‘Vols Beat Dawgs With Last Second Hail Mary
Clemson Hold off Lamar Jackson and Louisville (Just Barely)
Cowboys Finally Show Longhorns What “Home” Means
Sooners Survive Horned Frogs as Secondary Flops Again
Absolutely annihilated Stanford 44-6 in front of an elated crowd in Seattle. Their offense was absolutely clicking and chock full of speed, while their defense managed to sack Stanford’s quarterbacks seven times while holding Heisman favorite Christian McCaffrey to only 79 total yards.
Tennessee: Looked physically and mentally strong coming back from a big deficit and playing until the final second. Butch Jones’ team is a serious contender to bring down the dominance of the Crimson Tide in the SEC.
Despite winning the turnover battle against Clemson while gaining 568 yards to their 507, the Cardinals scored only four touchdowns to Clemson’s six. This could be due to Louisville’s multiple 3rd down attempts, as they were 9 of 19 on third down compared to Clemson’s 4 for 9. More third downs means more plays and more wear and tear on your offense. Lamar Jackson and company looked threatening for much of the game, especially in the third quarter when they held the lead for some time. But a low average yards per play (5.73) compared to Clemson’s (8.18) shows us how Clemson won the game: offensive efficiency.
Oklahoma Pass Defense: Goodness gracious Mike Stoops, this again? Oklahoma’s defense has allowed 13 touchdowns and 1194 yards through the first four games while only snagging one interception so far. By comparison, Baker Mayfield has thrown for 1067 yard for nine touchdowns and two interceptions. It’s never a good sign when your defense is allowing more yards and points than your Heisman candidate quarterback is scoring. Charlie Strong’s Texas will not allow Oklahoma to somehow sneak by the way they did against TCU. This area needs improvement or the Sooners are in trouble.
With Elijah Hood not able to get it going in the way they wished, the Tar Heels looked to Trubisky to get them the win. He was absolutely stellar, going 31 of 38 for 405 yards while passing for three touchdowns and running for one, committing no turnovers during the ‘Heels 34-31 win over the Seminoles. Nick Weiler has been getting all the glory after hitting a 54-yard field goal as time expired, but Trubisky has been the one consistently getting North Carolina through games. He’s silently compiled the highest completion percentage in all of college football (76%) all while throwing for 1711 passing yards with 13 touchdowns and no turnovers.
Josh Dobbs QB Tennessee: Threw three touchdowns and ran for one while leading his Vols back from a 17-0 deficit in the second quarter. His last-second Hail Mary touchdown pass to Jauan Jennings will live on in Tennessee lore forever.
Looked woeful against a hungry and well-prepared Husky defense after not looking super impressive against UCLA last week. Must improve if he wants to stay in the Heisman conversation.
LJ Scott RB Michigan State: After turning in a subpar performance versus Wisconsin last week, Scott again looked lackluster against a middling Indiana defense. Scott doesn’t seem to be the power runner he was hyped to be. It’s time to make Gerald Holmes the feature back; he’s averaged 6.6 yards per carry and run for two touchdowns so far this season.
Picks of the Week
1 Alabama at 16 Arkansas: The Crimson Tide face their second big SEC road test, after taking down Ole Miss 48-43 in week 3. Arkansas is a different kind of beast than Ole Miss, using a steady running attack as well as quarterback Austin Allen’s accurate arm to move the ball down the field and pick up first down after first down. In the end though, Alabama’s offensive attack and ridiculous depth at wide receiver will likely be too much for Arkansas’ defense to handle, if their 45-24 loss to Texas A&M is anything to go off of.
23 Florida State at 10 Miami: For the first time since 2013 Miami is ranked in the top 10 in this matchup, but this team looks much stronger than the team that lost 41-14 in Tallahassee that year. Brad Kaaya has looked solid at quarterback for the ‘Canes, and has been steadily improving since he took the starting job as a freshman in 2014. He’ll be buoyed by the running attack of backs Mark Walton and Joseph Yearby, who have combined for 766 yards and 13 touchdowns so far this year. Florida State’s offensive attack simply can’t match this kind of firepower, and their defense has allowed almost 200 rushing yards per game and 14 touchdowns on the ground. It could get ugly for the ‘Noles in Miami, as the ‘Canes look to avenge six straight losses.
20 Oklahoma at Texas: The Sooners take on the Longhorns in their yearly battle during the Texas State Fair. Oklahoma will hope to avenge last year’s upset loss. Full preview at: Red River Preview
Phil’s “No Frills” Lock of the Week
9 Tennessee at 8 Texas A&M
The high-flying Volunteers will travel to the hostile environment of College Station to face the Aggies, who are 5-0 for the 3rd straight season. A&M will hope to avoid the late season slide they’ve entered the previous two years, however, as both of those teams finished 8-5 and failed to post a top 25 postseason ranking. The ‘Vols have looked solid, defeating top 25 teams Florida and Georgia, the latter with a stunning last-second Hail Mary. Oklahoma transfers Trevor Knight and Keith Ford and Texan Trayveon Williams have spearheaded an extremely solid offense for the Aggies, averaging 258.6 yards per game, good for 13th in the nation. Their defense has been solid as well, although they haven’t quite faced a team firing on all cylinders as much as Tennessee. Although the ‘Vols have been riding the wave of luck somewhat like Auburn in 2013, this is a run that will likely end. The Aggies will get it done on offense, and that 12th man crowd in College Station will be the edge they need to end Tennessee’s run.
Prediction: Texas A&M 31 Tennessee 27
Phil’s “No Frills” record: 1-1