Week 11 is in the books and we are closer and closer to the college football playoffs. Here is a look at some of the top games in the Power 5 this past weekend.
#9 Alabama vs #11 Ole Miss
In a powerful SEC matchup, both these teams needed this win to get a better chance at a better bowl game. Number nine Alabama came into this game with a very surprising 7-2 record. For Ole Miss, it has been a great season so far as the 11th-ranked team at an 8-1 record after they came into this game.
Starting in the game, we had multiple possessions from each team with no score until Ole Miss broke that. Ole Miss scored the first touchdown of the game and followed it with a field goal on their next drive to make it a 10-0 game in the second quarter. Finally, Bama scored a touchdown to make it a 3-point game in the middle of the second quarter. Later on, in the quarter, Quinshon Judkins ran in his second touchdown of the game to go up 17-7. Bryce Young answered late in the quarter with an eight-yard touchdown to Cameron Latu to make it a 17-14 game at the half.
Right out of the gate in the second half, Alabama scored 10 points and Ole Miss scored a touchdown. From these three possessions to start the half, we had a tied ballgame at 24 apiece. The Crimson Tide then took the lead later on with a field goal from Will Reichard to go up 27-24. Alabama’s defense was playing phenomenally all half and Ole Miss could not move the ball after their first possession in the half. The second-half adjustments Alabama made were working to perfection. After a turnover on downs for Ole Miss, Reichard made another field goal to put Bama up 30-24 with 2 minutes and 33 seconds left in the game. Jaxson Dart could put his team on his back and pull out a huge win against a powerhouse at home with this opportunity. Dart was driving down the field quickly but was eventually sacked on third down to practically end the game, which it did after the fourth down incompletion pass. Alabama kneeled the ball out and won the close-fought game, 30-24.
Bryce Young had a solid game with three touchdowns and 209 yards passing. Jase McClellan also had a good game rushing for 84 yards in the game. For the receiving game, Ja’Corey Brooks led the team with 61 yards on four receptions and a touchdown. The Bama defense played outstanding holding Jaxson Dart to only 212 yards and a touchdown. Quinshon Judkins had another great game rushing for 135 yards with two touchdowns. Malik Heath also played very well catching six receptions for 123 yards in the game.
Alabama now moves forward with an 8-2 record as the now eighth-ranked team in the nation but they are eliminated from the SEC championship game. They play Austin Peay this week at home which should be a very satisfactory game from Alabama. Ole Miss on the other hand is 8-2 and moved down to the 14th-ranked team in the nation. They play on the road this week against Arkansas which should be a very good football game.
#25 Washington vs #6 Oregon
Both of these teams have been very dominant on offense and that is what we saw this past weekend. Washington came into this game as the 25th-ranked team with a 7-2 record. For Oregon, they have to keep winning for a playoff chance as they are ranked at number six with an 8-1 record.
Right away as I said, Washington scored on their first possession of the game, and then both teams scored field goals on their next drives to make it a 10-3 Washington lead early in the first quarter. Later on, in the second quarter, Oregon fumbled the ball in the RedZone but then quickly forced a three-and-out from Washington. Oregon then marched down the field again, this time capitalizing on a Bo Nix 10-yard rushing touchdown. Washington then drove down the field and kicked a field goal with little time left in the half. Oregon tried to do the same but they missed a 54-yard field goal as time expired at the end of the half, losing 13-10.
At the start of the second half, Bo Nix went down the field in four plays to respond and go up 17-13 after a 46-yard throwing touchdown. On the next four possessions in the game, both teams scored two touchdowns with both quarterbacks throwing for a touchdown and their running backs having their own. This turned out to be five straight touchdowns to make the score quickly come out to a 31-27 Oregon lead. Washington almost made it six straight possession but Michael Pennix threw an interception at Oregon’s one-yard line on fourth down. Oregon then had the ball for almost 11 minutes on 20 plays to score a field goal to go up seven with four minutes left in the fourth. Pennix didn’t panic and he threw a 62-yard touchdown to Taj Davis to tie the game. On the following drive for Oregon, Bo Nix was hurt and came out of the game resulting in a turnover on downs with the backup quarterback in. Washington took advantage of this and scored a field goal from 43 yards out with 51 seconds left. Nix came back in the game but there just wasn’t enough time for Oregon, to lose this terrific game 37-34.
