Wild Finishes, Big Blowouts Highlight Week 6 of College Football
It was a football weekend filled with crazy finishes and historic blowouts. Here are some of the highlights from Week 6 in college football.
Never Leave a Florida State/Miami Game Early
The Florida State/Miami rivalry has given us plenty of drama and wild finishes over the years, so it really shouldn't have been a surprise when this year's rendition gave us more of the same.
The No. 10 Hurricanes jumped out to a 13-0 lead late in the second quarter only to see the No. 23 Seminoles respond with 20 unanswered points. With less than four minutes to play, a big return by Miami's Braxton Berrios set the Canes up at the Florida State 16-yard line. Four plays later, quarterback Brad Kaaya hit receiver Stacy Coley for what appeared to be the tying touchdown. Miami kicker Michael Badgley had made 72 straight PATs. But this series' wild history reared its ugly head one more time and Florida State's DeMarcus Walker bulled through the line, got a hand up and blocked Badgley's kick, securing the Seminoles' 20-19 win.
Florida State has now won 10 of the last 12 in this rivalry, including the last seven straight. Miami has not beaten Florida State at home since 2004.
Rutgers and the Horrible, No-Good, Very Bad Day
Every team has had a bad day, throwing out a clunker and losing big. But Rutgers did it in spectacularly epic fashion this weekend, falling 78-0 to No. 4 Michigan. But that score doesn't even do justice to the utter humiliation.
Rutgers managed just 39 total yards (five passing) in the game and was 0-for-17 on third down conversions. Meanwhile, Michigan rolled up 600 yards and had five times more touchdowns than Rutgers had first downs. It was truly a beatdown of historic proportions--it was Michigan's largest margin of victory since 1939 and Rutgers' worst defeat since an 82-0 loss to Princeton in 1888.
Rutgers has lost three straight, including their last two by a combined total score of 136-0. Yes, Michigan is a very good football team. But, unfortunately for Scarlet Knight fans, this game said a lot less about the Wolverines than it did about the current state of Rutgers football.
Oregon Has Big Problems
Most observers thought this could be a rebuilding year for Oregon, but few could have anticipated just how far the Ducks would fall.
Washington quarterback Jake Browning threw for six touchdowns and rushed for two more (his eight total scores tied a Pac-12 single game record) en route to a 70-21 victory. The win snapped the No. 5 Huskies' 12-game losing streak to the Ducks. But that was just the beginning of the historic numbers.
Washington's 70 points was the most they had scored in a game since 1944. It also marked the second-most points Oregon had ever given up in a game. It was the Ducks' worst loss since a 63-0 drubbing by Nebraska in 1985. Oregon is now riding its first four-game losing streak since 2006. The Ducks have a bye week to regroup but, unless Brady Hoke’s defense (126th nationally in total defense) can turn things around in a hurry, this season could snowball into the stuff of nightmares.
The Next Two Weeks in the SEC Could Get Wild
No. 8 Texas A&M gave up 14 points to No. 9 Tennessee in the final 2:07 of regulation before finally pulling out 45-38 a win in 2OT. But this was just Round One of a wild month of football at the top of the SEC. The Volunteers still control their own destiny in the SEC East, but will have to rebound from their loss by hosting No. 1 Alabama. Then the Crimson Tide turns around and hosts Texas A&M the following week in a key SEC West game.
To be sure, Alabama running the table and essentially locking up its division by Halloween is the most likely scenario. But if either the Aggies or Vols can pull an upset, not only does the SEC race get a whole lot more interesting but we could potentially be talking about a new playoff contestant.
Farewell, Houston. It’s Been Nice Knowing You.
No. 6 Houston represented the “Group of 5”s best hope of getting a team into this year’s college football playoff. But those dreams came crashing down with a 46-40 loss to Navy. Houston actually outgained the Midshipmen by over 100 yards, but lost the turnover battle 3-0. Those three turnovers by quarterback Greg Ward, Jr. came on three consecutive drives, and Navy turned them into 17 unanswered points. Ward had a solid outing (359 yards and three touchdowns, plus another 94 yards and a score on the ground) but couldn’t overcome his own turnovers and lead a comeback against a Navy offense that ground down the clock with 306 rushing yards.
Let’s just be honest here—Houston’s playoff chances are gone. Yes, upsets can shake up the major conference races. And yes, the Cougars will have a chance to make a splash on the national scene with a Nov. 17 matchup with No. 7 Louisville. But barring major catastrophes in two or more of the Power 5 conferences, its difficult to see the Cougars working their way back into the mix.