The Week 8 college football roundup. The 5 things that matter, winners and losers, overrated and underrated, and what it all means.
College Football Week 8 Roundup
5. Winners & Losers From Week 8
Winner: Virginia Tech 63, North Carolina 41 6 OT
Welcome to the new college football overtime. If a game goes past the fourth overtime, it becomes a battle of two-point tries. In the sixth OT, North Carolina’s Sam Howell missed his attempt, and Virginia Tech’s Quincy Patterson ran it in to get the win.
Now at 5-2, the Hokies – who need to win seven games thanks to two dates with FCS teams – are back in the Coastal Division mix and in the hunt for a bowl game. The 3-4 Tar Heels have to win three of their last five games to go bowling.
Loser: Miami in overtime
Just when it seemed like the Hurricanes were about to rise up, they followed up their stunning 17-9 win over Virginia with a 28-21 loss to a miserable Georgia Tech squad. It took several strange things to go wrong, but bottom line, the Canes couldn’t close. Now at 3-4. Miami has to win three more games with at Pitt, at Florida State, Louisville, FIU, and at Duke to finish.
Winner: Navy and Air Force
Navy is back to rocking and rolling with the running game. It’s averaging a nation-leading 345 yards per game on the ground – over 40 yards than the next-best ground attack.
Air Force is the only other team in college football averaging over 300 rushing yards per game at close to 305. Navy – who beat Air Force a few weeks ago – ran for 434 yards and four scores in the 35-3 win over USF, and Air Force ran for 353 yards and six touchdowns in its win over Hawaii.
Didn’t you used to be the Army running game? It’s okay, but after failing to hit 200 rushing yards in its previous two games, it ran for 278 yards and three touchdowns against Georgia State – and lost. The Knights have now lost three straight, and at 3-4, has to battle just to get into the bowl equation.
Winner: The state of Oregon
Oregon got the win it had to have. The Pac-12 title would’ve still been in play had it lost at Washington, but the 35-31 thriller kept the College Football Playoff chase alive, and unless there’s a total meltdown, all but sealed up the Pac-12 North.
Meanwhile, Oregon State won its second game in three weeks with a tough 21-17 victory over Cal. Getting to six wins and a bowl game is still going to be a fight at 3-4, but the long-suffering Beavers are playing better, and at least they’re no longer the Pac-12’s free-space game. About that Cal team …
Loser: Bay Area California teams
The Cal offense wasn’t tearing anything up to begin with, and then it lost QB Chase Garbers to a shoulder injury. UCLA transfer Devon Modster isn’t getting any help, and now the Bear team that shocked Washington and started 4-0 is on a three-game losing streak after losing to Oregon State.
Stanford has its own injury issues, down to third-string quarterback Jack West in a 34-16 loss to UCLA. The Cardinal team that stunned Washington last week is now at 3-4 and in big, big trouble. It has to win three of its last five to go bowling, with one of those dates against … Cal.
Winner: Los Angeles
It just shouldn’t be a big deal, but that UCLA win over Stanford on the road ends a run of three away games in four – starting out with that thrilling 67-63 thing against Washington State – to once again provide a glimmer of hope that something might be able to change soon. The Bruins leave Los Angeles just once the rest of the way, including the date down the road at USC in late November. The Trojans are 4-3 having come up with a 41-14 annihilation of …
Loser: The state of Arizona
Arizona couldn’t do anything offensively for three quarters against the Trojans. Khalil Tate was bottled up, there were too many missed opportunities, and the O didn’t get on the board until backup Grant Gunnell came up with two touchdown passes in the fourth quarter.
Meanwhile, Arizona State all but bowed out of the Pac-12 title chase with a rough day against the Utah defense in a 21-3 loss. Both the 4-3 Wildcats and 5-2 Sun Devils will likely go bowling, but this was the weekend for both of them to make a move, and they didn’t.
Winner: RB AJ Dillon, Boston College
One of college football’s most underappreciated superstars over the last few seasons, Dillon needed to carry the load against NC State to try saving the team’s season. QB Anthony Brown is out for the year, there’s no passing game, and Dillon took over with a season-high 34 carries for 223 yards and three scores in the win. He’s currently second in the nation behind Oklahoma State’s Chuba Hubbard in rushing yards per game.
Loser: New Mexico pass defense
Only six teams are giving up more than 300 yards per game through the air, and only one is allowing more than 316. That’s New Mexico, who’s giving up 348 yards per game with 19 touchdown passes and just one interception. How amazingly awful is the Lobo pass D? It’s dead last in the nation by a miles, and it just lost to Wyoming 23-10 after allowing just 86 yards through the air.