0 of 6
Butch Dill/Associated Press
While the college football world awaits the prime-time showdown between No. 2 Alabama and No. 3 Georgia, Gus Malzahn and Jeremy Pruitt have some ‘splaining to do.
In an otherwise quiet Week 7, losses by Auburn and Tennessee are the biggest stories of Saturday’s action. Top-ranked Clemson enjoyed a massive offensive performance, and every other Top 25 team added a notch in the win column.
Granted, part of the reason it was a slow weekend is because of six postponed games. That group included Top 10 teams Oklahoma State, Cincinnati and Florida.
But it also provided a little more attention for a trio of undefeated teams that earned a victory Wednesday or Friday.
1 of 6
Paul Kieu/Associated Press
Next stop: Top 25?
As seven-point road underdogs, Coastal Carolina earned a 30-27 victory over No. 21 Louisiana. Massimo Biscardi drilled a 40-yard field goal with four seconds left in the game to give the 4-0 Chanticleers their first-ever triumph over a ranked opponent.
“We’ve never been in this position before,” head coach Jamey Chadwell said, per Kris Rhim of the Knoxville News Sentinel. “For us to be able to come out with a victory, in a Wednesday night game on national television, there’s tons of excitement here.”
That’s not all, however.
Coastal Carolina entered Week 7 with the seventh-most points in the “others receiving votes” section of the AP Top 25. The program has never been ranked, but that’s likely to change Sunday.
2 of 6
Eric Christian Smith/Associated Press
No. 14 BYU and No. 17 SMU both hit the road Friday holding 4-0 records, and both teams trailed in the fourth quarter.
But neither one has a blemish on the record.
During the last 16 minutes, Zach Wilson tossed three touchdowns to help BYU overcome a 26-14 deficit at Houston. Wilson accounted for 440 total yards and four scores, while running back Tyler Allgeier scampered in for a late touchdown in the 43-26 win.
SMU trailed 31-27 early in the fourth quarter and ultimately needed overtime to escape Tulane. Mustangs cornerback Brandon Crossley, though, snagged a huge interception in the extra session. Chris Naggar drilled a 34-yard field goal on the next drive to give SMU a 37-34 victory.
Next up for BYU is Texas State, while SMU hosts Cincinnati in a prime-time battle of Top 20 teams.
3 of 6
Sean Rayford/Associated Press
After putting a scare into Georgia last weekend, Tennessee had an absolutely disastrous game against Kentucky.
Jarrett Guarantano threw pick-sixes on consecutive drives, leading to the Vols benching the longtime starter. His replacement, J.T. Shrout, promptly tossed an interception on his first attempt. In a span of six minutes, the score went from 0-0 to 17-0 Kentucky.
Guarantano checked back in, and Tennessee rode running back Eric Gray to a touchdown from fellow back Ty Chandler. But that 14-play possession comprised the Vols’ scoring in a 34-7 beatdown.
In the last six quarters, opponents have outscored Jeremy Pruitt’s team 61-7. Oh, and Alabama is next. Any optimism about Tennessee after a six-game winning streak to finish 2019 has vanished.
4 of 6
This roster is ridiculous.
Following a 42-17 blowout of Miami, Clemson shattered the box score again. Trevor Lawrence threw for 404 yards and five scores in a 73-7 laugher at Georgia Tech. The junior tossed his first interception of 2020 but responded with five straight touchdown drives. Overall, the Tigers racked up 671 yards of offense.
And after surrendering a 59-yard touchdown, the first-string defense recorded nearly as many takeaways (three) as yards allowed (five) during Tech’s next six possessions.
According to Clemson, the 73-point day is the program’s highest road total in a game since 1915.
Can we just fast-forward to Nov. 7 when Clemson takes on fourth-ranked Notre Dame? The rest of the ACC just cannot compare to Dabo Swinney‘s team right now.
5 of 6
Butch Dill/Associated Press
Gus Malzahn is officially on the hot seat again. Quarterback Bo Nix continues to struggle. Auburn is 2-2 and a blown call from 1-3.
And now, the Tigers are tumbling out of the Top 25.
While a few drops certainly didn’t help, Nix had three interceptions in the 30-22 loss at South Carolina. Those turnovers led to 21 points for the Gamecocks, who stopped Auburn’s last-minute drive in the red zone and left Malzahn searching for answers.
“It could just be that it’s Game 4 and we didn’t go through spring,” he said of the offense’s inconsistency, per Justin Ferguson of the Auburn Observer. “I don’t know.”
If the Tigers don’t figure out a solution, Nix could get benched. And Malzahn might need a new job in 2021.
6 of 6
Rogelio V. Solis/Associated Press
Apparently, it’s “Pile on the SEC Day.” Tennessee looked awful, Auburn played badly, and Mississippi State is perhaps the worst team in the conference.
For the Bulldogs, the tone has changed dramatically since upsetting LSU. In that victory, they racked up 8.3 yards per snap and 44 points. During the last three contests—including the 28-14 loss to Texas A&M—the offense has mustered 4.0 yards per play and a total of 30 points.
Saturday’s issues led Mike Leach to bench K.J. Costello, who tossed his 10th interception of the season and lost a fumble. The offensive line was ineffective. Star running back Kylin Hill was suddenly unavailable too, reportedly due to a team suspension, per 247Sports’ David H. Murray.
Leach’s vaunted system is a nightmare right now.
Mississippi State has an open weekend to begin addressing these issues, but a promising future has become a dreadful reality. Heading to Alabama in two weeks probably won’t help, either.