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Best of College Football: Week 9

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Winners/Losers

Winner: 9/10 Undefeated teams

Alabama, Ohio State, Clemson, Minnesota, Penn State, and Appalachian State all won by at least 21 points on Saturday, while SMU had at least an 8-point lead on Houston for most of their game on Thursday night. LSU played the most competitive game for an undefeated team this week in their 23-20 win over Auburn that featured 27 combined penalties and some solid defense on both sides.

The 9th and 10th undefeated teams heading into the week? Baylor, who was on a bye, and Oklahoma, which brings us to our next category…

Loser: Ranked Big 12 teams

For the third straight week, a top-10 team lost to unranked opposition. Oklahoma led Kansas State 17-3 at the end of the first quarter, but Parnell Motley was ejected for kicking a Wildcat player early in the second, and Kansas State preceded to take advantage of several Sooner miscues to score 24 unanswered points after the half to take a 48-23 lead. Oklahoma made it close again at 48-41, but a controversial onside kick gave the Wildcats the ball and they ran out the clock from there.

Texas didn’t do much better on the road against a purple wearing conference opponent, as Sam Ehlinger threw a career high four interceptions in a 37-27 loss to TCU. Brock Purdy didn’t look great against Oklahoma State either, throwing three picks in a 34-27 loss. Baylor must have felt lucky to be on a bye, as the Bears now control their own destiny to the conference championship game, and potentially the playoff.

Winner: Kansas, Illinois, Rutgers, and UConn

It took one of the craziest and probably most unique ways to win a football game, but when Liam Jones kicked a 32-yard field goal to give Kansas a 37-34 win over Texas Tech, it marked an almost historic occurrence.

All four teams listed above won in the same week for the first time since 2014, although three of those wins were against FCS opposition. The last time Kansas, Illinois, Rutgers and UConn all beat FBS opponents in the same week? November 17th, 2007; a year where both the Jayhawks and Illini went to BCS bowls.

Loser: Douglas Coleman III

The Texas Tech defensive back leads the nation in interceptions with seven, including one on the first play of this game, and has been a solid piece of the Red Raider defense all season long, but his lateral to no one ended up being recovered by Kansas and led to the Jayhawks game winning field goal.

Winner: Indiana

After beating Nebraska 38-31, their first win over the Huskers since 1959, the Hoosiers are now 6-2, their best start to a season since 1993. They are also bowl eligible for the first time since 2016, and have a realistic chance at a nine win season, which would mark the first time since 1967 the Hoosiers have won nine games. With games against Northwestern, Penn State, Michigan, and Purdue left, it’ll be tough but not impossible for coach Tom Allen and the Hoosiers.

Loser: Notre Dame

After Oklahoma lost earlier in the day, and with a game on the road against a ranked opponent, the Irish were in prime position to reestablish themselves as playoff contenders against Michigan. Instead, they fell flat on their face and were overwhelmed by a fantastic Michigan rushing attack in a 45-14 loss. While the loss does knock the Irish out of CFP contention, winning out and making a NY6 bowl does remain a possibility.

Winner: SMU turnover parties

Loser: Northwestern and Michigan State offenses

Remember last year when Northwestern won the Big Ten West? Well they’re 1-6 now after a 20-0 loss to Iowa in a game where they never even got in the red zone. The Wildcats are now on a five-game skid, and have only managed to score 38 total points across those games. They still haven’t had a 200-yard passer or 100-yard receiver yet either.

The Spartans haven’t done much better on their three game slide, although all of their games were against top-10 opponents, only managing 17 total points while going 0-3 in October. There was reason for hope after a 4-1 start, but this offense’s inability to get going has erased any chance of a Big 10 championship game bid.

