In the actual world, the place typical human beings react to unreal conditions with shock and amazement, Boston College‘s 18-point lead late within the first half over Clemson on Saturday appeared like a giant deal. In spite of everything, take into consideration how the earlier 72 hours wreaked havoc with school soccer’s established order.
Trevor Lawrence, the sport’s greatest participant, was introduced Thursday to have examined optimistic for COVID-19. He has to overlook at the least 10 days following the optimistic check, which left everybody questioning about Clemson’s Nov. 7 date with Notre Dame. All of us skipped proper previous Saturday’s recreation in opposition to Boston Faculty, as a result of an upset of that magnitude appeared too far-fetched to think about.
After which CJ Lewis scored with somewhat greater than a minute left within the first half, giving the Eagles an 18-point lead over a crew that had gained the ACC 5 years in a row, triumphed in 30 straight regular-season video games and was favored by 4 touchdowns.
For many school soccer followers, this was an enormous deal.
For D.J. Uiagalelei — the Tigers’ true freshman quarterback and understudy for Lawrence, the Heisman Trophy favourite — the response was somewhat extra measured.
“Being down 18,” Uiagalelei mentioned, “that is not a whole lot of factors.”
See, Uiagalelei is not like the remainder of us. He stepped in entrance of a digital camera for a video convention after top-ranked Clemson’s near-record-setting come-from-behind 34-28 win sporting a gold chain round his neck that learn “Massive Cinco.” All whereas he sipped a protein shake through a straw with the type of detached coolness of Samuel L. Jackson in “Pulp Fiction.”
Massive Cinco is a nickname a highschool teammate gave him, and Uiagalelei preferred it. He had somewhat additional scratch after a stipend examine this summer time, so he purchased the bling. It is some West Coast swagger, he mentioned.
Taking up for Lawrence on quick discover? No worries. He was within the movie room Thursday afternoon when Clemson coach Dabo Swinney walked by means of the door with a scowl. Uiagalelei assumed he was in bother. Had he tweeted one thing he should not have? Nope, his coach simply needed to let him know Lawrence was out and Uiagalelei can be beginning.
That is fairly cool, Uiagalelei thought. Then again to movie.
A couple of minutes earlier than that, Swinney caught his head into offensive coordinator Tony Elliott’s workplace to ship the information. Elliott had simply come from getting a haircut, which was good. As a result of discovering out on Thursday afternoon that your complete recreation plan was thrown into flux would have been sufficient to power most playcallers to tear their hair out in frustration. However Elliott knew what he had in Uiagalelei. “We’re good,” he thought.
The sport plan did not change.
Uiagalelei awoke Saturday morning and, he mentioned, it took him a second to recollect what he had deliberate for the day: “Oh proper, I am beginning at the moment.”
Earlier than the sport, Uiagalelei — the highest QB within the 2020 class out of California — obtained a textual content message from one in every of his heroes.
“I’ve obtained full religion in you,” the textual content message learn. It was from Reggie Bush. That, Uiagalelei mentioned, was fairly cool.
As soon as the sport began, Uiagalelei seemed the a part of an elite QB. He dished out a plethora of quick throws and some lasers, transferring the offense constantly regardless of some struggles from the bottom recreation. The issue wasn’t the true freshman at quarterback. It was all the pieces else. The protection seemed misplaced in opposition to BC’s passing assault. Operating again Travis Etienne, who would go on to set the ACC profession dashing file within the third quarter, discovered little room to run. Then on the objective line, with Clemson threatening to tie the sport, Etienne fumbled, and BC returned it for a 97-yard rating.
All of that ought to have been sufficient to show school soccer on its head. As an alternative, we obtained a sneak peek on the subsequent nice Clemson QB, the son of a former celeb safety guard who could not have been much less overwhelmed by the second.
“I simply tried to maintain it easy,” Uiagalelei mentioned. “My job’s not too laborious.”
Proper. True freshmen QBs erase 18-point deficits of their first begins with a potential playoff berth on the road on a regular basis.
Even the play that served as a turning level within the recreation supplied little room to showboat. Uiagalelei ran 30 yards on fourth-and-1 for a landing, pulling the Tigers to inside eight. All he was frightened about was what the movie would appear to be if he obtained caught from behind. The very last thing he needed was to appear to be Daniel Jones, tripping on his way into the end zone.
“I did not wish to get made enjoyable of,” Uiagalelei mentioned.
Good luck to whichever misguided idiot would’ve made that joke.
As an alternative, the joke appears to be on all of us. Oh, you thought Clemson would miss one of the best QB within the sport? Nope. You thought Boston Faculty would pull the upset? Hah, 18 factors is nothing. You suppose Notre Dame goes to have a giant edge subsequent week when Lawrence misses his second consecutive recreation? Wager in opposition to Massive Cinco and the Tigers at your individual threat.
