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This is the next to last installment of our Power 5 recaps in NCAA football. This past week saw a big upset in South Carolina and the top four of the CFP hold steady.

 

#5 Tennessee vs South Carolina

 

What we thought would be a powerful win for one team, was the opposite result that we saw this past weekend.  Number five Tennessee came into this game at a 9-1 record needing to win out and have some help along the way for the playoffs.  South Carolina came into this at a record of 6-4, trying to pull off one of the biggest upsets in their college history.

 

Starting in the game, the Gamecocks drove down the field and eventually scored a touchdown from the arm of Spencer Rattler to go up first.  As expected though, Jabari Small ran for a 31-yard touchdown to answer South Carolina’s touchdown.  Right away though, Spencer Rattler threw two more touchdowns to go up 21-7 early on against the Volunteers.  To end the first half, we saw five straight possessions of scores with Rattler totaling to have four throwing touchdowns in the first half.  This had South Carolina up 35-24 at the end of the first half, with Rattler having his best game of the season so far.

 

Into the second half, Hendon Hooker and Tennessee answered on their second possession of the half with a 41-yard touchdown to Princeton Fant.  Once again though, South Carolina answered with a three-yard rushing touchdown from Antwane Wells Jr.  After a Volunteer punt, Rattler went down the field throwing for another touchdown to make the game 49-31 Gamecocks.  Tennessee needed a huge comeback soon unless their playoff hopes were over and that is not what they got.  Hooker went down on the first play on an injury in which he fumbled the ball as well.  After the fumble, who else but South Carolina scored another touchdown ending the hopes of a comeback.  The game ended in a huge upset blowout 63-38, all Gamecocks.  South Carolina was the better team all game and they never looked back after their first possession in the first quarter.  

 

Spencer Rattler looked like the guy we all expected to be at Oklahoma this past weekend.  He had the best game of his career throwing for 438 yards with six touchdowns.  Rattler was also 30/37 on his throwing attempts being efficient all game.  Antwane Wells Jr. had a fantastic game hauling in 11 receptions for 177 yards.  South Carolina also spread the wealth all over the field with 12 players having at least one reception.  Hendon Hooker had a solid game throwing for 247 yards and three touchdowns but had a critical fumble.  The fumble though came on his injury that was unfortunately a season-ending one, an ACL tear.  For the Volunteers running game, Jabari Small had a good game rushing for 80 yards and a touchdown on only 11 rushing attempts.  Squirrel White and Cedric Tillman combined for 14 receptions on 177 yards with two touchdowns.  Tennessee had a great game offensively but the defense couldn’t get it done surprisingly.               

 

Tennessee now dropped to tenth in the latest college football rankings with a 9-2 record.  It has been a very fun season so far for the Volunteers but everything crashed and burned for them this past weekend.  They lost all hope for the playoffs and their Heisman candidate quarterback is now out for the rest of the season.  They play Vanderbilt this week on the road which should be an easy game for them.  On the other side of the ball, South Carolina won one of the biggest games in their history.  They now sit at 7-4 and play Clemson on the road this week looking for another huge upset win.   

#4 TCU vs Baylor

 

In what was expected to be a close game, it was just that the game came down to the wire at the end of the game.  TCU came into this game undefeated at 10-0 and was the fourth-ranked team in the nation, currently in the playoffs.  For Baylor, they came into the game at 6-4 looking for a huge upset win at home.  

 

Starting right away in the game, Baylor scored a touchdown on the first possession of the game from a Qualan Jones 10-yard rushing touchdown.  After a missed opportunity from Baylor with a missed field goal, TCU took advantage to make it a Max Duggan seven-yard rushing touchdown to tie the game at seven.  Right away though, Baylor answered quickly to go back up seven but TCU answered right back with their touchdown to tie the game up at 14 in the second quarter.  Late in the second quarter, Baylor was driving looking for important late points, but Blake Shapen threw a critical interception to keep the game tied at 14 at halftime. 

