Liked on YouTube: College Football Playoff comes further into focus as blowouts highlight
As promised, a busy Saturday has cleared up the crowded race for the College Football Playoff. Games in the Big Ten, Pac-12 and ACC have also impacted the New Year’s Six landscape, as teams once in contention for the national semifinals now shift their sights to one of the premier non-playoff bowls. Beginning with Ohio State’s eye-opening destruction of Michigan State, here’s the fallout from one of the defining weekends of the regular season:C. J. Stroud has gone from the background of the Heisman Trophy conversation into the driver’s seat after a seven-week stretch of superb play capped by his bonkers box score against the No. 8 Spartans: 32 completions in 35 attempts for 432 yards and six touchdowns, all achieved before taking a seat in the third quarter. The No. 4 Buckeyes scored 49 points in the first half to send shockwaves through the Big Ten and scuttle any shot Michigan State had of completing a magical playoff berth under second-year coach Mel Tucker. Ugly, ugly, ugly. Oregon came into Saturday night with a chance to solidify its place in the top three with a second very good road win of the season, joining that victory at Ohio State in September. Instead, the Ducks left Utah on the sour end of a 38-7 decision that stands as one of the most disappointing performances in modern program history. Here’s how you can measure the difference between these two teams: Oregon ran for 63 yards on 23 carries while the Utes finished with 208 yards and four scores on 50 carries. With Clemson’s 48-27 win against No. 12 Wake Forest, the ACC will fail to send a team into the national semifinals for the first time in the history of the playoff format. The Tigers’ offense flashed after months of mediocrity, scoring more than 30 points for the first time against Power Five competition and going for 543 yards, with 333 coming on the ground. But equal credit should go to a defense that held Wake to just 36 yards on 31 carries and harassed quarterback Sam Hartman. Don’t look so surprised. Four different quarterbacks attempted at least one pass — including JT Daniels, who threw for 73 yards and a score — star defensive tackle Jordan Davis had a 1-yard rushing touchdown and No. 1 Georgia whipped Charleston Southern 56-7 to remain unbeaten in advance of the rivalry game against Georgia Tech. (The final score next Saturday should be about the same.)Arkansas was within a field goal late in the second quarter, drew within a touchdown in the fourth after scoring on a fake field goal and had the ball with under eight minutes left with a chance to take the lead, making the Crimson Tide sweat out a 42-35 division win as nearly three-touchdown favorites. Bryce Young did his part to match what Stroud did against Michigan State, with 31 completions in 40 attempts for 559 yards and five scores.
All data is taken from the source: http://usatoday.com
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