Mandatory Credit: Photo by Wade Payne/AP/Shutterstock (13467662aa) Tennessee quarterback Hendon Hooker (5) leaves the field after his team defeated Alabama 52-49 in an NCAA college football game, in Knoxville, Tenn Alabama Tennessee Football, Knoxville, United States – 15 Oct 2022
#5 Michigan 41, #10 Penn State 17
Michigan had their way on the ground in this one. The Wolverines out-ran Penn State by over 300 yards, amassing 418 rushing yards on the day. That translated to Michigan controlling time of possession by a wide margin. Michigan had the ball for almost 42 minutes, compared to just over 18 minutes for the Nittany Lions giving Penn State a virtually non-existent window to gain momentum. Blake Corum had yet another incredible day, rushing for 166 yards and two touchdowns on 28 carries. Backup RB Donovan Edwards ran for 173 yards and two touchdowns on just 16 carries. Though the passing game was not there for Michigan, as they have all season, the Wolverines worked off the backs of their backs to get this big conference win.
Penn State was outscored 25-3 in the second half. QB Sean Clifford could not get anything going completing only seven passes on 19 attempts. The Nittany Lions’ offense needs to prove itself again, though it looked solid in the first five games. It comes as a bit of a surprise that Michigan ran the ball so well against a Penn State defense that has held opponents in check most of the season. Penn State will look to rebound next week at home against Minnesota.
Up Next (Michigan): vs. Michigan State
Up Next (Penn State): vs. Minnesota
#18 Syracuse 24, #15 NC State 9
NC State was put in a tough position before the game even started once the news came out that star QB Devin Leary would not play. However, Jack Chambers held his own in that spot, completing 60% of his throws for 160 yards in Leary’s absence. That said, NC State could not consistently move the ball offensively, putting together only 255 yards of total offense. The Wolfpack will take their second loss in the last three games losing both to ranked conference opponents. Their defense has held up well against tougher competition so expect a nice resurgence once Leary returns from injury.
Syracuse put together a nice win at home and took advantage of the Wolfpack’s shortcomings. Despite two interceptions, Garrett Shrader was able to move the ball down the field effectively, with 210 yards passing and two touchdowns. However, Syracuse got some help from some of their top weapons as RB Sean Tucker ran for 98 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries. WR Oronde Gadsden put up eight catches for 141 yards and two scores. This was a prove-it game for the Orange, and they stepped up, living up to the hype of jumping into the ranked column. However, Syracuse faces the beast next week as they head to Clemson to take on the ACC favorite.
Up Next (NC State): vs. Virginia Tech
Up Next (Syracuse): @ #4 Clemson
#6 Tennessee 52, #3 Alabama 49
Well, if you needed a reason to believe in Tennessee, how do you like them apples? This game was broadcasted as the potential game of the year, and to say it lived up to the hype would be a massive understatement. A game that went down to the final seconds between two Heisman Trophy candidates in the most loaded conference in college football. As stated before, if you did not believe in Tennessee before, now you have no excuse. This team is legit and does not look to have a serious hole. Hendon Hooker was immaculate, as he has been all season. He completed 70% of his throws on 30 attempts for 385 yards and five touchdowns, all to the same wide receiver. That receiver was Jalin Hyatt, who put up numbers that are hard to achieve in video games. Hyatt finished the day with six catches for 207 yards and the five scores. The most impressive part of this game was that the Volunteers were dominated in time of possession. Alabama controlled the ball for over 37 minutes of the game. Tennessee made the absolute most of its opportunities and took advantage of what some viewed as a vulnerable Alabama team. Tennessee will prepare the next two weeks until they play Georgia in the first week of November.
Alabama is still Alabama. This loss does not change that, and they should still be treated as a serious threat in the SEC. This was Bryce Young’s first game back from the injury, and it looked like he missed no time at all. Young ended the day 35-52 for 455 yards and two touchdowns. To go along with Young’s brilliant play, star RB Jahmyr Gibbs provided the Crimson Tide with some incredible production from the backfield. Gibbs ran for 103 yards and three touchdowns, leading the Tide to a big advantage in controlling the football. What killed Alabama was penalties. Alabama committed 17 penalties for 130 yards in the game, while Tennessee only committed six for 39. Alabama does not have a break in their schedule for the next couple of weeks. Their next three games are at home against Mississippi State, then traveling to both LSU and Ole Miss. The road ahead for Alabama is tough, but best believe that they will be in it by season’s end.
Up Next (Tennessee): vs. Tennessee-Martin
Up Next (Alabama): vs. #16 Mississippi State
#22 Kentucky 27, #16 Mississippi State 17
Kentucky wins a big one at home against conference rival Mississippi State, and it was on the back of the running game. Star RB Chris Rodriguez looked like his pre-injury self averaging over six yards per carry in his best game of the season. Rodriguez put up 196 yards on the ground with two touchdowns on 31 carries. He was clearly the focal point of the offense in this game. QB Will Levis was efficient with the football completing 17-23 for 203 yards with a touchdown and a pick. The Wildcats controlled the time of possession by a wide margin having the ball for almost 40 minutes. They also held Mississippi State to only 22 yards on the ground while outgaining them by more than 250 yards total. Kentucky moves to 5-2 on the year and heads into a bye week before they play Tennessee the following week.
Mississippi State finally had a game where Will Rogers looked human. Rogers completed 25-37 for 203 yards with a touchdown and a pick. That stat line is very unorthodox for Rogers, who has been immaculate all season. The Bulldogs’ lack of a running game put tons of pressure on Rogers to make plays and seemed to hinder their ability to move the ball consistently. This was the worst offensive performance that Mississippi State has had since losing to LSU in Death Valley a month ago. The Bulldogs do not have much time to regroup either, given the fact they travel to Alabama next week.
Up Next (Kentucky): @ #6 Tennessee
Up Next (Mississippi State): @ Alabama
#4 Clemson 34, Florida State 28
A late fourth-quarter comeback fell just short for the Seminoles as they take a tough loss at home to Clemson. Clemson held a 20-point lead heading into the final quarter, and Florida State gave the Tigers a scare as they made a late push. Florida State played the game they needed to play late in the game. Jordan Travis was able to make a few big plays to help this team get to the final minutes, only down a touchdown. Travis finished the day 24-42 for 254 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for a touchdown on 64 yards. This will go down as FSU’s third straight loss all to ranked conference opponents, likely taking Florida State out of the conversation with ACC contenders.
Clemson continues to look like the favorite in the ACC with yet another win against tough conference opponents. Despite the late fourth-quarter scare, Clemson’s hot first half was enough to get the job done. DJ Uiagalelei was once again efficient with the football, throwing for 203 yards and three touchdowns on 15-23 attempts. They got some nice production out of their backfield, with Will Shipley running for 121 yards on 20 carries. This was not the typical Clemson dominant performance that we have become used to seeing over the past number of years, but the Tigers have found ways to win. Clemson will play Syracuse next week and see if they can take down yet another ranked ACC opponent.
Up Next (Florida State): vs. Georgia Tech
Up Next (Clemson): vs. #18 Syracuse
#20 Utah 43, #7 USC 42
The Utes come through and pull out a huge home win against the presumed PAC-12 favorite, USC. After scoring a touchdown in the final minute of the game and pulling within one, Utah decides to go for two and go for the win. Utah converted with QB Cameron Rising running into the end zone giving USC 48 seconds to make something happen. This game was back and forth the whole way through. Cameron Rising played his best game of the season, completing 29-43 pass attempts for 415 yards and two touchdowns. He also ran for three touchdowns on 60 yards, which led the team. Star TE Dalton Kincaid proved once again to be Rising’s go-to guy pulling in 15 balls for 217 yards and a score. The Utah offense never faltered and showed up when it mattered most. They travel to Washington State next week.
This was a season-altering loss for USC as they took their first defeat of the year. This loss could likely take them out of the CFP conversation, but they could still be regarded as the potential favorite for the conference title. The offense proved to be explosive as always as QB Caleb Williams threw for five touchdowns while completing 25-42 pass attempts for 381 yards. The star WR tandem of Mario Williams and Jordan Addison showed out as well before Addison got hurt late in the game. Williams pulled in four catches for 145 yards, while Addison caught seven balls for 106 yards and a touchdown. Penalties hurt USC this time as they committed 12 penalties for 93 yards, including a late-game kickoff return holding call that would hinder their last drive of the night. USC will head into the bye 6-1 and prepare for Arizona the following week.
Up Next (Utah): @ Washington State
Up Next (USC): @ Arizona