Again or not again
It is time to play somewhat recreation of “Again or not again,” by which we provide knee-jerk reactions to 1 recreation to resolve the destiny of a few of school soccer’s marquee packages.
Texas is … BACK
Oh, certain, Texas has two losses and has seemed extremely lackluster all through this season, together with Saturday’s recreation by which the Longhorns have been outgained 530-287, allowed 35 first downs to Oklahoma State and had 142 yards in penalties. However Texas nonetheless has Joseph Ossai, who was superior Saturday, racking up 12 tackles, together with six behind the road of scrimmage, and forcing a fumble, whereas recording a sack of Spencer Sanders that sealed the sport in extra time. It was the Longhorns’ first road win over a top-10 opponent in a decade. And something that reminds Texas followers of the sooner components of the 2000s implies that, certainly, Texas is again.
Texas quarterback Sam Ehlinger tosses an 11-yard landing go to Joshua Moore because the Longhorns pull off a 41-34 upset of Oklahoma State in extra time.
LSU‘s protection is … NOT BACK
Bo Pelini is getting $2.3 million to educate LSU’s protection. We assumed that was being paid by LSU, however maybe it’s truly the opposing groups paying that wage as a result of the Tigers’ D is making them look awfully good. Auburn was the most recent beneficiary, thumping LSU 48-11 on Saturday behind 4 touchdowns from quarterback Bo Nix. By way of 5 video games, LSU’s protection has given up 168 factors. However the necessary factor for LSU followers to recollect is that they celebrated a nationwide championship a mere 10 months in the past. So sit back, have a cocktail and 2021 might be right here earlier than you realize it.
Jim Harbaugh’s khakis are … ON THE WAY BACK
Every week in the past, Harbaugh debuted a brand new sideline look, rocking a pair of blue slacks as an alternative of his trademark khakis. The consequence was a dominant Michigan win over Minnesota and a recent search for Harbaugh. “You do not wish to turn out to be stale bread or overripe fruit or burnt meat,” Harbaugh mentioned. “That is not good.” Additionally not good: dropping to your “little brother” but once more. Michigan’s 27-24 loss to Michigan State was the most recent debacle for Harbaugh, who figures to be out there for some new trend choices. We will counsel yoga pants or health club shorts. They’re each fairly comfy when working from dwelling.
Trick or deal with?
It would not be Halloween with out somebody dressed up as a foul man — or on this case, a complete officiating crew of villains.
Rutgers was trailing Indiana 37-21 within the fourth quarter when the Scarlet Knights went for a miracle. Quarterback Noah Vedral tossed a brief go to Shameen Jones (who, by the best way, completed with three catches for negative-8 yards, which is spectacular in its personal proper). Jones then started a string of eight laterals that was highlighted by a backward, overhead heave by offensive lineman Raiqwon O’Neal. Lastly, the ball ended up within the palms of Bo Melton, who appeared to go 55 yards for a landing.
Bo Melton runs into the tip zone within the fourth quarter after Rutgers makes a number of lateral passes on 4th-and-32, however it’s ultimately referred to as again.
Till the refs stepped in and ruined all our enjoyable.
A replay evaluate decided one of many laterals had constituted an unlawful ahead go, overturning the play even supposing it might have made no actual distinction within the final result and all the world loved watching it occur. Some individuals simply haven’t any sense of decency.
It was becoming too that the Rutgers’ laterals got here precisely 5 years to the day after Miami’s eight-lateral win over Duke, which was allowed to face regardless of what the ACC later referred to as clear officiating errors. These refs have been suspended by the league, but it surely was a small value to pay for an iconic play. Why could not the officers in Indiana-Rutgers do the identical?
Who’s No. 4?
Clemson got here again, Alabama dominated and Ohio State offered another impressive win, 38-25 over Penn State, behind a terrific recreation from Justin Fields. Thus far this season, it has been fairly simple to peg the highest three groups within the nation, however who’s No. 4? We’ll doubtless discover out subsequent Saturday.
Georgia‘s protection, led by security Richard LeCounte (who was hospitalized postgame after a traffic accident) and his 13 tackles, has made a great case that, regardless of a loss to Alabama, the Bulldogs belong within the dialog. They beat Kentucky 14-3 on Saturday, however it’s nonetheless robust to really feel nice in regards to the offense. Stetson Bennett completed simply 9-of-13 for 131 yards and two picks. That comes on the heels of a subpar efficiency in opposition to the Crimson Tide (three interceptions) and makes it honest to surprise if he’s Georgia’s greatest QB possibility. The excellent news is that the Bulldogs do have choices. Might D’Wan Mathis warrant one other look? Is it time to present JT Daniels some snaps?
