Baylor snuck away with a victory against an unranked Baylor team after a clutch 4th quarter 36-yard field goal by kicker John Mayers. Baylor would get on the board first with a 13-yard touchdown pass from QB Charlie Brewer to WR R.J. Sneed, making the game 7-0 in the first quarter. This would be the lone scoring play by either team in the first half. But an 83-yard touchdown reception by WR George Campbell in the third quarter would tie the game at 7-7. Brewer was able to find WR Denzel Mims for a 21-yard touchdown pass to give the Bears the lead back at 14-7. An explosive 95-yard kickoff return by freshman WR Winston Wright would knot the game back up at 14-14. But Baylor would have the last laugh as they stay undefeated at 8-0 due to Mayer’s late-game field goal.
Despite an impressive performance by QB Zac Thomas, (25-51 with 271 yards and 3 TDs), The Appalachian State Mountaineers were handed their first loss of the season in an upset against Georgia Southern. App. State quickly found themselves in a 10-0 hole after a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Wesley Kennedy III and a 49-yard field goal by kicker Tyler Bass. Thomas would connect with WR Malik Williams with just 6 seconds to go in the second quarter to cut their deficit to 10-7 at the end of the first half. The third quarter would belong to Georgia Southern as they would extend their lead to 24-7 with a 68-yard touchdown run by Kennedy III and a 55-yard touchdown run by QB Shai Werts. The Mountaineers would attempt a comeback in the 4th quarter with two touchdown receptions by WR Corey Sutton (one for 10 yards and one for 9 yards), but they would come up just short and fall to 7-1. The most impressive stat about this game was that Werts’ went 1 for with 16 yards, but that was only because of Georgia Southern’s combined 335 rushing yards, with Kennedy the III leading the way with 145 yards on 13 carries with 2 touchdowns.
A Michigan team that seemed to be dead in the water has had an explosive offense the past few weeks and this continued in their matchup against Maryland. The Wolverines would get on the board with a 97-yard return by WR Giles Jackson on the opening kickoff. Two rushing touchdowns by RB Zach Charbonnet (one for 2 yards and one for 6 yards) would give Michigan a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. Wolverines QB Shea Patterson would get his first and only touchdown pass of the day in the third quarter with a 5-yard pass to TE Nick Eubanks. The leading rusher of the day for Michigan RB Hassan Haskins would help pad his team’s lead with a 14-yard touchdown run to make the score 35-0. Maryland would finally get on the board in the final two minutes of the third quarter with a 97-yard kickoff return by RB Javon Leake. A 38-yard field goal by kicker Quinn Nordin would end the game as Michigan stays alive and improves to 7-2.
Wake Forest found themselves in the Top 25 this week for the first time this season, and they made sure to impress. Junior QB Jamie Newman had a phenomenal game, putting together 25 completions on 38 attempts with 287 yards with 3 touchdown passes and 2 rushing touchdowns. Newman got the ball rolling for the Demon Deacons with a 20-yard touchdown run to put his squad up 7-0. A 5-yard touchdown pass to TE Jack Freudenthal and a 2-yard touchdown run by Newman would give Wake Forest a healthy 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter. NCST would get their lone touchdown of the day in the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown reception by TE Cary Angeline, but two more touchdown receptions by Freudenthal and two field goals by kicker Nick Sciba would prove to be too much for NC State to overcome. Wake Forest now sits at 7-1 and continues to be a surprise this season.
Notre Dame was able to squeeze past Virginia Tech and avoid their third loss of the season. The Irish scored first with an 8-yard touchdown reception by TE Cole Kmet, but Virginia Tech would tie the game at 7-7 in the final minute of the 1st quarter with an 8-yard touchdown reception by WR Damon Hazelton. This back and forth battle would only continue into the second quarter. Notre Dame QB Ian Book would connect with TE Tommy Tremble for a 4-yard touchdown pass, but a 98-yard fumble return by DB Divine Deablo with 10 seconds to go in the second quarter would knot the game 14-14 at the end of the first half. Virginia Tech would have two field goals in the second half to give them a 20-14 lead in the fourth quarter, but a 7-yard rushing touchdown by Book with just 30 seconds to go in the game would help the Irish steal a victory at home to improve to 6-2.
