One “big” upset as #10 Arizona fell to unranked USC. There were a few “small” upsets: #2 Auburn lost to #3 Mississippi State and #22 Georgia Tech lost to the unranked Duke Blue Devils. Then there were the close calls: #5 Baylor scored 24 unanswered points to win as time ran out; #6 Notre Dame and #8 Michigan State fans had to hold their breaths at the end; #7 Alabama needed a blocked extra point; #11 Oklahoma needed scores on special teams and defense...well, you get the idea. On any given day.
Will there be changes in the rankings for Week 8? Heck yeah!
Ranks on the left are those of the AP/Coaches Top 25/CBSSPORTS.COM 128 Polls as reported by CBSSports.com. NR = Not Ranked)
1/1/2 Florida State (6-0) The Seminoles beat the Syracuse Orange (2-4) 38-20. Jameis Winston completed 30 of 36 attempts for 317 yards and three touchdowns. ‘Cuse started the game with a new offensive coordinator and two backup QBs after Terrel Hunt broke his leg. One, Austin Wilson was making his first start, and the other had never taken a snap in a college game. Wilson went 5 of 9 for 89 yards and an INT before being injured and replaced by A.J. Long. Long was 16 of 27 for 167 yards and two TDs but he was also intercepted twice.
2/2/1 Auburn (5-1) The Tigers got knocked off by the #3 Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-0) 38-23. Dak Prescott and crew jumped out to a 21-0 first quarter lead and never looked back. Prescott threw for 246 yards and a touchdown and ran for 121 yards and a touchdown and Josh Robinson ran for 97 yards and two TDs for the Bulldogs. Nick Marshall threw for 209 yards and two TDs while rushing for 100 yards for the Tigers. Both teams committed four turnovers but Mississippi State converted their taka ways in to TDs while Auburn had to settle for field goals.
3T/4/3 Ole Miss (6-0) The Rebels beat the #14 Texas A&M Aggies (5-2) 35-20. It wasn’t that close, though as the Aggies trailed 35-7 in the fourth quarter. Bo Wallace threw for one TD and ran for two more and the defense contributed two TDs (a 75 yard interception return by Cody Prewitt and a 21 yard fumble return by Keith Lewis) in the win. Kenny Hill threw for 401 yards and two TDs (but did throw that pick-six).
3T/6/4 Mississippi State (6-0) The Bulldogs beat the #2 Auburn Tigers (5-1) 38-23. More above
5/3/5 Baylor (6-0) The Bears edged the #9 TCU Horned Frogs (4-1) 61-58 on a time-running-out 28 yard field goal by Chris Callahan. Callahan also made kicks of 22, 29 and 20 yards earlier in the game as he went 4 for 4. Bryce Petty threw for a career best 510 yards and six touchdowns—and had to as the Bears needed to come from a 21 point deficit in the fourth quarter just to tie the game. Marcus Mallet returned an interception of a Petty pass 49 yards to make it 58-37 TCU with 11:38 remaining in the fourth quarter before Petty and company woke up. The three “drives” took 59 seconds, 1:23 (92 yards) and 59 seconds (91 yards). B.J. Catalon scored on two short rushes and one long (94 yards) kickoff return for the Horned Frogs.
6/5/6 Notre Dame (6-0) The Fighting Irish managed to remain undefeated by beating the North Carolina Tarheels (2-4) 50-43. When Jeff Schoettmer returned an interception 29 yards for the second North Carolina score in the first quarter, it looked like Notre Dame might go down. But the Irish responded with 21 unanswered points to take a 21-14 lead. Another Irish score was sandwiched between two more Tarheels’ score but a blocked extra point and a failed two-point conversion resulted in a 28-26 halftime edge for Notre Dame. ND managed to move out to a 50-35 lead in the fourth quarter before the Tarheels scored once more to close the gap. Marquis Williams threw for 303 yards and two TDs, he also rushed for 132 yards and a TD AND caught a 23 yard TD pass from Quinshad Davis. Everett Golson threw for 300 yards three TDs and rushed for 71 yards for the Irish.
7/7/8 Alabama (5-1) The Crimson Tide got a hand in defeating the Arkansas Razorbacks (3-3). The big hand of their defensive end Jonathan Allen a he blocked an Arkansas extra point attempt in the first half. Arkansas outplayed the Tide for much of the game, but self-inflicted wounds (lost fumbles in the red zone and a late interception) cost them dearly.
8/8/9 Michigan State (5-1) The Spartans had all they could handle in the feisty Purdue Boilermakers (3-4), but they prevailed 45-31. Akeem Hunt had 12 carries for 96 yards and three touchdowns for the Boilermakers. Two of those scores came in the fourth quarter and closed the gap to 38-31 late in the fourth. Purdue got the ball back with about 3 minutes to play but an interception by Darien Harris, returned 15 yards for a TD, put an end to any threat. Connor Cook threw for three touchdowns and Nick Hill ran for two scores for the Spartans.
