NCAA Football

Auburn Lacking Explosiveness Typical of Malzahn Offense in Frustrating SJSU Win

Although Jordan-Hare Stadium never reached Jacksonville State levels of panic Saturday, some familiar frustrations continued to plague Auburn in a closer-than-expected nonconference victory.

Auburn scored five offensive touchdowns in its 35-21 win over San Jose State—which entered the game as a 21.5-point underdog, according to Odds Shark—and rebounded from netting only three field goals in a home loss to Mississippi State last weekend.

But Gus Malzahn's offense still lacked the consistent explosiveness that has defined it during the previous two seasons.

According to Auburn's official StatBroadcast, the Tigers recorded only seven "chunk plays" to San Jose State's nine.

All three of quarterback Sean White's passing plays of 15 or more yards came in the first half—he only went 1-of-2 passing after halftime Saturday—and two of Auburn's four rushing plays of 10 or more yards came in the fourth quarter against a tired SJSU defense.

That offensive production sounds like a whimper to the big bang Auburn had against the same San Jose State program last season.

In the last two seasons, Auburn finished in the top 30 nationally in offensive plays of 20-plus yards.

Heading into Week 5, the Tigers only had eight so far in 2015, which tied them for the second-worst mark in the country. The five they added Saturday against San Jose State will move them to a tie for 118th nationally at best

Saturday's matchup against San Jose State was a prime chance for the Auburn offense to take the next step and show improvement in its second game with White at starting quarterback.

But the Tigers were outgunned by former Auburn assistant coach Al Borges' SJSU offense, which did almost everything right except for taking care of the ball against a mistake-prone but opportunistic Auburn defense.

The Tigers scored 14 points—the final margin of victory—off San Jose State's four turnovers. One of Auburn's offensive touchdowns came off a short field thanks to Joe Gray's first-quarter interception.

Running back Peyton Barber should get all the game balls in the Auburn city limits Saturday for what he did against the Spartans.

He scored all five of the Tigers' touchdowns and continued his impressive work of dragging an underwhelming offense behind him.

Barber definitely can grind out tough, shorter runs and do everything possible to find the end zone. 

But the 225-pound sophomore doesn't seem to have that extra burst of speed Auburn needs to create explosive runs. His two "chunk plays" came late in the game, when SJSU's worn-down defenders just couldn't bring the hard-running Barber down after early contact.

That's not say Auburn's offense didn't show flashes of finding the next level against the Spartans.

Wide receiver Ricardo Louis and running back Roc Thomas broke free for Auburn's first two runs of 10 or more yards. The duo also recorded long receptions, as Thomas showed better north-south running on a 42-yarder in the first quarter.

And while Malzahn went with a vanilla, run-first offense in the second half, White came close to recording Auburn's longest touchdown pass of the season on a missed deep ball to a wide-open Jason Smith.

As Brandon Marcello of noted Saturday, the lack of explosiveness in the passing game against SJSU fell on Malzahn.

"White delivered some great passes downfield, so why did the play calls stop? His receivers didn't help him out on a few throws," Marcello wrote. "...Malzahn has not expressed confidence calling deep routes and it shows in the stat book."

While there's nothing wrong with Auburn going with a run-first offense—the Tigers went to the national championship game with one in 2013—it just puts more pressure on a young quarterback who isn't a dual-threat and an offensive line that has struggled to open up big holes so far in 2015.

Auburn won't necessarily mind a grind-it-out win in, say, an SEC road game.

But having one of those against what was supposed to be an overmatched nonconference opponent at home is far from encouraging.

The trademark "boom" for Malzahn's explosive offense just isn't there this season.

And until the Tigers can find it again, they'll have to scratch and claw just to gain bowl eligibility in 2015.


Unless otherwise noted, statistics courtesy of 

Justin Ferguson is a college football writer at Bleacher Report. You can follow him on Twitter @JFergusonBR.

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Alabama vs. Georgia: Game Grades, Analysis for Crimson Tide and Bulldogs

The Alabama Crimson Tide went to Athens, Georgia, on Saturday afternoon and took down the Georgia Bulldogs 38-10. The final box score can be found on

Alabama dominated on offense, defense and special teams. The Crimson Tide looked like a team that could win their second consecutive SEC title. Georgia, on the other hand, could not get anything going and will have to regroup, because everything it wants to achieve this season is still possible if it wins the rest of its SEC games.

Here are game grades for the Crimson Tide and Bulldogs.

Passing Offense: Jacob Coker had his best game as a member of the Crimson Tide, throwing for 190 yards and one touchdown. He got great protection from his offensive line and was never sacked, and receiver Calvin Ridley came up with some big catches.

Rushing Offense: Derrick Henry had a strong afternoon with 148 yards on 26 carries. He got great help from his offensive line, which made his life a lot easier while running up the middle. Kenyan Drake was quiet with only nine yards on five carries. But so long as Henry gets around 150 rushing yards per game, Alabama will likely win every game it plays this season.

Passing Defense: The Georgia passing attack was non-existent because the Alabama front seven and secondary were able to get after both Greyson Lambert and Brice Ramsey. Eddie Jackson, Minkah Fitzpatrick and Ronnie Harrison notched interceptions, and the entire defense came up with seven pass breakups. The defense also held Georgia to 11 completions on 31 attempts.

Rushing Defense: For the most part, the Crimson Tide held the Georgia run game in check. The Bulldogs rushed for 193 yards, but 83 of those came on one play late in the game. Reggie Ragland was all over the field with eight tackles, and he was a big reason why the Bulldogs offensive line could not get any consistent holes for Nick Chubb and Sony Michel.

Special Teams: Special teams normally hurt Alabama with missed field goals and miscues in kickoff coverage. That was not the case on Saturday as Adam Griffith made his only field goal, Fitzpatrick blocked a punt and scored on the play, and the coverage unit took Georgia return man Isaiah McKenzie out of the game. The special teams were really the reason the Tide won by a big margin.

