College Football Update, October 26 park
Week eight of the college football season didn't feature a multitude of marquee games, but still featured a pair of upsets of undefeated top-10 teams as well as 10 games featuring Big 12 or SEC teams – all won by the home teams. 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.
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.
No. 8 Alabama 19, Tennessee 14: The Volunteers gave the Crimson Tide everything they had, but in the end, it was bruising running back Derrick Henry who again took charge for Alabama as he capped a 143-yard running day with a 14-yard TD run with 2:24 to go to set the table for the ‘Bama defense to clinch the win by recording two straight sacks, the final one causing a fumble.
No. 24 Ole Miss 23, No. 15 Texas A&M 3: The Rebel defense turned in one of its best performances of the year, holding the Aggies to just 192 total yards, while the offense gets 241 yards (two TDs) from Chad Kelly, five catches for 102 yards from Laquon Treadwell and 97 rushing yards from Jaylen Walton.
No. 5 LSU 48, Western Kentucky 20: Brandon Harris throws for a career-high 286 yards, despite miserable conditions, and Leonard Fournette registers his seventh straight game with 150 rushing yards as the Tigers pull away from the Hilltoppers in the second half.
Arkansas 54, Auburn 46: A back-and-forth battle in Fayetteville finally ended, after four overtimes, with the Razorbacks on top after Brandon Allen found Drew Morgan for a 25-yard touchdown hook-up on the first play of the final overtime period. After the successful two-point conversion, Arkansas finally stopped the Tigers to snag the key victory.
Vanderbilt 10, Missouri 3: Vandy coach Derek Mason picks up his first SEC victory as the Commodores come out on top in a hard-fought defensive battle that featured less than 500 combined yards.
Mississippi State 42, Kentucky 16: Dak Prescott turns in his best performance of the season as he throws for 348 yards and three touchdowns while running for 117 yards and three more scores as the Bulldog defense forces three turnovers.
Big 12 Action
No. 17 Oklahoma 63, Texas Tech 27: While quarterback Baker Mayfield (15-of-22, 212 yards, 2 TDs) was playing his first game against his former school, it was the Sooner running game which dominated as Samaje Perine (201 yards) and Joe Mixon (154 yards) combined for 355 yards and six touchdowns, while the defense snagged four interceptions.
No. 2 Baylor 45, Iowa State 27: Playing in miserable weather in Waco, the Bears' high-octane offense was slowed down, but Iowa State still couldn't manufacture enough to keep up as Shock Linwood runs for 171 yards – but the key news coming from the game was a neck injury to Baylor quarterback Seth Russell who is leading the nation with 29 touchdown passes.
Texas 23, Kansas State 9: A bruising run game, led by backup quarterback Tyrone Swoopes, who ran for three touchdowns, and a strong defense, which held the Wildcats to just 242 yards, carried the Longhorns to their second straight Big 12 victory.
No. 14 Oklahoma State 58, Kansas 10: A tragic morning in Stillwater led to discussions about postponing the football game, but officials opted to honor the victims of the horrific incident by playing and the Cowboys used five touchdowns (three passing, two rushing) from backup quarterback J.T. Walsh as they cruised to victory over the Jayhawks.
Other Top Games From Around the Country
No. 6 Clemson 58, Miami 0: Deshaun Watson turned in a near-flawless performance, completing 15-of-19 passes for 143 yards and a score and rushing for 98 yards and a score, while the Tiger defense allowed just 146 yards and six first downs, handing Miami its most lopsided loss in program history.
No. 7 Michigan State 52, Indiana 26: The Spartans struggled to put the Hoosiers away, leading just 28-26 at the start of the fourth quarter, but a 24-point outburst while holding Indiana scoreless turned the game into a blowout as Connor Cook threw for 398 yards, just two off the school record.
USC 42, No. 3 Utah 24: The oddsmakers had the Trojans favored despite going against an undefeated and third-ranked team with an interim coach – the oddsmakers were right as Cameron Smith picked off three passes, returning one 54 yards for a touchdown, and three different USC backs ran for touchdowns.
No. 1 Ohio State 49, Rutgers 7: Buckeye coach Urban Meyer's decision to start quarterback J.T. Barrett for the first time paid off as last year's regular-season star threw for three scores and ran for two more as Ohio State extended the nation's longest win streak to 21 games.
