No. 1 Alabama beat No. 11 Florida 31-29 on Saturday, however the Crimson Tide confirmed one thing that didn’t appear attainable after two weeks. The Crimson Tide could be human in spite of everything.
The Gators made it a four-quarter recreation at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium and supplied a blueprint for others attempting to do the unthinkable and beat Alabama in 2021.
Florida made that nearly occur in three simple steps.
Survive the primary quarter: Alabama jumped out on Florida 21-3 after the primary quarter, and Bryce Younger hit 12 of 16 passes for 138 yards and three TDs. The Crimson Tide has outscored its opponents 45-3 within the first quarter by means of three video games. Most groups are carried out at that time. Florida weathered that first punch. Younger was simply 10 of 19 for 102 yards for the remainder of the sport. The Gators’ protection didn’t hand over the large play the remainder of the way in which.
Run the ball, cease the run: The Crimson Tide completed with 28 dashing makes an attempt for 91 yards, and it’s clear at this level Najee Harris is missed. Mind Robinson managed 91 yards on 5.2 yards per carry and new offensive coordinator Invoice O’Brien caught with the operating recreation. It’s simply not a game-changer by means of the primary quarter of the season.
Florida, in the meantime, had 245 dashing yards and averaged 5.8 yards per carry with a diversified assault they caught with. The Gators scored three TDs on their first three possessions within the second half, too. That’s a credit score to quarterback Emory Jones.
A dual-threat quarterback: Redshirt freshman Anthony Richardson didn’t play due to a hamstring harm, and that may have been an attention-grabbing wrinkle. However Jones performed properly. He hit 18 of 28 passes for 195 yards and shook off an early interception. Jones added 19 carries for 77 yards, and Florida had an opportunity to tie with 3:10 remaining on a two-point conversion that was simply brief.
All that also wasn’t sufficient to cease the Crimson Tide from extending their FBS-best 17-game win streak, and people three keys need to go proper for anyone to have an opportunity towards Alabama.
But, that tease of mortality is on the market, now. Florida went 4 quarters with the Crimson Tide in a recreation that resembled final 12 months’s SEC championship recreation. Perhaps a rematch with Richardson within the fold is feasible down the road. No. 2 Georgia might need an opportunity with that ferocious protection. No. 17 Ole Miss and Lane Kiffin might make it attention-grabbing Oct. 2. Even Jimbo at Texas A&M, Coach O at LSU and SEC West shock Arkansas can really feel a way of hope.
Dare we are saying, “A New Hope” towards the Alabama Loss of life Star?
Extra Penn State-Auburns, please
The ABC prime-time recreation was enjoyable, proper?
Penn State tight finish Tyler Warren leapt over the pile for a goal-line landing. Auburn’s Jarquez Hunter hurdled a Penn State defender on a break-away run. The Tigers had an opportunity to win on the ultimate play, however Auburn’s Bo Nix’s desperation go was damaged up by Nittany Lions’ security Jaquan Brisker.
The “Whiteout” between No. 10 Penn State and No. 22 Auburn was a fun-filled matchup, and the Nittany Lions received 28-20 with the assistance of a big-time efficiency from Sean Clifford, who completed 28 of 32 passing for 280 yards, two TDs and an interception.
One of many casualties of the SEC vs. Alliance discuss is that it theoretically might hamper extra matchups like this sooner or later.
Let’s hope it isn’t like that. SEC-Huge Ten matchups produce lots of warmth in bowl season, however the perfect hope to copy Saturday’s ambiance stays the potential for on-campus video games within the expanded School Soccer Playoff. This recreation felt like a CFP quarterfinal.
The Nittany Lions will make the return journey to Jordan-Hare Stadium in 2022. Alabama has future home-and-homes with Wisconsin (2024-25) and Ohio State (2028-29). Nebraska has a house and residential with Tennessee in 2026-27, however there needs to be extra matchups like this scheduled sooner or later.
