There was a shake-up at the top of the national rankings as voters deemed LSU’s 23-20 win over then #9 Auburn to be more impressive than Alabama’s 48-7 dusting of Arkansas. This made LSU #1 and demoted ‘Bama to #2. Alabama and Clemson have now both lost the top spot in the rankings this season following wins — that’s gotta be frustrating. More frustrating is that LSU, Alabama and #3 Ohio State are all idle this weekend, but there’s still plenty of big-time college football to be had.
Saturday, Nov. 2
#14 Michigan Wolverines (6-2) vs Maryland Terrapins (3-5)
Noon ET on ABC/ESPN3
The Wolverines finally bagged a big one, crushing the Irish 45-14 last week thanks to a suffocating defense and pounding running game that produced 303 yards and three touchdowns on 57 carries. Even backup QB Dylan McCafffrey got into the action, completing both of his passes for a total of 34 yards and a touchdown. The Terps started the season with so much promise, with wins over Howard and then #21 Syracuse by an aggregate score of 122-20, but last week they took their third straight loss, falling 52-10 to #17 Minnesota as they cycled through three QBs who combined to complete 10 of 23 for 131 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions.
Virginia Tech Hokies (5-2) vs #16 Notre Dame Fighting Irish (5-2)
2:30pm ET on NBC in Select Markets
The Hokies had ripped off three straight wins before taking a fortnight off, most recently a sextuple-overtime nail-biter in which they bested UNC 43-41 with a 2-point conversion by third-string QB Quicny Patterson. He completed 3 of 6 for 54 yards and a touchdown and ran 21 times for 122 yards and another score. The Irish got punched in the face and left for dead by the Michigan defense, losing 45-14 in a game that wasn’t even that close. Notre Dame managed just 180 yards, (141 fewer than their previous low) 12 first downs (another season low) and committed two turnovers (a season high). The loss dropped them eight spots in the rankings.
Wofford Terriers (5-2) vs #4 Clemson Tigers (8-0)
4pm ET on ACC Network
You know how most teams like to schedule a non-major cupcake for the first or second game of the season? Not Clemson. No, they’re bringing in the mighty Wofford Terriers of the Division I Football Championship Subdivision for a midseason beatdown. Wofford is coming off a 35-34 overtime victory over Chattanooga. Clemson is coming off its 23rd straight win, a 59-7 smoking of Boston College. Trevor Lawrence hit on 16 of 19 for 275 yards and three TDs, while Travis Etienne ran 16 times for 109 yards and three TDs and hauled three passes for another 33 yards.
Ole Miss Rebels (3-5) vs #11 Auburn Tigers (6-2)
7pm ET on ESPN
Ole Miss took a much needed week off after dropping four of their last five, most recently losing 24-17 to Texas A&M. Red shirt freshman QB Matt Corral has struggled this season to fill the shoes of Jordan Ta’amu, who is awaiting his rookie season with St. Louis BattleHawks in the newly reformed XFL. Auburn last week took their best shot at LSU, but fell short, 23-20 despite one of the more amazing pass/throws of the season from Bo Nix to Seth Williams and holding Heisman candidate Joe Burrow to a season-low one touchdown.
#7 Oregon Ducks (7-1) vs USC Trojans (5-3)
8pm on FOX
The Ducks barely survived Washington State last week, winning 37-35 on a last-second field goal. They won thanks to a career day from CJ Verdell, who ran 23 times for 257 yards and three TDs and caught four passes for another 56 yards. USC needed a pair of 4th-quarter touchdowns from Kedon Slovis to Michael Pittman Jr to get past Colorado by a score of 35-31 last week. Slovis completed 30 of 44 for 406 yards and four TDs on the day. USC is 1-2 this season against ranked teams and have twice been knocked out of the top 25.
Stats courtesy SRCFB-Reference.com