Two passing touchdowns by QB Sam Buechele (one to WR James Proche for 15-yards and one to TE Kyle Granson for 11-yards) and a 62-yard rushing touchdown in the first half had the Mustangs feeling comfortable with a 21-13 lead at halftime. Houston’s first-half scoring consisted of a 1-yard touchdown run by WR Bryson Smith and two short field goals by kicker Dalton Witherspoon. SMU would continue to cruise in the 3rd quarter after a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Xavier Jones and a 23-yard field goal by kicker Kevin Robledo to give them a 31-20 lead heading into the fourth. But Houston didn’t fall flat this quarter and would try to minimize their deficit with a 75-yard touchdown pass by QB Clayton Tune to WR Marquez Stevenson, and these explosive plays for the Cougars would only continue in the 4th quarter. Houston would open the 4th with a 40-yard field goal by Witherspoon, and the Mustangs’ lone scoring play in the 4th quarter consisted of a 33-yard field goal by Robledo. Tune would explode for a 96-yard touchdown pass to Marquez with less than 5 minutes to go in the 4th quarter to cut their deficit to 3 at 34-31, but SMU would be able to hold them off and stay undefeated at 8-0.
The Badgers were looking to bounce back against a red-hot, undefeated Ohio State team after being upset by Illinois last week. This matchup was expected to be close for the most part, but this Buckeyes offense did what it does and took a lead and ran away with it. This game got off to a slow start with a scoreless first quarter due to some compromising weather conditions. But Ohio State would have a 10-0 lead at the end of the first half after a 49-yard field goal by kicker Blake Haubeil and a 27-yard touchdown reception by WR Chris Olave. The Badgers would get on the board in the third quarter after QB Jack Coan connected with WR A.J. Taylor for a 26-yard touchdown. The dynamic duo of QB Justin Fields and RB J.K. Dobbins would answer with their own rushing touchdowns to give Ohio State a 24-7 lead at the end of the third quarter. Dobbins would have his second touchdown in the 4th quarter with a 14-yard run, and Olave would also have his second touchdown with a 4-yard reception in the final 8 minutes. The Buckeyes defense shut down an explosive Jonathan Taylor by only allowing him 52 yards on 20 carries and allowing their entire rushing offense to 83 yards. Ohio State stays undefeated at 8-0 and Wisconsin gets their second loss of the season at 6-2.
A highly anticipated matchup between two powerhouse teams did not disappoint. This game was a back-and-forth battle in the first half, with each team scoring 1 field goal and 1 touchdown (Auburn QB Bo Nix for a 1-yard rushing touchdown and LSU with a 20-yard touchdown reception by WR Terrace Marshall Jr.) to knot the game at 10-10 at the end of the first half. This battle only continued in the second half, beginning with Auburn taking an early 3rd quarter lead after a 23-yard field goal by kicker Anders Carlson. LSU RB Clyde Edwards-Helaire would answer with a 6-yard touchdown run but a failed extra-point attempt would give them a narrow 16-13 lead heading into the 4th quarter. Heisman frontrunner QB Joe Burrow would put his team on his back in the 4th quarter with a 7-yard touchdown run to give his squad a 23-13 lead. The LSU defense would be able to hold off Auburn for most of the 3rd quarter, but Death Valley held their breath after Nix connected with WR Seth Williams for a 5-yard touchdown pass to cut their deficit to 23-20 with just over 2 minutes to go. But LSU would be able to survive and stay undefeated at 8-0 as Auburn falls to 6-2.
