Evaluation | Alabama and Clemson are in all probability executed (school soccer winners and losers)


How this school soccer season shall be remembered nonetheless isn’t sorted out.

Saturday evening, although, clearly outlined what it wouldn’t be about.

Alabama and Clemson. Clemson and Alabama. They’ve been ubiquitous presences all through the playoff period. At the least one in every of them has earned a spot within the semifinals in all eight editions of the playoff. The 2 powers have accounted for 10 of the 14 title recreation berths during the last seven seasons.

And now, it’s doubtless neither one in every of them will snag a semifinal slot this 12 months.

Alabama is all however toast after its 32-31 additional time loss at LSU on Saturday. That’s two defeats for the No. 6 Crimson Tide (7-2, 4-2 SEC), who additionally fell final month at Tennessee. That’s yet one more loss than any group has ever taken into the playoff.

Georgia dominates Tennessee and leaves little question about who’s No. 1

However what if Alabama wins out? Beating Mississippi subsequent week could be useful. Beating Austin Peay and Auburn to shut out the common season — not a lot. And to achieve the SEC title recreation, the Crimson Tide wants No. 10 LSU (7-2, 5-1) to lose to each Arkansas and Texas A&M.

This was simply the most recent tight scrape for the Crimson Tide, who escaped Texas with a victory and wanted to go to the ultimate play to outlast Texas A&M earlier than falling on a last-second subject objective at Tennessee. It’s been clear for a couple of month now this isn’t a classic Alabama group, regardless of how a lot magic quarterback Bryce Younger can summon.

However it hasn’t been a group that’s regarded flat-out dangerous. That might be utilized to Clemson for stretches of its final two video games.

The Tigers overcame 4 turnovers and an 11-point fourth-quarter deficit to beat Syracuse on Oct. 22. After a bye week, Clemson discovered Notre Dame far much less accommodating Saturday.

Clemson quarterback DJ Uiagalelei struggled for the second recreation in a row, however he was hardly the largest drawback for the No. 4 Tigers (8-1). Notre Dame piled up 263 dashing yards en path to a 35-14 victory, and in addition benefited from touchdowns on particular groups (blocked punt) and protection (interception).

Whereas Clemson might nonetheless plausibly make a run at a 12-1 report and an ACC title, it doesn’t personal the gaudiest resume. Its greatest victories are over … North Carolina State at dwelling by 10? A double-overtime triumph at Wake Forest? Stable, definitely, however not particular. And with Louisville, Miami and South Carolina nonetheless to return, there isn’t a lot probability to impress.

The Tigers will need assistance from elsewhere, however their basic lack of competitiveness Saturday suggests it may not even matter. In all chance, it is a season that received’t be outlined by Clemson — or Alabama for that matter.

Ohio State and TCU (winners)

Each Ohio State and TCU entered November with 8-0 data.

And each the Buckeyes and the Horned Frogs escaped the primary weekend of the month with a victory regardless of some sluggishness.

And, actually, that’s all that issues for a playoff contender in the meanwhile.

Ohio State obtained caught in dangerous climate at Northwestern, a group that’s nobody’s concept of excellent and in addition nobody’s concept of passive. The Wildcats have created some complications with an aggressive protection at instances this season, and so they teamed with the circumstances to restrict Buckeyes quarterback C.J. Stroud to 76 yards passing.

That left it to the Ohio State protection to stymie Northwestern, which it did for the ultimate three quarters. The ultimate margin of 21-7 was hardly dominant, however it will likely be largely forgotten about if the No. 2 Buckeyes (9-0, 6-0 Huge Ten) get into the barn at 13-0 early subsequent month.

The identical shall be stated of TCU’s 34-24 defeat of Texas Tech ought to the Horned Frogs win out. Their solely landing earlier than the fourth quarter was Derius Davis’s 82-yard punt return lower than two minutes in, and so they trailed 17-13 heading into the ultimate interval.

That modified with three journeys to the tip zone in lower than eight minutes, the latter two coming when Texas Tech turned it over on downs in its personal territory whereas trailing. The primary of these was questionable even earlier than Davis hauled in a 23-yard scoring strike from Max Duggan to make it 27-17. The second was wise given the deficit.

It was not TCU’s greatest recreation, although it wasn’t an atypical one. The Horned Frogs have received three consecutive video games (together with Kansas State at dwelling and at West Virginia) by precisely 10 factors.

The essential half, although, was the profitable. If No. 7 TCU (9-0, 6-0 Huge 12) continues to take action, it (like Ohio State) in all probability received’t hear a lot later about this weekend’s little bit of survival.

