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Final: No. 11 Texas A&M 28, Mississippi State 14
The Aggies follow up a huge win over Florida by taking care of business against a Mississippi State team with myriad problems. Nothing flashy from A&M today, just a heavy dose of Isaiah Spiller and Ainias Smith on the ground.
FINAL: Arkansas 33, Ole Miss 21
What a day for Arkansas' defense, which picked off Ole Miss QB Matt Corral six times -- 6! -- in Saturday's win. It's a big day for defensive coordinator Barry Odom, who should be on the short list for the Broyles Award given for top assistant coach. The Razorbacks were good all day on defense, but things got a little tight in the second half. Ole Miss was running a lot of plays -- they ran 91 for the game -- and using tempo. By the fourth quarter, Arkansas' defense was gassed. But the Razorbacks responded with an 11 play scoring drive to give themselves a little breathing room. A pick six by Grant Morgan gave Arkansas the two score lead and they never looked back. It might be time to consider that Arkansas isn't just out of the SEC basement; rather, they might be one of the top-half teams in the SEC.
Early 4Q: UCF 35, Memphis 29
Already over 1,000 combined yards. UCF looked ready to run away with it after going up 35-14 early in 3Q. But Memphis scores 15 unanswered to close the quarter.
Check out this TD grab from Treylon Burks of Arkansas. Not only was it a great play, but it capped off a much-needed 11-play, 70-yard drive that took 4:30 off the clock. Arkansas' defense has played great against Ole Miss, but it was getting pretty gassed heading into the fourth quarter with the Rebels already above 80 plays. It's 26-14 Hogs with about six minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.
End 3Q: No. 11 Texas A&M 28, Mississippi State 7
Mississippi State stuck on 133 yards and has turned to true freshman QB Will Rogers. This marks three straight disastrous offensive efforts since the win over LSU. On the verge of going consecutive weeks without offensive scores as well. This is State's only TD so far.
Mississippi State scored on a wild pick six that ricocheted off a player's helmet by about 20 yards. It's the Bulldogs' only score of the day so far in a 21-7 battle. Keep in mind that Mississippi State only scored two points -- a safety -- against Kentucky last week. So we're now going on two full games without an offensive touchdown for Mike Leach's team if this holds.
Final: No. 4 Notre Dame 12, Louisville 7
It was not pretty. Far from it. But the Fighting Irish survive and improve to 4-0. Hard to look at that performance and feel like this is a team that has a chance to beat Clemson. But there's something to be said for holding Louisville to a season-low 7 points. ND also managed to run the final eight minutes off the clock with its game-ending drive.
Half: No. 11 Texas A&M 14, Mississippi State 0
The Bulldogs were driving late in the first half before KJ Costello took a sack and the drive stalled out with a punt. Aggies relying heavily on the run as Isaiah Spiller already has 79 yards and a couple TDs on 12 runs. Just 98 total yards Mike Leach's crew as the air raid continues to sputter after its sterling debut against LSU.
Half: UCF 27, Memphis 14
Memphis got a big fourth-down stop to end a UCF drive with the score 20-7 midway through 2Q. The Tigers then went 68 yards on 8 plays to punch one in and keep it close before allowing a UCF score in the 2-minute drill to end the half. Memphis is clearly missing leading receiver Damonte Coxie, who is unavailable for reasons that have not been publicized. But defense is the Tigers' problem.
UCF QB Dillon Gabriel is having a field day — 17-of-25, 347 yards, 3 TDs, 0 INTs
HALFTIME: Arkansas 20, Ole Miss 0
Yep! Arkansas' defense has been lights out agains the Rebels. Ole Miss is 1-of-7 on third downs and quarterback Matt Corral has thrown two interceptions. Remember: this is the same Ole Miss team that put up 48 points and 647 yards, and didn't have a three-and-out all game against Alabama a week ago. The Rebels have two tree-and-outs so far through the first 30 minutes. Arkansas' defense has been good this year, but this is another level of success. The work Sam Pittman and this staff continue to put in for the Hogs is incredible.