The Sooners faced an unprecedented upset against Kansas State despite a strong performance from QB Jalen Hurts. Oklahoma would jump out to an early 10-0 lead in the first quarter after a 10-yard touchdown run by Hurts and a 44-yard field goal by kicker Gabe Brkic. The Wildcats would answer with a 4-yard touchdown run by QB Skylar Thompson, but Hurts would strike again with a 7-yard touchdown run to give the Sooners a 17-7 lead at the end of the first quarter. Kansas State would begin their battle for the lead in the second quarter, starting with a 4-yard touchdown run by WR Josh Youngblood to put them within three at 17-14. The Sooners would extend their lead to 20-14 after a 25-yard field goal by Brkic. A 35-yard field goal by kicker Blake Lynch and a 14-yard touchdown run by Thompson would give Kansas State their first lead at 24-20. A 50-yard field goal by Brkic as time expired in the first half would put the Sooners down by 1 at 24-23. The Wildcats offense owned the 3rd quarter with a 37-yard field goal by Lynch and two 3-yard touchdown runs by Thompson, giving them a 41-23 lead at the end of the third quarter. Kansas State would extend the damage with a 2-yard touchdown run by RB James Gilbert to give them a 48-23 advantage. Oklahoma would try to rally, starting with a 70-yard touchdown reception by WR CeeDee Lamb to make the score 48-30 with just over 12 minutes to go. Hurts would have a 1-yard touchdown run with a successful 2 point conversion to cut their deficit to 10 at 48-38. Brkic had a 39-yard field goal in the final 2 minutes to bring the score to 48-41 but it wouldn’t be enough as the undefeated Sooners get their first loss of the season at 7-1 and the Wildcats improve to 5-2.
Iowa took care of business on both sides of the ball against Northwestern. The Hawkeyes had 302 total yards of offense (123 rushing, 179 receiving) and the defense forced 5 sacks and 1 interception while only allowing Northwestern to get 202 total yards of offense (138 receiving and 64 rushing). Iowa had one scoring play per quarter and that was more than enough for them to cruise past the Wildcats. Quarterback Nate Stanley found WR Tyrone Tracy Jr for a 50-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter, and a 40-yard field goal by kicker Keith Duncan gave Iowa a 10-0 lead at the end of the first half. Running back Mekhi Sargent had a 1-yard rushing touchdown in the 3rd quarter, and Duncan would close the game out with a 28-yard field goal in the fourth quarter. Iowa cruised to victory to improve to 6-2 as Northwestern continues to struggle as they fall to 1-6.
Appalachian State put up 23 points before their defense would allow South Alabama to get on the board. Quarterback Zac Thomas got the ball rolling in the first quarter when he connected with WR Thomas Hennigan for a 19-yard touchdown pass in the first quarter to get the Mountaineers out to an early 7-0 lead. That lead would only continue to grow after two field goals (one for 19 yards and one for 34 yards) by kicker Chandler Staton, giving App State a 13-0 lead at the end of the first half. The third quarter would bring a 3-yard touchdown run by Marcus Williams Jr. and a 46-yard field goal by Staton. The Jaguars would finally get on the board in the fourth quarter with a 37-yard field goal by kicker Frankie Onate, but App. State would add salt to the wound with a 67-yard touchdown run by WR Raykwon Anderson in the final 5 minutes to finish their rout. The Mountaineers defense shut down the Cougars offense, only allowing 52 receiving yards and 87 rushing yards for a combined offensive effort of 139 yards. Meanwhile, Appalachian State completely dominated the run game with 313 rushing yards to contribute to their total 455 offensive yards. App. State stays undefeated at 7-0 and looks to carry this strong offensive performance into South Carolina next week.
Unlike how the stat sheet might read, Sean Clifford shined against Michigan State. He went 16 for 34 with 165 yards, which isn’t the best set of numbers, but his 4 touchdown passes deserve a gold star and some serious recognition. Three of these four touchdown passes were caught by TE Pat Freiermuth (one for 6 yards, one for 19 yards, and one for 16 yards), and the first of these three was the lone scoring play in the first quarter to put the Nittany Lions up 7-0 early. Freiermuth hauled in his second touchdown at the beginning of the second quarter to push PSU’s lead to 13-0. Clifford pretty much iced any hopes MSU when he connected with WR KJ Hamler for a 27-yard touchdown pass in the final two minutes of the first half, giving them a 21-0 lead. Freiermuth had his final touchdown reception in the third quarter to make the score 28-0. The only answer the Spartans would have for this powerhouse Penn State team was a 4-yard touchdown run by RB Anthony Williams Jr midway through the 4th quarter. The Penn State defense wouldn’t let the Michigan State offense breathe, forcing 1 interception, 6 TFL and 4 lost fumbles. PSU stays perfect at 8-0 as their pivotal matchup against rival and also undefeated Ohio State is inching closer and closer.
