We’re skilled to search out the hero in tales as a result of all of us wish to imagine that we’re the nice ones too. But when we’re trustworthy, the villains make a narrative enjoyable. Superman has the powers, however Lex Luthor has the persona.
And so it’s with Nick Saban and Lane Kiffin, the stoic hero (Saban), who competes towards his former protégé, who grew to become the diabolical usurper (Kiffin). Marvel has nothing about this story.
In a 12 months when the cinemas went darkish, Alabama and Ole Miss gave us our blockbuster. The Tide received 63-48 on Saturday, and the 2 groups set an SEC document for mileage. A nation on the sting of their seat puzzled if Kiffin had one way or the other amassed a handful of Infinity Stones this low season.
In fact there have been different tales on Saturday with their very own heroes and villains. In Clemson, a fierce protection reminded Miami that getting again to the highest requires no less than one receiver that may be opened. Miami’s Keontra Smith additionally scored a nasty strike towards Trevor Lawrence which resulted in a checkered flag and compelled the Clemson QB to the sidelines. The restricted attendance made it straightforward to listen to what the socially distant Clemson followers considered the piece. Lawrence returned and teamed up with Travis Etienne to devastate one other potential ACC contender in a 42-17 win.
Clemson’s win – messy because it was – together with Dabo Swinney’s unlucky resolution to attain a 61-yard subject objective on the finish of the primary half supplied a way of normalcy on a day when there have been many different theaters.
In LSU’s loss in Missouri, Bo Pelini’s protection imploded once more, and Ed Orgeron was livid with a efficiency so embarrassing that Nebraska known as to see if she may hearth Pelini once more. At Faculty Station, Jimbo Fisher lastly bought his signature win, $ 75 million nicely spent. In Georgia, there was Stetson Bennett – undoubtedly the title of a superhero alter ego – who led the Bulldogs to a different massive win over Tennessee and took full command of the SEC East. Mike Leach’s air strike amounted to 2 factors and he mentioned after the sport that some gamers could must run over the plank.
However these had been all sidelines.
We noticed the perfect form of drama in Oxford, Mississippi.
Except for Saban and Kiffin, there have been many different plot factors to comply with. Mac Jones continued to show that he’s a worthy successor to Tua Tagovailoa. The Alabama protection confirmed indicators that it’s nonetheless a great distance from its glory days. Ole Miss regarded like a crew once more that might be profitable weekly in Las Vegas. However the background to every part was an X-and-O battle – and possibly somewhat ruse – between two coaches with a typical historical past and a totally completely different strategy to the job.
Earlier this week, Kiffin in contrast his relationship along with his former boss as “like a divorce”.
In that sense, this was a revenge story. In any case, Saban saved Kiffin from the junk heap. When USC left Kiffin on an airport tarmac, Saban invited him to board Alabama’s missile ship as a substitute. This pairing was supposed to finish badly however assured many fascinating twists and turns. Kiffin left in lower than ultimate circumstances and was pushed apart in the midst of the playoffs after taking the job as head coach at Florida Atlantic. Since then, he has taken nice pleasure in needling Saban. It is like Kylo Ren turning on Luke Skywalker, however on Twitter.
Kiffin is the proper movie for Saban, an outspoken, unabashed, unrepentant fly. When Ole Miss responded with a landing after seemingly each Alabama rating, it was inconceivable to not do a little bit of trying to find evil. Who would not need Kiffin to joke on the post-game press convention whereas Saban simmered in silence? Think about what Saban would undergo his head if he picked up his cellphone on Sunday morning and located 20 more and more misspelled textual content messages from Kiffin that had been now “Scoreboard”.
Sadly it should not be. In fact, Alabama received. The hero ought to win, and whether or not he likes it or not, Saban stays the hero of this story. Let’s simply hope we get a number of sequels too.
Exhausting occasions in Texas
In a Pink River Showdown recreation for the ages, Oklahoma delivers the ultimate blow, beating Texas 53-45 in 4 extra time.
It is fully attainable that neither crew is excellent this season, however you need to give it to Texas and Oklahoma – they by no means get bored.
Or no less than not each two years.
