It was a pretty decent weekend of college football – some of the games weren’t as close as I had hoped but a few teams appear to be separating themselves from everyone else.
BYU 27, Utah State 24
The Cougars trailed for most of the game and the offense continued to struggle with Jake Heaps at quarterback. The BYU coaches replaced Heaps with Riley Nelson in the third quarter and the teams’ effort was noticeably different. Nelson completed 10 of 14 passes for 144 yards, 2 touchdowns and carried 11 times for 62 yards sparking the offense and leading two fourth quarter scores. The second drive started with 2:36 left in the game and the Cougs started on their own four yard line. Nelson completed a deflected pass to tight end Marcus Mathews with 11 seconds remaining to steal the win. The Cougars found a way to get it done but you have to feel bad for those Utah State players who have now had three heartbreaking defeats.
Boise State 30, Nevada 10
Kellen Moore was surprisingly sloppy and finished 19 for 33, 142 yards, 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions – perhaps the worst game of his career. Fortunately the running game finally looked decent racking up 169 yards on the ground – 126 yards and 2 TDs from Doug Martin on 21 carries. The Bronco defense played their best game this season holding the Wolf Pack to 182 total yards and only 59 yards on the ground. My biggest complaints were the 10 penalties for 98 yards and the Bronco’s giving up a 53 yard touchdown pass to Rishard Matthews with 46 seconds remaining despite talk about “finishing” all week. Other than that, it was good to see the defense play well and the running game finally looked decent.
#3 Alabama 38, #12 Florida 10
Photo via zimbio.com
I thought the Gators might be able to keep it close in The Swamp but Alabama showed just how good they are. Running back Trent Richardson hammered the Florida defense carrying 31 times for 181 yards and two touchdowns while Saban’s defense forced two turnovers and held the Gators speedy offense to only 222 yards. Bama’s defense was impressive flying to the ball and punishing Florida’s speedsters all night. The Gators visit Tiger Stadium next week which could give us a good comparison between LSU and Bama until they meet on November 5th.
#7 Wisconsin 48, #8 Nebraska 17
There were some questions about the Badgers’ defense coming into the game but they looked pretty good during Saturday night’s Big Ten showdown. They gave up 335 yards of offense but intercepted Taylor Martinez three times on the night; meanwhile, Wisconsin’s offense looks nearly unstoppable lead by quarterback Russell Wilson and running back Montee Ball. Ball carried 30 times for 151 yards and 4 touchdowns while Wilson completed 14 of 20 passes for 255 yards, 2 touchdowns and rushed six times for 32 yards and 1 touchdown – like I said, pretty much unstoppable. The Badgers looked like national title contenders after destroying the Cornhuskers in their Big Ten debut.
#13 Clemson 23, #11 Virginia Tech 3
I don’t know about you, but I figured the Hokies would win pretty easily or maybe the Tigers would squeeze out a close one at Lane Stadium – was I wrong, or what? Clemson’s offense wasn’t spectacular this week but they didn’t need to be. The defense held Va Tech to 4-16 on third down and 258 total yards showing they should be a nice compliment to Tajh Boyd, Sammy Watkins and the Tigers’ explosive offense. Not only is Clemson the front-runner to win the ACC but they’ve also inserted their name into the national title discussion after beating three ranked opponents in a row (Auburn, Florida State and now Virginia Tech).
Heisman Top 5
1. Wisconsin QB Russell Wilson – 1391 yards, 74.8%, 13 TDs, 1 Int, 140 yds rushing, 2 TDs
2. Alabama RB Trent Richardson – 622 yards, 6.5 ypc, 10 TDs, 11 rec, 148 yds, 1 TD
3. Boise State QB Kellen Moore – 1137 yards, 73.9%, 14 TDs, 4 Ints
4. LSU CB Tyrann Mathieu – 25 solo tkls, 10 asst tkls, 4 TFL, 1.5 sacks, 4 forced fumbles, 3 fumble recoveries (2 for TDs), 1 Int, 4 pass break-ups
5. Baylor QB Robert Griffin – 1308 yards, 82.3%, 18 TDs, 1 Int, 173 yds rushing, 1 TD
Others considered: Matt Barkley, LaMichael James, Marcus Lattimore, Andrew Luck, Denard Robinson, Robert Woods.