College Football Update, November 2 park
Week nine of the college football season included four of the top eight teams having bye weeks, but there was still plenty of excitement on the gridiron. Here's a brief look at the results of the Top 25, as well as an SEC and Big 12 breakdown, from this past weekend. The rankings used in this recap are the AP rankings entering the games. The first College Football Playoff rankings of 2015 will be released on Tuesday evening at 6 p.m. (Central).
Allstate Sugar Bowl Match-Up
This year's Allstate Sugar Bowl will be the first as the official destination for the top available teams from the Big 12 and the SEC. The Sugar Bowl will feature the champions of each league unless one or both are selected for the College Football Playoff. In that case, the top non-playoff teams from those leagues will square off in New Orleans. This match-up is locked in for eight of the next 11 years. In the other three seasons (2017, 2020 and 2023), the Allstate Sugar Bowl will serve as a College Football Playoff Semifinal.
Big 12 Action
No. 5 TCU 40, West Virginia 10: Trevone Boykin tallied 472 total yards and accounted for four touchdowns as he broke the TCU record for total offense (12,041 yards) while Josh Doctson caught 11 passes for 183 yards and two scores as the Horned Frogs won their 16th straight game.
No. 12 Oklahoma State 70, Texas Tech 53: The Cowboy defense, which ranked No. 22 in the country struggled to slow down the Red Raiders, but their 12th-ranked offense notched a season-high in points, including four touchdowns of 59 yards or more, as Mason Rudolph and J.T. Walsh both threw for a pair of touchdowns to keep their team undefeated.
No. 14 Oklahoma 62, Kansas 7: Despite having three huge games up next on the schedule (No. 2 Baylor, No. 5 TCU and No. 12 Oklahoma State), the Sooners remain focused in a blowout victory as Baker Mayfield throws for 383 yards and four touchdowns and Sterling Shepard has 11 catches for 183 yards and a score.
Iowa State 24, Texas 0: Freshman Mike Warren ran for 157 yards, the fifth time in the last six games that he has tallied 100 yards, and sophomore Joel Lanning made his first career start, throwing for 188 yards while running for 64 and the Cyclone defense held the Longhorns to just 204 yards of offense in posting their first shutout since 2013. A fascinating stat from Pat Forde's column on Yahoo – Texas has been outscored 112-10 on the road this season.
No. 19 Ole Miss 27, Auburn 19: Laquon Treadwell (seven catches for 114 yards), the leading receiver in the SEC, snagged a 21-yard touchdown pass from Chad Kelly (33-of-51, 381 yards) in the fourth quarter and the Rebel defense made a critical goal line stand to preserve the victory in the final seconds.
No. 11 Florida 27, Georgia 3: The Gators improved to 5-1 in conference play while sending the Bulldogs to their third league loss to open up a strong advantage in the SEC East race as Kelvin Taylor ran for 121 yards and the Gator defense allowed just 223 total yards.
Texas A&M 35, South Carolina 28: Highly-touted freshman Kyler Murray made his debut for the Aggies, throwing for 223 yards and rushing for 156 yards while Tra Carson added 122 rushing yards to lead the Aggies to a key SEC victory, improving them to 6-2 overall.
Arkansas 63, Tennessee-Martin 28: Alex Collins ran for 173 yards and a career-high five touchdowns as the Razorbacks cruised to an easy victory over the FCS Skyhawks, despite allowing 519 yards.
No. 18 Houston 34, Vanderbilt 0: The Cougars forced four turnovers and registered their first shutout since 2013 as they improved to 8-0 for just the fourth time in school history behind a strong effort from standout quarterback Greg Ward who ran for one touchdown while throwing for another.
Tennessee 52, Kentucky 21: Joshua Dobbs accounted for four touchdowns while the Volunteers get a kickoff return touchdown and a punt return touchdown as they win for the 30th time in their last 31 match-ups with the Wildcats.
Other Top Games From Around the Country
No. 3 Clemson 56, N.C. State 41: For the second straight week, the Tigers piled up 50-plus points as Deshaun Watson threw for 383 yards and five touchdowns while also adding a running touchdown and Wayne Gallman ran for 172 yards and a score.
No. 9 Notre Dame 24, No. 21 Temple 20: DeShone Kizer connected with Will Fulmer for a 17-yard score with 2:09 to go as the Fighting Irish escape a strong effort by the Owls, who were playing one of the biggest games in program history; it was the third time this year that Kizer has led Notre Dame from behind in the fourth quarter.
No. 8 Stanford 30, Washington State 28: After connecting on five field goals, Washington State missed wide-right on a 43-yard field goal attempt as time expired allowing Stanford to build a two-game lead in the Pac-12 North – the Cardinal were led by quarterback Kevin Hogan, who ran for 112 yards and two scores, and Christian McCaffrey, who finished with 107 rushing yards to go over 1,000 for the season.