The matchup of the week was nothing short of entertaining. Both teams had one loss on the season and each was desperate to prove that they were better than the other. Florida would find themselves down 10-0 early after a 31-yard field goal by kicker Rodrigo Blankenship in the first quarter and a 3-yard touchdown reception by WR Dominick Blaylock in the second quarter. The Gators would make it a one-score game with a 38-yard field goal by kicker Evan McPherson, but Georgia would bring that lead back to 10 points at 13-3 with a 37-yard field goal by Blankenship in the final 15 seconds of the first half. Blankenship would only continue to help boost his team’s lead with a 27-yard field goal for the lone scoring play in the 3rd quarter to make the Bulldogs’ lead 16-3. Kyle Trask would finally get his team in the endzone in the fourth quarter with a 23-yard touchdown pass to WR Van Jefferson, making it a one-score game at 16-10. Jake Fromm would extend the lead to 24-10 with a 52-yard touchdown pass to WR Lawrence Cager. The Gators would attempt a comeback with a 2-yard touchdown reception by WR Freddie Swain towards the end of the fourth quarter, cutting Georgia’s lead to 24-17, but that’s all they would get. Georgia walks away winners at 7-1 and Florida would add their second loss of the season to a ranked team and they now sit at 7-2.
Kansas State was able to cruise right past a now 3-6 Kansas team. Wildcats QB Skylar Thompson would have a 1-yard rushing touchdown to put his team up 7-0 in the first quarter. Kansas kicker Liam Jones would have a 34-yard field goal to make the game 7-3 at the end of the first quarter, but that was as close as Kansas would get all game. The Wildcats began to run away with the lead in the second quarter with a 9-yard touchdown run by RB Harry Trotter and a 39-yard field goal by kicker Blake Lynch as time expired in the second quarter, giving Kansas State a 17-3 lead at the end of the first half. Thompson would have two more rushing touchdowns in the second half, (one for 12 yards in the third quarter and one for 4 yards in the fourth quarter). Runningback Tyler Burns would continue the dominance of Kansas State’s run game with a 14-yard rushing touchdown in the 4th quarter to complete the Wildcats scoring rout. Jayhawks backup QB Manny Miles would have a 1-yard touchdown run in the final 35 seconds of the game for Kansas’ lone touchdown of the day, but that would be nowhere near enough to overpower Kansas State’s 342 rushing yards and 5 rushing touchdowns.
The lone top 5 team to play this weekend absolutely dominated. Trevor Lawrence put together a strong stat line, going 12 for 16 with 218 yards and 3 touchdowns to help his team win with ease and stay undefeated at 9-0. The first of his three touchdown passes came in the first quarter to WR Amari Rodgers for 35 yards. The Tigers would add two rushing touchdowns to their first-quarter scoring with a 19-yard run by RB Lyn-J Dixon and a 47-yard run by RB Travis Etienne. Etienne would have his second rushing touchdown of the day with an explosive 86-yard run to the house at the start of the second quarter. Lawrence would have two touchdowns in the second quarter with a connection with WR Tee Higgins for 22-yards and his own 2-yard rush to make the game 42-0 at the end of the first half. Lawrence’s final touchdown pass of the day came in the third quarter with a 34-yard pass to WR Justyn Ross, giving Clemson a 49-point advantage. Terriers RB Ryan Lovelace was finally able to get Wofford on the board with a 20-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter. Runningback Darine Rencher had a 3-yard rushing touchdown in the third quarter for Clemson’s final touchdown of the game, extending the Tigers’ lead to 56-7. Wofford RB D’mauriae VanCleave would haul in a 79-yard touchdown reception at the end of the third quarter, and that would be the last time they would see the endzone this game. B.T. Potter would finish this dominating game by Clemson with a 35-yard field goal in the first quarter. Clemson had an astonishing 419 combined rushing yards with Etienne leading the way with 212 yards on 9 carries (23.6 yards per carry) and 2 touchdowns, and last year’s National Champions are three wins away from a perfect regular season.
