Associated Press

No. 19 OU comes from behind, tops No. 23 Tennessee in double OT

19 Comments

We said at the half Tennessee looked like a program worthy of all its offseason hype. In the second, it looked like the program that’s 1-for-a lot against ranked teams lately. In the end, the 23rd-ranked Vols blew a 14-point second half lead to fall 31-24 to No. 19 Oklahoma in double overtime.

Tennessee led 17-3 at the break and the score remained that way through the third quarter (though the Sooners would argue defensive back Steven Parker was robbed a scoop-and-score by the Big 12 officiating crew). In fact, Oklahoma did not reach in Tennessee territory until the 11:29 mark of the fourth quarter. But the Sooners successfully eschewed offensive coordinator Lincoln Riley‘s Air Raid scheme for a whatever-the-heck-works attack, marching 80 yards in 14 plays and 5:53 to pull within 17-10 with 8:20 to go – capped by a Mayfield pass to Samaje Perine – and then moved 60 yards in 13 snaps and 5:26, this time using a five-yard toss from Mayfield to Sterling Shepard to tie the game with 40 seconds left in regulation.

In all, regulation closed with Oklahoma gaining 140 yards in 27 plays to Tennessee’s one yard in four plays.

That sluggish finish, however, did not stop Tennessee from starting overtime with a crisp five-play touchdown drive, as a seven-yard Hurd run marked the Vols’ first points since the 12:14 mark of the second quarter.

Oklahoma responded in the bottom of the first, and in heart-stopping fashion. After Mayfield hit Shepard for 19 yards on OU’s first snap, the Sooners moved one, then zero, then four, and then one yard as Mayfield kept on a 4th-and-goal from the one to push the game into double overtime.

The Sooners then opened the second overtime by scoring again, an 18-yard catch-and-juke from Mayfield to Shepard. Dobbs was intercepted by Zack Sanchez in the bottom of the second overtime, clinching the biggest comeback by a visitor in Neyland Stadium history.

Mayfield rebounded from a rough start to finish with a better-than-it-looks-on-paper stat line of 19-of-39 passing for 187 yards with three touchdowns and two interceptions, plus 14 carries for 46 yards and a score. Perine rushed for 78 yards on 23 carries, and Shepard came up with every big play necessary, hauling in seven grabs for 74 yards and both of Mayfield’s scores.

Dobbs completed on 13 of his 31 throws for 125 yards with a touchdown and that game-ending interception, plus 12 rushing yards and a touchdown. Hurd carried 24 times for 106 yards and a score.

The loss drops Butch Jones to 13-2 at Tennessee when leading at the half.

Oklahoma (2-0) sweeps the home-and-home with Tennessee and beats an SEC team for the third straight season. Tennessee (1-1) spends yet another week wondering at what point the Vols will finally break through.

Chip Kelly won’t make QB change despite UCLA offensive woes

Getty Images
4 Comments

Chip Kelly revolutionized college football back when he was at Oregon, becoming so successful that not one but three NFL teams tried or succeeded in hiring him.

Kelly’s return to the sidelines in the college game however… could be going better. UCLA was blown out of the water on Saturday night at the Rose Bowl by No. 5 Oklahoma and the Bruins offense is actually among the worst in all of FBS.

They’re dead last in yards per play, second to last in total offense and No. 127 in scoring offense. Oh and sophomore quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson is No. 99 nationally in passer rating.

Despite those numbers, it appears Kelly isn’t contemplating a new face behind center as the team moves into Pac-12 play.

“We didn’t,” Kelly said when asked by the LA Times whether he thought of making a change at quarterback on Saturday. “…we felt confident in Dorian.”

To be fair, Thompson-Robinson did seem a little improved against the Sooners than he did in his first two starts of 2019 against Cincinnati and San Diego State. But those numbers speak for themselves with road trips to Washington State and Arizona coming up for the 0-3 side from Westwood.

