In a Week 7 of raining golf balls and upsets, solely Georgia seems resistant to 2021 chaos

Georgia followers know higher than to tempt destiny. There have been far too a few years when all of it ought to have labored out, however the universe delivers a intestine punch as an alternative. See 1982. See 2002. See 2007. See 2012. See 2017. To know Georgia is to know ache. It is impressed a minimum of three R.E.M. albums.

However this yr, this Georgia staff is totally different. It needs to be.

The Bulldogs dominated beforehand unbeaten Kentucky on Saturday. Backup QB Stetson Bennett began once more and threw three touchdowns. The backfield committee ran for 166 yards in opposition to a Wildcats protection that was permitting simply 3.4 yards-per-carry this season. The protection, led by Heisman contender Jordan Davis, held Kentucky to only 243 yards — practically half of which got here on the Wildcats’ last two drives when the sport was effectively in hand.

Within the aftermath, there’s an apparent query: Who may presumably cease Georgia now?

It definitely is not Florida, which fell to a shorthanded LSU 49-42 in a sport that’s finest defined as Dan Mullen making an attempt to spite Tigers boosters who had hoped to fireside Ed Orgeron this week.

Mullen likes to play Darth Vader, however this current stretch of Florida soccer has uncovered him as little greater than a Wile E. Coyote. Orgeron painted a tunnel on the aspect of a mountain, and Mullen ran proper into it. He is change into the hapless villain extra prone to have an anvil fall on his head than to chase down the roadrunner. (Of observe, UTSA stays undefeated, too. Meep, meep.)

LSU misplaced its star receiver, its high two corners, and Orgeron’s crawfish supply man wrecked his Honda. The Tigers had no probability to win, however Florida discovered a approach. Emory Jones and Anthony Richardson mixed for 4 interceptions. Todd Grantham, a fan favourite in each SEC city however Gainesville, coached a protection that surrendered 321 yards on the bottom. Tyrion Davis-Price ran for 287 and three touchdowns by himself, probably the most ever in opposition to a Florida protection, breaking a file held by Herschel Walker. It takes a particular type of awfulness to let somebody break a Herschel Walker file by 50 yards. Richardson did look terrific on the majority of his offensive drives, however even that story comes with a twist: The Gators’ backup QB stated after the sport he could not write off the chance he’d switch.

On the plus aspect, nobody threw a shoe.

In two weeks, Georgia and Florida will face off within the World’s Largest Outside Cocktail Get together, however Florida followers may as effectively begin consuming now. The much less they bear in mind, the higher.

Florida has now misplaced six of its final eight video games in opposition to Energy 5 opponents, relationship again to final yr. After all, Mullen has already defined that the ultimate sport of 2020 got here earlier than a blowout loss to Oklahoma within the Cotton Bowl, and in equity, he is by no means stated when the 2021 season was formally going to begin. We’ll assume Samford week.

So look forward for Georgia. After the Gators, there’s Missouri, Tennessee, Charleston Southern and Georgia Tech. Even probably the most cynical of Dawgs followers would battle to examine a situation for his or her season to go haywire on the street.

From there, the SEC title sport. Alabama dominated Mississippi State on Saturday, and the Crimson Tide seem destined for a showdown with the Dawgs in Atlanta. It is the sport all of us deserve, but when Georgia wins out, it will not matter for the Dawgs’ playoff hopes.

And but, there’s that phrase: If. Georgia followers hate that phrase. They’ve lived via too many seasons the place “if” is preceded by “what” or adopted by “solely,” and this yr, greater than most every other, feels just like the extra sure we’re of the outcomes, the extra probably we’re to be fallacious.

Nonetheless, of all of the merciless twists of destiny, this could be the cruelest. This Georgia staff is not simply good. It’s loaded with expertise, dominating with its second-string QB, successful with a protection that surrenders nothing with no combat.

Sure, Darth Vader awaits. However this time, the villain seems to be powerless, and the hero has all of the weapons, the story deserves a cheerful ending.