Georgia Tech 22, No. 9 Florida State: The Seminoles struggled all game to manufacture offense against a surprisingly stingy Yellow Jacket defense, but with the score tied at 16, they managed enough to get into position for a 56-yard field goal attempt in the final seconds by Roberto Aguayo, likely the best kicker in the country. Instead, Georgia Tech blocked the kick and Lance Austin scooped the loose ball and dashed 78 yards to the end zone for a touchdown, ending Florida State's 29-game ACC win streak.
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 Swimming Championships which will be held October 30-31 at the UNO Aquatics Complex. The Sugar Bowl Metro High School 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 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.
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): Baylor vs. LSU (Baylor replaces TCU)
Fox Sports (Mandel): Alabama vs. TCU (replaces LSU vs. Baylor)
College Football News (Fiutak): Oklahoma vs. Florida
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
J.T. Barrett, Ohio State (14-of-18, 223 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 90.0)
Luke Falk, Washington State (47-of-62, 514 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 81.4)
Matt Johnson, Bowling Green (27-of-40, 430 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 97.6)
Paxton Lynch, Memphis (32-of-44, 447 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 92.4)
Dak Prescott, Mississippi State (25-of-35, 348 yards, 3 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 93.3)
Josh Rosen, UCLA (34-of-47, 399 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 89.1)
Thomas Sirk, Duke (19-of-39, 270 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 79.3)
Deshaun Watson, Clemson (15-of-19, 143 yards, 1 TD, 0 INT, QBR: 98.9)
Top Upcoming Games
All times are Central. Rankings are the AP Rankings from this week.
West Virginia at No. 5 TCU (Thursday, 6:30 p.m., Fox Sports 1): This Thursday night national broadcast showcases the Horned Frogs, who despite battling injuries, remain undefeated behind huge performances from Trevone Boykin, who is making a strong case for the Manning Award as the top quarterback in the nation.
No. 19 Ole Miss at Auburn (11 a.m., ESPN): The Rebels, who opened the year with a string of high-scoring performances, recovered from a two-game losing streak with a very impressive defensive effort against Texas A&M while Auburn needs to recover after suffering another deflating loss, falling in four overtimes to Arkansas.
No. 3 Clemson at N.C. State (2:30 p.m., ABC/ESPN2): Clemson is currently playing as well as any team in the country, using a balanced offense behind quarterback Deshaun Watson and running back Wayne Gallman and the seventh-ranked defense in the country (14.3 points allowed per game), while N.C. State and Jacoby Brissett hope to climb back into the ACC picture.
No. 11 Florida at Georgia (2:30 p.m., CBS): This game will be critical in deciding the SEC East as the Gators currently hold first with a 4-1 mark, but the Bulldogs are the only other team with less than three losses as they're 3-2, but looking to pull together after losing star running back Nick Chubb to a season-ending knee injury.
No. 12 Oklahoma State at Texas Tech (2:30 p.m., ESPN): The Cowboys have been one of the surprise teams in the country this year as they are one of eight undefeated teams remaining in the power-five conferences thanks to scoring 40.0 points per game (12th in the country) while holding foes to 18.9 points per game (tied for 22nd in the country). The Red Raider offense continues to pile up points, with their three losses coming to No. 3 Baylor, No. 5 TCU and No. 17 Oklahoma.
No. 9 Notre Dame at No. 21 Temple (7 p.m., ABC): This game may not have looked like a marquee match-up during the preseason, but the Owls have climbed into rankings for the first time since 1979 and they're 7-0 for the first time in history (Temple's 1935 Sugar Bowl team came into the game with a 7-0-2 record); meanwhile, despite a close loss to Clemson, the Fighting Irish remain very much in the mix for a College Football Playoff bid.
No. 8 Stanford at Washington State (9:30 p.m., ESPN): Since a season-opening loss to Northwestern, Stanford has been dominating opponents on both sides of the ball, but Washington State has quietly produced an impressive run, improving to 5-2 overall and 3-1 in league play – if quarterback Luke Falk, a three-time Manning Award Star of the Week, can put up big numbers, the Cougars could jump into the mix for the Pac-12 North title.