Sam Ehlinger went 22 for 48 with 321 yards and 2 touchdowns against TCU, but 4 interceptions from the Longhorns’ QB would end up costing Texas the win and allow for an upset by TCU. A field goal by each team in the first quarter had the game tied at 3-3, and TCU would take their first lead of the game with a 24-yard touchdown pass from QB Max Duggan to TE Pro Wells. But Texas would answer with a 47-yard touchdown reception by WR Devin Duvernay to knot the game at 10-10. The Longhorns would try to extend their lead when Ehlinger found RB Keaontay Ingram for a 17-yard touchdown pass to give Texas the lead back at 17-10. TCU kicker Griffin Kell would kick a 52-yard field goal as time expired in the first half to cut their deficit to 17-13. A 38-yard field goal by kicker Cameron Dicker halfway through the 3rd quarter would give Texas a one-score advantage at 20-13. The Horned Frogs would then answer with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Sewo Olonilua and a 44-yard touchdown reception by WR Jalen Reagor to give TCU a 27-20 lead heading into the 4th quarter. They would push their lead to double digits at 30-20 with a 33-yard field goal by kicker Jonathan Song in the first five minutes of the 4th. Roschon Johnson would try to help Texas rally with a 2-yard touchdown run to cut TCU’s lead to 3 at 30-27. But Duggan would put the game away with an 11-yard touchdown run in the final two minutes. Duggan would finish with a line of 19 for 27 with passing 273 yards, 2 touchdowns and 1 interception, and he would also lead his team in rushing yards with 72 rushing yards on 13 carries with 1 touchdown. He without a doubt carried his team this game and helped TCU pull off an upset against a top 15 team.
A Maryland team with that scored 142 points in their first two games has gone on a bit of a cold streak, and that streak only continued against an undefeated Minnesota team. The first half belonged strictly do the Minnesota offense, which jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter with a 9-yard touchdown reception by WR Rashod Bateman and a 10-yard touchdown run by WR Seth Green. Quarterback Tanner Morgan wouldn’t let his team step off the gas this first half after connecting with WR Tyler Johnson for a 16-yard touchdown pass to jump out 21-0. And to make matters worse for Maryland when DB Coney Durr had a 72-yard interception return to give the Gophers a 28-0 lead. All the Terps would be able to muster in the first half was a 31-yard field goal by Joseph Petrino. Minnesota would have 3 short rushing touchdowns and a 32-yard field goal in the second half to add to their damage, and all Maryland would have to add to their highlight reel from this week was a 59-yard touchdown reception by RB Tayon Fleet-Davis in the fourth quarter. This undefeated but yet still under the radar Minnesota team is looking to make a statement as they host Penn State next week in what should be an interesting and entertaining matchup.
Oklahoma State had a bounce-back win in their upset of Iowa State after suffering back-to-back losses. OKST made a statement early by taking the lead in the first quarter with a 71-yard touchdown bomb from QB Spencer Sanders to WR Tylan Wallace. Iowa State answered with an 18-yard touchdown reception by TE Charlie Kolar to tie the game. Sanders brought out another explosive play with a 50-yard touchdown pass to WR Braydon Johnson to take the lead back at 14-7. Iowa State would have 2 more field goals in the first half to keep themselves in arms reach, but a 65-yard touchdown run by Chuba Hubbard would allow the Cowboys to continue to show their dominance. Cyclones RB Breece Hall had a 9-yard touchdown run early on in the 3rd quarter to cut OKST’s lead to 1 at 21-20. Kicker Matt Ammendola would have a 49-yard field goal in the third quarter and a 40-yard field goal at the beginning of the 4th quarter to push OKST’s lead to 27-20. Hall would have his second score of the day with a 4-yard rushing touchdown, but Safety Malcolm Rodriguez would ice the game with a 26-yard interception return to help the Cowboys improve to 5-3 as Iowa State falls to 5-3.