Pony Up! SMU off to best start since 1984 at 3-0

Getty Images
4 Comments

TCU may have moved into the top 25 of the AP Poll this week after dispatching Purdue on Saturday but upcoming opponent SMU is off to an equally hot start coming into Week 4 after topping Texas State.

In fact, it’s a historic one down in Dallas.

As the school noted recently, the 3-0 start to the 2019 campaign is the Mustangs’ best since… 1984. That’s just after the Pony Express days on the Hilltop and right before the program got hammered by the NCAA for major violations.

Sonny Dykes’ tenure got off to a rough start after going 5-7 last season but the team looks much improved thanks in part to the play of Texas transfer QB Shane Buechele.

We’ll see if the two can keep things rolling against the rival Horned Frogs but the AAC might just have another intriguing team in the mix after such a hot start by SMU.

Schools reportedly spent an average of $8,200 on hotel rooms before home games last season

Getty Images
6 Comments

College football coaches love controlling every element that they can in the lead up to a game in order to minimize distractions. As a result, it’s become common place for nearly every football team in the country to spend the night at a hotel before home games.

Now most folks might think it’s strange to have teams shack up in rooms when they can spend the hours before a game at home but that’s not what schools do. And those hotel bills add up to quite a pretty penny in most cases as an investigation into the practice by Gatehouse Media shows.

In 2018 alone, public schools spend a median of $44,000 on hotels and nearly $5 million total across some 109 programs according to the report. That included low spenders like Coastal Carolina (just $2,800 per game) to those rolling in cash like Texas A&M ($278,000 total, or nearly $40k per home game).

Remarkably the Aggies spent so much because the hotel they stay at requires a two-night minimum and they leave the rooms unoccupied for one of those nights.

“We believe we would be breaking sleep routine if we did not stay in a hotel before a football game,” said OSU Associate Athletics Director Jerry Emig told the site after the Buckeyes spent nearly six figures on hotels for home games. “Ohio State has stayed in a hotel the night before every road game and every home game for more than 50 years.”

There’s some interesting sortable data in the full report, which includes noting that the SEC spends the most rooms on average and the Big Ten the least.

So next time you see the buses pull up to your favorite team’s stadium on a Saturday in college football, just remember it cost a decent chunk of change for the school to house those kids in a hotel prior to the game.

Florida drops in latest Super 16 poll, UCF moves in, UGA-Notre Dame battle set to be a top seven affair

Getty Images
5 Comments

Uncertainty over Florida’s future without starting quarterback Feliepe Franks is already causing voters to drop the Gators in national polls following the team’s escape at Kentucky over the weekend.

Dan Mullen’s squad dropped two spots to 11th despite winning to move to 3-0 on the season, a good indication that a forthcoming slide might happen in the AP and Coaches Polls as well. They weren’t the only ones to drop however, as Michigan slid from No. 10 to No. 12, Texas A&M dropped out altogether and Oregon moved down a spot to No. 16.

The SEC once again occupies slots 2-4 in the poll and have five of the top 16 teams overall. There was a slight change however as some voters apparently forgot about LSU’s win over new No. 9 Texas and flipped the Tigers with Georgia in the 3/4 spots. That makes the upcoming battle in Athens between the Bulldogs and No. 7 Notre Dame a top seven affair with huge College Football Playoff implications.

It should be noted that three writers (Kevin McGuire, Zach Barnett and Bryan Fischer) here at CFTalk have weekly votes in the Super 16 poll. Without further ado, here’s the full rankings heading into Week 4:

  1. Clemson (34 first place votes)
  2. Alabama (8)
  3. Georgia (1)
  4. LSU (3)
  5. Oklahoma
  6. Ohio State
  7. Notre Dame
  8. Auburn
  9. Texas
  10. Utah
  11. Florida
  12. Michigan
  13. Wisconsin
  14. Penn State
  15. UCF
  16. Oregon

Also notable were the debut of UCF in the poll, the highest ranked Group of Five team as a result of their thumping of Stanford down in Orlando.