The fun and excitement in Week 10 for FBS College Football started off with a bang on Thursday Night and continued throughout the weekend, ending with a nail biter late Saturday Night. The very first game of the week gave us our Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner and the very last game ended in overtime between two Top 20 teams. That sure does make for a long and exciting football week.
For the first time this year, exactly half of the games played had the winning team never trail (27 games) and half of them included a comeback of some sort. And, interestingly enough, Week 10 was a good week for visiting teams as 30 of the 54 games were won by the road team. Of the 27 games in which the winning team trailed at some point in the contest, 7 of those victors had to overcome deficits of 10 points or more. And, of those 7 games, all but 1 involved teams from a Big 5 conference playing each other.
SMU must endure at least one more week as the only FBS team to not yet hold a lead in any game this year by virtue of their third bye of the year, but, the Mustangs’ schedule has some games coming up against other struggling teams in which they should be able to secure a lead, it not a victory. I am probably not supposed to show favoritism, but I am rooting for the Mustangs.
In the Week 10 comebacks from a deficit of 10 points or more:
The number 1 team in the nation had to come back from 10 points down to defeat a pesky Arkansas Razorbacks team. Mississippi State trailed 10 – 0 early in the first half and went into the half time locker room still down by 3 in a defensive battle between the two SEC foes in the first home game Mississippi State ever played as the Number 1 team in America. The Bulldogs tied the game at 10 – 10 late in the third quarter and then, finally, took the lead 17 – 10 on a 69 yard touchdown pass from Dak Prescott to Fred Ross in the 4th quarter. Arkansas was driving down field for a potential, game tying score when Brandon Allen’s pass was intercepted in the end zone by Will Redmond with 15 seconds left in the game. A bit of a scare, bit Mississippi State pulled off the victory.
In another SEC battle with playoff implications, Auburn and Ole Miss battled back and forth before the visiting Tigers from Auburn ended the game on top with a 35 – 31 victory. The lead changed hands several times throughout the game, but Ole Miss once held a two-score, 10 point lead early in the second half before the Tigers put up two third quarter touchdowns to retake the lead, 28 – 24. Bo Wallace scored on a 3 yard run early in the 4th quarter to seesaw the lead back to Ole Miss. Then, Auburn ended the scoring on a Cameron Artis-Payne 6 yard TD run to secure the victory.
Meanwhile, out west, Washington found themselves down to Colorado by 10 points throughout much of the first half. First by a score of 10 – 0, then 17 – 7, and, finally, by 20 – 10 before closing the lead to 3 just before the half ended. After Colorado went up by 6 on an early second half field goal, the Huskies put up three unanswered touchdowns – one, on a 28 yard touchdown pass from Cyler Miles to Dante Pettis; one, on a 30 yard interception return by Travis Feeney; and, one, on a Dante Pettis 87 yard punt return. When the final gun sounded, Washington had secured its third double digit, come-from-behind victory of the season, 38 – 23.
In the only double-digit comeback that did not include teams from one of the Big 5 Conferences, Memphis rallied back from an 11 point deficit to defeat Tulsa by a final score of 40 – 20 on a Friday Night Lights affair. The Tigers were trailing 14 – 3 midway through the 2nd quarter before stringing up 30 unanswered points to take control of the contest. Both teams added 4th quarter touchdowns to make up the final score.
In the hills of West Virginia, TCU entered battle with the Mountaineers in hopes of keeping their playoff potential alive. West Virginia put up the first 13 points in a game that included more defensive stops than most people had anticipated. The Horned Frogs put up the next 14 points to take a 1 point lead, but West Virginia answered with two touchdowns of their own to go back up by 13. A TCU touchdown near the end of the 3rd quarter brought the Horned Frogs to within 6 points to start the final period. A field goal by the Mountaineers on the first play of the 4th quarter put West Virginia up by 9. TCU got within 2 following a touchdown run by B. J. Catalon with 7:33 remaining in the contest. The TCU defense held West Virginia to a three and out on the pursuing possession but were stalled on their own, following possession after failing on a 4th and 3 at the West Virginia 43 yard line. The Mountaineers, however, could not get a first down and punted back to TCU with just over 2:00 left on the scoreboard clock. The Horned Frogs marched 54 yards on 7 plays to set up a game winning, 37 yard field goal by Jaden Oberkrom to secure the victory and keep the Horned Frogs’ playoff hopes alive.
