Skip to main content

#Nuggets: The longest, weirdest game ever; Oregon beats Chip; and everything else from the college football weekend

The most comprehensive 1-click college football recap column on the Internet.


The hardest-hitting game of the day ended the only way it could: in a pile of bodies. After forcing a three-and-out with a 24-21 score not in their favor, No. 8 Oklahoma State took over at its own 24 with three minutes to play and its undefeated record hanging in the balance. 

Three Spencer Sanders completions took the ball to midfield, and two plays later Mike Gundy found his offense facing a 3rd-and-5 at the ISU 45 with 1:25 to play. Knowing it was two-down territory, he gave the ball to workhorse running back Jaylen Warren, who chugged forward for three yards. On 4th-and-2, Sanders fired a tunnel screen to Brennan Presley, but the construction crew didn't get the tunnel installed in time. A surge of red jerseys arrive to stop Presley one yard short.

This battle of top-20 defenses saw both opposing offense held below 375 yards and more hard hits spilled on the Jack Trice Stadium grass than anywhere else this weekend.

The win was Matt Campbell's fourth over an AP top-10 team and pushed the Cyclones (5-2, 3-1 Big 12) back into the thick of the Big 12 title race.

The longest* game in college football overtime was also the most hilarious. Feast your eyes upon the following. Whether your cry out of joy or despair is up to you.

Keep in mind the objective in OTs three through nine was to gain three (3!!) yards. 

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 4.02.39 PM

In all seriousness, this is why college football should bring back the tie. I know I'm alone on this island, but hear me out. The win is the most precious commodity in sports. In this sport, we work 365 days to earn 12 or so wins, and the key word there is earn. A win should be earned, not distributed by default. If neither side proves their superiority over a 60-minute football game, a tie is the proper outcome and both teams should wear it for eternity. 

What got into Wake Forest and Army??? The over-under for Demon Deacons-Black Knights was 52.5. It hit three and a half minutes into the third quarter.

The 16th-ranked Deacons outlasted Army 70-56. That's not a typo. 

The third quarter alone saw touchdowns of 75, 83, 71 and 75 yards. Wake gained 638 yards of total offense -- on 52 snaps and in 17 minutes and 17 seconds. Their scoring plays alone covered 400 yards, including an 83-yard pick-six that broke the game open to 42-28 at the 6:04 mark of the third quarter. 

Sam Hartman went 23-of-29 for 458 yards and five touchdowns, and four Wake runners combined for 182 yards on 22 carries on the No. 3 rushing defense in the nation; all four scored touchdowns. 

Army's offense had themselves a day as well. Knights quarterbacks were 10-of-13 for 179 yards, the most in a game since Nov. 2, 2019. Their 416 rushing yards were the most since Week 2 of last season. 

I mean, who thought Army had this in them?

Wake scored its most points in a road game ever, and the most points ever against a Division I opponent. Army's 56 points were their most against a Power 5 opponent since Oct. 26, 1968. 

"On offense, wow. That was about as clean as up performance as I've ever seen. And every time we had to make a play, we made a play. 70 points, no turnovers, 638 yards. We needed every single one of them," Dave Clawson said. 

Oregon keeps the Chip off its shoulder. I'm not sure No. 10 Oregon's 34-31 win over UCLA really taught us anything about either team, but it was an entertaining watch. 

The Ducks trailed 14-0 after one, then ripped off a 34-3 run to take control of the game -- or so it seemed. Back-to-back Bruin touchdowns brought the score to 34-31, and then Mario Cristobal's team watched its Playoff life flash before its lives when, on 2nd-and-9 with three minutes to play, Anthony Brown was picked on the second consecutive Duck drive.

Oregon's defense knocked 8th-year UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson out of the game on the Bruins' would-be game-winning touchdown drive, bringing in Washington transfer Ethan Garbers. Garbers moved the ball into Duck territory in the final minute before he was picked by DJ James with 48 seconds to play. 

Here were the game's final eight drives.

Screen Shot 2021-10-23 at 10.51.14 PM

Caleb Williams continues college football's strangest Heisman campaign. Whenever Oklahoma needs to make a play, the Sooners simply just need to maneuver into the most dangerous position possible, then put the weight of the program on their true freshman quarterback's shoulders and let him figure it out. Foolproof plan, right?

First, the No. 3 team in the country fell behind Kansas 17-7 with 1:30 left in the third quarter. That happened. The Sooners scored in three plays to pull within 17-14, then took the lead on a 4-play drive keyed by Williams completions of 24 and 23 yards. Leading 21-17 now, Lincoln Riley kept his offense on the field for a 4th-and-3 at the KU 40 with 7:53 to play. Fail to convert and it was conceivable Oklahoma wouldn't get the ball back; KU opened the game with a 9-minute, 15-second drive and pieced together three 5-plus minute marches. No matter, Williams simply made a man miss and scored, echoing a play already secure in Sooner lore, when he shed a tackle in the backfield and converted a 4th-and-1 into a 66-yard touchdown against Texas, sparking a 21-point comeback.

Then, after Kansas scored to pull within 28-23 went for another 4th-and-short, this one in their own territory with 3:20 to play. KU had just gone 75 yards in five plays. Fail here and it really might be church for OU. And they did fail, until Williams did this.

Is that legal? Apparently so. Is that forward progress, as the ball-carrier is shoved four yards behind the apex of the run? Apparently not. Oklahoma is 8-0 for the first time since 2004. 


