By far the biggest news from week 9 was #3 and undefeated Ole Miss falling on the road to LSU, 10-7. The Rebels forced four turnovers but couldn’t translate them to points. A narrow 7-3 lead turned to a 10-7 deficit when LSU finally scored with five minutes left in the game.
Ole Miss had a chance to tie the game late, but a delay-of-game penalty prevented a potential 42-yard field goal attempt. Ole Miss coach Hugh Freeze opted to run another play rather than try a 47-yarder, and quarterback Bo Wallace was picked off, sealing the upset for the Tigers.
LSU rushed for 264 yards against an Ole Miss defense that came in yielding less than 100 yards per game on the ground. The LSU defense shut down Ole Miss’ offense, holding Wallace to just 176 yards passing on 14-of-33 attempts.
The other SEC West contenders managed to survive unscathed, but it wasn’t easy. Mississippi State couldn’t pull away from Kentucky, as the Wildcats pulled within a touchdown four times.
Dak Prescott accounted for three touchdowns while Josh Robinson added another pair along with 198 yards on the ground, but thanks to Patrick Towles’ 390 yards passing and two touchdowns, Kentucky hung around. The game wasn’t decided until Christian Holmes returned an onside kick 61-yards for a touchdown for the Bulldogs.
Auburn held off South Carolina 42-35 as Nick Marshall ran for three touchdowns and threw for another. South Carolina’s Dylan Thompson threw five touchdown passes but also was picked off three times, including twice in the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Amari Cooper’s big day lead Alabama past Tennessee 34-20. Cooper had 224 yards and two touchdowns on nine receptions. Alabama built a 27-0 lead, but Tennessee rallied to cut the lead to ten. Another touchdown gave the Crimson Tide more breathing room, and the Volunteers couldn’t muster more than a field goal after that.
The top two contenders in the Big 12 had easy days. Kansas State shut out Texas 23-0. Jake Waters passed for 224 yards, and Texas was shut out for the first time in ten years.
TCU walloped Texas Tech 82-27. Quarterback Trevone Boykin threw a school-record seven touchdown passes, and the 82 points were the most in both school and Big 12 history. The Horned Frogs scored so much that they actually used up their entire pyrotechnics stash for the entire season.
Ohio State had to go to double overtime against Penn State, but the Buckeyes managed to hang on and pull out a 31-24 victory in a game marred by controversial officiating.
Out west, the state of Arizona prevailed against the state of Washington 2-0 as Arizona defeated Washington State 59-37 behind five touchdown passes from Anu Solomon while Arizona State beat Washington 24-10. Taylor Kelly threw a pair of touchdown passes in his return after missing more than a month with injury, and the Sun Devils earned their ninth-consecutive victory over the Huskies.
Utah continued its late-game heroics and earned a huge win over USC. Travis Wilson threw a 1-yard touchdown pass with just eight seconds left to give the Utes a 24-21 lead and keep them in the hunt for the Pac-12 South crown.
Looking Ahead to Week 10: Playoff Races Start to Become More Clear
Week 10 kicked off with a bang as Florida State once again faced a halftime deficit only to come roaring back in the second half and claim victory. The Seminoles were down 21-0 in the first half then 21-7 at halftime, but three touchdown passes from Jameis Winston and a huge day on the ground from Dalvin Cook (9 carries, 110 yards, 2 TDs) allowed the Seminoles to pull out a 42-31 win over Louisville.
The rest of the weekend should help clarify the muddled playoff picture, too, especially out west in the Pac-12. The headliner is Oregon hosting Stanford, but that game has lost some its luster due to Stanford’s struggles this year. The Cardinal are unranked and already have three losses, and the main culprit has been an anemic offense. Stanford’s usually potent running game has not been there this year, as the Cardinal currently rank fourth-worst in the conference in rushing.
Stanford’s vaunted defense has lived up to its billing, however, but the unit will need to bring its “A” game against Oregon’s Marcus Mariota. The Heisman favorite has thrown for 24 touchdowns with just one interception this season.
That game should clear things up in the North division race, and the muddled South division will also have a clearer picture after Saturday. Arizona heads to Los Angeles to take on UCLA in a critical game for both teams. The Bruins are just a game out of first and need a win to keep pace with the leaders, one of whom is Arizona. The Wildcats need a win to stay tied for first in the division.
UCLA has not looked good of late. After losing at home to Utah, the Bruins were blown out–also at home–by Oregon, then followed that up with unconvincing road wins against the two worst teams in the conference a year ago. UCLA almost blew a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter against woeful Colorado before prevailing in double overtime.
Arizona redshirt freshman Anu Solomon is having a sensational year for the Wildcats, throwing for over 2,400 yards and 20 touchdowns with only four interceptions. With both offenses averaging over five touchdowns a game while giving up nearly 30 points a game, expect this one to be a shootout.
