Here is a look at some of the NCAA top 25 action from Saturday, September 28.
After their surprisingly close battle last week, eyes were on how Alabama would do against a increasingly tough Ole Miss Squad. Coming into the game, Ole Miss was 3-0 and was raising eyebrows across the nation. And despite the loss on Saturday, there is no reason to think that Ole Miss doesn’t have enough fire power to stay relative in the SEC. Sure, they did loss 25-0, but they kept Alabama out of the end zone until the third quarter and played quite stout on defense. Unfortunately for them, they couldn’t get their offense going and you can’t win any games if you don’t put any points on the board. In all, Ole Miss suffers its first loss of the season and will play Auburn next weekend as it hopes to stay in the top-25. Alabama, on the other hand, stays undefeated and will finally have a chance to polish up the pieces that aren’t looking so great, as they face Georgia State next weekend.
Oregon continues its run of dominance as it put up 55 against California on Saturday. Although the final score was 55-16, it wasn’t even really that close and it could’ve been a lot worse had the Ducks not put on the breaks in the second quarter. In the first quarter, Marcus Mariota threw a 14-yard touchdown to make it 20-0 and this game was over as quickly as it started. Next week Oregon will head to Boulder to play Colorado, while California will look to rebound against Washington State.
Two weeks ago we mentioned that Clemson will need to keep things rolling if they don’t want to stumble like they have in so many years past. They apparently were listening as they rolled Wake Forest this weekend 56-7. Tajh Boyd had a great game for the Tigers, throwing for 311 yards and three touchdowns. He also had a running score, which he extended on a leap to score for his team. If you’re a Clemson fan, you have to be excited to see them beat up on a decent team like Wake; but it doesn’t’ mean you aren’t feeling any more confident as the season rolls on. Next week Clemson will face Syracuse while Wake Forest will play Clemson’s opponents from last week, North Carolina State.
Ohio State wasn’t going to be able to dominate this weekend like they have the last few weeks. As a matter of fact, the game against Wisconsin was one of the more entertaining games of the weekend. Braxton Miller made his return for the Buckeyes and threw four touchdowns to a bevy of OSU receivers. While Wisconsin tried to prevent its second loss of the season, they fell just short and couldn’t keep up with the firepower of Miller and company. OSU will look to keep alive the nations longest winning streak (currently at 17) next weekend as they play another tough test in Northwestern, while Wisconsin will have a bye week before playing Northwestern in two weeks.
Kevin Hogan led his Stanford team to yet another win as the #5 Cardinal remain unbeaten this season. This 55-17 win over Washington State marked the 12th in a row for Stanford, and it continues to build confidence in the Pac-12. It wasn’t just the offense of Stanford in this game that set them apart. Instead it was two interceptions that were returned for touchdowns that really put this game out of reach for Washington State, as they fell for the second time this season. Washington State will play California next week and Stanford will have a tough test in #16 Washington.
In what might have just been the game of the weekend, #9 Georgia beat #6 LSU 44-41 in Death Valley. This game was back and forth all game long and it kept fans on the edge of their seats for a top-ten showdown between SEC powerhouses. But it was a 25-yard touchdown from Aaron Murray that put Georgia ahead with less than two minutes to go and the Tigers couldn’t get anything going on their final drive of the game. Both teams now have 1-loss to their name on the season, and we could see a switch in positioning as this weeks rankings are released. Nonetheless, these are the types of games that make college football what it is today, and we wish that all of the games could be as high-scoring and entertaining.
Florida State fans may have been a bit worried on Saturday as they played Boston College. State has been beating up teams all season and despite the 48-34 win, this game was close for majority of the game. It wasn’t until four minutes left in the game that BC threw an interception and FSU could breathe easy as they remain perfect on the year. Next weekend the Seminoles will play Maryland, while BC will host Army.
The nations top attraction in Johnny Manziel was in action again on Saturday as Texas A&M faced off against Arkansas. This game was a respectable 38-33 with just over 10-minutes left in the game. However a rushing touchdown by Ben Malena just a few minutes into the fourth would put this one out of reach for the Razorbacks. Manziel had good numbers as usual and hooked up with Mike Evans six times for 119 yards. An interesting note for this game was that it was the 8th straight game that A&M put up more than 40-points, making it the longest streak of its kind in school history. This is certainly a potent offense and A&M will look to keep on its winning ways in hopes for a chance at a rematch against Alabama later this year. But they’ll have to get past a tough Ole Miss team after their bye-week next weekend. And as for Arkansas, they will play Florida next weekend.
Ring the alarms for a big upset on Saturday as West Virginia handed Oklahoma State its first loss of the season. Throughout the game, the Cowboys continued to make mistakes on both sides of the ball and couldn’t put together the type of momentum needed to win a game of this caliber. When you play a hungry West Virginia team that knows that they are playing a powerhouse squad, once they knew they could keep up with OSU they never looked back. Oklahoma State will have to go back to the drawing board and work to fix its penalty issues as it faces Kansas next weekend, while West Virginia will look to beat another top-25 team in Baylor on the same day.
South Carolina was given all that it could handle in a 28-25 squeaker of a win against Central Florida. The Knights were 3-0 heading into the game and a win over the #12 Gamecocks would’ve been huge for their resume. The problem is that UCF actually had the lead throughout the first half, but disappeared during the third quarter while South Carolina began its comeback. While UCF will hope to revert to its winning ways against Memphis next weekend, South Carolina will see some changes as they face Kentucky. The biggest blow for South Carolina was losing Connor Shaw in the first quarter, and they will likely have to rely on Mike Davis for at least a few weeks.
#14 Oklahoma stayed perfect as it beat #22 Notre Dame on Saturday. Newly appointed quarterback Blake Bell continued to look great, especially on a 54-yard bomb that he hit to Sterling Shepard. Overall, Bell had 232 yards and two touchdowns. Add the fact that this was a win against a caliber team like Notre Dame (especially on the road), and Bell could remain the starter for the Sooners throughout the rest of the season. 4-0 is looking might nice for Oklahoma, as they will take on TCU next weekend, while Notre Dame will play Arizona State at Cowboys Stadium.
The battle between two Florida teams went in favor of Miami on Saturday as they beat South Florida 49-21. Miami has been on a roll all season and their offense continued to look impressive in this game. Despite a lingering injury to Stephen Morris, he still put up 222 yards and 2 touchdowns for the Hurricanes. The ‘Canes score on their first three positions and South Florida could never do what it took to catch up from that point.
Heading into their game against Kentucky, Florida fans may have been concerned how this team would look in future weeks without quarterback Jeff Driskel. Luckily for Gator fans, Tyler Murphy came into the game and led UF to a 24-7 win over Kentucky. Granted Kentucky isn’t one of the higher quality teams in the SEC, but a win is surely a win in the toughest conference in football. And playing the Wildcats couldn’t have come at a better time as Murphy continues to acclimate to the offense and pressure of being a starting quarterback for the Gators. The real highlight for the Gators was the stifling defense they played, which has been a staple in previous years and they will need to continue to come up big in future games this season. Next weekend they will face a struggling Arkansas team, while Kentucky won’t get any time to prepare for another top-25 team in South Carolina.
Five weeks into the NCAA season and surprisingly a handful of teams are still undefeated. This week a few things should shake up as the top-25 rankings are released on Monday and it’ll make for some interesting matchups next weekend.