Monday, December 5, 2022
HomeSportsCollege soccer Week 8 highlights

College soccer Week 8 highlights

On Saturday, Clemson turned the ball over 4 occasions, trailed by as a lot as 14, benched its beginning QB and received. That, Dabo Swinney stated, is the headline.

Acquired it?

No, do not ask about that quarterback controversy. It does not exist. Figment of your creativeness. Swinney is actually Kevin Bacon on the finish of “Animal House,” standing within the midst of a stampede and yelling, “All is well!”

Swinney spent your entire offseason hyping DJ Uiagalelei, regardless of his struggles in 2021. The coach has spent the primary seven weeks of this season meting out one “I told you so” after one other, together with as not too long ago as final week, when he referred to as doubts of Uiagalelei “embarrassing” and a product of “the world we live in now.”

And when Clemson was trailing by 10 and Uiagalelei coughed up his third turnover of the sport halfway by the third quarter, Swinney got here with the hook.

Why? Swinney believed freshman Cade Klubnik might give the offense a spark, and the transfer labored. Clemson scored on three of its subsequent 4 drives. Certain, Klubnik accomplished simply two passes within the recreation, so his inspiration was extra Rob Schneider in “The Waterboy” than Invoice Pullman in “Independence Day.” However hey, a win is a win.

Within the aftermath, Swinney emphatically assured Clemson followers that Uiagalelei continues to be the starter because the Tigers, now 8-0, head into an off week with their ACC Atlantic Division crown all however assured. They won’t play one other ranked opponent this yr.

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2:26

Clemson switches quarterbacks within the second half and overcomes 4 turnovers to beat Syracuse 24-21.

However Swinney is true. The world is a chilly, callous place, and so we should additionally ask the larger query: Is that this an 8-0 crew able to profitable a nationwide championship?

Earlier than final season, the reply might need been an emphatic, “Yes!” In any case, we would seen Clemson shrug off mediocrity earlier than and nonetheless preserve profitable. Look again at Swinney’s first nationwide title within the 2016 marketing campaign. That season, the Tigers struggled towards Troy, solely beat NC State due to a missed chip shot as time expired and misplaced to Pitt. However Deshaun Watson nonetheless discovered Hunter Renfrow within the again nook of the top zone at Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium within the title recreation towards Alabama, and nobody wanted to recollect these regular-season struggles after that.

However then 2021 occurred, and regardless of its 10-3 end Clemson was clearly susceptible. The wins had been much less future than they had been rugged dedication. That’s commendable however maybe not sustainable.

Clemson wanted double extra time to get previous Wake Forest and practically coughed up an enormous lead every week in the past towards Florida State. And if not for Syracuse’s completely mind-boggling choice to place Sean Tucker into witness safety Saturday — “I felt like he was the one guy who could flat-out beat us,” Swinney stated afterward — there’s each cause to assume this could be extra 2021 than 2016.

And but, is that this query any completely different from those posed at Oregon or Alabama or Michigan and on down the road?

The Geese demolished UCLA on Saturday and established themselves because the clear front-runner within the Pac-12, however does that matter once they’ve already been curb-stomped by Georgia within the opener?

Ought to we neglect the best way the Bulldogs demolished them approach again when if the latest knowledge factors are much more spectacular? Do we want a rematch of a recreation that was over by the top of the primary quarter? It is sophisticated.

Ole Miss supplied the SEC an alternative choice to the Crimson Tide, however LSU despatched the Rebels scurrying on out of Louisiana like a crawdad in a steam pot, as Brian Kelly would say.

However Lane Kiffin’s crew will nonetheless get its shot at Alabama, and if it ought to win, would not the Rebels be a playoff crew? It is sophisticated.

Or how about these Crimson Tide? Nick Saban seemingly spent this week of follow like Jigsaw, planning ever extra sadistic dilemmas for his crew to maneuver, however the rat poison was efficiently expelled from Alabama’s system with a 30-6 win over Mississippi State. Sure, the Tide have appeared susceptible towards Texas and A&M and misplaced to Tennessee, however does anybody actually assume Alabama cannot be a playoff crew? Effectively, it is sophisticated.

Regardless of the straightforward win, Alabama completed with simply 290 yards of complete offense — its lowest manufacturing in an SEC recreation since 2014.

