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The Farrell Awards: Handing out hardware after another week in CFB

Bryce Young
Bryce Young (USA Today Sports Images)

The 2021 college football season is in full swing! Here are Mike Farrell's biggest takeaways from Week 10.

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BAD FOR THE RESUME 

LSU gave Alabama all it could handle in Bryant-Denney Stadium, and had multiple chances near the end of the game to potentially pull off the upset. The Bayou Bengals held the Tide's run game in check, allowing only six rushing yards on 26 attempts, but couldn't get much of anything going on offense. This doesn’t bode well for Alabama remaining No. 2 in the College Football Playoff rankings.


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UPSET KINGS

For the second time this season, Purdue knocked off an undefeated top-five team, this time taking out Michigan State, 40-29. The Spartans really missed the big play ability of wide receiver Jalen Nailor, who was out due to injury. On the flip side, Purdue stuck with one quarterback for the whole game, and it paid off, with Aidan O'Connell lighting it up to the tune of 536 yards and three touchdowns. David Bell having another 200-plus yard performance certainly helped as well.

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WINNING UGLY

Cincinnati knows that it needs some style points if it is going to move up in the playoff rankings, but the Bearcats did themselves no favors against Tulsa. With College Gameday in town, they were expected to put on a show, but instead struggled with the 3-6 Golden Hurricane. Desmond Ridder struggled with two turnovers, and the Cincinnati rushing attack never really got going. The Bearcats got the 28-20 victory, but that's not going to do a whole lot to sway the committee.

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SHUTDOWN DEFENSE 

The biggest reason that Oklahoma State has had such a strong season this year is not its offense, but its defense. That was out in full force in Morgantown on Saturday. The Cowboys held West Virginia to 133 total yards - a hair over two yards per play. It didn't matter what the Mountaineers tried to do, the Cowboys were two steps ahead of them all day.

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SHUTDOWN DEFENSE II

Michigan held Indiana to less than four yards per pass attempt and rushing attempt in a dominating defensive performance which was key coming off the loss to Michigan State.

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Chandler Morris
Chandler Morris (USA Today Sports Images)

THAT NEW COACH SMELL

TCU, in a somewhat surprising move, fired Gary Patterson last week and the Horned Frogs had the tall task of taking on a ranked Baylor squad this week. Interim coach Jerry Kill led the Horned Frogs to their biggest win of the season, letting Chandler Morris air it out for 461 yards and three total touchdowns. The Bears had no answer for Quentin Johnston, who had another big day with 142 yards receiving.

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NO BO

Bo Nix had been having a nice string of quality play heading into the weekend's biggest matchup. But Texas A&M made him look like the QB that Auburn fans have been complaining about for the past two seasons. Nix completed fewer than 50 percent of his passes and turned the ball over twice while the running game struggled to really get anything steady going against a stout Aggies defense. In fact, the Auburn defense was responsible for the only touchdown of the game - a scoop and score by Michael Clemons on a Nix fumble.

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DEFENSE OPTIONAL

Kentucky and Tennessee had a shootout in Knoxville, combining for nearly 1,100 yards and 89 points. The Wildcats managed over 600 yards by themselves, and dominated time of possession (46:00 - 14:00), and still managed to come up short. Tennessee's offense has started clicking at the right time, and Josh Heupel is proving that he might have been the right choice after all.

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FEAR THE LEAR(Y)

For the second consecutive week, NC State quarterback Devin Leary diced up the opposing defense. This time it was against Florida State, where he went for 314 yards and four scores, leading the Wolfpack to the easy 28-14 win.

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Jahan Dotson
Jahan Dotson (USA Today Sports Images)

RECORD BREAKER

The Maryland defense was no match for Penn State receiver Jahan Dotson, who shredded them for a school record 242 yards on 11 catches, scoring three touchdowns in the process. He's got a pretty strong claim to being the best receiver in the country right now and is moving to the top of the NFL Draft charts.

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OFFENSIVE WORRY

Texas could not get anything going offensively against Iowa State, averaging 3.3 yards per play on the day, and only scoring seven points. Iowa State dominated the line of scrimmage, and Breece Hall had another strong day for the Cyclones, who easily took down the Longhorns. I said don’t worry about the Texas offense this week but maybe we should?

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DYE CAST

Travis Dye continues to be one of the strongest backs in America, and he single-handedly took down Washington in a rainy affair in Seattle. Dye ran for 211 yards and a score as Oregon put up 329 as a team on the ground.


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CONTINUED DOMINANCE

Georgia continued to roll on Saturday, holding Missouri to four yards per play and six points. Stetson Bennett and JT Daniels combined for 337 yards and 11.7 yards per attempt, as UGA keeps marching forward as the clear No. 1 team in the country.


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TOO CLOSE FOR COMFORT

Ohio State should have been able to completely dominate Nebraska, even without Garrett Wilson, but that wasn't the case. Some sloppy play from both teams kept things close, but Jaxon Smith-Njigba bailed out the Buckeyes, setting a school record for receiving yards in a conference game with 240.

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Sam Hartman
Sam Hartman (USA Today Sports Images)

NO PLAYOFFS THIS YEAR

With Wake Forest losing a barn burner to North Carolina, 58-55, the ACC can officially be counted out of the College Football Playoff conversation this season. The Tar Heels finally found their rushing attack, going for 330 as a team behind Ty Chandler (213 yards) and Sam Howell (104). Despite another monster day for Sam Hartman and the receiver duo of Jaquarii Roberson and A.T. Perry, the Demon Deacons just couldn't do enough to slow down North Carolina in the second half.

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BAD DAY TO HAVE A BAD DAY

The matchup between Liberty and Ole Miss was touted as having the top two quarterback prospects for next year's draft facing off. So while Matt Corral came out and played a highly efficient game, going 20-for-27 for 324 yards, Malik Willis had one of the worst games of his career. Willis went 16-for-25 for only 173 yards and had three picks. The Rebels spoiled Hugh Freeze's homecoming and won the game easily.

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WHEELS COMING OFF

Minnesota came into the weekend atop the Big Ten West, and with a home game against lowly Illinois, pretty much everyone expected it to be that way still come Sunday. Well, Bret Bielema's squad had other ideas and completely outplayed Minnesota, especially up front, dominating the line of scrimmage en route to a 14-6 upset. They held the Gophers to 2.5 yards per carry, and forced Tanner Morgan into a lot of tough spots.

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BIG STATS ENERGY

While Pitt may be out of the playoff picture, Kenny Pickett has continued to put up absolute monster numbers. He went over 400 yards for the third time this season, and had four total touchdowns against the completely overmatched Duke Blue Devils.


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Deuce Vaughn
Deuce Vaughn (USA Today Sports Images)

DEUCES

Kansas State's offense really goes as Deuce Vaughn goes, and he had quite the day against in-state rival Kansas. Vaughn had 162 yards on the ground and three touchdowns on only 11 carries, while adding six catches for 70 yards as the Wildcats rolled 35-10 over the hapless Jayhawks.

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SHEER DOMINANCE

The weekend began with an unbelievably lopsided contest between Utah and Stanford, where the Utes ran out to a 38-0 halftime lead and won 52-7. Utah had three running backs over 100 yards, and ran up 441 as a team. How this Stanford team managed to beat Oregon is completely beyond me.

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