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Friday, February 23, 2024

Bama rolls on, Ohio State upset shakes up national picture

In the world of college football, Alabama remains the only constant. Week eight of college football marked one landscape-changing upset and shake-up to the rankings at the top. Here’s the action from this weekend.

Alabama keeps rolling with win over Tennessee

Alabama had yet another dominating win, this time over Tennessee 58-21. Sophomore quarterback Tua Tugavoila continued his Heisman campaign, playing nearly perfect football to this point and racking up 25 touchdowns on the year with no interceptions.

Alabama maintains its grip on the top ranking in the nation with another outstanding performance from the leading Heisman candidate Tugavailoa. Alabama got off to a hot start going up 28 by the end of the first quarter.

Following their hot start, Tennessee would, for the most part, keep up with Alabama’s scoring output, but you can’t come back from a 28-point deficit by matching your opponent.

The Crimson Tide have always had a scary defense, but for at least the next two years their defense will be backed by a just-as-potent offense. Tua is the front-runner for the Heisman and rightfully so. He could become the first great Alabama quarterback in a long time.

Alabama has always been the class of the SEC and college football, but their dominance is taking Golden State Warriors-like levels.

Gritty performance from the Spartans not enough

Rivalry games sure are fun.

The animosity between Michigan State and Michigan was showcased well before the game as Wolverine linebacker Devin Bush got into it with a few Michigan State players as they went through their traditional walk across the field. Bush would go on to smear the Spartan logo and midfield.

MSU was coming off of a big-time upset over Big Ten East division rival Penn State heading into their matchup with their bitter rival. But their grit and toughness would not be enough against a surging Wolverines squad as Michigan gutted out the 21-7 win behind a balanced offensive attack and dominating defensive performance.

MSU’s offense has battled injuries for a few weeks now but was able to come up with a big-time upset the week before against a highly ranked Penn State squad, but they ran out of luck with the stingy Wolverine defense.

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Michigan State held its own for the greater part of three quarters while heavily undermanned and full of uncertainty. Michigan’s defense was doing its job and held the Brian Lewerke-led offense to a mere seven points. Lewerke’s ineffectiveness would force head coach Mark Dantonio to revert to backup Rocky Lombardi, but he didn’t provide much of a difference either.

The combination of Higdon and Patterson paced the Michigan offense once again and found success against the Spartan’s run defense, which allowed the fewest yards per game in the nation prior to their matchup with Michigan. The duo led the drive, which sealed the victory and opened up a two-possession lead.

With the win, the Wolverines moved into the top five of the AP Poll and dropped the Spartans out of the rankings. Michigan now has a title in their mind while Michigan State is bitterly disappointed.

Boilermakers pull off improbable upset

Ohio State came into this game red hot, led by quarterback Dwayne Haskins, who has been tearing it up.

Though Purdue was unranked and barely above .500, it seemed this game would be tough for Ohio State.

Purdue was clicking on all cylinders with quarterback David Blough throwing for three scores and running back D.J. Knox adding three scores as well as they won 49-20. Freshman Rondale Moore had it, too, tearing up the Ohio State secondary for 170 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

Blough came up huge and was able to outplay OSU’s star Haskins. Haskins’s numbers looked good, but he was held in check as both of his touchdown passes were matched by touchdown drives by Purdue.

Purdue’s dominant game was capped off fittingly with a pair of 40-yard scores, one from the offense and one coming from the defensive side of the ball.

The loss will have an immediate impact on the playoff picture as Ohio State moves out of the top 10 after being ranked second in the nation. OSU will have chances to climb its way back. The last game of the season against heated rival Michigan is shaping up to be a pivotal matchup with Big Ten championship and college football playoff implications.

With four straight wins, Purdue is trending in the right direction with much more optimism and still has some hope for the postseason. If they win out, they could reach the Big Ten championship game.

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