Rivalry Week Recap
It was the last week of the regular season for most college football teams, and there were certainly fireworks. Losing streaks were snapped, playoff hopes were dashed and bowl berths were clinched.
Here are the biggest stories from Rivalry Week.
Michigan snaps eight-game losing streak in “The Game”
The biggest criticism for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh coming into Saturday was his inability to win big games. After a 42-27 victory over No. 2 Ohio State, those naysayers will leave him alone, at least for one week.
The No. 5 Wolverines had an old-fashioned approach, as they ran the ball effectively all day long. The ground attack amassed 297 yards, most of them coming on simple inside runs. The Ohio State defenders were on their heels all day. Despite a valiant effort from C.J. Stroud and the Buckeyes’ offense, they just couldn’t keep pace with Michigan.
With the win, Michigan will go to the Big Ten championship game to take on Iowa. A win over the Hawkeyes will all but make them a lock for the Playoffs. For Ohio State, they now are looking for some serious help if they want to make the dance.
Oklahoma State tops Oklahoma in Bedlam, books ticket to Big 12 championship
Another losing streak was broken on Saturday night, as Oklahoma State defeated Oklahoma for the first time in six years. The scoreline was 37-33, with the Cowboys scoring the final 13 points.
The game lived up to the name “Bedlam,” as it was a sloppy and fun affair. There were five total turnovers, including two muffed punts. The result was short fields for the Sooners and quick scores. Overall, the Cowboys defense kept Oklahoma’s offense in check and helped secure the game late.
With the win, the Cowboys knocked their archrival out of both the Big 12 and the College Football Playoff races. They also set themselves up with a great chance to make the playoff if they can defeat Baylor in the Big 12 championship.
Alabama survives Auburn in the Iron Bowl
Until the last two minutes, the No. 3 Alabama Crimson Tide looked lost in the Iron Bowl. A 10-3 deficit to the Tigers looked daunting, with Heisman contender Bryce Young having been neutralized, needing a 97-yard touchdown drive in a hostile environment.
Young proved exactly why he’s a trendy Heisman pick — marching the Tide downfield, tying the game up in the final 30 seconds and forcing overtime. From there, Alabama won a four-overtime duel, with Young throwing the game-winning score to receiver John Metchie.
It was heartbreak for Auburn, as it came excruciatingly close to an upset win at home. Auburn was starting backup quarterback T.J. Finley, who looked to be suffering from an apparent injury as the game continued. Rendered immobile, Finley still gutted out an impressive performance, but could not produce enough to win the game .
For the Tigers, they can still expect to make a bowl game at 6-6, but it's a disappointing end to a once-promising season. Meanwhile, Alabama clinched their spot in the SEC championship to face No. 1 Georgia in a de facto playoff game. Alabama certainly can make the playoffs if it upsets the Bulldogs, but it has a lot of work to do after a flat performance in Auburn.
Sam Woloson is a first-year majoring in journalism. To contact him, email him at email@example.com.
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