Week 14 is one for the ages for college football.
Never before have we seen two undefeated teams, thousands of miles apart, up and schedule a game against each other in just a matter of days. But that’s what happened with No. 13 BYU and No. 18 Coastal Carolina. Of course, the fact that these two teams are among the darlings of the 2020 season is its own storyline.
Hitting the streets is the theme of this week. The three contenders — Ohio State, Texas A&M and Florida — for the No. 4 spot in the College Football Playoff are all on the road this week, but only the Aggies (at Auburn) are less than a touchdown favorite.
We’ll have all the highlights, uniforms and analysis of the top games here all day. So let’s buckle up and get to truckin’. We’ve got a long way to go and a short time to get there.
Top 25 games
No. 23 Oregon (-9) at California, 7, ESPN/ESPN App
No. 3 Clemson (-22) at Virginia Tech, 7, ABC/ESPN App
No. 1 Alabama (-29.5) at LSU, 8, CBS
No. 10 Miami (-15) at Duke, 8, ACC Network/ESPN App
Baylor at No. 11 Oklahoma (-22), 8, Fox
With ESPN’s College GameDay on site, the Chanticleers’ 22-17 win against No. 13 BYU stands as the biggest win in school history. Mateo Sudipo‘s game-saving tackle on the final play secured the win on a rare night when college football fans across the county were fixated on Conway, South Carolina. CJ Marable ran for 128 yards as Coastal Carolina’s offense had BYU off balance all night.
The Cougars went to Coastal Carolina with the hopes of improving their stock in the eyes of the College Football Playoff committee. Instead, the Cougars fell a yard shy on the final play of the game and lost both the game and their undefeated record. Not only that, the loss almost assuredly removes BYU from New Year’s Six bowl consideration and takes the steam out of quarterback Zach Wilson‘s Heisman Trophy campaign. — Kyle Bonagura
In Ian Book‘s final game at Notre Dame Stadium, the senior turned in one of his best performances of the season in a 45-21 win over Syracuse. The Fighting Irish fell behind early, but once Book and the offense started clicking, the Orange didn’t have any answers. Book finished the day with five total touchdowns (three passing and two rushing) while Kyren Williams totaled 110 yards on the ground to surpass 1,000 yards for the season. The Irish had already secured a spot in the ACC championship game on Dec. 19, but the big win and 10-0 record solidified a spot in the top two at the end of their regular season.
They got close, but the Huskies weren’t able to engineer another second-half comeback victory, falling 31-26 at home against Stanford. Even in a year with a limited slate of games, the Pac-12’s usual parity has surfaced again. The Huskies began the day as the only undefeated team in the Pac-12 North and still head into next week’s rivalry game against Oregon with a chance to win the division. — Kyle Bonagura
The Hawkeyes climbed out of an early two-touchdown hole to reel off 35 consecutive points and finish with a two-touchdown victory. Iowa had only 28 yards after the first quarter, but rolled to 396 in the final three quarters. Spencer Petras threw three touchdowns, Tyler Goodson was just a hair short of 100 rushing yards and the defense didn’t give up any points in the second half until the reserves were in and the game was well out of reach. — Sam Khan Jr.
The stout Golden Hurricanes defense showed up again, keeping Navy out of the end zone to win a low-scoring affair. The Tulsa defense finished with five sacks and a whopping 12 tackles for loss. The win earned Tulsa a trip to the American Athletic Conference championship game and consecutive clashes with Cincinnati — Tulsa will play its regular-season finale against the Bearcats next week, then see them again on Dec. 19 in the AAC title game. — Sam Khan Jr.
