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Nebraska Cornhuskers Offensive Lineman Falls Completely Backward on False Start

Sometimes offensive lineman try a little too hard to explode off the line and know a penalty flag is inevitable. 

That's exactly what happened to Nebraska Cornhuskers senior Jake Cotton, who flinched and dramatically let reality set in. There was no backwards step coming, no stabilizing front step. Cotton teetered over to accept his embarrassing fate.

Best false start ever? Gotta commit to it. https://t.co/77kgdV1MxZ

— Ben Jones (@Ben_Jones88) October 5, 2014

[Twitter]

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Why Alabama Fans Shouldn't Panic About Loss to Ole Miss

This was coming. It was a matter of when, not if.

Alabama was never going to survive its SEC West slate unscathed with the strength of the division combined with several glaring question marks that still remain five games into the season.

Alabama’s 23-17 loss to Ole Miss was stunning for so many reasons—the secondary getting torched again, a turnover at the worst possible time, an inability to move the ball consistently on offense. But it was also somewhat inevitable in this already crazy year for college football.

It definitely shouldn’t be any reason for panic, though, for Alabama fans. Not yet, at least. The Crimson Tide is still very much alive in the division, conference and national title races with a lot of football left to play.

The timing of this loss works in Alabama’s favor. It’s always better to lose early, and this definitely qualifies as such.

This is the Crimson Tide’s earliest loss since the 2007 season, when it fell to Georgia and Florida State in back-to-back weeks to end September. That was Nick Saban’s first season in Tuscaloosa—very much a rebuilding year.

Alabama’s last two national championship season both had losses, but those two were much harder to come back from and shouldn't really be considered sustainable strategies for future success. Alabama lost in early November in 2011 (LSU) and 2012 (Texas A&M) and needed the right dominoes to fall into place in a very short window of time to get back into the title picture.

That should be less of a problem this year.

Already, there is chaos around. The Crimson Tide were not the only top teams to fall this week. Oregon, Oklahoma and Texas A&M join Alabama in the top tier of college football teams that went down over the weekend. The number of teams in that group could rise still before the weekend is over.

Alabama probably doesn't even have to win its division to make the Top Four. It wouldn't be the first time that's happened.

It’s unclear how similar the playoff selection committee will rank teams compared to the old BCS rankings, but if they’re similar, Alabama definitely has a chance even if it doesn't go to Atlanta. The last three seasons, an SEC division runner-up was ranked in the Top Four after conference championship weekend, aided by teams losing ahead of it.

The Crimson Tide was on the receiving end of that in 2011, when it still made the national championship despite finishing second in the SEC West.

And Alabama should really only focus within its own division, where it could still very much earn a trip to Atlanta for the SEC Championship Game, which should be a de facto playoff play-in.

First, the Crimson Tide need the Rebels to lose two league games for Alabama to pass them. That’s very possible with Ole Miss’ schedule and given the strength of teams that this division has.

Then, Alabama needs to win out to have a chance. And that’s easier said than done.

 

Next week, Alabama travels to Arkansas before hosting Texas A&M, a team seemingly built to expose the Crimson Tide’s defensive weaknesses. Then there’s a road trip to LSU and a home game against Auburn to close out the season.

 

So while this Alabama loss certainly hurts and shows that the Crimson Tide still has a long way to go if they want to compete for a championship, hope is not lost.

 

Marc Torrence is the Alabama lead writer for Bleacher Report.

Follow on Twitter @marctorrence.

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Did Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma Ruin Their Chances at CFB Playoff Berth?

Oregon lost to Arizona; Alabama lost to Ole Miss; Oklahoma lost to TCU. The question now becomes: Do any of the teams have a shot at clawing their way back into the College Football Playoff picture? 

Bleacher Report College Football Analysts Adam Kramer and Michael Felder discuss the odds that any of these top teams can come back and make the playoff.

Who has the best chance to make it there?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Watch TCU's Pick-6 Followed by Oklahoma's Blocked PAT

The TCU Horned Frogs made a huge interception in a tied game and returned it for a touchdown in the fourth quarter against Oklahoma, but the Sooners blocked the extra point and returned it to the house. Watch this crazy sequence of back-to-back plays.

Is this the craziest sequence of plays in a crazy Week 6?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Watch Ole Miss' Nasty Interception to Seal Win vs. Alabama

In a Game of the Year candidate, the No. 11 Ole Miss Rebels capped off a wild 23-17 upset win over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday after Senquez Golson came down with a sensational interception late in the fourth quarter.

With the victory, Ole Miss will be sure to rise in the rankings, as the Rebels make their case for a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Was this one of the best interceptions of the season?

Watch the video and let us know!

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Oklahoma vs. TCU: How Horned Frogs' Win Reshapes Playoff Picture

The No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs defeated the No. 4-ranked Oklahoma Sooners 37-33 on an explosive Saturday that saw the demise of several programs previously thought to be the undisputed titans of college football.

In short, the Horned Frogs' win—combined with losses for Alabama, Texas A&M and Oregon—blows the College Football Playoff race wide open.

NCAA Football added the Horned Frogs to the list of upsets on the day:

ESPN college football analyst Desmond Howard thinks the playoff committee will have an exceedingly difficult time picking teams by the end of the season:

The upsets indeed renew hope for the likes of the winner of the crucial Big Ten game between No. 10 Michigan State and No. 19 Nebraska.