Are we bought on Tennessee? Has Georgia simply been easing into the season prefer it’s a heat tub? Is Michigan a becoming adversary for Ohio State?

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Max Duggan wasn’t excellent Saturday within the 38-28 TCU win, however he was distinctive when he needed to be, and the Horned Frogs’ floor recreation pounded away at Kansas State till the Wildcats lastly gave approach. TCU has been tied or behind within the second half of every of its final three video games, together with towards Kansas State’s backup QB on Saturday, all of which could underscore simply how slim the margin is for the Horned Frogs, but it surely’s a line they’ve but to cross. Does that make TCU a playoff crew? Effectively, it is sophisticated.

If we’re nitpicking, we’ll discover practically all groups left wanting. In different phrases, it is all sophisticated.

However Swinney is not nitpicking. Effectively, certain, he picked a number of nits together with his beginning quarterback Saturday, however bygones are bygones now. The purpose is, Clemson received. So, too, did Alabama and Oregon and Penn State and Oklahoma State. Their chase continues.

Ultimately, Clemson is 8-0, one in every of simply six groups (Georgia, Tennessee, Ohio State, Michigan and TCU) left with a zero within the loss column.

And when it comes time for the committee to select nits and cut up hairs, that zero looms awfully giant as a result of profitable each recreation is the one method to erase all of the problems and make the committee’s choice easy.


Nix, Geese roll previous UCLA

We wish to challenge a proper apology to Bo Nix. He’s not the rationale Auburn followers spent 4 years beating their heads towards a wall, shouting “Make it stop! Make it stop!”

Nix bested UCLA 45-30 with an excellent efficiency Saturday, finishing 22-of-28 passes for 283 yards and 5 touchdowns. He ran for 51 extra yards. He electrified a fan base that continues to be blissfully unaware of all of the ache he as soon as helped inflict in his previous life.

Sure, the numbers at Auburn appeared to counsel Nix was on the root of the issue, however as Mark Twain stated, there are lies, damned lies and statistics, and Nix’s numbers had been probably the most insidious of lies.

Sure, we watched Nix wrestle in his Oregon debut because the Geese had been steamrolled by Georgia, however that was an unfair pattern. It was like beginning contemporary at a brand new highschool with an opportunity to lastly slot in with the cool youngsters, solely to stumble upon an previous classmate on the mall. Georgia knew Auburn Bo Nix too properly.

However look previous all that. Have a look at what Nix has change into now that he is away from Auburn, previous Gus Malzahn and Bryan Harsin and … boy, it appears like there have been six or seven different coaches in there, too. Oh, certain, Nix was an Auburn legacy and a five-star recruit, however The Plains has eaten up higher males than that. However after years of tumult, Nix lastly realized that this relationship was poisonous, that he needed to transfer on. Nothing in Taylor Swift’s discography captures the emotion of this breakup.

And when Nix left, he bought as distant as he might go. And in the end, he was free.

Nix has Oregon at 6-1 and undefeated in Pac-12 play. Regardless of that brutal opener towards Georgia, the Geese have miraculously compelled their approach again into playoff dialog. Nix’s efficiency Saturday helped the Oregon fan base totally exorcise one in every of its demons, forcing Chip Kelly to return, defeated, to the unhappy suburban apartment with the empty pool that all of us assume he lives at.

What occurred at Auburn was inevitable. Nix simply occurred to be taking part in QB on the time, just like the actions director on the Titanic. So, contemplate this Nix’s “Good Will Hunting” second. It is not your fault. It is not your fault. It is not your fault.


Eight is sufficient

Over the summer season, Mario Cristobal wished to guarantee the general public that Miami was critical about profitable and did not want any gimmicks to get the job achieved. So, Cristobal stated, no extra turnover chain.

Large mistake.

The turnover chain was not a gimmick. It was a sacred relic, and its destruction has signaled the top occasions in Coral Gables.

Duke annihilated Miami 45-21 on Saturday, because the Hurricanes coughed up the soccer eight occasions.

Eight. Instances.

Now, it would be straightforward sufficient to chalk up all of the turnovers to the straightforward indisputable fact that Miami is a really dangerous soccer crew. However that will be like suggesting there are such a lot of “Fast and Furious” motion pictures as a result of Vin Diesel is America’s biggest residing thespian. Each issues are true, however these details alone can’t clarify such prolific output.

