Melvin Gordon is a Beast and Other Things We Learned in Week 12 in College Football
The Seminoles dodged another bullet, Alabama showed it’s still the team to beat in the SEC and Melvin Gordon ran into the record books. Here are the highlights from this week in college football.
Florida State Survives. Again.
For the fourth straight game, Florida State had to play from behind. But for the fourth straight time, the Seminoles made the plays they needed to down the stretch to hold on against archrival Miami and keep their hopes of repeating as national champs alive.
FSU spotted the Hurricanes an early 16-0 lead and trailed by 13 at halftime. But the Seminoles outscored Miami 20-3 in the second half, thanks to three Hurricane turnovers and some lucky breaks like this.
Florida State should be heavy favorites the rest of the way (home games against Boston College and Florida, followed by the ACC title game against Georgia Tech or Duke). But the ‘Noles luck is bound to run out sooner or later, and there are millions of fans of other teams out there who can’t wait to see it happen.
Alabama Showed It Is King of The SEC
Mississippi State made a good run, rising to No. 1 for the first time in school history. But the road to SEC dominance still runs through Tuscaloosa, and Alabama showed it had no intention of rolling over for the new kid on the block.
The Crimson Tide defense scored a safety in the first quarter and intercepted Bulldog quarterback Dak Prescott three times en route to a win that turned out to be closer than it looked. Alabama jumped out to a 19-0 lead, but had to hold on as Mississippi State went on a 20-6 run before finally falling short after failing to recover an onside kick with 15 seconds left.
Barring an upset loss, Alabama should definitely be in the final four for the playoffs. But given Mississippi State’s body of work and close loss this week, will they still be in the mix as well? The playoff committee’s new rankings this week should be very interesting.
Melvin Gordon Had a Day For the Ages
What was billed as Heisman matchup between Nebraska’s Ameer Abdullah and Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin quickly turned into lopsided affair and a highlight reel for Gordon. The senior running back broke LaDanian Tomlinson’s record for rushing yards in a single game with 408 yards against a Nebraska defense that looked like it was tackling air most of the game. More impressively, he did it on just 25 carries in three quarters.
With Dak Prescott’s team falling from the ranks of the unbeaten and Marcus Mariota on a bye, Gordon’s showcase game not only guaranteed him an invite to the Heisman ceremony, it might have just put him in a position to carry home the trophy.
Everett Golson Is Trending the Other Direction
Remember when Everett Golson was the feel-good story, coming back off his season-long suspension and scoring 20 touchdowns during Notre Dame’s 6-0 start? All that seems a distant memory as the Irish have struggled of late, dropping three of their last four. To be sure, not all of that is on Golson as the Irish defense has given up at least 30 points in five consecutive games for just the second time in school history. But Golson has also been part of the problem, turning the ball over 19 times in his last seven games.
Golson is still putting up big numbers and is the main reason for what success the Fighting Irish have had this season. But with remaining games against Louisville and USC, Golson will have to overcome his turnover trend to avoid ending the season on a decidedly downward trend.
Statistics Don’t Lie. Except When They Do.
Every so often, you find a stat that is really interesting but ultimately probably meaningless. This week I found a couple.
1. The LSU hangover is real for Alabama. This is the 13th straight year that the Crimson Tide has failed to score a touchdown in the opening quarter of the game immediately following the LSU game.
2. There was a time when Nebraska’s Blackshirt defense was one of the most feared units in college football. So it was fascinating to learn that the FBS single-game record for rushing yards (Melvin Gordon of Wisconsin, 408 yards in 2014) and receiving yards (Troy Edwards of Louisiana Tech, 405 yards in 1998) were both set against the Cornhuskers.