This week saw the Hokies rebound from their loss to Old Dominion, Florida State catch a break late to squeak out a win against Louisville, and Purdue keep Scott Frost winless at Nebraska. But that is just the beginning.
Three Games That Mattered
South Carolina 10 - Kentucky 24
Kentucky has now beaten Florida, Mississippi State, and now South Carolina. They find themselves 5-0. There’s been a lot of well deserved press for Benny Snell but two other Wildcats found the end zone as well. The Kentucky defense held Carolina to 10 points and the Wildcats held onto the ball for 9:30 more than the Gamecocks. That’s a team effort. This team look like much more than a one man show. With the remaining schedule, very little imagination is needed to see Kentucky picking up 10 or 11 wins. There could be a New Year’s Day bowl in this scenario, if not something even more impressive.
7 Stanford 17 - 8 Notre Dame 38
The Fighting Irish (5-0) remained undefeated as QB Ian Book went 24/33 for 278 yds and 4 TDs. Stanford RB Bryce Love had 17 carries for 73 yds and 1 TD but suffered an apparent ankle injury and missed the last 11 minutes of the game. The strong night by the Irish gives them their second win against a ranked opponent this season. The Irish are sure to move up in the polls and will be in the playoff conversation if they continue to win with an impressive schedule.
5 Ohio State 27 - 8 Penn State 26
The Buckeyes overcame a 12 point 4th quarter deficit to snatch another victory from Penn State. The largest crowd in Beaver Stadium history watched as Ohio State scored twice in the last eight minutes Buckeyes QB Trace McSorley passed for 286 yds and rushed for another 175. Ohio State makes another step in the direction of the playoff while Penn State will now need outside help to get back in the picture.
Alabama totally dominated Texas A&M from the first play and rolled to a consensus #1 in this week’s poll. Georgia hangs on at #2 but must play better in the future. LSU jumped two spots while Ohio State and Oklahoma each drop one. Penn State makes an appearance this week in a tie for #8 with Notre Dame. Both Virginia Tech and West Virginia drop out of the poll this week. The Hokies certainly earned their ejection. But look for the Mounties to be back soon.
Rank Team Points Last Week
1. Alabama 50 (5) 1
2. Georgia 40 2
3. Clemson 38 3
4. LSU 34 6
5. Ohio State 26 4
6. Oklahoma 24 5
7. Stanford 19 7
Notre Dame 12 8
Penn State 12 UR
10. Auburn 6 9
Also receiving votes: Washington 2, West Virginia 2, Central Florida 1
Both Upset Alerts from this week’s C&C proved to be true with Purdue looking strong against Boston College and Kentucky blowing out Mississippi State.
A brief look at 3 games that mattered:
Kentucky - 28 Mississippi State - 7
When Kentucky knocked off Florida it was a shocker but it could have also been discussed as a fluke. It makes good motivation for a team but it could just be a flash in the pan. But once another ranked opponent falls to the Wildcats, it looks a little more serious. Winning by 3 TDs makes it a statement. UK is now 4-0, 2-0 in SEC play and now have divisional advantage over Vandy, Florida, Tennessee, and South Carolina, who they face next week. The Bulldogs lose their SEC opener and now have Florida and the SEC West ahead.
Virginia Tech 35 Old Dominion 49
Old Dominion junior QB Blake Larussa received 0 D-1 scholarship offers coming out of high school. On Saturday he threw 4 TD passes and rushed for another TD, piling up 501 total yards against a Bud Foster defense. This is why you don’t trust recruiting stars. It’s also why they actually play games instead of trusting what’s on paper. This game will likely cost the Hokies their place in the ABG Poll and, more importantly, kill any playoff hopes they had.
Stanford 38 Oregon 31 OT
After further review, the score went from 31-7 to 24-14 in a handful of plays. Instead of putting away an opponent they’d dominated all night, Oregon found themselves losing momentum with Stanford knocking on the door. After the replay overturn and the scoop and score, Stanford took charge of the game. Stanford scored 24 in the 2nd half and then 7 in OT and that was the difference in the ballgame. In the span of 3 or 4 plays, not only the game’s momentum but also a serious advantage in the PAC 12 North and a spot in the Top 10 changed hands. This was likely a season changing game for both teams.
