With six Top 25 matchups, the college football weekend was filled with memorable moments and teams making some statements.
From Penn State looking like a legit contender in the Big 10 to Alabama’s death being slightly premature and Louisiana stars stepping up in a big way for their teams.
Here are my takeaways from the weekend.
- PENN STATE APPEARS LEGIT: The Penn State Nittany Lions won its annual White Out game dominantly with a 31-0 victory over ranked Iowa. Penn State’s offense leaned on its ground game rushing for 215 yards and Drew Allar threw four touchdowns. The defense was even better by forcing six fumbles and giving up just 76 yards of total offense. Penn State leads the country in turnover margin (plus-11) and total defense (219.5 yards per game). The Nittany Lions are also averaging 40.5 points per game and are the only team that has not committed a turnover this season, and one of nine teams to not have thrown an interception. Penn State has all the makings of a title contender but can they finally get over the hump? That hump is beating fellow Big Ten East foes Ohio State and Michigan. Penn State suffered only two losses last year and they were against the Buckeyes and Wolverines by 13 and 24 respectively. The last time Penn State beat Michigan was in 2020 and 2016 for Ohio State. When was the last time Penn State beat both? That was in 2008 when the late Joe Paterno coached the Nittany Lions to the Rose Bowl. It has been a while. The Nittany Lions appear to be a legit contender to win the Big 10 and earn a spot in the College Football Playoff but they have to beat both the Buckeyes and Wolverines. Penn State plays at Ohio State on Oct. 21 and then hosts Michigan on Nov. 11.
- COLORADO GETS BUFFALOED: The Colorado Buffaloes got embarrassed in their highly touted Top 25 matchup against the Oregon Ducks. Oregon held Shedeur Sanders and Colorado’s offense to a mere 194 yards and sacked Sanders seven times. The defense was gashed by Bo Nix and the Duck’s offense, as Oregon scored on their first three possessions and the Ducks averaged 7.2 yards per play. Even with Travis Hunter (who was out with an injury), it may not have mattered. Deion Sanders is turning around Colorado and will have them in a bowl game in his first season at the helm, a year after the team won a single game. The difference in overall talent is apparent but that will be fixed in the years to come. Colorado will take their lumps for sure and with games coming up against No. 5 USC, No. 11 Utah, No. 14 Oregon State, No. 21 Washington State, and No. 22 UCLA will make things challenging. That said, don’t be surprised if you still see Colorado upset a few of those teams along the way.
- ALABAMA’S NOT DEAD… YET: After losing at home to Texas and then looking lost at South Florida and appearing to not have a single quarterback on the roster, the obituaries were being written at a rapid rate about Nick Saban’s run with the Alabama Crimson Tide. Former Saban assistant Lane Kiffin came to town and looked primed to become the fourth former assistant to take down Saban in the last season and a half. That didn’t happen in a 24-10 victory. Jalen Milroe was fairly efficient completing 17-of-21 passes for 225 yards, one touchdown, and one interception. The Tide only rushed for 131 yards but the defense looked like a Saban-coached defense. Alabama held Ole Miss quarterback Jaxson Dart to under 250 yards and no passing touchdowns forced a turnover and recorded five sacks. Does this mean that Alabama is a contender in the SEC West? Maybe but it also could be that Saturday’s win was more about Ole Miss still not being physical enough in the trenches. Alabama’s run isn’t dead, not yet anyway.
3 LOUISIANA STARS
KEON COLEMAN: The former Opelousas Catholic star continues to produce statement games. Coleman came up huge in Florida State’s 31-24 overtime win at Clemson on Saturday. The Seminoles wide receiver hauled in five receptions for 86 yards and two touchdowns, including the go-ahead score of 24 yards in overtime.
MALIK NABERS: The former Comeaux-Southside High star had his second straight two-touchdown performance in LSU’s 34-31 victory over Arkansas in Death Valley. Nabers had a team-high eight receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns, including a 20-yard score in the fourth quarter of the SEC West victory.
JACOB KIBODI: The Baton Rouge native continues to have a breakout season for the Louisiana Ragin’ Cajuns. In Saturday’s 45-38 win over Buffalo, Kibodi only had seven carries but that was enough for him to rush for 100 yards and score two touchdowns, including a 69-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
3 NATIONAL STARS
CAMERON WARD: The former Incarnate Word star is making the transition to the FBS look easy as he helped lead Washington State to a 38-35 win over Oregon State on Saturday. Ward was 28-of-34 for 404 yards, four passing touchdowns, and no interceptions, while also adding a rushing touchdown.
TREVEYON HENDERSON: In a physical and low-scoring Top 10 primetime matchup, Henderson was the workhorse offensive weapon in Ohio State’s 17-14 win over Notre Dame. Henderson led all rushers with 104 yards on 14 carries, including a stellar 61-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.
BO NIX: In a matchup of Top 25-ranked teams led by Heisman candidates, the Auburn-turned-Oregon quarterback shined brighter than his counterpart Shedeur Sanders. Nix completed 28-of-33 passes for 276 yards with three touchdowns, while also adding a rushing score in a 42-6 win over Colorado.
3 GAMES TO WATCH THIS WEEKEND
No. 10 Utah (4-0, 1-0) at No. 19 Oregon State (3-1, 0-1), 8 p.m., FS1
No. 11 Notre Dame (4-1) at No. 17 Duke (4-0), 6:30 p.m., ABC
No. 13 LSU (3-1, 2-0) at No. 20 Ole Miss (3-1, 0-1), 5 p.m., ESPN