NCAA Football News

Updated College Football Playoff Projections After Week 7

This week was not nearly as crazy as last week, but more of the top teams showed their true colors with statement wins. Bleacher Report's College Football Analyst Adam Kramer gives his updated version of the college football playoffs.

Which teams are in your top four for the College Football Playoff?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Watch Travin Dural Snatch the Ball for a 1-Handed TD Grab

Two-handed catches are nice, but one-handed catches are special—especially when they happen in the end zone. 

Florida Gators wide receiver Travin Dural only needed one hand to come down with a ridiculous touchdown grab vs. Florida.

Was this the best catch of Week 7?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Ole Miss vs. Texas A&M: Score and Twitter Reaction

Maybe Bo Wallace's "Bad Bo" persona is a thing of the past.

The Ole Miss quarterback threw for 178 yards and a touchdown in addition to 50 yards and two touchdowns on the ground as the third-ranked Rebels dispatched of No. 14 Texas A&M, 35-20, Saturday night at Kyle Field in College Station.

After Ole Miss' 23-17 over then-No. 3 Alabama, Wallace took exception to those characterizing him as some sort of Jekyll and Hyde QB.

"That thing's the most annoying thing I've ever heard," he said, reports Brandon Speck of Fox Sports South.

Even after helping lead the Rebels to that historic upset over the Crimson Tide, Wallace had his fair share of doubters. ESPN's Bomani Jones pointed out that the senior signal-caller wasn't far removed from his somewhat lackluster performance in a 24-3 win over Memphis (22-37, 248 yards, 2 TDs, 2 INTs):

Wallace didn't need to torch the Aggie secondary for a Heisman Trophy-level performance. As long as he limited the turnovers and didn't lean too heavily on the Ole Miss defense, the Rebels would be in a position to win.

According to NCAA.com, Texas A&M averaged 395.2 passing yards (fifth) and 188 rushing yards (47th) a game entering Saturday.

The Ole Miss defense held the Aggies to 455 total yards, including 54 on the ground. Quarterback Kenny Hill was 42-of-53 for 401 yards, two touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Rebels made a compelling argument as to why they have the best defense in the country on the back of Saturday's win. ESPN.com's Travis Haney went so far as to say that defensive tackle Robert Nkemdiche might be worthy of an invite to New York City for the Heisman presentation:

Taking an early lead helped Wallace and the Rebels offense in a big way. On the third drive of the game, Ole Miss went 69 yards in 1:25 to grab a 7-0 advantage following a four-yard touchdown run from Wallace, who was 2-of-3 for 52 yards on the drive. Those two passes set up the TD, as highlighted by Sam Kahn Jr. of ESPNCFB:

The Rebels got the ball back on their own 1-yard line after Texas A&M punter Drew Kaser placed the ball right on the goal line.

Wallace needed 4:09 to go nearly the length of the field, capping the drive with his second rushing touchdown of the game. He completed all four of his passes for 52 yards on the drive.

Gabe Bock of TexAgs Radio felt that the A&M defense wasn't doing nearly enough to make things difficult for Wallace and the Ole Miss offense:

NFL.com's Bryan Fischer noted that the two scoring drives eliminated any possibility that the Rebels were still basking in the glory of their victory over Alabama:

Things got even better for Ole Miss on Texas A&M's next drive. Rebels defensive back Cody Prewitt intercepted a Hill pass and returned it 75 yards for a touchdown, giving the road team a 21-0 lead with 11:56 to go in the first half.

That was the third pick-six for the Ole Miss defense in 2014, per Ole Miss Football:

The INT also moved Prewitt into seventh place in the Rebels' record books, according to Ole Miss Football:

Texas A&M's offense continued to struggle in the second quarter. The Aggies got down to the Ole Miss 27-yard line but turned the ball over on downs after a botched fake-field-goal attempt. 

ESPN's Mike Greenberg was unlikely the only one questioning A&M head coach Kevin Sumlin's decision not to take the three points:

The Aggies dug into the Rebels' lead in the second half, with running back Trey Williams punching it in from three yards out to make it 21-7. A&M took advantage of a short field and breathed life into the Kyle Field crowd. The Aggies looked like they might mount a comeback.

Then Wallace and the Rebels offense ate a little over four minutes off the clock before regaining a 21-point lead, 28-7. Wallace threw a 33-yard touchdown pass to wideout Quincy Adeboyejo with 13 seconds left in the third quarter.

Ole Miss all but shut the door on an Aggies comeback attempt after Rebels linebacker Keith Lewis recovered a Hill fumble and returned it 21 yards for a touchdown, making it a 35-7 game with 14:48 to go in the fourth quarter.

Hill added two touchdown passes to help the Aggies save some face in the final frame.

With the win, Ole Miss made a strong case that it's the best team in the country. Of course, the Rebels will have a strong argument to the contrary coming out of their own state after Mississippi State's 38-23 win over Auburn. The two don't cross paths until Nov. 29.

