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NCAAF Week 8: Five things we learned

Week 8 of the college football season surely was an exciting one. Will this week's results be an accurate preview of what's to come this season?

Michigan’s struggles continue

Another week goes by, and the Wolverines put on yet another underwhelming performance, as they lost their second game of the season to their conference rival, the No. 2 ranked Penn State Nittany Lions. 

Michigan’s defense has bailed them out of numerous games this season, but this was not the case this past Saturday. The defense genuinely struggled, allowing the Nittany Lions to score 42 points and record a whopping 506 yards of total offense. 

The Wolverines’ offense did not fare any better and continued their weekly trend of disappointing performances. Quarterback John O’Korn was mediocre, to put it kindly, finishing the contest with 166 passing yards and a QBR of 33.1. The running game was pretty much non-existent as well, with the Wolverines’ rushing attack gaining just 103 yards on 42 carries, good for an embarrassingly low 2.5 yards per carry. After ending last year on a high note and being considered one of the country’s top teams, the Wolverines have disappointed this year, largely due to many key contributors from last year’s team making the jump to the NFL.

Penn State continues their surge to the top

After their monster 42-13 victory over the Michigan Wolverines, it is safe to say that the Penn State Nittany Lions are legit and will challenge the Alabama Crimson Tide for the top spot in the rankings. The Wolverines’ strong defense was simply no match for Penn State’s explosive offense.

The Nittany Lions compiled 282 passing yards and 204 rushing yards, good for 506 yards of total offense. Quarterback Trace McSorley was dominant once again, completing 17 of his 26 passes for 282 yards, a touchdown, and an interception, good for an 83.4 QBR. He also added 76 rushing yards and three rushing touchdowns on just 11 carries. Running back Saquon Barkley was a major contributor as well, finishing with 108 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 15 carries.

Penn State’s defense was equally as impressive, holding the Wolverines to just 13 points and 269 total offensive yards. The Nittany Lions have officially cemented their spot as one of the country’s top teams and will definitely compete for a national championship in the College Football Playoff.

TCU stays hot

TCU has been one of the most surprising teams in college football this season, as they jumped all the way to the No. 4 ranking and remain undefeated after their 43-0 blowout over Kansas. The Horned Frogs are now 7-0 and looking to secure a spot in the College Football Playoff.

The Horned Frogs’ offense was spectacular on Saturday, as they finished with 475 total yards. Quarterback Kenny Hill was dominant, completing 19 of his 26 pass attempts for 278 yards and five touchdowns, good for a 96.6 QBR.

TCU’s defense put on an even more incredible performance, as they did not allow the Jayhawks to score a single point and held Kansas’ offense to just 21 total yards all game. To put it bluntly, the Horned Frogs flat-out embarrassed the Jayhawks and will continue to make opposing teams look silly all season long, as they chase a national championship title.

Another disappointing performance from USC

Sam Darnold and the USC Trojans continued to disappoint as they were blown out by the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in a 49-13 loss. Darnold and the Trojans’ offense were simply no match for a talented Notre Dame defense.

USC’s offense genuinely struggled on Saturday, finishing the contest with just 336 total yards of offense. The running game simply ceased to exist, as the Trojans gained just 76 yards on 31 carries, with leading rusher Ronald Jones II finishing with 32 yards on 12 carries. Darnold and the passing attack did not fare much better, as Darnold threw for 228 yards, two touchdowns, and an interception, and was replaced by Matt Fink late in the game.

The Trojans’ defense had their fair share of struggles as well, allowing the Fighting Irish to score 49 points and compile 497 total offensive yards. The Trojans have not lived up to expectations this season and Darnold, who has been labeled by many college football experts as the best quarterback in the country, certainly has not lived up to that title.

Baylor has officially hit rock bottom

The Baylor Bears’ rocky season continued to get worse, as the Bears were defeated by the West Virginia Mountaineers 38-36 in an extremely close matchup. The Bears have now dropped to 0-7 and hit rock bottom in Matt Rhule’s disappointing inaugural season as Baylor’s head coach.

Baylor’s offense actually put on a solid performance, scoring 36 points and finishing with 497 total yards, but it was not enough thanks to Will Grier and the talented West Virginia offense. The Bears’ defense did not manage to help out the offense, as they were no match for Will Grier and the Mountaineers’ passing attack.

Things have continued to get progressively worse in Waco ever since the sexual assault scandal and the firing of Art Briles last season. Matt Rhule has struggled in his first season as head coach, but this Baylor team has stayed competitive in games and should improve next season.

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Justin Boguslavsky

Columbia University student, NFL and NCAAF writer, die hard Philly sports fan #FlyEaglesFly

Hot takes are my specialty

NCAAF Week 8: Five things we learned

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