Michael Pennix Jr. once again played extremely well throwing for 408 yards with two touchdowns and one interception. He came up clutch so many times for his team to pull out this gritty win. Washington also ran in two touchdowns from their running backs. For Jalen McMillan, he had a great game catching eight balls for 122 yards. For Bo Nix, he had another fantastic game throwing for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Nix also had 59 rushing yards and a touchdown but it just wasn’t enough to get the win. Bucky Irvington and Nick Whittington both played excellent rushing for a total of 251 yards and a touchdown from Whittington. Troy Franklin hauled in five receptions for 139 yards and a touchdown as well.
Washington now moved up to the 17th-ranked team with an 8-2 record. They have a small shot at a Pac12 Championship game but it most likely won’t happen. They have an easy opponent in Colorado this week at home which they should move to 9-2. On the other hand, this loss hurts Oregon a lot. They are now sitting as the 12th-ranked team with an 8-2 record. They have a huge game against number 10 Utah this week at home. Whoever wins this game, will most likely be playing in the Pac12 championship game.
#4 TCU vs #18 Texas
In what most people thought would be an offensive game, it was the total opposite. TCU came into this game as an undefeated playoff team at 9-0 as the fourth-ranked team in the nation. People may have thought this would be Texas in the playoffs not TCU but here we are as Texas is ranked 18. Texas came into this game as the favorites at a 6-3 record looking for a huge win.
Starting in the first half, we saw many punts, turnovers, and missed field goals in this half. Max Duggan and Quin Ewers’ offenses were extremely stagnant the whole half. Credit to both of these defenses, especially Texas because TCU has been a powerhouse all year on offense. Finally, late in the second quarter, TCU was driving down the field looking for the first score of the game somehow. They did just that after a 14-play drive kicker Griffin Kell made a 34-yarder to take the 3-0 lead. Texas had a minute to answer but they still couldn’t get anything going which should worry Texas fans not only for this game but the rest of the season.
Moving onto the second half, fans were hoping for something to see offensively here this half. Finally, after a couple of punts, TCU did something. One of the best running backs in the country this year, Kendre Miller broke free up the field for a 75-yard touchdown to take a 10-0 lead. You could honestly say this could be the game the way Texas is moving the ball on offense. After the touchdown, Texas moved the ball down the field to score a field goal to make it a 10-3 game. Right away on the next drive though, TCU answered but it was a touchdown. Max Duggan completed a 31-yard touchdown to star receiver Quentin Johnston to make it a 17-3 game. Late in the fourth quarter with TCU trying to run the clock out they did the opposite of that. Max Duggan lost the ball and Texas picked it up for a 48-yard fumble touchdown to make it a 17-10 game with four minutes to go. Texas needed one stop to get the ball back and have a chance to try to tie it up. TCU had other plans and they got the first downs they needed to end this game with a 17-10 win. In a very defensive battle game, TCU wound up on top as the underdog winner.
Max Duggan did not have his best game only throwing for 124 yards and one touchdown with a fumble. Kendre Miller had another fantastic game rushing for 138 yards and a 75-yard touchdown rush. TCU’s star receiver Quentin Johnston had a solid game with a limited three catches but had 66 yards and a touchdown coming up big when needed. On the other side of the ball, Quin Ewers did not impress at all this game. He threw for only 171 yards with no touchdowns and an interception. He also only completed 17 of his throws on 39 attempts. Nothing went their way in the passing game with only three players having caught the ball and their running game was horrific. The only positive for Texas to come out of this game was their defense. The defense had five sacks, 14 tackles for loss, and a fumble recovery touchdown.
Texas is now unranked after this game with a 6-4 record. They are now on the road against Kansas in which both teams badly need a win. For TCU, they are still undefeated with a 10-0 record sitting as the fourth-ranked team in the nation. They play Baylor on the road this week which should be a very good battle. All TCU needs to do is win the next three games they play including the Big12 championship game and they are in the playoffs.