Week 10 reminded many why college football is so special.
This week brought jaw-dropping upsets, a 140-point game and a goalpost ending up a body of water (again). And with No. 1 Tennessee, No. 4 Clemson and No. 6 Alabama all falling on the road, the College Football Playoff picture will drastically change when the new rankings come out Tuesday.
Let’s catch up on the best moments from the week that you might have missed.
Punt of the year!
Yes, this is a punt, but it’s a perfect punt and might just be the punt of the year, so it’s worthy of being called out.
Brett Thorson’s game-changing 75-yarder pinned the Tennessee offense at the 1-yard line and gave Georgia’s strong defense the perfect chance to make a big play. Although the Volunteers narrowly escaped without giving up a safety, the next punt set up Georgia’s offense to score its second TD of the afternoon and give the Bulldogs a lead they wouldn’t lose.
For more of the best moments of Georgia-Tennessee, check this out.
CFB’s hottest trend? Goal posts in the water
Kansas fans have made a habit of storming the field after big wins this season — and who could blame them? But they had to take the celebration to the next level Saturday after beating No. 18 Oklahoma State 37-16 to become bowl eligible for the first time since 2008.
Fans took down one goal post and then proceeded to carry it from the stadium and into Potter Lake on campus.
So, for the second time this season, goalposts ended up in a body of water after Tennessee fans did the same thing earlier in the year after beating Alabama for the first time since 2006.
This fact was not lost on the Kansas creative team, which trolled Tennessee with a post showing a new goalpost standing on the field with the caption “No GoFundMe needed” — a reference to Tennessee setting up a fundraiser to replace its missing goal post.
The celebration extended beyond fans rushing the field, though. The Kansas creative team posted a video of players “going bowling” in the locker room afterward. It turns out, an intern on the creative team is a bowler and had a ball in his car, so when Kansas won, he brought it into the locker room. Safety Kenny Logan Jr. rolled the rock down the carpet, knocking down teammate Lawrence Arnold.
Needless to say everyone in Kansas had a great time celebrating. And, for the record, Kansas has not been fined for its fans storming the field.
— Andrea Adelson
Wildest game: SMU 77, Houston 63
SMU scored a touchdown on its fourth play from scrimmage. And 13th. And 21st, 29th, 37th, 42nd and 45th. Houston posted 710 yards and 34 first downs and was down double digits for the game’s final 38 minutes. Houston’s Clayton Tune threw for 527 yards and seven touchdowns and rushed for a delightful 55-yard touchdown, and he was easily the second-best quarterback in the game.
Houston and SMU met for the final time as AAC rivals Saturday night and decided to pack about three games’ worth of points and highlights into 60 minutes. The last three games in the series had prolific scores of 44-37, 34-31 and 45-31, but this one blew them out of the water. SMU won 77-63 in the most high-scoring (in regulation) game in FBS history. The Mustangs took a 56-35 lead into halftime and were barely able to take their foot off of the accelerator in the second half.
Tanner Mordecai needed only 28 completions to throw nine touchdown passes, and he added 54 rushing yards and a rushing touchdown as well. This was absurd in every way a game could be. In the end, mistakes and bounces made the difference. Houston averaged a nuclear-grade 10.0 yards per play, but Tune threw three interceptions, including two on back-to-back possessions as SMU was building its second-quarter lead. SMU, meanwhile, fumbled three times but recovered all three and ended up scoring touchdowns on 11 of 12 possessions (not including an end-of-half drive in the fourth quarter).
Ridiculous! It was all ridiculous. And ridiculously entertaining.
Notable upset: Notre Dame over Clemson
Notre Dame was always capable of upsetting a flawed Clemson team, but there were reasons to doubt these Irish.
They played at home, normally an advantage but the site of their biggest failures this fall, losses to Marshall and Stanford (35 points scored combined). They had a very limited passing game outside of star tight end Michael Mayer, and would face an NFL-stacked Clemson defensive front that ranked No. 7 nationally against the run. First-year coach Marcus Freeman went up against two-time national champion Dabo Swinney and a Clemson coaching staff with an extra week to prepare.
But on a windy and wonderful night, Notre Dame stunned Clemson 35-14, giving Swinney one of the most humbling losses in his Hall of Fame career, and Freeman his first signature win. Notre Dame’s talented offensive line and running backs bullied Clemson for 263 yards. Freshman cornerback Benjamin Morrison had two interceptions, including a 96-yard return for a touchdown. Notre Dame also recorded its FBS-leading sixth punt — a modern-day team record — and returned the ball for a touchdown.
“We didn’t foresee this game going this way, this season going this way,” Freeman said. “But you know what? I’m happy that the kids continued to believe in what we’re doing, and today was one of those special moments.”
Swinney accepted full responsibility for Clemson’s performance but also credited Freeman and Notre Dame for outcoaching the Tigers “in every facet of the game.”
“They had two really disappointing losses to start their season,” Swinney said. “Very disappointing at a place like Notre Dame, where you have a lot of expectations. But they responded, and that’s what it’s all about.”
Week 10 takeaways
C.J. Stroud has rough afternoon in Evanston
Ohio State’s signal caller had a rare off day against Northwestern in the rain and wind but still came away with the win for the Buckeyes. Winds were clocked at around 40 mph, which contributed to Stroud having his worst total passing yards as a starter (76), worst completion percentage (38%) and no touchdown passes.
Prior to this game, Stroud’s fewest passing yards in a game was this season came when he threw 154 yards against Rutgers. Because of the weather, Stroud had his best performance on the ground as a starter, though, with 79 rushing yards. It was a tough game all around and ended Stroud’s streak of 20 games with a touchdown pass, but the Buckeyes are still undefeated and on a crash course to meet with Michigan at the end of the season with a ton of implications on the line.
— Tom VanHaaren
Bo Nix … caught a touchdown pass?
A week ago, Oregon quarterback Bo Nix was borderline disgusted with himself after throwing for more than 400 yards and running for three scores in an easy win against Cal. He wanted to hold himself to a higher standard with some of his decision-making. From the outside it had every appearance of a player being too hard on himself, but you had to respect the approach.
It’s also why it’s funny to think about what Nix’s evaluation of this play in the film room is going to be:
I didn’t look like he had any good options when the play broke down, but he — and OC Kenny Dillingham — will want that one back. That being said, if he had somehow completed a backward pass in that situation, it would have deserved a statue, so maybe the risk was worth it.
After all, he already caught a touchdown pass — crossing into the end zone in that same corner of the field — earlier in the quarter. Maybe it was just a well-earned heat check.
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