Top 10 Game-Changing Plays of Week 9 of College Football
Week 9 of the college football season was somewhat of a letdown after we were spoiled last week with tons of exciting action. However, there were still a few great games that included those magical plays all fans should be on the lookout for.
Those game-changing plays shift the momentum of a game and give a team the advantage the rest of the way. It could be a play that makes an underdog believe it actually has a shot or the dagger that seals the game for an overwhelming favorite.
This week included terrific special teams, a bizarre fumble recovery and a quarterback who just couldn't stop throwing interceptions.
It was an offensive struggle for both Iowa and Northwestern. So when C.J. Fiedorowicz hauled in an eight-yard touchdown pass to give Iowa a seven-point lead in overtime, everybody in Kinnick Stadium knew the game was over.
Nothing like a game-changing play that pretty much ends the game.
The Hawkeyes improve to 5-3 on the season and continue to be a pleasant surprise in the Big Ten.
9. BYU Goes Deep
Boise State was hanging around late in the second quarter until Taysom Hill decided to throw the ball further than five yards downfield.
No, Boise State wasn't ready.
Since when does BYU throw the ball downfield? Since when do the Cougars have success taking chances on offense?
This 37-yard touchdown reception by Ross Apo gave BYU a two-touchdown lead and pretty much put the game out of reach heading into halftime.
8. And Another Interception
Just when Logan Thomas appeared to be turning the corner, the senior threw four interceptions in a shocking loss against Duke. Not one, not two, not three...
What makes this play mind boggling is that Thomas had the open receiver downfield. But he decided to force the ball across the middle, which bounced off his receiver and into the hands of a Blue Devils defender.
With less than five minutes remaining in the game, this turnover cost the West Virginia Hokies a shot at coming from behind and squeezing out the win.
7. Just Another Day
When a team plays Alabama, it needs to start off quickly. It already knows the chances of losing are extremely high. It needs that quick play to motivate the team and convince the guys that they really do have a shot of slaying the giant.
The Tide didn't provide that chance for Tennessee.
Instead, AJ McCarron tossed the ball out to Amari Cooper, and the sophomore trotted down the field for a 54-yard touchdown. Less than two minutes into the game, it was safe to change the channel and for the Volunteers to schedule a flight back home.
6. Blocked Punt!
The Middle Tennessee State-Marshall contest was absolutely insane. With more than 100 combined points and over 1,000 total yards, this game kept fans on the edge of their seat until the last second.
But the Blue Raiders wouldn't have even had a chance to pull off the upset if it wasn't for one game-changing play. Chris Brown blocked a punt and scooped the ball up into the end zone to give his team a 14-7 lead heading into the second quarter.
Middle Tennessee State later went on to win the game on the last play, but this momentum changer gave the program confidence to pull off the upset.
5. Stacy Coley Can Juggle
Once again, Miami gave a lackluster performance against a mediocre opponent. The result was a near loss to Wake Forest.
Desperately needing a spark offensively in the fourth quarter, quarterback Stephen Morris just threw the ball up for grabs for wide receiver Stacy Coley. The result was an incredible catch that gave Hurricane fans life and the team a much-needed boost to get going.
Was luck involved? Of course. But sometimes it's better to be lucky than good.
4. Bowden Plants the Spear!
It wasn't necessarily a play for Florida State, but it was game-changing for the Seminoles.
Legendary head coach Bobby Bowden returned to Doak Campbell Stadium to plant the spear in the middle of the field. In the above video, you can hear the crowd get excited and see the players jumping up and down—and, at this moment, North Carolina State knew it was going to be a long day.
Once an overwhelmingly talented team is fired up, it's hard to stop it. Florida State dropped 42 first-half points and cruised to its seventh straight victory.
3. Wait, What?
Since players first put on a helmet in their Pop Warner days, they're told to play until they hear the whistle blow. San Diego State must be new to football.
Wide receiver Ezell Ruffin picked up the first down, but he fumbled the ball in the process. Ejiro Ederaine recovered it and took off downfield because the referees didn't blow the whistle. This play wouldn't have been possible if the Aztecs weren't standing around questioning what just happened.
Tackle, then ask questions.
Ederaine scored from 78 yards out to put Fresno State up two touchdowns.
2. It's a Fake!
UCLA came out of the gate firing against Oregon and had all of the momentum early on. The offense scored on its opening possession and then the defense came up with a stop.
Everything started off beautiful for the Bruins.
Not so fast!
The Ducks don't punt. Shoot, do they even have one of those on their roster? Instead of kicking the ball back to UCLA, it was a direct snap to Rodney Hardrick, who flew downfield for a 66-yard gain.
This play swung the momentum around in a hurry and helped the home team score six of the final seven touchdowns the rest of the way.
Oregon is scary.
1. He Missed It!
Kickers are a lot like attorneys—you never give them any credit until you really need a good one to bail you out. This was the case for Missouri against South Carolina. In order for the Tigers to head into a third overtime, sophomore Andrew Baggett needed to drill a 24-yard kick.
Surprisingly, the ball bounced off the left upright. Baggett is the sickest man in America.