Despite not having Tua Tagovailoa lining up under center, Alabama did what Alabama does and completely dominated Arkansas on both sides of the ball. The Crimson Tide would score all their points before allowing Arkansas to get on the board. Alabama would build a healthy 17-0 lead in the first quarter with a 31-yard field goal by kicker Joseph Bulovas and two 14-yard touchdown passes from backup QB Mac Jones (one to WR Jerry Jeudy and one to WR Henry Ruggs III). Running back Najee Harris had two 1-yard touchdown runs in the second quarter to push the Tide to a 31-0 lead. A 30-yard field goal by Bulovas and an 84-yard interception return by DB Trevon Diggs would give Alabama a 41-0 lead at the end of the first half. Jones would connect with Jeudy again with a 40-yard touchdown pass in the 3rd quarter to finish their scoring campaign on the day. Arkansas would only be able to muster an 8-yard touchdown reception by TE Cheyenne O’Grady in the fourth quarter. This Alabama team continued to dominate even without their star QB, and the domination is going to have to continue if they want to take down LSU in two weeks.
Trevor Lawrence has been extremely interception prone this season, but he had a blemish-free start in Clemson’s matchup against Boston College. Lawrence went 16 for 19 with 275 yards and 3 touchdowns to finish with a QBR of 97.1. A 23-yard field goal by kicker B.T. Potter, a 3-yard touchdown run by RB Travis Etienne, and a 22-yard touchdown pass from Lawrence to WR Diondre Overton would give the Tigers a 17-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Boston College would get their only points of the day after a 9-yard touchdown run by RB AJ Dillon at the beginning of the second quarter. Etienne would have a 4-yard and a 5-yard touchdown run and WR Amari Rodgers would have a 19-yard touchdown reception in the second half to give Clemson a 38-7 lead at the end of the first half. Defensive end Logan Rudolph got the second half started with a 39-yard fumble return. Overton would haul in a 63-yard touchdown reception and a 34-yard touchdown reception in the second half to finish off this pure domination by Clemson.
Michigan made a statement in their dominating victory over Notre Dame on Saturday night. The Wolverines ended the first half with a 17-0 lead after a 21-yard field goal by kicker Jake Moody and 2 rushing touchdowns by RB Zack Charbonnet (one for 1 yard and one for 7 yards). Tight End Cole Kmet was responsible for Notre Dame’s first scoring play with a 7-yard touchdown pass from QB Ian Book in the third quarter to cut Michigan’s lead to 17-7. The Wolverines would answer with an 8-yard touchdown pass from QB Shea Patterson to WR Donovan Peoples-Jones to give them a 24-7 lead heading into the fourth quarter. Three touchdowns in the fourth quarter by Big Blue would crush any chances the Irish might’ve had. This included 2 touchdown pass from Patterson (to WR Nico Collins for 16 yards and to WR Mike Sainristil for 26 yards) and a 27-yard touchdown run by RB Tru Wilson. Wide receiver Javon McKinley had a 14-yard touchdown reception from backup QB Phil Jurkovec towards the end of the fourth quarter, but Michigan would have more than enough breathing room to win this one to improve to 6-2 as the Irish fall to 5-2.