Next week, the Rebels will hope to maintain their perfect record against Tennessee, which beat Chattanooga 45-10 on Saturday.

Texas A&M is winless against Top 25 teams at Kyle Field under Sumlin (0-5).

CBS Sports' Doug Gottlieb remains perplexed at how the Aggies are unable to win big home games, despite having talented teams and a raucous atmosphere behind them:

Sumlin will try to pick up the pieces after back-to-back losses, but the Aggies' losing skid could easily swell to three with Alabama on tap next Saturday.

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LSU Loss Seals Jeff Driskel's Fate, Can Treon Harris Save Will Muschamp's Job

Florida's game vs. LSU in "The Swamp" served as Gator quarterback Jeff Driskel's last stand, and he rolled snake eyes.

After being benched last week in favor of Treon Harris in the win over Tennessee, it looked like Driskel's days as the starting quarterback in Gainesville were done. Suddenly on Monday, news broke that Harris was being investigated for sexual assault, and Driskel was pushed back into the role this week vs. LSU.

Harris was cleared and reinstated late Friday afternoon, but at that point, a full week of practice was gone and it was Driskel's game.

Driskel didn't have a three-interception performance like the one he had against Tennessee, but it was going in that direction—due in part to drops from his receivers.

He completed 14-of-25 passes for 183 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions in the 30-27 loss, operating in a very conservative game plan from head coach Will Muschamp and offensive coordinator Kurt Roper.

He hit Demarcus Robinson for 73 yards to set up the game-tying field goal, but after the Gator defense forced a punt to give the ball back to the offense with 0:54 left, Driskel forced a pass over the middle that was picked off by Rickey Jefferson, setting up LSU's game-winning field goal.

Is it "Treon time?"

Muschamp wouldn't say, but the true freshman was in the press box with Roper during the game, according to Matt Murschel of the Orlando Sentinel.

Was Saturday night's loss all on Driskel?

No, not at all. He played with emotion and, while he wasn't a game-changer, he displayed a spark that he hasn't shown in quite some time.

That's the ceiling, though. Harris is more explosive in the running game, and while he may be raw as a passer, he certainly gives Roper the opportunity to be a little more creative with the playbook.

Muschamp knows what's at stake. At 3-2 (2-2 SEC), his job status is dangling perilously on the edge of a cliff, and rocks are giving way with every Driskel interception. Two more losses, and it all might come crashing down.

There's a chance that Harris can save Muschamp and save the season.

The Gators have Missouri at home next week, and would Muschamp rather have Driskel in there against Missouri's pass rush or Harris? He has to know that Driskel will force things. Harris might not.

After that, the Gators will have two weeks to get Harris ready for Georgia, followed by the road trip to Vanderbilt, a home tilt vs. South Carolina, a supposed cakewalk over Eastern Kentucky and an intra-state rivalry game at Florida State.

Is Driskel a better option than Harris against those teams? At this point, it's hard to tell. The unknown, however, should be more comforting for Muschamp.

When Driskel is on, he'll keep Florida in games—even if they're against under-performing defenses like LSU's. "In it" won't cut it, Muschamp needs someone to go win it.

That guy isn't Driskel, but it might be Harris.

He's Muschamp's best option at this point.

 

Barrett Sallee is the Lead SEC college football writer and video analyst for Bleacher Report, as well as a co-host of the CFB Hangover on Bleacher Report Radio (Sundays, 9-11 a.m. ET) on Sirius 93, XM 208.

Quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All stats are courtesy of cfbstats.com, and all recruiting information is courtesy of 247Sports. Follow Barrett on Twitter @BarrettSallee.

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College Football Scores 2014: Week 7 Results and Top Stars for Top 25 Teams

The Top-25 rankings didn't look quite as ridiculous during college football Saturday in Week 7 than they did in the previous week, with the vast majority of the numbered programs putting in solid performances and coming away with the all-important W.

Still, there were some notable results on the day.

No. 3 Mississippi State defeated No. 2 Auburn 38-23 behind excellent play from quarterback Dak Prescott and running back Josh Robinson. The Bulldogs are perhaps worthy of a top-overall ranking after Florida State put in a merely solid performance against Syracuse.

No. 12 Oregon are back on track in the Pac-12 after defeating No. 18 UCLA by a score of 42-30 in a game that wasn't nearly as close as the final score implies.

No. 5 Baylor shocked everyone with a stunning fourth-quarter comeback victory to defeat No. 9 TCU. According to ESPN Stats & Info, the Bears had a 1.9 percent chance at one point in the final quarter:

No. 22 Georgia Tech looks set to for a quick exit from the Top 25 after losing to unranked Duke, while No. 13 Georgia manhandled No. 23 Missouri despite missing all-world running back and Heisman Trophy candidate Todd Gurley.

Here is a look at the results from the Top 25 teams in play on Saturday, followed by some of the top performers.

