Kansas made their first appearance in our ‘winners’ column several weeks ago, but we may soon have to insert a standalone section just for the Jayhawks after they moved to 4-0 at the weekend.
As it is we’ve gone for three new winners, with a familiar team appearing in the ‘losers’ this week.
Winners – @Ajmoore21
When the news of Cedric Tillman’s absence was announced prior to kick off, there’s no doubt some Tennessee fans gulped and hoped for the best. The veteran receiver is key to the Vols offense and so to have him unavailable was a big blow.
Those fans needn’t have worried. Hendon Hooker showed why he’s beginning to garner some real draft buzz with a dominant performance in the 38-33 rivalry win against Florida. Not only did he look after the ball, Hooker also steamrolled the Gators on the ground.
Alongside their QB, Bru McCoy and Jabari Small both stepped up and delivered key plays when the moment needed it. The offense consistently got into Gator territory but a mixture of fumbles, failures to convert on fourth down and missed field goals made the game look much closer than it really was by the close of play.
The win moved the Vols to 4-0 on the season, and they’re looking right in the mix in the SEC East.
The Cal Bears have got off to a pretty decent start to the season by their recent standards. Through the first four weeks of the year they stand at 3-1, and they enjoyed a strong win against Arizona on Saturday.
At the heart of that victory was freshman running back, Jaydn Ott. It takes a special calibre of player to put up 274 yards rushing and three TDs in just your fourth collegiate game. But the most impressive thing is that Ott has been the starter since week one, and the coaching staff had no qualms about making that decision.
The Chino native is a brute with the ball in his hands, lowering the shoulder and welcoming contact. He’s also got an impressive turn of speed and takes good downfield angles to avoid onrushing defensive backs.
With 463 yards and four scores so far this year, it’s looking like Ott will be a 1000 yard rusher in his first year of collegiate ball. If that is the case, expect the draft buzz to begin and the scrutiny that comes with that to intensify.
It’s easy to include the Buckeyes in here whenever they put up a big score, but they’re such an impressive offensive team that they do regularly warrant inclusion. This week the potency of CJ Stroud and team took down a Wisconsin defense that is known to be difficult to breakdown, and they did it pretty easily.
Stroud only completed 17 passes on the day, but five of those went for touchdowns as Emeka Egbuka, Julian Fleming and Cade Stover all got on the box score. Instead it was the ground game that really paved the way for victory in this one, with both TreyVeon Henderson and Miyan Williams surpassing 100 yards rushing.
The defense only forced one turnover in the game, a 30 yard interception by Tanner McCalister, but with an offense that is as dominant as Ohio State’s does the other side of the ball need to do anything other than play hard and limit the opposition?
Losers – @Wakefield90
Is there any other place to start?
Mario Cristobal and his ranked Miami Hurricanes side, welcoming a Middle Tennessee side to Hard Rock Stadium off the back of a tough loss in a close one with Texas A&M last week, what a great bounceback opportunity. Right..? This one is absolutely ripe for the popular Anakin and Padme meme…
Miami wouldn’t be atop of our losers’ column had the *checks notes* Blue Raiders not run out winners, and by two scores too!
Middle Tennessee racked up 507 total yards on their way to 45 points, they won the turnover battle and even won in despite being even worse than Miami on 3rd down, and the Hurricanes converted on 35% of their third down attempts.
It started off poorly for Miami as Tyler Van Dyke, last week’s Player to Watch, threw an interception on a play from his own 10 yard line. Miami were let off, only giving up a field goal on the following MTU possession.
However, later on in the first quarter a rather more unlucky interception was thrown, again deep in Miami’s own territory, but this time, Sophomore defensive lineman, Zaylin Wood returned it to the house for a big man touchdown. This gave MTU a 10-0 lead with 5 minutes played in the contest.
Despite this, I would have imagined that fans would have reasonably expected Miami to overcome the deficit against a far inferior opponent, but Middle Tennessee kept the Hurricanes at arm’s length throughout the rest of the contest to claim a famous victory.
I am usually not a big fan of putting individuals in the losers’ section but given the Oregon State quarterback threw four interceptions in a 14-17 loss to everyone’s least favourite Pac-12 team, I sort of have no choice.
Let me start by saying this; the Beavs are good, no longer the bottom dwellers of the conference, Jonathan Smith has Oregon State playing tough, hard-nosed football sans any real star power on either side of the ball.
They reduced USC’s galaxy of stars offense to something very ordinary, beatable and pedestrian looking. Travis Dye, former Oregon Duck, was the star man – not Caleb Williams or any of the billion incredibly talented wide receivers, although the winning TD throw to Jordan Addison was an absolute Dime. The Trojans were limited to 50% on third down, and Oregon State shackled them to less than 5 yard per play. They just couldn’t take advantage of the situation being so close because they kept throwing the ball to white jerseys, instead of orange ones.
It was all there for Oregon State to claim another victory over USC, in what will likely be the final visit to Corvallis for a long time, but it wasn’t to be.
Nolan was bad. This bad…
USC didn’t actually score any points off the turnovers, but had Oregon State just kept the scoreboard ticking over, there wouldn’t have been time and/or opportunities for USC to come back into the game and win it.
Oregon State were leading late in the fourth but with the door ajar, Williams and Addison linked up for the aforementioned winner. Even so, Nolan threw his fourth and final pick in the final drive with around 40 seconds remaining. The sort of situation – two timeouts and 55 yards to the opposing end zone, or 30 something for a comfy(ish) field goal – That if you pull it off you make it to the other half of this article. But no, USC marches on.
I am usually not a big fan of putting individuals in the losers’ section but given the Missouri running back fumbled a potentially game-winning touchdown, into the end zone, in a 14-17 loss, I sort of have no choice.
This one was not a good game, so I guess the losers could be anyone who watched this one too.
The teams exchanged a combined 12 straight punts in the second half. A second half that remained completely scoreless.
The score was 14-14 with each team scoring two unanswered touchdowns in a quarter; Auburn in the first quarter before Mizzou had a couple in the second, before the disasterclass began in the second half. Missouri missed a 26-yard kick that would have won them the game and saved Bridges from this column.
There’s not a tonne to say about this game, because it was so bad, so I will just leave you with the clip for those who haven’t already seen it… because if a picture says 1,000 words, how many does a short video say?