Yet another upset this weekend occurred when UCLA took down an ASU team that has strangely gone cold. UCLA looked to jump ahead early after a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Joshua Kelly to help the Bruins jump out to a 7-0 lead. ASU would answer with a 1-yard touchdown run by QB Jayden Daniels. But a 5-yard touchdown run at the end of the first quarter and a 16-yard touchdown run by Kelley would give UCLA a 21-7 lead in the second quarter. Wide receiver Kyle Phillips would haul in a 20-yard touchdown pass from QB Dorian Thompson would give UCLA a 28-7 lead at the end of the first half. Kelley would continue his dominance into the 3rd quarter with a 2-yard touchdown run to extend his team’s lead. Sun Devil’s kicker Christian Zendejas would have a 30-yard field goal to try and cut into UCLA’s lead. The Bruins would end their scoring campaign of the day with an 8-yard touchdown reception by TE Devin Asiasi, and that would be enough to survive 3 touchdowns by ASU in the 4th quarter.
Utah rolled right over Cal late Saturday night with 2 passing touchdowns and 3 rushing touchdowns. Running back Zack Moss would get things started with a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Quarterback Tyler Huntley flexed his muscles in the second quarter with a 40-yard touchdown pass to WR Bryan Thompson. Backup QB Jason Shelley had a 1-yard touchdown run and a 1-yard touchdown pass to TE Brant Kuithe to give the Utes a 28-0 lead at the end of the first half. Moss would finish things off with a 10-yard touchdown run in the third quarter. This offensive effort is great, but Utah’s defensive effort should not go unnoticed. They held Cal to 23 rushing yards and 60 receiving yards for a total combined offensive effort of 83 yards. Utah improves to 7-1 on the season as Cal falls to 4-4.
Oregon was able to survive a back-and-forth battle against WSU. The Ducks would have a 9-3 lead at the end of the first quarter after a field goal by each team and an 89-yard touchdown run by RB CJ Verdell with a failed extra-point attempt. The Cougars took the lead back at 10-9 with a 1-yard touchdown run by RB Max Borghi, but the Oregon defense would answer with a 19-yard interception return by Safety Jevon Holland and a successful two-point conversion to give them a 17-10 advantage. A 15-yard touchdown pass by QB Anthony Gordon to WR Renard Bell within the final minute of the second quarter would tie the game at 17-17 at the end of the third quarter. Oregon would have a 24-17 lead at the end of the third quarter after a 2-yard touchdown run by Verdell and a 23-yard field goal by WSU kicker Blake Mazza. Verdell would have another touchdown run in the fourth quarter to push their lead to 31-20. Gordon connected with WR Brandon Arconado for a 19-yard touchdown pass with a successful two-point conversion to put the Cougars within 3 at 31-28. A 30-yard field goal by Oregon kicker Camden Lewis would make it a one-score game at 34-28. Gordon and Arconado would connect again for a 5-yard touchdown to give the Cougars a late 35-34. But the Ducks would walk it off with a 26-yard field goal to improve to 7-1.
Fan Review: This weekend was full of tons of excitement. There were exciting matchups between Top 25 teams and a healthy amount of upsets made it hard to look away this weekend. This weekend really showed the separation between teams that are contending for the playoffs and teams that are in bowl game contention.
Player of the Week: Ohio State DE Chase Young. Young is without a doubt the best defensive player in the country this season. He recorded 4 sacks and 5 TFL against Wisconsin. His stats this season are extremely impressive with 22 solo tackles, 13.5 sacks, and 5 forced fumbles and each week he continues to be a nightmare for opposing teams.
The Matchup of the Week for Week 10: (8) Georgia at (6) Florida. This matchup is, to keep it simple, awesome. Florida is arguably the best one-loss team in the nation, and Georgia is looking to prove themselves as they still lick their wounds from their upset loss to the University of South Carolina. The biggest key for Georgia is a strong performance by D’Andre Swift and the biggest key for Florida is a strong performance by Kyle Trask and arguably the best TE in the nation Kyle Pitts. Whichever of these two has the better performance will most likely come out of this game victorious.