The Sooners completed with a 53-45, 4-OT win on the Pink River … what do they name it now? Rivalry? Showdown? Revolt? Let’s go along with “fracas”. It was the very best variety of factors within the historical past of the rivalry recreation that surpassed the 2018 document and exceeded the earlier document of 2016. So be careful for model 2022.
In that case, will Tom Herman nonetheless be on the sidelines for Texas? Will probably be an fascinating query given the Longhorns’ 2-2 begin.
QB Sam Ehlinger was annoyed after the sport for the second straight week, lamenting the self-inflicted wounds that saved Texas from profitable. However actually, it was somewhat fortunate that the Longhorns had been even round. Texas had been 4 minutes from the top, 14 minutes behind the tie – the second time in three video games.
Due to Ehlinger for getting 10 touchdowns and 684 yards within the final two video games – each losses.
Although Herman has two massive bowl wins – towards Utah final 12 months and Georgia in 2018 – the remainder of the résumé seems to be terribly skinny. Texas is simply 6-5 for the previous calendar 12 months, together with a two-point win over Kansas, a three-point win over Kansas State, and his miraculous comeback final month towards Texas Tech. Herman is simply 9-10 years previous in his final 19 common season video games and has misplaced 4 out of 5 to the Sooners.
It simply means extra … insult
Kyle Trask and Kellen Mond fought backwards and forwards all afternoon, but it surely was Texas A&M kicker Seth Small who received the day with a game-winning 26-yard subject objective after time ran out.
Jimbo Fisher ultimately took his signature win at Texas A&M and precipitated a stir over Florida 41-38 No. 4.
The defending champion LSU Tigers is now underneath .500 after falling on Missouri 45-41.
And if you’re somewhat stunned by these outcomes, there are good causes.
In response to ESPN Stats & Info Analysis, Florida’s protection dipped 100 factors in three video games, the worst three-game stretch since 1917.
LSU dropped 96 factors in three video games when Bo Pelini took over the protection. That is the most important begin to a season in program historical past.
Missouri QB Connor Bazelak throws for 406 yards and 4 touchdowns whereas Myles Brennan passes for 430 yards and 4 TDs in LSU’s 45-41 loss.
When it was over, Ed Orgeron known as the Tigers’ D “awkward,” a phrase he normally reserves for individuals who get off after three refills of all-you-can-eat crawfish. The place do the solutions for LSU come from? A fast resolution is tough to think about. Missouri hadn’t scored greater than 24 targets in a recreation in a 12 months.
In the meantime, Dan Mullen has reported the lack of his crew to the Kyle Subject crowd. Mullen added that he needs a full home at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium subsequent week for the Gators’ recreation towards LSU, assuming – we suspect – most of these followers can are available in and play protection too.
Fortunately, Tennessee was right here to revive order, reminding the world within the second half of their loss to Georgia that not each SEC recreation ends in an offensive shootout.
When enjoying a contact sport like soccer, staying hydrated is extremely essential. We assume that’s precisely what George Pickens was pondering when he splashed Jarrett Guarantano along with his water bottle when the Tennessee QB went awry at a recreation alongside the UGA sideline.
Tennessee quarterback Jarrett Guarantano falls out of hand after scrambling whereas George Pickens of Georgia splashes water on him on the bottom.
Quite than applauding Pickens’ willingness to assist, officers reported him for an unsportsmanlike sentence, and even head coach Kirby Sensible urged the motivation might need been somewhat extra infantile.
“If somebody will get out of hand and also you splash water on them, what are we? Are we 7 and eight years previous?” Sensible mentioned. “I imply, come on, let’s play soccer. Let’s [not] playing around.”
And with that, Richard LeCounte is unlikely to ensure Mac Jones’ uniform is secure subsequent week by giving him a wedgie.
One thing within the water?
UNC quarterback Sam Howell throws three landing passes and the tar heels prime the Hokies 56-45.
It is a well-known brief 21-mile journey from North Carolina campus to Duke. Their respective backgrounds appeared intent on having a lot floor underneath their ft on Saturday alone.