 

Bryce Petty, QB, Baylor: 28-of-55, 510 yards, 6 TD, 2 INT

Bryce Petty carried his team to a stunning, come-from-behind victory over the TCU Horned Frogs on Saturday and vaulted himself back into the Heisman Trophy conversation. Hopefully the next time he puts up numbers close to 500 yards and six touchdowns, the Bears win by more than three points.

Petty was quick to discuss his team's play with ESPN Central Texas Radio's Craig Smoak after the game:

It wasn't a perfect performance from the Baylor star. He threw a costly interception that turned into a pick-six for TCU early in the fourth quarter. The error made the score 58-37 in favor of the Horned Frogs, and the Bears' postseason hopes looked to be in serious jeopardy. 

Petty shook off his previous mistakes and got to work, tossing two touchdowns and leading his squad to 24 unanswered points and a miraculous victory. Petty was indeed erratic throughout the game, completing just over half of his passes, but six touchdowns and a famous win will ensure his name is on the tip of many college football fans' tongues on Monday morning when they assess the weekend that was.

 

Jameis Winston, QB, Florida State: 30-of-36, 317 yards, 3 TD, 0 INT

Jameis Winston does what he wants out on the gridiron. Syracuse had no answer for the Heisman-winning quarterback. He calmly and coolly carved up the Orange secondary. SportsCenter provided a look at Winston and his stat line from the afternoon:

Just when it looks like Winston isn't capable of putting up similar performances to his 2013 campaign, he comes out with a 300-yard performance and makes it look decidedly simple. ESPN Stats & Info pointed out that the Seminoles are still undefeated when Winston lines up under center:

Florida State didn't blow Syracuse out of the water, and they have yet to notch a signature win in the 2014 season, but with the rest of the college football elite falling off around them, it appears they will make good on their inside track at reaching the College Football Playoff.

 

Dak Prescott, QB, Mississippi State: 18-of-34, 246 yards, 2 TD, 1 INT; 21 carries, 121 yards, 2 Rush TD

Dak Prescott didn't have the best day throwing the football, but he did plenty of damage on the ground and out-dueled Auburn's Nick Marshall on the way to another historic statement win for the Bulldogs.

ESPN Stats & Info pointed out he did his best work throwing the ball on third down, when his team needed his big arm the most:

In a testament to the young man's focus and commitment, he was quick to point out that he didn't play his best against the Tigers.

"It really doesn't mean much," Prescott said, per Patrick McGee of SunHerald.com. "I didn't play a great game at all. People can talk and say I played a great game, but to me it's one of my worst this season. It really doesn't mean much. I want to continue to make this team better and keep winning."

Yes, he's had better games in 2014, but there might not be a better win up to this point. Auburn was last season's miracle team in the SEC. Now, it's the Bulldogs' chance to make a surprise run at a national title.

 

Royce Freeman, RB, Oregon: 18 carries, 121 yards, 2 TD; Paul Perkins, RB, UCLA: 21 carries, 187 yards

Marcus Mariota had a fine game under center for the Ducks, but there needs to be some recognition for running backs in Week 7, and Royce Freeman put on a show against UCLA on Saturday. Freeman toted the pigskin 18 times for 121 yards and two touchdowns. He sliced and diced his way through the Bruins defense with relative ease on his way to becoming Oregon's first 100-yard rusher of the season.

The freshman from Imperial, California—probably in Oregon to escape the hot weather—could become a vital part of the Ducks' attack in the coming weeks, provided the offensive line holds up.

UCLA's Paul Perkins also turned in a fine performance in a losing effort, racking up over 200 all-purpose yards and serving as a constant offensive threat when there was little consistency to be found from the Bruins offense on the day. Defenses have had a tough time stopping him this season despite the fact that a porous offensive line has limited the impact of quarterback Brett Hundley.

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Penn State vs. Michigan: Game Grades, Analysis for Nittany Lions and Wolverines

Michigan cracked the Big Ten win column Saturday night with an 18-13 victory over Penn State at The Big House in Ann Arbor. 

"It wasn't pretty," Wolverines coach Brady Hoke said during his postgame presser. 

No, it wasn't pretty. But it moves Team 135 to 3-4 heading into the bye week, which comes just in time, says Hoke, who's looking forward to resting his players and getting organized for Oct. 25's meeting with Michigan State in East Lansing. 

Penn State super soph quarterback Christian Hackenberg was handcuffed by a relentless pass rush and a secondary that was dialed in and looking to rebound from criticism. 

 

Passing Offense

UM: Devin Gardner completed 16 of 24 attempts for a season-high 192 yards. He threw one interception and managed the game well. 

Michigan gets a "B-" for passing offense, only because Gardner hit a season high. Other than that, it was average at best. 

PSU: Christian Hackenberg didn't have a lot of time to do anything. His O-line didn't help matters, and neither did Michigan's secondary, which capped the hot shot signal-caller at just 160 yards. 

Penn State gets a "D."

 

Rushing Offense

UM: Without Derrick Green, the Wolverines must find a way to produce from the backfield. That didn't happen Saturday, as De'Veon Smith, the new No. 1, had just two carries for 21 yards. The sophomore needs more carries on a regular basis. Until that happens, don't expect a lot from the backs. 