Coaching: Nick Saban does it again. He got his players physically and mentally ready for the Bulldogs and the weather conditions when their backs were against the wall. Alabama had a business-like approach to the game and was ready for everything Georgia threw at it. The Crimson Tide had to win this game, but they also knew they had to play their game and not let the distractions get to them, and the coaching staff did a good job of that in Athens.


Passing Offense: Lambert had his worst game as a Bulldog on Saturday. He never got into a rhythm, was inaccurate (10-of-24) and could not handle the weather. Ramsey was just as bad, as he only completed one of his six passes and threw two interceptions. This is a huge concern moving forward because the coaches have to decide who to go with at quarterback as the Bulldogs try to get things right for the rest of the season.

Rushing Offense: Chubb and Michel were bottled up until the second half. Chubb finished with 146 rushing yards, while Michel notched 53. The problem was they really did not get the carries in the first half, and when they did, the Alabama front seven swarmed to them and did not let them run rampant. It was a modest day for the Georgia run game, which tallied 193 yards on 38 carries.

Passing Defense: Coker did not go wild in the passing game, but he made some big plays at the right time because the Georgia secondary had a hard time covering the Alabama receivers while keeping an eye on Henry and Drake. The Bulldogs only allowed 190 passing yards and one score, but all of Coker’s 11 completions came at key moments in the game. The Georgia front seven did not get a sack either, which hurt.

Rushing Defense: Georgia kept Henry in check in the first quarter, but once the offensive line settled in, he was able to get some big runs in the second quarter and the second half. Outside of Tim Kimbrough, who led the team with 13 tackles, the front seven for Georgia was beaten by the Alabama offensive line, as the Crimson Tide rushed for 189 yards on 47 carries.

Special Teams: This had to be the worst special teams performance of the season for the Bulldogs. Not only did they allow a blocked punt for a score, but they were in bad field position all game because of special teams coverage, and McKenzie only had notched three yards on two punt returns. The offense played a factor in the loss, but special teams were the reason this game was not close.

Coaching: Alabama outcoached Georgia. Everything offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer called, Alabama defensive coordinator Kirby Smart was able to read and counteract. The same goes for Alabama offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin, who outsmarted Georgia defensive coordinator Jeremy Pruitt. Georgia head coach Mark Richt always has one bad loss each season, and while Alabama is a great football team, there is no excuse for the Bulldogs to lose by four touchdowns at home to any team.

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Oregon vs. Colorado: Live Score and Highlights

Oregon Ducks vs. Colorado Buffaloes

TIME: 10 p.m. ET


Surprisingly, it's the Colorado Buffaloes that have the better record (3-1) than the Oregon Ducks (2-2) heading into this matchup. 

The Ducks will look to rebound from their embarrassing loss to Utah last week, while Colorado is trying to establish itself as a viable bowl-bound team. 

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Texas Tech vs. Baylor: Game Grades, Analysis for Red Raiders and Bears

The Baylor Bears got their first true resume-building win for their playoff hopes on Saturday by throttling the Texas Tech Red Raiders 63-35. 

Shock Linwood had the big day for Baylor, rushing for a career-high 221 yards, including a game-opening 79-yard touchdown run on the Bears' first drive. 

Seth Russell also had four touchdowns and 286 yards through the air. 

As for the Red Raiders, their gaudy offensive numbers mask a variety of miscues that ultimately buried a team that was fresh off nearly upsetting TCU last week. 

With that, let's check out the game grades for each team's positional units.


Baylor Bears

Rush Offense: A+ 

Shock Linwood's career-high 221 yards don't even tell the full story of how well Baylor ran the ball. Seth Russell added 81 yards on the ground, and the Bears combined for five rushing touchdowns. The Bears go fast, but they're as balanced as it gets. That was on full display against the Red Raiders. 

Pass Offense: A 

Russell was 15-of-23 passing for 286 yards and four touchdowns while also being charged with one interception. Jarrett Stidham appeared late and completed his only pass for 26 yards. Russell was efficient, and his deep ball looked pure. 

Rush Defense: A 

DeAndre Washington, very much a quality running back in the Big 12, was limited to just 39 yards on the ground. The Red Raiders as a team had just 106 on 24 carries, with the Baylor frontline unwilling to give an inch all day. 

Pass Defense: B- 

The Baylor secondary bent but for the most part, didn't break. At least, they didn't break enough to put the Bears in any kind of trouble in the game. Yes, they allowed three touchdowns through the air, and Patrick Mahomes had 415 yards passing, but he also threw two picks and was forced to pass under duress through most of the afternoon. 

Special Teams: A 

Chris Callahan was 9-for-9 on PATs with no field goal attempts. Drew Galitz averaged 50.5 yards per punt, and there weren't any breakdowns. 

Coaching: A 

Art Briles went into a neutral site and clearly had the upper hand on Kliff Kingsbury. The Bears defense took the Red Raiders out of their early rhythm, while the offense never slowed down until late in the game. 


Texas Tech Red Raiders

Rush Offense: D 

The Red Raiders were stuffed at the line all game, picking up just 106 yards on the ground. That inability to pick up real estate upfront forced Mahomes into passing virtually every play, making Texas Tech predictable. 

Pass Offense: B 

While he did have two picks, Mahomes still overall had a good game with 415 yards and three touchdowns on 32-of-50 passing. Davis Webb also looked good on his only drive, finishing 8-for-15 with 115 yards and a touchdown. Texas Tech didn't get any ground support, so Mahomes did the best he could and kept the Red Raiders on life support until about midway through the third quarter. 

Rush Defense: F 

The Bears picked on the Texas Tech defensive front all day, ending up with 367 rushing yards and five touchdowns as a team. The Red Raiders defense is clearly a cause for major concern, as they've given up over 50 points in two straight weeks. 