After a sluggish start on offense, Florida cruised to yet another win over Tennessee, clinching a spot in the SEC championship game as the East Division champion. Kyle Trask delivered, throwing four touchdown passes for the seventh time this season to lead all FBS passers. He ended up with over 400 yards passing, becoming the first Florida quarterback with three 400-yard passing games in a single season. Maybe more encouraging is the way the Gators’ defense shut down the Vols for the majority of the game and played perhaps its best game on the defensive line. — Andrea Adelson
This was the first week Indiana played without starting quarterback Michael Penix Jr., and Jack Tuttle did exactly what he needed to do in his place. Tuttle didn’t turn the ball over and completed 13 of his 22 passes for 130 yards and two touchdowns. Indiana’s defense continued to be strong as it has been all season, forcing two turnovers. The Hoosiers have now beaten three ranked teams, the first time they’ve done that since 1945.
The Badgers have had a difficult season. They have had three canceled games due to the coronavirus, a 17-7 loss to Northwestern, and now another close loss to Indiana on Saturday. The Hoosiers’ defense never let the Badgers get into a flow on offense, and forced Wisconsin into a pair of turnovers. Wisconsin had a chance late, but Indiana made the bigger plays in the end. The Badgers are now 2-2 on the season, and will close out the season at Iowa. — Harry Lyles Jr.
No. 9 Iowa State 42, West Virginia 6
The Cyclones are in the Big 12 championship game for the first time in school history. That was decided early in their game on Saturday once Oklahoma State’s loss went final, but the Cyclones played like it was a must-win, dominating West Virginia. Brock Purdy was near perfect, Breece Hall was his usual productive self and the defense held the Mountaineers without a touchdown. Iowa State nearly doubled West Virginia in total yards. — Sam Khan Jr.
Despite forcing five turnovers, including a school-record three forced fumbles from Amen Ogbongbemiga, the Cowboys scored just six points off takeaways. Mike Gundy said the team is down six starters (including Chuba Hubbard) from the beginning of the season and is playing three freshmen on the offensive line. In a seven-point loss, OSU also missed an extra point and two field goals. The Cowboys were officially eliminated from the Big 12 race, a disappointing turn in a promising season that was hampered by injuries. — Dave Wilson
Playing without three starting offensive lineman and linebacker Tuf Borland, a three-time captain, Ohio State made quick work of Michigan State in its return to the field following a COVID-related cancellation. Quarterback Justin Fields was brilliant (199 pass yards, 104 rush yards, four total touchdowns), and running back Trey Sermon, a transfer from Oklahoma, had his best game as a Buckeye (112 yards, 64-yard touchdown). The Buckeyes led 28-0 at halftime, outgaining MSU 270-80, and overcame several errant snaps from center Harry Miller, a converted guard. A defense that struggled against Indiana’s passing attack recorded a touchdown by lineman Haskell Garrett and shut out the Spartans for 39:30. — Adam Rittenberg
A week after a frustratingly anemic offensive showing against LSU, the Aggies pushed Auburn around, rushing for 313 yards and controlling the clock for 38:00. Kellen Mond was efficient, going 18-for-23 for 196 yards and two touchdowns, and he ran for 60 more. He got the breaks, too, when a would-be interception bounced into Jalen Wydermyer‘s hands for a touchdown, a fortuitous twist in a game where the Aggies stopped a three-game losing streak to Auburn. All in all, it was a solid, physical performance for a team trying to make a playoff case. — Dave Wilson
The previously 7-0 Thundering Herd looked like a completely different football team in their loss to Rice at home. Quarterback Grant Wells threw five interceptions on the afternoon, something a Marshall quarterback hadn’t done since 1995 (Chad Pennington). Marshall became the third team with a record of 7-0 or better to lose by shutout to a team with a losing record, which hadn’t happened since 1961. It just wasn’t Marshall’s week. — Harry Lyles Jr.
The Ragin’ Cajuns played in what will probably be the most odd game of the weekend, beating App State for the first time Friday. The one thing you need to know from this game was Louisiana head coach Billy Napier taking a safety from his own 35-yard line to cut App State’s deficit to three because of three bad snaps from their long-snapper. It ended up working out, as the Mountaineers missed a game-tying field goal in the final seconds. — Harry Lyles Jr.
