College Football: Week 10 Recap
By: Morgan Flood
Week 10 of college football opened with a huge ACC Atlantic game between #2 Florida State and #25 Louisville. The Cards started strong in their own stadium, with their number one defense holding the Seminoles scoreless throughout the first quarter and the majority of the second, as well as intercepting FSU QB Jameis Winston (25/48, 401 yards, 3 TD, 3 INT) twice. Louisville’s offense backed up this performance, with QB Will Gardner (20/38, 330 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT), RB Michael Dyer (28 carries, 134 yards, 3 TD) combining to put the Cardinals up on the Noles 21-7 going into halftime. However, Florida State carried the momentum coming out of the half, as they had finally scored their first points of the game on a long drive that ended with TE Nick O’Leary (6 catches, 76 yards) recovering RB Karlos Williams’ (16 carries, 72 yards) fumble in the endzone. On the first drive of the second half, Winston threw his third interception of the night, but made up for it by making an impressive play to strip the ball from the Louisville defender who caught it. Following this, the Seminoles began to really roll on both offense and defense, with all of their scores coming on plays of 35 yards or longer and the Cards being unable to score more than 10 points. Following Louisville’s failure to convert a key fourth down late in the fourth quarter, FSU had completed yet another comeback to remain undefeated, 42-31.
#24 Duke came to Pittsburgh on Saturday for a game with ACC Coastal implications. Like last year’s matchup in Durham, this one was a high-scoring shootout, with both Duke QB Anthony Boone and Pitt QB Chad Voytik having a field day through the air, completing 23 of 31 for 266 yards and 3 TD’s and completing 16 of 24 for 236 yards and 2 TD’s respectively. That said, the real star of the show was Pitt RB James Conner, who had 38 carries for 263 yards and 3 TD’s – one of which was scored following a devastating stiff arm to a Duke defender. With two seconds left in the fourth quarter, it was tied at 38 and Panther kicker Chris Blewitt had a chance to kick a 26-yard field goal from the right hash to win the game. Blue Devils Coach Cutcliffe iced Blewitt not once, but twice, and Blewitt missed left for only the second time this season, sending the game into overtime. In the first OT Pitt and Duke traded TD’s, but in the second, James Conner did not touch the ball and the Panthers were forced to settle for a field goal attempt. Blewitt made this one, but the Blue Devils followed up with backup QB Thomas Sirk pushing a pile of defenders into the end zone from 5 yards out to win it, 51-48.
Arkansas, coming into this game 0-4 in SEC play, has been destined to play spoiler for another one of the teams in the SEC West – a trait that was apparent on Saturday night in Starkville when the Razorbacks faced the #1 Mississippi State Bulldogs. Arkansas held the lead through the first half, largely thanks to Mississippi State muffing a punt (a turnover that led to an Arkansas touchdown drive that put the Razorbacks up 10-0). The Bulldogs started to kick into gear right before halftime, scoring their first TD of the game with 7:30 left in the half to cut the lead to 3 points, 10-7. In the second half, Arkansas did not score again, and Mississippi State finally took the lead a minute and a half into the fourth quarter on a 69 yard TD pass from Heisman hopeful QB Dak Prescott (18/27, 331 yards, 1 TD, 2 INT and 13 carries, 61 yards) to WR Fred Ross (4 catches, 107 yards, TD) on what looked to be a broken play. This lead turned out to be safe, and the Bulldogs survived, 17-10.
#3 Auburn went to Oxford to take on #4 Ole Miss in a game with massive implications for the SEC West and playoff standings. Like other games this week, this matchup was a fast-paced, relatively high-scoring one, with the Tigers and the Rebels trading scores right down to the end, even though Auburn committed an astonishing 13 penalties for 145 yards. Both QBs really racked up the yards. Rebels’ Bo Wallace lighted the Tiger defense up to the tune of 341 yards on 28 completions and 2 TD’s as well as rushing 14 times for 61 more yards and another TD. Auburn’s Nick Marshall completed 15 of 22 pass attempts for 254 yards, 2 TD’s, and an INT, and had 10 carries for another 50 yards and 2 more TD’s. RB’s also played a key role, with Auburn’s Cameron Artis-Payne carrying 27 times for 143 yards and a TD. In the end, the game came down to a heartbreaking play for Ole Miss and their star WR Laquon Treadwell (10 catches, 123 yards, TD)– on a long catch-and-run, he was tackled into the end zone. As he was brought down, his leg broke, and he dropped the ball. While the play was initially ruled a touchdown, it was reviewed and found to be a fumble, which Auburn’s Cassanova McKinzy recovered. Ole Miss got the ball back with 26 seconds left in the fourth quarter and no timeouts and attempted a desperate hook-and-ladder play, but failed to complete the pass as the Rebels dropped their second straight game, 35-31.