A litany of top-tier teams with one loss means that teams hanging around just outside of the Top Five now have the inside track toward a playoff-worthy ranking.

If No. 5 Auburn can survive its incredibly tough schedule, it will almost surely earn a spot in the CFP. Quarterback Nick Marshall will have to improve his accuracy and put up some bigger numbers—548 yards passing through the first four games—to get past the likes of Mississippi State, Ole Miss and Texas A&M in the coming weeks.

Any team coming out of the SEC this season with just one loss deserves to make the playoff.

No. 8 UCLA has a fine chance at a playoff spot should the Bruins handle Utah and then defeat Oregon in Week 7.

They finally put together a complete game against Arizona State, and the likes of defensive back Ishmael Adams and linebacker Myles Jack will certainly help quarterback Brett Hundley maintain control of teams in the coming weeks.

TCU will enjoy a huge boost in the rankings, but the Horned Frogs will have to put up some dominating performances to put themselves in the CFP conversation, considering the caliber of teams in front of them.

Of course, the Sooners aren't out of it. A perfect finish to the season, which would include a victory over current No. 7 and noted offensive juggernaut Baylor, and some losses for top-ranked teams along the way would vault Oklahoma back into the playoff, just as it would for the Crimson Tide or the Ducks.

Conference championship games will take on an even greater significance for these teams if they make it to that point with just one loss.

The strength of schedule and the conference as a whole should go a long way to parsing out the truly elite teams worthy of participating in the inaugural College Football Playoff. 

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Notre Dame Beats Stanford on Late TD on 4th-and-11

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish were one of the ranked teams that was able to survive a scare on Saturday, thanks to a late score.

Down four points and facing a 4th-and-11 from the Stanford 23-yard line with just more than a minute remaining in the fourth quarter, Fighting Irish quarterback Everett Golson found tight end Ben Koyack near the edge of the end zone for the go-ahead touchdown.

Stanford was unable to answer, so Notre Dame escaped with a 17-14 victory.

[XFINITY Sports]

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Oklahoma vs. TCU: Score and Twitter Reaction

First Oregon, then Alabama and now Oklahoma. The No. 4 Sooners became the third top-five team to fall this week after losing to the No. 25 TCU Horned Frogs 37-33 on the road in Amon G. Carter Stadium on Saturday evening.

Oklahoma had a chance to win the game in the fourth quarter inside Horned Frogs territory after a harried sequence of events saw the ball change hands in a little over a minute of game time.

TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin fumbled with less than seven minutes left to play, and Oklahoma recovered the ball. Two plays later, Horned Frogs safety Chris Hackett intercepted a Trevor Knight pass to give TCU another chance. But the home team handed it right back after running back B.J. Catalon fumbled on the next play from scrimmage.

Sports on Earth's Matt Brown believed things weren't looking good for TCU:

Oklahoma started with the ball on the Horned Frogs 46-yard line. The Sooners attempted to run the ball right at the TCU defense, and the strategy backfired. On a 4th-and-1, the Horned Frogs stopped OU running back Samaje Perine short with 3:08 to play.

With no timeouts left, Oklahoma couldn't stop the clock. The Sooners got the ball back with 51 seconds left. Needing to go 71 yards for the touchdown, they got close enough for Knight to attempt one last Hail Mary into the end zone. His pass floated out of bounds, and TCU picked up one of the biggest wins in school history.

The two fumbles aside, Boykin had an otherwise impressive game. TCU head coach Gary Patterson spoke before the game about the junior's progression over the past few weeks, per Carlos Mendez of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, via NCAA.com:

Andy Dalton went through it as a freshman, too. When you first step on a college stage and you're throwing for a lot of yards, you've got to understand that it doesn't matter that you did all that. There's still a lot of people that worked awfully hard that don't get the accolades. Andy really matured, and I think Trevone has stepped forward.

Boykin finished 20-of-38 for 318 yards, two touchdowns and one interception.

Knight never really found a groove for the Sooners. He was 14-of-35 with 309 yards, one touchdown and two interceptions. What didn't help the OU quarterback was that TCU limited Perine on the ground. The freshman came into the game averaging 6.3 yards per carry, but he could only get 87 yards on 25 carries Saturday.

Almost any upset can be traced back to a hot start, and that's exactly what the Horned Frogs had.

TCU jumped out to an early 14-0 lead in the first quarter. Boykin attempted to run it in from one yard out but fumbled. Luckily for the Horned Frogs, tight end Cliff Murphy pounced on the ball in the end zone to put TCU up 7-0. On TCU's next drive, Catalon recorded a seven-yard touchdown run to make it a 14-0 game with 5:52 left in the first frame.

Pat Doney of NBC 5 in Dallas-Fort Worth felt the Sooners had no answer for the Horned Frogs' option game:

ESPN's Max Bretos wondered if Oklahoma was still reeling after Katy Perry picked it to win on College GameDay:

The Sooners responded quickly with back-to-back scoring drives of their own. Perine cut the deficit to seven points, 14-7, after a one-yard touchdown run. On the first play from scrimmage on Oklahoma's next drive, Knight connected with wideout Sterling Shepard for a 75-yard touchdown, tying the game with 33 seconds left in the quarter, via Fox College Football:

The two teams exchanged scores in the second quarter, with TCU jumping ahead twice before halftime. Oklahoma kicker Michael Hunnicutt tied the game at 24-24 with a 32-yard field goal as the second quarter ended.

