Less than two weeks ago, Ole Miss was sitting pretty for the College Football Playoff. But in the past two weeks, it has been all heartbreak for the Rebels.
Mismanagement of the clock resulted in a delay of game penalty on a late drive against then No. 24 LSU, and with the Rebels trailing 10-7, head coach Hugh Freeze opted to try for the touchdown rather than to attempt a 47-yard field goal with nine seconds left.
However, senior quarterback Bo Wallace threw a pass that was intercepted with two seconds left, handing the Rebels their first loss of the season.
On Saturday, it appeared the Rebels had taken the lead on a 21-yard touchdown reception by sophomore receiver Laquon Treadwell. Unfortunately, officials reviewed it and determined that Treadwell fumbled before crossing the plane, and the Auburn Tigers recovered the loose football. Ole Miss fell, 35-31, and lost Treadwell for the remainder of the season to a broken left fibula and dislocated ankle.
Potential dilemma brews in Big 12 conference play
On Saturday, the TCU Horned Frogs knocked off the West Virginia Mountaineers to remain within a game of Kansas State for the lead in the Big 12 standings. TCU hosts the No. 9 Wildcats this weekend — the only team left without a loss in conference play.
The Horned Frogs ranked seventh in the initial College Football Playoff rankings, six spots ahead of a one-loss Baylor team that defeated them, 61-58, on Oct. 11. If both teams win out, the Bears would be the Big 12 champion, but the Horned Frogs could potentially be represented in the postseason.
New conference foes produce close games
The Louisville Cardinals were leading No. 2 Florida State, 21-0, during Thursday night’s contest between the new conference foes, but the Seminoles were threatening on third down on the Cardinal one.
FSU sophomore quarterback Jameis Winston handed the ball off to senior running back Karlos Williams, who then fumbled the ball into the end zone. Luckily for Florida State, senior tight end Nick O’Leary was there to pounce on the ball for the Seminoles’ first score of the night.
From there, Florida State had all the momentum, as the Seminoles finished the game on a 42-10 run, with 35 of those points coming after halftime.
In another game between new conference rivals, Maryland traveled to Happy Valley for a conference matchup against Penn State. This was the first time the Terrapins took on James Franklin, Penn State head coach, since he left his job as the offensive coordinator following the 2010 season.
The game was noteworthy as the Terps refused to shake hands with Nittany Lion players prior to the game. Maryland was issued a 15-yard penalty before the opening kickoff as a result, and the Nittany Lions scored a field goal on the opening drive.
But the game remained close, and, with 51 seconds to play, Terrapin junior placekicker Brad Craddock knocked through a 43-yard field goal to give Maryland a 20-19 lead that it would not relinquish.
The series record is now 35-2-1, in favor of Penn State.
With two seconds left in a tie ball game against No. 24 Duke, Pittsburgh sophomore placekicker Chris Blewitt lined up for the potential game-winning field goal from 26 yards out. However, he shanked the kick wide left, sending the game into overtime. Although he managed to make a field goal in double overtime, the Panthers fell to the Blue Devils, 51-48, later in the period.