In a defense-oriented matchup, the No. 5 Dawgs put up sufficient offense (346 whole yards) to beat the Wildcats 14-3 on the highway.
Regardless of the recreation plan is, Georgia will want some offense to hold with Florida subsequent weekend. The Gators seemed sharp on Saturday, with Kyle Trask delivering one other stellar efficiency in a 41-17 win over Missouri — even when things got a little heated before the half. Extra necessary, although, this was one of the best defensive efficiency of the season for the Gators.
Notre Dame will get an opportunity to stake its declare to a playoff bid subsequent weekend when it hosts Clemson, however the Combating Irish adopted a reasonably customary method in toppling Georgia Tech 31-13 on Saturday. Once more, the passing recreation supplied little — only one completion of greater than 20 yards — however the floor recreation seemed stellar, scoring 3 times, whereas the protection held the Yellow Jackets to only 2.7 yards per rush.
However maybe one of the best case for No. 4 belongs to Texas A&M, which, like Georgia, has only a loss to Alabama on its résumé. Kellen Mond seems as if he has discovered his stride, tossing three touchdowns in a 42-31 win over Arkansas. The Aggies’ remaining schedule is fully manageable, however will the committee reward a crew which may not play for its convention title? It has occurred earlier than — although not everybody ought to count on the identical therapy as Alabama.
Who’s the SEC’s greatest receiver?
Vanderbilt‘s protection had completely no solutions for Ole Miss‘ passing recreation on Saturday, and huge receiver Elijah Moore was the beneficiary of the majority of the yardage. Moore completed with 14 catches for 238 yards and three touchdowns, changing into the primary Energy 5 participant to hit these marks since TCU’s Josh Doctson in 2015. It marked Moore’s fourth 100-yard recreation and second 200-yard recreation of the season.
To not be outdone, Alabama‘s DeVonta Smith checked in with 11 catches for 203 yards and 4 touchdowns in a dominant win over Mississippi State. Within the course of, Smith handed Amari Cooper for the college file in receiving TDs and supplied an emphatic reminder that, even with out Jaylen Waddle, Alabama’s passing recreation is not going to overlook a beat.
Alabama huge receiver DeVonta Smith racks up three touchdowns within the first half vs. Mississippi State.
So, who is healthier? Maybe it’s best to not debate. Mixed, the pair have 1,588 receiving yards and 14 touchdowns this season — numbers that may put them within the high 25 nationally of complete groups. That’s too good to separate hairs over who is healthier.
Checking out the Group of 5
Nearly as good as Cincinnati seemed to begin the season, the hype was all in regards to the protection. The offense was struggling. The Bearcats led SMU 14-10 on the half final weekend, with QB Desmond Ridder trying pedestrian. Since then? Cincinnati has outscored its opposition 77-13, and Ridder has dominated. In his previous six quarters of motion, together with Saturday’s dominant 49-10 win over Memphis, Ridder has racked up 510 yards of offense and 7 touchdowns.
To not be outdone, Coastal Carolina obtained beginning QB Grayson McCall again from a shoulder damage, and he threw for 4 touchdowns in a 51-0 win. Nearly as good because the Chanticleers’ offense has seemed, its protection hasn’t allowed some extent in six quarters.
Grayson McCall throws 4 landing passes and runs in one other rating as Coastal Carolina routs Georgia State 51-0.
Then there are the Broncos, who went to Air Pressure with out beginning QB Hank Bachmeier on Saturday and nonetheless put up 49 points behind Southern California switch Jack Sears, who threw for 280 yards and three touchdowns.
So, who’s the favourite for a big-time bowl? At this level, Cincinnati has the within lane, with a visit to UCF on Nov. 21 being the largest impediment. Coastal Carolina might need its hardest check that very same day with a house recreation in opposition to App State. In the meantime, Boise State may hit a snag subsequent weekend in opposition to BYU.
Missed it by *this* a lot
Is North Carolina one of the best unhealthy crew in school soccer or the worst good crew? The Tar Heels should be one or the opposite. The explosiveness of the offense was on show throughout a ferocious comeback bid in opposition to Virginia, however one boneheaded play after one other ultimately price them, with the Cavaliers hanging on for a 44-41 victory.
These outcomes have been par for the course for North Carolina underneath coach Mack Brown. That is the Heels’ eighth loss underneath Brown on this stint on the college, by a grand whole of 32 factors. None of these losses was by greater than a landing, and Saturday’s consequence was the second by which UNC fell behind by 21 in opposition to a one-win crew, roared again within the second half however was unable to make a last play to place itself excessive.