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No, for Miami there may be however one apparent wrongdoer: Cristobal angered the soccer gods, and he should now go on a mythic quest, by corridors haunted by the ghosts of Al Golden and Randy Shannon, scale the unconquerable mountains of the ACC Coastal Division and survive an epic freestyle battle with Uncle Luke to retrieve the turnover chain and return it to its rightful place on Miami’s sideline.

The entire thing is already in improvement at HBO.


Sanders leads Cowboys previous Texas

Quinn Ewers has had some tough moments this season. His automotive was towed. He damage his shoulder. He needed to watch Oklahoma play for a complete recreation. However Saturday was his all-time low.

Ewers accomplished simply 19 of 49 throws and tossed three interceptions in Texas’ 41-34 loss at Oklahoma State.

The Pokes had been taking part in with a battered offensive line, however Spencer Sanders nonetheless delivered some vital throws, tossing two touchdowns, whereas Jaden Nixon confirmed he might’ve run over Texas’ protection carrying bed room slippers.

It was an enormous bounce-back win for Oklahoma State after blowing a late lead towards TCU final week. The Cowboys are 6-1, and Sanders has firmly established himself as both the very best dangerous QB or worst good QB within the nation.

After the Longhorns misplaced twice with out Ewers earlier this season, Saturday’s defeat can a minimum of take away any linger “What if” debates and permit Texas to utterly flip its consideration to protecting trick-or-treaters secure from monkey assaults this week.


Iowa digs previous all-time low

Iowa lastly benched Spencer Petras on Saturday, after he managed simply eight completions — six to his crew, and two to Ohio State. However actually, benching is not sufficient salvation for Petras. It is time Quarterback Protecting Providers steps in and removes him from his house. He deserves to run free on a farm upstate.

Even after Petras was benched, issues did not get higher for the Hawkeyes. Alex Padilla accomplished simply 5 of 10 passes for 32 yards and an interception, primarily assuring Iowa’s QB depth chart is simply the 2 Spider-Mans pointing at one another meme.

How dangerous was it?

Iowa was 1-of-13 on third-down tries.

Iowa had six turnovers. (Miami can anticipate a thank-you card from coordinator Brian Ferentz this week.)

Iowa averaged 2.2 yards per run and but the QBs had been so dangerous the Hawkeyes nonetheless selected to run it 35 occasions.

There’s just one logical resolution to Iowa’s offensive woes at this level. It is time for Kirk Ferentz to fireside his son and rent Jeff Bowden.


Below-the-radar play of the week

Should you missed the ending to Stanford vs. Arizona State, we perceive. Watching that recreation was punishment for shoplifting in a number of states. And maybe fittingly, the ultimate moments had been each bit as unlucky as a matchup between two dangerous groups would counsel.

Trailing 15-14, Arizona State chucked a Hail Mary throw down the sideline on fourth-and-19, which seemed to be hauled in by Elijhah Badger to arrange a game-winning subject aim with simply seconds remaining.

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Arizona State falls to Stanford within the ultimate seconds as Emory Jones has one foot out on the 4th-and-19 catch that will have arrange a game-winning subject aim.

Upon replay assessment, nonetheless, the decision was overturned, with officers saying Badger had a toe out of bounds on the catch, permitting Stanford to snap a 10-game convention shedding streak.


Below-the-radar recreation of the week

Rhode Island and Monmouth placed on a marathon Saturday, taking part in seven overtimes earlier than the Rams emerged with a 48-46 win. Not for the reason that famed Texas A&M-LSU epic has a school soccer recreation between two groups nobody cared about gone on so very, very lengthy.

The sport featured seven ties and 4 lead modifications. Monmouth QB Tony Muskett — who additionally might have been a personality on “Bonanza” — threw for 3 touchdowns. Rhode Island QB Kasim Hill threw for 352 yards and three touchdowns, together with a 73-yarder to Marques DeShields with 3:23 remaining to tie the sport at 35, however he additionally tossed three picks.

Within the first OT, each groups traded touchdowns. Each went scoreless within the second body. Then it went to 2-point tries, and the Rams and Hawks stayed even by 4 extra frames. Within the seventh OT, Rhode Island broke up a move ultimately zone, and Hill accomplished his throw to Ed Lee to safe the win.

Sadly, Jimbo Fisher’s nephew was not in a position to attend, so this seven-OT recreation didn’t finish with fisticuffs, and albeit, we can’t actually embrace seven overtimes except somebody carrying khakis begins taking swings at full strangers.