 

In the second half, we saw some punts and a rare interception from Max Duggan to start the half.  Eventually, TCU scored a touchdown from a 26-yard passing touchdown to Gunnar Henderson but the Frogs missed the PAT.  Once again, Baylor answered with a touchdown from a Blake Shapen Touchdown to Kelsey Johnson’s 12-yard pass to go up 21-20.  After a TCU punt, Baylor then scored another touchdown to go up 28-20 with under 10 minutes left.  Late in the fourth quarter, Duggan and the Frogs were driving and scored a rushing touchdown to make it 28-26.  TCU though didn’t complete the two-point conversion in which they now needed a three and out to get a chance to win the game.  The Frog’s tough defense did just that and forced a three-and-out with a minute and 30 seconds left for the offense.  Duggan then rushed down the field quickly and got into field goal range with the clock running for a 40-yard field goal.  Griffin Kell then kicked the 40-yarder and kept the undefeated season alive, winning 29-28 at the buzzer.  

 

Max Duggan had a significant game throwing for 327 yards and a touchdown with an interception.  Duggan also ran for 50 yards and a touchdown in the game.  He did though have a fantastic drive at the end of the game which eventually won them the game.  Taye Barber had a great game catching five balls for 108 yards.  For Baylor, Blake Shapen also had a solid game throwing for 269 yards and a touchdown but also had an interception.  Craig Williams kept the Bears in the game rushing for 112 yards on 19 rushing attempts.  The rushing game kept them alive in the game rushing for a total of 232 yards and two touchdowns.  Monaray Baldwin also had a terrific game catching the ball six times for 123 yards.  

 

TCU stayed undefeated making their record 11-0 but stayed as the fourth-ranked team in the nation, which is very good to have at the moment.  They have to keep winning and they can do that by playing Iowa State at home this week in a big game for TCU to stay undefeated.  For Baylor, they are now 6-5 and go on the road in a tough environment in Austin, Texas.  They play ranked 23rd Texas in which they hope to win a big upset game this week.   

 

#7 USC vs #16 UCLA

 

This game was a very important game for both sides, whoever wins is most likely going to the Pac-12 Championship.  USC came into this game as the seventh-ranked team in the nation at a record of 9-1 and have their playoff hopes alive.  On the other hand, UCLA is coming off a tough loss to Arizona which had their recording standing at 8-2 being the 16th-ranked team.

 

Starting right out of the gate, USC was driving down the field but Caleb Williams was stopped on a fourth down rush to turn the ball over on downs.  After a punt and a missed field goal, UCLA broke the tie with a Dorian Thompson-Robinson one-yard rushing touchdown.  Caleb Williams then threw an interception which then led to a Thompson-Robinson 30-yard passing touchdown to Michael Ezeike to go up 14-0.  Finally, USC answered and Caleb Williams ran in for a touchdown for the score to make it a 14-7 game.  USC then scored a field goal after a UCLA punt then both teams proceeded to score another touchdown to make the score 21-17.  Before the half ended though, Thompson-Robinson threw two interceptions luckily USC missed a field goal but they did score on the other possession going into halftime with UCLA up 21-20. 

 

Coming out of halftime, UCLA kicked a field goal but then Caleb Williams threw a 35-yard touchdown to take their first lead of the game, 27-24 USC.  After a fumble from UCLA, we saw six straight touchdowns with both teams scoring three of them.  This then made the score 48-45 USC late in the fourth quarter.  USC had the ball to try and end the game with a touchdown or to run the clock out.  The Trojans did not do any of that and had to punt the ball back to UCLA’s scorching-hot offense.  UCLA had the opportunity to win the game and upset USC at home for a huge win.  Thompson-Robinson was then driving down the field looking good but eventually, he was picked off by Korey Foreman for the exciting win for USC, 48-45. 

 

Caleb Williams played unbelievably well as he continues to keep his name in the Heisman race.  Williams threw for 470 yards and two touchdowns with an interception.  He also ran for 33 yards and a touchdown.  Austin Jones led the way rushing for 120 yards and two touchdowns.  For the receivers, Jordan Addison had an epic game hauling in 11 receptions for 178 yards and a touchdown.  For the UCLA quarterback, Dorian Thompson-Robinson had a very inconsistent game.  He may have thrown for 309 yards with two touchdowns and had 81 yards rushing for two touchdowns, but he had three inceptions and a fumble loss.  If he divided his turnovers in two, UCLA would most likely be talking about the Pac-12 championship game right now.  Zach Charbonnet had another great game rushing for 95 yards. 

 

USC is now sitting pretty at a record of 10-1 and is the sixth-ranked team in the nation.  If they want to make the playoffs, they are going to need some help from some teams and they have to win their next game against number 15 Norte Dame at home.  For UCLA, they now have lost two straight having their record stand at 8-3, and the 18th-ranked team in the nation.  They now go on the road to play California which should be a win for UCLA.    

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