Pass Defense: D- 

Texas Tech couldn't defend the run or the pass. They had one interception but allowed 312 yards and four scores through the air. They also allowed Russell to complete 65 percent of his passes. The secondary was torched, and they didn't get any help from the linebackers or linemen. 

Special Teams: A 

Clayton Hatfield made all five of his extra points, Taylor Symmank averaged 44.3 yards on three punts and Jakeem Grant averaged 20 yards on his punt returns. No gripes. 

Coaching: D 

Kliff Kingsbury got his behind handed to him, plain and simple. Briles completely outworked the darling coach of college football, despite his team being flagged for 17 penalties. Texas Tech's offense is solid, but its defense is an embarrassment. 

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College Football Scores 2015: Week 5 Results and Top Stars for Top 25 Teams

The Big Ten teams at the top of the Associated Press Top 25 came out on top again this week, but the Ohio State Buckeyes and Michigan State Spartans both faced brutal scares.

In the early part of the day, it looked like the No. 2 Spartans would roll at home against Purdue, as they jumped out to a quick 21-0 lead. But instead of continuing to punish the lowly Boilermakers, they stumbled, struggled and stopped producing. 

Purdue came storming back, and Michigan State needed a fourth-quarter field goal and a late stop by its defense to survive, 24-21.

The Spartans are going to have a hard time holding onto their lofty spot in the rankings, and the Buckeyes might also face that same difficulty.

While Ohio State had a much more difficult assignment against undefeated Indiana at Bloomington, few expected the Hoosiers to give the Buckeyes much trouble.

Yet that's just what happened, as Urban Meyer's team struggled to play with any cohesiveness in the first half. The Buckeyes got the message in the second half and picked up a 34-27 win behind the explosive running of Ezekiel Elliott.

Here are the scores, key stats and top stars for Top 25 teams as of 8 p.m. ET on Saturday.


Stars of the Week

WR KaVontae Turpin, TCU

There was a time when the matchup between TCU and Texas was almost always a rout in favor of the Longhorns. That's not the case any longer, and the Horned Frogs were more than happy to demonstrate that when the two teams got together in Fort Worth.

The competitive aspect of this game was over early, as TCU jumped out to a 30-0 lead after one quarter. Whenever TCU scores in an explosive manner, it can be expected that Heisman Trophy candidate Trevone Boykin will dominate the stat sheets.

TCU's KaVontae Turpin has 5 receptions, 4 for TD. The 4 Rec TD is a Big 12 single-game record by a freshman.

— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) October 3, 2015

Boykin did not disappoint in that area, as he threw for 332 yards and five touchdowns, but it was freshman receiver KaVontae Turpin who stole the show. Turpin caught six passes for 138 yards and four went for touchdowns, as his quickness was too much for the Longhorns to handle.

Turpin hits the turbo for his third receiving #Touchdown of the day! @TCUFootball up 37-0 at the half.

— Big 12 Conference (@Big12Conference) October 3, 2015

The 5'9", 165-pound Turpin darted all over the field, and his speed, route-running ability and good hands made him the dominant weapon on the field for TCU.


RB Ezekiel Elliott, Ohio State

The top-rated Buckeyes knew they were in for a battle against the Hoosiers, and Indiana pushed the No. 1 team in the nation hard for 60 minutes.

However, the Hoosiers had no answers for Ezekiel Elliott in the final 30 minutes. Elliott ran with speed and power as he broke two long touchdown runs and had 243 second-half rushing yards.

Ezekiel Elliot should get a trip to New York in December, at the very least

— J.A. Adande (@jadande) October 3, 2015

For the game, Elliott ran for 274 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries as the Buckeyes remained undefeated.


WR Calvin Ridley, Alabama

This time, Mark Richt was supposed to have his Georgia Bulldogs ready to win the big one.

However, a lot of fans were skeptical with Alabama coming to Athens. In the past, the Bulldogs have had problems executing against the SEC's elite teams.

This was another game that was finished early. While the Crimson Tide may have hurt their playoff chances with an early-season loss to Ole Miss, they were a dominant team against Georgia and rolled to a 38-10 victory.

The star was freshman receiver Calvin Ridley, who caught five passes for 120 yards and a touchdown. Ridley was able to make big plays nearly every time he got his hands on a pass from quarterback Jake Coker. Ridley appears to be a future star for Nick Saban, and he certainly filled that role in this game.

Amari who? Alabama WR Calvin Ridley in less than two quarters of work: 4 catches, 115 yards, 1 TD.

— Zac Ellis (@ZacEllis) October 3, 2015

Running back Derrick Henry also played a key role for the Crimson Tide with 26 carries for 148 yards and a touchdown.


Northwestern defense

There are a lot of surprise stories in the Big Ten this season, but one of the most unexpected developments has been the play of Northwestern.

The Wildcats moved to 5-0 after blanking Minnesota 27-0 in Evanston. Northwestern recorded it's second shutout of the season and was dominant throughout the game.

Northwestern held the visitors to 173 total yards and 11 first downs. Minnesota was unable to get anything done through the air, as quarterbacks Mitch Leidner and Demry Croft completed 15-of-32 passes for 99 yards and an interception.

Northwestern wasn't even threatened after the first quarter, and the Wildcats put the game away in the fourth quarter when linebacker Tyler Lancaster hit Leidner and forced a fumble that linebacker Anthony Walker picked up on the run and returned 13 yards for a touchdown.

Northwestern's Steven Reese knows how to celebrate a shutout win.

— Sporting News (@sportingnews) October 3, 2015

Minnesota head coach Jerry Kill was impressed with the Northwestern effort level. "They don't make mistakes, they do their job," Kill said after the game (h/t Associated Press). "They did their job today. They played harder than we did."


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Everett Golson Shows Flashes but Must Improve to Make Florida State ACC Favorite

Florida State quarterback Everett Golson played his fourth straight frustrating game on Saturday, showing flashes of competence in a 24-16 win at Wake Forest but struggling enough that the Noles needed all 60 minutes to escape Winston-Salem, North Carolina, undefeated.