Iowa’s luck runs out

For six superb weeks, the Iowa Hawkeyes gave hope to all those that lacked precise talent by turning 11 fullbacks and an opportunistic protection into the No. 2-ranked staff within the nation. However alas, like Icarus — or, maybe, the balloon boy — our Hawkeyes flew too near the solar.

On Saturday, Iowa bumped into the thrill noticed that’s Purdue and abruptly that ball-hawking protection had no solutions for the Boilermakers’ passing sport. Aidan O’Connell threw for 375 yards whereas David Bell caught 11 balls for 240 yards within the 24-7 win. Iowa’s offense was a catastrophe, with Spencer Petras throwing 4 picks in a efficiency so dangerous Kirk Ferentz complained that none of his O-linemen faked accidents to sluggish the offense’s awfulness.

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So as to add salt to the wound, Purdue celebrated by making poop jokes and chugging beer, which is akin to Iowa cultural appropriation.

After all, Purdue is aware of how you can celebrating beating a top-two staff. Saturday’s win is this system’s ninth in opposition to a staff ranked No. 1 or No. 2 within the AP Ballot period, and it is the Boilermakers second straight double-digit win over a top-two staff, after thumping No. 2 Ohio State by 29 factors in 2018. No different faculty has greater than 4 wins over top-two groups.

After seven weeks, Iowa is the sixth top-five staff to lose this season, becoming a member of Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Oregon and Penn State.

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Spencer Petras throws 4 interceptions because the second-ranked Hawkeyes lose to Purdue 24-7.

Kiffin returns to Knoxville

Ole Miss survived each a Tennessee comeback try and some golf balls, escaping Knoxville 31-26.

The Rebels had been up 5 with lower than a minute to play when Tennessee accomplished a 23-yard cross on fourth-and-24, handing the ball over to Ole Miss. A replay appeared to indicate Vols receiver Jacob Warren was as little as an inch or two from the first-down marker. Followers had been displeased.

From there, issues acquired ugly. Trash rained from the sky, in what we’ll assume was a tribute to Butch Jones’ turnover rubbish can. At one level, Lane Kiffin was hit with a golf ball. Motion was delayed for shut to twenty minutes, which felt notably pointless because it had already been every week and a half for the reason that sport kicked off.

In the long run, Ole Miss ran 101 performs and nonetheless practically gave up a successful rating within the last seconds, however introduced down Joe Milton on the 8-yard line to safe the win.

Ole Miss is now 5-1, and Kiffin is able to play 18 on Sunday.

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After Tennessee turns the ball over on downs, UT followers throw objects onto the sphere, hitting Lane Kiffin and delaying the sport.

We wish Caleb!

Late in Oklahoma‘s 16-13 win over West Virginia final month, the Sooners scholar part started to chant, “We wish Caleb.”

The message was clear: Lincoln Riley wanted to bench Spencer Rattler, a preseason All-American and as soon as projected as one of the best participant within the 2022 NFL draft, in favor of true freshman Caleb Williams.

For some time, Riley tried to disregard the screaming lots, however after the Sooners fell behind Texas by 21 factors final week, he made the transfer. Williams got here in, led a miraculous comeback, and on Saturday, he got the first start of his career.

Riley ought to have listened to the coed part a lot earlier.

Williams was terrific in Oklahoma’s 52-31 win, throwing 4 touchdowns and operating for yet one more, carving up the TCU protection time and again to the tune of 295 passing yards and 66 extra speeding.

After all, if Oklahoma goes to make an actual run for the School Soccer Playoff, there are nonetheless different questions that have to be answered. What occurs with Rattler? How can the protection get mounted? Will Riley be capable to binge all of “Squid Video games” throughout subsequent week’s sport in opposition to Kansas?

There is a easy reply to all of that: Simply let the coed part deal with it. It is aware of what it is doing.

Florida males

Nothing that occurs within the state of Florida ought to come as a shock. In any case, this can be a place the place people get drunk with alligators and try to rob fast-food restaurants with alligators and catch alligators in trash cans. However this is a very wild Florida headline: Over every of their previous 10 video games, not one of the seven FBS groups primarily based within the state have a successful file.

