Ohio State made the first big move in the Big Ten East, Alabama came back to beat Tennesee, and North Carolina lost to…Virginia? All of that happened and more this weekend, so to break it all down, here are the Week 8 Saturday Takeaways.
Buckeyes may have looked strong, but Michigan is a beast
Week 8 Saturday Takeaways #1: Ohio Stateʻs defense put on a clinic Saturday afternoon in a 20-12 victory over Penn State. The Buckeyes held the Nittany Lions to 240 total yards, with just 49 coming on the ground. The more eye-popping stat was Penn Stateʻs inability to convert on third down, going a miserable 1-for-16.
Marvin Harrison Jr. had his third 160-yard receiving game this season and has gone for over 100 in three straight games. Ohio Stateʻs offense is still showing signs of improvement each week, but they will need to be running on all cylinders by Week 13 when they face Michigan.
The Wolverines have been playing with their food so far this season, disrupting rival Michigan State, 49-0 in their latest blowout win. Michigan will face the bye week next before jumping in to a scary November schedule that includes road games against Penn State and Maryland before The Game.
With everything surrounding the Michigan team this season, it is somewhat surprising they have been one of the few teams in the FBS to not play a bad game. Despite the easy schedule, Michigan looks like the best team in the East at the moment.
Bama comes back to beat Tennessee
Week 8 Saturday Takeaways #2: It was a not-so-promising start to the game for Alabama, but a remarkable finish as the Crimson Tide held off Tennesse, 34-20. Alabama scored 27 unanswered points in the second half as they continue to battle through a season full of struggle.
With a bye week up next, the Tide can heal up for a game against LSU that will decide the SEC West. The Tigersʻ offense is whirring right now, putting the pressure on Alabama to either keep up the scoring pace or for their defense to play the game of a lifetime.
The ACC just disintegrated
Week 8 Saturday Takeaways #3: What in tarnation was that Tar Heels? Tenth-ranked and unbeaten North Carolina should have had no problem with the Virginia Cavaliers, who had not beaten an FBS team in 366 days. But of course, that was not the case. Somehow, someway Virginia was able to pull out a win in Chapel Hill, 31-27.
After Louisvilleʻs shocking loss to Pittsburgh last week, it seemed as if Florida State and North Carolina were on the road to the ACC Championship game. Now everyone is still in the running.
ACC football was must-see this weekend. The Seminoles shut down an upset bid from Duke, giving the Blue Devils their first conference loss. Miami took down Clemson in double overtime and Wake Forest beat Pittsburgh with a last-minute touchdown, leaving Syracuse as the only team with no wins in ACC play.
All the ACC can hope for now is that Florida State wins out.
Utah has USCʻs number
Week 8 Saturday Takeaways #4: A junior ex-pig farmer from Milford, Utah put on scholarship earlier this year, outdueled the reigning Heisman Trophy winner. Thatʻs just how it has been for USC when they play Utah.
The Utes extended their win streak to four against USC with a magical 34-32 win in Los Angeles. After giving up a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, quarterback Bryson Barnes and Utah engineered the game-winning drive, capped off by a 26-yard run by Barnes to set up the go-ahead field goal.
With the win, Utah has saved their season and essentially destroyed USCʻs hopes of a conference championship. The Utes donʻt have it easy any time soon, as the mighty Oregon Ducks come to Salt Lake next week.
On the Trojansʻ side, it was a great comeback, but of course the defense let them down, allowing Utah to drive 54 yards in 1:46. Caleb Williams likely lost his spot in the Heisman conversation, but you can not deny he is still a fantastic football player.
The Big Ten West is comical
Week 8 Saturday Takeaways #5: While a lot of controversy surrounds the final result, at the end of the day Minnesota beat Iowa at Kinnick Stadium for the first time since 1999. I should add, they did not score a touchdown in the process.
Whatʻs that? An offensive lineman caught a game-winning touchdown to complete Wisconsinʻs 18-point fourth quarter comeback against Illinois? You betcha!
Nebraska beat Northwestern who beat Minnesota who beat Iowa who beat Wisconsin who beat Illinois. Whereʻs Purdue? Oh, if they beat Nebraska next week, the chain is complete.
It is a saga we canʻt stop watching: unappealing, full of punts and fumbles, Big Ten West football.
Extra Point: Nevada won a game!
Congratulations Nevada, you did it. The Wolf Pack snapped a 16-game losing streak, which was the longest such streak in the FBS coming into Week 8, with a 6-0 win over San Diego State.
You thought Penn State was bad on third down today? San Diego State went 0-for-10.
Saturday nightʻs win might spark a streak of wins for Nevada as their next four opponents all have sub-.500 records. We can only dream.
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