Heisman candidate Dalvin Cook scored a 94-yard touchdown on his first carry of the game, but a hamstring injury knocked him out soon after. Head coach Jimbo Fisher entrusted Golson with more responsibility than usual, and at first, the former Notre Dame QB delivered.

Despite numerous drops by receivers—a problem that has lingered all season—Golson completed 20 of 31 passes for 201 yards, one touchdown and no interceptions. He made plays with his legs and looked generally in control with his arm. He led the Noles to 24 points in the first 40 minutes.

But after that, the offense stagnated. Golson missed open receivers and held the ball too long on sacks. He couldn't move the chains when the offense needed to ice things away.

Because of that, Wake Forest had the ball inside the red zone with a chance to tie the game in the final minute. Fortunately, defensive back Tyler Hunter preserved the win with an interception:

Prior to Saturday, Florida State ranked No. 21 in the country with a standard-down run rate of 68.4 percent, per Football Study Hall. On passing downs, it ranked No. 31 with a run rate of 41.5 percent. It leaned on Cook and limited how much Golson, a graduate transfer, had to do.

On Saturday, however, FSU let Golson loose. On its first five drives of the game, it passed three times for every run, per Bud Elliott of Tomahawk Nation:

Because of that increased passing volume, the most important thing Golson did Saturday was not turn the ball over.

His preseason scouting report read: huge upside, huge downside; can win you a game or throw you out of it. He was a boom-or-bust quarterback on a team that needed a game manager. That's why a sect of Noles fans clamored for backup Sean Maguire to win the job.

The most surprising development this season has been Golson's evolution as a game manger. He hasn't committed a turnover all year, and he's made enough plays to create and maintain leads.

That's an important point moving forward. Assuming Cook returns—he looked upbeat in street clothes on the sideline during the second half—Golson won't be asked to throw 31 times per game. He'll be asked to turn and hand the ball to Cook, to make just enough plays to win.

So far he's proved he can do that, even if he hasn't been spectacular, as Elliott explained to angry Noles fans who called the QB "terrible" on Saturday:

Wake Forest entered with the No. 23 pass defense in America, per Football Outsiders' S&P+ ratings, and the weather was wet and soggy. Florida State could have easily scored fewer than 24 points. It could have easily committed multiple turnovers. It could have easily suffered a humiliating defeat.

Golson played a clean game and made things (mostly) painless. Wake Forest drove for the game-tying touchdown late, but that's misleading; it never really felt like the Demon Deacons could win. Florida State kept them at arm's length and rode the early lead to victory.

Beating an underrated defense on the road without a Heisman-caliber running back during a rainstorm is not the worst thing in the world. FSU fans will react as if this team is in serious danger, but it's not.

It is, however, in modest danger, which is what has made this season so frustrating. Miami, Louisville, Georgia Tech, Clemson and Florida still loom on the schedule. In at least one and likely three or four of those games, Golson will have led this team to victory.

He still hasn't proved he can do that, and until he does, it's hard to call the Noles ACC favorites. They're sitting firmly in the top tier, but they still can't separate from a lackluster conference. They still can't put opponents like Wake Forest away.

"Three quarters of offense [made me] happy," Fisher said after the game, per Corey Clark of the Tallahassee Democrat. "But then it's like we were hoping to win the game. Instead of winning it."

Florida State should, theoretically, feel like more of a College Football Playoff contender than it does. Golson has done a good job keeping it afloat, but at the same time, he's held it back. At once he's been the life raft and the anchor of FSU's season.

He's bought himself some time but must do more.

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Ohio State vs. Indiana: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

The top-ranked Ohio State Buckeyes did everything they could to keep the Indiana Hoosiers in the game Saturday night before a red-zone stand in the final moments gave the defending national champions a 34-27 win on the road.

The game ended after Indiana sophomore quarterback Zander Diamont's last-second heave into the end zone fell incomplete. On a 4th-and-goal from the Ohio State 9-yard line, Diamont was forced to scramble following a bad snap. He bought himself just enough time to launch a pass that nearly found Ricky Jones for a potential game-tying score. Instead, the ball fell to the turf, and the Buckeyes survived a serious scare.

Ezekiel Elliott is the single-biggest reason for the victory after rushing for 243 yards and three touchdowns in the second half. Following his third score—on which he ran 75 yards—former Buckeyes running back Chris Wells couldn't help but to start making the Heisman push:

Elliott covered up for what was an otherwise average offensive performance for OSU. Cardale Jones played the entire game, going 18-of-27 for 245 yards, one touchdown and an interception. The Buckeyes again struggled to create any big plays over the top of the opposing secondary. Jalin Marshall's 34-yard reception in the second quarter was Ohio State's longest pass play. 

Many have looked at the offense as the biggest reason behind Ohio State's somewhat-underwhelming start. Neither Jones nor J.T. Barrett has stamped his place on the starting quarterback job, and Elliott entered Saturday averaging one yard less per carry than he did in 2014.

Despite those issues, Buckeyes head coach Urban Meyer remained even-keeled about his team's problems on the offensive side of the ball, per Ari Wasserman of the Northeast Ohio Media Group:

We had two--I think two games that we didn't perform very well offensively, and that happens.

If there is a critique on our offense over the last 13, 14 years, whatever it's been, it's the early-in-the-season funk that you're in sometimes, and a lot of it is because of the maybe new defenses. Or you take a couple key players out of that lineup for us. Jeff Heuerman was a real guy. You take Darryl Baldwin out of the lineup, and there are a little bit of growing pains.

Somebody Meyer left out in that assessment is Tom Herman, who was Ohio State's offensive coordinator last year before taking over as head coach of the Houston Cougars. ESPN's Elika Sadeghi was among the throng of OSU fans hoping Herman could make a triumphant return to Columbus, Ohio:

One look at the halftime score tells you everything about Ohio State's performance through the first two quarters. Indiana led 10-6 heading into the locker rooms, and the Hoosiers should've been up by more than four points on the balance of play.