The Bulldogs wanted Saturday’s game against Vanderbilt. Coming off back-to-back wins, with JT Daniels settling in nicely at quarterback, it was going to be Senior Day, and athletic director Greg McGarity didn’t hide his frustration on Friday when it was announced that the game was postponed because of COVID-19 cases, contact tracing issues, injuries and opt-outs within the Commodores’ football program. Whether the game can be made up on the 19th is even a question. “If we’re playing the 19th, that’s great, but I think there’s some concern if that will be played,” McGarity said. “I know Vandy’s committed to play. I just hope it develops that way.” — Alex Scarborough
The BYU-Coastal Carolina game lived up to all the hype Saturday as the Chanticleers pulled it out against the Cougars, 22-17. How close was the contest between the two undefeated Group of 5 teams? This close:
— Ryan McGee (@ESPNMcGee) December 6, 2020
Tensions are high
Players are getting heated in the BYU-Coastal Carolina game.
Zach Wilson’s pass is intercepted by Derick Bush and both benches clear in reaction to excessive hits on Wilson away from the play.
Right at home
Well, the Oregon Duck finally got in the stadium. (Oregon’s playing on the road.)
finally watching football in autzen pic.twitter.com/980WoqYUcN
— The Duck (@TheOregonDuck) December 6, 2020
You hate to see it
Miles Marshall had an easy touchdown lined up, but he dropped the ball.
Indiana’s Miles Marshall finds himself wide-open for the easy touchdown, but he drops the ball.
He caught some major air
Flipping for a first down? Sure, why not.
Spencer Sanders gets airborne as he tries to hurdle a TCU defender and ends up flipping head over heels for the first down.
Johnson was amped up
The Buckeyes couldn’t help but hype up Larry Johnson after the Buckeyes beat Michigan State.
This is how you celebrate your first win as a head coach in a collegiate game 🔥🥳
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 5, 2020
And of course, LeBron James needed to chime in about the Ohio State win.
— LeBron James (@KingJames) December 5, 2020
If there’s anything you watch today, watch the Longhorns rally around Derek Kerstetter.
After going to the hospital to have his dislocated ankle worked on, Texas OL Derek Kerstetter made it back to the locker room to sing Texas Fight with his teammates postgame | @KVUE pic.twitter.com/nh0K2nquu7
— Jake García (@Jake_M_Garcia) December 5, 2020
Where did all his friends go?
What’s Big Bird doing all alone in the stands?
“This isn’t Sesame Street” https://t.co/brH1JT7He5
— SportsNation (@SportsNation) December 5, 2020
Nothing’s raining on Mizzou’s parade
Missouri beat Arkansas for the fifth time in a row, thanks to a game-winning field goal from Harrison Mevis, and its social team was more than ready to let these end-of-game tweets fly.
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) December 5, 2020
— Mizzou Football (@MizzouFootball) December 5, 2020
A team win
Cam Taylor-Britt celebrating Nebraska’s win over Purdue will put a smile on your face.
— Nebraska Huskers (@Huskers) December 5, 2020
Big-time plays from the Horned Frogs
These clutch moments from TCU helped the team secure a win over Oklahoma State. And it doesn’t get better than this 71-yard TD and a one-handed interception, just for the style points.
A 71-yard TD AND the 2 point conversion to take the lead🔥 pic.twitter.com/aLImPmWUue
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 5, 2020
What an interception for TCU to preserve the defensive stand. pic.twitter.com/3Prec0tl0X
— Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer) December 5, 2020
Are mullets actually in?
The Chanticleers are making the case the hair trend should come back, and their flow is sparking a creative name for this new-formed matchup with BYU.
— no context college football (@nocontextcfb) December 5, 2020
I love every single thing about the Coastal Carolina Chanticleers. pic.twitter.com/OhJTOEgxjS
— Meg (@hotmesshusker) December 5, 2020
“Catholics vs Convicts” t-shirts have been defeated…. pic.twitter.com/fJbfRiJu3y
— Matt Barrie (@MattBarrie) December 5, 2020
Whatever it takes
Because sometimes, a park is the only place you can get in a practice.