Including Gardner, the quarterback, Michigan rushed for 25 yards. That's a failure. One big old "F."

PSU: Bill Belton had 14 carries for 69 yards, leading an otherwise ineffective rushing attack. Penn State ended the night with 54 yards. The Nittany Lions get a "D-" in that department. 

 

Pass Defense

UM: See Penn State's pass offense grade, and you'll see why Michigan's defensive backs earned a "B+" for their work against Hackenberg. The Wolverines secondary started out with passion, evidenced by Ray Taylor's efforts in the first quarter, and ended on a high note. 

PSU: Other than allowing a 43-yard touchdown in the first half, the Nittany Lions did a respectable job of stopping Gardner. Penn State gets a "C-." 

 

Run Defense

UM: The proof is in the pudding, and that pudding must taste pretty good. Defensive coordinator Greg Mattison's guys entered the game surrendering fewer than three yards per carry. They held Penn State to just 1.5 yards per attempt, warranting an "A+"

PSU: There wasn't really a running game to defense, so Penn State gets a "B-" for showing up and not allowing huge gains. 

 

Special Teams

UM: Matt Wile's three field goals did the trick. Will Hagerup punted well enough to avoid relinquishing field position for Michigan. So let's say "A-"...you know, just to be nice. 

PSU: Sam Ficken knocked down both of his attempts. An "A" for Fickens sounds right. 

 

Coaching

UM: Hoke said it himself after the game, the players play, not him. But he should be rewarded for calling the shots during his first conference win of 2014. Hoke, Mattison and offensive coordinator Doug Nussmeier can split a grade of "S." 

Remember those? They mean satisfactory. 

PSU: It's James Franklin's first year in the Big Ten, and Saturday was his first trip to Ann Arbor. Let's call it an "I" for the sake of fairness. 

 

Follow Bleacher Report's Michigan Wolverines football writer Adam Biggers on Twitter @AdamBiggers81

Unless otherwise noted, quotes or references to were obtained firsthand by the writer

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How Auburn Can Get Back in the College Football Playoff Hunt

STARKVILLE, Miss. — The Auburn Tigers have read this script before.

They knew what it felt like to fall behind 21-0 on the road against an extremely tough SEC West opponent.

They knew what it felt like to turn the ball on their first two drives of the game.

Hey, they even knew what it felt like to try and orchestrate a rousing comeback in the pouring rain.

But, just like in the loss last season to LSU in Baton Rouge, Gus Malzahn's team lost by two possessions Saturday night—a 38-23 defeat to Mississippi State in Starkville.

"Give Mississippi State credit, and congratulations to those guys," Malzahn said. "They are a very good football team. But we started in a hole. We turned the ball over the very first two plays we had, and we got in a hole, and their crowd got into it."

There is no denying the 15-point loss to No. 3 Mississippi State, who made a strong case to be the nation's best team after leading the whole way Saturday, was a significant blow to Auburn's chances in both the SEC West picture and the national-title picture.

However, a flip over to last year's script shows that the blow isn't fatal. 

Even with the slippery defeat at Tiger Stadium last season, Auburn finished the season with a conference championship and a spot on college football's biggest stage.

"We’ve got a strong team," junior receiver Sammie Coates said. "We’re always going to be together, lose or win. It doesn’t matter. We lost last year to LSU and ended up in the national championship. You never know what’s going to happen in this league." Cornerback Josh Holsey expressed confidence in Auburn's "comeback":

Coates is correct. Auburn won several big SEC games—two of them on now-legendary, game-winning plays—and received some help from other teams on its road to Atlanta and Pasadena last season.

This season, with an already crazy stretch of upsets against top teams, the lack of a dominant No. 1 team in a crowded SEC Western division and two new spots for national-title contenders in the playoff season, Auburn's dream of a championship is not dead yet.

"We are still one of the better teams, I think," Malzahn said. "I feel strongly about that."

But, in order to get back into the playoff hunt, several areas need to improve for an Auburn team that still has a murderous second half of the season.

In both of Auburn's road games in 2014, Malzahn's high-octane offense has slowed down to less than 450 total yards and 24 points.

"The game is about momentum," senior defensive tackle Angelo Blackson said. "It shifts everywhere, but, at the end of the day, we were just in too deep of a hole. We kept making mistakes, and when you do that against a great team like that, you usually can’t win those ones."

The Tigers may have let a huge opportunity against a "great team" pass them by in Starkville, but there is no need for despair. Wide receiver Ricardo Louis apologized for Auburn's performance and promised a "bounce back":

The scenario and the way to get into the national-title game might be different, but Auburn has been here before.

Mississippi State still has road trips to both Alabama and Ole Miss, which will also be a contender in the SEC West and the College Football Playoff. If the Bulldogs drop both of those games and the Tigers win out, they will be headed to Atlanta for a chance to repeat and get into the playoff.