As's Justin Albers noted, Indiana essentially handed the Buckeyes half of its point total:

Ohio State's first three drives all ended in punts, and the offense gained a paltry 36 yards in the process.

In the meantime, Griffin Oakes connected on a 34-yard field goal to give the Hoosiers an early three-point edge. On Indiana's next possession, Sudfeld led the offense 80 yards in five minutes, culminating in Devine Redding's one-yard touchdown run, with 13:38 left in the half.'s Mark Schlabach did his best to motivate the Indiana players to retain their 10-point lead:

After getting the ball back, Ohio State finally put together a scoring drive as the offense marched 70 yards in 10 plays. Although the Buckeyes had to settle for a 23-yard Jack Willoughby field goal, they had to start somewhere.

Between its next two drives, OSU should've at the very least taken the lead before the conclusion of the second quarter. Marshall fumbled the ball inside the Indiana 10-yard line after catching a pass from Jones. Then came Willoughby's second field goal of the game after Ohio State started with the ball on the Hoosiers' 13-yard line.

Indiana head coach Kevin Wilson opted to gamble on a 4th-and-1 inside his own 20 and called for a fake punt. The play call didn't work at all, giving the Buckeyes marvelous field position. But Indiana's defense held strong and limited OSU to just the three points.

Although the first half was a major success for Indiana in a number of areas, the Hoosiers did have a setback in the form of an injury to running back Jordan Howard, per Gregg Doyel of the Indianapolis Star.

Howard returned to the game for a short time, but he was clearly laboring as a result of his sore ankle. Without his presence on the ground, Indiana's offense was much less effective in the second half, which put a ton of pressure on its defense.

Whereas the backfield was a source of stress for the Hoosiers, it proved to be Ohio State's saving grace.

Elliott broke through the Indiana defense for a 55-yard touchdown run at the 8:57 mark in the third quarter. Once the junior bounced to the outside, nobody could catch him before his dive into the end zone, per ESPN College Football:

Bleacher Report's Adam Kramer was most impressed by the distance Elliott traveled on his final leap:

Indiana quickly retook the lead, 17-13, with the assistance of linebacker Tegray Scales' interception of a Jones pass. Scales returned the ball to his own 45-yard line, giving the Hoosiers solid field position. Redding capped off the scoring drive with an 11-yard touchdown run.

Ohio State once again called upon Elliott to provide a spark, and the strategy paid off in spades. On a 4th-and-1 at his own 35, Elliott broke through the heart of the Hoosiers defense and had nothing but green space between himself and paydirt, as ESPN College Football highlighted:

For's Jeremy Fowler, the margin between success and complete failure on the play was incredibly slim:

Needless to say, the Buckeyes contingent on hand was pleased to see Ohio State take a 20-17 lead, per Deadspin's Timothy Burke:

Jones added to the advantage with a 23-yard touchdown pass to Michael Thomas six seconds into the fourth quarter. After Oakes trimmed the Indiana deficit to a touchdown, 27-20, Elliott picked up his third rushing score of the game, running 75 yards on OSU's first play from scrimmage following the field goal.

According to ESPN Stats & Info, he's the first player in the last decade to have at least three touchdown runs of 50-plus yards.

You thought Ohio State would be free and clear from that point forward, but Diamont quickly dispelled that notion with a 79-yard dash to the end zone, which came a mere 21 seconds after Elliott's TD.

The Buckeyes couldn't put their opponents away, and that nearly bit them in the final seconds.

As much as you wonder whether Ohio State is ever going to snap out of this funk, the Buckeyes can likely keep playing well below their best and still tack on win after win until Nov. 21. OSU finishes its regular season at home to Michigan State and then on the road against Michigan.

Before that, the Buckeyes get Maryland, Penn State, Rutgers, Minnesota and Illinois, all of which will need a lot to go right to beat Ohio State.

Indiana, on the other hand, has a tough stretch of games upcoming. The Hoosiers get the Nittany Lions on the road next, which will be a difficult game for them. Following their matchup with Rutgers, they then play Michigan State, Iowa and Michigan, all in succession.


Postgame Reaction

On one hand, switching between quarterbacks is rarely an optimal strategy. Sticking with Jones for the entire game might have been the right decision for Meyer. After the game, he told reporters he never planned on bringing in Barrett, per SB Nation's Land-Grant Holy Land.

On the other hand, giving Barrett a start might not be a bad idea. Jones has had numerous chances to distance himself in the quarterback battle and hasn't done so. Sure, we don't see the two in practice every day, but based on last year, Barrett couldn't be much worse (and could be much better) for the OSU offense.

Bleacher Report's Ben Axelrod believes it's time for a change:

If Meyer does plan on changing his starting QB, then he could hold off on making the news public so as to keep as much of a competitive edge as possible on his opponents.

For Indiana, the health of Sudfeld and Howard will be key stories next week. Wilson said after the game the two players have "ankles, minor deals," per Zach Osterman of the Indianapolis Star.

While Diamont filled in well for Sudfeld on Saturday, the Hoosiers would be better off having Sudfeld available.

And the impact of Howard's absence was evident in the second half. Indiana is a worse offensive unit when he is on the sidelines.

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Aaron Golub, Tulane Long Snapper, 1st Legally Blind Player to Play in NCAA Game

Tulane’s Aaron Golub made history on Saturday by becoming the first legally blind athlete to play in an NCAA football game.

Golub long-snapped a successful PAT with eight minutes and 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter to give the Green Wave a 45-17 lead in their eventual 45-31 win over UCF.

Per's Andrew Lopez, Golub was humbled in his postgame press conference and downplayed the significance of his accomplishment, saying:

It was a great opportunity. I’m happy they gave me a shot, and it just felt great. 

