College Football Update, October 8, 2018

The 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl (January 1, 2019) will host the champions of the Big 12 Conference and the SEC unless either or both of those champions are selected for the College Football Playoff. If either of the champions do qualify for the playoff, a highly-ranked replacement team from the conference(s) will play in the Allstate Sugar Bowl. Teams for the 2019 Allstate Sugar Bowl will be announced on Sunday, December 2 via an ESPN national telecast.

SEC Results

  • Tagovailoa throws 4 TDs as No. 1 Alabama beats Arkansas 65-31.
  • Fromm throws 3 TDs, No. 2 Georgia drops Vanderbilt 41-13.
  • Fitzgerald leads Mississippi State to 23-9 win over No. 8 Auburn.
  • Texas A&M outlasts No. 13 Kentucky 20-14 in overtime.
  • Trickery, defense help No. 22 Florida edge No. 5 LSU 27-19.
  • Scarnecchia’s 3 TDs lead South Carolina to 37-35 win over Missouri.
  • Ta’amu accounts for 5 TDs, Ole Miss routs ULM, 70-21.

SEC Players of the Week
Mississippi State quarterback Nick Fitzgerald has been selected as the SEC’s Offensive Player of the Week while Florida linebacker Vosean Joseph earned the league’s Defensive Player of the Week honor. Fitzgerald accounted for 264 yards of total offense and two touchdowns as Mississippi State knocked off No. 8 Auburn, 23-9. The senior shattered Tim Tebow’s SEC career record for rushing yards by a quarterback, rushing for 195 yards and scoring both of the Bulldogs’ touchdowns. He now sits at 2,999 rushing yards for his career. His 195 yards on the ground were the most by an FBS quarterback vs. a Power 5 team this year.

Joseph posted the first multi-sack game of his career in Florida’s win over LSU and he did it in the first 20-plus minutes of the game. He entered the game with three tackles for loss this season and had three in the first 20-plus minutes of Saturday’s win. He also posted career highs in tackles (14) and tackles for loss (3.5). Through six games, Joseph is the Florida’s leading tackler with 42, including 6.5 for losses. He has also recorded three sacks, two pass breakups, one quarterback hurry and a fumble recovery, which he returned for 20 yards.

Sugar Bowl Projections
Allstate Sugar Bowl, January 1, 2019

ESPN (Kyle Bonagura): Georgia vs. Texas (Texas replaces West Virginia)
ESPN (Mitch Sherman): West Virginia vs. Georgia (replaces Oklahoma vs. LSU)
CBS Sports (Jerry Palm): Georgia vs. Oklahoma (Oklahoma replaces West Virginia)
SB Nation (Jason Kirk): Oklahoma vs. Georgia (no change)
Orlando Sentinel (Brant Parsons): Georgia vs. West Virginia (no change)
College Football News (Pete Fiutak): Oklahoma vs. Florida (replaces West Virginia vs. LSU)
247Sports (Brad Crawford): West Virginia vs. Georgia (replaces Oklahoma vs. LSU)
Saturday Down South (Jim Tomlin): Florida vs. West Virginia (replaces LSU vs. Oklahoma)
Sports Illustrated (Eric Single): Georgia vs. West Virginia (no change)
All-American (Stewart Mandel): West Virginia vs. Florida (Florida replaces LSU)
Sporting News (Bill Bender): Texas vs. Florida (replaces Oklahoma vs. LSU)
USA Today (Erick Smith): West Virginia vs. Georgia (West Virginia replaces Oklahoma)
The Stadium (Brett McMurphy): West Virginia vs. Georgia (replaces Oklahoma vs. Auburn)

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. Below are our selections for the top eight quarterback performances of the past week. Click here to be redirected to Facebook for voting.

Sam Ehlinger, Texas (24-of-35, 314 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 84.8)
Ehlinger also rushes for 72 yards and a career-best three touchdowns as he keys the Longhorns’ upset of No. 7 Oklahoma, 48-45, in the Red River Showdown.

Sheriron Jones, New Mexico (13-of-20, 250 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 98.5)
Jones, who also rushes for 72 yards, matches his career-best in touchdown passes as leads the Lobos to a 50-14 MW road victory over UNLV.

Gardner Minshew, Washington State (30-of-40, 430 yards, 5 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 86.5)
Minshew notches his fourth 400-yard game of the year while recording his career-best TD total as he helps the Cougars rally from a third-quarter deficit to defeat Pac-12 rival Oregon State on the road, 56-37.

Steven Montez, Colorado (24-of-33, 328 yards, 2 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 91.7)
Montez notches his third 300-yard game of the year as he helps the Buffaloes improve to 5-0 for the first time since 1998 with a 28-21 Pac-12 win over Arizona State.

Brock Purdy, Iowa State (18-of-23, 318 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 91.5)
Purdy, a true freshman wo had played one series before Saturday, comes off the bench and adds 84 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as he directs the Cyclones to a 48-42 Big 12 road win over No. 25 Oklahoma State.