Defense wasn't the overarching theme of the first half after the two teams combined for 48 points and nearly 600 yards. Eight of the 14 drives in the half went for scores.

Both Patterson and OU head coach Bob Stoops made adjustments at halftime, because once the third quarter began, yards and points both came at a premium.

Perine opened the second-half scoring with a seven-yard touchdown run, which was his third of the day, giving Oklahoma its first lead of the game, 31-24.

NFL.com's Bryan Fischer noted how Perine's success pushes the injured Keith Ford further into the shadows:

Josh McCuistion of SoonerScoop.com thought that the freshman's running style would play right into Oklahoma's hands as the Sooners looked to slowly sap the energy from the TCU defense:

The Horned Frogs wasted little time with their reply. Boykin tied the game at 31-31 with a 29-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Deante' Gray. ESPN.com's Jake Trotter felt that no matter the result of the game, Boykin's reputation only grew on Saturday:

TCU could have taken a 34-31 lead with a little more than two minutes left in the third quarter, but kicker Jaden Oberkrom missed a 32-yard field goal wide left.

Leaving points on the board didn't come back to haunt the Horned Frogs, as linebacker Paul Dawson intercepted Knight and ran 41 yards to the end zone for the pick-six. Dawson had quite the reversal of fortunes between last week and this week, per Mendez:

Oberkrom's point-after attempt was blocked and returned for two points by OU cornerback Zack Sanchez. With the difference between the two teams still at four points, TCU had a little breathing room. A field goal wouldn't have done anything for the Sooners.

The Horned Frogs almost threw it away late, but the defense stepped up in the fourth quarter to make key defensive stops.

The schedule doesn't get any easier for undefeated TCU. The Horned Frogs hit the road in their next game, playing the No. 7 Baylor Bears in Waco, Texas. After that, they get No. 21 Oklahoma State at home. The game against Baylor will determine who is the class of the Big 12 this year.

Oklahoma's chances of making the four-team playoff at the end of the year aren't completely gone, given Alabama and Oregon's losses. The Sooners will need to run the table the rest of the way in order to impress the selection committee, however.

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Todd Gurley Shows He Can Do It All with 50-Yard Pass

You can add "pocket passer" to Todd Gurley's already impressive resume. The star Georgia Bulldog running back launched a 50-yard pass during the second quarter of Georgia's 44-17 drubbing of Vanderbilt. It was Georgia's longest passing play of the season. 

Is Gurley the front-runner for the Heisman Trophy?

Watch the video and let us know! 

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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: How Fighting Irish's Win Reshapes Playoff Picture

In a thrilling showdown between two Top 15 teams, Notre Dame got a last-minute touchdown pass from Everett Golson to secure a 17-14 victory over Stanford and keep its hopes for the College Football Playoff alive. 

Golson led a nine-play, 65-yard drive that was highlighted by a pass interference penalty against the Cardinal and a 23-yard touchdown pass on 4th-and-11 to Ben Koyack in the back of the end zone. 

Stanford's hopes of tying the game on the final drive ended when quarterback Keith Hogan was flagged for an intentional grounding penalty that ran 10 seconds off the clock when there was just six seconds left to play. 

The win moves Notre Dame to 5-0 and also gives Brian Kelly's team its first win of the season against a ranked opponent. Prior to today, the Fighting Irish had four wins over teams that had combined for an 8-12 record. 

Despite the victory, there are still questions about how good Notre Dame is. Golson made the big play at the end of the game but has looked vulnerable in the last two weeks. ESPN's College Gameday tweeted out the Notre Dame quarterback's knack for giving up the ball lately:

However, at this point in the season, the only thing that matters is getting the victory. Notre Dame had to deal with Stanford's third-ranked scoring defense and horrible weather conditions in South Bend, doing so in dramatic fashion. 

The Fighting Irish's climb up the College Football Playoff rankings has gained a lot of momentum over the last 72 hours. In addition to the big win over Stanford, Oregon lost on Thursday, and Texas A&M, Oklahoma and Alabama lost on Saturday. 

As you can see from my personal rankings, I don't have the Fighting Irish among the top four teams for the College Football Playoff even with all the movement this week. Florida State does have its flaws, but until someone knocks off the Seminoles, they are still the team to beat. 

After that, Auburn should move up to No. 2 with Oregon, Alabama and Oklahoma all losing. The Tigers will be able to prove themselves after a soft early-season schedule with games against Mississippi State, South Carolina, Mississippi, Texas A&M, Georgia and Alabama still to come. 

By virtue of having better wins right now, Mississippi and Mississippi State belong in the mix ahead of teams like Notre Dame, Baylor and UCLA. That may seem like a lot of SEC love, but the conference is the best and deepest in college football for a reason. 

These rankings are very fluid because no one will come out of the SEC schedule unscathed, which leaves the door wide open for the Fighting Irish if they take care of business the rest of the way. They will have their chance on October 18 at Florida State. 

