We’re into the final month of a turbulent regular season, and in case you missed the action across the weekend, read on for a look at who covered themselves in gridiron glory and who didn’t with this edition of winners and losers.
Winner – Georgia Southern
The Eagles became the first team in 2019 to beat Appalachian State, narrowly beating the Mountaineers 24-21 on Thursday.
Loser – Nebraska
The Huskers got their star quarterback Adrian Martinez back but it didn’t do them any good, falling 31-27 to a Purdue team who lost last week to lowly Illinois. If current head coach Scott Frost hadn’t led Nebraska to a National Championship back in the day, you’d start hearing calls for a coaching change in Lincoln.
Winner – Georgia
The Bulldogs got it done against rivals Florida in one of the most anticipated match-ups of the season on a neutral field in Jacksonville, winning 24-17. Just like that, they’re in charge of their SEC East destiny and back in the playoff conversation.
Loser – Florida State
Nothing is going right for the Seminoles in 2019, and that trend continued Saturday in a 27-10 loss to in-state rivals, Miami-FL, in which the Seminole front played Miami-FL’s defense back into form, giving up eight sacks of barely competent quarterback Alex Hornibrook. It’ll be a long week for embattled head coach Willie Taggart.
Winner – Illinios
The Illini scored 28 unanswered in the second half to beat Rutgers 38-10. That’s three on the trot for Lovie Smith’s resurgent squad and if they win next week on the road against Michigan State, they’ll be Bowl-eligible, and it will be hard to fire Smith, who was on the hot seat in September and October. Quite the turnaround.
Loser – Southern California
The Trojans were utterly and thoroughly embarrassed at the Coliseum by a rampant Oregon team. The 56-24 loss (and, really, the game didn’t even feel that close) came after the Trojans led 10-0, and it sees them lose control of their Pac-12 South destiny, should be the final nail in Clay Helton’s coffin. If I were in charge at USC, I’d fire him immediately, Lane Kiffin style.
Winner – Memphis
The Tigers beat previously-undefeated Southern Methodist in a wild 54-48 shootout between American Athletic Conference powers.
Loser – Syracuse
The Orange were absolutely abominable in their 58-27 loss to Boston College that drops them to 0-5 in ACC play, particularly on defence, where they gave up 691 total yards to the Eagles including 242 rushing yards and three touchdowns to BC’s AJ Dillon.
Winner – Mason Fine
The North Texas quarterback threw for seven touchdowns in a 52-26 rout of UTEP, then appeared at the post-game press conference wearing an inflatable T-Rex costume.
Loser – Arkansas
The Razorbacks gave up 460 yards on 57 carries to a Mississippi State team, en route to a 54-24 home defeat, which is the 17th straight SEC game they’ve lost. I’m calling it right now, the Hogs are the worst team in the SEC.
Winner – Indiana
The Hoosiers dispatched Northwestern 34-3 at home to improve their record to 7-2. The year 2019 marks only the fourth time since 1990 IU has reached that seven-win mark. Tom Allen is doing wonderful things there, and should cap the season nicely with a win over in-state rivals Purdue after Thanksgiving.
Loser – Rutgers
With their loss to Illinois on Saturday, the Scarlet Knights become the first team since Ball State out of the MAC to lose their first six conference games of a season by more than 28 points. If there’s a more dysfunctional program in the FBS, please let me know who it is, because Rutgers is a serious dumpster fire at the moment.
Winner – Ian Book
After a disastrous outing last week against Michigan, the Notre Dame quarterback came up big when he needed to, leading a game-winning touchdown drove of 87 yards to stave off disaster at home against Virginia.
Loser – Washington
The Huskies had Utah down 14-3 in the second quarter and 21-13 late in the third, but allowed the Utes to score 20 straight points for a 33-28 victory.
Winner – Wake Forest
In a mostly uninspiring Atlantic Coast Conference, the Demon Deacons are sitting pretty at 7-1 after a 44-10 win over North Carolina State. It was their biggest home win since 1968.