And, in yet another SEC contest, Tennessee found themselves down by 14 to South Carolina with under 5:00 left in the game. Starting at their own 25 yard line following a South Carolina kickoff, Tennessee went on a 10 play, 75 yard touchdown drive culminating in a 3 yard touchdown run by Joshua Dobbs to make the score, South Carolina 42, Tennessee 35. With only 1:50 left, the Volunteers attempted an on-side kick that South Carolina recovered at the Tennessee 43 yard line. Still holding three time-outs, the Volunteers’ hopes were slim, but they did have a chance. South Carolina ran 3 plays for -2 yards, only taking 27 seconds off of the clock before punting the ball down to the Tennessee 15 yard line. Tennessee proceeded to march the ball down field to the South Carolina 9 yard line before the Gamecocks called a timeout with 19 seconds remaining in regulation play. After an incomplete pass, Joshua Dobbs hit Jalen Crooms for a game-tying touchdown pass to force overtime. Tennessee got the ball first in overtime and had to settle for a 32 yard, Aaron Medley field goal. After South Carolina’s Dylan Thomas was sacked on first and second downs for a total of 15 yards lost, and an incomplete pass on third down, the Gamecocks had to try a 58 yard field goal to tie the game back up. The field goal was no good and Tennessee had secured an amazing late game, come-from-behind victory.
Lots of excitement in all those double-digit comebacks, but no team overcame a larger deficit in Week 10 than the team who won the first Week 10 game played, on Thursday night, to win the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award!
And, the winner is … Florida State!!
The Florida State Seminoles seem to be embroiled in a year full of Crisis Management issues, from off the field problems to on the field challenges, yet, somehow, they seem to continue to thrive in spite of these issues. Florida State has been, and continues to be, right in the middle of the inaugural playoff picture, but they always seem to be on the precipice of falling off the pedestal. From fears of losing the services of their Heisman holding quarterback to large in game deficits and overtime thrillers, the Seminoles somehow continue to win and continue to stay in the Top 4 rankings.
In a rare Thursday Night contest, the Seminoles invaded Louisville for what many analysts thought might be their last real obstacle in securing a spot in the first ever FBS playoffs. And, Louisville looked the part of season spoilers in the first half. After a scoreless 1st quarter, the Cardinals put up three, quick 2nd quarter touchdowns to take a 21 – 0 lead and Seminoles haters all around the country were starting to celebrate – but, not so fast! Florida State scored a touchdown late in the half and the momentum was about to shift.
Louisville put up a field goal early in the 3rd quarter to go up by 17, but the Seminoles scored three unanswered, big play, touchdowns to take the lead. One touchdown was a 68 yard pass from Jameis Winston to Travis Rudolph (14 – 24); one was a 40 yard run by Dalvin Cook (21 – 24); and, one was a 47 yard pass from Winston to Ermon Lane (28 – 24).
The Cardinals kept Seminoles hater’s hopes alive when they retook the lead, 31 – 28 following a 6 play 77 yard touchdown drive, but Florida State had a few more big plays left in them. A 38 yard touchdown run from Cook put the Seminoles back on top, 35 – 31, and a 35 yard Winston to Freddie Stevenson pass closed the deal and secured a 42 – 31 victory for the still undefeated and still Number 2 ranked Seminoles. So, the first game played, on Thursday Night, in Week 10 produced the Safe Harbor Consulting College Football Crisis Management Award winner.
Congratulations Florida State!
The SEC battles did shake up the playoff picture a little bit and promise to continue to do so in the weeks to come. I wonder how many of the four teams in the first playoff ranking will actually play in one of the playoff games? It should be interesting to watch how this all unfolds.
You can read our Week 1 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 2 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 3 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 4 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 5 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 6 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 7 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 8 report by clicking here.
You can read our Week 9 report by clicking here.