Oklahoma blows out Texas by 7. Going back to 2013, it was a given that Oklahoma would arrive at Fair Park in Dallas with the better players, but Texas would bring the superior spirit, the superior fight, the superior physicality and often times the superior game plan. And, despite OU being a heavy favorite each time, that was enough to win three of the seven games between 2013-18.
So, what happens when Texas's advantages become Oklahoma's advantages?
We saw on Saturday. Oklahoma still has the superior roster, and on Saturday it brought the superior physicality and the superior game plan, and the end result was 34-27 Sooners win that felt like a 54-27 Sooners win.
Texas had its moments on Saturday -- the 'Horns fought back from a 10-0 deficit to tie it in the third quarter, and at one point they held OU to three points over five possessions -- but Oklahoma was the better team from the first snap to the last.
Consider: Oklahoma ran for 276 yards on 38 carries. They sacked Sam Ehlinger a UT opponent record nine times. Jalen Hurts rushed for 131 yards on 17 carries -- the most yards ever for an OU quarterback against Texas, a school that ran the Wishbone for years. And when Texas pulled close in the second half -- 10-10, 20-17, 27-20 -- Oklahoma responded like this:
- 3 plays, 75 yards, touchdown
- 6 plays, 75 yards, touchdown
- 5 plays, 75 yards, touchdown
So, if Oklahoma is going to play harder and smarter with better players, where does that leave Texas?
I'll tell you: Even through two and a half largely successful years of the Tom Herman era, UT is in the same place it's been throughout the past two decades -- looking up at OU, wondering what it's going to take to catch them.
LSU's offense is downright frightening. No. 7 Florida went to Baton Rouge on Saturday night and brought with them a defense that ranked 15th nationally in yards per play and sixth in scoring (9.5 points per game). LSU shredded them just like they shredded everyone else.
Joe Burrow and company rolled up 42 points and 511 yards of total offense -- on 48 snaps.
Dan Mullen called an excellent game, a master class in play-calling. He went 9-of-17 on third down, racking up 84 snaps and 38 minutes of possession, putting together drives of 12, 13, 11, 12 and 15 plays. In fact, Florida answered each of LSU's three first-half touchdown drives with 75-yard marches that totaled 36 combined snaps.
But it didn't matter, because LSU gained a first down each time they snapped the ball. Burrow went 21-of-24 for 293 yards and three touchdowns, and Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushed 13 times for 134 yards and two scores. After Florida took a 28-21 third quarter lead, LSU's defense pitched a shutout, allowing the Tigers to score the game's final 21 points in a 42-28 win.
Two games now stand between LSU and their trip to Tuscaloosa for the Deep South Super Bowl.
Will Muschamp and South Carolina deliver the first upset of the season. Through this season's first six weeks, exactly one (1) non-Top 10 team had knocked off a Top 10 opponent -- USC over No. 10 Utah on Sept. 20. Not exactly a season-shaking stunner.
We got one on Saturday, when South Carolina, a 24.5-point underdog, went to No. 3 Georgia and won, 20-17 in double overtime.
Here's a Nugget for you: in 35 career starts, Jake Fromm has thrown 30 or more passes in five games. Here are those five games, with their result in parenthesis:
- 32, vs. Alabama, 2017 (loss, 26-23)
- 34, at LSU, 2018 (loss, 36-16)
- 39, vs. Alabama, 2018 (loss, 35-28)
- 34, vs. Texas, 2018 (loss, 28-21)
- 51, vs. South Carolina, 2019 (loss 20-17)
Fromm served up three interceptions on Saturday, including a back-breaking pick-six that put South Carolina up 17-10 at the half.
Georgia had a chance to win the game in regulation, but Kirby Smart elected to have Fromm throw one more pass rather than ask Rodrigo Blankenship to kick a 55-yard field goal. That pass resulted in an illegal shift penalty on the Bulldogs, knocking the offense out of Blankenship's range and forcing a Fromm Hail Mary, which was incomplete.
Not to be outdone, South Carolina blew a chance to win the game in the first overtime when, after Israel Mukuamu intercepted Fromm for the third time of the game, Parker White missed a 33-yarder that would have won the game. White nailed a 24-yarder in the top of the second frame, and Blankenship's 42-yard equalizer was wide left.
Georgia's Playoff hopes are still alive, provided they win out -- and winning out means the Bulldogs must beat Florida, Auburn and (presumably) Alabama or LSU, all away from Athens.
So maybe they're not fine after all.
Big 12 refs completely botched the ending of the Texas Tech-Baylor game. According to FOX's Dean Blandino, the NFL's vice president of officiating from 2013-17, a legal snap must move from the ground in one motion and leave the center's hands. In other words, the center can't double clutch the snap for deke out the defense, and he can't keep the ball and charge forward on a center-sneak.
Tell me what's illegal about this snap.
That snap, which was not double clutched and left the center's hands, resulted in a Texas Tech fumble recovery in the top of the first overtime in a 20-20 game. But instead of a potentially game-ending fumble, it was the most fortuitous penalty in the history of Baylor football.
