A great week of action once again. As I write this, I’m re-watching Penn State Ohio State cause I spent all Saturday night drinking and my attention was divided. Penn State is probably #1 on my hated programs list, but I respect the fuck out of the atmosphere at Beaver Stadium and it’s the only true football school in the northeast.
Let’s wrap this week up.
My Mortal Lock (3-3 on the season)
NC State (-6) vs Virginia, Final: NCST 35 UVA 21
Easy. So fucking easy. That was the line that I jumped on immediately. NC State has been a far better program that Virginia for years now, and they were at home.
Army (+245) @ Buffalo, Final: Army 42 UB 13 WIN
Another inflated line. Buffalo was 4-0 coming into the game and had been scoring points. But the United States Military Academy was coming off a tough loss at Oklahoma, and why the fuck would I not believe in the men of West Point to get this done?
Texas Tech (+140) vs West Virginia, Final: WVU 42 TTU 34 LOSS
The Red Raiders almost pulled this one off. Down 8, with the ball trying to complete a comeback after being down 35-10 at halftime, and they throw a pick-6. No bueno.
Virginia Tech (+211) @ Duke, Final: VT 31 Duke 14 WIN
Didn’t need the points. Uber-inflated line cause tech laid an egg against ODU last week. Free money.
Florida (+195) @ Mississippi State, Final: UF 13 MSST 6 WIN
Had a gut feeling on this one. Contrary to my gut feelings on NFL games, it worked out.
Oregon (-3) @ California, Final: ORE 42 CAL 24 WIN
Oregon had to come out strong after that heart-breaking loss to Stanford. They should’ve won that game and they needed to prove something.
Catches of the Year of the Week
In the biggest game of the week no less.
My Syracuse Orange Shoulda, Coulda, Woulda Beat Clemson (Again)
Trevor Lawrence did not look great, AND got knocked out of the game. Clemson drops in the polls to #4 after a win. They are the most interesting 5-0 team in the country because they look so beatable and are dealing with distractions.
The Biggest Games
12 West Virginia Holds On
And lost me a bet. I gave Texas Tech a little too much credit after their strong performance at Oklahoma State last week, but after their very weak start, they made it a game. Will Grier looked great, until he didn’t. 3 TDs in the first half, 0 in the second.
4 Ohio State Escapes Happy Valley
As I said, I’m re-watching this match-up right now. Penn State came out looking GREAT. They were dominating, but their 13-7 lead at half needed to be 17 or 21. By not finishing those early drives and gifting the Buckeyes great field position for their only TD, Ohio State stayed in the game. The second half started exactly opposite of the first. Ohio State drives right down and takes the lead, and their defense started making plays early in Penn State drives, forcing punts not field goals.
But still, Penn State found a way to lead 26-14 with 8 minutes left in the game. Then this happened to cut the lead to just 5:
Pinned inside their own 5 with 4 minutes left, Ohio State continued to screen the Nittany Lions to death. Of their 96 yards on the game-winning drive, 73 from screens, including the 24-yard touchdown with 2 minutes left. Penn State started a game-winning drive of their own that got going, and into Ohio State territory. But ended like this:
Extremely questionable play call (I’m being nice) on 4th and 5 with the game on the line. Two timeouts got called before this play and each look PSU was in their 3×1 nub formation with at least 6, you could say 7 defenders in the box. I’ll bet they were counting on McSorley to pull it, but it was smart of OSU to stay at home at get the ball out of the star QB’s hands. Ohio State completes the comeback.
8 Notre Dame Finishes Strong to Beat 7 Stanford
Both sides came to play in South Bend, but the Irish owned the second half, outscoring Stanford 17-3. With all those big men and Bryce Love, they had a grand total of 2 first downs in the second half and both came on 1 drive in the third quarter that resulted in that lone field goal. Notre Dame is a very good team with only a few more real tests left in the season. It would be great for the Irish to make the CFB Playoff.
Someone Get These Guys in Rough n’ Rowdy
What We Learned This Week
Clemson is not as strong as we thought.
They needed a better performance at home to silence any hint of QB “controversy” after Kelly Bryant announced he was transferring. Not to take anything away from Syracuse, but Clemson can’t feel great to literally escape at home against the (still unranked) Orange. 293 rushing yards is impressive, but they will need that passing attack to come back together to get back to the CFB playoff and have any success.
Notre Dame’s chances of getting to the playoff are very good.
They just have to keep playing how they are capable. Their defense is as good as anyone in the country in my opinion. The only true tests they have left are at Virginia Tech next week, and Syracuse in Yankee Stadium in late November. I like them in both of those matchups and barring a slip-up against a much lesser opponent, I see them rolling to the playoff.
It’s really heating up as the picture of contenders and pretenders becomes more clear. The most important games:
The Red River Rivalry: 19 Texas vs 7 Oklahoma
I really see Oklahoma rolling here. Still don’t know who Texas really is, but I know Kyler Murray is electric.
5 LSU @ 22 Florida
Can LSU keep it rolling in the swamp? I believe in Coach O but this will be a very tough game. Florida should feel very good after their win at Mississippi State.
13 Kentucky @ Texas A&M
Can Kentucky continue leading the charge of “basketball” schools? Home field advantage will play a huge roll and TAMU is probably one of the best unranked teams.
8 Auburn @ Mississippi State
Mississippi State is another “how good are they?” team. They don’t have any real impressive wins yet, but I see this game being much closer than expected.
6 Notre Dame @ 24 Virginia Tech
8:00 PM kickoff. Blacksburg will be ROCKING. I can’t wait for this one. The Irish need to continue to prove themselves. After this one, the road looks relatively smooth. I’m conflicted, because I love Tech but also want the Irish in the playoff.
Just clearing the air.