First there was the Kick-Six. Then the Gate-Six, and finally it all came crashing down into the Block-Six. We’re running out of names for these quirky events. This week it was Georgia Tech upsetting previously undefeated Florida State on a 78-yard blocked field goal.
The events that have unfolded is a reminder that college football doesn’t rest and doesn’t care who you are. Here are the biggest takeaways that went down in College Football’s Week 8.
USC knocks Utah off the unbeaten pedestal
I’m surprised by this outcome. USC really was in desperate turmoil without Steve Sarkisian, and interim head coach Clay Helton inherited a mess at many key areas. Utah on the other hand, has been playing as good as anyone in the nation.
Last night however, everything went completely wrong for the Utes, and completely right for the Trojans. Utah’s Travis Wilson, who coming in was making all of the right moves for their offense, failed when pressure from his offensive line broke down. The entire night, Wilson was unable to hit his second or third options downfield and this led to four interceptions compared to just two touchdowns. It didn’t help matters that running back Devontae Booker was contained the most of the night.
Utah’s defense was coming into this week ranked 3rd best in turnover margin. This changed after good Cody Kessler decided to show up, as he torched the Utes’ opportunistic secondary for 264 yards and 1 TD. What has been an impenetrable run defense for Utah, showed major holes when defending Ronald Jones and Justin Davis. The two combined finished with 140 yards and 2 TDs.
In the big picture, Utah’s loss is much more significant than USC’s win. The Trojans season already is lost and the rest of the way, any win will help boost morale. Furthermore, this loss subsequently kills the Utes chances at a playoff berth. The Pac 12’s playoff hopes hinged on Utah’s performance, and after their recent loss this shatters any chance of a Pac 12 team making it. Utah is still in great shape to win the South, but as of now the favorite in this conference appears to be Stanford, but let’s wait on that.
Miami suffers worst loss in school history
Start up the “Fire Al Golden” petitions and fly the “Fire Al Golden signs” over Sun Life Stadium, because there’s a ripe chance Al Golden has coached his last game as a Hurricane.
After suffering their largest defeat in program history. Golden really needs to contemplate if this is the best situation for him. He’s at a place where everyone hates him, and the program isn’t producing. To add insult to injury, current starter, QB Brad Kaaya left the game early with an undisclosed head injury. For Miami’s sake, Kaaya’s injury comes at a horrific time. Kaaya was finally blossoming into a premiere play-maker like most expected.
The loss of Kaaya gave back-up Malik Rosier time to impress, but seemingly overall absolutely nothing was gained from this embarrassment. Well, except for maybe Deshaun Watson. Who right now is firing at all cylinders under the Tigers offense. Watson has shied away from the turnover problems and has excelled in passing efficiency. With a QB that’s improving every week, plus a running game that is lending out support, Clemson’s playoff stock is rising by the minute.
Alabama prevails, and Baylor’s season is put on hold
For a moment, Alabama was one-quarter away from seeing their SEC championship hopes disappear. But lucky for them, Tennessee decided to try winning a game without the effort of tackling. Alabama’s Derrick Henry scored the go-ahead touchdown on a 12 yard scamper, where he went untouched.
Actually, despite all of the drama, this was a very well-played game on both sides. Both teams converted drives on third down, and did the job defensively. The game had one lone turnover and that was off of a Jacob Coker interception. Even though, Tennessee will come up short yet again in heart-breaking fashion. In spite of another frustrating loss, there was a lot of positive to be taken out of this one.
First off, Jalen Hurd seems to have finally found his game as a runner, and the Volunteers offense will surely need him the rest of the way. Especially if they want any chance of making a bowl game. Joshua Dobbs wasn’t spectacular, but he made the appropriate reads to give Tennessee a chance to win. Overall, a loss is a loss for Butch Jones, and the patience continues to wear thin for Volunteer faithful. All of Tennessee’s losses this year have come at a TD or less, which hurts.
Out of all of this, Tennessee can still manage to squeeze out seven wins this year. With all of the hard games on their schedule out-of-the-way. The remainder of Tennessee’s schedule opens up, as they will face all SEC East opponents who have an under .500 conference record. They need to take advantage of this opportunity, because wins of late have been hard to come by.
Lastly, Baylor’s QB Seth Russell suffered a broken bone in his neck in Saturday’s win over Iowa State. The timetable of his injury has yet to be announced, but is terrible news for Baylor. The Bears still have a plethora of options at receiver and running back. But moving forward, their season could be derailed if Russell doesn’t return to the team this year.
Week 8 Leaders
- QB Luke Falk (WSU)- 47/62, 514 yards, 5 TDs against Arizona
- QB Paxton Lynch (Memphis)- 32/44, 447 yards, 4 TDs against Tulsa
- QB Matt Johnson (BGSU)- 27/40, 430 yards, 5 TDs against Kent State
- RB Tyler Ervin (SJSU)- 36 carries, 263 yards, 1 TD against New Mexico
- RB Robert Lowe (Texas State)- 30 carries, 248 yards, 3 TDs against Southern Alabama
- RB Matthew Daves (NC State)- 16 carries, 205 yards, 2 TDs against Wake Forest
- WR Keyarris Garrett (Tulsa)- 14 receptions, 268 yards, 3 TDs against Memphis
- TE Jonnu Smith (FIU)- 10 receptions, 183 yards, 2 TDs against Old Dominion
- WR Tajae Sharpe (UMASS)- 12 receptions, 159 yards, 2 TDs against Toledo