Considering Notre Dame entered Week 6 ranked eighth in the USA Today Poll and ninth in the Associated Press Poll, it figures to move up at least a couple of spots. It will be interesting to see how the voters put this win against Mississippi's win over Alabama and Mississippi State's win over Texas A&M. 

Regardless, the Fighting Irish are very much in the team picture for the four-team College Football Playoff. Before the season started, during an appearance on The Dan Patrick Show, via College Football Talk, Kelly admitted that he hopes to see the format expanded in the future, saying "four’s a great start but I don’t think it’s enough."

On the losing side, Stanford's slim hopes for the College Football Playoff went out the window. The Cardinal were already fighting an uphill battle after losing a heartbreaker to USC on September 6, but with two losses, there's little chance they get back in the mix. 

The devastating part for David Shaw's team is they killed themselves in the two losses. They scored just 10 points against USC despite having five trips into the red zone. A busted coverage against Notre Dame led to the game-winning touchdown on fourth down. 

You can't make those kinds of mistakes and leave that many points out there against good teams, otherwise you will have two losses after the first week in October. 

 

If you want to talk sports, hit me up on Twitter. 


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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: Game Grades, Analysis for the Fighting Irish

In yet another thriller against Stanford, Notre Dame used a late field goal and very late touchdown to come from behind and remain undefeated.

The Irish are now squarely in the College Football Playoff conversation, but there's still plenty to work on moving forward. We'll break it all down in our Notre Dame game grades, following a 17-14 Irish victory over Stanford.

Box score via NCAA.com.

 

  

Pass Offense

After a first half that saw Everett Golson turn the ball over twice—once via an interception—we weren't quite sure how things would turn out. Despite having 101 passing yards and a touchdown through the air in the first half, the Irish were still locked in a 7-7 tie.

The second half, particularly late, is what turned things around. Golson finished 20-of-43 passing for 241 yards and two touchdowns—the last one coming with a minute left to give the Irish the game.

Oh, yeah. It was on fourth down, too.

Chris Brown and Corey Robinson each had four receptions for 60 and 46 yards, respectively.

 

Run Offense

This was probably the most surprising aspect for Notre Dame. We know the Irish are capable of running the football, but against Stanford, we didn't expect 129 yards on 32 attempts.

The Irish averaged over six yards per carry in the first half and finished with an average of four yards per carry against a Cardinal defense that has traditionally been very good against the run.

 

Pass Defense

The Fighting Irish pass defense had a lot going its way today. The blustery, cold and rainy conditions limited passing, and receivers were hard-pressed to catch the football on both sides.

The Irish secondary limited Kevin Hogan to 18-of-36 passing for 158 yards, no touchdowns and two picks.  

The biggest play came on the last play of the game, however, as the pass rush forced Hogan to ground the ball, resulting in a 10-second run-off with only six seconds showing on the clock. That's worth some extra credit, don't you think?

 

Run Defense

Stanford's only touchdowns on the day came on the ground, and it was Hogan who scrambled for one of them. Beyond that, the Irish limited Stanford to just 63 yards on 31 attempts.

Remound Wright led all Cardinal rushers with just 29 yards, 11 of which came on his touchdown run.

It doesn't matter who you are, that's a solid day of defending the run.

 

Special Teams

Here's the ugly part of the Irish's performance today. The Irish were 1-of-3 on field goals, and both of the misses were due to bad holds (after pretty decent snaps, too).

Sure, the weather affected a lot, and we can't pin much, or really any, of this on kicker Kyle Brindza, but given the pitiful performance, the Irish are lucky to escape with a passing D+ here.

 

Coaching

Brian Kelly continues to do anything and everything to find ways to win football games.

Just when it looked dire for the Irish, Kelly put the game in the hands of his junior quarterback and let him loft up a pass on 4th-and-long into the end zone. Result? Notre Dame wins.

Kelly and his staff developed the perfect game plan to defeat a very good Stanford club, and despite some miscues both on offense and special teams, Kelly's squad was prepared well enough to pull out the win.

 

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

Follow Bleacher Report's National College Football Featured Columnist David Luther on Twitter!

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Wake Forest vs. Florida State: Game Grades, Analysis for the Seminoles

Another week, another win for the No. 1 Florida State football team. But just as it has been all season, it wasn't always easy for the reigning national champions.

FSU’s 43-3 triumph over Wake Forest Saturday afternoon in Tallahassee, Florida, was another example of a talented team unable to string together a completely dominant performance in all phases—offense, defense and special teams—at the same time.

A week ago in the come-from-behind victory at North Carolina State, the offense set the tone, while the defense struggled. This week against the Demon Deacons (2-4, 0-2 ACC), the offense struggled, while the defense did its job. Sooner or later, FSU (5-0, 3-0) will need to put together a complete game if it wants to remain in the College Football Playoff picture.

But, hey, the Seminoles are still undefeated for a reason; they make plays when they have to and have done a terrific job of dealing with myriad injury issues so far this season—a trend that continued against the Demon Deacons.

As for this week’s grades, I thought the FSU defense did a great job of bouncing back from some subpar tackling in the opening quarter. Wake Forest is so bad offensively that the only knock on the ‘Noles defense would have been its inability to bring ball-carriers to the turf, but Florida State fixed that early.