9/12/10 TCU (4-1) The Horned Frogs fell to the #5 Baylor Bears (6-0) 61-58. More above.
10/13/7 Arizona (5-1) The Wildcats came up short against the USC Trojans (4-2) 28-26, despite Jared Baker scoring twice in the fourth quarter. He had another score in the third quarter. Baker lead the Wildcats with just 43 yards rushing as USC shut down the Arizona ground game. Javorius Allen rushed for 205 yards and three touchdowns for the Trojans.
11/9/13 Oklahoma (6-1) The Sooners edged the Texas Longhorns (2-4) 31-26. And they made their fans sweat a bit late. The Sooners did benefit from some good special teams and defensive play early as Alex Ross returned a kickoff 91 yards for a TD and Zack Sanchez returned an interception 43 yards for a score. Tyrone Swoopes threw for 334 yards and two TDs and ran for a third for the Longhorns. Texas outgained the Sooners 482 yards to 232 and had 24 first downs as compared to just 11.
12/11/11 Oregon (5-1) The Ducks beat the #18 UCLA Bruins (4-2) 42-30. Marcus Mariota rushed for two touchdowns and ran for two more and Royce Freeman rushed for 121 yards and two scores as the Ducks built a 42-10 lead early in the fourth quarter. Brett Hundley tossed two TDs in those final minutes sandwiched around a Nate Starks rushing TD but it was a case of too little too late. Hundley had scored on the ground earlier for the Bruins.
13/10/14 Georgia (5-1) The Bulldogs shut out the #23 Missouri Tigers (4-2) 34-0. Nick Chubb stepped up in the absence of Todd Gurley to rush for 143 yards and a touchdown, Hudson Mason threw for a TD and rushed for another, while the defense held the Tigers to just 147 net yards of offense as Georgia dominated.
14/14/12 Texas A&M (5-2) The Aggies got whipped by the #3 Ole Miss Rebels (6-0) 35-20. More above.
15/15/16 Ohio State (4-1) The Buckeyes had this weekend off.
16/18/17 Oklahoma State (5-1) The Cowboys beat the Kansas Jayhawks (2-4) 27-20 thanks to a 99 yard kick return by Tyreek Hill. That score came moments after Kansas had tied the score at 20 on a Matthew Wyman field goal that ended a 13-point run by the Jayhawks.
17/16/15 Kansas State (4-1) The Wildcats were idle this week.
18/17/21 UCLA (4-2) The Bruins lost the #12 Oregon Ducks (5-1) 42-30. See above for more.
19/19/19 East Carolina (5-1) The Pirates needed a second half come back to defeat the South Florida Bulls (2-4) 28-17. The Pirates trailed 17-7 after a lackluster first half on their part, but they put together a staunch defense and enough offense in the second half to win the game. Beron Allen scored on a 35 yard pass from Shane Allen in the first half and on a four yard run in the second half to lead the Pirated. He finished the day with 18 rushes for 124 yards.
20/20/NR Arizona State (4-1) The Sun Devils did not play this week.
21/21/20 Nebraska (5-1) The Cornhuskers were idle this week.
22/23/18 Georgia Tech (5-1) The Yellow Jackets got knocked off by the Duke Blue Devils (5-1) 31-25. Josh Snead rushed for 102 yards and a TD for the Blue Devils who lead 31-12 late in the fourth quarter before Tim Byerly scored twice on runs of 11 and 1 yards to get the Yellow Jackets closer. Georgia Tech attempted onside kicks after each of those scores, but the Duke covered both allowing them to run time off the clock. Justin Thomas had 119 yards rushing for Georgia Tech but played the second half on a tender ankle.
23/24/25 Missouri (4-2) The Tigers got shut out by the #13 Georgia Bulldogs (5-1) 34-0. More above.
24/NR/24 Utah (4-1) The Utes were idle this weekend.
25/22/NR Stanford (4-2) The Cardinal grounded the high flying Washington State Cougars (2-5) 34-17. They held Connor Halliday to “just” 292 yards passing and two touchdowns, well below his season’s average. It was no surprise that they also held the Cougars to a negative 26 yards rushing. Meanwhile, Kevin Hogan threw for 284 yards and three touchdowns for the Cardinal.
NR/25/23 Clemson (5-2) The Tigers edged the Louisville Cardinals (5-2) 23-17. Two field goals (one that that banked off the goal post) forced The Cardinals to go for a touchdown late in the fourth. The Clemson defense stopped them on the 2 yard line as time ran out. Clemson lost their starting quarterback to a broken hand in the second quarter. Clemson got a 72 yard punt return by Adam Humphries and a 2 yard fumble return for a score my Grady Jarrett to take a 14-10 halftime lead. Ammon Lakip added three field goals (45, 40 and 21 yards) in the second half.
NR/NR/22 Marshall (6-0) The Thundering Herd proved to be too much for the Middle Tennessee State Blue Raiders (4-3) by a score of 49-24. Devon Johnson rushed for 134 yards and scored three touchdowns and Rakeem Cato threw for 337 yards and three TDs for the Herd.