Week 11 was the most COVID ravaged week of the college football schedule so far, big games fell away from the SEC, Pac-12 & the Big 10. The SEC has added an extra week in December to make up the games that were postponed, whereas in the Pac-12 the Cal Bears and UCLA arranged to play each other on Sunday.
Despite the loss of a few marquee matchups, there was still a lot of top action to go around. In Gainesville, the Gators hosted former QB Feleipe Franks at the Swamp and Boston College quarterback Phil Jurkovec welcomed his former Notre Dame teammates to Massachusetts. Last week’s late winners in the Pac-12, USC, played host to an Arizona team looking to get their season off to a good start, whilst one of Oregon or Washington State had to lose their winning records.
Plenty of winners and losers to pick from then, and if you agree or disagree let us know at @Full10YardsCFB.
- Cincinnati Bearcats
The first of a couple of teams that played on Friday night to feature in this week’s win column. Desmond Ridder and co moved to 7-0 with a thumping win over East Carolina at Nippert Stadium. It was Ridder that lit up the stat sheet on the night, passing for 327yrds and 3TDs and adding 75 more on the ground as the Bearcats’ leading rusher. The rushing touchdown Ridder scored was the ninth he’s scored in four games, proving he’s got what it takes to make it in a modern Sunday offense.
On the defensive side of the ball Cincinnati turned over Pirates QB, Holton Ahlers three times, with a pick six by Jarell White the first of three interceptions on the night. A tough test awaits the Bearcats next week as they take on UCF in Orlando.
- Florida Atlantic Owls
The battle between FAU and FIU is known as the Shula Bowl and always promises a fun matchup, the two Conference USA schools are near neighbours and usually boast field stretching offenses which are fun to watch. In another Friday night matchup, the rivalry showed up almost immediately with some extracurriculars on the opening kick off. Sadly, with the exception of a D’Vonte Price 77 yard touchdown run, that was all the fight that FIU put up. Dual threat QB Javion Posey made his first start for the Owls and made most of his plays on the ground, rushing for 140 yards and a touchdown in the process.
For any of my fellow FSU fans, the intrigue in this one is Willie Taggart, who has shown some effective play calling and got his team playing good football since taking over the reigns. With Mike Norvell struggling in his season in Tallahassee, might there be a deeper problem with the Noles?
- Marshall Thundering Herd
Back at the start of the season we spoke about Grant Wells and the Thundering Herd offense after their first game. That day, the freshman QB threw for 4 TDs, something he hadn’t done again until yesterday as Marshall blew out Middle Tennessee 42-14. In a 5 TD game, Wells showed why he’s earning a lot of praise from Doc Holliday, particularly on a 23 yard dime to Willie Johnson in the corner of the end zone.
The matchup marked the 50 year anniversary of one of the most tragic events in sports history, when a plane carrying nearly the whole Thundering Herd crashed just short of the runway at Tri-State Airport. It also marked the seventh win of an unbeaten season for Marshall, as they continue to edge their way up the rankings. With three games left it is very easy to see them going unbeaten this year, and what a fitting tribute that would be to the young men that lost their lives in 1970.
- Teams Holding a Lead
So, as a Chargers fan I have first experience of this, regularly.
There were a few notable comebacks in college football this weekend – A couple in the ACC with UNC and Miami coming back against Wake Forest and Virginia Tech respectively and out west, USC staged their second comeback in as many weeks.
In Blacksburg, D’Eriq King was playing from behind for most of the game until midway through the 4th quarter when he tossed a TD to Mark Pope. The Hokie had time to reply but Hendon Hooker threw a poor interception.
UNC and Sam Howell put up 35 unanswered points from the middle of the 3rd quarter until late in the 4th to stage a ferocious comeback – Wake scored late but couldn’t recover the onside kick.
However, the latest comeback of all was in Tucson where USC left it until the last 25 seconds of the game when Vavae Malepeai bulldozed over the line for the winning touchdown.
USC didn’t perform well but are 2-0 and are joint top of the Pac-12 South.
Some teams have all of the luck.
- Michigan Wolverines
The Wolverines are one of college football’s biggest names – they’re a blueblood programme with a storied history but at the moment, their storied history is about all they have to shout about.
Wisconsin’s start to the college football season has been about as disrupted as it could have been – ravaged with COVID, including their starting QB and not having played for two weeks.
Yet, the Badgers came out and blew Michigan away in the first half, the scoreline at the midpoint reading 28-0. The dominance continued in the second half as Wisconsin ran all over their local rivals – Wisconsin racked up 341 rushing yards, with 4 runners accumulating 65 yards or more but nobody getting more than 87.
The effort to replace Jonathan Taylor has been a team one.
Conversely, Michigan had 19 rushes for 47. Total. Not one single player, total.
The passing attack wasn’t much better – Joe Milton went 9/19 for 98 yards with two picks and then Cade McNamara came in and threw a TD on the way to 74 yards. McNamara threw 7 passes, completing 4…
UoM missed Kwity Paye but even so, he wouldn’t have been enough to salvage this one.
Jim Harbaugh is surely in this job on reputation alone now?
- Army’s “Passing” Attack, and Special Teams
College football fans know that Army isn’t known for their passing attack and maybe Saturday is evidence of why they just run the ball.
The Black Knights threw the ball 13 times on Saturday – Which has to be a record going back years?
13 attempts yielded 5 completions for a miserly 33 yards. What was the point?
Army was handed a shellacking by Tulane with the Green Wave absolutely dominant in all phases.
Even when Army tried a throwback on a kickoff return, that didn’t go to plan;
Just a terrible day at the office.