It was a crazy Week 9 in college football. From upsets to blowouts, the slate of games yielded some pretty stunning results. Here are four takeaways from Week 9 action: ! This is not an endorsement for any product or service mentioned
The “pff college safety rankings 2020” is a ranking that was created by Phil Steele. It is based on the FCS level of play. The rankings are released every year in August.
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Six college football teams have perfect records heading into November. Michigan, SMU, and San Diego State are all out.
From the Big Ten to the ACC, our correspondents break down Week 9.
Michigan State and Michigan are going in different paths.
For the first time since 1964, both teams were rated in the AP top 10 and were unbeaten in the game between Michigan and Michigan State.
They each have their strengths and limitations, but we can draw some conclusions about both teams following the Spartans’ 37-33 victory.
The Heisman Trophy candidacy of Michigan State running back Kenneth Walker III is no longer a topic of discussion. Walker finished with 197 rushing yards and five touchdowns, three of which came in the second half when the Spartans most needed him.
“I’ll be honest, I wasn’t anticipating three of his touchdowns today,” quarterback Payton Thorne said. “We were in the huddle on the first one, and I said, ‘Let’s just forget about the red zone and score right here,’ which he did, so that was terrific. The other was not a home run play, but with him, every play can be a home run. I’m sure he’ll give credit to the offensive line for their efforts.”
The Spartans’ secondary, as excellent as Walker and the Michigan State offense were in rallying from a 16-point second-half hole, still has some difficulties. Michigan’s quarterbacks racked up 406 passing yards and three touchdowns against the Michigan State defense.
The defense allows 300.5 pass yards per game, which is the fourth-worst in the FBS. Michigan State must beat Penn State and Ohio State to go to the Big Ten title game and, eventually, the College Football Playoff. The Nittany Lions are averaging 267 pass yards per game, which ranks 34th in the nation, while Ohio State is averaging 346.3 yards per game, which is sixth.
Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is 2-9 on the road versus AP-ranked opponents, including a 37-33 defeat to Michigan State. Getty Images/Gregory Shamus
Since 2004, Michigan is 89-2 in games in which it has led by 16 or more points at any point in the second half. Michigan scored on just two of its seven possessions in the second half, after scoring on all but one of its six drives in the first half. A J.J. McCarthy fumble, a turnover on downs, and a Cade McNamara interception capped the team’s last three drives. Michigan paid the price for not taking full advantage of scoring chances.
On the plus side, Michigan’s passing game was one of the team’s biggest question marks. McNamara’s performance was his finest of the season. In addition, despite being thrashed by Michigan State in 2020, the Michigan secondary was able to hold Thorne to 196 yards and no touchdowns.
The most significant lesson from this game is that, despite all of the rhetoric about how different this team is and how the team’s leaders have taken on more responsibility, Michigan has yet to demonstrate that it can close out a crucial game when it’s required.
Under Jim Harbaugh, Michigan is 2-9 on the road against AP-ranked opponents, the poorest victory % by a single-school coach in such games. Michigan will play Penn State on the road, while Ohio State will play in Ann Arbor, but the Wolverines will almost certainly need to win to advance to the Big Ten Championship game. Tom VanHaaren (Tom VanHaaren)
Miami has found its next quarterback.
Over the last two weeks, Van Dyke has passed for 751 yards, seven touchdowns, and one interception in two Miami victory. Getty Images/Justin Berl
The situation appeared bad when Miami lost D’Eriq King for the season due to a shoulder injury. But there is one silver lining to a season that hasn’t gone exactly as planned: the Hurricanes seem to have discovered their future quarterback.
Tyler Van Dyke has led the Hurricanes’ attack with a calm confidence that has grown infectious since taking over for King. In a 38-34 victory against Pittsburgh on Saturday, he threw for 426 yards and three touchdowns, his greatest effort ever.
“He walks off the field like it’s a stroll in the park after completing a touchdown pass,” coach Manny Diaz remarked later. “He has such a laid-back manner. That was a difficult atmosphere to work in. Pitt takes themselves in making life difficult for opposition quarterbacks, so scoring 38 points and throwing for 426 yards is rather impressive.”
Van Dyke has completed over 75% of his passes in his last two victories against ranked opponents, totaling 751 yards, seven touchdowns, and just one interception. Not bad for a quarterback who started preseason camp behind King and shared repetitions with fellow freshman Jake Garcia, who was tipped as having the higher potential of the two.
But Garcia is hurting as well, putting Van Dyke in the limelight, which he has fully exploited. We saw flashes of his potential in his first two starts against ACC opponents, as he put together strong second-half performances in heartbreakingly close defeats to Virginia and North Carolina. Van Dyke has to play with greater confidence from the start, according to Diaz.
