football Edit

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

C.J. Stroud
C.J. Stroud (USA Today Sports Images)

The 2021 college football season is in full swing! Here are Mike Farrell's biggest takeaways from Week 11.

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THREE-POINT STANCE: Top offenses, perfect QB and RB, Big 12

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SPOIL THIS 

Purdue wasn't able to pull off another top-five upset this weekend, as Ohio State put up over 600 total yards en route to a 59-31 win. CJ Stroud had another big day as he makes a late-season Heisman push, going 31-for-38 for 361 yards and five touchdowns with zero turnovers. The Buckeyes are as dangerous a team as any in the country right now.

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ROAD COOKIN'

Tennessee became the first team to score against Georgia on an opening drive all season, but once the Dawgs settled in, it was smooth sailing for Kirby Smart's bunch. James Cook had the best game of his career, carrying the Dawgs' offense for much of the day - he had 104 rushing yards on only 10 carries, as well as three catches for 43 yards and three total touchdowns. UGA's defense was tested as much as it had been all season, and the Bulldogs still came away with a relatively easy win.

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KEEP RUNNING 

Michigan State had zero trouble with Maryland, and yet again, Kenneth Walker put up big numbers. The nation's top running back had 172 total yards and two touchdowns as the Spartans got the easy 40-21 win.

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PHIL IN THE BLANKS

Phil Jurkovec returned for Boston College last week, but the Eagles really had him back with the full playbook for the first time against Georgia Tech on Saturday. He responded by throwing for 310 yards on only 20 attempts, and added 71 yards on the ground, scoring five total touchdowns. He linked up with his favorite target, Zay Flowers, for touchdowns of 39 and 48 yards, while his offensive line kept him clean, allowing zero sacks.

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Jonathan Garibay (46)
Jonathan Garibay (46) (USA Today Sports Images)

HEARTBREAKER

Iowa State battled back against Texas Tech after going down 28-7 in the second quarter, tying it at 38 with one minute left in the game. But the Red Raiders managed to win the game as time expired on a truly epic 62-yard field goal by Jonathan Garibay, effectively ending the Cyclones' chances of returning to the Big 12 title game.

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PICKETT FENCES

On Thursday night, Pitt survived a scare against North Carolina in overtime on the back of another huge performance by Kenny Pickett. The Heisman candidate threw for 346 yards and three scores, his seventh game with more than 300 yards this season. Pitt completely bottled up North Carolina's rushing attack, holding the Tar Heels to 88 yards on 38 carries.

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TAKE THE PLEDGER

Utah got all they could handle in Tucson, but were able to come out with a 38-29 win at Arizona. T.J. Pledger had another big game for the Utes, with 162 total yards and two touchdowns, while Cameron Rising added three touchdowns of his own.


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YOUTH MOVEMENT

With Chez Mellusi out with a season-ending injury, Wisconsin started 17-year-old true freshman running back Braelon Allen for what will certainly not be the last time. He rewarded them with 173 yards and three touchdowns against a hapless Northwestern team. It was Allen's sixth-consecutive 100-plus yard game, tying him for the school record by a freshman.

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UPSET SPECIAL

Baylor's defense gave Oklahoma fits all day, and they managed to hold the Sooners to 14 points and only 260 total yards in its upset. Baylor looked like the better team all game, and Oklahoma had no answer for the Bears' ground game, which racked up 296 yards and two scores. A huge win for Dave Aranda, and his coaching stock is going to soar even more.

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Caleb Williams (13)
Caleb Williams (13) (USA Today Sports Images)

1+1=0

Oklahoma quarterback Caleb Williams struggled mightily to move the ball for the Sooners, and he was benched in the third quarter for former starter Spencer Rattler. However, Rattler fared no better, going three-and-out on his first series, and failed to ignite the offense, and was replaced once again by Williams late in the fourth. On this day, the Sooners had zero quarterbacks.

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FAMOUS JAMESON

Alabama receiver Jameson Williams has been not only one of the top transfers in the country this season, but one of the best players at any position full stop. Against a completely overmatched New Mexico State team, Williams once again lit up the field, scoring three touchdowns and going for 158 yards on just six receptions. He's going to make a play for first-team All-American.


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HARD FOUGHT

Michigan went in to a hostile Happy Valley and came away with one heck of a win against an inspired Penn State team. This game was even in almost every way, but Cade McNamara played efficient football, and outside of a fumble was mistake free for the game. He finished with three touchdowns and 217 yards, and was aided by a great performance by Hassan Haskins, who ran for 156.


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PIRATE SWAG

Auburn ran out to an early lead in its battle with Mississippi State, and led 28-3 with six minutes left in the second quarter. But Mike Leach and the Bulldogs ran off 40 unanswered points, coming away with the victory in Jordan-Hare. Will Rogers yet again put up mind boggling passing numbers, going 44-for-55 for 415 yards and a school record six touchdowns.

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SEASON FROM HELL

Indiana started the year in the top-15, but with a rash of injuries and some tough breaks, the Hoosiers now sit at 2-8 overall and 0-7 in Big Ten play. The season's nadir has to be the team's 38-3 loss to Rutgers this weekend where the Hoosiers turned the ball over six times. Tom Allen isn't at risk of losing his job, but he's going to have a lot of work to do in the offseason.

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Dan Mullen
Dan Mullen (USA Today Sports Images)

DEFENSIVE QUESTIONS

Florida gave up a school-record 42 points in the first half on Saturday against... Samford? Yes, the FCS Samford Bulldogs, which came in to the game 4-5 had the Gators on the ropes, and were leading 42-35 at halftime. The Gators pulled away in the second half to win 70-52 on the back of Emory Jones' seven total touchdowns, but it was not a banner day for Florida, and at this point, Dan Mullen is on as hot a seat as anyone in the country.

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HOTTY TODDY DEFENSE?

Ole Miss has a defense? They sure played like it against Texas A&M holding the Aggies to 19 points and forcing some key turnovers as well as a pick-six. This was supposed to be a shootout but Ole Miss stuffed A&M at almost every turn.

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RUNNING ALIVE 

The Notre Dame running game is back in good form the last many weeks and that continued in a rout of Virginia. They rushed for 249 yards and completely dominated up front.

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DANGEROUS 

Oklahoma State’s offense is coming around thanks to better play from Spencer Sanders and a balanced attack in the air and on the ground. The Cowboys put up 63 against TCU and can easily make a case as the best team in the Big 12 with that head to head win over Baylor.


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NO BACKING DOWN

Wake Forest may have lost a chance at the playoff with the loss to North Carolina but the Demon Deacons rebounded with a huge win over NC State as the offense once again clicked. I’m telling you, Dave Clawson is quietly on the short list of some major programs.


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