The Big 12’s marquee matchup of the week was in Morgantown where #7 TCU traveled to face #20 WVU. Though the Mountaineers committed three turnovers in their own territory in the first half, the Horned Frogs were unable to score on any of them, and did not have much going on offense at all, in a stark contrast to last week’s game where they hung a cool 82 points on Texas Tech. In fact, WVU held TCU to their lowest total yardage of the season at 389. QB Treyvone Boykin accounted for 166 of those yards on 12 completions. Thanks to this defensive effort, West Virginia held the lead going into halftime, 13-7. However, the Mountaineers turned the ball over twice more in the second half, and TCU was able to score on both of those to aid their comeback attempt. In the end, this fast-paced game came down to a last-second 37-yard field goal conversion by TCU kicker Jaden Oberkrom to lift the Horned Frogs over the Mountaineers, 31-30.
Florida came into the World’s Largest Outdoor Cocktail Party with only two conference wins, matching up with the #11 Georgia Bulldogs. In a shocking and dominant performance, the Gators ran wild over the Georgia defense, rushing for 418 yards and 5 touchdowns, with two RBs, Kelvin Taylor and Matt Jones, both accounting for almost 200 of those yards and two touchdowns each. New Florida starting QB Treon Harris only attempted six passes. The Bulldogs, who were clearly unable to stop the run, really couldn’t get the offense moving either – though they out-gained the Gators 460-445, largely thanks to QB Hutson Mason (26/41, 319 yards, 1 TD). Georgia could not capitalize on this offensive outburst, and lost their first game against Florida in three years, 38-20.
#12 Arizona and #22 UCLA faced off in the Rose Bowl in a key PAC-12 South matchup. The Bruins played a very strong defensive game, allowing only 255 total yards and 1 TD from the Wildcats. UCLA was excellent on offense, with dual-threat QB Brett Hundley completing 19/26 for 189 yards and a TD and rushing 24 times for 131 more yards. Thanks to this dominant performance on both sides of the ball, UCLA upset Arizona, 17-7.
Like several other games this week, the outcome of #17 Utah and #14 Arizona State’s contest came down to kicking. The Utes played tough, “bend-but-don’t break” defense. Some key penalties, combined with ASU QB Taylor Kelly (18/32, 205 yards, 1 TD, 1 INT) still looking hobbled in his second game back from a foot injury, kept the Sun Devils to field goals on several scoring drives even though they gained 444 yards total on the game. Utah also was held to field goals on the majority of their scoring drives, though this was more due to low offensive production – the Utes gained only 241 yards, and RB Devontae Booker accounted for 146 of them on 37 carries. At the end of the fourth quarter, the game was knotted at 16, so into overtime it went. In overtime, Utah had the ball first, and was forced to call a timeout just before attempting a 35-yard field goal to avoid being penalized for delay of game. Following the timeout, Andy Phillips, who had an 87% success rate this season going into the kick, shocked Utah fans with a miss. Arizona State then received the ball, and settled for a Zane Gonzalez 36-yard converted field goal to push the Sun Devils over the top, 19-16.
Maryland’s first visit to Penn State since 1993 and its first as a Big 10 member was an interesting one even before the kickoff. The Terrapin captains refused to shake hands with the Nittany Lions’ captains following the coin toss. The game itself was a defensive slugfest, with Maryland and Penn State combining for only 413 total yards. Penn State quarterback Christian Hackenberg had a terrible day, completing only 18 of 42 pass attempts for 177 yards, 1 TD, and 1 interception – and that interception would have been a pick-six had it not been called back for a late hit. He was also sacked six times. Despite that, Penn State held the lead for the vast majority of the game, largely thanks to the efforts of kicker Sam Ficken, who made all four of his attempts on the day. Down by two with about two minutes left, Maryland, led by QB C.J. Brown (18/38, 161 yards, 1 TD), put a drive together to get into field goal range. Maryland kicker, Brad Craddock, then converted from 43 yards out to get the Terps their first win in State College and second win against the Nittany Lions in school history, 20-19.
Stanford 16; #5 Oregon 45; Oklahoma State 14, #9 Kansas State 48; Kansas 14, #10 ND 49, Navy 39; #13 Baylor 60; Purdue 14, #15 Nebraska 35; Illinois 14, #16 Ohio State 55; #18 Oklahoma 59, Iowa State 14; #23 ECU 10, Temple 20; Air Force 23, Army 6; Northwestern 7, Iowa 48; Wisconsin 37, Rutgers 0; Cincinnati 38, Tulane 14; UCF 29, Connecticut 37; UL Monroe 16, Texas A&M 21; North Carolina 20, Miami (FL) 47; Boston College 33, Virginia Tech 31; Washington 38, Colorado 23; Western Michigan 41, Miami (OH) 10; Western Kentucky 10, Louisiana Tech 59; NC State 24, Syracuse 17; Virginia 10, Georgia Tech 35; BYU 27, Middle Tennessee 7; Indiana 10, Michigan 34; Kentucky 10, Missouri 20; Houston 27, USF 3; USC 44, Washington State 17; 31; UAB 31, Florida Atlantic 28; Old Dominion 28, Vanderbilt 42; Tennessee 45, South Carolina 42; Texas 34, Texas Tech 13; Southern Miss 14, UTEP 35; Cal 45, Oregon State 31; Wyoming 45, Fresno State 17; Utah State 35, Hawaii 14.
Note: All rankings are from the College Football Playoff Committee rankings released Tuesday, October 28.