The Auburn-Penn State matchup was simply the eighth on-campus matchup between the Huge Ten and SEC since 2010. It was the primary regular-season recreation at a house website between ranked groups from these conferences since No. 3 Alabama beat No. 23 Penn State 27-11 on Sept. 10, 2011.
We should always not have to attend that lengthy between matchups.
Sooners (actually) cannot lose
There was stunning nostalgia with No. 3 Oklahoma and Nebraska taking a one-score slugfest into the fourth quarter on the fiftieth anniversary of their fabled Sport of the Century, even when will probably be a Huge Ten-SEC matchup subsequent time.
Oklahoma closed out the Huskers in a 23-16 victory, however left questions in regards to the Sooners’ resume after two one-score video games towards inferior non-conference opponents. Oklahoma must rediscover its blowout genes in Huge 12 play.
Nebraska closed Oklahoma’s result in 14-9 within the third quarter, however Isaiah Coe blocked the additional level and Pat Fields returned for a two-point conversion. Spencer Rattler hit 4 of 5 passes for 45 yards on the following landing drive, and D.J. Graham got here up with a jaw-dropping one-handed interception.
But the Huskers, like Tulane within the opener, nonetheless had a last-chance drive earlier than the Sooners got here up with back-to-back sacks. Rattler, a preseason Heisman favourite, averages 250.3 passing yards with seven TDs and two interceptions.
The Sooners stay clear heading into a possible seventh straight convention championship run. Nonetheless, Oklahoma doesn’t need to take a loss and fall in that one-loss dialog with Ohio State and Clemson, not with only one ranked Huge 12 crew left on the schedule. It is best to have the one-up on the Buckeyes and Tigers.
That is one thing to consider with a Week 4 prime-time matchup towards West Virginia. In different phrases, run it up Lincoln Reilly, or face these doubts.
Cincinnati passes one in all its large exams
Cease questioning No. 8 Cincinnati’s top-10 credentials. The Bearcats rallied from a 14-0 deficit to beat Indiana 38-24 in one in all their two prove-it video games towards Energy 5 opponents this season.
When Cincinnati coach Luke Fickell took a subject purpose off the board after an offsides penalty and went for it on fourth-and-1 with 6:49 remaining towards the Hoosiers, it was on. The Bearcats scored TDs on 4 of their final 5 possessions.
The reality is Cincinnati is correct the place it belongs. Since 2018, Fickell has led the Bearcats to the sixth-best file within the FBS, one which compares favorably with the School Soccer Playoff regulars.
Finest FBS information since 2018
|1. Alabama 41-3, .932|
|2. Clemson 41-4, .911|
|3. Ohio State 35-4, .897|
|4. Notre Dame 36-5, .878|
|5. Oklahoma 36-6, .857|
|6. Cincinnati 34-6, .850|
Georgia is a half-game behind the Bearcats at 34-7. The subsequent step is clear. Cincinnati has a bye week to arrange for Notre Dame, a recreation that can have much more shine if the Irish can knock off Wisconsin at Soldier Area. That is the Bearcats’ greatest probability to attraction to the CFP committee that they should keep in that dialog.
That recreation has so many teaching ties. Brian Kelly used to teach at Cincinnati. So did Irish defensive coordinator Marcus Freeman. Fickell, in fact, shot down curiosity within the USC job. That is as a result of he is the perfect match to be Notre Dame’s subsequent coach when Kelly retires.
Win there, and Cincinnati may have take a look at 12-0. At that time, might it bypass a step and play within the Huge 12 championship towards Oklahoma?
We want we weren’t kidding.
USC snaps out of it
It was a troublesome week in Trojan land with the Monday firing of Clay Helton following a listless loss to Stanford. Up subsequent was the considerably uninspiring destiation of Washington State, and USC performed prefer it did not need to be there for the primary quarter plus.