But if Prescott and Mississippi State runs the table and finishes undefeated, a one-loss Auburn team could get into the playoff.

Only one loss to perhaps the best team in the country would most likely be a huge resume booster in a handful of contenders.

In both scenarios, though, the Tigers will have to overcome the major challenge of finishing their brutal regular-season schedule without another loss.

While Malzahn and several of his players said after the game they were not focused on playoff scenarios, they couldn't help but notice the similarities to the position they found themselves in last season.

"We have to learn from this," Malzahn said. "We had a setback similar to this last year. There are a lot of champions in that locker room. They are disappointed, and they should be."

Last year, Auburn rallied around its comeback efforts on the road against LSU, had an important off week and won the rest of its regular-season games.

And, in another interesting coincidence, the Tigers will head into a bye week after this season's loss to Mississippi State.

"It’s important because the same thing happened to us last year," Marshall said. "With the loss against LSU, we had the bye week next. We're just going to come out tomorrow and redeem ourselves. We’re going to improve upon the mistakes we made tonight and just get better."

With some improvement, big wins and a little luck, recent history could repeat itself.

 

All quotes were obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. All recruiting rankings and information courtesy of 247Sports. All stats courtesy of CFBStats.com.

Justin Ferguson is Bleacher Report's lead Auburn writer. Follow him on Twitter @JFergusonAU.

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LSU vs. Florida: Score and Twitter Reaction

Colby Delahoussaye nailed a 50-yard field goal with three seconds remaining to give LSU the 30-27 win over Florida.

Freshman running back Leonard Fournette led the way for the Tigers, totaling 140 rushing yards on 27 carries and two touchdowns in the victory. Quarterback Anthony Jennings only completed 10 of his 21 passes for 110 yards, but he made plays when needed and helped his team win a tough road game in the SEC.

This was a big win for LSU because a loss would have put this team in historically bad territory for the program, according to ESPN's Brett McMurphy:

McMurphy also quotes head coach Les Miles in his thoughts after the game:

Meanwhile, this was yet another impressive comeback on his long resume:

Florida was trying to win this game despite dealing with plenty of distractions throughout the week. Freshman quarterback Treon Harris was accused of sexual assault before the complaint was later withdrawn. While he was reinstated, Jeff Driskel was given the start after practicing with the first team all week. 

While the junior quarterback had only recently lost his starting job, offensive coordinator Kurt Roper believed in the ability to bounce back, via Jesse Simonton of the Miami Herald:

I have never seen him waver. ...He’s a guy that has the right look in his eye. He is confident. Obviously, it’s a challenge when you don’t have the success in a game or in a couple of games that you want to have. The first thing that you do is you start looking at yourself first, and he’s that kind of guy.

Driskel responded with a solid effort that included 183 passing yards, 71 rushing yards and two total touchdowns. Unfortunately, he also had two interceptions, including one on the final drive to give LSU a chance to win.

Both sides came into the game concerned about a lack of offense, so it should be no surprise it was a special teams play that broke the scoreless tie. Andre Debose returned a punt 62 yards for a touchdown in the first quarter, which helped him set a new school record, according to Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun:

Fournette evened the score with a 12-yard run into the end zone, but then the two sides continued to battle back and forth to a 17-14 Gators lead at halftime. Of course, not everyone was impressed with the effort, including CBS Sports' Tom Fornelli:

It certainly wasn't the passing attacks that led to the scoring, as Mark Long of the Associated Press pointed out:

LSU gained its first lead of the game late in the third quarter thanks to a strong effort from Fournette, including his second touchdown of the night. Of course, a missed extra point kept it at 20-17. 

Bruce Feldman of Fox Sports noted how well the freshman was playing compared to the rest of the team:

Florida continued to struggle offensively, but Debose came through again with just over seven minutes left with a 53-yard punt return to the LSU 9-yard line. The Gators scored two plays later as CBS Sports described the situation:

Down 24-20, the Tigers needed a touchdown to take the lead and did just that with less than three minutes remaining. Anthony Jennings threw a fade to Travin Dural in the back of the end zone and the receiver made a one-handed grab despite being held by the defender. 

However, the Gators were not ready to give up. After going down the field on a long pass to Demarcus Robinson, they came close to scoring a go-ahead but Tevin Westbrook dropped a ball in the end zone. They settled for the field goal to tie the game at 27-27.

Florida then had the chance to win the game in regulation, but he threw a bad interception, as described by Bryan D. Fisher of NFL.com:

LSU only needed to move the ball three yards to give Delahoussaye a shot at the win and he came through.

This game certainly had less fanfare than we are used to when these two teams match up. College GameDay noted the difference in this year's competition:

Strangely, battles like Ole Miss versus Texas A&M and Auburn against Mississippi State took center stage in the SEC. 

Still, the latest win keeps LSU remaining in the conference title race, even if it is on the outside looking in. It might take nothing but wins the rest of the year, but the dream is still alive.

Things get a little easier for the Tigers next week with a home game against Kentucky. This is one of three straight games at Tiger Stadium with the squad also facing Ole Miss and Alabama in coming weeks.

