Today was the 1st Saturday in October and here are my 10-observations from the day that was in College Football.
This morning on “Saturday Tailgate” (shameless plug: each and every Saturday morning from 9-11AM CT on ESPN 102.5 The Game) I said Sam Ehlinger would need to have himself a day for the Texas Longhorns to defeat Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners. That’s exactly what happened. In a contest that featured zero defense, in front of a sold-out crowd in the Cotton Bowl, Sam Ehlinger delivered in the Red River Shootout, out-dueling Kyler Murray in a 48-45 upset. Ehlinger accounted for 5-total touchdowns. Ehlinger went 24-for-35 for 314-yards and 2-touchdowns through the air. Ehlinger also rushed for 72-yards and 3-more scores. Don’t look now, but the 19th ranked Longhorns have rattled off 5-straight victories (5-1), after a season opening defeat to Maryland and are currently 3-0 in BIG12 play. Suddenly, my preseason prediction of Texas winning the BIG12 doesn’t seem so far fetched. #HookEM!
Usually, CFB coaches who win on the road by 34-points are very happy. I doubt that is the case with Alabama Head Coach Nick Saban after his Crimson Tide squad routed Arkansas 65-31. Nick will find plenty of things to be disgusted about. His defense yielding 31-points. His kicker missing another extra-point. His special teams continuing to struggle. On a positive note (sarcasm), the quarterback looked good. What’s his name? Tua, something? Seriously, though. Has a Heisman Trophy winner ever won the award without playing a 4th quarter? It seems like we might be heading down that path. Tagovailoa went 10-for-13 for 334-yards and 4-touchdowns. For the season, Tua has completed 75% of his passes for 1,161 yards, 14-touchdowns and 0-interceptions.
After a home loss to Kentucky and back-to-back road wins in Knoxville and Starkville, Dan Mullen has his 1st signature win in the Swamp. Mullen’s Gators knocked off previously unbeaten #5 LSU in The Swamp. Florida’s defense was very stout all day long as they forced LSU QB Joe Burrow into a his 1st turnover of the season, a game-winning pick-six that took a 1-point Gators lead and turned it into an 8-point victory. The stats won’t show it, but Felipe Franks had a really solid second half, doing everything the Gators needed from him.
Willie Taggart had an opportunity to get a resume booster in Miami. The Seminoles had a chance to get to 4-2 on the year. Florida State led Mark Richt and the Hurricanes 20-7 at halftime only to get outscored 21-7 in the 2nd half and lose by 1-point in a bitter in-state rivalry. Now, granted, the Noles were 2-touchdown underdogs, but consider this a squandered chance when you consider N’Kosi Perry was 13/32 passing and Travis Homer was held to just over 3-yards per carry. The Willey T doubters have more ammunition.
I’m not sure what to make of Georgia at this point. I think they are absolutely the second best team in American, but I also feel like they’d lose by 14-17 points against Bama should they meet (when they meet) in Atlanta. Are they bored? Has complacency kicked in? Or are they just a bit overrated?
What in the world is going on with the Auburn offense? Jarrett Stidham has regressed. Gus Malzahn can’t run the ball. Losing Keryon Johnson was big, but the Tigers can’t run the ball. Bama will rock them in the Iron Bowl.
Let’s pump the brakes on the Benny Snell comparisons with Herschel Walker. I’m actually offended that I have to write about this. It was laughable this week that the Paul Finebaum Show put up a graphic and then decided to debate the merits of Benny Snell with Herschel Walker and Leonard Fournette. Trayveon Williams ran like he was disrespected as the other RB in this game. Williams ran for over 130-yards including the game-winning score in overtime. They Kentucky Wildcats nice story ends in College Station.
College Football’s regular season continues to show us that each week is a playoff leading up to the 4-team CFB Playoff. #5 LSU goes down. #7 Oklahoma goes down. #6 Notre Dame was tested. It’s a Saturday survivor pool each and every weekend. Trust the process, of elimination.
CFB Playoff 4: