Five Key Takeaways from Week 8 of College Football

College Football
Texas college football Quarterback Jeffrey McWhorter/AP.

Texas is not back… just yet

The Texas Longhorns suffered a loss at the hands of Oklahoma State by a score of 41-34. This was a neck and neck game and one of the more exciting games in college football this week. Though once again, Texas had a lead late and proceeded to blow it.

Many Texas fans are acting like the sky is falling in Austin and Steve Sarkisian’s days are numbered. That couldn’t be further from the truth. The fact is this is still a team that played Alabama down to the wire, blew out Oklahoma, and are 5-3 on the season. This a very young football team with a lot of room to grow but progress has already been made by this Longhorn program.

College Football Playoff expectations should’ve been considered unrealistic this year for the Longhorns. Let’s be real, this was a 5-7 team last year, improvement is all you can ask for from a second year coach trying to rebuild a program from scratch.

LSU head coach Brian Kelly blows his whistle before an NCAA college football game against Florida State in New Orleans. Gerald Herbert/AP Photo.

Put some respect on Brian Kelly and LSU

In week eight, the LSU Tigers went out and played, without a doubt, their best game of the season. The Bayou Bengals shut out the elite Ole Miss offense in the second half on their way to a 45-20 upset win over the seventh ranked Rebels.

After their embarrassing week one loss to FSU and their blowout loss to Tennessee, many wrote off the Tigers in year one under Brian Kelly. But to their credit they have recovered very well with wins over Mississippi State, at Florida, and now Ole Miss.

The LSU defense has been outstanding compared to last year. The Tigers are allowing just 346 yards per game which is 35th in the country. LSU’s ground game is also greatly improved as they are 41st in the country with 183 yards per game on the ground.

Coming into week nine, Brian Kelly has already matched last year’s team’s win total. Once Kelly gets his own recruits in the building over the next few years there’s a pretty good chance the Tigers will be back within the college football elite.

Oregon Ducks women’s basketball alumni, Sabrina Ionescu and the Oregon Ducks Mascot on the set of College Gameday on Saturday 10/22/22 in Eugene, Oregon. Don Smalley/USA Today Sports.

UCLA and Clemson are both mid-tier teams with easy schedules

On Saturday, both UCLA and Clemson matched up against lower ranked teams in big tests for each program. Clemson barely survived against Syracuse and UCLA got blown out by Oregon.

Outside of their win over Utah, UCLA’s schedule was extremely weak which, in part, helped them to their undefeated start. In their first big road test, UCLA came out flat and frankly looked out matched against a very good Oregon team. If it weren’t for a late garbage time touchdown, this result would’ve looked even worse.

Meanwhile, Clemson played against an undefeated but untested Syracuse team but barely eked out a win at home. The Tigers trailed 21-10 at half and the offense looked incredibly listless for most of the game. Things changed when Dabo Swinney benched starting quarterback, DJ Uiagalelei, in favor of true freshman, Cade Klubnik.

After Klubnik came in, Clemson went on a 17-0 run to finish the game and sealed the deal with an interception on the last drive.

One thing is clear about both of these teams. When they step up a level in competition they are very mediocre teams. In the case of Clemson, maybe things change if Klubnik becomes the starter.

Clemson could very well end up making it to the college football playoff thanks to their weak, undefeated record. If DJ Uiagalalei is under center, they could be in very big trouble when they get there.

Iowa Head Coach, Kirk Ferentz on the Iowa Sidelines with Offensive Coordinator, Brian Ferentz, during a September 2022 college football game against Iowa State. Jeffrey Becker/USA Today Sports.

Time for some major changes in Iowa City

This week, the Iowa Hawkeyes, particularly, the Iowa offense reached an embarrassing new low. The Hawkeyes got blown out by Ohio State 54-10 and their only touchdown was scored by the defense.

Starting quarterback Spencer Petras threw for less than 50 yards and two interceptions. The running game wasn’t much better as they averaged 2.2 yards per carry on 35 touches.

This offense has looked utterly pathetic the last two years under offense coordinator, Brian Ferentz. Last year, the offense averaged 304 yards per game which was 121st in college football. This year, the Hawkeyes are dead last with 227.3 yards per game. The next best total is 1-6 UMass, who average 243 yards per game.

Head coach Kirk Ferentz must make the albeit tough decision to fire his son as offensive coordinator. If they don’t, this once always solid program could be sent into a tailspin they may never recover from.

Penn State’s White Out is the best environment in college football

There are some amazing environments in college football like Death Valley at night or checkerboard games at Neyland but none of them top the White Out at Penn State.

Once a year, Penn State designated one of their home games, usually against a marquee opponent, as a White Out game. During this game all the Penn State fans dress in white and wave around white shakers as they cheer on their Nittany Lions.

Due to their marquee matchup with Ohio State bring designated a noon game by Fox, Penn State decided to keep the White Out game at night, as is tradition. As a result, in comes unranked, Minnesota with their backup quarterback. Even with these circumstances, Beaver Stadium was electric, the White Out environment was as good as ever and Penn State rolled to 45-17 victory over Minnesota.

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