Week 8 was a noisy one for college football fans. The playoff race was altered by yet another shocking top-10 upset and the landscape of both the Big Ten and Pac 12 were reshaped due to numerous key matchups. Here are the top five studs and duds from Week 8.
Stud: Justin Herbert
The Oregon Ducks were down by 14 points on the road against the rival Washington Huskies but managed to pull out a massive win thanks to a clutch performance by quarterback Justin Herbert. The star signal-caller tossed four touchdowns, including a game-winner to Jaylon Redd with 5:10 left in the game. The Ducks have been relying on their defense all season long, but they finally came up with a clutch offensive performance.
Dud: Jim Harbaugh
The Penn State Nittany Lions took care of business Saturday night with an exciting win over the Michigan Wolverines. There is a lot to like about what Penn State did on their annual whiteout night as they improved to 7-0, but when all is said and done, all eyes are on Michigan for their gut-wrenching loss.
Penn State’s defense, KJ Hamler, and Sean Clifford all had stud-worthy performances, but at the end of the day, this critical Big Ten showdown was yet another failure for Michigan head coach Jim Harbaugh. Harbaugh’s Wolverines are now out of the playoff conversation, and he is 1-10 against AP top 10-ranked teams throughout his Michigan tenure.
Stud: Utah’s Defense
In a critical showdown between two ranked teams in the Pac 12 South, the Utah Utes prevailed over the Arizona State Sun Devils thanks to a suffocating defensive performance. The Utes held Arizona State out of the end zone and under 150 total yards. Sun Devils quarterback Jayden Daniels has been riding high lately, but only completed four of his 18 passes four a total of 25 yards and an interception.
Dud: The Wisconsin Badgers
Last week, South Carolina shocked the nation with a massive upset win over Georgia. This week, it was Illinois’ turn to shock the country with an upset win over No. 6 Wisconsin. The Badgers looked like a playoff team through the first weeks of the season, but they got caught looking ahead to their matchup with Ohio State.
Illini quarterback Brandon Peters only completed nine of his 21 passes and the team did not have a 100-yard rusher, but they somehow managed to put 24 points on Wisconsin’s defense and finally get Lovie Smith his signature win.
Stud: JaMycal Hasty
The Baylor Bears are off to a 7-0 start thanks to a dominant performance by running back JaMycal Hasty. The star running back rushed for 146 yards on 16 carries and caught three passes for 66 yards. He scored two touchdowns and powered the Bears to a big win over the Oklahoma State Cowboys.
Dud: The California Golden Bears
The California Golden Bears had a promising season in the works that’s completely spiraled out of control over the last few weeks. They reached a new low in Week 8 with a shocking loss at home to the Oregon State Beavers.
Stud: Jalen Hurts
Another week, another Heisman-level performance for Oklahoma quarterback Jalen Hurts. He was responsible for five of the team’s touchdowns, threw for 316 yards in the air, and ran for another 75 on the ground. The Sooners piled up 52 points and blew out the West Virginia Mountaineers.
Dud: The Missouri Tigers
The Missouri Tigers finally broke back into the AP Top 25…only to be upset by Vanderbilt. Kelly Bryant made some nice plays with his feet but wasn’t able to do enough through the air as the Tigers offense was held to 14 points. The Commodores offense wasn’t much better, but they were at least able to find the end zone in the fourth quarter.
Stud: The New Overtime Rules
Virginia Tech and North Carolina gave fans a six-overtime thriller that allowed us to finally witness college football’s new overtime rules. After seeing them in action, the new rules were definitely a good decision.
After the fourth overtime, the game sees both teams attempt pairs of two-point conversions until one team gets it and the other doesn’t. It functions very similar to the shootout rules of hockey and soccer. Virginia Tech prevailed in the sixth overtime period (second set of two-point conversions) with a walk-off run by Quincy Patterson and it was a ton of fun to watch.
Dud: ACC Officiating
Syracuse attempted a major comeback against the Pitt Panthers, but their comeback bid was soundly halted due to multiple incorrect calls from the officials. Numerous clock stoppages with players staying inbounds were ugly enough, but the referees overturned a clear fumble by Pitt running back Vincent Davis.
It was ruled a fumble on the field and no replay angle showed any shot of the ball. Regardless, the ACC crew shockingly overturned the fumble and allowed Pitt to run out of the clock.