USC trailed 14-0 and misplaced a fumble by itself 35-yard-line early within the second quarter. Beginning quarterback Kedon Slovis was already misplaced for the sport. Issues weren’t wanting vibrant for interim coach Donte Williams’ debut. Would this be one other Trojan humbling?
Nope. From that time ahead, the Trojans outscored Wazzu 45-0 behind an excellent outing from backup QB Jaxson Dart. The freshman was 30-for-46 for 391 yards and 4 touchdowns, although he did have two interceptions.
Slovis is scheduled to return to apply this week, however with Dart placing up such large numbers, Williams could need to navigate an surprising QB scenario throughout his interim interval.
Week 4 Sneak Peek
— Wisconsin-Notre Dame is an elimination recreation of types for the Badgers. Wisconsin is 5-4 in its final 9 video games relationship again to the COVID-interrupted 2020 season. This can be a large one for Paul Chyrst. Brian Kelly can develop into Notre Dame’s all-time win chief, surpassing Knute Rockne. Soldier Area needs to be rocking.
— Texas A&M and Arkansas is the best-guaranteed matchup between ranked unbeaten groups, and it’s becoming will probably be in Jerry World. The Aggies have received 9 straight conferences on this rivalry that dates again to 1903.
— Tennessee coach Josh Heupel will get his first style of the rivalry with Florida, or no matter you name a matchup when one crew has received 15 of the final 16 conferences. Can the Vols catch the Gators with a hangover?
Mike Norvell carried out at FSU?
Wake Forest beat Florida State 35-14. That’s the Seminoles’ worst loss to the Demon Deacons since a 30-0 shutout on Nov. 11, 2006. Bobby Bowden coached three extra seasons after that loss. Will Norvell final three extra video games?
After what occurred with Helton final week, you may’t rule something out. Any feel-good materials from the Labor Day comeback towards Notre Dame has been misplaced since a Hail Mary loss to Jacksonville State and a three-TD loss to Wake Forest. Keep in mind, Willie Taggart was fired two weeks after a 22-20 loss to the Demon Deacons in 2019. Florida State is 0-3 for the primary time since 1976.
You may see the “Fireplace Norvell” marketing campaign, and it’s simple to see what comes subsequent. The “Hire Deion” movement is constructing. Deion Sanders received his first two video games at Jackson State as a first-time coach, and no rent would carry extra pleasure to this system.
Would Coach Prime work in Tallahassee? The Seminoles are 14-23 since Jimbo Fisher left. Any higher concepts?
— Ole Miss’ Matt Corral will get his probability towards Alabama in two weeks, and that offers us a showdown between the 2 early-season Heisman front-runners. Corral totaled seven TDs in a 61-21 blowout towards Tulane. Corral rushed for a pair of TDs within the first quarter then handed for 2 extra within the second quarter. He added three extra whole TDs within the third as a part of a dizzying efficiency that included 335 passing yards and 68 dashing yards. Corral totaled 405 yards and two Tds in a 63-48 loss to the Crimson Tide final 12 months. What is going to he have for an encore?
— Which high 25 Michigan crew do you have to purchase extra inventory in? The Wolverines improved to 3-0 and common 350.3 dashing yards per recreation after a 63-10 victory towards Northern Illinois. The three-headed assault of Blake Corum, Hassan Haskins and now freshman Donovan Edwards is imposing. Corum (407 yards, 7 TDs) averages 10.7 yards per carry. Michigan State ought to be a part of Michigan within the AP Prime 25 after knocking off No. 24 Miami 31-17. Kenneth Walker III (493 yards, 5 TDs) averages 8.6 yards per carry. These uneasy brothers seem like an identical twins. The Spartans are a greater wager to be unbeaten after they meet the Wolverines on Oct. 30. We’ll purchase the Wolverines in the event that they win at Wisconsin on Oct. 2; a victory that has eluded them since 2001.
— D’Eriq King sizzling takes are coming given he was the primary quarterback to benefit from NIL offers this offseason.
