As we wrap up another weekend of college football, here are my 10-takeaways, in no specific order, from the final Saturday in September.
- Tua Tagovailoa STILL hasn’t seen action in the 4th-quarter. Not one single snap. That is remarkable. With upcoming games against Arkansas, Missouri and Tennessee, it looks like a distinct possibility that the first time Tua takes a snap in the final quarter could very well be in Death Valley. Amazing.
- The Kentucky Wildcats are for real. Mark Stoops team remains undefeated and has solidified themselves as the clear cut 2nd best team in the SEC East. Terry Wilson managed the game and Benny Snell Jr. grinded his way to 85-yards and a touchdown. If the Cats can win next week in College Station they have a real shot at being undefeated when Georgia comes to Lexington on 11/3.
- Jeremy Pruitt’s Vols showed a lot of grit, competitiveness and physicality in a 26-point losing effort to Georgia. Tennessee has now lost all 3-games this season by the exact same margin of 26-points, but this was a 12-point game in the 4th quarter. It’s sad that we might view that as an accomplishment, but it came as a surprise to virtually everyone. The Vols forced 4-fumbles today in Athens and recovered none of them. They had mental errors with the punt team and simply couldn’t capitalize against an uninspired Dawgs team.
- Dabo Swinney’s dreams of a National Championship almost came to die in Death Valley this afternoon as a nightmare situation broke out. Just days after announcing Trevor Lawrence as the starter and incumbent QB Kelly Bryant announcing his intentions to transfer, Lawrence took a huge shot and was forced to leave the game and enter concussion protocol. Dino Babers and the Case had the Tigers on the ropes until Clemson was able to eek out a 27-23 win. What happens next? Will Kelly Bryant come back? He shouldn’t, but he’s welcomed by Dabo. We’ll see how this plays out.
- Notre Dame routed Stanford by 3-touchdown in South Bend on Saturday night in the 1st top-10 showdown between the Irish and a ND opponent since the 2005 game against Reggie Bush and USC. The Irish should finish the season undefeated, given how manageable their schedule appears on paper. Brian Kelly might have this team in the CFB playoff.
- Big12 thoughts: Oklahoma responded after a lethargic game last week vs Army by dropping 66-points on Baylor. Kyler Murray is a flat-out baller. Will Grier is for real. We knew that. But I’m starting to believe in West Virginia as a team. Texas keeps winning games against ranked opponents. Maybe my Longhorns as BIG12 champs is still a possibility? The Red River shootout should be pretty darn good next week.
- Lane Train derailed. Kudos to Coach Stockstill and MTSU for pulling off the upset in Murfreesboro against Florida Atlantic. Well done!
- Ohio State and Penn State seemed to be a bit bland when the scoreboard read 14-13. That was until both teams got rolling offensively in the final stanza, each scoring 2-touchdowns apiece. Trace McSorley is one tough dude. What a comeback by Ohio State.
- Is it time we re-evaluate how good we thought the SEC QB’s were going to be? All summer long we thought (at least I did) that we had a revival at the position. However, Stidham, Fromm and Fitzgerald and Bentley haven’t exactly lived up the billing this season. The eye-test tells me that, the ADJ-QBR metric confirms it.
- Congrats to Michigan Head Coach Jim Harbaugh on squeezing out a 3-point win at Northwestern today as a heavy road favorite. You’re the best, Harbs.
- Ohio State