The regular season of college football is drawing to a close for every conference, and there’s a clear picture of who the top teams and performers are. Here are takeaways from Saturday’s football schedule.
Coastal Carolina and BYU was top notch and exciting
Two undefeated teams came into the game, only one left. This game wasn’t scheduled until Thursday, BYU traveled over 2,000 miles to play in Myrtle Beach, and it turned into one of, if not the best game of the 2020 season. Coastal Carolina freshman QB Grayson McCall ran their RPO scheme well and the offense kept methodically moving the chains. The Chanticleers ended up dominating the time of possession battle (37:51). BYU QB Zach Wilson has played great all season but Coastal harassed him all night, even blocking him excessively into the ground on an interception return. Wilson wasn’t necessarily rattled, but he was bottled up most of the night by a stiff pass rush. It was a hard hitting game, it was a battle that went down to the very last whistle. The game went down to the one-yard line. The final play is garnering vibes of the Tennessee Titans coming up inches short against the St. Louis Rams in the Super Bowl. A tip of the cap to both teams for putting on as good of a 5:30 ET regular season game as you’ll see.
A Super Bowl XXXIV + Coastal Carolina vs BYU mashup because this is the internet and we can. pic.twitter.com/0LGuaPM2sE— Minnesota Sports Fan (@realmnsportsfan) December 6, 2020
This was the biggest win in Coastal Carolina’s history, they’re the first Sun Belt Conference team to ever start a season 10-0, and they may wind up in a good bowl game in a few weeks. This game signified everything that is good about college football.
Indiana’s impressive season continues
Even with stud QB Michael Penix Jr. out for the season after tearing his ACL, the team found a way to beat Wisconsin in a low scoring 14-6 win. IU QB Jake Tuttle made the first start of his career and threw for 2 TDs, which was just enough to get a victory. Head coach Tom Allen continues to field a nasty defense and a team that believes in one another. The 6-1 Hoosiers, who lost to Ohio State 42-35 a few weeks back, are just a few plays away from being undefeated.
The Kyle Trask/Mac Jones Heisman battle keeps heating up
Alabama QB Mac Jones has been a fun one to watch this season, and that trend continued in the Crimson Tide’s 55-17 win over LSU. Jones threw for 385 yards and 4 TDs, and had a number of deep throws completed.
Mac Jones and DeVonta Smith do it again. pic.twitter.com/T7GGPs4QeM— CBS Sports (@CBSSports) December 6, 2020
Jones is trying to keep pace with Florida QB Kyle Trask, who’s been lights out all season long. Trask had himself another fine Saturday, throwing for 433 yards and 4 TDs against 2-6 Tennessee. With Trevor Lawrence and Justin Fields both missing games, it looks like the race is down to Trask and Jones. The two QBs will face off in the SEC Championship game.
Ian Book is an underrated quarterback
The game changed right here when Ian Book said “F it, I’ll start the rally myself”— ND Whiteboard (@ND_Whiteboard) December 5, 2020
And that was that pic.twitter.com/yNWz9vU4Sn
The NFL Draft evaluation process is always one that leaves me confused. Teams draft players like Mitch Trubisky and Sam Darnold early in drafts, yet players like Patrick Mahomes get overlooked, and players like Russell Wilson gets drafted in the 3rd round. Notre Dame’s Ian Book is now the winningest QB in program history, and is the main reason the team is undefeated. Book plays much bigger than his six-foot frame, has plus strength, athleticism, and decision making. He has arm talent and is a proven leader. With Notre Dame trailing Syracuse 7-3 with three minutes to go in the first half, Book had a Wilson-esque 28-yard TD run, then threw for 2 TDS before the half was through. Book is always ready to take shots down the field if they present themselves, he can put up a lot of points quickly. Book’s college career is coming to a close, his place in the NFL long-term remains uncertain, but his season deserves some discussion, and his name should be mentioned in the Heisman race along with Trask and Jones.
Iowa State makes a statement vs West Virginia
8-2 Iowa State has played some really good football this season. They’ve beat Texas and Oklahoma, and picked up a convincing 42-6 win over a competitive West Virginia team. The Cyclones will be playing the Sooners in the Big 12 Championship game. Head coach Matt Campbell’s stock continues to rise, and Brock Purdy’s draft stock will keep going up if he continues to go 20-of-23 for 247 yards and 3 TDs against good pass defenses.