Stanford quarterback K.J. Costello watched as his overtime pass tumble in midair for an agonizing moment after it was tipped by tight end Colby Parkinson.
“I saw the ball go in the air, held my breath, and then for Colby to come down with it was pretty awesome,” said Costello, who threw for 327 yards and three touchdowns.
It was the last scoring pass, the 23-yarder that Parkinson tipped to himself in the end zone, that completed No. 7 Stanford’s 38-31 comeback victory over No. 20 Oregon on Saturday night.
After Costello’s TD pass to Parkinson, Stanford’s Alameen Murphy intercepted Oregon quarterback Justin Herbert’s pass in the end zone for the victory.
Bryce Love returned after sitting out last week against UC Davis to rest minor injuries. He ran for 89 yards and a touchdown as Stanford remained undefeated with another tough test against No. 8 Notre Dame looming next week.
Costello said the turning point for the Cardinal came in the third quarter, when Oregon had a touchdown overturned that would have pushed the Ducks’ lead to 30-7, and Stanford linebacker Joey Alfieri scooped up a fumble that he ran back 80 yards for a touchdown.
“This game was pretty awesome. It was one of the coolest games I’ve been a part of in terms of highs and lows, and really just staying steady throughout the entire night,” Costello said.
Love’s 22-yard scoring run late in the third quarter cut Oregon’s lead to 24-21, but Cyrus Habibi-Likio scored on a 1-yard run for the Ducks with 4:39 left.
In the final minutes of regulation, Stanford answered with Costello’s 15-yard TD pass to JJ Arcega-Whiteside to narrow it again before Sean Barton recovered CJ Verdell’s fumble on the Stanford 40 with 51 seconds left. Jet Toner hit a 32-yard field to tie it and send the game into overtime.
Herbert threw for 346 yards and a touchdown while receiver Dillon Mitchell caught 14 passes for 239 yards in Oregon’s first real challenge of the season after nonconference wins over Bowling Green, Portland State and San Jose State.
“Unfortunately we kind of shot ourselves in the foot a couple of times and we did everything we could to just give Stanford the game,” Herbert said.
Oregon came out with a collective tenacity that it hadn’t really shown this season. The Ducks’ first series was capped by Tony Brooks-James’ 7-yard touchdown run. Herbert got Oregon downfield with a 53-yard pass to Mitchell.
The Ducks went up 14-0 on Herbert’s 7-yard pass to Jacob Breeland to open the second quarter.
Arcega-Whiteside scored on a 13-yard pass from Costello for his sixth TD reception of the season. He was tied at third nationally for touchdown catches going into the game.
Oregon answered on the next drive with Verdell’s 48-yard scoring run to go up 21-7. The Ducks added a 38-yard field goal from Adam Stack and ran off the field for halftime celebrating the dominant performance by dancing and waving towels.
The momentum shifted late in the third quarter on Alfieri’s fumble return after Jaylon Redd’s 16-yard touchdown run for Oregon was overturned. Replays, however, appeared to show that Redd remained inbounds.
“We do this drill every Monday in fundamental rotation, the scoop and score drill,” Alfieri said. “We practice it every week. So I was just putting the drill to the field and it worked out pretty well.”
The Pac-12 North is crowded right now with three ranked teams. Joining Stanford and Oregon is No. 10 Washington. Looking ahead, Oregon has Washington at Autzen on Oct. 13, while the Huskies host the Cardinal on Nov. 3.
Stanford also won the last two meetings with the Ducks, including last year’s 49-7 victory in Palo Alto. Love, who was a Heisman finalist, ran for a pair of touchdowns within the first five minutes of the last meeting and finished with 147 yards. But Oregon was missing Herbert, who had a broken collarbone.
“We had an opportunity against the No. 7 team in the country and had some really, really good moments, we just have to be more consistent,” Oregon coach Mario Cristobal said.
Stanford: Arcega-Whiteside became the fifth Stanford player with 20 career touchdown catches. He’s tied for fourth on Stanford’s career list. … Stanford’s defense went into the game allowing an average of just 7.7 points a game, tops in the nation.
Oregon: It was Dillon Mitchell’s third career game with more than 100 receiving yards. … Former Ducks LaMichael James and Kenjon Barner were among the former players at the game. Former basketball players Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell were also in the crowd, with current Oregon coach Dana Altman.
BEST EVER? Stanford coach David Shaw was asked if the game was the best of his career.
“It’s hard to say, because my career’s not over, unless you’ve heard something I haven’t heard,” Shaw laughed. “I don’t know. I don’t know. I’m looking forward to next week. I’ll be honest with you: It didn’t surprise me because in the second half we played like we’re capable of playing.”
DECISION: Afterward, Cristobal was asked why Oregon elected to run on second-and-2 in the final minute of regulation rather than taking a knee on consecutive plays. Verdell fumbled, which set up Stanford’s game-tying drive.
“We felt pretty good about the run game,” he said. “We just needed one more to get a first down and close out the game.”