The tar heels ran 399 yards and 5 touchdowns in a wild win over Virginia Tech No. 19, with Michael Carter and Javonte Williams every exceeding 160 yards. Carter had two factors on 17 runs and rushed 214, together with a 64-yard scamper. Williams completed the race with 169 and two touchdowns.
Within the meantime, Duke relied on his tandem to take the primary win of the season in Syracuse. Deon Jackson ran 169 yards and Mataeo Durant added 161 and two touchdowns. General, Duke completed dashing 363 yards – simply 31 fewer than the sum of his first 4 video games.
How uncommon was that? In response to a examine by ESPN Stats & Info, it was the primary time Duke rushed a number of gamers for 160 yards or extra. North Carolina had not seen it since 1931.
For the Blue Devils, it was a much-needed respite within the midst of a bleak begin to the 2020 season. For the heels, it was a giant step in the direction of credibility.
North Carolina’s 56 factors had been probably the most ever scored towards an AP ranked opponent and the heels now stand 3-Zero for the primary time since 2011.
Head coach Mack Brown considered actual property.
“We’ve to purchase a home on this neighborhood,” Brown mentioned of the UNC’s rise into the playoff realm. “We visited the highest 10 for the primary few weeks. We wish to be, however have we earned it? We performed a prime 20 crew at Virginia Tech that dominated the primary two video games after we did it weren’t. ” gave us the prospect to show that we may be good. “
Overreaction of the week
Have all of us somewhat overrated BYU after its early dominance? It regarded just like the Cougars bought round UTSA in a recreation they wished to win after they had been 35. As an alternative, BYU needed to maintain a late rally to flee 27-20. So issues for the cougs?
BYU clearly did not play the perfect recreation, however with 470 yards offensive and one other spectacular efficiency from QB Zach Wilson (22 out of 30 for 292 and two touchdowns) there may be nothing to fret about. As an alternative, it is probably a credit score to a UTSA crew that is much better than it has been for years. With 3: 2, the Roadrunners are already inside a win for the complete season of final 12 months, and each losses collectively add as much as 15 factors.
Underreaction of the week
Certain, it could be straightforward sufficient to shake off South Carolina’s dominant win over Vanderbilt with the apparent chorus: It was simply Vandy. However that may underestimate how anemic the Gamecocks’ offense was previously – nicely, just about the complete Will Muschamp period.
South Carolina hung Vandy at 41 on Saturday, the primary time the Gamecocks reached 40 in an SEC recreation towards Ole Miss since November 2018, and solely the third time since Muschamp took over this system in 2016.
Underneath-the-Radar Recreation of the Week
Life is coming to you shortly. No one is aware of this higher than Pittsburgh kicker Alex Kessman. After Pitt had left Boston Faculty 40 seconds behind by three seconds, Kessman began a subject objective of 58 meters to ship the sport into extra time. Free Primanti Brothers for all times! However much like consuming a sandwich wherein french fries are a condiment, the enjoyment did not final lengthy. After BC had scored on OT’s first possession, Pitt responded with their very own landing – solely Kessman missed the additional level try and despatched the Panthers to a second direct level loss.
Underneath the radar of the week
Maybe the worst a part of this shortened faculty soccer season is the dearth of big-man TDs. We’re delighted to greet 320 pound Alim McNeill who scored one of many sportiest massive man scores you’ll ever see. The NC State Defensive Deal with pounded a cross within the air, pop-fly it, then rumbled 18 yards for a landing. And he did not cease when he reached the top zone and jumped alongside the again line in celebration. Who says linemen hate doing additional cardio?
NC State defender Alim McNeill offers himself the intercept and may return it for a landing.
Not that massive 12
Do you bear in mind final month when the Huge 12 opened their season with some embarrassing losses exterior of convention? Kansas State fell to Arkansas State, and Iowa State was crushed by Louisiana, and all of us had good laughs at Bob Bowlsby’s resolution to play non-conference video games in any respect. These had been the times.
Yeah, a enjoyable factor. Kansas State defeated TCU on Saturday and Iowa State trampled Texas Tech. Each at the moment are 3-Zero within the Huge 12 recreation and lead the league.
Does this imply the Solar Belt champion will obtain the Huge 12’s six New 12 months’s bids? It could solely be truthful.