Weaver Watch

The California Golden Bears may be on a four-game losing streak after starting 4-0 and ranked as high as 15th, but they still boast one of the better linebackers in the game in Evan Weaver. Weaver had 22 tackles in his teams 35-0 loss to Utah, his third game with 20+ tackles on the year. With four games left, the nations leading tackler is on pace to well surpass his total of 155 last year (he has 126 so far this season) and if Cal makes a bowl game, he may come close to breaking the record of 193 set by Luke Kuechly in 2011.

Top Games of Week 10

Georgia Southern at (20) Appalachian State

(22) Kansas State at Kansas

(8) Georgia at (6) Florida

Miami at Florida State

Army at Air Force

(9) Utah at Washington

(15) SMU at Memphis

Three Stars of Week 9

1) Chase Young, DE, Ohio State

6 Tackles, 5 TFL, 4 Sacks, 2 Forced Fumbles

Young put on a clinic against Heisman caliber running back Jonathan Taylor and a solid Wisconsin offensive line, tying Ohio State records for both sacks and TFLs in a single game in the Buckeyes 38-7 win. Nothing the Badgers did seemed to stop Young from living in their backfield, even after he ended consecutive possessions by forcing fumbles from QB Jack Coan. Young has the potential to become the first defender to win the Heisman Trophy since 1997, and he can improve his case in two weeks when the Buckeyes take on Maryland.

 Troy Wayrynen/USA Today Sports

2) CJ Verdell, RB, Oregon

23 Att, 257 Yds, 3 TD; 4 Rec, 56 Yds

The Ducks are still the frontrunner for a Pac 12 playoff birth, and they have Verdell and his big game to thank for their 37-35 win against Washington State. Verdell pulled off an 89-yard run for the first touchdown of the game, then scored from inside the two-yard line twice in the second half to keep Oregon in front. Oregon will hope for another explosive performance from Verdell next week against USC.

Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

3) LeVante Bellamy, RB, Western Michigan

17 Att, 178 Yds, 4 TD

One of the top-5 rushers in the nation shined in a 49-10 win over Bowling Green where his team rushed for six touchdowns. Bellamy scored on runs of 9, 18, 36, and 75 yards and set a career high with the four scores. Bellamy and the Broncos get a bye before facing Ball State on a Tuesday night.

Honorable Mentions

Mason Fine, QB, North Texas: 26/38, 394 Yds, 5 TD

Lynn Bowden Jr, QB, Kentucky: 3/7, 54 Yds; 21 Att, 204 Yds, 2 TD

Cole McDonald, QB, Hawai’i: 17/30, 237 Yds, TD, INT; 9 Att, 140 Yds, 2 TD

Kaleb Barker, QB, Troy: 34/45, 421 Yds, 2 TD

Kedon Slovis, QB, USC: 30/44, 406 Yds, 4 TD, INT

J’Mar Smith, QB, Lousiana Tech: 29/35, 338 Yds, 3 TD

Max Duggan, QB, TCU: 19/27, 273 Yds, 2 TD, INT; 13 Att, 72 Yds, TD

Kevin Mensah, RB, UConn: 19 Att, 164 Yds, 5 TD

Joshua Kelley, RB, UCLA: 34 Att, 164 Yds, 4 TD

Ahmari Davis, RB, New Mexico: 16 Att, 200 Yds, 2 TD

Bryant Koback, RB, Toledo: 32 Att, 259 Yds, 2 TD

JK Dobbins, RB, Ohio State: 20 Att, 163 Yds, 2 TD; 3 Rec, 58 Yds

Tra Barnett, RB, Georgia State: 34 Att, 242 Yds, 2 TD

Lucky Jackson, WR, Western Kentucky: 16 Rec, 168 Yds

Stephon Robinson Jr, WR, Kansas: 6 Rec, 186 Yds, 2 TD

Jyaire Shorter, WR, North Texas, 3 Rec, 111 Yds, 3 TD

Marquez Stephenson, WR, Houston: 5 Rec, 211 Yds, 2 TD

Jauan Jennings, WR, Tennessee: 7 Rec, 174 Yds, 2 TD

Image Credit: Jay Biggerstaff/USA Today Sports

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