College Football on Sling: Alabama and Washington Look to Stay Undefeated

Nov 11, 2016 by Sling Staff

After all the talk last week of 7-1 Texas A&M leapfrogging 8-0 Washington to lay claim to the #4 spot in the College Football Playoff Rankings, the Aggies went and coughed one up against Mississippi State, losing 35-28 and effectively knocking themselves out of contention. The Huskies, meanwhile, took care of business, crushing Cal 66-27, with Jake Browning completing 19 of 28 for 378 yards and 6 TDs. With Texas A&M’s loss and Washington’s win, as well as wins for Alabama, Clemson and Michigan, order has been restored to the universe, as all four teams atop the CFP rankings are 9-0.

Mississippi State (4-5) vs #1 Alabama (9-0)
Noon ET Saturday on ESPN

Can the Mississippi State Bulldogs slay Goliath for a second week in a row? It seems impossible that just a week after giving up 41 points and more than 600 yards to Samford, the Bulldogs would be able to stop Texas A&M, but they did, building a 28-7 lead in the second quarter, and making it stand up for a 35-28 win that was only that close because of an Aggie TD with a minute-33 to play. The Bulldogs did it by rushing the ball 58 times for 365 yards and 3 TDs, with Aeris Williams getting 24 carries for 140 yards, and QB NIck Fitzgerald going 20/182, including a 74-yard TD on the Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage.

Alabama survived a scare of their own last week, eeking out a 10-0 win over then #15 LSU, not scoring until the fourth quarter. But even in a game that close, the ‘Bama D was devastating, holding the Tigers to just 125 total yards from scrimmage, LSU’s lowest total in two years. Crimson Tide freshman QB Jalen Hurts was well short of awesome, connecting on just 10 of 19 for 107 yards and an interception, though he did pick up 114 yards on 20 carries. But even if Hurt has another off day, the idea that the Tide would give up anywhere near 365 yards borders on preposterous, given that it’s more rushing yards than they’ve surrendered in their last five games combined.

USC (6-3) vs #4 Washington (9-0)
7:30pm ET FOX

Among the 9-0 teams atop the CFP rankings, no one is facing a tougher opponent this weekend than the Washington Huskies, who are hosting the USC Trojans. The Trojans last week put a 45-20 thumping on Oregon, as QB Sam Dornald completed 28 of 40 for 309 yards and 2 TDs, but it was Ronald Jones who led the charge with 20 carries for 171 yards and 4 touchdowns, on a day when USC doubled up Oregon on yardage 579 to 288. USC lost 3 of its first 4 games, falling to Alabama, Stanford, and Utah, but have since won 5 straight by an average score of 40-19.

The Huskies buried Cal last week, 66-27, finally convincing the powers that be that they are playoff worthy. After Browning’s big day, he’s completed 149 of 220 (67.7%) for 2,273 yards and 34 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions for a 202.8 rating. Shockingly, Browning’s just the third-highest rated passer on his own team, as backup KJ Carta-Samuels has hit on 9 of 13 for 104 yards, 3 TDs and 0 INTs for a rating of 212.6, and wide receiver Dante Pettis completed his lone pass of the year for a 39-yard TD and a rating of 757.6. The Trojans better hope Browning stays healthy. And don’t sleep on Washington’s ground game, which is nearly as potent, rolling up 2,079 yards and 17 TDs, led by Myles Gaskin at 952 and 8. Their defense is no joke, either, holding opponents to 17 points and 330 yards on average, while forcing 2.4 turnovers a game. Last week these guys were dismissed as “the Ken Bone of college football” because of their out-of-conference schedule – but maybe they’re legit.


#17 North Carolina (7-2) vs Duke (3-6)
7:30pm ET on ESPN

#15 Utah (7-2) vs Arizona State (5-4)
9:30pm ET on FS1


Boston College (4-5) vs #18 Florida State (6-3)
7:30pm ET on ESPN2


Baylor (6-2) vs #11 Oklahoma (7-2)
Noon ET on ABC/ESPN2

Mississippi State (4-5) vs #1 Alabama (9-0)
Noon ET on ESPN

#10 Penn State (7-2) vs Indiana (5-4)
Noon ET on ABC/ESPN2

Illinois (3-6) vs #7 Wisconsin (7-2)
3:30pm ET on ESPN2

#5 Ohio State (8-1) vs Maryland (5-4)
3:30pm ET on ESPN

Texas Tech (4-5) vs #13 Oklahoma State (7-2)
3:30pm ET on FS1

Pitt (5-4) vs #2 Clemson (9-0)
3:30pm ET on ABC

Georgia Tech (5-4) vs #14 Virginia Tech (7-2)
3:30pm ET on ESPNU

Wake Forest (6-3) vs #6 Louisville (8-1)
7pm ET on ESPN2

#24 LSU (5-3) vs #25 Arkansas (6-3)
7pm ET on ESPN

Ole Miss (4-5) vs #8 Texas A&M (7-2)
7:30pm ET on SEC Network

#20 USC (6-3) vs #4 Washington (9-0)
7:30pm ET FOX

#3 Michigan (9-0) vs Iowa (5-4)
8pm ET on ABC

#12 Colorado (7-2) vs Arizona (2-7)
10pm ET on FS1

Cal (4-5) vs #23 Washington State (7-2)
10:30pm ET on ESPN

Watch college football on ESPN and ESPN2 by subscribing to Sling Orange, on ESPNU and SEC Network by subscribing to Sling Orange’s Sports Extra, on ABC by subscribing to Sling Orange’s Broadcast Extra, and on FS1 and FOX by subscribing to Sling Blue

All stats courtesy ESPN and Sports Reference CFB.

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