College Football Roundup: Week 8 Highlights and What to Watch

October 27, 2015

After a crazy last weekend in college football that saw a once-in-a-lifetime stunner in Michigan, we had another in Georgia. If you missed out, here’s what else happened:

Kick Six Again

Kick 6: The Sequel

A blocked field goal will haunt Florida State fans for years to come as Georgia Tech pulled off an unreal upset against No. 9 Florida State, making it back-to-back weekends where a special teams malfunction has lead to instant classic finish. With the game tied with seconds to go in regulation, Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo’s 56-yard field goal attempt was blocked. The ball made it a few yards past the line of scrimmage before Lance Austin picked it up and returned it for 78 yards to claim victory, as Austin was instantly mobbed by his teammates in the endzone. Florida State suffered their first loss sending them to 6-1, which will most likely knock them out of playoff contention.

4 OT Thriller

Four Overtime Thriller in Fayetteville

Sometimes it takes more than four quarters to finish a game, but this weekend, it took Arkansas an additional four overtimes to secure a 54-46 victory over conference rival Auburn. With the scored knotted at 24-24 at the end of the 4th quarter, both teams traded touchdowns in the first three overtimes and converted their 2-point conversions in the third overtime. Calling this game ‘exciting’ might be the understatement of the season. The game got even more interesting when Arkansas quarterback Brandon Allen threw a 25-yard touchdown pass to Drew Morgan on the opening play of the fourth overtime. With their backs against the wall, Auburn had their chances but failed to convert as Arkansas narrowly escaped with a win. Though neither team is ranked, this still goes down as one of the most entertaining games of the weekend.

The USC Trojan Horse

The Last of the Undefeated PAC-12 Falls
After the Steve Sarkisian debacle and a couple disappointing losses, interim head coach Clay Helton made his coaching debut one he’ll never forget, with the USC Trojans knocking off No. 3 Utah 42-24. Freshman linebacker Cameron Smith intercepted Utah QB Travis Wilson three times, including a game changing pick 6 with 1:07 left in the first half to snatch up all momentum. USC QB Cody Kessler had himself a day as well, as he passed for 264 yards with a rushing touchdown. Kessler also threw the game sealing 4th quarter touchdown to JuJu Smith-Schuster, who hauled in 143 total yards on eight catches. In giving the No. 3 ranked Utes their first loss of the season, look for USC to make some noise as bowl season quickly approaches.

Have A Day, Josh Rosen

Rosen leads UCLA to Big Upset vs. Cal
True freshman star QB Josh Rosen completed a school-record 34 passes to lead the unranked UCLA Bruins to a 40-24 victory over instate rival No. 20 Cal on Thursday night. After back-to-back losses to Arizona State and Stanford, the Bruins fell out of the Top 25 before a 573-yard offensive performance brought them back to the national spotlight. UCLA got a big game from their receivers, as freshman Thomas Duarte had a career high of 10 catches for 141 yards, and Devin Fuller hauled in 2 touchdowns. After a big win against a conference rival on primetime television, the Bruins are hoping to make a strong run in the second half of the season.

Crimson Escape

Bama Stays Alive
Playoff hopes stay alive for the Alabama Crimson Tide, thanks to a late touchdown by Derrick Henry that gave Bama the 19-14 win over the Tennessee Volunteers. After a failed two-point conversion, the Vols had a chance to take the lead until junior linebacker Ryan Anderson dominated with two straight sacks that included the game winning forced fumble to seal the victory. The Vols had their chances, but three missed field goals proved very costly, as the 5-point loss stings even more.

A&M Struggles

Ole Miss Dominates A&M
After a tough loss to Memphis, Ole Miss won a crucial game against SEC West rival Texas A&M to stay relevant in the conference race. Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly threw for 241 yards and 2 touchdowns, while their defense held a high powered Texas A&M offense to just 192 total yards and no touchdowns. A&M looked lost on the field, as Sophomore Kyle Allen struggled to complete 12 of 34 passes (including going 0-13 in the 3
rd quarter) for just 88 yards. He inevitably was replaced early in the 4th quarter by the backup quarterback. After taking consecutive losses, A&M’s playoff hopes continue to dwindle as Ole Miss storms back onto the scene.

Next Week’s Watch

Next week’s premier game will be a showdown between undefeated No. 21 Temple and No. 9 Notre Dame, who was just a few yards shy of a perfect record so far. Iowa and Memphis will look to continue perfect seasons as they dance closer and closer to breaking deeper into the Nation’s elite Top 10 rankings. Ole Miss and Alabama shouldn’t disappoint, and Auburn looks to bounce back from a multi-overtime thriller as they host SEC rival Ole Miss at home. Our pick for the surprise game of the week is the PAC-12 surprise Washington State Cougars, as they look to upset conference leader Stanford. The Cardinals have been unstoppable lately in their march through the conference, but look for something a little extra out of the Cougs this week.

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