After wild upsets, College Football Playoff picture turned upside down
Friday the 13th is supposed to be a haunting and crazy night, and it turned out to be just that for college football as No. 2 Clemson and No. 8 Washington State were upset. This trend of wild and crazy results carried onto the weekend contests as two more top 10 teams fell as No. 5 Washington fell to Arizona State and the No. 10 Auburn Tigers lost to LSU. Beside these upsets, the other five top 10 teams in action handled business and kept on course in their pursuit of claiming one of the four spots available for the college football playoffs.
Former UW Defensive Coordinator Gets First Signature Win as Head Coach of Cal
Before the game started between the No. 8 Washington State Cougars and the California Golden Bears, the game was almost cancelled due to air quality concerns — a result of the ongoing wildfires in the area.
The fire set up a creepy atmosphere sort of perfect for Friday the 13th, and it was a freaky Friday for Washington State. Senior quarterback Luke Falk threw a pick during the first drive, and Cal converted that turnover into points, something that would be the case throughout the night. Washington State was error-prone on the night, as their normally high-flying offense was held to field goals, fumbles and punting.
Occasionally, it seemed like Washington State might get back in the game, but Luke Falk was plagued by turnovers. The senior gunslinger threw five picks, and though Washington State’s defense was much improved this year, that many mistakes wouldn’t let the Cougars back into the game. In the fourth quarter, Cal’s Ross Bowers made arguably the play of the year, flipping into the end zone after scrambling to punctuate the Golden Bears’ dominant performance over a formerly-top 10 team.
This result made the Pac-12 North race seem like Washington’s to lose, which is ironic because they ended up losing it on Saturday. Washington State and Washington are still alive to reach the Pac-12 title game, but Stanford has now crept back into the hunt too. It’s anyone’s game in the Pac-12 North.
Syracuse Orange Stun The College Football Landscape with Upset of No. 2 Clemson
Going into th is game, Clemson was a three-touchdown favorite against an inferior ACC conference opponent, the Syracuse Orange. The majority of people who watched college football didn’t really circle this game on their calendars as a thriller.
The Orange came out swinging on their first drive and capped it off with a touchdown from quarterback Eric Dungey. Clemson responded soon after and exerted its dominance back a fumble returned for a touchdown in the second quarter made it 14-14. However, the Orange brought the pressure to quarterback Kelly Bryant consistently, rattling the passing game. And momentum seemed lost for the Tigers after Kelly Bryant went down with an injury after a huge sack. At halftime, the Orange had the lead, and seemingly the momentum.
Clemson could never shake off the Orange, and Eric Dungey had quite the day. The junior quarterback had three passing touchdowns and sealed the game with a scramble on third down and eight that got just enough yards, which allowed Syracuse to run out the clock with a 27-24 win.
Clemson might have been shocked, but the Tigers have been in this situation before. Last year, a shocking loss to the Pittsburgh Panthers seemed to have dashed their title hopes, yet the Tigers ended up in the Playoff and beat Alabama to win the national title. Kelly Bryant’s injury might be concerning to the Tigers, but they still have a good chance to win the ACC Title.
Preview for Week 8: An important Big Ten matchup has the No. 2 Penn State Nittany Lions welcoming the Michigan Wolverines into Happy Valley. You can watch it on ABC Saturday Night at 6:30pm. A new chapter of a historic rivalry unfolds as the Notre Dame Fighting Irish welcome the USC Trojans into South Bend; you can watch this at 6:30 pm on NBC Saturday Night. Finally the Syracuse Orange try to do the impossible and upset another top-10 team as they go to Miami to play the Hurricanes.Subscribe to The Daily Cardinal Newsletter