Anthony Russo, Temple (21-of-25, 254 yards, 4 TDs, 1 INT, QBR: 93.4)
Russo, who came into the day with one career touchdown pass, connects on four to lead the Owls to their largest margin of victory over an FBS opponent – 49-6 AAC win over East Carolina.

Tua Tagovailoa, Alabama (10-of-13, 334 yards, 4 TDs, 0 INT, QBR: 99.7)
Tagovailoa connects on a 76-yard touchdown on the first play of the game and rolls to his second 300-yard game (without playing in the fourth quarter) in a 65-31 SEC road win over Arkansas.

Clayton Thorson, Northwestern (31-of-47, 373 yards, 3 TDs, 2 INT, QBR: 82.4)
Thorson, who has his second 300-yard game of the year, adds a rushing touchdown with 2:51 to go to clinch a 29-19 upset of No. 20 Michigan State in a Big Ten road game.

Big 12 Results

  • Grier has 4 TDs, 4 turnovers, No. 9 West Virginia beats Kansas 38-22.
  • No. 19 Texas beats No. 7 Oklahoma, 48-45, on last-minute FG.
  • Purdy lead Iowa State over No. 25 Oklahoma State, 48-42.
  • Baylor beats Kansas State, 37-34, on Martin’s FG with 8 seconds left.

Big 12 Players of the Week
Texas’ Sam Ehlinger was tabbed Big 12 Offensive Player of the Week, while Iowa State’s Braxton Lewis was selected as the Defensive Player of the Week. Ehlinger totaled 386 yards (314 pass/72 rush) and five touchdowns in leading the Longhorns to a 48-45 win over No. 7 Oklahoma. The first-time honoree’s 386 total yards were the second-most against OU in the Red River Showdown. On Sunday, Ehlinger was named the National Offensive Player of the Week by the Walter Camp Football Foundation.

Lewis racked up seven tackles, a tackle-for-loss and an interception in Iowa State’s 48-42 victory at No. 25 Oklahoma State. Lewis’ interception late in the fourth quarter ended the OSU comeback attempt. The honor is the first for the Overland Park, Kansas, native.

Other Top 25 Results
No. 4 Clemson def. Wake Forest, 63-3.
No. 6 Notre Dame def. No. 24 Virginia Tech, 45-23.
No. 12 UCF def. SMU, 48-20.
Utah def. No. 14 Stanford, 40-21.
No. 15 Michigan def. Maryland, 42-21.
No. 17 Miami def. Florida State, 28-27.

This Week’s Other Top 25 Games
No. 23 USF at Tulsa (Friday, 6 p.m.)
Minnesota at No. 3 Ohio State (11 a.m.)
Pittsburgh at No. 5 Notre Dame (1:30 p.m.)
No., 7 Washington at No. 17 Oregon (2:30 p.m.)
Michigan State at No. 8 Penn State (2:30 p.m.)
No. 10 UCF at Memphis (2:30 p.m.)
No. 16 Miami at Virginia (6 p.m.)
No. 15 Wisconsin at No. 12 Michigan (6:30 p.m.)
No. 19 Colorado at USC (9:30 p.m.)

Notable Numbers
4 – Clemson running back Travis Etienne ran for 167 yards in the Tigers’ win over Wake Forest on Saturday. It was the fourth straight 100-yard game for Etienne, a native of Jennings, La., marking the first time a Clemson player ran for 100 yards in four straight games since 2000.

11 – Florida has recovered 11 fumbles (best in the nation) already this year, including one in the LSU game. Last year, the Gators did not recover a fumble in their first eight games of the year. Florida is currently 5-1 – last year after six games, the Gators were 3-3.

14 – Eastern Michigan lost to Western Michigan, 27-24, on Saturday. Fourteen of the Eagles’ last 18 games have been decided by seven points or less. This year, EMU is 2-4 with its four losses coming by a total of 14 points.

21 – Oklahoma has seen opponents reach the red zone 21 times so far this season – and opponents have scored all 21 times (18 touchdowns, three field goals).

145.3 – Colorado receiver Laviska Shenault entered Saturday’s game against Arizona State leading the nation with 145.3 receiving yards per game as well as with 9.5 receptions per game. The junior had 13 catches for 127 yards in the Buffaloes’ 28-21 victory. He had two TD catches and also ran for a pair of scores, including the game-winner with 42 seconds to go.

302 – USF running back set an American Athletic Conference record by running for 302 yards in the Bulls’ 58-42 over UMass.

2,999 – Nick Fitzgerald ran for 195 yards on 28 carries in Mississippi State’s win over Auburn on Saturday. That rushing total helped the senior break Tim Tebow’s SEC quarterback rushing record. Tebow had run for 2,947 yards in his career and Fitzgerald now has 2,999.