We are excited to be presenting the ABG Poll again this season. This year we have an expanded polling committee offering us a broader perspective. Each member has experience either working on a staff, writing, or both. So we are presenting a coaches AND writers poll. Two for the price of one.
Our poll features a Top 10 and will also note additional teams having also received votes. The Top 10 is compiled from the aggregate score of each team receiving votes. The poll allocates 5 first place votes to committee members. In this week's poll, a first place vote served as the tie breaker between Georgia and Clemson.
The ABG Poll
1. Alabama 59(4)
2. Georgia 43(1)
3. Clemson 43
4. Ohio State 32
5. Oklahoma 29
6. LSU 24
7. Stanford 13
8. Notre Dame 12
9. Auburn 10
Penn State 7
Virginia Tech 7
Also Receiving votes: West Virginia 3, Oklahoma State 2, Mississippi State 1, Washington 1
Week 3 saw some more action involving serious match ups. Some teams are still working through their cupcake schedule. Some of them, like Arkansas and Nebraska, aren't doing very well with it. If you're going to lose anyway, just play a top notch team.
Some teams tried that advice this weekend. Here are 3 games that mattered:
LSU 22 Auburn 21
This was predicted to be a good one and it did not disappoint. No one is surprised that it came down to a last second field goal. With wins over Miami and now at Auburn, it is time for the football world to start taking Ed Orgeron seriously, whether you want to or not.He has put a winner on the field and LSU is now a serious contender for the SEC West title. The road won't be easy with upcoming games against Georgia, Mississippi State, Alabama, and A&M. This schedule keeps Auburn in the hunt, even with the loss.
Ohio State 40 TCU 28
The Frogs took control of the game tempo early on The incredible pace they set on offense threatened to wear down the Buckeye defense. But that defense is what kept Ohio State in the game. While the offense spit and sputtered under the relentless TCU pass rush, the Buckeye defense made the Frogs make offensive errors and then punished them severely for them. Three TCU turnovers were the difference in the game. Ohio State made no turnovers. That and controlling the game tempo in the second half earned them the W in their last game with head coach Urban Meyer on suspension.
Washington 21 Utah 7
The Huskies needed this win after that loss to Auburn. With a convalescent game in between, this was Washington's first real game since that loss. Regardless of rankings, Utah is a quality opponent. Washington went on the road and gave an excellent defensive effort. Washington was a locked door in the red zone all night. Even when Utah DL Pita Tonga intercepted an errant pass and runbled it down inside the 10 before fumbling it out of bounds, The Huskies defense came on the field and refused to give up any points, forcing a turnover on downs. Even with the loss to Auburn, don't count the Huskies out just yet. They are still very much in the running for the PAC-12 title. That could mean a playoff appearance.
Clemson @ Texas A&M
The Aggies list a controversial fumble through the end zone but that was a call they couldn’t change. What they could change was getting beat deep several times early in the game. A few adjustments and an increase in intensity turned the game around and showed the nation that the Aggies can hang with anyone. Clemson survives a scare late.
Kentucky @ Florida
Kentucky had not beaten Florida since 1986. They hadn’t won in Gainesville since 1979. That all changed Saturday night as the Cats held on late to pick up a win in The Swamp. Kentucky used a strong ground game, rushing for 303 yards. They also converted 9 of 13 Times on 3rd down. They carried a 2 score lead into the 4th and, unlike theiblast several tries, hung on late for the win.
Michigan State @ Arizona State
Herm has his doubters when he made the move back to coaching and Arizona State. They weren’t all silenced by his big opening win. And they likely aren’t all silenced even now. But that was no UTSA they knocked off last night. The Sun Devils has a strong 4th quarter and outlasted Michigan State 16-13. This win sends Herm to 2-0 and casts some shade on the Big Ten East hype from the preseason. The division has now seen Michigan fall to Notre Dame, Michigan State fall to Arizona State, and Penn State squeak out an overtime win over Appalachian State. The Coach picked this as his game of the week and it didn’t disappoint. Sparky will rebound and keep your eye on Herm’s Sun Devils.