Utah was able to survive a comeback battle against Washington and walk away in the win column for the 5th straight time this season. The Huskies would strike first with an 11-yard touchdown reception by WR Jordan Chin to give Washington a 7-0 lead. Utah would answer with a 31-yard field goal by Jadon Redding at the start of the second quarter to cut their deficit to 7-3, but QB Jacob Eason would respond and give the Huskies an 11 point lead at 14-3 with a 34-yard touchdown pass to TE Hunter Bryant. A 9-yard touchdown pass from QB Tyler Huntley to RB Zack Moss and a 32-yard field goal by Redding with 1 second to go in the 2nd quarter would put the Utes within one at 14-13. A 40-yard touchdown reception by Bryant would extend Washington’s lead to 21-13. DB Jaylon Johnson would have a 39-yard pick-six in the final few minutes of the third quarter, cutting Washington’s lead to 21-19. A 1-yard touchdown run by Huntley and 2-yard touchdown run by Moss would give Utah their first lead of the day at 33-21. Washington would attempt a comeback with a 3-yard touchdown reception by WR Aaron Fuller with just over a minute to go, but it would not be enough to survive Utah’s comeback as the Utes improve to 8-1.
Despite the final score being a 1-score game, Auburn was able to maintain control of this game and have an easy victory thanks to a solid defense and a strong day by their receiving core. Auburn had 507 total yards of offense, with 340 yards in the air. On the other side of the ball, the Tigers’ defense was able to keep Ole Miss at bay by allowing 266 total offensive yards, giving up 3.7 yards per pass and 4.0 yards per carry. Auburn jumped out to a 10-0 lead in the second quarter with a 20-yard field goal by kicker Anders Carlson and a 1-yard touchdown run by RB D.J. Williams. A 4-yard touchdown run by QB John Rhys Plumlee in the final minute of the second quarter would cut Auburn’s lead to 3 at 10-7. Quarterback Bo Nix would give his team some breathing room with a 1-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to extend their lead to 10 points at 17-7. Carlson made it a two-score game at 20-7 with a 38-yard field goal in the third quarter. Auburn gave up a late fourth-quarter touchdown with a 1-yard run by Rebels RB Snoop Conner, but they were able to hold off any possible comeback and improve to 7-2.
Cincinnati was able to win a comeback thriller against ECU thanks to their 301 total rushing yards. The first quarter would be a back-and-forth battle, including three rushing touchdowns by the Bearcats, (2 one-yard runs by RB Michael Warren II and one 2-yard run by RB Gerrid Doaks), and a 75-yard touchdown pass and a 6-yard touchdown run by QB Holton Ahlers. The East Carolina Pirates were down 21-14 heading into the second quarter, but two 3-yard passing touchdowns to Ahlers, (one to TE Zech Byrd and one to WR Jsi Hatfield) and a 27-yard field goal by kicker Jake Verity would give ECU a 10 point lead at 31-21 at the end of the first half. Warren II would try to cut ECU’s lead with a 3-yard touchdown run in the third quarter to make the score 31-28. But ECU would answer with a 20-yard field goal by Verity and a 9-yard touchdown reception by WR Tyler Snead to extend their lead to 40-28. Cincinnati would take the lead back in the 4th quarter when CB Ahmad Gardner had a 62-yard interception return with a successful 2-point conversion, giving them a 43-40 lead. The Pirates would tie the game in the final two minutes with a 27-yard field goal by Verity, but Crosa’s 32-yard field goal as time expired would seal the victory for Cincinnati and help them stay in the win column at 7-1.
