NCAA Football Report (Week 10)

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The NCAA is beginning to wind down their season with only three regular season games left for most teams. As teams start to see the end to their seasons, some will be looking to their last regular season game. This game is the rivalry game and for many teams will be the most important game of their season. For the top teams it is extremely important as they play their toughest competition in their biggest rivals. Teams may get in trouble with this though as the schedules for some teams get weaker before their big rivalry games. Usually a weaker schedule would mean that the team will have no trouble going through the rest of the season but that is the problem. Teams look ahead to the big games they will play in and as a result they look past other teams that shouldn’t give them any trouble. The problem when you look past teams is that they sneak up on you very fast and get you in big trouble. This will generally happen when a ranked team is set to take on an unranked team especially if it is a few weeks before they take on another ranked team. These games are not very hyped and are usually seen as a practice game for the better team. The ranked team generally is built up all week as the game does not become a debate about who will win but by how much will the ranked team win. These games have become known as Trap Games because they trap teams into a false sense of security. It happens every year when a ranked team is not fully prepared to take on an unranked team and as a result there is a major upset. Trap games are easy to see as it can be any game where the game looks over before it even started. A perfect example was just this past week when the undefeated Notre Dame Fighting Irish took on the unranked Pittsburgh Panthers. The Irish were looking to continue their undefeated season after their biggest challenge of the year in week 9 against Nebraska. The Panthers were not even on the national radar before this game as for many it was a simple matter of getting to the game for the Irish to win. It did not work out that way though as the Irish looked sluggish and simply not ready to play on Saturday. Instead the Panthers seemed to be the ones who were ready to play as they quickly came out to a lead against the Irish. Eventually the game would end in overtime with the Irish just getting out of the week with a TD in the third period of overtime. It was almost the first loss for the Irish in a game that was supposed to be an easy win. The Irish just escaped the week with the win as they got lucky with a few plays in overtime. Many teams are not as lucky though as they take the loss which for many can destroy a great season. If the Irish had lost their #3 ranking would have been lost and so would their hope at playing in the National Championship. Many teams fall in to these trap games and end their hopes of a National Championship or even a bowl. In the coming weeks there will be plenty of trap games to look at as many schedules begin to soften before rivalry week. As top teams begin to face unranked teams anything could happen and with not a lot of time left in the season there will be no recovery from a loss to an unranked team. Trap Games will be everywhere and for the fans it will only mean good things as any game could be an upset in the making.


Heisman Watch:

1. Collin Klein, QB (Kansas State)
Klein has taken a firm hold of the Heisman race in the last few weeks as he continues to lead one of the best offences in the NCAA. More than just a passing QB Klein has made an impact on the ground as well as he is responsible for the majority of the scoring in the offence. This week he took on Oklahoma State and after a brief scare where the offence was not the same in the first quarter Klein took over. With 245 yards passing and 64 yard rushing plus a TD Klein was a big reason to the Wildcats winning the game. There was a scare though as Klein left the game in the third quarter with an undisclosed injury. If Klein cannot return it will be a major shot to his Heisman hopes as he will need to be on the field to take on TCU in a game that could boost his stats. If he does not come back to play TCU he may lose his grip on the top spot.
Stats (9 Games):
71.1% cmp
1,875 yds (698 rsh yds)
12 TD (17 rsh TD)
174.4 rtg


2. Kenjon Barner, RB (Oregon)
They are one of the most explosive offences in the NCAA and the running back has always been a major part of that. Kenjon Barner has had some big shoes to fill as the replacement to one of the best running backs in Oregon history LaMichael James. Against the Trojans Barner made his mark on the ever-growing program as he had a career day behind the line. Barner ran for 321 yards and earned 5 touchdowns against USC and earned a single game rushing record for Oregon. It was a major game for the Ducks and Barner was the main reason for the win. Barner is the only running back left standing in the Heisman race this year as he is surrounded by QBs but still stands out as a big game playmaker. Next week he will lead his team against Cal in a game that he should be able to dominate. If he can continue his performance he may be able to challenge Klein, who may be hurt, for the Heisman this year.
Stats (9 Games):
179 rsh
1,295 yds
7.2 avg
19 TD


