College Football Recap: Rivalry Week

College Football Recap: Rivalry Week

Bailey Adams, Sports Editor

AROUND THE COUNTRY

Auburn/Alabama- After a historic finish to the 2013 Iron Bowl, Alabama and Auburn had a lot to live up to in their next meeting. They responded to those expectations by fighting through the highest-scoring game in the history of the rivalry, with the Crimson Tide coming out on top by a score of 55-44. Alabama’s Amari Cooper set the record for most receiving yards in an Iron Bowl with 224 yards on 13 catches, also scoring three touchdowns. It just so happens that a counterpart of his, Auburn’s Sammie Coates, finished with the second-most receiving yards in an Iron Bowl with 206. With the win, Alabama punched their ticket to next week’s SEC Championship Game against Missouri and kept their College Football Playoff hopes intact.

Mississippi State/Ole Miss- Any College Football Playoff hopes for the Mississippi State Bulldogs came to an end on Saturday with their 31-17 loss to in-state rival Ole Miss. The Rebels’ Jaylen Walton extended their lead to 24-10 late in the third quarter with a 91-yard touchdown run, only to be answered just 3:15 later by the Bulldogs. Dak Prescott’s 32-yard touchdown pass to De’Runnya Wilson cut the deficit to 24-17, but the Mississippi State defense could not get the stop they needed. Despite being knocked out of playoff contention, the Bulldogs still finished the regular season at 10-2, marking their first 10-win season since 1999.

Michigan/Ohio State- Michigan attempted to play spoiler on Saturday against rival Ohio State, and they almost played it to perfection. They gave the sixth-ranked Buckeyes all they had, tying the game at 21 midway through the third quarter. However, Ohio State found a way to win, outscoring the Wolverines 21-7 in the final 16:08 of the game. Despite the win, the Buckeyes’ playoff hopes were severely hurt when quarterback J.T. Barrett went down with what was later revealed as a fractured ankle. He will miss the rest of the season, including next week’s Big Ten Championship Game against 14th-ranked Wisconsin.

AROUND THE STATE

Florida/Florida State- The third-ranked Seminoles survived four Jameis Winston interceptions to take down the Florida Gators by a score of 24-19. Three of the interceptions came in the first quarter, with the Gators turning them into just six points. Freshman Dalvin Cook, once a UF-commit, rushed for 144 yards on 24 carries to compensate for a sporadic passing attack. Florida State (12-0) takes on Georgia Tech next week in the ACC Championship Game while Florida (6-5) awaits their bowl destination.

UCF/USF- The Knights rode two second-quarter touchdowns to a 16-0 victory over the rival Bulls. It was all about the defenses on Black Friday as USF forced three turnovers in a losing effort while the UCF defense handed the Bulls their first home shutout loss in school history. The Knights (8-3) have a chance to clinch at least a share of the American Athletic Conference title on Thursday when they take on East Carolina on the road. The Bulls (4-8) miss out on a bowl game for the fourth straight season.

Pittsburgh/Miami- Miami saw their regular season end with a thud on Saturday when Pittsburgh defeated them 35-23 at home. Freshman quarterback Brad Kaaya continued to impress for Al Golden’s squad, throwing for 296 and two touchdowns. The Hurricanes (6-6) will await their bowl destination after having this week off.

Old Dominion/Florida Atlantic- FAU lost a heartbreaker to Old Dominion on Saturday when ODU’s Satchel Ziffer booted a 27-yard field goal as time expired to hand the Owls a 31-28 loss. Florida Atlantic running back Tony Moore rushed for 83 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. The Owls (3-9) will miss out on a bowl game for the sixth straight year.