Honestly, I’m really surprised this is all I’m writing about. On Saturday, we had four ranked-ranked match ups, but most ended in the favorites way. Neverless, all of those games came down to wire, except Arizona-UCLA, where the Bruins made a heave to try to earn more playoff respect.
(For Arizona-UCLA: As always, homerism possible)
What it really came down to was Arizona’s offense. Anu Solomon, who I’ve not been impressed with this season even with Arizona’s high ranking, had a miserable game. Completing only 18 of 48 passes, he only had 175 yards passing. Solomon’s accuracy continues to be the problem, though there is no way they pull him, since the Wildcats have had a great season.
From now on, the Wildcats can’t be sloppy and have to work on accurate passes. The whole game Saturday revolved around offense. Arizona’s didn’t show up, but UCLA’s did, which is why the Bruins got the win.
Brett Hundley had 189 yards and a TD in the lower scoring game. He was also the Bruins leading rusher with 131 yards. Neither offense did great, but again, UCLA’s did enough, or more than the Wildcats to get the win. With Saturday victory, the Bruins should climb in the Playoff rankings.
I would usually use the AP Top 25, but since the Playoff rankings shape the postseason, I’m using those.
UCLA was ranked No.22 coming into the game. They’re a super talented team, but just haven’t gotten the respect from the committee. Their two losses were bad ones, which is hindering their rank. They should be no higher than No.15, and I’d be shocked if the got above No.18. Again, this win could be the start of UCLA’s rankings climb.
As for Arizona, this loss could be considered a bad one. Even though it’s only their 2nd, it might have dropped them from New Years Six conversation. They have to play better football than they did Saturday. If that happens, they’ll be fine.
The biggest upset of the day came at the Swamp, where the Florida Gators shocked Georgia. Before the game, I joked about Will Mushchamp’s job security, anticipating this game would be a lot different than expected.
The Gators looked like they were playing for their coach’s job. They knew what might happen if they didn’t win that game. They dominated Georgia. Once up 30-7, the Gators just ran the football all day. They ran so much that Treon Harris threw the ball six times, completing three of them for 27 yards.
Kevin Taylor and Matt Jones both carried the football 25 times. They both had over 195 yards and both had 2 TD’s. Jones had 192 yards while Taylor had 197. It was a incredible performance. As a team, the Gators rushed for 418 yards.
Now, you would’ve thought, if any team in this game rushed for 418 yards, it would be Georgia. Georgia was without Todd Gurley again, as the NCAA suspended him for this game and next week’s at Kentucky after their findings in his case. Nick Chubb, who has made a name for himself in Gurley’s absence, had a good game, with 156 yards and TD.
It came down to the Bulldog’s run defense not being able to stop Florida. This game would’ve been a lot more competitive had that happened. This isn’t a good loss for Georgia, and it makes them look really bad. They should have won this game, and really, even if they had Todd Gurley, it probably wouldn’t have made a difference. The defense has to improve.
East Carolina was a team that I had praised in the beginning of the year. I thought they could make a statement and find themselves in the rankings.
They did exactly that, until Saturday, when the No.23 team lost to Temple.
The game though, wasn’t decided by stats. Both teams had decent to bad stat lines. Shane Carden, Pirates QB, completed barely over 50% of his passes and threw for 217 yards. The Pirates running game though, had 211 yards as a team, but the difference came into affect when East Carolina fumbled five times, losing all of them. That was the difference. Temple took advantage of those, and turned them into to something.
Temple’s stat line was awful, however. They only threw for 70 yards and rushed for 65. The running game did score Temple’s two TD’s, so it wasn’t a no-show day.
What’s most important is that Temple pulled off a huge upset. It was their first home win over a ranked team ever. East Carolina’s mistakes proved costly, and they are sure to drop from the rankings. They have to limit mistakes, because we all know they cost you.
With Todd Gurley out another week, his Heisman chances have officially been dashed. This moves multiple players up and into the poll.
1. Dak Prescott, Mississippi State
2. Ameer Abdullah, Nebraska
3. Marcus Mariota, Oregon
4. Melvin Gordon, Wisconsin
5. Amari Cooper, Alabama