Laughing as a national championship contender after losing by 46 points to No. 1 Georgia in the season opener, No. 9 Oregon is now in the thick of the College Football Playoff race after a victory 45-30 against No. 10 UCLA which portrays the Ducks as Pac-12 class.
And that could sell them short. Behind a stellar season by quarterback Bo Nix, Oregon has become one of the most complete teams in the Bowl Subdivision and a real threat to end the regular season with just one loss.
With just one loss and that loss to the defending national champions, Oregon will be in prime position to become the third Pac-12 team and the first since Washington in 2016 to reach the national semifinals.
An offseason transfer from Auburn, where early promise gave way to mediocrity amid the Tigers’ relentless instability, Nix had 22 of 28 attempts for 283 yards and five touchdowns against the Bruins and is part of a handful of quarterbacks and running backs lurking in the No. 2 tier of Heisman Trophy favorites.
His five scores on under 30 throws tied Auburn’s season total of 197 attempts.
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Nix edged out UCLA senior Dorian Thompson-Robinson, who threw for 259 yards on a season-low 6.6 yards per attempt. Nix averaged 10.1 yards per throw and added 51 rushing yards, part of the Ducks’ 261 rushing yards as a team.
MAJOR MATCHUPS:Scores and analysis of each Week 8 Top 25 match
Oregon’s defense took a similar leap under first-year coach Dan Lanning. The former Georgia defensive coordinator has delivered a major turnaround since Game 1, transforming a unit that has been torn apart by the Bulldogs into one of the best in the league since the start of Pac-12 play.
UCLA had scored at least 40 points five times in six games but was held to just 16 points in three quarters, eventually adding two meaningless scores in the fourth quarter with the Ducks ahead by 22 points.
The rejuvenated ducks are suddenly looking for the room. They top the list of winners and losers on Saturday:
There’s no big enough deficit and no good enough defense to stop TCU No. 8 and this offense from bringing it down. Down 28-10 in the first half and really shaken by the Kansas State No. 17, the Horned Frogs scored a huge touchdown late in the first half and then dominated the second half. -time to earn a key 38-28 win over one of the other favorites. in the Big 12. That’s two comebacks in as many games: TCU lost 24-7, 30-16 last weekend to Oklahoma State but won 43-40 in double overtime. Every win against a high-quality opponent makes TCU a more legitimate playoff threat. Is Sonny Dykes National Coach of the Year in his first season?
Like the 2018 meeting between those two programs that sparked Clemson’s last national championship, the Syracuse No. 14 had the No. 5 Tigers on the ropes before a real-rookie quarterback change triggered a furious 17-point fourth quarter and a 27-21 win. This time, Dabo Swinney unplugged a struggling DJ Uiagalelei and handed over the reins to five-star newcomer Cade Klubnik, who oversaw three scoring drives in the final quarter. The good news is that Clemson survived the upset Syracuse effort; the bad news is that a dormant quarterback controversy is now alive and well, threatening to devour the rest of the regular season.
DO NOT CHANGE :Clemson’s Swinney backs Uiagalelei as starter off the bench
The Tigers could very well win the SEC West in Brian Kelly’s first season. At the very least, LSU deserves a spot in the USA TODAY Sports AFCA Coaches poll after topping the last three quarters of a 45-20 win over No. 7 Mississippi. Closing strong became a theme for Kelly’s team, which won the second half in games against Florida State, Auburn and Ole Miss. Bowl eligible at 6-2 and improving every week – this is especially true for quarterback Jayden Daniels, who has been very good lately – LSU will have an open date to prepare for No. 6 Alabama on the 5th november.
A LOT OF MONEY :Brian Kelly Earns $500,000 Bowl Eligibility Bonus After LSU Win
No. 11 Oklahoma State avoided what would have been a crippling second loss in Big 12 play by overcoming a 10-point second-half deficit to beat No. 21 Texas 41-34. The Longhorns had several chances to put the Cowboys out but struggled to get things going through the air and on third down, as quarterback Quinn Ewers struggled to get going after two very good starts against Oklahoma and Iowa State. Ewers threw just 19 of 49 for 319 yards and three interceptions while OSU quarterback Spencer Sanders accounted for 434 yards on offense and two touchdowns, including the eventual game-winning 41-yard receiver. off Bryson Green with three minutes to go.
