Week 9 winners & losers: Wow, did you see how bad Georgia looks?
The Gators made mincemeat of the Bulldogs on Saturday, and if they can get past Vandy next week (LOL), they'll clinch the SEC East. Who else chomped up the competition this weekend -- and who could have used some more bite?
Getty ImagesSam Greenwood
Winner: Florida State football
The Seminoles were coming off a heartbreaking fluke loss to unranked Georgia Tech last week that may have cost them -- and their conference -- dearly. What's more, they had to play Saturday without both of their stars, RB Dalvin Cook and QB Everett Golson. Fortunately for Florida State, the opponent was Syracuse, and it was never really close. Nice rebound win for the 'Noles.
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Loser: Penn State kicker Joey 'Big Toe' Julius
The Nittany Lions kicker may be a fan favorite, but on Saturday vs. Illinois, he had two of his extra-point attempts blocked and also sent a kickoff out of bounds. Eventually, Penn State pulled 'Big Toe' in favor of Tyler Davis. It didn't end up costing his team, at least, as Illinois was shut out 39-0.
APGene J. Puskar
Winner: Texas Tech RB Jakeem Grant
The Red Raiders running back had the game of his life Saturday vs. Oklahoma State before the first quarter had even ended. Grant notched 210 all-purpose yards in the first 11 minutes of action, including a 100-yard kickoff return. And again, that was all before the second quarter had even started.
Michael C. Johnson-USA TODAY SpoMichael C. Johnson
Loser: Nebraska football
Until Saturday, Purdue had yet to notch one single Big Ten home win under coach Darrell Hazell in three years. That's how bad this loss was for the Cornhuskers. To be fair, Nebraska was relying on backup QB Ryker Fyfe, who tossed four interceptions. That didn't help. But a loss to the lowly Boilermakers isn't going to endear 'Huskers coach Mike Riley to the fans.
Sandra Dukes-USA TODAY SportsSandra Dukes
Winner: Navy QB Keenan Reynolds
The Midshipmen's signal-caller tied the NCAA career rushing touchdown record on Saturday. Reynolds now has 77, pulling him even with former Wisconsin Badgers great Montee Ball. Even better for Navy? It came in a victory over the South Florida Bulls.
Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY SportsTommy Gilligan
Loser: Georgia football
It wasn't that long ago that we were ready to hand the SEC East title over to the Bulldogs. Then came an embarrassing drubbing at the hands of Alabama early in October, and that defeat has now been bookended by a miserable loss to rival Florida at the close of the month. Georgia managed to muster only three points in the contest. It's getting ugly in Athens.
Kim Klement-USA TODAY SportsKim Klement
Winner: Adoree' Jackson (and USC football)
Jackson is one of the top game-breakers in all of college football, so it's a bit surprising that it took this long for him to notch his first career interception. Jackson returned it 46 yards for a score, and held an impromptu dance party. Suddenly the once-beleaguered Trojans, who've endured plenty of turmoil this season, are seriously in the hunt for a Pac-12 title after Saturday's win vs. Cal.
Cary Edmondson-USA TODAY SportsCary Edmondson
Loser: Texas football
Been quite the roller-coaster season for the Longhorns, but it actually seemed like they were gaining momentum there for a couple of weeks after two consecutive victories (vs. Oklahoma and Kansas State). But a loss to 3-5 Iowa State on Saturday brought it all to a screeching halt. Not the way you put together a second-half comeback.
Reese Strickland-USA TODAY SportReese Strickland
Winner: Deshaun Watson (and Clemson football)
The Tigers' QB notched 383 yards and five touchdowns, plus one other rushing TD on Saturday vs. N.C. State. Clemson's 56-41 victory further bolsters the team's case as a potential playoff contender. The real test, of course, comes next week, as the Tigers take on Florida State.
Loser: Auburn football
The Tigers dropped their second game in a row Saturday, falling to Ole Miss. Gus Malzahn's squad is now sitting at .500 -- easily one of the biggest disappointments of the season. Each of their next six games is a winnable contest (Texas A&M, Georgia and Idaho), but even if they run the table, they'll be no better than 7-4 before facing arch-rival Alabama at the end of the season.
Shanna Lockwood-USA TODAY SportsShanna Lockwood
Winner: Minnesota football
The scoreboard says the Golden Gophers lost, yes. But they took the fight to No. 15 Michigan, and the Wolverines needed a final goal-line stand to escape. We can argue about the wisdom of going for six (for the win) instead of a field goal (to force overtime), but there's no shame in the way Minnesota played for most of the game on Saturday. Plus, the Gophers get points for their classy tributes to retired coach Jerry Kill. 'Jerry-sota,' indeed!
Jesse Johnson-USA TODAY SportsJesse Johnson
Winner: Temple football
Another case in which the scoreboard says 'loss,' but doesn't tell the whole story. The Owls were in charge vs. Notre Dame for much of the game Saturday, but just couldn't close the deal as the game wound down. Temple was outmanned, but showed toughness and resolve -- and, more importantly -- proved that they deserved to be there on the national stage with a Top 10-ranked team.
Winner: Miami football
The beleaguered Hurricanes program -- sorely in need of a lift -- got one on Saturday night, upending No. 22 Duke in one of the wildest endings to a football game you'll ever see. Thanks to a jaw-dropping, eight-lateral touchdown play as time expired, Miami emerged victorious. And now no one's gonna even remember last week's 58-0 debacle at the hands of Clemson.