Baylor won in double overtime, 33-30. Matt Rhule's Bears are now 6-0 and winners of eight straight dating back to last season.
(After the illegal snap penalty, the Big 12 officiating crew wiped a Baylor quarterback Charlie Brewer QB sneak touchdown off the board... so they could go back and review to see if the previous play was a touchdown. The replay lasted about three seconds because it was obvious Baylor WR Denzel Mims didn't score, but the touchdown Brewer did score was still wiped off the board. What are we even doing here?)
FRIESThe Super 16. The Nuggets is once again honored to vote in this year's FWAA-NFF Super 16 poll. Here's this week's ballot:
- Ohio State
- Notre Dame
- Penn State
- Arizona State
Odds and Ends
a. Temple has won two straight games against AP Top 25 opponents for the first time in school history. After beating, ahem, No. 21 Maryland back on Sept. 14, the Owls knocked off No. 23 Memphis 30-28 on Saturday. Rod Carey's club is 5-1 and tied for first in the AAC East.
b. Minnesota is 6-0 for the first time since 2003 after snowing Nebraska 34-7 on Saturday.
c. A really nice win for Manny Diaz and company after being left for dead five wins into their tenure. The 'Canes beat No. 20 Virginia 17-9 on Friday night.
d. Mark Dantonio's shuffling of the offensive deck chairs isn't working out. The Spartans were blanked 38-0 by Wisconsin and Dantonio was testy about his offense after the game.
e. Iowa nearly went two straight games without a touchdown. After falling 10-3 at Michigan last week, the Hawkeyes didn't dent the end zone turf until their 11th and final possession in a 17-12 home loss to Penn State. It was their first touchdown in 24 total possessions.
f. It's too bad Iowa and Michigan State don't play this season.
g. James Franklin was 0-6 on the road against ranked teams until Saturday night's win in Iowa City.
h. Michigan flirted with disaster, turning a 28-0 laugher over Illinois into a 28-25 nail-biter before pulling away for a 42-25 win. The Wolverines go to Happy Valley next Saturday night.
i. The Fighting Herm Edwardses are 5-1 after outlasting Washington State 38-34 in Tempe. Jayden Daniels matched Anthony Gordon's 466 yards and three touchdowns by accounting for 386 yards and four touchdowns, including a 17-yard keeper with 34 seconds left to win the game.
j. Notre Dame has now won three straight and seven of 10 over USC with a 30-27 win in South Bend on Saturday night. USC closes the nation's most challenging first half schedule at 3-3, but it doesn't get much easier from here: 4-2 Arizona is up next. After hosting Colorado on Oct. 25, the Trojans get No. 13 Oregon and No. 18 Arizona State in consecutive games.
k. Tua Tagovailoa now owns Alabama's all-time passing touchdowns record, as a junior, while hardly playing as a freshman. He tossed four (with his first pick of the season) in a 47-28 win at Texas A&M, bringing him to 27 through six games and 81 for his career.
l. Tennessee became the 66th and final Power 5 team to beat an FBS opponent as the Vols earned a 20-10 win over Mississippi State. Tennessee rushed the ball 44 times and threw it 14. Enjoy this feeling while it lasts, Vols. A trip to Alabama waits next week.
m. Louisville is much better than it should be this early into Scott Satterfield's tenure. A team that -- I can't repeat this enough -- finished last in the ACC in scoring offense and defense a year ago is now in second place in the Atlantic Division and 4-2 on the season after a 62-59 win at No. 19 Wake Forest.
n. The team Satt left behind is doing just fine. Eli Drinkwitz has App State at 5-0 after an impressive 17-7 win at Louisiana-Lafayette on Wednesday night.
o. Yes, we're already deep enough into the season that midweek football is now a thing.
p. Vanderbilt was trucked 34-10 by UNLV, who came in 2-3 overall and 0-2 in Mountain West play.
q. Clemson had an "Oh yeah, them again" win in demolishing Florida State, 45-14. The Tigers ran for 320 yards and limited FSU quarterbacks to 150 yards and three interceptions on 35 attempts.
r. All 12 MAC teams have at least three losses at the midpoint of the season. Kent State and Ball State lead their respective divisions at 2-0; both teams are 3-3 overall.
s. Kentucky beat Arkansas, 24-20. The Hogs' Ben Hicks led all passers... with 81 yards.
t. Barry Odom has his team playing hard without the carrot of a bowl game dangling at the end of their stick. The 5-1 Tigers are currently your SEC East leaders after a 38-27 win over Ole Miss.
u. Tyson Helton and Western Kentucky are 4-2 after a 17-8 win over Army. The Hilltoppers shut out Army for the first 58 minutes.
We'd be remiss if we ignored a massive game at the FCS level, where No. 2 James Madison forced four fourth quarter turnovers and scored the game's final 21 points to beat No. 5 Villanova, 38-24.