A number of the prime rivals have taken a loss this week, and we’re two weeks away from including the Huge Ten stars to the combo. Our prime 2 are nicely forward of the remainder of the sphere.
Trevor Lawrence throws for 292 yards and three touchdowns and Travis Etienne rushes for 149 yards and two touchdowns, whereas Clemson defeated Miami at 42-17.
1. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence
One other recreation, one other 4 touchdowns for Lawrence, who needed to share the limelight with a breakthrough site visitors jam and dominant protection, however stays on our Heisman leaderboard.
2. Alabama QB Mac Jones
Jones’ first three video games of the season: 79.5% completions, 1,101 passes, eight TDs. Examine that to Tua Tagovailoa’s prime three in 2019: 76.9% completions, 1,007 overtaking spots, and 12 TDs.
3. Florida QB Kyle Trask
It is exhausting responsible the QB for the loss on Saturday. Trask was distinctive once more and now has 14 TD passes, together with 4 in three consecutive video games. Tagovailoa and Johnny Manziel are the one SEC QBs to have carried out this in 4 consecutive steps previously decade.
4. BYU QB Zach Wilson
He was 22 of 30 for 292 yards and two touchdowns towards UTSA, and that was thought-about a foul recreation. Wilson is the true deal, and he is simply beginning to get the nationwide consideration he deserves.
5. Clemson RB Travis Etienne
There is not any extra dynamic return run in faculty soccer than Etienne, who had 149 yards and two touchdowns on the bottom to tug eight catches by means of the air for 73 yards.
Huge stakes and unhealthy beats
Virginia was ten minutes behind NC State with 5 minutes to go, transferring into fourth and tenth place at 23 – and going nowhere. That handed the ball to the wolf pack to go away the clock. 4 runs in a row adopted, however earlier than Zonovan Knight may attain the top of the sport, he reached the top zone and scored a 2-yard run 1:49. So the rating was 38-21 – half a degree.
Bettors could wish to costume up as Brock Purdy for Halloween as a result of he is making October terribly enjoyable for supporters of the state of Iowa. In response to ESPN Stats & Info analysis, the Cyclones stand 8-1 towards Purdy’s unfold in October, together with a 10-point unfold in a 31-15 win over Texas Tech on Saturday. How a lot does Purdy love all of the October Halloween hijinks? Its diploma of completion in October is … 66.6%. Scary.
For causes even Dabo Swinney most likely cannot fairly clarify, Clemson determined to wrap up the primary half of what turned out to be the Miami blowout with a 61-yard subject objective try. It did not go nicely. With a 21: Three benefit and the offensive of the Hurricanes, which couldn’t do something towards the sturdy D of the Tigers, Swinney wished to run just a bit extra with an extended kick after the time ran out. As an alternative, the kick was blocked and Miami’s DJ Ivey picked it up and returned it 48 yards for a landing. It was an embarrassing second for Swinney and the Tigers, but it surely was a present for anybody who wager the half over, which was fastened at 30 factors. The landing introduced the mixed rating to 31.
Alabama wanted each rating to maintain up with Ole Miss on Saturday, however the ultimate landing was a nail within the coffin. With 1:09 enjoying and the sport in hand, Najee Harris broke off a 39-yard run for a landing, bringing the top consequence to 63-48, and ensuring the tide lined the second half of minus 10. Or possibly Nick Saban Lane simply wished so as to add somewhat salt – or rat poison – to Kiffin’s wounds.
The ready recreation
We’re used to asserting the ball-control means of Navy’s Choice Offense, however the ultimate try to finish a win towards Temple on Saturday was much more wonderful than we thought attainable. Scott Strasemeier, Credit score Navy Sports activities Info Director, for the knowledge.
The final offensive drive of the Navy that triggered the Nichols subject objective is statistically unbelievable: 9:06 a.m. decreased, 15 video games performed and 26 yards received.
– Scott Strasemeier (@ScottStras) October 11, 2020
It might appear inconceivable to take greater than 9 minutes off the clock and achieve solely 26 yards, however Navy’s system was a snap. No recreation received greater than 6 yards. The midshipmen transformed a fourth down. Every bit was a run. They even used two timeouts for good measure.