3. Manti Te’o, LB (Notre Dame)
The Irish are barely undefeated after a game against Pitt that almost saw the undefeated season destroyed. A large part of the win in overtime was the performance of the Notre Dame defence as they held the Pitt offence in check all overtime. Still the defence was not able to keep the game in check from the start as the Panthers were able to get the lead on the Irish early. As Te’o goes so does the defence of the Irish and that could be a big reason to why they had an underwhelming performance on Saturday night. Te’o has been the best defensive player in the NCAA all year but against Pitt he was unable to do much in impacting the game. With 1 tackle, 1 breakup, and 0.5 sacks Te’o was not his dominant self. He stays in the top three for his former work this season but if he continues to falter against Boston College next week don’t expect to see him back in the hunt for the Heisman.
Stats (9 Games):
87 tkl
1.5 sck
2 Frec


4. AJ McCarron, QB (Alabama)
Stats (9 Games):
66.7% cmp
1,849 yds
19 TD
173.5 rtg


5. Braxton Miller, QB (Ohio State)
Stats (10 Games):
56.9% cmp
1,753 yds (1,166 rsh yds)
14 TD (13 rsh TD)
140.1 rtg


BCS Rankings:
1. Alabama Crimson Tide (1)
2. Kansas State Wildcats (2)
3. Oregon Ducks (4)
4. Notre Dame Fighting Irish (3)
5. Georgia Bulldogs (6)
6. Florida Gators (7)
7. LSU Tigers (5)
8. South Carolina Gamecocks (8)
9. Louisville Cardinals (10)
10. Florida State Seminoles (9)
11. Oregon State Beavers (11)
12. Oklahoma Sooners (12)
13. Clemson Tigers (13)
14. Stanford Cardinal (14)
15. Texas A&M Aggies (16)
16. Nebraska Cornhuskers (20)
17. Texas Longhorns (23)
18. UCLA Bruins (–)
19. USC Trojans (17)
20. Louisiana Tech Bulldogs (25)
21. Mississippi State Bulldogs (15)
22. Texas Tech Red Raiders (18)
23. Rutgers Scarlett Knights (–)
24. Northwestern Wildcats (–)
25. Toledo Rockets (–)


Key Scores:
#3 Notre Dame Fighting Irish 29 – 26 Pittsburgh Panthers (3OT)
– The Irish are in the middle of their best season in almost a decade but it almost came crashing down as the Panthers looked to end their rival’s season and almost did it in triple overtime but the Irish barely came out on top


#4 Oregon Ducks 62 – 51 USC Trojans #17
– It was the toughest test that the Ducks would have and one of the only chances to prove that they deserve a National Championship berth as they played a ranked team in USC and proved that their offence is one of the best in the league outperforming Matt Barkley for the win


#1 Alabama Crimson Tide 21 – 17 LSU Tigers #5
– It has become one of the best rivalries in the NCAA in recent years as both teams represent the best of the SEC and LSU represents the only team to actually beat Alabama in the last two years but this year was the Tide’s year as they took the win on a last-minute TD


#2 Kansas State Wildcats 44 – 30 Oklahoma State Cowboys #24
– It may be the toughest test the Wildcats see all season and it was not as easy a win as usual but Collin Klein once again led his team to the win as they remained at the top of the rankings and inched closer to a National Championship berth


Next Week:
#4 Notre Dame Fighting Irish vs. Boston College Eagles (November 10th; TBD)
– The drive for an undefeated season continues against another rival for the Irish as the Boston College Eagles will welcome the Irish in the Holy War for the Ireland Trophy in a game that could be tougher than expected for the Irish


#3 Oregon Ducks vs. Cal Golden Bears (November 10th; TBD)
– The Ducks are still trying to prove that they are a team that deserves a shot in the National Championship and they will take on another Pac-12 team to prove that their offence deserves a shot against Alabama’s defence


Penn State Nittany Lions vs. #16 Nebraska Cornhuskers (November 10th; 3:30 pm EST)
– The Lions cannot go to a bowl this year but their hopes for a Big Ten Championship are still alive as they have put non a good season and sit in second place in the Leaders division as they take on the top team in the Legends in an attempt to make a run at the conference title


#5 Georgia Bulldogs vs. Auburn Tigers (November 10th; 7:00 pm EST)
– The Bulldogs are looking to finish at the top of the SEC East and a win against Auburn will go a long way in doing this as the Bulldogs finish off their SEC schedule with “Deep South’s Oldest Rivalry”

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