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We hate to be those to carry this up, but it surely must be stated: Liberty is 7-1.

We all know, we all know: When quarterback Malik Willis left, all of us hoped we might safely cease listening to the Flames. However one way or the other, they’ve stored profitable, together with a 41-14 stomping of BYU on Saturday behind 213 dashing yards from Dae Dae Hunter.

Liberty’s lone loss got here on a missed 2-point attempt towards 6-1 Wake Forest.

Liberty has received with three completely different beginning QBs.

Liberty is — deep breaths — good.

Is it potential Hugh Freeze is fueled by the nation’s anger at him, just like the emperor in “Star Wars?” (We additionally assume that if Twitter existed in a galaxy far, distant, Palpatine would slide into Obi-Wan’s DMs to complain about insurgent criticisms too.) There’s merely no protecting the man down (even when he’s actually stored down).

So, do we have to take Liberty significantly? The one acceptable reply is sure. To embrace Freeze is to remove his energy. Or, if not that, perhaps Iowa ought to rent him.


Heisman 5

Even in every week during which three of the 9 remaining undefeated groups misplaced, there wasn’t a lot room for shake-ups on the prime of the Heisman hopeful record.

1. Tennessee Volunteers QB Hendon Hooker

Tee Martin received a nationwide championship at Tennessee. UT Martin, then again, struggled badly at Tennessee on Saturday. The Skyhawks had no solutions for Hooker, who averaged greater than 11 yards per throw and tossed three extra touchdowns.

2. Ohio State QB C.J. Stroud

Publicity to the Hawkeyes’ offense took its toll on Stroud, who struggled by the primary half, however fortunately Ryan Day was in a position to carry out a full Iowa exorcism (it entails spewing creamed corn as a substitute of pea soup) and Stroud rebounded with 4 second-half TD throws.

3. Alabama QB Bryce Younger

Younger did all he might to tug Alabama over the end line final week towards Tennessee, however we had been nonetheless nervous he may catch some strays from Saban throughout follow this week. Fortunately, he survived, and he returned with one other sturdy day, throwing for 249 yards and two touchdowns within the Tide’s 30-0 win over Mississippi State.

4. USC QB Caleb Williams

USC was off Saturday, leaving Lincoln Riley with an additional week to seek out some defenders within the switch portal.

5. Wake Forest QB Sam Hartman

Wake is 6-1 after drubbing Boston College, and within the lone loss, Hartman had six landing passes. He practically matched that complete Saturday, throwing for 5 touchdowns and operating for a sixth within the win. Hartman now has the third-most passing TDs in ACC historical past (93), trailing solely Tajh Boyd and Philip Rivers, all regardless of additionally working half time as a Nineteen Twenties mafia hit man.


Probably the most faculty soccer factor to occur Saturday

We speak usually in regards to the plague of #CollegeKickers, with flubbed chip pictures invariably costing groups a wanted win on an virtually weekly foundation. Lengthy-snappers, then again, are likely to fly beneath the radar.

Sadly for Weber State’s Grant Sands, his Saturday might be remembered for a very long time.

Sands snapped the soccer over the punter’s head and out of the again of the top zone for a security 4 occasions towards Montana State on Saturday, handing the Bobcats eight factors in a recreation that Montana State in the end received 43-38.

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0:41

Weber State is on the improper finish of the report books because it surrenders 4 safeties on errant particular groups snaps.


Large bets and dangerous beats

Miami has been favored to win 4 occasions this season. The Hurricanes are actually 1-3 in these video games after a depressing eight-turnover loss to Duke on Saturday. Miami has now misplaced as a 25.5-point favourite to Center Tennessee, a 10-point favourite to Duke and a four-point favourite to North Carolina. The Hurricanes’ lone win as a favourite got here towards Virginia Tech, after they didn’t cowl a nine-point unfold in a 20-14 victory.


Clemson trailed Syracuse 21-10 on the half on Saturday, which was simply in regards to the excellent spot for the Tigers — or a minimum of for sharp bettors. The Tigers had been -9.5 within the second half, they usually coated that quantity simply, outscoring the Orange 17-0 within the ultimate two frames. That makes Clemson coach Dabo Swinney 11-2 towards the second-half unfold in his profession when trailing at halftime.

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