The upside for North Carolina followers is that there are myriad Michael Jordan memes that may absolutely embody the feelings you are feeling proper now.
1. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
Can Lawrence preserve his Heisman hopes even after lacking two video games? It’s a good query, notably provided that subsequent weekend’s contest in opposition to Notre Dame might need served as his greatest stage to impress. For now although, the Clemson quarterback had a large enough lead for him to outlive atop the record for an additional week.
2. Alabama QB Mac Jones
4 extra TD passes and one other sizzle reel of deep balls has Jones nipping at Lawrence’s heels. Sadly, neither of them might be taking part in subsequent weekend.
3. Ohio State QB Justin Fields
Justin Fields continues his Heisman marketing campaign as he throws for 4 touchdowns to assist Ohio State take down Penn State in Glad Valley.
One other 300-yard recreation and 4 extra landing passes. Higher information for Ohio State, although: The bottom recreation seemed terrific with out having to depend on Fields as a runner.
Wilson entered Saturday with 22 touchdowns and one interception by means of six video games. Up to now decade, the one different QBs to try this: Tua Tagovailoa, Justin Fields, Marcus Mariota and Geno Smith.
Gabriel threw for 328 yards and two touchdowns — and that constitutes a reasonably unhealthy recreation by his requirements. Nonetheless, he has topped 2,500 yards passing by means of six video games. Not too shabby.
Underneath-the-radar play of the day
Slightly recommendation: Do not ever get comfy with Louisville‘s Javian Hawkins within the backfield. With simply 8 seconds left on the clock and Louisville trailing 21-7, the Cardinals handed off to Hawkins to expire the primary half. Somebody forgot to inform Hawkins. He broke by means of the road, reduce to the sideline and ran 90 yards for a landing as time expired. Extra spectacular? Due to a sack, Hawkins’ run was truly 5 yards longer than the official drive (85 yards). Much less spectacular? Hawkins had the 90-yard TD and an 11-yard rating, and he managed simply 28 yards on his different 17 carries in a 42-35 Virginia Tech win.
Javian Hawkins takes the handoff and treks 90 yards untouched down the sector to attain a Louisville landing to chop the Virginia Tech result in 21-14 earlier than halftime.
Underneath-the-radar recreation of the day
Louisiana Tech trailed UAB 31-17 coming into the fourth quarter and was nonetheless down seven with when it obtained the ball with 2:05 left, 90 yards from the tip zone. However Aaron Allen executed a 13-play drive that culminated with a 24-yard landing go to Adrian Hardy with 10 seconds to go to ship the sport to extra time. After buying and selling discipline targets within the first OT, UAB fumbled on the objective line, and Louisiana Tech notched one other discipline objective for the win in double overtime. And all of that ignores what might need been the largest Bulldogs spotlight, when Bee Jay Williamson wrestled a catch away from a UAB receiver and instantly lateraled to Khalil Ladler, who returned it 79 yards for a rating.
Bee Jay Williamson intercepts Bryson Lucero’s go and tosses a lateral to Khalil Ladler who runs within the landing.
Greatest bets and unhealthy beats
The overall within the Ohio State-Penn State recreation closed at 63, and bettors with the over have been able to money their tickets because the Buckeyes lined up for a 23-yard chip shot discipline objective with 1:17 to play. Simple winner, proper? Ah, school kickers. Dominic DiMaccio pushed the kick huge proper — a meaningless miss for the Buckeyes and a brutal strategy to lose for bettors.
Michigan closed as a 21.5-point favourite in its rivalry recreation in opposition to Michigan State however misplaced outright. As a lot because the previous decade has been a wrestle for the Wolverines, this one nonetheless stung greater than most. It was Michigan’s worst upset loss (by level unfold) since 2007. That recreation? You may bear in mind it. It got here versus an FCS foe by the title of Appalachian State and stands as some of the legendary shockers in school soccer historical past.
Good groups win. Nice groups cowl. Cincinnati, it should be mentioned, is a good crew. Up 42-10, the Bearcats had their backers lined simply, however that did not cease Jerome Ford from rumbling 48 yards for a TD with 1:30 left to play, working the rating to 49-10 and, within the course of, going over the whole of 57.5.
Kansas is unhealthy. This isn’t breaking information. However fittingly, the Jayhawks are additionally now 0-6 in opposition to the unfold this season, an virtually spectacular feat contemplating they’ve been underdogs of at the least 17 in every of their previous 5, together with Saturday, when Iowa State simply lined 27.5 in its 52-22 win. We recommend celebrating this sort of consistency, as a result of in the event you’re not going to win any video games, you may as properly guarantee the oldsters betting in opposition to you benefit from the experience.