Texas Tech and Oklahoma State put on an entertaining show on Saturday night in Lubbock, combining for 59 first downs, 1,041 yards of offense, 186 plays, 18 penalties, five turnovers and 86 points.
But was the No. 18 Cowboys (7-1) who got the win, 52-34, over the No. 15 Red Raiders (7-2).
OSU roared out to 21 first-quarter points, only to see Tech close to within 28-24 heading into the half. OSU used another 21-point quarter in the third to stretch the lead to 49-34, and then the two teams traded field goals to end the game.
Usually, J.W. Walsh is known as the more mobile of the two Cowboy quarterbacks, but Clint Chelf did much of his damage against the Red Raiders on the ground, rushing for 88 yards and two touchdowns on six carries, including a back-breaking 67-yard scoring scamper midway through the third quarter that put OSU back up by three scores (he also passed for a season-high 211 yards). The Cowboys totaled 281 rushing yards, including a game-high 96 from Desmond Roland, who also scored three TDs.
Tech responded with a flurry of footballs in the air, as freshman quarterback Davis Webb chucked the ball 71 times. He completed 45 of them for 425 yards and two scores, but he was also intercepted twice. Red Raiders tight end Jace Amaro continued to put up dominant numbers, catching 15 passes for 174 yards and a TD.
The win keeps OSU in the Big 12 title hunt and makes the path for the Red Raiders — losers of two straight now — a bit more difficult. Both teams still have to face Baylor which means more track meets to come for these teams in the near future.
For the second straight week, Virginia Tech has lost a starting member of its defense.
The school confirmed in a press release that Vinny Mihota will miss what’s left of the 2017 season because of a knee injury. The defensive end suffered the injury in the Week 12 win over Pittsburgh.
This is the second consecutive season Mihota’s year has ended prematurely because of injury as he missed last year’s bowl game with a lingering shoulder issue that required surgery.
“I share Vinny’s disappointment that he’ll miss the rest of the season,” a statement from head coach Justin Fuente began. “But based off last offseason, I also know no one will rehab more diligently than Vinny to get back on the field with his teammates.”
Mihota has started all 11 games thus far this season. He’s been credited with 24 tackles, 3.5 tackles for loss, two quarterback hits and 1.5 sacks.
A week ago today, Tech announced that starting safety Terrell Edmunds would miss the remainder of the year after undergoing surgery on his left shoulder.
Akron came into Week 13 needing to either win or rely on someone else to lose. In the end, the Zips decided to just go ahead and punch their own ticket to the Motor City, thank you very much.
Jumping out to a 24-7 halftime lead Tuesday night, that margin proved to be more than enough for Akron as they easily cruised past rival Kent State in a 24-14 win. Kent actually outgained its hosts 246-191, but a fumble return for a touchdown with less than 20 seconds left in the second quarter essentially sealed the win for Akron.
Both Akron and Ohio entered this week tied atop the MAC East at 5-2. However, the Zips beat the Bobcats in Week 12, meaning Akron is the first MAC team to claim a spot in the conference championship game at Detroit’s Ford Field next weekend.
This will mark the Zips’s second-ever title-game appearance, with the first coming in 2005. That season, Akron beat Northern Illinois 31-30 for its first-ever conference championship.
Akron will play either NIU (6-1) or Toledo (6-1) in this year’s title game, although it’s trending heavily toward the Rockets as they own the head-to-head with the Huskies. So, the possibilities?
Toledo wins the West with either a win over Western Michigan OR an NIU loss. Northern Illinois needs to beat Central Michigan AND have Toledo lose to WMU at home to win the division.
Florida’s search for a new head coach could very shortly be ready to take another twist.
Despite a certain former Head Ball Coach saying UF’s new head coach would be a current one, speculation on Jim McElwain‘s replacement has seemingly centered on Chip Kelly over the last few days. In fact, a group of UF officials headed by athletic director Scott Stricklin and president Kent Fuchs visited with Kelly in New Hampshire over the weekend to discuss the job.
While it walks, talks and smells like the university has targeted Kelly as its top choice, it appears they want an answer, one way or the other, from the former Oregon head coach sooner rather than later. From Yahoo! Sports‘ Pat Forde:
But with other potential candidates becoming available for discussion this weekend, Florida officials appear to be ready to move on shortly after Thanksgiving if a deal has not been struck with Kelly.
Potentially mucking up the works in Gainesville is UCLA, which fired Jim Mora Sunday and is also said to be targeting Kelly as a replacement. In fact, it’s being reported that the Bruins’ search contingent has already met with Kelly.
UCF’s Scott Frost, who is believed to be Nebraska’s top choice when/when it moves on from Mike Riley, and Mississippi State’s Dan Mullen are thought to be likely targets should either Kelly snub the Gators or they move on.
One very likely reason for UF’s reported urgency for a decision from Kelly is the revamped recruiting calendar. This year marks the first time that there’s an early signing period in football, with Class of 2018 recruits given a 72-hour window from Dec. 20-22 to sign their National Letters of Intent.
The sooner UF can wrap up its search, the sooner its new coach and his staff can try to hold together some semblance of a first recruiting class with the program – especially with two SEC programs, Tennessee and Ole Miss, already looking for a head coach while a couple of others (Arkansas, Texas A&M) could be on the hunt as early as this coming weekend as well.
The third-to-last edition of the College Football Playoff rankings were released Tuesday night, and the only changes in the top 12 came at spot No. 2, where Miami jumped Clemson ahead of the pair’s ACC title clash on Dec. 2.
USC remained the highest-ranked Pac-12 team at No. 11, dimming any hopes the Pac-12 could back-door its way into the top four should chaos reign elsewhere. The Trojans were one spot ahead of TCU and two spots ahead of the Pac-12’s second-highest ranked team in Washington State. Central Florida again led all Group of 5 teams at No. 15.
Virginia Tech re-joined the rankings at No. 25, one spot behind the debut rankings for South Carolina.
The top 25:
8. Notre Dame
9. Ohio State
10. Penn State
13. Washington State
14. Mississippi State
15. Central Florida
16. Michigan State
19. Oklahoma State
23. Boise State
24. South Carolina
25. Virginia Tech