NCAA football Week 11 recap
The GIST: While college football’s four undefeated teams kept their zero-loss crowns through Week 11, other squads across the NCAA chose chaos. Here are the upsets and victories that turned the gridiron upside down on Saturday.
History…not repeating itself: For the first time since October 2019, the Vanderbilt Commodores nabbed a conference W. Thanks to a game-winning touchdown (TD) by wide receiver (WR) Will Sheppard with just 32 seconds remaining, Vandy shocked Kentucky 24–21, snapping the Commodores’ 26-game SEC losing streak along the way.
- Following a bleak 10-50 record over the last six seasons, the UConn Huskies are now bowl-eligible after notching their first Top 25 win since 2015 when they beat then–No. 19 Liberty 36–33 this weekend. Out of the doghouse at last.
A Pac-12 implosion: Hug a Pac-12 fan today — two of the conference’s three possible postseason squads fell on Saturday, leaving No. 7 USC as the lone western team in the CFP conversation. Unranked Arizona shocked the now–No. 16 UCLA Bruins 34–28 for the Bruins’ second loss of the season.
- Also falling from playoff grace? Now–No. 12 Oregon, who, despite posting nearly 600 yards (!!!) of offense, fell 37–34 to the No. 15 Washington Huskies because of a dramatic late turnover and penalty. Woof.
Low blows: There are teams fighting for CFP contention, and then there are teams battling for “not the worst.” The latter rages on in the Big Ten West as Purdue took down then–No. 21 Illinois 31–24 on Saturday, tying three other teams atop the dismal division, all four of which have 4-3 conference records. Yikes.
- Scraping the bottom of the SEC West barrel is Texas A&M, whose first seven second-half drives yielded just five yards of forward progress in their 13–10 loss to Auburn. HC Jimbo Fisher needs to relinquish play-calling…and maybe his job.
Overcoming odds: Despite the chaos, some players said they could still make the whole place shimmer. Carlton Martial, a sixth-year senior linebacker for Troy, made NCAA history on Saturday by setting the career tackles record at a whopping 547. The 5’9”, 210 lb. Martial clearly polished up real nice since his freshman walk-on days. Talk about determination.
- But the best moment of the weekend? No. 2 Ohio State’s Kamryn Babb’s first TD celebration. After a career riddled with injury, the fifth-year WR emotionally knelt in the Buckeyes’ endzone surrounded by his teammates. Who’s cutting onions?