Saturday’s video games included Dan Mullen’s facepalm in opposition to LSU and a late Miami comeback scuttled by an interception within the last minute in opposition to UNC. Cincinnati blew out UCF, too. Then there’s USF, which had an 11-point lead within the fourth quarter and appeared poised to win an FBS sport for the primary time underneath Jeff Scott. As a substitute, Tulsa scored the sport’s last 12 factors and gained 32-31. (Scott, the previous Clemson offensive coordinator, is now 0-13 in opposition to FBS groups at USF, whereas his predecessor at Clemson, Chad Morris, completed his head teaching stints at SMU and Arkansas by shedding 22 of his final 25).

So should you’re preserving rating at residence (probably whereas setting off fireworks with an alligator), listed here are the data within the final 10 video games for every Florida faculty:

Successful ugly

Iowa and Kentucky‘s lackluster offenses lastly caught up with them Saturday, however the unbeaten ranks nonetheless embrace just a few less-than-explosive groups.

San Diego State acquired the, um, regardless of the reverse of fireworks is (Bon Iver albums?), with a 19-13 double additional time win over San Jose State on Friday evening, offering some late-night leisure for insomniacs who misplaced their distant controls.

Michigan State moved to 7-0 with a 20-15 win over Indiana, and the Spartans solely wanted to have their punter-turned-tight finish throw a nifty cross to their quarterback, who corralled the ball with a toe-tap on the sideline with the intention to pull out the win. Indiana has already performed 4 ranked foes and misplaced to every of them. Subsequent up: Ohio State.

However it was Oklahoma State that actually set the usual for unlikely undefeated groups. The Texas “all gasoline, no brakes” sport plan drove off the aspect of a cliff within the second half of Saturday’s sport, and the Cowboys outgained the Longhorns 170-1 within the fourth quarter to win 32-24. Oklahoma State strikes to 6-0, with each win coming by 11 factors or fewer. The Cowboys’ common margin of victory is simply seven factors, in line with ESPN Sports activities & Info. That is the third-lowest margin for a 6-0 staff within the AP Ballot period (since 1936) behind solely 1985 Penn State and 1939 Notre Dame. So, to sum it up: If Mike Gundy is speaking a few blowout, he is in all probability on the hairdresser.

Huskers’ slide continues

Nebraska‘s woes continued in Week 7 with yet one more agonizing defeat, 30-23 to Minnesota. It marks the fifth lack of the season for the Cornhuskers, and all 5 of them have come by a landing or much less.

Within the playoff period, no different staff has misplaced 5 one-possession video games with no win in its first eight contests of the yr, and that is actually simply the icing on the cake for Nebraska. Since Scott Frost took the job in 2018, the Cornhuskers have misplaced 17 video games by a TD or much less — three greater than every other staff throughout that span. Nebraska’s file in one-possession video games underneath Frost is 5-17.

The apparent rationalization is that Frost is concerned in some kind of monkey’s paw curse, or presumably ran over a witch together with his automotive. Regardless, it is clear the Huskers should make some kind of sacrifice to the soccer gods and both shove Frost right into a volcano or a minimum of admit Eric Crouch had no enterprise successful the 2001 Heisman over Rex Grossman.

Certainly one of this stuff will not be just like the others

Clemson‘s offense has been depressing to this point this season, and the Tigers narrowly escaped Syracuse on Friday, 17-14, because of yet one more terrific defensive efficiency.

How dangerous are issues for the Tigers’ offense? In 5 video games in opposition to FBS opponents to this point, they’ve managed simply 67 factors complete in regulation. That places Clemson in some fairly disagreeable firm.

Within the playoff period, Clemson’s 67 factors in regulation marks the sixth-worst output by a Energy 5 staff via 5 FBS video games. The others:

  • 2015 Boston School, 41 factors

  • 2016 Rutgers, 57 factors

  • 2014 Kansas, 61 factors

  • 2020 Vanderbilt, 64 factors

  • 2021 Arizona, 65 factors

The excellent news for Clemson is that it is already the category of that ignominious membership. Whereas Arizona‘s season continues to be in progress (should you can think about what the Wildcats are doing “progress”), the mixed data of these 5 groups in opposition to FBS opponents was 4-42. Clemson, in the meantime, is 3-2 and nonetheless has an actual shot at successful the ACC.