End 3Q: No. 4 Notre Dame 12, Louisville 7
A relatively explosive third quarter after Notre Dame led 6-0 on a pair of FGs at halftime. Louisville put together an impressive 13-play drive to take the lead, but ND answered right. Something to watch: Malik Cunningham left the field with an apparent injury late in 3Q. He looks fine, but but Evan Conley is in at the moment for the Cardinals.
End 1Q: No. 11 Texas A&M 0, Mississippi State 0
The Aggies are driving and on the cusp of breaking the stalemate. Bulldogs playing without star running back Kylen Hill. KJ Costello got the start at QB for MSU after struggling the last couple weeks.
End 1Q: Memphis 7, UCF 7
A mere 340 total yards of offense in the first quarter here. Surprised that didn't translate to more scoring, but UCF failed to convert on a 4th-and-goal, and Memphis had a fumble.
Mississippi State's star RB Kylin Hill not playing today. No reason given, but 247Sports reports that he is suspended. The exact nature of the suspension isn't clear, but it appears it will be a one-week thing.
HALFTIME: Notre Dame 6, Louisville 0
This game is about as fun as the score indicates. The Irish have moved the ball pretty well, but haven't been able to get into the end zone. Coach Brian Kelly attempted a fake field goal towards the end of the first half, but it was unsuccessful. It's a little surprising that Louisville hasn't tried to incorporate QB Malik Cunningham into the run game more. He has two carries for eight yards. Obviously, not a lot of offense so far, but the Cardinals are one play away from taking the lead.
FINAL: South Carolina 30, Auburn 22
This was the perfect encapsulation of an Auburn game. It was pure, distilled chaos. The Tigers had a chance to tie things up late, but quarterback Bo Nix took a risk by scrambling on two straight plays with 15 seconds left. That ran out the clock and gave the Gamecocks their first win against Auburn since 1933. Nix had an especially bad afternoon with three interceptions and a public dust-up with wide receiver Seth Williams. This was a bad loss for the Tigers no matter how you slice it and a much-needed win for Will Muschamp's group.
FINAL: Clemson 73, Georgia Tech 7
No. 1 Clemson got off to a sluggish start to its early kickoff against Georgia Tech on Saturday. But after a few mental mistakes and the cobwebs were cleared, the Tigers turned took a 7-7 score and turned it into a 52-7 halftime lead and eventually a 73-7 final in one of the most impressive blowouts you'll see anywhere in college football this week.
Trevor Lawrence threw for a career-high 404 yards on 24-of-32 passing with five touchdowns and one interception and was done for the day after the first drive of the second half. Much of that early damage done through the passing game was courtesy of the speedy senior wide receiver Amari Rodgers (six catches, 161 yards, two touchdowns) but the first half included touchdown grabs for Cornell Powell, Frank Ladson and tight end Davis Allen.
Coaches have bemoaned the absence of non-conference games from the schedule not expressly because they give the opportunity for extra wins but instead for the extra reps that backups get in games that get lopsided. That playing time on Saturdays is impossible to replicate during the week or in preseason, and it's huge for solidifying a team's depth. Clemson just used Georgia Tech, its annual crossover rival in ACC play, as an opportunity to sort out its depth for the long season ahead and eventual postseason run.
That says more about Clemson than it does about Georgia Tech, and the fact they got a chance to treat this like a depth-building game against an FCS opponent is going to make it even harder to see them lose later in the year.
POOKA WILLIAMS, COVER MACHINE. Jayhawks were +22.5 on our picks this week.
FINAL: No. 13 Miami 31, Pitt 19
The Miami defense stands tall in the red zone and helps overcome an off-schedule day for D'Eriq King and the offense in a bounce-back win. As a Coastal Division foe, Pitt has often played Miami tough and today was no different with a fight that exceeded expectations, particularly with starting quarterback Kenny Pickett ruled out for the game. Pitt has been one-dimensional for much of the season with not much consistency in the run game, and Miami's aggressive defensive front was able to overwhelm the Panthers in the trenches.
Final: Liberty 38, Syracuse 21
Don't look now, but Liberty is 5-0 and one of the most interesting and fun Group of Five teams out there. Syracuse is trending in the wrong direction at 1-4 and gets [/checks notes] Clemson next week. Not great!