Rivalry week was awesome! And I am not just saying that because my team won. There was some serious high quality football played this weekend. The Georgia-Georgia Tech game was a weird but fun roller coaster. And the Iron Bowl was closely fought battle. Stanford upset a UCLA team who had playoff dreams. Arizona out lasted the Sun Devils to take control of the PAC-12 South. The Marshall and Western Kentucky game was a high power thrill ride that was crazy until the end. Florida State barely won again, blah blah blah. You have heard that story every single week. Ole Miss pulled off a fantastic upset to salvage what started out as a very promising season and up as a bit of a disappointment. Bryce Petty went down in a close call for Baylor, but the Bears have a replacement in Seth Russell, who filled in admirably for Bryce Petty earlier this season. Wisconsin took the Big 10 West in battle of stud running backs, and will take on an Ohio State team without JT Barrett. Boise State killed Utah State to clinch the Mountain West Mountain division and will probably go on to win the Mountain West.
GIF of the Week
Honorable Mention: Marcus Mariota and Byron Marshall, QB and WR Oregon – My boy and future Heisman winner Marcus Mariota threads the needle and then Byron Marshall turns this into an impressive touchdown run. Oregon crushed Oregon State and will go to the PAC 12 championship to play Arizona.
Runner Up: Sammie Coates, WR Auburn – This catch is amazing and Sammie Coates is a freaking beast! Look at him wrestle the ball away from two defenders. What a play!
Winner: Jaylen Walton, RB Ole Miss – This is one of the best cuts I have ever seen. He breaks the ankles of the entire Mississippi State defense. Then he breaks a tackle an takes it 91 yards for a touchdown.
Game of the Week
Honorable Mention: #24 Marshall 66 vs Western Kentucky 67 – Holy crap! This score seems like a mediocre college basketball score, not a football score. These teams put a combined 91 points on the board in the first half alone. The pace of the game slowed after half time, but this was a back and forth battle til the bitter end. Brandon Doughty threw for 8 freaking touchdowns and the two point conversion that eventually won the Hilltoppers the game. It looked like Marshall had this wrapped up after they picked off a pass to force OT and scored quickly. However, Western Kentucky rolled down the field and scored too. Jeff Brohm, the coach of the Hilltoppers, decided he didn’t want the game to last any longer. He went for two and they got it! I’m sad to see the Thundering Herd lose their first game of the season, but they did it in a very entertaining way. As former Marshall Coach Matthew McConaughey would say, “Whatever, we had more heart anyway, also what the Hell is a Hilltopper? Anyway let me take my shirt off. I like to take my shirt off in films.”
Runner Up: #15 Auburn 44 vs #1 Alabama 55 – Alabama did what it does best in this game: survive. It really looked like Auburn had them beat in the middle of the game. Then the third quarter happened. Amari Cooper had 2 touchdowns and over 100 yards in the third quarter alone. Blake Sims had his struggles, but he fed the Crimson Tide’s Heisman caliber receiver enough times to make sure the game went Alabama’s way. Sammie Coates, the fantastic receiver for Auburn had almost as good of a day, totaling 206 yards and 2 touchdowns to rival Cooper’s 224 yards and 3 touchdowns. Alabama is going to Atlanta to face a Mizzou team that isn’t the highest ranked team in its division for the SEC title. Some teams are counting on Missouri to be the spoiler next week. I wouldn’t bet on it. With offensive weapons like Amari Cooper, TJ Yeldon, and the occasionally brilliant Blake Sims, as well as the all-mighty Alabama defense, I think Mizzou will be heavily over-matched.
Winner: #16 Georgia Tech 30 vs #8 Georgia 24 – What a win for the Yellow Jackets! They get their 4th win in this series in the past 15 years. And as a Tech fan, (blatant homerism alert) it feels so good. This was a nice cathartic release for the years of torment I endured as a Yellow Jacket fan. Honestly, I am surprised it happened at all. Being a Tech fan has conditioned me to expect failure, even when success seems imminent. The game last year, where Tech led until they lost in double overtime, was a great reminder of that. This game was absolutely bananas. Weird stuff just kept on happening! Three goal line fumbles happened, negating what should have been easy points for both sides. I saw more blocked kicks in this single game than I have seen all year. Another weird thing is that Tech’s defense played pretty well, and they actually were effective passing the ball. This was a fun game to watch and entertaining to the very end, where Harrison Butker, who is making just over 60% of his field goals stepped up and nailed a career long 53-yarder to send the game into overtime. The Jackets scored and everything was looking good until Georgia blocked an extra point. UGA was driving down the field, already preparing to win, when the normally conservative and mistake free Hutson Mason threw a pick to DJ White to end the game. Then pure relief and joy coursed through my veins. I had forgotten what beating an archival feels like. Georgia Tech Will go on to play Florida State in the ACC championship. The Yellow Jackets will be hoping that this will be the game where the Noles’ luck finally runs out.
Performance of the Week
Amari Cooper, WR BAMA – 13 receptions, 224 yards, and 3 touchdowns
Sammie Coates, WR Auburn – 5 receptions, 206 yards, and 2 touchdowns.
Winner: Brandon Doughtry, QB WKU – He set the Confrence USA record for most passing touchdowns in a game with 8 touchdowns. He accounted for 50 out of the 56 total non-kicking points. That’s almost 90%, which is completely unheard of. He put the entire western half of the State of Kentucky on his back and somehow managed to carry them all across the finish line. He also passed for 491 yards, which is 67% of the total offensive output. Doughty put on a fantastic spectacle, and was super fun to watch. He many not win the Heisman, but this guy managed to do something absolutely amazing. Hats off to you Brandon!
4. Baylor or Ohio State
1. Marcus Mariota
2. Melvin Gordan
3. Amari Cooper
4. Trevone Boykin
5. Dak Prescott
Next week is conference championship week! So get ready for some great match-ups as teams have one last opportunity to vie for bowl slots. See ya next week!