ICYMI, I posted an article earlier in the week and my picks went 7-3. It was an extremely exciting Saturday and my five games to watch were among some of the best games on the slate, so now it’s time to breakdown the biggest takeaways from those matchups.
Nebraska @ #5 Ohio State – 12 p.m. Saturday – FOX – OSU -26, O67.5
Just as predicted, Justin Fields came in and immediately reminded everybody in the country that he is a legitimate Heisman contender and proved Ohio State is here to stay. With the questions of a shortened, 8-game season looming over their head, they took matters into their own hands and established early dominance within the conference. The Buckeyes covered the spread and the game went over thanks to Fields having near-perfect gaming going 20-21, with 276 yards through the air, a 237.1 QBR, and three total touchdowns. Master Teague added to Ohio State total by adding two scores on the ground.
Nebraska shockingly opened the game driving downfield for a touchdown within 2 minutes of the opening kickoff and kept the game close up until the half, only down 10 when going into the locker room… then that all changed, fast. Ohio States defense figured out a way to contain Adrian Martinez and the Huskers while their offense stayed red hot as they outscored Nebraska 28-3 in the second half, “That’s one heck of a run right there,” Ohio State coach Ryan Day said. “It’s the best way you can end a half and start a half, and I thought it flipped the game.”. Circle Ohio State game at #18 Penn State on your calendar this upcoming week and expect another must-watch game.
2.) Georgia Southern @ #25 Coastal Carolina – 12 p.m. Saturday – ESPNU – CCU -5.5, O51.5
Coastal Carolina came out and beat the Georgia Southern Eagles without their star Freshman QB Grayson McCall when it was announced just before kickoff that he would be sidelined due to an undisclosed upper-body injury. Replacement Junior quarterback Fred Payton started the game instead and threw for an impressive 252 yards and three touchdowns.
This game was tied going into the final quarter of play and was looking to end in favor of whoever had the ball last, and then the Chanticleer’s defense came to life and held the Eagles scoreless while the offense continued to do their thing on the other side of the ball scoring 14 unanswered points leading them to a victory and continuing their undefeated season. The Chanticleers will hopefully get Grayson McCall back for their week 9 matchup at Georgia State as they look to move to 6-0. CCU covered the 5.5 point spread; however, the total game score did not go over 51.5 points.
3.) #17 Iowa State @ #6 Oklahoma State – 3:30 p.m. Saturday – FOX – Iowa State +3.5, O51.5
Oklahoma State came out on top in this shootout at home against Iowa State to move to 4-0. Spencer Sanders returned Saturday from the ankle injury he suffered on September 18th against Tulsa and threw for 235 yards, one touchdown, and two interceptions leading the Cowboys to victory. Chuba Hubbard had a historic day, rushing for 139 yards on 25 tries, passing Barry Sanders for the fifth-most 100-yard games in OSU history. The Cowboys defense did a good job containing Iowa State QB Brock Purdy, holding him to a meager 162 passing yards.
This was the best offense OSU has played all year and they stepped up to the challenge. Iowa State cut the game to 3 points with 49 seconds left in the game but their hopes of victory were snapped after failing to recover their onside kick, allowing OSU to line up in the victory formation and take the win 24-21. As I predicted, Iowa State covered the 3.5 point spread, but the game went under.
4.) #9 Cincinnati @ #16 SMU – 9:00 p.m. Saturday – ESPN2 – Cincy +2.5, U57
Cincinnati walked into Ford Stadium and smashed SMU, 42-13, improving to 4-0 while handing the Mustangs their first loss of the 2020 season. Much like the CCU/GSU game, this contest was close at the half, until Cincy took command in the second half, outscoring the Mustangs 28-3. QB Desmond Ridder carried the load for the Bearcats, passing for one TD and 126 yards on 21 attempts while adding 179 yards and three TDs on the ground. SMU’s offense struggled without star wideout Reggie Roberson, allowing Cincinnati to hold them to just 13 points. The Bearcats have held all 4 of their opponents under 21 points this season, sparking the question as to whether their defense is legit as the 8th ranked defense in the country.
5.) Oklahoma @ TCU – 12 p.m. Saturday – ABC – OU -6.5, O59
Spencer Rattler and the Sooners came out and had the game they needed, reclaiming their spot on the top 25 polls and having the type of game they need every week going forward for the remainder of the season to keep their New Years Six dreams alive. Rattler came into the season as a highly touted Heisman hopeful and struggled early on. Rattler returned to form on Saturday as Oklahoma rolled to a 33-14 victory over the Horned Frogs. OU finished with 498 yards of total offense, 332 of those coming through the air. Freshman wide receiver Marvin Mims reeled in four passes for 132 yards and two trips to the end zone, putting the country on notice. Oklahoma heads to Jones AT&T Stadium this week to take on a struggling 2-3 Texas Tech team looking to take advantage and come out with a huge victory and continue their march up the rankings.
Tune back in on Friday for another slate of games to watch heading into week 9.