As the college football season rolls on, which teams made the most noise in the NCAA this past weekend? And which teams flopped?
With week seven in the books, there was quite the stir in the Top 25 this past weekend. The usual suspects like Clemson and Alabama handled their business with no issues. Sure the Texas A&M Aggies showed some fight against the Crimson Tide. However, it just wasn’t enough.
While the biggest of the big got favorable wins, others were tested and scared a bit. Spoiler Alert, there was a huge upset if you weren’t paying attention this past weekend. Nonetheless, let’s examine the biggest games this past week and see who dodged a scare and who fell.
Perhaps there are a few surprises the country wasn’t ready for. Here we go.
#5 LSU beats #7 Florida
NCAA football presents great matchups. This one lived up to the hype. In fact, two top ten teams in the same conference going at each other is a perfect match. While Alabama made things look simple in College Station, the LSU Tigers went to war with the Florida Gators.
However, one thing is certain about this Tigers team. Joe Burrow is a bad man. Just how bad? Take a look at the stats:
Burrow vs. Gators: 21/24 pass attempts, 293 yards, and three touchdowns.
He’s a bad man. Unfortunately for the Gators, they proved to be the victims of such a performance. Keep in mind, the Gators led at the beginning of the first half. As a matter of fact, the Gator defense leads the NCAA in interceptions and the SEC in sacks. However, the Tiger offense racked up 511 yards and allowed no sacks or a turnover. That is impressive.
Regardless, Burrow played as perfect of a game as he could. Wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase totaled 127 receiving yards and two touchdowns. Justin Jefferson caught the other touchdown and also totaled 123 yards.
Despite all of that, both teams traded blows back and forth. One great thing to note is the spectacular offensive line protection Burrow received.
While both teams went into the half tied at 21, it was the Gators that won the possession battle. It didn’t benefit them in the long run. However, Florida’s inability to get plays off cleanly affected them the most. Meanwhile, the Tigers played just as they have all season. Their offense is in total rhythm.
With this result, LSU moves up to number two, while Florida drops to number nine.
#9 Notre Dame survives upset scare against USC
The Fighting Irish live to fight another day, but not by much. In terms of NCAA rivalries, it doesn’t get much better than USC vs. Notre Dame.
The Irish had some big help in the backfield thanks in part to running back Tony Jones Jr. In this game, he rushed for a career-high 176 yards. Quarterback Ian Brook had a night where he was 17 of 32 for 165 yards and one touchdown through the air.
The kicker also had himself a game. Jonathan Doerer kicked three long field goals that made all the difference in this game for the Irish. The longest field goal of the night came from 52 yards out.
USC did put up a big fight late, but the Trojans came to play too late to pull off the upset. Despite that fact, freshman quarterback Kedon Slovis had himself a game. His stat line looked like this:
Slovis vs ND: 24/35 pass attempts, for 255 yards, with two touchdowns
Not bad for a freshman. Running back Markese Stepp got 82 yards on the ground and even scored on a two-point play to bring USC within three. Unfortunately, the Irish recovered the onside kick and ran out the clock to ice the game.
Notre Dame got three sacks on Slovis while rushing him on four other occasions to give the USC o-line many fits. In the second half, Slovis improved and really stood out to give this season some hope for USC. The Irish had their struggles too, but their win was enough to move them up one spot to number eight. Still in the hunt for the playoff in the long run.
Some other things to note. Irish running backs have not fumbled on 1247 rushing attempts. Basically, since Nov. 21, 2015. That is the longest active streak. The Irish have also won their last 15 games at home. That is impressive.
The Georgia Bulldogs fall on missed field goal
It was coming. The game that shook up the NCAA football landscape. That’s right. The mighty Georgia Bulldogs, ranked number three before this, had a really rough day. That didn’t matter to South Carolina, who was much too happy to let this opportunity get past them.
It was a bad day as a whole for Jake Fromm. Three interceptions bad. Even with four turnovers the Bulldogs still managed to take this game all the way to a double-overtime. Keep in mind, Georgia was favored by 24 1/2 points. Their national title hopes are dashed unless one of the top four really slips up.
Israel Mukuamu picked off Fromm all three times. On the first pass he picked off, Mukuamu took it home for 53 yards to mark the defensive touchdown. During the last two minutes of the game, Fromm led a 96-yard drive to tie the game up and send it to the first overtime. An illegal shift penalty would dash any hopes of a game-winning field goal attempt in regulation.
Ironically enough, the last time the Gamecocks beat a top 25 opponent was against number six Georgia in 2014. South Carolina would lose their starting QB Ryan Hillinski to a knee injury after getting hit by Adam Anderson in the third quarter. Anderson would be penalized for the hit.
No one feels worse than Bulldogs kicker Rodrigo Blankenship. His last field goal attempt from 42 yards out went wide left and effectively ended the game. South Carolina 20, Georgia 17 in double-overtime.
For Georgia, they fall to the number 10 in the rankings. A tough way to fall. Don’t believe me? Look at the highlights and see.
What a week it was for NCAA football. But there is still plenty of football to go. After all, it is a long season. And to stay up to date, be sure to stay tuned to NGSC Sports. Where we never stop!
Until next time, folks.
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