Florida will have some key battles in the SEC East with matchups against Missouri and Georgia. Wins in these games could put the squad in the driver's seat for a spot in the conference title game.

Although neither team is likely happy with how it has performed to this point of the year, there is still a lot of talent on both rosters and it would not be surprising to see either go on a long winning streak as the season continues.

 

Follow Rob Goldberg on Twitter for the latest breaking news and analysis.

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Latroy Pittman Injury: Updates on Florida WR's Status and Return

Florida wide receiver Latroy Pittman suffered an injury in the fourth quarter of the Gators' Week 7 matchup with the LSU Tigers.

According to SI College Football, the Gators medical staff called a stretcher over to cart Pittman off the field:

Edgar Thompson of the Orlando Sentinel had an update after the game:

Pittman's teammates huddled around him as he left the field, per Kevin Brockway of The Gainesville Sun:

Tigers players also joined in, per Antonya English of the Tampa Bay Times:

Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press reported that the junior wideout had movement in his arms, which is an encouraging sign for his status:

Pittman had one reception for minus-two yards in the 30-27 loss, which brings his 2014 totals to seven receptions for 35 yards.

With the defeat, Florida's record on the season falls to 3-2 (2-2 SEC). The Gators welcome in the No. 23 Missouri Tigers, who are coming off a 34-0 loss to No. 13 Georgia, next Saturday.

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Heisman Watch 2014: Top 5 Rankings for Week 7

There were some outstanding individual performances in Week 7 of the college football season. Oregon Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota led his team to victory, while Dak Prescott and the Mississippi State Bulldogs impressed yet again.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee dishes out his top-five Heisman Trophy rankings for Week 7. 

Who is your Heisman front-runner?

Watch the video and let us know! 

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LSU WR Travin Dural Brings in 1-Handed TD Catch vs. Florida

Despite recent struggles for both LSU and Florida, there isn't a shortage of talent on the field. 

LSU wide receiver Travin Dural showed off his considerable talent with this clutch one-handed touchdown catch that gave the Tigers a 27-24 lead in the fourth quarter. 

Here's another angle of the grab: 

Great concentration from Dural, even as he was being held. The Tigers went on to win 30-27. 

[Vine]

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Winners and Losers from Week 7 of College Football

Nothing in Week 7 quite lived up to the insanity that was Week 6 in this college football season, but that doesn't mean there wasn't great football being played. 

From Mississippi State's statement win to Baylor's thrilling come-from-behind victory, there was a lot going on. The list of undefeated teams dwindled ever so slightly and top teams had statement wins.  

Which teams and players were winners in Week 7? Which ones weren't? The answers are in the following slides.

Begin Slideshow

Baylor QB Bryce Petty Takes Home CFB's Top Performer for Week 7

In one of the wildest shootouts in recent college football memory, the Baylor Bears took down the TCU Horned Frogs 61-58. Behind the charge for the Bears was standout QB Bryce Petty. The senior signal-caller put up video-game numbers, throwing for 510 yards with six touchdowns in Saturday's game.

That said, Petty takes home the Top Performer nod for Week 7.

Bleacher Report College Football Analyst Barrett Sallee discusses Petty's big night. 

Was this the best individual performance of the season?

Watch the video and let us know! 

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Bryce Petty Has His Heisman Moment in Incredible Comeback Win over TCU

Baylor quarterback Bryce Petty did not play the best game of his career in Saturday's 61-58 comeback win over TCU. But he did play the most important.

With 11 minutes left in the fourth quarter, that did not appear like it would be the case. In fact, it appeared like the opposite would be the case. Petty telegraphed an interception to Marcus Mallet, who jogged into the end zone untouched to give TCU a 58-37 lead.

The obituaries were written with haste:

But Petty didn't allow his team to capsize, leading four frantic scoring drives (three of which went for touchdowns) in the final 11 minutes to steal the win and keep Baylor undefeated. He finished the game with 510 passing yards and six touchdowns against a defense that entered the week ranked No. 4 in the country in opponent QB rating.

In the process, he not only launched Baylor to the top of the Big 12 standings—a place where it controls its own fate with regard to the College Football Playoff—but also registered the most significant "Heisman Moment" of the first seven weeks of the season. No other Heisman contender has done what Petty just did…on the stage in which he did it…against the defense to which he did it…at any point in 2014.

And we might not see anyone do it hereafter.

The first of Baylor's three fourth-quarter touchdown drives did not require that Petty throw a pass.

Four handoffs and 59 seconds were all the Bears needed to drive 45 yards on a short field and get the game within two scores. Petty relied on running backs Shock Linwood and Devin Chafin, his offensive line and the threat of the deep ball he had established in the first three quarters to get the Baylor comeback rolling.

But the next two fourth-quarter touchdown drives required that Petty do the heavy lifting. Both went 90-plus yards in exactly five plays, and neither took more than 90 seconds. The first drive ended on a 28-yard touchdown pass to Antwan Goodley. The second drive ended on a 25-yard touchdown pass to Corey Coleman.

