The parity in this year’s college football season is becoming ever more paramount. Alabama is by far the best team, but the drop off is unbelievable. In the past, we have been blessed with many good teams in the year. This year though, it is only Alabama. It almost seems like we just want good games to watch so we can abuse our college football season until the playoff. Unfortunately, very few of the games were exceptional, nevertheless watchable, but luckily there were some good matchups, such as The Oklahoma-Texas Tech offensive barn-burner, no defense bonanza. The Buckeyes faltered in Happy Valley and West Virginia is really good.
Games of the Week
TCU vs West Virginia
West Virginia handled the Horned Frogs with ease, winning 34-10. TCU (4-3, 2-2) traveled to Morgantown to take on the No. 10 West Virginia Mountaineers (6-0, 3-0). The Mountaineers have been this year’s surprise team, boasting an undefeated record and being one of the top countries in the country. WVU is 16th in total defense and 28th in defensive efficiency. They held Texas Tech, one of the most potent offenses in the country, to 17 points in Lubbock. The Red Raiders hung 59 points on Oklahoma this week.
WVU forced three turnovers against TCU compared to none. Other than that, the game was pretty much even. WVU’s lack of mistakes propelled them past a good offense in TCU. Mountaineer quarterback Skyler Howard threw for 231 yards and four touchdowns and running back Rushel Shell rushed for 117 yards.
These numbers are nothing staggering, but when that defense is as good as they are, the Mountaineers just need to be consistent on offense. The more surprising stat is TCU quarterback Kenny Hill, who’s a top 10 passer this season, was held to 148 passing yards.. The game didn’t feature anything that’s going to blow you away, other than these catches, but WVU’s consistency is something that is a force to be reckoned with. They held two of the best Big 12 offenses and quarterbacks to under 20 points. That’s pretty scary.
The Horned Frogs host Texas Tech on Saturday and WVU travels to Oklahoma State.
Ohio State vs Penn State
The most trap-ish of trap games we have seen this year. The No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes traveled to Happy Valley to take on the Penn State Nittany Lions. What seemed to be a walk in the park for OSU against a lackluster PSU team ended in a 24-21 loss for the Buckeyes.
Looking at statistics, this result really makes no sense. PSU had the only turnover and OSU outgained PSU 413-276. However, when the game mattered most, the Buckeyes lost it. Having struggled all night to get the ball in the end zone, OSU had to reso to field goals. One field goal attempt changed the whole game.
OSU was up 21-7 at the start of the fourth quarter when PSU coach James Franklin lit a fire under his team. OSU decided to kick with roughly 4:30 left in the fourth quarter. A seemingly routine play for OSU was the downfall. OSU kicker Tyler Durbin had made two field goals already, but this 45-yard attempt was blocked. PSU cornerback Grant Haley recovered the ball for a 60-yard touchdown to put the Nittany Lions up 24-21.
Now, OSU got the ball back with four minutes left. No big deal, right? As soon as the Buckeyes drive started to materialize, quarterback J.T. Barrett was sacked on third-and-10, resulting in a fourth-and-23 for the game. PSU tallied another sack for the game. PSU rushed the field and all that good stuff. This OSU loss adds back to the parity.
The Buckeyes can hopefully get a redemption game against Northwestern at home Saturday, and PSU travels to take on Purdue.
Oklahoma vs Texas Tech
If you wanted defense, this game wasn’t for you, but you probably wouldn’t have even turned this game on in the first place. Texas Tech (3-4, 1-3) hosted No. 16 Oklahoma (5-2, 4-0) in a battle of defenses that aren’t very good. Texas Tech couldn’t claw its way back in a 66-59 defeat.
Both teams amassed 854 yards for a total of 1,708 total yards between both teams, shattering the previous record of 1,640 set in 2001. The teams also tied the record for the most first downs in a game at 76. OU quarterback Baker Mayfield set a new school passing record with seven passing touchdowns. However, nothing compares to what Texas Tech quarterback Patrick Mahomes did. Mahomes threw for 734 yards and ran for 85 yards for a total 819 total yards, breaking the record of 751 in 2014. OU running back Joe Mixon also decided to go off with 377 yards of total offense and five touchdowns.
This game was constantly back and forth, but the ultimate downfall to Texas Tech was the inability to create turnovers. I’m tossing out the yards because they were both even. OU forced two turnovers against the best offense in the Big 12, and one of the best in the country. OU capitalized on one of the turnovers and the score ended in a seven-point differential
This game was expected to be a shootout, but not like this. OU’s defense was supposed to be better than that. The 854 yards it gave up is incredible. Tech’s offense is great, but that many yards and touchdowns for the No. 16 team in the country is a little excessive. Texas tech coach Kliff Kingsbury has also got to do something about his defense. This is Tech’s second loss this year when scoring over 50 points. That stat speaks for itself.
OU gets to work out its kinks on defense against Kansas on Saturday. Tech has to face another potent offense when it travels to TCU.
Players of the Week
Patrick Mahomes, quarterback, Texas Tech: 819 total yards, seven touchdowns
As I mentioned above, Mahomes shatters defenses and breaks records. He’s done nothing but produce this year. He leads the NCAA in passing with 3,313 yards. He also boasts a 68.3 completion percentage and a 26 to six touchdown to interception ratio. He accounted for 95 percent of Tech’s offense against OU. It’s not his fault that Tech has a losing record, but he sure is a fun player to watch.
Joe Mixon, running back, Oklahoma: 263 rushing yards, 114 receiving yards, five touchdowns
I could’ve put that whole game on here, but that isn’t going to happen. Mixon shined for the Sooners in the absence of Semaje Perine against the worst defense in the country in defensive efficiency. Not downplaying his statistics, Mixon is able to do it all from rushing to receiving. His combination of speed and power allow him to be one of the most elite backs in the country. Mixon’s season stats won’t blow you away because he shares time with Perine, but Perine could be out again against Kansas. Perine already holds the single-game rushing record against Kansas, so we shall see if Mixon can follow that up.
Joe Williams, running back, Utah: 332 yards, four touchdowns
The new high for this year in rushing belongs to Joe Williams after his breakout performance against UCLA. Williams had only 254 rushing yards prior to this game, with only one touchdown. The breakout performance doubled his season rushing total with some change left over. UCLA ranks 87th in rushing defense this year, putting them in the lower half. Williams took advantage of the lackluster defense, keeping his team’s season alive with a win. Utah is 7-1 and continues to move up the rankings behind some overwhelming confidence from Williams.