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College football 2018: Rivalry week winners and losers

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Roar Guru
25th November, 2018
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Thanksgiving. Black Friday. Rivalry Weekend. Iconic matchups wherever you look. The best weekend of college football, bar none.

The potential for drama is higher than ever. Let’s take a look at who covered themselves in glory and who didn’t, with Rivalry Week’s winners and losers:

Winners
Dwayne Haskins: the Ohio State quarterback broke Drew Brees’ long-standing Big Ten record with his fortieth touchdown pass of the season against Michigan. A huge day for Haskins and his school.

College football team's marching band steals the show

Ohio State’s marching band

Washington: the Huskies did what not many other teams have been able to do in 2018, containing Gardner Minshew and the Washington State offense, claiming a somewhat-surprising 28-15 win in the Apple Cup.

Texas A and M: the Aggies won the longest game between AP-ranked opponents in history, outlasting Louisiana State 74-72 in a game that is the highest-scoring in FBS history.

Notre Dame: a 24-17 victory over Southern California for the Irish will more than likely send the Irish into the playoff, but they’ll need to play better in the post-season than they did for much of the sixty minutes against the Trojans.

Oklahoma’s defense: they’ve been maligned all season, but the Sooner defence stood up in the most urgent of circumstances, producing two touchdowns in the 59-56 shootout win over West Virginia in Morgantown.

Virginia Tech: the Hokies keep their 26-year Bowl streak alive following a 34-31 overtime win in the hundredth clash against Virginia, thanks to a 42-yard Brian Johnson field goal after the Hokies recovered a fumble in the end zone for the score that took them to the extra frame. Tech still owns the Commonwealth of Virginia.

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Wyoming: a fourth straight win has the Cowboys bowl-eligible. They ran for 378 yards at 6.9 yards a carry in the big 31-3 win over New Mexico in Albuquerque.

Vanderbilt: the ‘little brother’ has three straight wins against Tennessee after a 38-13 win in Nashville.

Minnesota: the Gophers claim Paul Bunyan’s Axe for the first time since 2003 and are bowl eligible after a huge 37-15 win over border rival Wisconsin.

Arizona State: a comeback for the ages on the road in Tucson. The Sun Devils came from the clouds, scoring twenty unanswered for a 41-40 victory after Arizona missed a long field goal that would’ve given them the lead.

Miguel Recinos: the Iowa kicker, a graduating senior, kicked a walk-off, game-winning 41-yard field goal as time expired on Black Friday to defeat Nebraska 31-28.

Utah: the Utes were twice down by 20 points and produced a furious comeback, scoring the last four touchdowns of the game (three in the final quarter) to stun Brigham Young 35-27.

Alexander Mattison: the Boise State running back ran for 200 yards and the game-sealing touchdown to ensure the Broncos host the Mountain West title game next week against Fresno State. BSU defeated Utah State 33-24.

College football

Harvard running back Paul Stanton Jr. (29), left is pursued by Yale linebacker Victor Egu (10), right, during the first half of an NCAA college football at Yale Bowl, Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 in New Haven, Conn. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

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Losers
Michigan: it looked like this was the year for the Wolverines to beat Ohio State. They went in red-hot against a Buckeye squad that leaked points and yards. I figured a close Michigan win on the road in Columbus. Alas, the Wolverines again managed to choke in grand style.

Not only did they lose, they were belted 62-39. One of the most embarrassing losses in recent memory.

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh College football

Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh (AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

Louisiana State: losing in seven overtimes and likely missing out on a place in a New Year’s Six bowl is a brutal way to end a regular season.

Central Florida: their star quarterback Mackenzie Milton went down with a gruesome injury during the game against South Florida. This changes things dramatically for an undefeated Knights squad, who are headed to the AAC title game next week, and will likely be a drastically different team without Milton at the offensive controls.

Michigan State: it took a late interception following a late scoring drive for the Spartans to beat lowly Rutgers 14-10. One of the most underwhelming and least-convincing wins we’ve seen all season.

Kansas State: up 17 points on Iowa State and managed to lose. Teams getting out to big leads and being overrun is the overriding theme of rivalry weekend.

Florida State: the longest Bowl streak in the nation is over. For the first time in thirty-six years, the Seminoles will not play in the post-season following a 41-14 loss to in-state rivals Florida. Willie Taggart’s first year in charge in Tallahassee is now officially historically disappointing.

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Pittsburgh: the Panthers are backing into the ACC title game next week with a disappointing 24-3 loss to unranked Miami.

Ole Miss: barely a whimper out of the Rebels in the 35-3 Egg Cup blow-out against Mississippi State that featured an ugly end-zone brawl in the third quarter.

Texas Tech: the Red Raiders started 5-2 then lost 5 straight to miss out on a postseason berth yet again. Off the back of that, local reports suggested that head coach Kliff Kingsbury was fired after six seasons in Lubbock where he had a 35-40 record.

Boston College: losers of three straight after sitting atop the ACC’s Atlantic Division. They were handled 42-21 by Syracuse on Saturday.

Florida Atlantic: Lane Kiffin’s squad will not be playing in December, losing what was effectively a postseason play-in to Charlotte on a game-winning 56-yard field goal. That is brutal.

Washington State: the Cougars had it all to play for, and a 28-15 home loss to Washington on Black Friday has probably ended Gardner Minshew’s Heisman campaign. It’s certainly ended the most successful season in recent memory up on the Palouse. Like Michigan has an Ohio State problem, Washington State has a Washington problem.