College Football

Week Eight | After Further Review

usa-saquon-barkley-penn-state-michigan

Penn State Nittany Lions

Punched Michigan in the mouth in the opening minutes, let them hang around for a while, and then decided to stop playing with their food and swallowed them whole. This game could’ve been worse. Oh my, it could’ve been so much worse. Up early 14-0, James Franklin dialed up a trick play which was clearly supposed to have Saquon Barkley catching a backwards pass from Trace McSorely and then throwing it downfield. However, it took just a hair too long to develop and McSorely overthrew him. Later that drive, McSorely threw a pick deep in Michigan territory which led to their first score, and suddenly it felt like the Lions had played around just a little too much. However, after coming into the second half with just a one score lead, the Nittany Lions remembered they were playing Michigan’s offense and didn’t allow another score while racking up several more points of their own, setting up a very fun tilt with Ohio State this coming weekend.

Notre Dame Fighting Irish

I’m led to believe that Notre Dame won this game very handily against USC. I am unable to confirm, because I didn’t watch this game and fear for looking it up and acknowledging any excellence on their part. Be honest with yourself, you watched Penn State paste Michigan instead of this. The only folks who payed attention to this were USC fans for about one half and Notre Dame fans who desperately want you to acknowledge that their team is in playoff contention. And that’s fine.

The Irish are looking very good after a slow start to the season and will absolutely deserve your attention after they get upset by NC State this weekend.

Tennessee Volunteers

Sure, Tennessee lost to Alabama on Saturday. Yeah, it wasn’t even remotely close. However, any team that responds to scoring a touchdown like this technically wins, even if they scoreboard says otherwise:

Syracuse Orange

Two losers in this week’s review – the indecency! However, while Miami is undefeated and has the dopest turnover celebration thing in all of college football, I want to focus on Syracuse for two reasons. The first is Orange quarterback Eric Dungey, who played his ass off and, after failing to convert on fourth down at the end of the game, started jawing at a Miami assistant who had wandered onto the field to talk trash. I admire that moxie. The second is also Orange quarterback Eric Dungey, who did this same exact “hurdle” to two Miami defenders not once, but twice!

Eric Dungey is one of my top five favorite players in college football this season for this reason, and this reason only.

Oklahoma State Cowboys

Held on for a bafflingly close 13-10 win in overtime at Texas. This game had upset written all over it as soon as these teams kicked off. Oklahoma State couldn’t score through the air. They missed field goals. They couldn’t even get in the end zone with their offensive possession in overtime. But of course, because 2017 has been a chaotic and bizarre creature, the Cowboys’ defense carried them all afternoon, and definitely forced the game-ending interception. It had nothing to do with Sam Ehlinger making an awful and forced play that young quarterbacks have a knack for throwing…

Yikes.

UCF Knights

Won an actual close game in which the Knights had to exert themselves slightly, which in itself is a compliment to Navy. Have we talked about how good Navy is this year? I don’t think we have, and we likely won’t again at any point until bowl season. Credit goes to UCF, though. The Knights contained Navy’s option offense, which can be a very trick thing to do (just ask Tennessee). They also managed to play a full four quarters and score late to put the game away, which is always something to worry about with a team that typically has games wrapped up by halftime. UCF still isn’t getting the respect it deserves in the polls (they currently sit at no. 18 in the AP poll and no. 17 in the coaches poll) and won’t until their final regular season game at USF, and that’s a real shame.

Iowa State Cyclones

Held a usually explosive Texas Tech offense to 13 points, scored 31 of their own, are one win away from bowl eligibility, are ranked in the AP poll for the first time since 2005, and were initially polite in thanking Lubbock for their hospitality after hosting them for homecoming. Because university social media departments are incredibly void of fun, the tweet was soon deleted, but that doesn’t ignore that folks in Ames are feeling themselves after a 5-2 start, and I say they should be. Cyclones forever.

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