Miami QB D’Eriq King was one of many stars of the identify, picture and likeness rush. Miami loses to Michigan State, now 1-2, with win a 2-point victory over Appalachian State. Companions would discover him arduous to activate now.
— Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) September 18, 2021
King hit 38 of 59 passes for 388 yards with two TDs and two interceptions regardless of struggling a shoulder harm throughout the recreation. Is King value seven-figures value of NIL offers? That is debatable, however NIL is designed for faculty gamers to benefit from their alternatives, particularly those who may not go on to NFL stardom. The market will ultimately right itself. Piling on King is pointless.
— Ohio State’s protection did not alleviate too many considerations after permitting 487 yards in a 41-20 victory towards Tulsa that was a one-score recreation with 12:07 left within the fourth quarter. Ryan Day stated defensive coordinator Kerry Coombs didn’t make the play calls this week, leaving them to secondary coach Matt Barnes. The excellent news? It will not be simple to outrun the Buckeyes when freshman TreVeyon Henderson is free. Henderson totaled 270 yards, the third highest single-game whole in Buckeyes’ historical past. He scored on TD runs of 48, 52 and 54 yards. Henderson has 339 yards by means of three video games, and it’s not too early to peek at that Ohio State freshman dashing file. J.Okay. Dobbins set that with 1,403 yards in 2017, which broke the file of 1,237 yards set by Maurice Clarett in 2002. Henderson could be that form of difference-maker.
— Clemson managed to climate a one-hour, 52-minute climate delay towards Georgia Tech and wanted a goal-line stand with a game-saving sort out by James Skalski to stave off the Yellow Jackets in a 14-8. Clemson’s protection has but to permit a landing this season. Maybe the most-surprising growth for the Tigers is quarterback D.J. Uiagalelei has only one TD go by means of three video games, and Clemson did not get a play of greater than 20 yards towards Georgia Tech. The Tigers’ notion received’t be helped by the actual fact the ACC stays as unpredictable as ever. The ACC Coastal doesn’t have an unbeaten crew. West Virginia beat No. 15 Virginia Tech 27-21 with a assist of a goal-line stand within the Black Diamond Trophy recreation, and Pitt misplaced a 44-41 shootout with Western Michigan. No. 21 North Carolina additionally knocked Virginia from the unbeaten ranks in a 59-39 shootout. Sam Howell handed for 307 yards and 5 touchdowns and ran for 112 yards as he tries to reignite his Heisman marketing campaign.
— Notre Dame’s Kyren Williams busted free with a 51-yard landing run within the fourth quarter that sealed a 27-13 victory towards Purdue. Nonetheless, the Irish don’t have the same-old dominant offensive line. Notre Dame totaled 120 dashing yards on 3.5 yards per carry, and thru three video games these numbers are at 317 yards on 2.9 ypc. The Irish have a curious +20 level differential by means of three video games consequently. Their subsequent two opponents, Wisconsin and Cincinnati, even have a bye week to arrange. Wisconsin switch Jack Coan would be the subplot Saturday, however how that operating recreation stacks up towards the Badgers is the actual story.
— Aside from Michigan State, here’s a fast roll name of unranked 3-0 groups within the Energy 5: Baylor, Boston School, Kansas State, Kentucky, Maryland, Oklahoma State, Rutgers, Texas Tech and Wake Forest. These groups had a mixed file of 40-53 final season, and the Eagles and Cowboys have been the one groups with profitable information final season.
— Cincinnati and No. 16 Coastal Carolina are the one ranked Group of 5 faculties, however Memphis made its case to affix these two after a 31-29 victory towards Mississippi State. The Tigers received regardless of being outgained 468-246 with the assistance of this wacky 94-yard punt return by Calvin Austin III.
SMU additionally improved to 3-0 with a Hail Mary from Tanner Mordecai to Jr.
Roderick Roberson for a 39-37 victory towards Louisiana Tech.
Wyoming, UTSA, South Alabama, Utah State and San Diego State are also off to 3-0 begins within the Group of 5.