Further factors

– It is Week 7, and imagine it or not, the Pac-12 continues to be enjoying soccer. Oregon continues to be the league’s front-runner, although the Geese did little to encourage a lot confidence in a listless 24-17 win over Cal. Washington State knocked off Stanford in what might’ve been Nick Rolovich’s last game. In the meantime, Utah dominated the second half in opposition to Arizona State to maneuver to 3-0 within the Pac-12, the final remaining undefeated staff in league play.

– He isn’t precisely a family title but, however Western Kentucky QB Bailey Zappe is doing issues nobody exterior of Mike Leach’s rolodex has completed earlier than. Zappe led the Hilltoppers to a 43-20 win over Old Dominion on Saturday, throwing for 397 yards and 5 TDs. For the season, he is thrown for two,632 yards and 26 TDs with simply 4 interceptions via six video games. The final QB to publish these numbers via six video games was Leach protégé Graham Harrell at Texas Tech in 2007.

– Every week, Brian Harsin goes right into a top-secret chamber deep beneath the sphere at Jordan-Hare Stadium and faces off in opposition to the satan in a fiddle contest to resolve whether or not Auburn will get good Bo Nix or dangerous Bo Nix that week. This week, Harsin was a winner. Nix accomplished 21-of-26 passes for 292 yards and two touchdowns, including a 3rd rating on the bottom because the Tigers despatched Arkansas to a 3rd straight loss, 38-23.

Ohio hasn’t had a lot to have fun this season, however QB Armani Rogers set an NCAA file for the longest QB run with this 99-yard TD. Positive, the Bobcats nonetheless gave up 17 factors within the fourth quarter to blow an enormous lead and lose to Buffalo 27-26, however there is no worth in being a pessimist.

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Armani Rogers reveals his velocity as he rushes for a 99-yard landing for prolong the Bobcats’ lead.

– It is trophy time within the Massive Ten. Minnesota beat Nebraska to assert the historic Damaged Chair (a Lay-Z-Boy that former Gophers coach Tracy Claeys had posted on Craigslist underneath “free” after he was fired in 2016), and Michigan State took residence the Golden Spittoon by beating Indiana. And in a heated showdown between two of the least explosive offenses in school soccer, Northwestern knocked off Rutgers 21-7 to assert the fabled Stained Bedpan. The Scarlet Knights could have a shot at redemption of their subsequent sport, nonetheless, once they’ll face off in opposition to Illinois for the coveted half-drank can of 4 Loko.

Louisiana-Monroe had misplaced 12 straight after the season opener in opposition to Kentucky, however Terry Bowden now has his (*Googles the nickname of ULM) Warhawks rolling. ULM upended Liberty 31-28 on Saturday, giving Bowden wins over Hugh Freeze and Deion Sanders this season (to go along with one other win over Troy). It is also value remembering that Bowden spent the previous two years working as a grad assistant at Clemson, and now his offense is averaging extra factors per sport than Dabo Swinney’s. What a time to be alive.

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– There is a new chief within the clubhouse for one of the best sideline swag in school soccer. UNLV‘s celebratory slot machine is only a surprise to behold. The one factor lacking is a busload of chain-smoking aged vacationers. Alas, the celebration for the Rebels was short-lived. UNLV was oh-so-close to snapping an 11-game shedding streak, main Utah State till the ultimate minute of play earlier than finally falling 28-24. It is a story as previous as time: Get to Vegas, win just a few arms early, have fun a bit an excessive amount of, get up within the car parking zone of an In-N-Out Burger at 6 a.m. and hitchhike to the airport.

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UNLV unveils a sideline slot machine to assist have fun TDs and INTs.

Heisman 5

Kenneth Walker III’s huge season hit a roadblock in opposition to Indiana on Saturday, although he is nonetheless within the Heisman hunt. C.J. Stroud belongs within the dialog, too, however Ohio State had an open date, so we’re dropping him from the checklist. And whereas Desmond Ridder has Cincinnati cruising, he is lacking out on some crucial model factors in these blowouts. As a substitute, this is our high 5 after seven weeks.