I prepared and I just know that I've done this thousands of times. It was nothing. It's the same as in practice. It was just me and [punter] Pete [Picerelli] the holder and I just snapped it to him.

Golub has no vision in his right eye and has limited sight in his left from a genetic condition he was born with. He joined the Green Wave as a walk-on in the spring of 2014

Tulane coach Curtis Johnson noted after the game that Golub could make more appearances this season, per Lopez. 

The sophomore from Newton, Massachusetts, began playing competitively in middle school, according to Sports Illustrated's Chris Scarnati, and was a lineman in high school before shifting to long snapper when he aspired to play collegiately. By the time he graduated, he was ranked 18th at the position by 247Sports.

Tulane improved to 2-2 with its win over UCF, the defending American Athletic Conference co-champions. The Green Wave continue conference play next weekend with a trip to Temple.

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Alabama vs. Georgia: Score, Highlights and Twitter Reaction

Not taking too kindly to being an underdog for the first time in five seasons, the Alabama Crimson Tide dominated the Georgia Bulldogs, 38-10, in a critical SEC showdown for both teams Saturday. 

The college football world has been so accustomed to seeing the Crimson Tide run their way through the regular season before, in most cases, appearing in the SEC Championship Game. There has been a different feel to start 2015, thanks largely to a 43-37 loss against Mississippi two weeks ago. 

It was an ugly day at Sanford Stadium, not just because of the final score. The weather conditions were dreadful, with rain falling from the opening kickoff that got progressively worse as things went on. Georgia can't use that as an excuse, since Alabama didn't seem to be fazed, as CBS Sports put it:

Quarterback has been the biggest question mark for Bama, as Jake Coker came into the game with a completion percentage of just 55.3, eight touchdowns and four interceptions. 

Coker's head coach, Nick Saban, did not waver in his confidence about what the senior can do, per Marq Burnett of the Ledger-Enquirer, but wanted to see smarter decision-making. 

"He's very capable of making all the plays he needs to make," Saban said. "So it comes down to mindset and focus, staying focused on the right stuff so he can make the right reads, the right plays, the right throws, and he's very capable of doing that."

One way to help Coker shine without letting some of his flaws get exposed is limit the number of times he throws while still allowing him to go down the field. Alabama's run-heavy game plan helped Coker shine, as he finished 11-of-16 for 190 yards and two touchdowns (one rushing).

Stellar running back Derrick Henry continued to exert his will over anyone who stands in his way. The junior standout had 148 yards and one touchdown on 26 carries, setting a new Alabama rushing touchdown record in the process, via Alabama Football on Twitter:

Georgia was only down by seven with under five minutes to play in the first half, but the wind went out of the Bulldogs' sails following this special teams play, via CBS Sports:

Georgia followed that up with a quick three-and-out, leading to a Coker 45-yard touchdown pass to Calvin Ridley on Alabama's first play of the ensuing drive. The Tide grabbed a three-touchdown advantage with 14 points in the span of 60 seconds. 

Ridley, per ESPN Stats & Info, nearly equaled his receiving totals through the first four games in the first 30 minutes against Georgia:

Things got so bad for Georgia early in the third quarter, with Alabama scoring two more touchdowns in less than five minutes, even Uga couldn't bear to watch anymore, via SEC on CBS:

Georgia starting quarterback Greyson Lambert was briefly benched late in the first half after going 7-of-17 for 70 yards, though that line looks Aaron Rodgers-esque compared to Brice Ramsey's. The sophomore was 1-of-6 with one particularly bad two-play stretch, per Yahoo Sports' Pat Forde:

Lambert did return to the game late in the third quarter but ended up limping off the field after trying to make a tackle following an interception. He would finish 10-of-24 with 86 yards and the pick. 

The most alarming thing about Georgia's quarterback ineptitude against Alabama is how soft the Crimson Tide have looked defending the pass this season. They came into the game 59th in passing yards allowed per game. 

Two weeks ago, Ole Miss quarterback Chad Kelly torched the Crimson Tide with 341 yards and three touchdowns. Rainy weather can alter a game plan, but Coker was able to create big plays for Alabama, while Georgia's passing offense couldn't. 

One of Georgia's only bright spots was running back Nick Chubb. He broke the 100-yard barrier for the 13th consecutive game on an 83-yard touchdown run, passing Herschel Walker in the Georgia record books, per ESPN Stats & Info:

That's a small silver lining for the Bulldogs coming out of this game. Head coach Mark Richt's teams have a tendency to start the year with high expectations, only to stumble in marquee matchups. This is one of those disappointing losses that can linger, though the schedule does ease up with Florida as the only ranked team left on the schedule. 

For Saban, this was a statement game to make sure everyone who questioned Alabama's status as one of the nation's elite teams in 2015 knew his team was not going gently into that good night. 

Coker will ultimately determine how high the Crimson Tide's ceiling is, but with Henry running over everyone and a talented defense starting to jell, the rest of the SEC will be on high alert. 


Postgame Reaction

In typical Saban fashion, he didn't seem to get too enthusiastic about a single win after it was over. 

Per Marq Burnett of the Anniston Star, Saban started the game in a foul mood because of what he saw from his team during warm-ups:

Most coaches would like seeing the fire and passion before a big game, but Saban apparently wants to make sure his players have all of their energy channeled where it needs to be after kickoff. 

Also from Burnett, Saban noted that there was only so far the game plan coming into the game could get the Crimson Tide:

There were a lot of factors at play in Alabama's win, but Coker started everything. Quarterbacks are too important in football today, whether it's at the college or pro level, and Saban was pleased with what his signal-caller was able to do, via Rachel Baribeau of SiriusXM's College Sports Nation:

Things were not as cheerful on the Richt side of things, per Cecil Hurt of the Tuscaloosa News:

That's about as apt a description of what happened, as four of Alabama's five touchdowns came in about a nine-minute span from the end of the second quarter to the start of the third quarter. 

