The last thing Canes fans needed was another week without seeing D’Eriq King, Jaelan Phillips, Bubba Bolden, and the rest of the team sidelined. But that was the reality for this weekend and possibly next weekend as well. For a good portion of November and early December, we have been stuck watching other teams suit up and hoping their wins and losses help the Canes in our poll and bowl standing. Although this week brought more cancelations, there are plenty of shocks, wow plays, and upsets to sort through.
Buffalo running back Jaret Patterson tied the single-game record with eight rushing touchdowns and ran for 409 yards, Trevor Lawrence looked crisp after more than a month off, Michigan State handed Northwestern their first loss of the year, and Iowa State beat the Texas Longhorns in back-to-back years for the first time in school history. Similar to Tom Herman’s job security, some team’s poll rankings flatlined this week. However, other teams like Alabama and Notre Dame continued their dominant ways.
AP Top 25
14.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
20.Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Teams also receiving votes: North Carolina 65; Buffalo 56; Texas 39; Auburn 25; Colorado 21; North Carolina State 11; Boise State 8; San Jose State 8; SMU 8; Oregon State 1; UCF 1
14.Coastal Carolina Chanticleers
21.Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns
Teams also receiving votes: Auburn 75; North Carolina 68; Missouri 43; Texas 40; NC State 40; Appalachian State 33; Buffalo 29; Colorado 27; San Jose State 19; Memphis 17; Boise State 15; Nevada 14; Boston College 10; Army 6; Mississippi 3; West Virginia 2; Florida Atlantic 1; Central Florida 1.
Lets start at the top, the Alabama Crimson Tide destroyed the Auburn Tigers this weekend 42-13. Alabama put up 445 yards of offense in the Iron Bowl. Mac Jones threw for 302 yards and 5 TDs (two to speedy wideout DeVonta Smith). The victory was good enough to keep them at number 1 in all of the polls.
Also in the SEC, the Florida Gators blew past the Kentucky Wildcats in a 34-10 victory. Kyle Pitts’ return to the field was an impressive one. The star TE finished the game with 99 yards receiving and 3 TDs. The Georgia Bulldogs also had an easy 45-16 win against the South Carolina Gamecocks. Last year, the Aggies lost 50-7 to the LSU Tigers. Yesterday, they didn't forget it. Texas A&M slaughtered the Tigers 20-7. The 5th ranked team is 6-1 with games against the Auburn Tigers and Tennessee Volunteers left. The Gators are ranked 6th and the Bulldogs are ranked 11th in a tight SEC.
After sometime on the sidelines, Trevor Lawrence threw for 403 yards in Clemson’s 52-17 win against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Also in the conference, Notre Dame pulled away in the second half to beat the North Carolina Tar Heels 31-17. The Fighting Irish remain on track for a playoff berth and are ranked at 2.
Iowa State’s Friday 23-20 victory was sealed after running back Breece Hall short-yardage and fourth quarter TD run. The battle of top 20 teams launched Iowa State to 12 and dropped Texas out of the polls. Iowa State is in line to play for the program’s first conference title in 108 years.
In the Big Ten, Indiana survived Michael Penix Jr.’s injury to beat Maryland 27-11. The Hoosiers are ranked 10th. Northwestern’s unbeaten streak came to an end with their 29-20 loss to the Michigan State Spartans. For the Wildcats, the loss lessens the chance of the Big Ten championship game having winner-take-all playoff implications when they play Ohio State. The Wildcats are now ranked 16th.
In the Pac-12, the Oregon State Beavers’ 41-38 win over the Oregon Ducks pushed the former No. 15 team to 21 in the polls. The Beavers’ running back Jermar Jefferson rushed for 226 yards and 2 TDs in the only Pac-12 game with top 25 implications.
The Canes are ranked 10th in the College Football Playoff rankings. The 7-1 team is rumored to be searching for a new opponent for a December 5 matchup. We’ll have to wait and see how that pans out. Right now, the next scheduled opponent is the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 12.