1. Alabama QB Bryce Young

Alabama does not lose back-to-back video games, and Younger engineered an excellent return to type for the Tide, who annihilated Mississippi State every week after falling to Texas A&M. Younger was terrific, throwing for greater than 300 yards and 4 touchdowns for the third time this season. Like every Nineties rom-com starring Jennifer Love Hewitt, we hold in search of somebody higher for the Heisman, however the reply has been proper right here in entrance of us the entire time.

2. Georgia NT Jordan Davis

Getting into Saturday, opponents had been averaging 2.8 yards per run and a couple of.3 yards per dropback with Davis on the sphere for Georgia. So, how’d it work out for Kentucky? The Wildcats averaged 1.9 on the bottom and did not have a run longer than 9 yards, whereas Will Levis managed simply 192 yards on 42 cross makes an attempt. For the season, Georgia has allowed simply two passes of 20 yards or extra and two runs of 10 yards or extra with Davis on the sphere.

3. Ole Miss QB Matt Corral

Corral threw his first interception of the season Saturday — although that was hardly the worst factor thrown at Neyland Stadium. Corrall nonetheless tossed two TD passes and ran for 195 yards within the win. Corral was with out a number of key members of his offense, however his legs — 30 rushes! — carried Ole Miss to a win.

4. Texas RB Bijan Robinson

How Texas has managed to blow 14-plus-point leads in back-to-back video games is tough to grasp given the Longhorns have arguably the best running back in the country. Robinson was distinctive, speeding for 135 yards and two touchdowns, and including one other 38 receiving yards and a TD as well. The 173 yards from scrimmage had been 76 greater than every other participant has managed in opposition to Oklahoma State this season.

5. Syracuse RB Sean Tucker

We use this area every week to spotlight a participant who deserves extra consideration, and Tucker definitely qualifies. Towards Clemson’s dominant protection Friday, Tucker ran for 157 yards and added one other 20 via the air, bringing his season complete scrimmage yards to an FBS finest 1,172. Add in his 11 touchdowns and it places in him some elite firm. Within the playoff period, solely eight different backs have hit these totals via seven video games. Two (Melvin Gordon in 2014 and Bryce Love in 2017) completed second within the Heisman voting. 4 extra (2014 Tevin Coleman, 2015 Dalvin Cook, 2015 Leonard Fournette and 2017 Saquon Barkley) completed within the high seven in Heisman voting. One other (2019 Chuba Hubbard) led the nation in speeding.

Below-the-radar sport of the week

It had been 721 days since UConn final gained a soccer sport. The journey has been a wild one: A yr off for COVID-19, a blown lead in opposition to Vanderbilt, a pillow combat for the ages vs. UMass. However Saturday, our lengthy nationwide nightmare lastly got here to an finish because the Huskies topped Yale 21-15.

After all, this was nonetheless UConn, so it wasn’t precisely a reasonably win. The Huskies led 21-0 within the second half and nonetheless did their very best (or worst?) to blow it, with Yale scoring the ultimate 15 factors of the sport, getting a shot on the finish to win it, failing, then getting a do-over as a result of UConn had too many males on the sphere. However the Hail Mary throw was picked off, and in the end, the Huskies had a win to have fun.

For Yale, it is definitely an embarrassing second, however as famous alumnus C. Montgomery Burns as soon as astutely famous, Yale will all the time be first in gentlemanly membership life.

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UConn holds off in-state rival Yale 21-15 to win its first sport since Oct. 26, 2019.

Below-the-radar play of the week

BYU misplaced its second straight sport, and its protection had no solutions for Baylor‘s floor sport. However none of that stored coach Kalani Sitake from celebrating when he acquired the possibility.

Cougars QB Jaren Hall ran an ideal keeper on fourth-and-1, and Sitake went full-on WWE hype video.

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Jaren Corridor takes it 56 yards to the tip zone by himself vs. Baylor.



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