It doesn’t get any easier for Stanford, which visits No, 8 Notre Dame next weekend. The Fighting Irish defeated Wake Forest 56-27 on Saturday
The Ducks play at California next weekend, their first road trip of the season after opening with four straight games at Autzen.
No. 5 LSU Takes Down No. 7 Florida in SEC Showdown
The game of the week was played late in the schedule on Saturday night, as two top-10 ranked teams squared off in an SEC showdown.
Louisiana State University came in as the favorite as they were home team and were ranked two spots ahead of the No. 5 ranked University of Florida.
Both teams were undefeated though and it really could have been anyone’s game. In the end, LSU was able to pull away and deliver Florida it’s first loss of the season.
The first half was back-and-forth, as the Gators hung in there with the Tigers standout offense.
With only nine seconds left on the clock, the Gators were able to score a touchdown to tie up the game before the start of the second half.
The Gators then got the ball at the start of the third quarter and scored another touchdown to secure their first lead of the contest.
LSU’s offense could not be contained though, as the Tigers would score on their next two drives and take the lead for good.
The Tigers ended up scoring 42 points altogether, continuing to show that they have one of the most dynamic offenses in the country behind senior quarterback Joe Burrow.
Burrow has become a Heisman candidate in his second season with LSU and this game was just the latest addition to his case. Burrow completed 21 of his 24 passes against Florida for 293 yards and three touchdowns.
On the season, Burrow is completing 80% of his passes for 2,157 yards. He also has a ridiculous touchdown to interception rate, with 25 scores compared to just three picks.
With No. 3 Georgia’s shocking loss this weekend, Burrow’s Tigers should easily crack the top-five in the next CFP rankings (if not higher), as their resume is up there with any team in the sport.
The Tigers get a little bit of a break next week, playing the unranked Mississippi State, but their schedule once again ramps up from there.
LSU will then play the Auburn Tigers, who are 5-1 and came into this week ranked No. 12 in the country. Then after that, LSU will have to play No. 1 Alabama.
If the Tigers somehow manage to make it out of that three-game stretch still undefeated, there is no way they won’t be ranked as the best team in the nation.
Oklahoma Beats Texas in the Red River Rivalry
One of the biggest rivalries in College Football took center stage on Saturday, as Oklahoma squared off against Texas in the Red River Rivalry.
Oklahoma came into the game ranked No. 6 and Texas was ranked No. 11, making the game not only about an age-old rivalry, but also about playoff positioning.
While the game was a back-and-forth affair, the Sooners ultimately came through and got the victory.
Jalen Hurts has been the story for the Sooners this year, as the Alabama transfer has been lighting up the competition in way we never could have imagined after watching play for the Crimson Tide for so many years.
In the victory over Texas, Hurts played against the best defense he had faced all year, but still racked up over 350 yards of total offense.
Hurts completed 16 of his 28 passes for 268 yards and three touchdowns, while adding 131 yards and another score on the ground.
By winning this game, Hurts finds himself in a class all of his own. This is because not many people have had the chance to lead multiple storied programs like Alabama and Oklahoma to winning in their collegiate career.
Hurts is in the Heisman conversation and his team has a chance to win their first National Championship since 2000.
If he accomplishes either of those feats, Hurts may be remembered far more for being a Sooner than for his time at Alabama when all said and done.
South Carolina Stuns No. 3 Georgia in Double Overtime Victory
The Georgia Bulldogs came into this week brimming with confidence and legitimate championship aspirations.
They were 5-0, ranked No. 3 in the country, and still had two more games against unranked teams before playing No. 7 Florida.
But as they say, anything can happen in college football. That was exactly the case as unranked South Carolina came out of nowhere to stun the Bulldogs on their own field.
South Carolina’s defense played exceptionally well against Georgia, holding them to just 17 points all game.
With things tied up at 10-10 in the first half, the Gamecocks intercepted Jake Fromm for a touchdown, stunning everyone by taking a lead into the second half.
That was the first interception that Fromm had thrown all year, but by the end of the game, he would have three interceptions on his resume for the season.
While South Carolina was shut out in the second half, they yielded just one touchdown to Georgia and the game went overtime.
The defensive struggle continued into overtime, with neither team scoring in the first overtime period. But in double overtime, South Carolina was able to kick a field goal to take the lead.
To win the game though, the Gamecocks needed a stop. But instead of getting one on their own, they caught a massive break, as Georgia’s kicker missed a game-tying field goal for their first loss of the season.
Georgia losing to an unranked team could be devastating towards their chances to make the College Football Playoff, as their ranking is sure to plummet.
The one thing that they still have in their favor is that it is only Week 6. Georgia still has six more games, three against teams that are currently ranked. So if they win out, there is still a chance they make the playoff.
Georgia has history to fall back on and can hope that they can run the table and make it into the playoff.
Still, losing to South Carolina is an embarrassment for a team that looked so great early on this year.
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