FSU also survived without starting linebacker Terrance Smith and starting defensive tackle Derrick Mitchell Jr.

Offensively, FSU was out of sync all day in the passing game, as Jameis Winston wasn’t his typical super-accurate self. It didn't help that star Rashad Greene left the game in the first half with concussion-like symptoms. Luckily for the ‘Noles, though, rookie receivers Travis Rudolph and Ermon Lane showed tremendous progress, and that is reflected in the grades as listed below.

 

Pass Offense

Winston threw for 297 yards in this contest, so his statistics won’t give anyone pause when glancing at the box score, but he was off all game.

Wake Forest deserves a ton of credit for playing good defense, but Winston missed throws that he almost always makes. Even before Greene left the game for good in the opening half, Winston’s typically accurate passes were just a hair off. He finished 23-of-39.

It also didn’t help that starting center Austin Barron broke his hand during the game. His replacement, Ryan Hoefeld, snapped the ball high to Winston several times. The timing was thrown off on those snaps, and the passing game felt the effects.

True freshmen Lane and Rudolph had impressive showings in the contest, and the "B-minus" grade takes into account the importance of their successful, increased roles without Greene in the lineup.


Run Offense

FSU racked up 171 yards on the ground—its second-most of the season—but 56 of those came in garbage time on a long Mario Pender run.

I gave Florida State a “B” for the running game because it was average against Wake Forest—and that’s not necessarily a bad thing for a team that was desperate in the first few weeks of the season to have anything positive happen in the ground frame.

But FSU has to keep improving. Take away the 56-yard run, and the Seminoles’ yards-per-carry average dips from 4.5 to 3.5 for the game. FSU coach Jimbo Fisher wants better production than that.

 

Pass Defense

The Seminoles were dominant defending the pass, allowing Wake Forest to throw for just 86 yards and a ridiculously low 3.9 yards per completion. FSU also hauled in its second interception of the season on P.J. Williams’ takeaway.

What else can you say except that deserves an “A-plus” grade?


Run Defense

If the pass defense gets an “A-plus,” then the run defense has to get an equally impressive grade.

FSU held Wake Forest to just one yard per carry and 40 total rushing yards in the victory. Equally impressive is the fact that throughout much of the game, three true freshmen were playing on the defensive line (Lorenzo Featherston, Demarcus Christmas and Derrick Nnadi) and another (Jacob Pugh) was rushing the passer.

Not much analysis is needed for that type of performance.


Special Teams

FSU gets an “A-plus” for good reason: The best kicker in the country looked like the best kicker in the country.

Roberto Aguayo drained five field goals as he continues to be automatic each and every game.

 

Coaching

Fisher is the master of halftime adjustments, and Saturday was no different. FSU struggled in the first half despite taking a lead into the break but came out in the second half and ran away with the victory.

 

Brandon Mellor is a Florida State writer for Bleacher Report. All quotes obtained firsthand unless otherwise noted. Statistics courtesy of Seminoles.com. All recruiting information courtesy of 247Sports.

Follow @BrandonMellor on Twitter.

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Alabama vs. Ole Miss: Score and Twitter Reaction

A furious second-half rally keyed by quarterback Bo Wallace helped No. 11 Ole Miss pull off a stunning, 23-17 upset over the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide on Saturday in a hard-fought SEC showdown.

Ole Miss Football brought up a pertinent fact in the immediate aftermath:

Stuart Scott of ESPN noted how long it has been since the Rebels last got off to a 5-0 start:

After an excessive celebration penalty threatened to harm the Rebels after they had just tied the game at 17, Alabama kick returner Christion Jones fumbled the ensuing kickoff, giving it right back to the home team.

An ill-advised gadget play on 2nd-and-goal was redeemed by Wallace's eventual game-winning 10-yard touchdown toss to running back Jaylen Walton, who slipped past safety Landon Collins to haul it in.

Wallace's will matched the words he spoke before the game, per ESPN.com's Greg Ostendorf:

Honestly, I'm just going into it like any other week. I've been here for two years. I've played against top-10 teams -- never with the opportunity that we have right now and being undefeated -- but I can't think about that too much, especially being the quarterback. I have to be the one that's even-keeled the whole time and when guys get riled up, settle them down.

Former Alabama QB Joe Namath summarized the day well for his alma mater:

Fifth-year senior quarterback Blake Sims did what he could to lead a late Crimson Tide comeback attempt. A desperate heave into double coverage was picked off by Rebels defensive back Senquez Golson with less than one minute remaining.

Alabama linebacker Cyrus Jones appeared to grab the facemask of Rebels ball-carrier I'Tavius Mathers before punching the ball out, picking it up and racing down the sidelines to stretch Alabama's lead to 14-3 just before halftime. The referees didn't catch the apparent penalty, much to the chagrin of the Ole Miss fans at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium.

NFL.com's Chase Goodbread weighed in on the play that gave the visitors a big edge:

The Tide looked flat early on and trailed 3-0 after the first quarter. John Middlekauff of Comcast SportsNet used an interesting political analogy to describe offensive coordinator Lane Kiffin's game plan:

Sims helped the Tide get rolling in bold fashion on a 12-play, 68-yard drive, capping it off with a one-yard touchdown scamper on a nice play fake.

