Updated: Feb 7
Saturday was one crazy day for college football. Great games up and down the slate, you really couldn’t go wrong. This was the 3rd to last week of the regular season, and conference rivalries were in full bloom. Some schools took care of business, like No. 1 Georgia, No. 4 TCU and No. 6 USC, all victorious and hoping to stay alive in the College Football Playoff race. Meanwhile, others fell astray, stumbling and possibly fumbling away any hope of contending for the Natty. Loads of great football to discuss, let’s dive in.
No. 3 Michigan @ No. 2 Ohio State
Big Noon Saturday couldn’t get much bigger than this game. Two Big 10 rivals came into the contest undefeated, a perfect 11-0. Both needed the win to bolster their shot in the College Football Playoff. This was probably the most highly anticipated game on Saturday’s slate, and for good reason. Would C.J Stroud impress in front of the home crowd, or would J.J McCarthy dice up the Buckeye secondary and silence the Shoe? Stroud hit the ground running, driving the Buckeyes’ first possession 81 yards on 12 plays, capping it off with a touchdown pass to WR Emeka Egbuka. The two teams would trade field goals and stall into a brief stalemate before J.J McCarthy showed off the cannon. He fired a strike to WR Cornelius Johnson for a 69 yard touchdown. The 1st half ended with the Buckeyes up 20-17, and the contest looked to be fierce and competitive. It all changed in the 2nd though, as McCarthy began to carve up Ohio State’s defense. The Wolverines outscored Ohio State 28-3 in the second half, with the help of C.J Stroud’s two interceptions and two 75+ yard house calls from RB Donovan Edwards. Final score, 45-23 Michigan. McCarthy finished the day with 263 yards and 3 TDs, with Cornelius Johnson leading the Wolverines’ receivers, hauling in 4 receptions for a humongous 160 yards and 2 scores. Sophomore RB Donovan Edwards absolutely feasted on OSU, turning 22 carries into 216 rushing yards and 2 punches into the end zone.
No. 5 LSU @ Texas A&M
The Tigers of LSU came into this contest desperate to avoid a letdown, as they found themselves on the outside looking in for National Championship contention. Having lost two games earlier this season to Florida State and then No. 8 Tennessee, another loss would spell doom for their playoff consideration. Unfortunately for the Tigers, doom was engraved in all caps down in College Station. Junior RB Devon Achane started the fireworks for the Aggies with a 10 yard punch into the end zone early in the 1st quarter. John Emery Jr. answered with a touchdown rush of his own, but the Tigers would find themselves down 10-17 at halftime. There was hope for LSU fans at the start of the 3rd quarter, as QB Jayden Daniels led a LSU drive down the field, capped off with another John Emery Jr. rushing score, but it slowly faded into darkness as Edgerrin Cooper forced an LSU fumble with Demani Richardson taking it to the house for the scoop n’ score. From here, the Aggies never looked back and closed out the upset 38-23. Achane led the way for A&M on the ground, churning for 215 yards and 2 TDs, while Freshman QB Conner Weigman tossed for 155 yards and 2 scores.
South Carolina @ No. 8 Clemson
Clemson found themselves the largest favorite out of the three top 10 teams in this article, and were tasked with putting down a South Carolina team coming off a massive 63-38 rout of then No. 5 Tennessee. Not exactly an easy task. The Tigers started the game wonderfully, with Jeremiah Trotter Jr. picking off Gamecocks’ QB Spencer Rattler and punching it in the endzone for a fast 7-0 lead. Clemson’s tough defense would shine again, later forcing a safety as the Tigers took a 23-14 advantage into halftime. The third quarter saw South Carolina bite back, including a massive 72-yard connection between Spencer Rattler and WR Antwane Wells Jr. bringing the Gamecocks within 2 points. They would drive down in the 4th quarter, as Mitch Jeter kicked the 35-yard field goal giving South Carolina the 31-30 advantage. Despite having just under 11 minutes of gametime left, the Tigers ran out of gas, failing to mount an answer. They would fall 30-31, and were handed their 2nd loss of the season. The Gamecocks defense flourished through the air, holding Clemson QB DJ Uiagalelei to just 99 passing yards. Spencer Rattler did quite the opposite, dicing up the Tigers’ secondary for 360 yards, while tacking on 2 touchdowns.
Great games this week in college football, let’s hope Week 14 brings us as much fun next week. It’s championship week, so no game should disappoint, as we are treated to tasty matchups like No. 14 Utah @ No. 6 USC, No. 5 LSU @ No. 1 Georgia, and No. 12 Kansas State @ No. 4 TCU. Looking forward to some fun contests, huge playoff implications and great level of competition. See everyone next week.
Photo Credits: Google