And the only thing more pretty than the former...

...was the latter.

Having just watched Petty march Baylor down the field for three touchdowns in fewer than six minutes, TCU head coach Gary Patterson decided not to punt on a 4th-and-3 at the Baylor 45-yard line with less than 90 seconds left to play. Instead, he dialed up one of several ill-timed fade routes to Josh Doctson, which fell incomplete.

Baylor got the ball back around midfield and still needed to drive 30-or-so yards to feel good about a last-second field goal. But the game felt like it was over the moment that fourth-down pass hit the dirt. TCU had no realistic chance of stopping Baylor—of stopping Petty—from ending the game in regulation.

Nine plays later, that is exactly what Baylor did:

"I told our guys we weren't gonna lose that game," said Petty when the comeback was over, per the team's official Twitter feed. "I just knew looking at guys' faces we were gonna come back in the game."

Leadership is a nebulous but important quality for a quarterback to possess. Some prefer to lead with their actions. Others prefer to lead with their words. Neither way is better or worse than the other.

But the best leaders are the ones who combine those styles, who lead both implicitly and explicitly. Petty told his teammates they were going to win that game, even when doing so seemed ludicrous, then went out and backed up what he said with how he played.

There are not a lot of players who can do that.

Then again, there are not a lot of Heisman-worthy players.

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Vernon Hargreaves III Injury: Updates on Florida CB's Status and Return

Florida cornerback Vernon Hargreaves III missed the entire second half of Saturday night's contest against LSU after suffering an injury.

The Gainseville Sun's Zach Abolverdi has the news:

OnlyGators.com had an update on Hargreaves III's status after the game:

While the sophomore was on the wrong side of the headlines last month when he struggled in a matchup against Alabama star wide receiver Amari Cooper, he remains one of the most talented defensive backs in the nation.

Details of his injury are currently scarce, but if it's something that keeps him out for a significant amount of time, it would be a massive loss for Florida, although burgeoning freshman Jalen Tabor is waiting in the wings.

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Watch Shaq Thompson Recover Fumble and Take It 99 Yards to the House for a Score

Talk about being at the right place at the right time. Shaq Thompson was getting ready to attempt a goal-line tackle when the ball popped out of Cal quarterback Jared Goff's hands.

Thompson recovered the gift fumble and ran it 99 yards the other way for a memorable touchdown. 

Was this the play of the day?

Watch the video and let us know!  

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Mississippi State Setting Stage for Epic Clash with Alabama

Three weeks ago, Mississippi State looked like a capable understudy to Alabama and Auburn in the SEC.

Now at 6-0, with five wins coming by double digits, the Bulldogs are now primed to show out on Nov. 15 at college football's Broadway stage in Tuscaloosa, when they face off against the Crimson Tide.

The Bulldogs are now fresh off three straight wins against top 10 SEC opponents—LSU, Texas A&M and Auburn. Quarterback Dak Prescott and the rest of Stark Vegas have proven they belong, for now at least, in the College Football Playoff.

And after going through the gauntlet, the Bulldogs' next three games leading up to the showdown with the Tide are a breather. 

They travel to Kentucky next week, which could be a trap game as the Wildcats are actually playing good ball. But they did lose to Florida (in three overtimes) and have been the beneficiaries of a much easier schedule than most anybody else in the SEC. 

After that, the Bulldogs get Arkansas—another pesky but still below-average SEC squad that Prescott and Co. shouldn't have a problem with—than a gimme at home against UT Martin. 

Then, Nov. 15 comes. And the country can't wait. 

Alabama has a tougher road ahead of it between now and that date, with matchups against Texas A&M, Tennessee and LSU, before squaring off against Mississippi State. 

But knowing Nick Saban, it's hard to see the Tide losing any of those games, as he knows that another loss will likely knock Alabama out of playoff contention.
 
So how do the Bulldogs stack up against the Tide? 

Well, with how Prescott is looking, you've got to think that the Bulldogs will have a decent chance at the game just because of him. He's put himself squarely into the Heisman Trophy conversation and he's poised to boost his numbers over the next three weeks. 

Defensively, the Bulldogs are looking to join the party of elite SEC stoppers, holding teams to just 20 points per game heading into this week. They also held Auburn, a team that had scored at least 40 points in all but one of their games this season, to just 23. 

The Bulldogs earn their paychecks by stopping the run, where heading into this week they ranked 11th nationally, allowing just 98 yards per game on the ground.

Gaining yards on the ground is Alabama's bread and butter, as the Tide rush for 240 yards per game. 

So come Nov. 15, when CFB's biggest game of the year to that point will take place, the battle will be won in the trenches.

If Mississippi State can dominate the line of scrimmage and limit Alabama's rushing attack and put pressure on Tide QB Blake Sims, who already failed his first big test of the year against Ole Miss, then the Bulldogs should come away with a victory. 

