This week was all about the upset. It is rare all three of my weekly stories are about upsets, but in a week which I thought was going to be boring with sub par games, it turned out to be the opposite as three top 8 teams lost to unranked opponents. Everyone knows to be considered legit, you have to win conference games on the road and these teams failed to do so. We start in Tempe where the folks in the desert wanted to make some news with a late night upset.
Arizona State welcomed the 5th ranked Washington Huskies on Saturday night. Most experts were not giving the Sun Devils a fighting chance but if you look at their previous matchups, State always plays them tough and had their home crowd behind them. Their defense came out firing on all cylinders. They were fast to the ball, were making big tackles and thanks to them, the Sun Devils jumped out to a 13-0 lead at the half. Unfortunately for them, the Huskies defense decided to wake up in the second half allowing 0 points for the remainder of the game. Washington scored an early touchdown in the 4th but it was too little too late and the shocker in Tempe was complete. Arizona State won the game 13-7 and put the country on notice to not overlook them again.
On late Friday night, the world witnessed an absolute murder in Cali as the Golden Bears of UC Berkley annihilated Washington State who was ranked 8 at the time, with a score of 37-7. They were better in every asset of the game, they were better on both sides of the ball, they out-coached the Cougars and were just flat-out better and deserved to win this ball game. The win was in big thanks to the dominating performance from the Golden Bears defense. They forced SEVEN TURNOVERS on the night to go along with NINE sacks. That is the perfect recipe to blow a top ten team in the nation. The blowout was capped off with a whimsical touchdown run by Cal QB, Ross Bowers. He leaped in the end zone, did a front flip, and almost landed it. The ironic thing is his mom is a gymnastics coach so you wonder if the athleticism can be accredited to her.
It is going to be a party in Berkley for the next few weeks as this is a signature win to their so far struggling season.
Cal was not the only team to shock the world on Friday. Clemson went into the Carrier Dome looking to blow out Syracuse and continue their quest for a second straight national championship. Cuse had to have felt disrespected as they were nothing more of an afterthought in the Tigers’ mind. This showed early as Syracuse looked hungry and Clemson looked sloppy. Syracuse held an early 14-7 lead after one quarter of play. They would continue to play sharp and took a 17-14 lead into the half. The upset alert button had been hit around the country and I can assure you the ratings went up in the second half. After Clemson tied it up in the 3rd, we were headed to the 4th all tied up at 24. The question then became, “did Cuse have enough in the tank?” Their defense sure as hell did. In the fourth quarter, their defense was hungry to keep the game at a tie and give the offense a chance to win the game. They also did a great job of containing Clemson’s superb Quarterback Kelly Bryant as he was limited to just 116 passing yards. Syracuse converted a late field goal that turned into the game winner. They had done it, the Orange had shocked the college football world and defeated the defending national champions. The students poured out on the field and it turned into a scene of straight euphoria. It’s moments like these that remind us why we love college football so much.