It appeared Sims and Co. would go on cruise control when Alabama possessed the ball for more than seven minutes to start the second half. However, two ill-advised forays on the perimeter caused Sims to lose yards on the final first and third downs of the drive, leading to a missed field-goal attempt.

That opened up a window for the hosts to get back into it, which the Rebels took advantage of. Wallace hit Evan Engram on a 50-yard strike before finding Laquon Treadwell for a 14-yard TD to cut the lead to 14-10.

ESPN's College GameDay noted how significant the trip to paydirt was, as it had to be quite the morale boost for the home underdogs:

NFL Network's Daniel Jeremiah had high praise for Treadwell after the sophomore shook off multiple tackles before arriving in the end zone:

Sims and Alabama quickly responded. With coverage bracketed over to star wideout Amari Cooper, O.J. Howard broke free deep on the near side of the field, where Sims hit him in stride for a gain of 53 yards.

But another negative run to the outside, this time by Derrick Henry, put Alabama in a tough third-down situation. The play was compounded by an injury to center Ryan Kelly. A false start followed, but a play-it-safe carry by Henry led to Adam Griffith converting a 44-yard field goal.

Pat Forde of Yahoo Sports weighed in on how the Tide were making mistakes at inopportune times:

A 17-10 lead entering the fourth quarter—not to mention a big stop to deny Ole Miss a chance to answer Alabama's field goal—was likely all head coach Nick Saban could have asked for, given the quality of football wasn't up to his high standards.

History suggested Alabama would hold on, given the success under the circumstances during Saban's tenure:

Wallace rifled a pass to Engram down the seam with less than nine minutes remaining in the fourth, but the tight end dropped what could have been the equalizing touchdown. Engram redeemed himself later on the drive with a third-down catch that preceded Wallace hitting Vince Sanders for the tying 34-yard score.

Alex Scarborough of ESPN was critical of the Crimson Tide secondary following that play:

Alabama will hope to dig deep and get back on track as it is on the road again next week for a matchup with Arkansas.

The Razorbacks have lost to Auburn and in overtime to Texas A&M this year, but they can run the football (316.6 yards rushing per game this season). It figures to be an interesting matchup if Arkansas can get going on the ground early.

Saturday marked a massive triumph for Ole Miss, yet it must put it in the past quickly to avoid a letdown on the road next week against the Aggies. With Texas A&M coming off a defeat, it will be interesting to see whether Ole Miss can continue setting the pace in the SEC West division.

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Stanford vs. Notre Dame: Score and Twitter Reaction

The Notre Dame Fighting Irish weathered the damp conditions in South Bend, Indiana, and overcame the Stanford Cardinal, winning by a score of 17-14 and improving to a blemish-free 5-0 on the season. However, as the final score indicated, it wasn't easy for the home team.

A steady rain helped each squad's defense to dominate the early portion of Saturday's contest. Notre Dame's defense forced a three-and-out to begin the game, and although quarterback Everett Golson led the Fighting Irish into Stanford territory on the ensuing drive, the Cardinal defense remained stout, forcing a turnover on downs.

Following a punt from each team, the Notre Dame defense finally came up with a big play. Stanford quarterback Kevin Hogan was pressured by Elijah Shumate, and Cole Luke intercepted the poorly thrown pass deep in Irish territory.

John Heisler of Notre Dame's media and broadcast relations tweeted how the pick affected all parties involved:

But as quickly as the momentum appeared to sway in Notre Dame's favor, it shifted right back to Stanford on the following play. Golson decided to tuck the ball away and scramble on first down, and his ball-security issues came back to haunt him, as a fumble was recovered by the Stanford defense.

Two plays later, Hogan made the Irish pay for their mistake, taking a keeper 10 yards for the game's first touchdown. College GameDay tweeted the end result:

Another two punts saw the first quarter come to a close, and the second quarter didn't begin any better for the Irish.

Golson successfully drove Notre Dame's offense down to the Stanford 6-yard line; however, on a crucial 3rd-and-5, the quarterback was intercepted by Jordan Richards. Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News tweeted his reaction to the play:

The two early turnovers were very concerning for Notre Dame with the team coming off a five-turnover performance against Syracuse in Week 5.

The team's ensuing offensive possession only continued to add to the early woes of the Irish. After driving down to the Stanford 24-yard line, kicker Kyle Brindza got a great look at a field goal. Unfortunately, a bad snap led to an attempt that sailed wide right, and Notre Dame remained scoreless.

However, the Irish defense continued to show great resilience on the following drive. A bend-don't-break attitude allowed Stanford to drive into Notre Dame territory but held the Cardinal without a score. Former NFL scout Greg Gabriel tweeted his opinion on the Irish defense:

Golson returned to the field, and this time, he wouldn't be denied. After two consecutive incomplete passes, the Notre Dame offense faced a 3rd-and-10. Using great vision, Golson broke loose for a 33-yard run—the longest of his career—and an Irish first down. Two plays later, the quarterback connected with Chris Brown for a 17-yard touchdown strike to tie the game at 7-7.

Ashley Adamson of Pac-12.com, tweeted the successive plays:

After another punt from each team, the game entered halftime.