Seen and Heard

-- The official who threw this flag should not work in college football again, and the whole crew should sit next week out. Who is he taunting here? Who? 

Before each game, every officiating crew should be required to gather in their locker room, hold hands, look each other in the eyes and chant "No one bought a ticket to watch us officiate" over and over again for 15 solid minutes. 

-- First one of these I can recall since Garrett Gilbert and Marcell Dareus in the 2009 national title game. This one was as cleaner than your house before the in-laws come over and proved to be crucial in the Panthers' 27-17 win over Clemson. 

-- Admirable attitude by Big Dave after DJ got pulled.

-- Pitt QB Kenny Pickett on what the win over Clemson means: "It won't mean anything if we don't handle business in these next couple weeks."

The Super 16. This week's FWAA-NFF Super 16 poll.

1. Georgia
2. Cincinnati
3. Ohio State
4. Alabama
5. Michigan
6. Michigan State
7. Oklahoma
8. Oregon
9. Ole Miss
10. Notre Dame
11. Iowa
12. Kentucky
13. Texas A&M
14. Wake Forest
15. Iowa State
16. SMU

Odds and Ends

a. How about the Feisty Night Birds of Rice? Mike Bloomgren's team went to Birmingham and knocked off UAB, 30-24. 

b. On the subject, UTSA is 8-0 after whipping Louisiana Tech 45-16 in Ruston.

c. Two things can be true: Josh Heupel and company are doing a good job at Tennessee; they still lost to Alabama by 28 points.

d. The Arch Manning Sweepstakes continue to be hilarious. Nick Saban brought Arch in to see Alabama whip Ole Miss, and on Saturday Arch was in the house to see Uncle Eli get his No. 10 retired, with MANNING painted in each end zone, as the Rebels beat LSU, 31-17.

e. Nevada trailed Fresno State 34-23 with five minutes left, but kicked a field goal and scored a touchdown to pull within 34-32 with two seconds left. Carson Strong's game-tying 2-point pass was caught but a toenail's length out of bounds, and Fresno held on for a massive conference win.

f. Georgia vs. Ohio State is going to be a mighty fun national title game.

g. Purdue's return to the AP Top 25 for the first time since 2007 will be a short one. The No. 25 Boilermakers fell to Wisconsin, 30-13.

h. Good for Jeff Scott and South Florida to get a 34-14 win over Temple. Tuesday would've marked two full years since the Bulls' last FBS win.

i. The Coach of the Year conversation has to include Terry Bowden. Picked to finish last in the Sun Belt, Bowden's Warhawks are 4-3 on the year and 2-2 in conference after a 41-31 victory over South Alabama.

j. The meat of the schedule is still ahead, yes, but it's fun to see Michigan being good again. This was the highlight of the No. 6 Wolverines' 33-7 win over Northwestern.

k. I wrote Wednesday that I was worried for NC State fans, and Saturday night showed why. Miami 31, Wolfpack 30. A killer drop stifled the would-be game-winning drive, and just as NC State was about to get the ball back, they left the middle of the field wide open and Miami turned a 3rd-and-16 into a 21-yard conversion. 

l. No. 17 Texas A&M completely flattened South Carolina's offense for three quarters en route to a 44-14 win. At one point the yardage discrepancy was 463-15.

m. North Texas came away empty inside the Liberty 10-yard line three times in a 35-26 loss. The Mean Green also allowed a punt return touchdown in the loss that dropped them to 1-6. 

n. No. 13 Notre Dame 31, USC 16.

o. No. 22 San Diego State built a 20-0 lead and then held on to beat Air Force 20-14 to move to 7-0.

p. Louisiana's drive to ice its 28-27 win over Arkansas State on Thursday night: 20 plays, 90 yards, 10 minutes and 26 seconds. All but eight yards came on the ground, and the Cajuns pushed all the way to the Red Wolves' 2 before taking a pair of knees. They ran the ball 53 times for 424 yards on the evening.

q. Oregon State earned an important 42-34 win over Utah. The Beavers still control their destiny to reach the Rose Bowl.

r. New Mexico beat Wyoming, 14-3, as a 20-point underdog. The Cowboys went 4-0 in non-conference but are now 0-3 in the Mountain West.

s. Minnesota still leads the Big Ten West after defeating Maryland, 34-16. The 5-2 Gophers ran for 326 yards on 5.8 a carry.

t. Clemson lost and we haven't spent much time on it because... how surprising is it really when an unranked team loses on the road to a ranked opponent? The offense hasn't improved and the defense has cracked (464 yards allowed) under omnipresent pressure. The Tigers will be favored against everyone except Wake Forest moving forward (let's pause to consider that statement for a moment) but you'd have to go back to Dec. 20, 2020 to find the last time this program beat an FBS opponent by more than a touchdown. 

u. Virginia Tech dropped its third straight game, all at home, to fall to 3-4. 

v. Syracuse, a 41-36 winner over Virginia Tech, has now played five straight games decided by no more than five points.

w. This week's Mental Toughness Award goes to Houston. The Cougars sat out a 5-hour rain delay, then watched their 14-point lead collapse in the fourth quarter but came back to defeat East Carolina, 31-24 in overtime. Talk about earning a W: A game that was supposed to begin at 3 p.m. local time -- which means pre-game started around 1 p.m. -- did not finish until just a few minutes before midnight. 


The best game non of us saw? Undefeated Princeton beat undefeated Harvard in four overtimes on this catch.