CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

Mandatory Credit: Photo by Andy Nelson/AP/Shutterstock (13621236g) Washington quarterback Michael Penix Jr. (9) rolls away from Oregon defenders and looks for a receiver during the first half of an NCAA college football game, in Eugene, Ore Washington Oregon Football, Eugene, United States – 12 Nov 2022

CFB Recap: The best from outside the region

No. 9 Alabama 30, No. 11 Ole Miss 24

This turned out to be a very competitive game that went back and forth the whole way through. Alabama needed this win to remain in contention for a major bowl game, and they got it. QB Bryce Young has not been nearly as efficient since returning from a shoulder injury, but today, he started looking like his normal self. Young went 21 of 33 for 209 yards and three touchdowns, improving his efficiency from recent weeks. Young needed to step up in a big way after star RB Jahmyr Gibbs went down with an ankle injury, and he did against a team that runs the football with among the best in the country. RB Jase McClellan also played a huge part in stepping up in Gibbs’ absence. He averaged 4.4 yards per carry on 19 carries allowing Alabama to put together a balanced offensive attack. However, the defense made the big play at the end of the game. The Crimson Tide’s defense held up at the end of the game, forcing an incompletion in Alabama’s end zone to hold their lead. Alabama had the momentum from about midway through the second quarter and did not allow an Ole Miss score from the seven-minute mark in the third on. Bama’s playoff hopes may be over, but their potential for a significant bowl game remains strong.

For the most part, QB Jaxson Dart kept up with Bryce Young offensively. Dart put together a solid day completing 18 of 31 pass attempts for 212 yards and a touchdown. Dart started the game hot, opening up the running game for Ole Miss. As always, RB Quinshon Judkins was the heart of the offense putting together another dynamite performance. He ran for 135 yards, and two touchdowns on 25 carries to lead the Rebels’ effort outgaining Alabama on the afternoon. After putting up one catch in his last outing against Texas A&M, WR Malik Heath had one of his best games of the season, proving to be the most reliable target for Dart. Heath pulled in six catches for 123 yards against a tough Alabama secondary. With the loss, Ole Miss will miss the opportunity of an SEC West title game, but their season is far from lost. The chance to go to a prominent bowl game, along with putting together a successful season in the SEC, is still very much alive.

Up Next (Alabama): vs. Austin Peay

Up Next (Ole Miss): @ Arkansas

No. 22 UCF 38, No. 17 Tulane 31

With the win on the road, UCF has officially taken the lead in the AAC. The Knights did it on the back of QB John Rhys Plumlee, who accounted for 308 yards total yards. Plumlee completed 17 of 30 passes for 132 yards and a touchdown through the air, but his stamp was made by pounding the turf. He ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries, putting up his best rushing performance of the season. UCF finished with four rushing touchdowns in total for the evening. On top of Plumlee’s two, RB Isaiah Bowser continued his production with two of his own on 19 carries for 54 yards. The Knights did what they wanted on the ground rushing for 336 yards total in the game, allowing them to control time of possession by almost 10 minutes. This is the identity of this UCF team. They have rushed for over 300 yards three times this season and are powering their offense through their backfield and mobile QB. This was Central Florida’s biggest win of the year, cementing them for the moment as the top dog in the AAC.

Tulane rallied a bit toward the end of the game but ultimately came up short. After UCF got off to a hot start early in the game, Tulane could not keep pace throughout the contest. This will be a tough one to swallow for the Green Wave, as it was their second loss of the season at home. The first against a Southern Miss team that rallied late to beat them. Now Tulane is looking at an uphill battle to be in contention with two tough games coming up to end the season. As for this game, Tulane got production from their usual contributors. RB Tyjae Spears ran for 130 yards on just eight carries, putting up his fifth 100-yard game of the season. The Green Wave could not get it done despite a solid performance from QB Michael Pratt. Pratt threw three touchdowns and 236 yards on 23 of 39 attempts. Tulane made too many mistakes with dropped passes and turnovers, which may have cost them a shot at the AAC Championship.

Up Next (UCF): vs. Navy

Up Next (Tulane): vs. SMU

No. 25 Washington 37, No. 6 Oregon 34

This outcome will likely shake things up in the PAC-12 as first-place Oregon goes down to Washington. The Huskies kicked a go-ahead field goal with under a minute to go to give themselves the lead. Oregon put together a solid drive to potentially tie the game but could not make the final play. Washington scored 10 points in the last three minutes to steal the win in Eugene. This game was predictably a shootout based on the firepower both offenses have shown so far this year. Washington QB Michael Penix threw for 408 yards and two touchdowns on 26 of 35 pass attempts, along with an interception. Penix has thrown for over 300 yards every game this season except for one, and in that game, he threw for 298. Washington put up 522 yards of total offense, most of which through the air. The game went back and forth offensively, with both teams converting without fail. The contest only saw one punt the entire game. Washington’s offense has been elite all season, and snapping a 23-game Oregon home winning streak is a nice way to prove that.

Oregon came inches from winning this game in the final minute. QB Bo Nix just missed a pass to WR Troy Franklin in the end zone to win it. Now Oregon’s playoff hopes are effectively gone and the focus strictly shifts to the PAC-12. For Oregon, their offense came from a different direction. Washington’s came from the passing game, Oregon’s came from the running game. The Ducks had two 100-yard rushers in this game in Mar’Keise Irving and Noah Whittington. Irving put up 146 yards on 20 carries while Whittington marched for 108 yards and a score on 20 carries of his own. Oregon truly committed to the run despite having one of the most effective field generals in college football. Bo Nix went 19 of 28 for 280 yards and two touchdowns. Oregon put up almost 600 yards of total offense and still could not finish the job. Neither defense could get a stop, but Oregon was left picking up the pieces of their playoff hopes. At this point, the PAC-12 is up for grabs and this loss only furthers that truth.

Up Next (Washington): vs. Colorado

Up Next (Oregon): vs. Utah

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