The No. 6 Crimson Tide bounced back from last week’s emotional loss to No. 4 Tennessee by keeping Mississippi State’s passing game in check for a 30-6 win. Bulldogs quarterback Will Rogers entered the weekend ranked fourth in the Bowl Subdivision with an average of 332 passing yards per game, but only passed for 231 on 3.9 yards per throw against the ‘Alabama, with 30 completions in 60 attempts. In his second game back from injury, Bryce Young had 249 yards and two touchdowns to help offset a pitiful run-game performance from Alabama, which had 29 yards on 27 carries. The two offenses entered the game averaging 940.9 yards per game but ended up combining for 583 yards.
Along with pushing the Scarlet Knights to 4-3 and one step closer to the program’s first winning season since 2014, a 24-17 win over Indiana ended one of the ugliest losing streaks. of the country: Rutgers had lost 21 straight Big Ten games at home, a stretch dating back to a 31-24 win over Maryland on Nov. 4, 2017.
At a minimum, Texas A&M paid Jimbo Fisher almost $100 million not to lose to South Carolina. All the other things were also expected – beating Alabama, winning the SEC, reaching the playoffs, winning the national championship, etc. But at the very least: Fisher’s teams were supposed to beat South Carolina. That said, the Gamecocks managed just 286 yards of offense, averaged just 4.8 yards per carry, had just one practice in over six plays, and no practice went for more than 51 yards, but still beat the Aggies 30-24. It’s just the latest humiliating loss for an A&M team expected to compete for all that now sits at 3-4, 1-3 in SEC play.
There’s one freshman coach in the ACC who is exceeding expectations with his team already on the verge of bowl eligibility — and that’s Mike Elko at Duke, not Miami’s Mario Cristobal. Here’s how his year went: Miami won two in a row to start but has since lost four of five, with two of those losses painting an incredibly bleak picture of the state of the program. After losing 45-31 to Middle Tennessee State last month, the Hurricanes turned the ball over eight times and lost 45-21 on Saturday, pushing the Blue Devils to 5-3 and close to a very impressive playoff bid for the beginnings of Elko. After opening the year ranked 17th in the coaches’ poll, Miami will need to win three games against a schedule of Virginia, Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Pittsburgh just to reach a bowl.
The Offense is so bad – so historically bad, so inane, so absolutely putrid – that it’s become almost fun to watch. (That doesn’t apply to an angry fan base that’s had enough of this nonsense.) Committed six turnovers and suffered a 54-10 loss to the Buckeyes, which is the program’s worst margin of loss. since 1999, the first season of Kirk Ferentz. Stroud threw an interception on the first play of the third quarter but rallied to throw for 286 yards and four scores.
Nine undefeated teams participated in the weekend, all in the Power Five. Three lost in the afternoon game slate: UCLA, Syracuse and No. 7 Mississippi. Leading 17-3 in the second quarter, the Rebels had a chance to put LSU in a corner but failed to capitalize on that early lead by giving up two scores in three minutes. The loss is the first of several looming for Ole Miss, which had a very friendly schedule in the first half but ends with Texas A&M, Alabama, Arkansas and rival Mississippi State.
UCF’s loss to Carolina East creates some separation at the top of the American and in the race to bowl for the New Year’s Six. One of three teams undefeated in the league before on the weekend, the Knights fell into a hole early, turned the ball over four times, and didn’t fight the Pirates much, losing 34-13. Meanwhile, No. 19 Cincinnati was able to sneak past SMU and No. 25 Tulane built a huge halftime lead and held on to beat Memphis. It’s not over for UCF, who host Cincinnati at home next weekend and travel to Tulane on Nov. 12, but losing by 21 points to another team in America’s top half doesn’t bode well. nothing good for the Knights’ chances against the league. two top teams.
Toledo and North Texas
A matchup of the last two undefeated teams in MAC play went Toledo’s way until the fourth quarter, when the Rockets allowed Buffalo to overturn a 27-10 deficit with 24 unanswered points and steal a 34- 27. In Conference USA, another clash of undefeated teams in the league featured three lead changes in the final three minutes. North Texas led 20-17 before Texas-San Antonio quarterback Frank Harris’ touchdown pass put the Roadrunners in a 24-20 lead. UNT responded with a scored drive to take a 27-24 lead with 1:38 to go, but allowed Harris and UTSA to go 75 yards and rack up the game-winning touchdown with 15 seconds left. .
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