And that should put them in the driver's seat to not only stay in the hunt for a playoff berth, but to earn the top seed in the playoffs.

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Everett Golson Does Not Look Ready for Florida State Showdown

There are good ways to enter the biggest game of the year. And then there's the way Notre Dame is entering its showdown with No. 1 Florida State. 

The Irish limped their way to a wild 50-43 victory over North Carolina, overcoming a self-inflicted, 14-point hole early in the game, three Everett Golson turnovers and some suspect defensive play that has Notre Dame looking its worst as it goes into its biggest game of the year. 

If next Saturday night's main event is the heavyweight title fight the Irish have been waiting for, they nearly KO'd themselves following the ring girl up the stairs. And after leading Notre Dame to three impressive wins by playing near flawless football, Golson heads to Tallahassee a quarterback in crisis. 

After producing touchdowns at an amazing rate, the engine of the Irish offense is now piling up turnovers at an equally troubling pace. On Saturday afternoon, the Irish managed to score 50 points for the first time since the season-opening game of 2012 but seemed to do so in spite of its quarterback, not because of him. 

That may sound harsh considering Golson managed to throw for 300 yards and three touchdowns while rushing for 71 yards at 5.9 per clip. But Golson's three turnovers led to 21 Tar Heel points.

Needing a fast start, Golson all but kick-started the Tar Heels' upset bid. He fumbled deep in his own territory on Notre Dame's first possession, went three-and-out on his second (a drive that included a dropped interception on an ugly misread) and threw a terrible pick-six on his third.

In a game where a quick Irish start could have taken the Tar Heels out of the game, Golson showed the hospitality of a Notre Dame usher, all but asking North Carolina to stick around for the afternoon and enjoy Notre Dame Stadium. 

The victory was the most important part of a weekend that served as the ultimate (and most obvious) "trap game" of the season. So while leaving 6-0 meant mission accomplished, the Irish have to fix holes on both sides of the ball, springing leaks before their ultimate playoff inspection. But none are more important than Brian Kelly's quarterback. 

"It tested him, because I tested him a little bit," Kelly said of Golson's struggles. "I got in his face a little bit about the first interception. He's above that interception... But I thought he handled it well."  

While it took just minutes after Notre Dame's hard-fought victory over North Carolina for ESPN's College GameDay to announce they were heading to Tallahassee, it'll take all week for Brian Kelly to get his quarterback ready for the trip south. And while Kelly put a good spin on it in his postgame comments, it looks as if Golson is regressing heading into the season's signature game. 

Golson looked like a quarterback trying to be someone he's not. He stuck around in a pocket that too often was collapsing. He locked on receivers early and threw to others too late. And after Kelly and the Irish coaching staff tried to coach the sandlot out of his playmaker, Golson needs to bring a little spontaneity back to his game, remembering that the hardest play to stop for a defense is sometimes the one that wasn't planned. 

Of course, Saturday wasn't all Golson's fault. While the Irish running game found its footing behind Tarean Folston, the offensive line was still plagued by mistakes. The opening series' strip-sack could be pegged on an overwhelmed offensive line. The group missed multiple blitz pickups, with Harry Hiestand's reshuffled offensive line still in need of vast improvements before taking on the Florida State front seven. 

That leaky offensive line led to a game-defining play late in the third quarter. Hit hard by a blitzer as his third-down pass fell incomplete, sophomore quarterback Malik Zaire began warming up on the sidelines. While it was ultimately a medical precaution, for the first time this season Irish fans openly wondered if Kelly had Zaire warming up because his quarterback was ineffective. 

But a questionable roughing the punter call extended Notre Dame's drive, bringing Golson—who was cleared by the medical staff—back onto the field. And the quarterback responded, driving the Irish to two touchdowns to ice the victory.

"He bounced back, threw the ball with authority and he was decisive. He made some good decisions, but he's learning," Kelly said. "That could shut some quarterbacks down.  He took the adversity and got better as the game went on." 

Ultimately, it was enough to beat North Carolina. But with the college football world descending on Doak Campbell Stadium next weekend, Notre Dame needs Everett Golson to be its star. And right now, he's not playing like one. 

 

*Unless otherwise noted, all quotes obtained firsthand. 

 

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LSU Player Goes Down with NBA-Style Flop to Draw Flag

And the Academy Award goes to LSU's Jamal Adams!

During the LSU-Florida game, defensive back Jamal Adams pulled off an NBA-quality flop after being contacted by the Gators' Andre Debose. 

The act worked, as Debose was flagged for the incident. 

[Gifd Sports]

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Southern Cal vs. Arizona: Live Score and Highlights

Arizona 0, Southern Cal 0 ; Early 1st Quarter

A Pac-12 South Division showdown takes place in the desert Saturday night, as the Southern Cal Trojans travel east to take on the No. 10 Arizona Wildcats.

The game will begin at 10:30 p.m. ET. It can be seen on ESPN 2.

Odds Shark has Southern Cal as a one-point favorite. A full box score can be found here, courtesy of NCAA.com.

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