And then there were three. Only three teams remain unbeaten on the college football landscape after 12 weeks, the best player in college football is done for the season, the state of Iowa is celebrating, and a top national title contender has some real concerns.
Iowa 23 Minnesota 19-One of the last unbeaten teams came to Kinnick and the Gophers left with their first mark in the L column. Iowa came out of the tunnel ready for this game and punched Minnesota in the mouth. The Hawkeyes marched the opening drive down the field for a touchdown and after a missed Minnesota field goal leapt out to a 13-0 lead which they ran to 20-6 at the break. Minnesota’s flaws, especially on special teams were finally exposed yesterday. The Gophers won virtually every statistical category and lost the game largely in part to suspect kicking. They not only missed a field goal and an extra point but they turned the ball over on downs twice in field goal range. In the end the Hawks got their yearly signature win in Kinnick and the Gophers eliminated themselves from the national title picture.
Oklahoma 34 Baylor 31-The previously undefeated Bears let a 28-3 lead evaporate and Oklahoma overcame three Jalen Hurts turnovers to leave Waco with a win. After punting on their opening drive Baylor scored on five straight possessions to end the half, four straight touchdowns and a field goal to head to the locker room before collapsing in astonishing fashion. Baylor failed not only to score in the second half but only ran 16 plays after the break and allowed the Sooners to mount the comeback and take the lead. On a side note, will 28-3 now be a score in game bettors are just required to take moving forward much like poker players play the 10-2 because it worked for Doyle once?
Iowa State 23 Texas 21-Matt Campbell checked off the last remaining box on his Big 12 list and has now beaten every school in the conference. Two fourth quarter touchdowns from the Longhorns gave them a 23-21 lead with 5:37 remaining in Ames and after Iowa State went three and out the Cyclones looked like they would lose another close one before the defense held and got Brock Purdy and the offense the ball with 3:00 to go. Purdy connected for plays of 15 and 22 yards and the Cyclones were helped by two Longhorn penalties setting Connor Assalley up for the game winner as the clock hit zero.
Alabama 38 Mississippi State 7-Alabama had no problem handling the Bulldogs this week but the story out of Tuscaloosa is the injury to star quarterback Tua Tagovailoa. With three minutes left to play in the opening half and a 35-7 lead the Tide elected to bring Tagovailoa back onto the field. After scrambling out of the pocket to his left Tagovailoa was sacked and landed on awkwardly. He was eventually carted off the field and taken by helicopter to the hospital. The initial diagnosis is a dislocated right hip and the end of the season, and likely brilliant college career, of the Tide quarterback. Alabama will rely on Mac Jones to lead them the rest of the season but with no path to the SEC title and the loss of their starting quarterback it is highly unlikely we see the Alabama in the playoff this year.
LSU 58 Ole Miss 37-The LSU offense and the Joe Burrow heisman campaign rolled on but it may be time to start looking at the defensive side of the ball in Baton Rouge. Ole Miss, 4-7 and only 2-5 in SEC play, racked up 614 yards of offense against the Tiger d including 402 yards on the ground. Upcoming games against Arkansas and Texas A&M shouldn’t pose a threat the the Tigers but their matchup against Georgia in the SEC title game may not be the cakewalk many of us presumed if the defense continues to struggle.