The SMU quarterback threw for 379 yards and a school-record 9 touchdowns and tacked on a dashing rating for good measure within the Mustangs’ 77-63 free-for-all in opposition to Houston. It was essentially the most factors ever scored in regulation of a Soccer Bowl Subdivision recreation.

Probably the most hanging a part of the proceedings was the halftime numbers. SMU led 56-35, and Mordecai had already thrown for seven touchdowns by the point the groups dragged themselves to the locker room after totaling 801 yards within the first half.

SMU improved to 5-4 with the victory, and Mordecai bumped his season landing complete from 16 to 25.

The Texas working again rumbled for 209 yards and a landing because the Longhorns struck early and infrequently earlier than warding off Kansas State for a 34-31 victory.

No. 24 Texas (6-3, 4-2 Huge 12) doesn’t need assistance to achieve the convention title recreation. It received’t be straightforward, although. The Longhorns play host to league chief TCU subsequent week, and nonetheless should deal with Baylor the day after Thanksgiving. Nonetheless, it’s not a foul place for a group that was 2-2 heading into October.

The Hurricanes took a 45-3 bludgeoning in opposition to Florida State, their second-most lopsided loss ever to their in-state rival (the Seminoles received 47-0 in 1997). It was additionally Miami’s fourth consecutive dwelling loss.

It left Mario Cristobal’s first group in Coral Gables at 4-5, now locked into needing a victory over not less than one in every of Clemson and Pittsburgh merely to turn out to be eligible for the postseason. The Hurricanes would want to beat each if they’ll’t dispatch Georgia Tech. Happily for Miami, that recreation shall be performed on the street.

Georgia’s protection (winner)

The Bulldogs’ stinginess isn’t any secret, and lots shall be written about their displaying in a 27-13 defeat of Tennessee in a showdown of SEC East unbeatens.

Nonetheless, a pair notes to ponder about No. 3 Georgia (9-0, 6-0 SEC), which might clinch a spot within the SEC title recreation with a victory at both Mississippi State subsequent week or Kentucky on Nov. 19.

No. 1 Tennessee (8-1, 4-1) started the day averaging 553 complete yards. It managed 289 yards in opposition to the Bulldogs.

The Vols had been second nationally in passing yards with 353.4 yards per recreation. They generated 195 yards of their journey between the hedges.

And Heisman candidate Hendon Hooker ranked second within the nation in passing effectivity (191.6) and posted a modest 113.3 score due to a day that noticed him throw a uncommon interception and never account for a landing.

Georgia has no want for statements on protection. It proved a lot final 12 months, and it planted a flag early by smothering Oregon. Nonetheless, this was a reminder of how troublesome it will likely be for anybody to resolve the Bulldogs’ protection.

The Illini had been threatening to show the Huge Ten West right into a runaway. Michigan State had different concepts.

The Spartans (4-5, 2-4 Huge Ten) ended Illinois’s six-game profitable streak with a 23-15 triumph in Champaign, denying the No. 16 Illini (7-2, 4-2) on 5 of their six fourth-down makes an attempt.

Because of Purdue’s loss to Iowa earlier within the day, Illinois might have entered subsequent week’s assembly with the Boilermakers proudly owning a two-game lead over the remainder of the division with three video games to play. And with tiebreakers already in hand in opposition to Iowa, Minnesota and Wisconsin, Illinois might have locked up its spot in Indianapolis two weeks earlier than (presumably) Michigan or Ohio State do the identical.

As a substitute, issues received’t be so easy. Illinois nonetheless leads the West by a recreation, nevertheless it might want to do extra work (or get extra assist) than simply dealing with Purdue in its dwelling finale.

The Jayhawks’ three-game dropping streak is over. So is its 15-year drought in opposition to Oklahoma State. And, better of all, Kansas shall be enjoying within the postseason for the primary time since 2008 after steamrolling the Cowboys, 37-16.

And steamrolling about covers issues for the Jayhawks (6-3, 3-3 Huge 12), who had been in all probability getting a bit antsy after a 5-0 begin was adopted by losses to TCU, Oklahoma and Baylor. Devin Neal and the Kansas offensive line put any anxiousness away. Neal rushed for 224 yards and a rating. The Jayhawks piled up 351 yards on the bottom.

It definitely didn’t harm that Oklahoma State was with out quarterback Spencer Sanders. However he wouldn’t have helped the No. 18 Cowboys (6-3, 3-3) on protection even when he was wholesome, and Oklahoma State (which was coming off a 48-0 loss at Kansas State) wasn’t dramatically higher in its second consecutive journey to the Sunflower State.

