My series previewing the top 2020-21 college football prospects concludes today with a look at the most paramount position in world sports: quarterback.
Week 13 is very much the calm before rivalry weekend storm.
Sure, there were a few rivalry games to whet our appetite, but most of the games this weekend were between good teams and teams with no chance at winning, as those good teams look ahead to big Thanksgiving weekend games. Even so, it was an interesting slate of games, as always seems to be the case in this sport.
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 the Week 13 edition of winners and losers.
Winner – Chase Young
The Ohio State defensive superstar had a day out in the big win over Penn State. He had nine tackles, three sacks, four tackles for loss and forced two fumbles. Those are insane numbers, and should see him firmly in the Heisman conversation. Alas, he is not a quarterback or running back, and is therefore basically disqualified.
Loser – Oregon
The shocker of the weekend, and horrendous news for Pac-12 fans hoping to get a team into the playoff. Inexplicably, the Ducks went into Tempe and were down big before a furious last-quarter comeback brought them within three. Eventually, it was a 38-21 loss to a 5-5 Arizona State team that not many people thought could win. Oregon will rue this game for a very long time to come.
Winner – Kedon Slovis
Despite his team’s roller-coaster season, USC’s true freshman quarterback has been incredible since taking over from injured starter JT Daniels. He set a school record on Saturday with 515 passing yards against UCLA. His four touchdowns, and 78.7 per cent completion percentage helped the Trojans keep the Victory Bell for another year.
Loser – Texas
They lost 24-10 to Baylor, scored their only touchdown with a second to play, and added further to a disappointing year that few saw coming. UT were talking up their Big XII and playoff hopes pre-season. Now, they’re barely going to make a bowl game. Tom Herman has to make some huge changes in the off-season because this is a program that has plateaued. I’m not sure he survives another season like this, not with an increasingly impatient fan base.
Winner – Minnesota
The Gophers bounced back after their surprising loss to Iowa last weekend that ended their undefeated season, beating Northwestern 38-22, their seventh Big Ten win of the season. This is the first time that a Gopher team has ever won that many conference games, and the first time they’ve won ten regular season games since 1905. And they host College Game Day next Saturday ahead of the battle with Wisconsin for Paul Bunyan’s Axe and a trip to the Big Ten title game.
Loser – Miami-FL
The Hurricanes started poorly but in recent weeks their season appeared to be gaining momentum until they lost to Florida International 30-24. It was by far and away the worst loss the Canes have had this season.
Winner – Wyoming
The Cowboys beat arch rivals Colorado State 17-7 in the 111th meeting of the Border War on a freezing-cold Friday night in Laramie. Wyoming holds onto the Bronze Boot trophy and its outgoing seniors finish 4-0 against their biggest rivals.
Loser – Maryland
The Terps were blown out 54-7 by Nebraska in College Park on Saturday, giving up 305 rushing yards to the Huskers. The stagnant offence could only manage 211 of its own. Mike Locksley’s team is giving Rutgers a serious run for its money as worst team in the Big Ten.
Winner – Jonathan Taylor
The star Wisconsin back had his 12th 200-yard rushing game (this week, 222 yards and a touchdown) to help the Badgers defeat Purdue 45-24. You can hope to contain this guy, but stopping him seems nigh on impossible, unless you’re Ohio State.
Loser – defences in the USC versus UCLA game
Combined, the Trojan and Bruin offences scored 87 points and amassed 1183 yards of offensive production. The defence wasn’t just bad, it was non-existent. Both defensive coordinators are going to have a rough time of it in film study this week.
Winner – California
The Golden Bears beat Stanford for the first time since 2009 to become Bowl eligible.
Loser – Alabama
The Tide appear here because they decided to schedule the Western Carolina Catamounts from the Southern Conference at FCS level the week before the Iron Bowl. I’m not at all a fan of top-tier programs scheduling FCS teams late in the year. Actually, I’m not a fan of it at all, but certainly not this deep in the season. For the record, Alabama won 66-3.
Winner – Jackson McChesney
Brigham Young’s freshman running back had 228 yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries in the 56-24 win over UMass. That’s an astonishing 15.2 yards per carry.
Loser – Utah State
Down 42-0 at half time against Boise State and it didn’t get much better from there, losing 56-21, the last score coming inside the final two minutes.
Winner – Bud Foster
The legendary Virginia Tech defensive coordinator went out a winner in his final home game. The Hokies, 28-0 victors today against Pittsburgh, have quietly won six of their last seven and if they beat Virginia next week, they’ll head to the ACC title game. Incredible turnaround.
Loser – Colorado State
The Rams lost 17-17 to Wyoming in the Border War on Friday night and will miss out on the post-season for the second straight year. More alarmingly, they went 0-3 in rivalry games (Wyoming, Air Force and Colorado) for the fourth straight year.
Winner – Ohio
The Bobcats had a big win in the Battle of I-75 against Bowling Green. They actually had 15 less plays than the Falcons, but went at 10.0 yards per play to roll up 609 total yards of offence, capitalising on five turnovers to run out winners 66-24.
Loser – Rutgers
The Scarlet Knights were blanked 27-0 by Michigan State’s near-historically bad offence. Not much more needs to be said than that. I can’t foresee a circumstance where Rutgers ever becomes relevant again.
Winner – Yale
The Bulldogs survived overtime (and a climate change protest that delayed the game in the second half as fans from both schools stormed the field) to record a 50-43 win over arch rivals the Harvard Crimson in the 136th iteration of The Game.
Loser – Illinois
The Illini won four straight on the back of forcing turnovers at will. On Saturday, they were on the other end of things, coughing it up three times in a 19-10 loss in Iowa City.
Winner – Zach Hintze
The Wisconsin kicker nailed a 62-yard field goal in the win over Purdue. That is a long, long kick.