Bringing you noteworthy news in college football from around the nation each week.
In case you missed it, Michigan State faced Michigan in the Big House last weekend in an intriguing matchup that could potentially factor heavily into the College Football Playoff.
Michigan came into the game looking impressive with a 5-1 record including their lone loss on the road at 3rd-ranked Utah. They had just posted their third straight shutout win and had yielded only 14 total points in their last five games.
For the Spartans, their undefeated season was being threatened as they had just survived consecutive weeks, winning one-score games against unranked opponents. With seemingly the entire state of Michigan in attendance, the 12th ranked Wolverines had taken control of the game 23-21 and were set to punt with 10 seconds left to play.
And that’s when chaos struck.
The snap came low to Michigan’s punter Blake O’Neill, who bobbled the football and then attempted to kick it away as he was hit by Michigan State defenders, who had sent all 11 players to attempt to block the kick.
The ball rolled free, and was scooped up by Spartan redshirt freshman defensive back Jalen Watts-Jackson, who proceeded to run it back for a touchdown, giving the Spartans a 27-23 victory and capping one of the most improbable victories in recent college football history.
Speaking of chaos, following the play Watts-Jackson dislocated his hip in the celebration and was rushed to a local hospital.
With the big news about Will Grier’s year-long suspension casting a shadow on the Gators’ perfect season, Treon Harris got the start heading into a brutal night game against the LSU Tigers.
In a battle of unbeaten teams, Harris and the 8th-ranked Florida Gators performed admirably in a seven-point loss to the 6th-ranked Tigers and their Heisman candidate Leonard Fournette.
Fournette had 180 yards rushing and two touchdowns while Harris led Florida with 271 yards passing and two touchdowns through the air. With the packed house of more than 102,000 fans looking on, Harris committed no turnovers and moved the ball well despite being sacked five times.
The deciding play was a fake field goal by LSU, with Tigers’ kicker Trent Domingue channeling his best Fournette impersonation en route to the game-winning touchdown run.
Speculation about potential replacements for the recently-vacated head coaching job at USC is already starting, as interim head coach Clay Helton steps in attempting to salvage the Trojans’ season. At 3-3, USC is facing a difficult test this week hosting Utah.
Any hope of a Pac-12 title for the Trojans this year is unlikely and names like Chip Kelly, Brian Kelly and Bob Stoops are being thrown around as potential replacements. The job is an enticing one, with a history of winning and a talented roster supported by a very proud fan base.
That being said, taking the job is also an intimidating prospect for many of the same reasons, including the constant scrutiny that comes with a position of that caliber.
The Chip Kelly suggestion is interesting, as he is having a tough season in Philadelphia and is a proven head coach from the Pac 12 conference.
Could he follow in Jim Harbaugh‘s footsteps and return to a major college football program after a brief departure to the NFL? The only thing for certain is that it seems to have been a good move for Harbaugh.
Feature photo is from the Fishduck archive.