Upset Weekend: Seven Ranked Teams Lose — Week 7 College Football Recap
An incredible seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25 lost this weekend, including four in the top 10. Here’s a recap of the upset-filled Week 7 in college football:
Top 10 Turnover: Clemson, Washington, Washington State & Auburn Lose
Upsets were everywhere, but the top 10 was hit especially hard, with Clemson and Washington State both falling to unranked teams on Friday, and Auburn and Washington losing on Saturday.
Eric Dungey threw for 278 yards and three touchdowns, and Syracuse shocked defending national champion Clemson, 27-24, on Friday night in New York. Cole Murphy’s tie-breaking field goal in the fourth quarter gave the Orange (4-3, 2-1 ACC) the win over the heavily-favored Tigers (6-1, 4-1), who dropped to seventh in the new AP Rankings announced Sunday.
Perhaps the biggest play of the game happened in the last minute of the first half, when Clemson quarterback Kelly Bryant suffered a concussion on a hit by Syracuse defensive tackle Chris Slayton. Zerrick Cooper replaced Bryant, but he couldn’t get enough offense generated in the second half. Meanwhile, the Orange had six plays of 20 or more yards.
The loss puts a drag on the Tigers hopes of repeating, but remember: they won the national championship last year even though they lost to Pittsburgh. They may need Bryant to return for that to be a possibility.
Later Friday night, California forced seven turnovers and had nine sacks, and the Golden Bears crushed No. 8 Washington State, 37-3, in Berkeley, Calif. Cougars’ Heisman Trophy candidate Luke Falk threw five interceptions and fumbled, all but ending his candidacy and sealing his team’s fate out of the college football playoff. Washington State (6-1, 3-1) dropped to No. 15 in the new AP Rankings announced Sunday.
Quarterback Ross Bowers scored an acrobatic touchdown on a front flip into the end zone for Cal (4-3, 1-3 Pac 12). It was the Golden Bears first win over a top 10 team since they beat USC in 2003.
LSU rallied from a 20-point deficit and upset No. 10 Auburn, 27-23, on Saturday. D.J. Chark returned a punt 75 yards for a touchdown for Louisiana State, which allowed no points in the second half. Kerryon Johnson ran for 156 yards and a score for Auburn (5-2, 3-1). The Tigers dropped 11 spots, to No. 21, in the new AP rankings, while LSU returned at No. 24.
Fifth-ranked Washington was upset by unranked Arizona State on Saturday night. Manny Wilkins completed 29 of 41 passes for 245 yards, and the Sun Devils defense stopped Huskies quarterback Jake Browning from generating much offense in the 13-7 surprise loss. Washington (6-1, 3-1 Pac-12) came into the game averaging 43 points per contest, but they did little against rejuvenated Arizona State (3-3, 2-1). The Sun Devils never trailed and didn’t allow the Huskies to score until late in the fourth quarter. Washington fell to No. 12 in the new AP rankings.
Miami, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State all moved into the top 10 with victories on Saturday.
San Diego State Won’t Go Undefeated
Boise State held Rashaad Penny to just 53 yards rushing, and the Broncos upset formerly unbeaten No. 19 San Diego State, 31-14, on Saturday night. Boise State (4-2, 2-0 Mountain West) won with defense, making 12 tackles for a loss, recording four sacks and stifling Penny, a dark horse Heisman Trophy candidate.
With a weak schedule the rest of the season, the Aztecs (6-1, 2-1) were positioned to launch themselves into the college football playoff debate with a win. That won’t happen for San Diego State, which trailed 14-0 in the first quarter and 21-0 at halftime.
Miami Keeps Winning Close Games
Michael Badgley kicked a 24-yard field goal with five seconds to play, and No. 11 Miami beat Georgia Tech, 25-24, on Saturday. Badgley’s game-winning kick was set up by an improbable, falling 28-yard reception by receiver Darrell Langham, who hauled in a tipped Malik Rosier pass on a fourth-down play for the Hurricanes.
Travis Homer rushed for 170 yards and had two touchdowns for Miami (5-0, 3-0 ACC), which trailed the Yellow Jackets, 24-16 in the fourth quarter. Georgia Tech (3-2, 2-1) has now suffered two, one-point losses on the season.
Oklahoma Rules the Red River
Baker Mayfield threw for 302 yards and two touchdowns, including a 59-yard strike to Mark Andrews for a late, go-ahead score, and No. 12 Oklahoma beat Texas, 29-24, on Saturday. The Sooners had blown a 20-point lead, but Mayfield’s heroics bailed them out and gave them a needed win in the Red River Rivalry game.
Mayfield rallied Oklahoma (5-1, 2-1 Big 12) a minute after Longhorns’ quarterback Sam Ehlinger had given his team a 24-23 lead on an 8-yard TD run with eight minutes to play. A true freshman, Ehlinger threw for 278 yards and a touchdown and ran for 106 yards for Texas (3-3, 2-1), which lost its second game this season to a top 15 team.
Other Highlights From Week 7
— Heisman Watch: With off-games turned in this week by Washington State’s Luke Falk, SDSU’s Rashaad Penny and Louisville’s Lamar Jackson, the contenders for the 2017 Heisman Trophy may be narrowed to three players: running back Saquon Barkley of Penn State, quarterback Baker Mayfield of Oklahoma, and running back Bryce Love of Stanford.
Barkley and Penn State were idle. The Nittany Lions did move up to the No. 2 spot in the AP Top 25, but they still have Michigan, Ohio State and Michigan State on the schedule.
Mayfield led his Sooners over Texas, but they did blow a 20-point lead. Again.
And Love? Well, he ran for 147 yards and two touchdowns, including a 67-yard burst in the first quarter, and No. 23 Stanford crushed Oregon, 49-7. Love now has 1,387 yards through seven games for the Cardinal. Late West Coast start times like the one on Saturday likely don’t help Love’s candidacy, but Stanford (5-2, 4-1 Pac-12) winning does.
— More Upsets: Two other ranked teams — No. 24 Texas Tech and No. 25 Navy — each lost on Saturday. Will Grier threw for 352 yards and five touchdown passes and West Virginia rallied from an 18-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat the Red Raiders, 46-35. Meanwhile, Riley Ferguson threw three touchdown passes and Memphis knocked off the Midshipmen, 30-27. Both the Mountaineers (No. 23) and the Tigers (No. 25) landed in the new AP rankings released Sunday.
— More Hype Than Heart: No. 13 USC and No. 17 Michigan continue to live off their reputations this season, rather than their play on the field.
Utah quarterback Troy Williams slipped and fell on a two-point conversion attempt and 13th-ranked Southern California held on to beat the Utes 28-27 in Los Angeles. The Trojans trailed 21-7 at half. Without so much late-game luck, USC (6-1, 4-1 Pac-12) could just as easily have three more losses on the season. Yet, pollsters still believe in them, moving them up two spots after the win.
Jim Harbaugh’s Wolverines needed Karan Higdon’s 25-yard touchdown run in overtime to beat unranked Indiana 27-20 on Saturday. No. 17 Michigan (5-1, 1-1 Big Ten) struggled again on offense and seem exceptionally overrated, something they can dispel by beating Penn State on the road this coming Saturday.