The official Twitter account of Notre Dame Athletics displayed a nice graphic that compared both schools at the break:

Midway through the third quarter, Notre Dame appeared ready to keep momentum in its favor. A blocked punt by Drue Tranquill gave the Irish great field position; however, head coach Brian Kelly opted to run Cam McDaniel right into the teeth of a very good Stanford defense.

An exchange of punts ensued, and the contest entered the fourth quarter knotted at seven.

The Irish defense continued to come up big, as Luke intercepted Hogan on the first play of the fourth quarter, giving Notre Dame fantastic field position deep in Cardinal territory.

Here's a look at the celebration that followed the pick, via Observer Sports:

Despite an apparent shift in momentum, Stanford's defense held strong once again, forcing another Notre Dame field-goal attempt. Brindza trotted on the field and came away empty-handed once again after his kick was blocked.

Angelo Di Carlo of WNDU tweeted the occurrence:

Yet, another strong stand by Notre Dame's defense gave the Irish the ball—and a big chance to finally get on the board once more. A couple nice connections between Golson and Corey Robinson put the Irish back into field-goal range.

This time, Brindza earned his redemption, nailing a 45-yarder to give Notre Dame the 10-7 lead. Di Carlo tweeted what the score meant for the kicker:

Stanford's offense returned to the field shortly after, and with Hogan at the helm, a comeback was well within reach.

Hogan orchestrated a near-flawless drive, connecting with Devon Cajuste and Michael Rector to bring his offense to the Notre Dame 11-yard line. Remound Wright took it from there, pounding his way up the middle for a touchdown and a 14-10 lead.

ABC57News tweeted the end result of the drive:

Needing a touchdown to notch a much-needed home win, Golson and the Irish offense took the field at the 35-yard line after Jordan Williamson's kickoff sailed out of bounds. The quarterback took the drive into his own hands, completing passes to William Fuller and Robinson for consecutive first downs.

Robinson nearly struck again, when he found himself wide open in the end zone after double move torched the Stanford secondary. However, the pass from Golson was late, but Notre Dame did come away with a 15-yard gain due to pass interference.

After three plays, it was do or die for Golson and the Irish, as they faced a 4th-and-11 at the Stanford 23-yard line. What happened next was simply unbelievable, as Ben Koyack stood alone in the end zone due to busted coverage from the Cardinal. Golson found him for a touchdown and the 17-14 lead.

SportsCenter tweeted how the game stood following the score:

Hogan and the Stanford offense still had some time to do work, as they only needed a field goal to force overtime. The quarterback put his team in great position to strike, moving quickly to the Irish 49-yard line, but Notre Dame's defense came through once more, pressuring Hogan and forcing an intentional grounding call that ended the game.

Stanford put up a great road performance in a hostile environment against a very good football team. The Cardinal certainly proved worthy of the nation's No. 14 ranking, and the team's loss shouldn't drop it out of the AP Poll's Top 25.

Head coach David Shaw praised the efforts of Notre Dame defensive coordinator Brian VanGorder after the game, via JJ Stankevitz of CSNChicago:

The Cardinal have a difficult schedule ahead, as they will face Washington State, Arizona State and Oregon State before taking on Marcus Mariota and the Oregon Ducks. However, after the way Stanford played on Saturday, it's not far-fetched to think they have a solid chance to get through that stretch unscathed.

Notre Dame may have just produced its biggest win of the season. The team moves to 5-0 on the year, and thanks to losses by No. 2 Oregon, No. 6 Texas A&M, No. 3 Alabama and No. 4 Oklahoma in Week 6, the Irish could quickly find themselves in great position to participate in this year's College Football Playoff.

During a post-game press conference, Kelly was asked about the team's current top-10 standing. Here's his response, via Matt Fortuna of ESPN.com:

Fortuna relayed another comment from the coach—this time, a witty comment about the team's decision to put gloves on the hands of its holder:

October 18 will be a highly difficult challenge for Notre Dame, as the team hits the road to take on No. 1 Florida State. The Irish proved they can win games in the face of adversity over the past two weeks, and we'll see if they can keep up that trend against the best in the nation.

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Ole Miss DB Senquez Golson Intercepts Alabama Pass in End Zone to Seal Upset

No. 11 Ole Miss held on to upset No. 3 Alabama on Saturday thanks to a game-sealing interception in the end zone by senior defensive back Senquez Golson.

On 2nd-and-13 from the Ole Miss 32-yard line with less than a minute remaining, Golson picked off Crimson Tide quarterback Blake Sims' pass in the end zone.

It was initially ruled an incomplete pass, but after review, it was determined that Golson caught the ball and got a foot down in bounds.

The interception sealed the game for Ole Miss, as it was able to run out the clock and hold on for a 23-17 victory.

[gifdsports]

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Wisconsin vs. Northwestern: Score and Twitter Reaction

Northwestern stunned No. 17 Wisconsin on Saturday in a 20-14 upset that will jeopardize the Badgers' spot in the college football rankings.

Badgers running back Melvin Gordon delivered his usual brilliant outing, turning 27 carries into 259 yards and a touchdown. He bolted out of the starting gate for a huge carry to begin a day that quickly became bleak for Wisconsin. ESPN College Football shared a significant achievement Gordon has already accomplished on the field in 2014:

Despite Gordon's best efforts, his team could not generate enough offense behind an abysmal passing attack. During the first half, Tanner McEvoy went 4-of-10 with 24 passing yards and an interception. 