Memphis was able to upset SMU in a game where they dominated early and held off a late comeback. The game would be tied at 7-7 at the end of the first quarter after a 16-yard touchdown reception by TE Kylen Granson (SMU) and a 14-yard touchdown run by RB Kenneth Gainwell (Memphis). Kicker Riley Patterson would give Memphis their first lead of the game at 10-7 with a 30-yard field goal in the second quarter. But a 2-yard touchdown run by RB Xavier Jones would give the Mustangs the lead back at 14-10. A 49-yard field goal by Patterson and a 50-yard touchdown pass by QB Brady White to WR Antonio Gibson would give Memphis a 20-14 lead. A 23-yard field goal by kicker Kevin Robledo and a 34-yard field goal by Patterson would give Memphis a 23-17. That was a total of 6 scoring plays in the second quarter so hold on, we’ve still got more to go. Memphis would kick off (literally) the second half with a 97-yard kickoff return by Gibson, extending Memphis’ lead to 30-17. A 2-yard touchdown run by RB Ke’Mon Freeman would make it a one-score game at 30-24. A 50-yard field goal by Patterson and a 24-yard touchdown reception by WR Damonte Coxie would extend the Tigers’ lead to 40-24 heading into the 4th quarter. SMU would stay close in the 4th, starting with a 30-yard touchdown reception by Granson with a successful 2-point conversion to cut Memphis’ lead to 40-32. A 49-yard touchdown reception by Coxie and a 78-yard touchdown run by Gibson would make it a 22-point game at 54-32. An explosive 68-yard touchdown run by Freemon and a 2-yard touchdown reception by WR James Proche (both with successful 2-point conversions) would still not be enough for SMU to overpower Memphis as they get their first loss of the season at 8-1.
Despite being down 10-0 at the end of the first quarter, Oregon was able to roll right past USC. A 10-yard touchdown run by QB Justin Herbert, a 2-yard touchdown run by WR Jaylon Redd and a 32-yard interception return by S Brady Breeze would give the Ducks a 21-10 lead in the second quarter. USC QB Kedon Slovis would connect with WR Michael Pittman Jr. for a 13-yard touchdown pass to make it a 4-point game at 21-17. But CB Mykal Wright would follow with a 100-yard kickoff return in the final 10 seconds to give Oregon a 28-17 lead at the end of the first half. Three touchdown passes from Herbert to WR Juwan Johnson in the second half (one for 15 yards, one for 11 yards, and one for 37 yards) and a 35-yard touchdown reception by WR Mycah Pittman would end Oregon’s scoring rout in this game. All USC would be able to muster in the second half was a 20-yard touchdown interception by WR Kyle Ford in the final 4 minutes of the game, but they would fall to 5-4 as Oregon improves to 8-1.
Boise State was able to drop 52 points on SJSU for the comeback victory. The Spartans had a 14-0 lead in the first quarter after two short rushing touchdowns, but a 66-yard punt return by CB Avery Williams with 15 seconds to go in the first quarter would make it a one-score game at 14-7. Kicker Matt Mercurio would make it a 10-point game with a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter, and Boise State would answer with a 1-yard touchdown run by freshman RB George Holani to make it 17-14. SJSU would answer yet again with a 16-yard touchdown pass by QB Josh Love to WR Isaiah Hamilton. The Broncos would make it a one-score game (again) at 24-17 with a 30-yard field goal by kicker Eric Sachse. Mercurio had a 35-yard field goal as the first scoring play in the second half. Boise State would answer with 2 rushing touchdowns (one by Holani for 6 yards, and one by backup QB Chase Cord for 8 yards) to give them 31-27 lead. SJSU would take the lead back at 34-31 at the end of the third quarter with a 3-yard touchdown run by RB DeJon Packer. Holani would have two more rushing touchdowns in the 4th quarter and RB Andrew Van Buren would have a 32-yard run to help Boise State pad their lead and secure the comeback to improve to 7-1.
Fan Review: Despite four of the top five teams not playing this weekend, we were not deprived of entertainment. Big offensive performances by teams and individual players helped keep fans engaged and made a weekend that was perceived to be not very interesting pretty entertaining. Next weekend is without a doubt going to be better, but this was a nice buffer.
Player of The Week: Boise State RB George Holani. Freshman running back George Holani had a stellar performance that might have gone unnoticed since this game was slated later. Holani had 126 yards on 28 carries with 4 touchdowns and without this insane performance, Boise State doesn’t win this game.
Week 11 Matchup of The Week: (1) LSU at (2) Alabama: I don’t need to sell you on one of the most anticipated games all season. The top two teams in the country will face off in what should definitely be a battle of two stellar offenses. There’s plenty you can say about this game regarding predictions with any and every stat, but it’s clear and obvious that this game could go either way. I think LSU will win this game based on the fact that they have faced stronger opponents this year than Alabama and that will benefit them more than people think.