida State vs. Michigan State (replaces Alabama vs. Oklahoma)
Phil Steele: Florida State vs. Michigan State (Michigan State replaces Oregon)
USA Today (Erick Smith): Florida State vs. Michigan State
National Football Post (Dave Miller): Florida State vs. Oklahoma
#SUGARSTATS ON TWITTER
Each week, the Allstate Sugar Bowl (@sugarbowlnola) will ask fans to make specific stat predictions on Twitter using the hashtag #sugarstats. One weekly winner will be rewarded with sweet Sugar Bowl swag. This week's question is, "Which FBS player will have the most receiving yards this week?" Be sure to tag your response with #sugarstats for a chance to win.
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):
Austin Appleby, Purdue
Mike Bercovici, Arizona State
Shane Carden, East Carolina
Darell Garretson, Utah State
Connor Halliday, Washington State
Nick Marshall, Auburn
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
Deshaun Watson, Clemson
TOP UPCOMING GAMES
(Rankings are from current AP Poll, all times Central)
Washington State at #25 Stanford (Fri., 8 p.m., ESPN): Stanford is still very much in the mix for the Pac-12 North title despite a pair of losses (only one in league play) and Washington State is proving to be one of the more exciting teams to watch, if you enjoy offense – the Cougars are scoring 38 points per game and quarterback Connor Halliday leads the nation with 3,052 passing yards, nearly 900 yards more than his closest competition.
#13 Georgia at #23 Missouri (Sat., 11 a.m., CBS): The Tigers are in the driver's seat in the SEC East, but in order to successfully defend their title, they will need to hold back Georgia's all-everything back Todd Gurley who hopes to help the Dawgs vault back into the College Football Playoff picture.
Texas vs. #11 Oklahoma (Sat., 11 a.m., ABC): The annual Red River Rivalry lost some prestige with the Sooners being upended by TCU on Saturday, but a win for the Longhorns would still be a major marquee victory to spark the program in Charlie Strong's debut season.
Duke at #22 Georgia Tech (Sat., 11:30 a.m., ESPN3): The undefeated Yellow Jackets just clawed their way into the national rankings this week and now will look to hold onto that position when they host the Blue Devils, who have turned themselves into an ACC power against all odds.
#2 Auburn at #3 Mississippi State (Sat., 2:30 p.m., CBS): The Bulldogs' win over Texas A&M, coupled with other losses, lifted them to the highest ranking in program history; now they get to put their perfect record on the line when they host defending SEC Champion Auburn, which has won its first five games, including two over Top- 20 teams, by an average margin of 26.5 points.
#9 TCU at #5 Baylor (Sat., 2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): Fans of the Big 12 bluebloods may not appreciate seeing the Bears and Horned Frogs meeting in potentially the biggest game of the year for the conference, but this could be it as Baylor's high-powered offense (leads the nation with 51.0 points per game) will try to overcome TCU's stout defense (seventh in the country with 13.5 points allowed per game).
#12 Oregon at #18 UCLA (Sat., 2:30 p.m., Fox): Both the Ducks and the Bruins suffered their first losses of the season last week, now they will try to avoid a losing streak as two preseason Heisman favorites, Oregon quarterback Marcus Mariota and UCLA signal-caller Brett Hundley, go head-to-head in the Rose Bowl.
#7 Alabama at Arkansas (Sat., 5 p.m., ESPN): The Crimson Tide hopes to right itself after its shocking loss at Ole Miss while the Razorbacks and coach Brett Bielema find themselves trying to rebuild the program while playing in the SEC West, arguably one of the most challenging conference divisions in college football history.
#3 Ole Miss at #14 Texas A&M (Sat., 8 p.m., ESPN): The Aggies have been a surprise team, climbing into the top 10 despite the departure of star quarterback Johnny Manziel, but last week's loss to Mississippi State put a dent in their high hopes; now they take on the other Magnolia State team; while the Rebels are coming off a big win over Alabama, A&M does gain home-field advantage for this one.
USC at #10 Arizona (Sat., 9:30 p.m., ESPN2): The topsy-turvy college football season to date can be seen clearly in the Pac-12 and specifically with these two teams – in USC's last four games, it shocked No. 13 Stanford, was upset by unheralded Boston College, cruised over Oregon State and then was beaten by a Hail Mary from Arizona State's backup quarterback. Arizona meanwhile, has gone from unranked to the Top 10, despite struggling to top UTSA and Nevada, then needing a Hail Mary of its own to defeat California, before shocking No. 2 Oregon.