As far as what to say after a loss like this in the locker room, via Hurt, Richt laid it all out there as bluntly as possible:


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SEC East Well Within Reach for Georgia Despite Alabama Exposing Bulldogs

The "rainout" played between Alabama and Georgia on Saturday afternoon at Sanford Stadium in Athens followed the same script of the "blackout" between these two teams in the same building in 2008.

Domination by the road team.

The Crimson Tide ran the Bulldogs out of their own building, winning 38-10 Saturday in a game that wasn't as close as the score indicated.

Simply put, Georgia (4-1, 2-1) got exposed on both sides of the ball by a better for football team. Luckily for the Bulldogs, it does only count as one loss, and the SEC East title is still attainable. 

"We got whipped. We all know it and we’ve got to do something about it," head coach Mark Richt said in quotes emailed by Georgia. "We’ll watch the film and face the truth and look at ways we can improve. We as coaches have to make decisions to do that."

Georgia's offense was and is predicated on establishing the run with superstar sophomore Nick Chubb. That's fine against teams like South Carolina and Vanderbilt, but it's much easier said (or written) than done against a front seven like Alabama's, which was giving up 56.75 yards per game on the ground coming in.

Chubb found that out the hard way.

Chubb managed 146 yards on the ground but had just 63 until his 83-yard scamper late in the third quarter when the Bulldogs were down 38-3. Alabama shut down Chubb when it mattered and forced quarterback Greyson Lambert to beat it through the air. 

He couldn't.

While the Virginia graduate-transfer was marvelously efficient over the previous two games and threw just two incomplete passes in two weeks, the Crimson Tide got in his face, forced mistakes and eventually forced Lambert to the bench after a first half in which he completed just seven of his 17 passes. He finished the day 10-of-24 for just 86 yards an no touchdowns.

As ESPN's Bomani Jones noted on Twitter, Lambert is not mobile, and the quarterbacks who have toppled the Tide over the last few years typically are mobile, use tempo and stretch the field:

When Plan A—Chubb—doesn't work, Georgia is not equipped to handle Plan B.

It's not equipped at quarterback, not equipped at wide receiver outside of Malcolm Mitchell and not equipped at coordinator—where new offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer's units finished in the top half of the NFL in passing offense one time (New York Jets, 2008) over the last nine seasons.

No, Schottenheimer didn't exactly have stellar quarterbacks during most of those years, but it's not like Georgia has Tom Brady on its roster this season, either.

Georgia is one-dimensional by necessity, not choice.

With that said, though, that one dimension still could land the Bulldogs in the Georgia Dome in early December to play in the SEC Championship Game.

Name one front seven left on Georgia's schedule that's anywhere close to the one it faced Saturday.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

In addition to the rotating cross-division game against Alabama, Georgia will play Auburn out of the West in its permanent cross-division rivalry. That doesn't look nearly as daunting now as it did in August. 

On top of that, every team in the SEC East is flawed. Missouri has quarterback issues, Tennessee can't close, South Carolina is a wreck (and already fell to Georgia), Florida is still building, Kentucky has a loss already and Vandy is a mess.

When Georgia plays at Tennessee next week, it will be one of the biggest games in the SEC East.

That game has been close each of the last two seasons, with Tennessee playing at a massive disadvantage. That's changed a little bit thanks to the recruiting efforts of Vols head coach Butch Jones and his staff, but his ineptitude in clutch situations has been one of the most depressing storylines of the 2015 season. 

The Bulldogs will go to Knoxville down but not out, at least in terms of the SEC East race.

Georgia could play Alabama—or whichever team wins the SEC West—again in December.

Well, as long as Alabama doesn't "beat Georgia twice" and the Bulldogs don't suffer from a Crimson Tide hangover in October next week on Rocky Top.


Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Statistics are courtesy of CFBStats.comBarrett Sallee is the lead SEC college football writer and national college football video analyst for Bleacher Report as well as a host on Bleacher Report Radio on SiriusXM 83. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee. 

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Notre Dame vs. Clemson: Live Score and Highlights

Clemson 21, Notre Dame 3—Early 3rd Quarter

In the long, proud histories of both Notre Dame and Clemson, the two programs meet today for just the third time. Not only is this a rare meeting between two powerhouse programs, but this season, it also has some serious College Football Playoff implications.

No. 6 Notre Dame visits No. 12 Clemson in an epic prime-time showdown.

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Jared Goff Sets Record for Most TD Passes in Cal History

Jared Goff further etched his name into the Cal record books during Saturday’s game against Washington State, tossing his 65th career touchdown pass to move ahead of Kyle Boller for the most in school history.

According to Kevin Danna of, the high mark is Goff’s 23rd at Cal. He also owns records for passing yards (8,721), total offense (8,600 yards) and completions (728), reflective entering Saturday.

The junior set the record with a 34-yard strike to Bryce Treggs with one minute and 50 seconds left in the first quarter.

Goff set the record at the institution where Aaron Rodgers ascended to national distinction. Rodgers, the reigning NFL MVP, tossed 43 touchdowns in his two seasons at Cal.

However, during Rodgers’ tenure, the Bears relied more on a ground attack, averaging 246 yards per game to the 167.6 from 2013 to present with Goff.

Goff has naturally received comparison to Rodgers as a Cal product with tremendous upside. But NFL Media analyst Daniel Jeremiah says "not so fast" when pinning the pair’s skill sets against each other. Here's what he had to say while appearing on the The Rich Eisen Show (via

I would pump the brakes on that one. They're different guys. Aaron Rodgers, you're talking about arm strength that's a different level than Goff, and even the natural feel for the position that Aaron had and some of the pinpoint accuracy he had, those are rare traits. But Goff is very poised. He can move around a little bit and extend plays.

The game looks like it's slow for him, and that's what you want to see at his position.

