As the CFSL has reached the halfway mark of the season, we enter into a two week break to enjoy the holidays. But before we do, let’s recap a week four that was as wild as it could get.
texas VS. ohio state
The first of a couple surprising outcomes from the week’s festivities. The Buckeyes were one of two undefeated teams entering into week four, and many believed they had the Longhorns outmatched, both in talent and in game-planning. And then the players took the field, on a bitterly cold night in Columbus. The Texas defense stood up and became stifling, roaring to a quick lead courtesy of Terrence Top, who tallied two interceptions, one of which being a pick-six. Add that to quarterback Walker Mills’ impressive performance and Ohio State couldn’t keep up, struggling to reach 24 points on the night, and primarily because of tailback Frost Carlson. It would be the first upset of the week, but not the last.
Final: Texas 44, Ohio State 24
USC vs. NEBRASKA
In the second matchup of Tuesday night, a riveting Big Ten battle took place. USC quarterback Kingston Fox has been pretty dynamic both passing and rushing, but he was slowed down fairly well by the Nebraska defense. Despite that, the USC tailback Cain Robinson took the game over. Dashing for 153 yards with a pair of touchdowns. Nebraska’s passing attack worked as Kovach aired it out for 372 yards, two scores, and no interceptions, but the running game for the Cornhuskers was severely lacking. While receiver Blaze Gunner hauled in seven passes for 133 yards and had both touchdowns, halfback Dowdy Dowell had 15 carries, but couldn’t get over 30 rushing yards despite a score. A large part of those restrictions can be attributed to USC’s linebackers, Benjamin Kaye and Maine Patterson, who combined for 15 tackles, eight tackles for a loss, and three sacks. Bottom line, a major conference win for the Trojans.
Final: USC 31, Nebraska 24
AUBURN vs. NOTRE DAME
In one of the most historic matchups the Tigers and Fighting Irish faced off for the seventh time overall. It was an explosive game that saw Notre Dame’s backfield get back on track, with quarterback Leo Asiata putting up 239 yards, three touchdowns, and a pick. Halfback Vidar Lund added 111 yards on the ground with a score himself. Unfortunately for them, Auburn’s defense got the stops necessary on third downs, and the Auburn offense outperformed Notre Dame’s. Auburn receiver Bubba Davis finished with 109 receiving yards, on a night where signal-caller Griffin Jelkic put up 313 yards through the air with two score. And then tailback Robert Davis put up 116 yards and a score himself. At the end of the night, the Tigers maintained their claim for the top of the SEC.
Final: Auburn 45, Notre Dame 31
MIAMI vs. ALABAMA
This matchup was highly anticipated as being a fun showdown between a stingy Miami defense and a potent Alabama offense. Except it didn’t play out that way. The “stingy” Miami defense gave up 48 points to the Crimson Tide. Tailback Joe Pantoja went off for three scores on 157 yards and 30 carries. The freshman signal-caller Balion Siege went on his own rushing spree, scoring twice and racking up 146 yards on the ground. While Miami receiver Nick Bagg had 111 yards receiving and two scores, the only two thrown by quarterback Jose Bueno, the two interceptions didn’t help. Struggles on third down both offensively and defensively plagued the Hurricanes, and cost them early leverage in the SEC.
Final: Miami 17, Alabama 48
CLEMSON vs. FLORIDA
The second major upset of the week took place in the Swamp. Clemson was a 13.5 point favorite going in, and they couldn’t close the deal. The Florida defense set freshman quarterback Will Slay back in his campaign for Offensive Player of the Year. While he avoided feeding Gators’ corner Dakota Wolf anymore interceptions, Slay still threw two picks. The larger story, though, was the aggressive play by the other freshman signal-caller, Mathias St. John. 209 yards through the air, another 109 on the ground with just one rushing touchdown. Still, St. John’s aggressive rushing style and willingness to embrace contact in order to convert third downs was a major benefit for the Florida offense, and for their chances of making the playoffs.
Final: Clemson 17, Florida 27
MICHIGAN vs. OREGON
This game had the major fireworks this week, and they weren’t all from the same side. While the Ducks were able to pull away late, thanks to a Dexter Pluto pick-six, this game was really down to the wire for the majority of the night. It was 28-24 going into halftime, and 35-34 going into the fourth quarter, Michigan leading in both instances. Quarterback Dewey Ainge put up 382 yards with three touchdowns to two interceptions, with receiver Georgio Pipino going over 100 yards receiving for a third straight week. But the two interceptions hurt, as did the Michigan difficulty to stop Oregon halfback Jimmy Tickle in the running game, as he gashed the Wolverines for 144 yards. Quarterback Devonta Cribbs avoided any turnovers and safety Cai Brummer took a kick 86 yards for a touchdown. Oregon’s back in the upper echelon of the Big Ten.
Final: Michigan 35, Oregon 51