VAVEL USA College Football Top 25 Weekly Recap

VAVEL USA College Football Top 25 Weekly Recap

It was a big week for the Top 25, as some teams proved that they belong in the conversation for the College Football Playoff, while some teams suffered stunning losses that may eliminate any shot of making the playoff.

Stevie Larson

#1 Clemson 33, Wake Forest 13

Deshaun Watson threw for 343 yards and the Clemson Tigers cruised past the Demon Deacons, 33-13. Germone Hopper caught three passes for 120 yards for Clemson, who opened up a 30-7 halftime lead.

#2 Alabama 52, Charleston Southern 6

Jake Coker threw for 155 yards as the Crimson Tide outgained the Buccaneers 403-134 in a dominant showing. Alabama, who received 69 and 68 rushing yards apiece from Bo Scarborough and Derrick Henry, respectively, scored four first-quarter touchdowns, and added three more in the second quarter to open up a whopping 49-0 halftime lead.

#9 Michigan State 17, #3 Ohio State 14

Michael Geiger kicked a 40-yard field goal as time expired for the Spartans, who snapped Ohio State's 23-game win streak, by topping the Buckeyes 17-14. Michigan State held Ohio State to five first downs in the game. Ezekiel Elliott’s streak of 15-straight 100-yard rushing performances ended as he was stuffed by Michigan State, gaining only 32 yards.

Boston College 16, #4 Notre Dame 19

The first football game at Fenway Park this century was a classic, as the Fighting Irish won their “home game” that was closer to Boston College than it was to Notre Dame. The Irish were led by DeShone Kizer, who went 20-38 for 350 passing yards. C.J. Prosise led the Irish on the ground with 57 rushing yards to overcome four Irish fumbles, two of which were recovered by the Eagles.

#5 Iowa 40, Purdue 20

C.J. Beathard threw for 213 yards and 3 touchdowns as the Iowa Hawkeyes continued their improbable undefeated season, improving to 11-0 with a 40-20 win over the Purdue Boilmakers. Iowa clinched a berth in their first Big 10 title game, a year after going 4-4 in Big 10 play. Iowa received 95 rushing yards and one touchdown from Jordan Canzeri while Purdue was led by Austin Appleby, who threw for 259 yards.

#10 Baylor 45, #6 Oklahoma State 35

The Baylor Bears upset conference rival Oklahoma State behind 258 passing yards from quarterback Jarrett Stidham and 83 rushing yards from Shock Linwood. The Cowboys, meanwhile, were led by 430 passing yards from Mason Rudolph, who also threw three touchdowns. Those were not enough; however, as the Cowboys lost a key late season conference game.

#8 Florida 20, Florida Atlantic 14 OT

Treon Harris lofted a 13-yard touchdown pass to Jake McGee in the first overtime as the Florida Gators finally put away the pesky Owls, 20-14. Looking to boost their resume as a potential 1-loss college football playoff team, the Gators were held scoreless by the 2-win Owls in the first half. The game was tied 14-14 at the end of regulation before Florida finally put away upstart Florida Atlantic.  

California 22, #11 Stanford 33

The Cardinal won a game that looked to be an easy win until the Bears scored a touchdown with 1:44 left in the fourth quarter. The attempt at a two point conversion failed, and Stanford held on to win the rivalry game.

#12 Michigan 28, Penn State 16

Jake Rudock threw for 256 yards and two touchdowns as the Michigan Wolverines scored a touchdown in every quarter on their way to a 28-16 victory over the Nittany Lions. Jehu Chesson, Amara Darboh, and Jake Butt all had over 65 receiving yards for the Wolverines.

UCLA 17, #13 Utah 9

Josh Rosen threw for 220 yards, Paul Perkins ran for 98 yards, and the Bruins handed the Utes their third loss to an unranked opponent this season, topping Utah 17-9. Jordan Payton caught seven passes for 121 yards for UCLA. Joe Williams ran for 121 yards for Utah but a late fumble by quarterback Travis Wilson cinched the win for the Bruins.

#14 Florida State 52, Chattanooga 13

Sean Maguire tossed a pair of touchdown passes, Dalvin Cook ran for 105 yards and two more scores as the Seminoles handled the Mocs 52-13. Jacques Patrick ran for 77 yards and two touchdowns to complement Cook’s running for Florida State, who opened up a 24-6 halftime lead, and blew the game open with three third-quarter touchdowns.

#22 Ole Miss 38, #15 LSU 17

Chad Kelly threw for 280 yards and ran for 81 more as the Rebels rode a 21-point second quarter to upset the Tigers 38-17. Kelly threw for two touchdowns and ran for two more. Brandon Harris threw for 324 yards but LSU could not overcome a 24-7 halftime deficit.

#16 Navy 44, Tulsa 21

The Midshipmen had no problem in defeating Tulsa thanks to quarterback Keenan Reynolds, who despite going just 2-3 for 55 yards and a touchdown, also led the team in rushing with 81 yards and a touchdown. As a team, Navy combined for 12 players rushing the ball for a total of 457 yards and five touchdowns.

#17 North Carolina 30, Virginia Tech 27  OT

Marquise Williams threw a 5-yard touchdown pass on 3rd and Goal in the first overtime as the Tar Heels survived an upset attempt by the Hokies, taking down Virginia Tech 30-27 in overtime. Williams threw for 205 yards and rushed for 74 more while Elijah Hood ran for 115 yards. The Hokies trailed 24-10 with 4:54 remaining but quarterback Michael Brewer (273 yards) led them on an 8-play scoring drive in 90 seconds to cut the deficit to 24-17. North Carolina fumbled on their next possession and Virginia Tech quickly drove for the tying score. Brewer tossed a 2-yard touchdown pass on 4th and Goal with 1:07 remaining.

Connecticut 20, #19 Houston 17

Arkeel Newsome ran for 114 yards, and Connecticut used a few trick plays to take down previously unbeaten Houston 20-17. Backup quarterbacks Bryant Shirreffs and Garrett Anderson each tossed touchdown passes for the Huskies, who held a 13-3 lead entering the fourth quarter. Houston wasted two chances late in the game, turning the ball over on downs and then being intercepted to cinch the stunning upset.

#20 Northwestern 13, #25 Wisconsin 7

Justin Jackson ran for 139 yards and Jack Mitchell booted two field goals to propel the Wildcats past the Badgers 13-7. Joel Stave passed for 229 yards but it wasn’t enough for the Badgers to overcome a 10-0 halftime deficit. Northwestern made a huge defensive stand when Wisconsin had a 1st & Goal at the 1-yard line with 1:47 remaining. After an incomplete pass, Stave was sacked for a loss of ten yards. Two incomplete passes later, Northwestern clinched the win.

Temple 31, #21 Memphis 12

P.J. Walker threw for 261 yards and two touchdowns and Temple handed the Tigers their third straight loss, 31-12. Temple led 14-12 at halftime and pulled away with 17 fourth-quarter points. 

#23 Oregon 48, #24 USC 28

Vernon Adams Jr. threw for 407 yards while Royce Freeman ran for 147 yards, and the Oregon Ducks toppled the Trojans 48-28. The Ducks opened up a 31-14 halftime lead and then scored ten unanswered points in the fourth quarter to put the contest away. Cody Kessler threw for 238 yards and Justin Davis ran for 141 yards.

Aidan Thomas contributed to this article.