The biggest Pac-12 game this weekend, though, will take place down in Tempe when Utah goes up against Arizona State. Both teams are 6-1 with a lone Pac-12 loss, and both are tied for first in the division.
The Sun Devils have won ten-straight games in their history with Utah, including all three Pac-12 contests. ASU is in the midst of a three-game winning streak, having beaten USC and Washington on the road around a home victory over Stanford. Quarterback Taylor Kelly is back, and the defense has given up 20 points total in its past two games.
The Utes are also on a three-game winning streak, although all three games came down to the wire. Utah survived a missed field goal to upset UCLA, got past Oregon State in double overtime, then scored a touchdown with eight seconds left to beat USC. Utah will also be without top receiver Dres Anderson. That’s a huge blow to a an offense that already struggles in the passing game.
However, Utah’s defense is salty and aggressive, and the Utes’ ferocious pass rush will be facing an ASU offensive line that will be missing a key piece in guard Christian Westerman.
In the Big 12, all three of the leading contenders will be in action, although Kansas State and Baylor shouldn’t have much trouble. Both are at home against unranked teams; K-State hosts Oklahoma State while Baylor plays Kansas.
TCU, however, does face a stiff test in red-hot West Virginia. The Mountaineers have won four-straight, including an upset of then-undefeated and #4 Baylor.
Clint Trickett has been outstanding this year, completing 68.3 percent of his passes for 2,763 yards and 17 touchdowns. He looks early and often for star receiver Kevin White, who already has caught 72 passes for 1,047 yards and 8 touchdowns. He topped the 100-yard mark in the first eight games of the season and has scored a touchdown in every game but one.
The Horned Frogs have long been known for their stout defenses, but this year’s team currently leads the nation in scoring offense, averaging 50.4 points per game. They are coming off an 82-27 beatdown of Texas Tech in which Trevone Boykin threw for a career-high 433 yards and seven touchdown passes in the blowout and has 2,306 passing yards and 21 touchdowns with only three interceptions on the season.
Hotty Toddy Gosh Almighty
While ESPN has been accused of SEC bias, we here at Guysgirl apparently have some of that since this is at least the fifth SEC tradition that’s been featured here.
When Ole Miss fans are asked, “Are you ready?” they respond with, “Hell yeah! Damn right! Hotty Toddy, Gosh Almighty, who the hell are we? Hey! Flim flam, bim bam, Ole Miss by damn!”
The chant’s first documented appearance came in the school’s student newspaper during the mid-1920s, and over time, it became the much-loved chant used today.
“Hotty toddy” is also used much like “Roll Tide” or “War Eagle.” Ole Miss fans say it in greeting and, well, pretty much any other situation.
A hot toddy is also a type of beverage consisting of liquor–usually whiskey or bourbon–and water mixed with a variety of spices and sugar then served hot. It is a mainstay at Ole Miss tailgating festivities.
Speaking of tailgating, Ole Miss boasts one of the most iconic tailgating venues around: The Grove.
Located in the center of campus, The Grove is about ten-acres of open space surrounded by oak, elm, and magnolia trees. Thousands of fans descend on the area each weekend to stake out their tailgating locations.
Students dress up for the occasion: men wear dress slacks, dress shirts, sport coats, and ties while women don sundresses.
When Billy Brewer took over coaching duties in 1983, he began the practice of taking the team on a walk through campus to the stadium on game days using various routes. In 1985, he settled on just one route through The Grove and their legion of fans. Today, throngs of fans line the route to cheer on their Rebels as they make their way to the stadium.
In 1998, an arch bearing the sign “Walk of Champions” was built where the team begins its walk. The arch was donated by the 1962 Ole Miss football team, which is the only one in school history to finish undefeated. That squad won the SEC title and was named national champion by the Litkenhous Ratings.
Game of the Week
Auburn vs. Ole Miss
In keeping with the theme of clarifying the playoff picture, the SEC West race will be clearer after Saturday when Ole Miss plays Auburn in Oxford, Mississippi.
Both teams are in the top four in the inaugural college playoff selection committee rankings, and a loss would severely damage the loser’s playoff hopes.
Ole Miss gives up an average of 10.5 points while Auburn puts up nearly 40. The Rebels are a little banged-up on defense, and that could be a cause for concern considering Auburn is coming off its best rushing total of the season thus far, a 395-yard effort against South Carolina.
Ole Miss’ offense was dreadful in the Rebels’ loss last week, and it must be more productive this week against Auburn. The Tigers did spring some leaks against South Carolina, so whichever one of those units can rebound the most could determine who wins this game.
[featured image via Drew Story of Tiger Rag]