Sugar Bowl Spotlight Event
In addition to the Allstate Sugar Bowl Football Classic, the bowl is involved with over 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 Cross Country Championships which will be held this Saturday, November 7 at City Park. All high school varsity boys and girls cross country teams from Orleans, Jefferson, St. Tammany, St. Bernard, St. Charles and Plaquemine Parishes have been invited to participate. The meet is not divided by class or school size. The girls' race will begin at 10 a.m., followed by the boys at 11 a.m.
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2016
ESPN (Brett McMurphy): Alabama vs. TCU (no change)
CBS Sports (Palm): Baylor vs. LSU (no change)
SB Nation (Kirk): TCU vs. Florida (replaces Baylor vs. LSU)
Fox Sports (Mandel): LSU vs. TCU (LSU replaces Alabama)
College Football News (Fiutak): TCU vs. Florida (TCU replaces Oklahoma)
Sporting News (Bender): Alabama vs. TCU – updates Tuesdays
Sports Illustrated (Ellis): LSU vs. TCU – updates Tuesdays
USA Today (Smith): Baylor vs. LSU – updates Wednesdays
The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be giving away two free tickets to the 2016 Allstate Sugar Bowl. 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 this year's Allstate Sugar Bowl to be played on Friday, January 1, 2016 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. 10 when a winner will be selected and contacted by an Allstate Sugar Bowl representative.
The Manning Award, sponsored and coordinated by the Allstate Sugar Bowl, will be recognizing its 12th winner following the 2015 season. Each week, the Bowl selects eight "Stars of the Week" and fans can vote on their overall "Quarterback of the Week" on the Allstate Sugar Bowl Facebook page.
Manning Award Stars of the Week
David Blough, Purdue
Trevone Boykin, TCU
Jeff Driskel, Louisiana Tech
Gunnar Kiel, Cincinnati
Chase Litton, Marshall
Kyler Murray, Texas A&M
Brett Rypien, Boise State
Deshaun Watson, Clemson
Top Upcoming Games
All times are Central. Rankings are the AP Rankings from this week.
No. 2 Baylor at Kansas State (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1): The potent Baylor attack continues to lead the nation with 61.0 points per game, but now they have to break in a new quarterback as freshman Jarrett Stidham replaces Seth Russell, who suffered a neck injury two weeks ago (the Bears had a bye this past weekend).
Vanderbilt at No. 11 Florida (11 a.m., ESPN): The Gators need to win one of their remaining two games to lock down the SEC East title and their tough defense (seventh in the nation allowing 15.5) should provide major problems for a Commodore offense which averages just 15.8 points per game.
Duke at No. 21 North Carolina (11 a.m., ESPN2): This traditional hardwood classic takes a turn on the gridiron with a lot on the line as the Tar Heels will take a major step towards the ACC Coastal title if they can follow-up Saturday's win over Pittsburgh with a victory over the Blue Devils – on the other hand, Duke needs to recover quickly from a stomach-punch loss to Miami in order to keep its hopes alive for a divisional championship.
No. 8 Notre Dame at Pittsburgh (11 a.m., ABC): The Fighting Irish only have two marquee games remaining – this weekend against Pitt and Nov. 28 at Stanford – the Panthers come into this game with a 6-2 record after falling to North Carolina this past weekend, while the Irish handed Temple its first loss of the season on Saturday.
No. 17 Florida State at No. 3 Clemson (2:30 p.m., ABC): Clemson can clinch the ACC Atlantic Division with a win on Saturday as the league's two top powers from recent years meet in another major showdown – Tiger quarterback Deshaun Watson has set career-highs in each of the last three weeks – passing yards one week, then rushing yards, followed by touchdowns this past Saturday.
No. 5 TCU at No. 12 Oklahoma State (2:30 p.m., Fox): The Big 12's four-team round robin to the conference title begins on Saturday as two of the league's three undefeated schools meet with the potent, but injury-riddled, Horned Frogs taking on an unheralded Cowboy team which has scored 128 points in its last two games.
Iowa State at No. 14 Oklahoma (6 p.m., ESPNU): This could be a classic trap game for the Sooners as they will follow this one with a murderers row of No. 2 Baylor, No. 5 TCU and No. 12 Oklahoma State. The Cyclones are 3-5 overall and 2-3 in league play, but just posted an impressive shutout of Texas – which handed Oklahoma its lone loss of the year.
Auburn at No. 25 Texas A&M (6:30 p.m., SEC Network): With losses to Alabama and Ole Miss on their slate already, the Aggies have an uphill battle to get back into the SEC West title picture, but the impressive debut of true freshman quarterback Kyler Murray (226 passing yards, 156 rushing yards, 2 TDs) on Saturday has hopes high in College Station.
No. 4 LSU at No. 7 Alabama (7 p.m., CBS): Each year, this match-up is awash in national championship relevance and this year is no different as the Tigers hope stud back Leonard Fournette can give them the boost to snap a four-game losing streak to the Crimson Tide, which has its own stud back in Derrick Henry.