Bringing you noteworthy news around the nation in college football each week.
It is common knowledge that college football is an unpredictable spectacle year in and year out. Any team can lose on any given night, as the adage goes — that’s why you play the game.
For 15th-ranked Ole Miss facing No. 2-ranked Alabama in Tuscaloosa this last Saturday, victory was a tall order. And while they played well enough to win, it took several close plays, and one in particular that might be the early front runner for Play of the Year.
With 13 minutes left in the third quarter, Ole Miss was holding on to a 17-10 lead. While dealing with an important third-and-one situation, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly showed cat-like reflexes despite barely managing to get his hand on a high snap that potentially could have given ‘Bama some much-needed momentum.
The ball deflected straight up in the air and back into the hands of Kelly, who then decided to heave the ball blindly downfield milliseconds before getting rocked by an Alabama defender. Then this happened —
The poorly thrown football was intended for Laquon Treadwell, a top receiver for the Rebels working on an inspiring comeback season.
Treadwell went for the jump ball, which was tipped up once more and then snatched by Quincy Adeboyejo, another Rebel who was streaking downfield. The 66-yard pass put Ole Miss up 24-10 and contributed to the final tally of 43-37 in favor of the Rebs.
Remember before the season started, when Urban Meyer had the “best problem in the world?” To recap: coming off a National Championship year, the head coach of the Buckeyes was faced with the incredibly tough decision of who to start at quarterback in 2015.
Before the 2014 season, the clear starter was Braxton Miller, one of the most decorated players in Ohio State history. His accolades included seven Big Ten conference awards, more than any other player including two-time Heisman winner Archie Griffin.
When Miller sustained a season-ending injury, Meyer turned to J.T. Barrett, who played his way to Heisman consideration by the end of the year.
With the college football playoff around the corner, Barrett also went down with injury, and third string QB Cardale Jones took over, leading the Buckeyes through the toughest part of their schedule and eventually to the National Championship.
Fast-forward through a turbulent offseason full of speculation, and the persistent question of who to start in 2015. Miller opted to play a hybrid receiver-running back position, and Barrett and Jones were left to battle it out for the starting spot at QB.
While Jones was named the starter to begin the year, he has played poorly and been replaced by Barrett on several occasions already. Barrett, though, has also struggled in his appearances.
With their poor play, the once-dream situation has now become something of a headache for Meyer, who has once again named Jones the starter this week while waiting for one of his quarterbacks to step forward. I wonder how many Buckeye fans have googled the depth chart to see who is fourth string.
The BYU intrigue continues after the Cougars gave highly-touted UCLA all they could handle this past week, with the 10th-ranked Bruins narrowly avoiding the upset against the ranked Cougars, 24-23.
UCLA freshman QB Josh Rosen struggled, completing 11-of-23 passes for 106 yards with one touchdown and three interceptions, and it was only thanks to a 200-yard performance from UCLA running back Paul Perkins that UCLA survived the scare.
While the Bruins are a top team with serious talent and the ability to beat anyone, a season-ending injury to star two-way player and potential top draft pick Myles Jack will have them looking for answers as the season continues.
For BYU, the Cougars will look to keep the magic alive this week in Ann Arbor against Jim Harbaugh and the Wolverines.
Feature photo from the FishDuck archive