Week seven was one of the more exciting weeks of the season, and that’s in part because of all the playoff scenarios and stakes that were on the line heading into the week, so let’s get caught up on it.
AUBURN vs. CLEMSON
Not quite the game that Auburn was hoping for. In a game they had to have to be able to hold onto their number one seed and keep things under their control, Clemson came to play. And boy did they, forcing Auburn’s quarterback Griffin Jelkic into throwing three interceptions. In a three point game, turning the ball over that much will do you in. Compound that with halfback Robert Davis being stuck in neutral for most of the game while Clemson’s tandem of Will Slay at quarterback and tailback Mike Chadwick doing just enough to put themselves over the visiting Tigers.
Final: Auburn 21, Clemson 24
OREGON vs. USC
Listen, USC stood up against a talented Oregon team. Either that or Oregon’s inconsistencies reared their ugly head in a crucial conference game. Spin it however you want, but quarterback Devonta Cribbs turned it over three times, twice through the air and once on the ground. Add that to the fact that USC’s offense was practically unstoppable, and it’s tough to say where things really went wrong, other than all of it for Oregon. Kudos to USC for not dropping what could have been considered a trap game. While quarterback Kingston Fox tossed three touchdowns with no turnovers, the story was wide receiver Mason Winters and tailback Cain Robinson who put this game on ice late. Winters is the one who provided the ice for Robinson to put this game on, because Winters was the deep threat that broke Oregon’s defensive will consistently.
Final: Oregon 20, USC 41
TEXAS vs. MIAMI
The Longhorns and Hurricanes both entered into this game knowing it was a must-win. While both teams found success on third downs, Texas found the ultimate success behind the arm of the veteran signal-caller with Walker Mills, who put up four passing touchdowns and no turnovers. He then racked up another 162 on the ground and ran a touchdown in. Plus the return to form for safety Jimbo Smithers got him the all-time tackles record, on a night when Miami quarterback Jose Bueno struggled. He threw a pick and couldn’t score through the air. The defense just couldn’t quite do enough to keep Miami close enough for a shot at the upset, despite linebacker Justin Thyme tallying 11 tackles.
Final: Texas 38, Miami 20
notre dame VS. michigan
This week’s elimination game for the Big Ten featured the Fighting Irish and the Wolverines. To be fair, Notre Dame and company put up a strong fight, with consistent play from quarterback Leo Asiata, and a force on the ground with tailback Vidar Lund, who ran for another 160 and a pair of scores. The problem for Notre Dame though is that their defense couldn’t do enough to stop Michigan quarterback Dewey Ainge, who once again has his team fighting for a playoff spot late in the season, which seems to be the case for him every season he’s played in the league.
Final: Notre Dame 27, Michigan 31
NEBRASKA vs. OHIO STATE
Nebraska came into Columbus with one goal in mind, and they nearly succeeded. They wanted to pull an upset, and they came as close as they could. Nebraska quarterback James Kovach aired it out well, passing for another 300+ yards, with a score and a pick. He played well, and linebacker Mika Räikkönen did all he could to slow Ohio State’s tailback, Frost Carlson, even racking up 12 tackles in the process. Problem is, Carlson galloped to the tune of 167 yards and four rushing touchdowns. Four! That’s obscene, and the fact that the Cornhuskers couldn’t stop that is all it took to put this game to bed for Ohio State to cement themselves as the number one seed in the Big Ten.
Final: Nebraska 31, Ohio State 38
ALABAMA vs. FLORIDA
This honestly may have been the most exciting game of the week, and nobody expected that to be the case. The Crimson Tide had to fight to keep themselves in playoff contention, because a loss could have knocked them out and elevated Florida to have a shot at making it to the big dance. Instead, the kicker Pinto Ha made the game-winner, which was only made possible by a 20 tackle performance from safety Lamar Fant, and a dominant performance on the ground by tailback Joe Pantoja, who racked up 132 and three scores on the ground. Still, it was close due to halfback Avery Jordan putting Florida on his back for a large part of the game, going so far as to total 216 yards on 36 carries, it just wasn’t enough. Now, Alabama is in the mix for the SEC crown and then number one seed.
Final/OT: Alabama 33, Florida 30