Maybe it helped when Van Dyke trashed NC State the week before the game, saying he wasn’t concerned about the ranked Wolfpack since Miami had crushed them the year before.
Cocky? Sure. What would you use for a bulletin board? Absolutely. However, Miami has been lacking in swag, so Diaz elected to embrace those phrases and utilize them as a rallying cry for his club. It’s apparent that his self-assurance has rubbed off on him. Miami has not given up on the season despite a 2-4 start and is playing harder than ever. Younger players, like as running back Jaylan Knighton and receivers Key’Shawn Smith and Xavier Restrepo, are making plays to aid Van Dyke.
Bowl eligibility appeared out of reach two weeks ago, and there were still doubts regarding Diaz’s job security. Those uncertainties exist, but it now seems as though Miami can win out and finish with an 8-4 record, which is roughly identical to a year ago. There are no games remaining for the Hurricanes against teams with winning records.
Take a look at those four blunders: Alabama and Michigan State each have a 15-1 record. They fell by a combined five points against Virginia and North Carolina. When seen through that lens — especially in light of the young movement, which has shown that the elements are in place to build upon — there is cause to be optimistic. That is why, not just for Miami, but also for Diaz, the approaching month is crucial. Andrea Adelson’s remark
Wake Forest is rated in the top 10 for the first time in program history, thanks to quarterback Sam Hartman. Getty Images/Grant Halverson
Hartman has had quite the career, both on and off the field. He’s been outstanding for a Wake Forest offense that has scored 35 points or more in all eight games this season and ranks fifth in the country in scoring at 43.4 points per game, a big reason the Demon Deacons are 8-0 and in the top 10 of the Associated Press poll for the first time in school history.
Because of Hartman’s expertise, they can do a little bit of everything on offense. He has started in a game at quarterback for the fourth consecutive season, so there isn’t much he hasn’t seen. Hartman is the first to admit that he is surrounded by big-name players. Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry have combined for 14 touchdown catches and an average of more than 17 yards per grab. Wake Forest’s offensive line has allowed only 11 sacks in eight games, despite the Deacons attempting 260 passes. Christian Beal-Smith, Justice Ellison, and Christian Turner are all averaging 4.5 yards per rush.
Hartman isn’t quite a statue, either. He has more over 2,400 throwing yards and 200 running yards, making him one of just two FBS quarterbacks to do so. Brennan Armstrong of Virginia is the other.
Bryce Young of Alabama, Kenny Pickett of Pitt, and Matt Corral of Ole Miss are all enjoying outstanding seasons and will be considered for the Heisman Trophy, but don’t overlook Hartman while ranking the finest quarterbacks in the NCAA this year. Hartman has 22 touchdown throws and just three interceptions on his way to a 65 percent completion rate. He’s thrown for 1,514 yards and 13 touchdowns in his last four games.
He’s also simple to root for. In honor of his adoptive brother, Demetri Allison, who died by suicide in 2015, Hartman wears eye black in the form of a cross beneath his right eye. Hartman still wears the No. 10 jersey of his late brother. Chris Low (c)
For the time being, Oregon’s victory against Ohio State should count.
Since losing to Oregon in Week 2, Ohio State’s defense hasn’t allowed more than 24 points in a game. USA TODAY Sports/Joseph Maiorana
Ohio State’s offense has been cruising over inferior, unranked opponents for almost a month, giving some credibility to the theory that the Buckeyes have improved so much since losing at home to Oregon on Sept. 11 that they should be ranked ahead of the Ducks despite the head-to-head result.
Then they had to play Penn State.
Yes, Ohio State has improved tremendously since losing to Oregon, especially on defense, but nothing about the Buckeyes’ performance versus PSU should be used to overturn Oregon’s head-to-head victory. When confronted with more equal competition on Saturday, Ohio State looked vulnerable at times, trying to get the Nittany Lions off the field on third down and relying on four field goals and a fumble return to complement a struggling offense that produced just enough huge plays.
Ohio State is brimming with talent, and if they win out, their strength of schedule will rise to third, giving the average top-25 team a 19 percent chance of going 12-1 against Ohio State’s schedule. At that moment, Ohio State’s résumé is not only plausible, but also likely to overcome Oregon’s head-to-head record in the eyes of the selection committee.
But we’re not quite there yet.
Coach Ryan Day was accurate when he declared his squad won a hard-fought victory against the Nittany Lions on Saturday evening. In Columbus, the Ducks did the same. Heather Dinich is a writer.
The “college football snap counts” is a blog post that gives insight into the most important plays from Week 9 of college football.
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