An undefeated team suffered their first loss. The storied FSU-Miami rivalry adds another exciting chapter to their book, and the University of freakin Kansas. That’s just the tip of the iceberg on this College Football weekend. We only have 3 more weeks left in the season, and we still have so much to figure out. Let’s add to our information bank by recapping some of the notable games of the weekend.
*Note* During the season if I miss a certain game in my recaps, simply email (CFBNumbers@gmail.com)or DM on Twitter (@CFBNumbers) and I will happily provide you any number related thing you desire.
Also, I use Expected Points Added rather frequently in these recaps. If you need help digesting the decimals, I wrote about how to make it easier to read EPA/Play numbers.
Cincinnati 45 - South Florida 28
Cincinnati has gotten the “Good but can’t dominate teams” mark this season. This was the opportunity to snuff out those critics and dominate a weaker opponent. Did they accomplish that goal? Well… sort of? A 17 point 85.9% post game win expectancy is good, but losing almost 14 EP to turnovers certainly is not. The game started shaky for Bearcat QB Desmond Ridder, but he eventually settled down and posted a respectable 71.2 QBR.
None of the CFP top 4 lost this weekend, so it looks like the Bearcats will still be on the outside looking in. That is ok, because there still is time and team’s have to play each other (UGA-Bama specifically). This still ultimately feels like a missed opportunity for the Bearcats.
Georgia 41 - Tennessee 17
Coming into this week a lot of people were curious to see how Georgia would handle this game. Tennessee had shown they could hit explosive plays on offense, so the question was if they repeated that this week, would the Georgia offense be able to respond. At one point this game was tied at 10, but ultimately Georgia was just too strong. Offensively a 50% success rate and nearly 7 yards per play gets it done nearly every time with this defense. Georgia appears to the be the one team that doesn’t have any fatal flaws or a slip up on the season. This really could be the Bulldogs year. Alabama still awaits!
Ohio State 59 - Purdue 31
Ohio State saw your tweets about the “Purdue Spoiler-makers”. No upset this week for Purdue as they get manhandled by Ohio State. Boilermaker QB Aidan O’Connell had one of the better games of the week with a remarkably efficient 0.507 EPA/Play. The problem is OSU QB CJ Stroud upstaged him with a slightly better 0.595 EPA/Play. CJ Stroud is a legitimate Heisman trophy candidate in a year with no clear favorite for the award. The Ohio State Buckeyes are back and better than ever.
Michigan 21 - Penn State 17
It wasn’t the prettiest day offensively for the Wolverines, but it got the job done against a Nittany Lions team that is downright woeful on offense. This was the textbook definition of a Big Ten conference game in November. Michigan is still very much in contention for the college football playoff, but they need help from their mortal enemy: Ohio State. If Ohio State beats Michigan State next week (OSU opened as an 18 point favorite), Ohio State-Michigan could be for all the marbles at the end of the season.
Baylor 27 - Oklahoma 14
The Fighting Dave Aranda’s of Baylor knock off the undefeated Oklahoma and establish themselves as a legit Big 12 champion contender. Baylor’s defense stifled the superstar freshman QB Caleb Williams, who eventually got benched for Spencer Rattler. Oklahoma came into this game ranked 8th, and it wasn’t really clear how much upside they had in the CFP Rankings.
A loss here seems to eliminate them and the Big 12 from the playoff. For Baylor, they are having a tremendous season under year two of the Dave Aranda era, and could be in the hunt for a New Year’s Six bowl.
Florida State 31 - Miami 28
FLORIDA STATE, FLORIDA STATE, FLORIDA STATE, WOOOOOOO! What an amazing chapter of this classic rivalry. The Seminoles end their 4 game losing streak to the Canes. The Noles got off to a hot start, forcing a couple turnovers from young Miami QB Tyler Van Dyke. The Canes eventually battled their way back into the game, but ultimately FSU pulled out the victory in the end. This was a win the FSU program needed in the worst way. Given the current trajectories of Miami and Florida, FSU could be in prime position to reclaim their position at the top of the state.
Florida 70 - Samford 52
Speaking of Florida… who saw this coming? A week after UF fires their defensive coordinator, things get worse as UF has to survive a shootout with Samford. There was really only a couple of moments where it looked like the Gators could actually lose this game, but they were still the superior team and it eventually won over the game.
UF is not that far removed from nearly upsetting Alabama, but it feels like the wheels have come completely off for this program. I don’t think any coach in Dan Mullen’s position has come back and enjoyed a successful tenure after this much turmoil, so it seems like an inevitability this job will eventually open.
Notre Dame 28 - Virginia 3
Virginia was down their starting QB, and Notre Dame took full advantage. The Fighting Irish breeze through a contest against the Cavaliers. The ND offense continues to improve with each passing game, and if they continue to play like this they can easily win out of their remaining games. Notre Dame only has one loss, that being to a highly ranked Cincinnati team. Are their playoff chances high? Probably not. Are they nonexistent? Definitely not.
Wake Forest 45 - NC State 42
In a battle for ACC supremacy, the Wake Forest Demon Deacons come out on top in an offensive shootout. Even with each team losing double digit EP to turnovers, they both managed to make it over 40 points in this contest. Wake Forest is still undefeated in the ACC* and are in the drivers seat to make the ACC Championship game and win the whole thing.
*Yes, their lost to UNC was an out of conference game, its weird I know*
Ole Miss 29 - Texas A&M 19
The Lane Train gets the upset victory against Jimbo Fisher and the Texas A&M Aggies. The final score differential was only 10, but it honestly could have been a lot more. Ole Miss squandered a lot of scoring opportunities, and at one point had 400+ yards of offense and only 15 points to show for it. The Ole Miss defense stepped up at the end and put the Aggies away for good on a pick six. Both teams are basically out of the SEC West race, but in a battle for a potential New Year’s Six bowl visit, the Rebels get the nod.
Kansas 57 - Texas 56
Yes ladies and gentleman, you’re reading this score correctly! The 1-8 Kansas Jayhawks, a 31 point underdog, get the one point overtime victory against the Texas Longhorns. Texas was the better today, but they ultimately could not put away the Jayhawks or stop their offense. Losing nearly 20 expected points off turnovers certainly doesn’t help you either. Using the closing spread, this was the 5th biggest upset in the CFP era:
QB Shoutout of the Week
Welcome back Phil Jurkovec!! Thought to be lost for the season with an arm injury, Phil came back last week against Virginia Tech, and just straight up dominated Georgia Tech this week. His 99.2 QBR and 1.314 EPA/Play performances is one of the best regular season performances in the CFP era. An essentially perfect game for Jurkovec, who certainly reminded NFL scouts who he is.
Power 5 QB Performances
Group of 5 QB Performances
If you’re wondering where your QB is, they either did not reach the minimum play requirement, or there was no ESPN QBR data available at the time of this graph creation.
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