The Flames landed their fourth all-time victory over an influence convention group, darting to an early lead earlier than warding off Arkansas, 21-19, by denying a two-point conversion with 1:11 to go.

That’s six victories in a row for Liberty (8-1), whose solely loss was a 37-36 setback at Wake Forest on Sept. 17.

Liberty additionally defeated Baylor in 2017 and each Syracuse and Virginia Tech in 2020, and it may not have to attend lengthy so as to add to that assortment. The Flames will get one other shot at Virginia Tech on Nov. 19 when the Hokies (2-7) go to Lynchburg. At this level, it could be a light shock if the ACC program got here away with a victory.

Colin Goodfellow (winner)

It’s doubtless no person took one for the group this week fairly like Goodfellow.

The Kentucky punter was carted off after making a game-saving play late within the Wildcats’ 21-17 victory at Missouri, chasing down a horrible snap, by some means getting a punt off close to the objective line and managing to attract a roughing the kicker penalty.

Even with out the penalty, it was a exceptional effort. As a substitute of Missouri taking the lead (or taking up contained in the Kentucky 5), the Tigers would have in all probability had the ball across the Kentucky 35 with 2:25 to go. That’s not ultimate, nevertheless it was a lot better than the choice.

But with the penalty, Kentucky (6-3, 3-3 SEC) was in a position to keep away from sending its protection out once more till there have been 38 seconds left — and even then, with Missouri buried deep in its territory.

Goodfellow wasn’t the one to pin the Tigers (4-5, 2-4) again there, nevertheless it hardly mattered. He’d already executed greater than his half to make sure the Wildcats secured bowl eligibility.

Now just isn’t the time to pile on the much-maligned Aggies for the way they fared in a 41-24 loss to Florida. Sickness price Jimbo Fisher’s group a number of gamers, and Texas A&M gamely took a 24-20 lead into the half earlier than fading.

That stated, the Aggies (3-6, 1-5 SEC) land right here as a result of a group that begins the 12 months within the prime 10 nationally shouldn’t discover itself needing a three-game profitable streak to shut the common season merely to achieve the postseason. However that’s the destiny looking at Texas A&M because it enters the ultimate quarter of a Murphy’s Regulation type of season.

The Commander-in-Chief’s Trophy heads again to Colorado for the primary time since 2016 after the Falcons accomplished a sweep of their service academy rivals by defeating Military, 13-7.

The Falcons (6-3) turned to Brad Roberts to grind out 135 yards on 33 carries, and quarterback Haaziq Daniels accounted for Air Pressure’s lone landing with a 17-yard run within the third quarter. However very similar to final month’s 13-10 conquer Navy, the Falcons received on the energy of their protection.

Military (3-5) didn’t cross midfield in any of its 5 second-half possessions and managed a meager 78 dashing yards on 35 makes an attempt. It was spectacular work in opposition to a Black Knights group that ranked second within the nation in dashing (behind solely Air Pressure) with 334.6 dashing yards per recreation.

Right here’s the factor about being the perpetual joker within the Huge Ten deck: The Boilermakers are certain to place collectively an out-of-nowhere displaying sooner or later most years, nevertheless it additionally means their full duds are extremely puzzling.

Such was the case with a 24-3 loss to Iowa at dwelling because the Boilermakers (5-4, 3-3 Huge Ten) noticed their West Division title hopes broken. Dealing with one of many extra pedestrian Hawkeye groups in latest reminiscence, Purdue couldn’t generate any type of passing assault, noticed Iowa rating 10 factors off its two turnovers and was on the mistaken finish of Kaleb Johnson’s breakout 200-yard dashing day.

The Blue Devils turned eligible for the postseason Friday with a 38-31 victory at Boston Faculty. Contemplating Duke went a mixed 5-18 during the last two seasons, it’s a big feat for this system underneath first-year coach Mike Elko.

Duke (6-3, 3-2 ACC) hasn’t reached a bowl since 2018, and it has proved a lot opportunistic whereas amassing victories in opposition to sub-.500 groups like Northwestern, Temple and Virginia along with Boston Faculty. That’s hardly a criticism; even when their schedule isn’t essentially the most daunting, the Blue Devils have been in each recreation this season. Their most lopsided loss was a 35-27 setback at Kansas on Sept. 24.

Subsequent up for Duke: Making an attempt to clinch a profitable season as Virginia Tech involves city subsequent week.

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