It’s rivalry week! One of the best weekends in college football that featured a packed weekend full of games on Saturday but also a slate of games on black Friday, surely did not disappoint. This week we saw a king get dethroned in a classic rivalry game. We saw a team close a game out with a backup QB in front of 105,000 people. We saw perhaps the best game of the entire year in South Florida, but we will start in Pittsburgh, where a Hurricane rolled to town with hopes of making it to the College Football Playoff.
On Friday afternoon, Miami took a trip up north to face a Pittsburgh team who has done anything but preform to standard this season. They were 4-7 coming into the game, were not going to a bowl game this year and nobody and I mean NOBODY had this game circled on their calendars. People expected Miami to come in and play their brand of football and prepare for next week where they would face Clemson in the ACC Championship. This was the ultimate example of a trap game. Miami came into this game taking Pitt for granted and give credit to Pittsburgh, because they showed up to play. As soon as the ball was in the air until the clock struck zero, Pitt’s defense was flying around the field. They were poised and just played inspired football. This was their bowl game. They made Miami’s QB Malik Rosier, who has been sensational, look like a high school back up. It got so bad at one point, he was benched and Miami had to rely on their backup to get them back in the ballgame. The same can not be said about the Panthers QB, true Freshman, Kenny Pickett. Pickett looked anything but a freshman and had the game of his life, throwing for over 500 yards. Pitt seemed to have control late in the game but the Canes did not go out without a fight. They converted a successful onside kick late in the game, giving them a chance to cut the lead down to just one possession. Pitt’s defense would have no mercy. They would force a turnover and the Pittsburgh Panthers had shocked the world. They had handed Miami their first loss of the season and made a strong candidate for upset of the year. For Miami, there playoff hopes are hampered but not completely crushed. If they can beat Clemson next week in the ACC Championship game it will be interesting to see what the committee does with this team.
Michigan vs Ohio State is arguably one of the best rivalries in all of college football and could even be discussed in all of sports. Both these teams and their fanbases despise each other and to them, this is more than just a game, it’s everything. Last year’s matchup between the two ended in thrilling fashion and an Ohio State walk off victory. Michigan was hungry to get revenge in their own house and that was evident early. They came out as the hungrier team and found themselves up 14-0 to start the ballgame. Ohio State had a response however, quickly evening the score up at 14 a piece. The score would remain tied at the half and we were in for an exciting finish. In the third quarter, Buckeye nation held its breath. Their star QB, JT Barrett had gone to the locker room. He would not return for the rest of the game. Redshirt freshman, Dwayne Haskins was asked to step up and save the day and boy did he. The gunslinger played phenomenal football to close the game out and was a crucial part in Ohio State’s victory. You can also credit the victory to Ohio State’s defense. After looking shaky early, the Ohio State tightened up to finish up the game, allowing only 6 points in the second half including a blocked extra point. The Buckeyes can also thank Michigan QB John O’ Korn for basically handing the game to them in the second half. I have never seen a QB look so bad in such a big game. Michigan fans will be talking about how bad his performance was for years. Ohio State won the game 31-20 in what was another great Michigan-Ohio State rivalry game.
DOWN GOES FRAZIER! The almighty Alabama has lost, oh what a rare occasion but great treat it is. Alabama and Auburn faced off in the famous Iron Bowl on Saturday afternoon. Alabama came into Auburn ranked number one in the country and was in perfect path to win yet another national championship. Auburn wanted to play spoilers and they themselves, were trying to play for a spot in the CFP. The winner of this game would go to the SEC championship and face the Georgia Bulldogs so this rivalries magnitude intensified even more then usual. The game started out with good defense from both sides and it was very evident early that this was going to be a defensive battle. Auburn struck first blood with a jump pass from skill player, Nate Craig-Myers to RB Kerryon Johnson. The some what trick play was executed perfectly and the Tigers were here to play. Alabama responded with a nice drive of their own, scoring on a 36 yard TD from Bama QB, Jalen Hurts to WR Jerry Jeudy. Auburn would kick a late field goal to give them a 10-7 lead going into the break. This had all the makings of a classic finish and the team that was going to win was going to have to dig deep. Bama opened the second half with a 21 TD run from RB Bo Scarbrough and the Crimson Tide found themselves back in the lead. Auburn would get within one with a FG and then their star RB Kerryon Johnson scored a TD late in the third quarter. They were one quarter away from pulling off a big upset and knocking off the number one team in the nation for the second time. Auburn QB Jarrett Stidham was sensational the whole night. He was 21-28 with 237 passing yards and put the nail in the coffin rushing for a 18 yard TD in the fourth. The Tiger defense really was strong in the fourth quarter, shutting Bama’s high power offense out and really limiting their opportunities. Auburn hung on and won the game 26-14. They beat their rival, clinched a birth in the SEC Championship and most certainly clinched a place in the CFP ranking this Tuesday. For Bama it will be interesting to see what the playoff committee does with them as they will not play another game until the final rankings come out. This will show just how much a conference championship means to the committee and if we will finally see 4 new teams not named Bama in the CFP.
UCF came into Friday’s matchup undefeated and was looking to finish off their perfect regular season. Standing in their way, was a 1 loss University of South Florida led by QB sensation, Quinton Flowers. This game was hyped up, both schools were ready and the game did not disappoint. This football game was an absolute track meet. If you are the type of fan who loves high scoring, high paced action you were in heaven on Friday night. The game went back and fourth the whole way and we will fast forward to the fourth quarter, which will go down as one of the greatest finishes of a college football game you will ever see. With 2:21 left to go in the fourth quarter, UCF quarterback, McKenzie Milton threw an absolute dime to WR Otis Anderson for a 23 yard TD. This put the Knights up by the score of 42-34 and South Florida needed to respond and fast. Quinton Flowers as to one up Milton threw a dime of his own, converting on a 83 yard TD pass to Darnell Solomon with 1:41 left in the ballgame. The Bulls would need a 2 point conversion to tie up the ball game and hopefully force OT. They did just that and the score was tied up at 42. On the ensuing kickoff, UCFs Mike Hughes exploded for a 95 yard return for the go ahead TD. The place went into a literal state of euphoria. What an atmosphere, what a sequence of events, what a game. USF fumbled the ball in their last possession and UCF would remain perfect on the season in what will go down as the game of the year college football.
Video Of The Week
Man I love me some Charles Barkley, War Eagle!