College Football Entertains in Week 10


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College football has made an exciting return despite being in uncertain times.

It was a wild weekend in college football, full of upsets, surprises, and shocking changes in the rankings, including a new team at number one. No. 2 Notre Dame’s double overtime 47-40 defeat over No. 4 Clemson knocked the Tigers off the top spot. Notre Dame running back Kyren Williams led the Fighting Irish to victory with 140 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Ian Book added 310 yards and one touchdown in the air, 102 of those yards going to receiver Javon McKinley. Despite the Tigers’ loss, Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei held his own in the absence of top prospect Trevor Lawrence who was sidelined with COVID-19. Uiaglelei threw for 439 yard and two touchdowns, and receivers Cornell Powell and Amari Rodgers both contributed over 100 yards receiving. Long time Notre Dame fan and senior James Gilmartin excitedly commented, “This was a game to remember, and I am happy the Irish came out on top.” This thrilling matchup ended Clemson’s 36-game regular season win streak and boosted the Fighting Irish up two spots in the rankings. The conclusion of this game left room for the No. 1 Alabama Crimson Tide to claim their place atop the Top 25.

In the Southeastern Conference (SEC), the marquee matchup between the No. 6 Florida Gators and No. 12 Georgia Bulldogs ended in a huge 44-28 win for the Gators. This win moved Florida up two seeds and knocked Georgia down a whopping seven seeds, moving them to fourth in the SEC and out of the top ten. Florida was fueled by Heisman candidate quarterback Kyle Trask, who threw for 474 yards and four touchdowns to four different players, including highly regarded NFL prospect tight end Kyle Pitts. This Gators win allowed for No. 5 Texas A&M to move up two seeds due to their week six win over Florida and blowout 48-3 win over the South Carolina Gamecocks this past weekend. Texas A&M quarterback Kellen Mond threw for four touchdowns and running back Isaiah Spiller ran for 131 yards on only 18 touches. Other than top-ranked Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, and No. 24 Auburn, the rest of the SEC remains unranked. Senior John Carver was willing to contribute his opinion on the SEC’s play this year: “This season, I think the SEC is easily the most competitive conference in college football.”

Due to the staggered start times of the college football conferences, there are many new faces in the Top 25. Shockingly, No. 7 Cincinnati, No. 8 BYU, and No. 10 Indiana are all undefeated and in the top ten. The Hoosiers had a huge in-conference 38-21 win against the now unranked Michigan Wolverines. Hoosier quarterback Michael Penix Jr. threw the ball 50 times for 342 yards and three touchdowns. Running back Stevie Scott added 97 yards and two touchdowns, along with receiver Ty Fryfogle contributing seven catches for 142 yards and a score. Receiver Whop Philyor also had an impressive performance with 11 catches. This win leaves Indiana second in the Big Ten, behind the undefeated No. 3 Ohio State Buckeyes. Further, and to much surprise, No. 15 Marshall and No. 17 Coastal Carolina find themselves undefeated and inside the Top 25. Both teams had easy wins this past weekend; the Thundering Herd won 51-10 over UMass and the Chanticleers won 23-6 over South Alabama.

With Trevor Lawrence currently out, the Heisman race is wide open and fellow candidates are taking advantage. Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Mac Jones is currently in the lead after having week 10 off with 55 total Heisman points. Justin Fields of the Ohio State Buckeyes finds himself in the number two spot following an impressive performance in a 49-27 win over Rutgers. Fields threw for 314 yards and five touchdowns along with one touchdown on the ground. His fantastic play leaves him with 47 Heisman votes. Coming in third is the former early favorite, Clemson Tiger, Trevor Lawrence. He has missed two straight games with COVID-19, but still has 42 Heisman votes. Senior Andrew Goldstein said, “I think that even though he is third right now, Lawrence will end up winning the Heisman [trophy].” The Florida Gators’ quarterback made a huge statement in his incredible performance against Georgia. He leads an extremely explosive offense and has 27 Heisman votes after ten weeks of play. Finally, BYU quarterback Zach Wilson orchestrated a big 51-17 victory over Boise State. His tough play and  three touchdowns contributed to his 25 Heisman votes. 

The race for the top four in the Top 25 is wide open. Leading the pack right now are Alabama, Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Clemson, with Texas A&M and Florida right behind. There could also be some shocking top four candidates as Cincinnati, BYU, Miami, Indiana, and Oregon find themselves in promising positions. Although COVID-19 has left the college football season unpredictable and unbalanced, this season has featured many incredible performances and has NFL scouts on the edge of their seats.