Goff is eligible to enter the NFL draft next season and is currently listed as the top underclassman at his position by ESPN’s Mel Kiper Jr.

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Shot of Georgia Bulldogs Mascot Uga Sitting in the Rain Will Bring out the Feels

Poor Uga.

As Georgia was getting walloped in the pouring rain at home by Alabama on Saturday, the Bulldogs mascot was sad.

Really, really sad.

There will be other days, pup. Keep your head up.


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Mississippi State vs. Texas A&M: Live Score and Highlights

The No. 21 Mississippi State Bulldogs (3-1, 1-1) travel to College Station, Texas on Saturday to face No. 14 Texas A&M (4-0, 1-0) in an SEC West battle. 

This is the ninth all-time meeting between the schools with the series tied at four wins apiece.

Since the Aggies entered the SEC in 2012, they've won two of three against the Bulldogs. MSU won last year's battle by a score of 48-31. In A&M's two prior wins, the Aggies scored 38 and 41, respectively. 

Mississippi State quarterback Dak Prescott is quietly having another outstanding season. The senior is completing 67 percent of his passes with seven touchdowns. Prescott has yet to throw an interception. 

Myles Garrett, the Aggies' star defensive end, has 6.5 sacks on the young season and will likely face his share of double teams.

You can watch the game live on the SEC Network at 7:30 p.m. ET, but make sure to stay right here for the latest news, notes, analysis, scoring updates and the best postgame coverage around.

You can find the official box score at

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Arizona State vs. UCLA: Live Score and Highlights

Head coach Jim Mora and the No. 7 UCLA Bruins are surging on the field and up the national rankings, and they’ll look to continue that momentum Saturday evening when they host the Arizona State Sun Devils.

The Bruins (4-0) should come into the contest with some confidence, and not just because of their elite play this season. Last year, Mora’s squad throttled the Sun Devils (2-2) in a 62-27 rout in Tempe, Arizona.

Will UCLA continue to roll, or will Arizona State get revenge and get back on track with the upset win? We’ll find out soon enough—the prime-time showdown is set to kick off at 7:30 p.m. ET and will be televised nationally by Fox.

We’ll be watching the matchup and providing a live analysis as the action unfolds.

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Ole Miss vs. Florida: Live Score and Highlights

No. 3 Ole Miss heads to No. 25 Florida in hopes of making a push for one of the top two spots in the poll.

Following a miraculous win over Tennessee, the Gators have a tough task in their first matchup with a Top 25 team. The Rebels are playing some of the best football in country on both sides of the ball and look like the class of the SEC through four games.

But as the Vols learned last week, you can't count out the Gators in The Swamp.

Kickoff for tonight's SEC showdown will begin at 7 p.m. ET on ESPN. Follow this page throughout the action for live updates and analysis of what's happening on the field. Afterwards, be sure to check out our game grades for both teams.

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Eastern Michigan vs. LSU: Live Score and Highlights

The ninth-ranked LSU Tigers welcome to town Eastern Michigan for a Saturday night affair in Baton Rouge, hoping to continue their hot start to 2015 behind superstar running back Leonard Fournette.

Virtually every aspect of this contest screams tune-up for the Tigers, who are a walloping 45-point favorite, according to Odds Shark. The Eagles are coming off a 2-10 season in which two Power Five teams combined to outscore them 138-14 and are already 1-3 this year.

Perhaps the most mouth-watering part for LSU fans, however, is the disparity between the Tigers' biggest strength—Fournette—and Eastern Michigan's top weakness. EMU has given up an average of 373.3 yards per game, good for dead last among FBS teams

With a two-game SEC East stand of Florida and South Carolina awaiting the Tigers, they'll want to keep building momentum in order to stay tied atop their division. As the 7 p.m. ET kickoff approaches, keep it locked here for live updates. 

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Northwestern DB Delivers Legendary Rendition of the Macarena After Win

If you’ve ever celebrated anything with a dance, this is who you wanted to be. Northwestern defensive back Steve Reese sets the standard.

After shutting out Minnesota on Saturday, 27-0, the freshman delivered an all-time great rendition of the Macarena—without changing his facial expression at all.

The Golden Gophers only accumulated 173 total yards. It was a good game for the Wildcats but definitely a better dance.

[Vine, h/t Sporting News]

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Baylor DE Shawn Oakman Gets Decleated on Legal Crackback Block

Baylor defensive end Shawn Oakman is a bad, baaad man. He's 6'9" and 275 pounds of shredded terror. 

He's a defensive monster. He's misunderstood. He's a legendary Internet meme

On Saturday vs. Texas Tech, he got laid the hell out.

When trying to defend against freshman wide receiver Tony Brown during the Bears' first-half destruction of the Red Raiders, Oakman took a devastating blindside block from senior offensive lineman Le'Raven Clark.

Here's another look:

Per Tim Griffin of the San Antonio Express-News, he had to leave the game: 


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Arkansas vs. Tennessee: Live Score and Highlights

KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — Tennessee and Arkansas will battle on a soggy Neyland Stadium turf tonight to see which preseason media darling can get things on track and which one will spiral further into the land of question marks.

The Volunteers are coming off a heartbreaking 28-27 loss to Florida in Gainesville where they blew a 13-point fourth-quarter lead to fall to 2-2 and drop their 11th straight against UF.

Arkansas, meanwhile, has lost three consecutive games, though the Razorbacks looked a little more like themselves in an overtime loss to Texas A&M.

With Georgia and Alabama on the horizon, this is close to a must-win game for coach Butch Jones and the Vols, who are a couple of plays away from being 4-0. The Hogs, without question, need something positive going for them, too.

Tennessee will ride dual-threat quarterback Joshua Dobbs, who led UT in rushing yards, passing yards and receiving yards last week against the Gators. Arkansas should fall back on junior running back Alex Collins and its experienced offensive line.

It should be a sloppy slugfest, so keep it right here for all the live scores and highlights as we kick off at 7 p.m.


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