This week in college football featured some of the most explosive and prestigious programs facing off against top ranked teams. Two top 10 matchups took place, along with a top 5 matchup between some of the best teams in the country in Louisville and Clemson.
Games of the Week
Stanford vs Washington
The seventh-ranked Stanford Cardinal traveled to play No. 10 Washington Huskies on Friday night. The game highlighted a matchup between Stanford running back Christian McCaffrey and the powerful Huskies defense that ended with Washington (5-0) unexpectedly routing Stanford 44-6. The Washington defense amassed eight sacks and forced five punts in the game. Washington also forced two fumbles, with one coming via a punt return that gave the Huskies great field position. McCaffrey was held to a total of 79 yards. He has also yet to score a touchdown in a true road game in his career.
The Huskies are starting to look like a more talented team since they brought in coach Chris Petersen from Boise State. The new-look Husky defense drives the team to victories. Washington quarterback Jake Browning is also continuing a solid season. Browning threw for 210 yards and three touchdowns. Browning has thrown 17 touchdowns to two interceptions this year. Behind Browning and the Huskies defense, Washington could contend for the Pac-12 title and the College Football Playoff. Stanford (3-1) fell to No. 15 and plays Washington State on Saturday. Washington moved up to No. 5 and have to go to Oregon.
Wisconsin vs Michigan
For the most pro-football looking game of the week, we look at the then-No. 8 Wisconsin Badgers traveled to take on the then-No. 4 Michigan Wolverines. The game would’ve been a snoozer to most offensive-minded people, but for defensive minded people, this 14-7 Michigan win was heaven on earth. The score didn’t reflect how the game was played, though. Michigan (5-0) outplayed Wisconsin. The Wolverines forced three turnovers to Wisconsin’s (4-1) one forced turnover, and also outgained the Badgers 349-159 yards. Michigan kicker went 0-3 on field goals. The field goals weren’t the easiest kicks for college kickers but they should have been made from the 31, 43 and 40 yards. Michigan receiver Amara Darboh caught the game-winning 46-yard touchdown to seal the win for Michigan. The play of the season may have been made by defensive back Jourdan Lewis with a spectacular one-handed interception. The interception came at the 2:15 mark and Michigan sat on the rest of the game. The No. 11 Badgers continue their rough Big Ten patch and face Ohio State in Madison on Saturday. The No. 4 Wolverines play an easy road match against Rutgers.
Louisville vs Clemson
In the game of the week, and possibly the season, then-No. 3 Louisville took on then-No. 5 Clemson in Death Valley. The Tigers (5-0) halted a late Louisville rally to win 42-36. Louisville quarterback Lamar Jackson against Clemson signal caller Deshaun Watson was one of the best quarterback matchups we have seen. Jackson is leading the NCAA in touchdowns with some of the most impressive plays this year. He runs like a running back, utilizing jump cuts and speed that make him look NFL ready. However, Jackson can be seen as a one-man show at times. His defense struggled against Clemson in the first half and he also struggled against Clemson’s defense early. Eight turnovers were committed, with five by Clemson and three by Louisville (4-1). Watson threw five touchdowns but also tossed three interceptions. Clemson gave Louisville numerous chances to win the game with those turnovers, but the Clemson defense held the potent offense just enough to win, coming up with a clutch stop at the end of the game. Penalties also killed a lot of Louisville’s chances, tallying 11 penalties for 104 yards. Louisville had opportunities to win the game and probably should have, but the “we’ve been here before” mentality by Clemson boosted them to this exceptional win. The No. 7 Cardinals play Duke on Oct. 14 and No. 3 Clemson plays at Boston College on Saturday.
Players of the Week
Jamaal Williams, RB, BYU: 30 carries, 286 yards, five touchdowns
In the shootout between BYU and Toledo, Jamaal Williams carried the Cougars to a 55-53 win, the largest rushing output all year from Williams. BYU quarterback Taysom Hill had only one touchdown on a 75-yard pass, making Williams’ performance seem all that much better. The game came down to Toledo completing a 2-point conversion in what seemed like a loss for BYU, but the Cougars went down, behind a couple of rushes by Williams, and kicked a game-winning field goal as time expired.
Nick Mullens, QB, Southern Miss: 591 yards, four touchdowns
Allenzae Staggers, WR: Six catches, 292 yards, three touchdowns
This dynamic duo tore up the Rice defense Saturday, setting a school record with 707 yards of offense and winning 44-28. Mullens and Staggers accounted for a majority of the yards Southern Miss racked up.
Miami Hurricanes defense: Three forced turnovers, two touchdowns
The Hurricanes (4-0) faced Georgia Tech in an ACC clash. The Hurricanes’ defense turned the tide in a 35-21 Miami victory. The option attack that Georgia Tech specializes in can be tough for some teams, but Miami forced three turnovers and tallied two touchdowns. The difference in the game turned out to be the 14 points that the Miami defense capitalized on.