Excluding his 283 passing yards and three touchdowns against Western Illinois earlier in the season, the junior has struggled against stiffer competition. Per WisSports' Travis Wilson: 

With no aerial assault to speak of, head coach Gary Andersen made the switch to junior Joel Stave, a decision reported in a Badger Football tweet:

Andersen foreshadowed such a switch early in the week, when he hinted at the swap, The Associated Press reported (via ESPN.com).

"If there's an opportunity to get Joel in the game in the right setting, it will be a possibility," Andersen said. "I think he's continued to progress, handled some more team activities in a solid way this week."

When things aren't going well, there's no player more popular than the backup quarterback, even if he can't right the ship. According to 247Sports' Evan Flood, the Wisconsin faithful at Ryan Field warmly welcomed the change:

Chuck Freimund of 1250 WSSP was also initially thrilled to see the team's former starter take the helm again:

Stave, however, produced much of the same. He completed eight passes in 19 attempts, registering 114 yards, a touchdown and three costly interceptions.

Anyone happy to see Stave quickly realized that Wisconsin can't deliver much through the air either way. Now it's time for an embarrassing tweet relaying his futility, courtesy of Fox Sports Wisconsin's Dave Heller:

But at least he has nailed down a big part of his job description, a sentiment echoed by Heller:

Any chance of a late comeback dissipated with six minutes left in the fourth quarter when Stave threw a pick in the end zone. They scored minutes later, but another interception with less than a minute left sealed the deal, bringing both squads to 3-2 on the season. 

Northwestern QB Trevor Siemian didn't light up Wisconsin's secondary, but his so-so stat line looks masterful in comparison to his opposing quarterbacks. The senior, who entered Saturday with two touchdowns and four interceptions, went 15-of-29 for 182 yards and a passing touchdown.

In a matchup dominated by both ground games, Justin Jackson gained 162 rushing yards on 33 carries for the Wildcats. Playing in Gordon's shadow, the freshman 4-star recruit made quite an impression by exceeding 100 rushing yards for the first time in his young career.

Scout.com's Nick Medline liked what he saw:

Given the national spotlight, Jackson enjoyed a coming-out party against a ranked opponent and potent Big Ten defense. Wisconsin's loss will seize the spotlight over Northwestern's victory, but Jackson's breakout performance is worth celebrating for the Wildcats.

After opening the season with a pair of losses, Northwestern has won three consecutive games to soar over the .500 mark. The squad has surrendered a combined 27 points in the last three games. This win at least puts them in the discussion for a national rank, even if it takes another triumph over Minnesota next weekend.

Wisconsin's quarterback woes will persist into the upcoming weeks. It remains to be seen who takes the snaps against Illinois next week, but the "give the ball to Gordon and hope for the best" strategy will likely be heavily utilized once again.

Even in a subpar outing, Stave showed more ability than McEvoy, so he'll likely vault up to QB No. 1.

As good as Gordon is, he needs some help. After declining to 3-2, don't expect the Badgers to remain in the Associated Press Top 25 next week.

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Nebraska vs. Michigan State: Live Score and Highlights

Michigan State 17, Nebraska 0—Late 2nd Quarter

Who says there aren't any big games in the Big Ten any more?  Tonight, No. 10 Michigan State hosts undefeated and No. 19-ranked Nebraska for supremacy in the Big Ten and an inside track to a possible College Football Playoff berth.

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Arizona State vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights

Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1) vs. USC Trojans (3-1)

7:30 p.m. ET, Fox

With Oregon's loss to Arizona on Thursday, the path to winning the Pac-12 South just got a lot tougher as the Wildcats now control the division. 

USC, at 1-0 in the Pac-12, has a chance to keep pace with Arizona this week but will have to do so against the Sun Devils. 

Arizona State, which played in the Pac-12 Championship Game last year, is reeling from a massive 62-27 loss at the hands of UCLA, so the Sun Devils will be looking to upset the Trojans to get back on track.

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Arizona State vs. USC: Live Score and Highlights

Arizona State Sun Devils (3-1) vs. USC Trojans (3-1) 7:30 p.m. ET, Fox With Oregon's loss to Arizona on Thursday, the path to winning the Pac -12 South just got a lot tougher as the Wildcats now control the division...

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TCU Has Player Lie Down in End Zone on Kick Return, Penalty Wipes out Trick Play

No. 25 TCU is pulling out all of its tricks as it tries to upset No. 4 Oklahoma on Saturday.

After the Sooners tied the game at 21-all with a touchdown in the second quarter, the Horned Frogs attempted a trick play on the ensuing kickoff.

TCU running back B.J. Catalon lay down in the middle of the "O" in "Frogs" in the end zone on the kickoff. That allowed him to hide from the Sooners. Then, he set himself up to receive a lateral and pick up yards.

Catalon took the football to near midfield, but a holding call brought the ball back to the TCU 30-yard line.

Of course, this play brings back memories of the time the Philadelphia Eagles tried to pull it off against the New Orleans Saints back in 2012. Unfortunately, a penalty negated that play as well.

Hopefully, one day this play will be run without the team committing a penalty.

[YouTube]

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