Stanford Football is practicing at the Downtown Bellevue Park
— WestCoastCFB (@WestCoastCFB) December 4, 2020
Do you even lift, bro?
Marvin Grant has clearly been getting his reps in.
— FOX College Football (@CFBONFOX) December 5, 2020
Nix has a few tricks up his sleeve
Bo Nix truly made an unthinkable escape to score this touchdown.
— ESPN College Football (@ESPNCFB) December 5, 2020
A little extra motivation
Missouri’s Nick Bolton wasn’t too happy about Arkansas claiming to have the “baddest dudes on the field.”
Lol @ the caption. See y’all Saturday. https://t.co/hFZcpKhAYO
— Nick Bolton (@_nickbolton2) December 3, 2020
As odd as it gets
Here’s how the Louisiana-App State game ended, and yeah, it was weird.
Louisiana survives a near-disastrous ending after a safety and Appalachian State kicker Chandler Staton’s miss on a potential tying field goal attempt.
East bound and down
After BYU and Coastal Carolina agreed on Thursday to play this weekend, the Cougars’ equipment truck had to make a mad dash, 2,200 miles from Provo, Utah to Conway, South Carolina. They drivers had to leave Wednesday night in case the game was scheduled, so they started a live-tweet cross-country journey with a joke that they were making a run for the border.
Just a quick run to Taco Bell… pic.twitter.com/RHKwxkwLvJ
— BYU Equipment (@byuequipment) December 3, 2020
And the end result:
Welcome to Conway, @byuequipment.
Hope the 🌮 are sitting right. pic.twitter.com/RBxgLfpTfb
— Coastal Carolina Athletics (@GoCCUsports) December 4, 2020
What a difference a year makes
Last year, during one of the greatest seasons in college football history, LSU had a massive celebration after beating Alabama in Tuscaloosa. This year, going into the rematch, the Tigers are 3-4. These clips might have gotten some run in film rooms this week for Alabama.
They acted a fool in Tuscaloosa last year lmao pic.twitter.com/dOLipuGvq3
— Beer Bryant 616 (@DontrellChillis) December 4, 2020
The sickest of edits
In the social media wars, Texas A&M’s 12th man has been spotted flying high above a canyon to take down an eagle before the Aggies’ big game against Auburn. It has been a theme all season long for the graphics team in College Station.
Don’t get to thinking that you’re special, Auburn. We do a cringe-y game poster for everyone. pic.twitter.com/p5lmtLoFh5
— Robert Behrens (@rcb05) December 4, 2020
Back to the couch for Bob
Former Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops was back on the sideline this week in practice due to a coaching shortage from COVID-19 testing, but will be kicking back on Saturdays again after the Sooners had enough coaches back.
Due to the availability of some of the Oklahoma football team’s coaching staff members, Bob Stoops will not be participating in a coaching role during Saturday’s game vs. Baylor.
— Oklahoma Football (@OU_Football) December 4, 2020
Sign him up
Notre Dame is having one of its best seasons under Brian Kelly. This momentum has apparently filtered all the way to the Leprechaun.
The Notre Dame Leprechaun catches the ball with his foot and kicks it through the uprights.
Making dad proud
Mack Brown’s daughter, Katherine, went on Jeopardy! and, much like her father’s trip to California in ’06, she earned the crown.
So proud of her! https://t.co/QAn6DYxEZe
— Mack Brown (@CoachMackBrown) December 5, 2020
Sports, but make it fashion
Rutgers is wearing its “Black Knight” uniforms, complete with some carbon fiber chrome on the numbers.
Back in Black 🪓 pic.twitter.com/sCRwiw0qKv
— Rutgers.Football (@RFootball) December 3, 2020
Illinois is wearing a “Gray Ghost” honoring the Red Grange era.
— Illinois Football (@IlliniFootball) December 4, 2020
Clemson, meanwhile, arrived in style for its game at Virginia Tech.
The cold weather fits >>> pic.twitter.com/rpciQIb4dU
— Clemson Football (@ClemsonFB) December 4, 2020