B/R's College Football Weekly Awards: Week 9
College football fans have thousands of reasons why they love the sport. Perhaps you love the game itself, the emotions, the upsets or the memories it creates.
Me? Two things: Chaos and oddities.
I love a good historical blowout and a defensive lineman creating three takeaways. I'm here for absurd catches, an ordinarily great offense committing eight turnovers for no apparent reason and amazing(ly) bad punts.
So, guess what, you'll be reading about that ridiculousness—and more—from a Week 9 slate that didn't feature a whole lot of chaos.
Bring on the strange stuff!
Team of the Week: Kansas State Wildcats
When you accomplish something that hasn't been done in 54 years, that's a decent start to a Team of the Week resume.
Led by backup quarterback Will Howard's four touchdown passes, Kansas State blanked No. 9 Oklahoma State 48-0. It marked the first 40-point shutout loss for an AP Top 10 team since 1968.
Kansas State piled up 495 yards and limited Oklahoma State to a mere 217, along with three turnovers. Howard threw for 296 yards, running back Deuce Vaughn scampered for 158, and the Wildcats improved to 6-2 on the year.
TCU is the Big 12 front-runner and owns a valuable head-to-head victory over Kansas State. That much is undeniable.
But at this moment, the Wildcats are in a terrific spot to force a rematch in the Big 12 Championship Game. They host Texas in another key conference clash next weekend.
Player of the Week: J.T. Tuimoloau, Ohio State
Pick your favorite adjective in the realm of incredible, remarkable and spectacular, and it applies to J.T. Tuimoloau's day.
Considering his 5-star recruiting billing, Ohio State expected he'd become a game-wrecker. The second-year player had decent showings in the past, but Tuimoloau hadn't yet dominated a game.
Well, uh, that changed.
Tuimoloau's stat line in the Buckeyes' 44-31 win over Penn State was preposterous. Among his six tackles, he notched three takedowns for loss with two sacks. He added two interceptions, including a clutch pick-six, one pass breakup and a forced fumble with the recovery.
There won't be many, if any, better individual performances in college football this season.
Catch of the Week: Brock Bowers' Tip Drill
As if No. 1 Georgia needs many fortunate bounces to go its way, All-American tight end Brock Bowers enjoyed a ridiculous good break in the victory over rival Florida.
Stetson Bennett fired a pass down the left sideline that basically went to UF linebacker Amari Burney. But when he tried to harmlessly swat the ball, it ricocheted off his right hand and helmet.
That was not all, folks.
Bowers then swung his left arm backward and somehow managed to keep the ball afloat, corralling it after a couple more deflections and racing to the end zone for a 73-yard touchdown. Georgia took a commanding 21-0 lead on the fortuitous score and ensuing extra point and eventually won 42-20.
Better to be lucky than good sometimes, right?
The Strangest Trend: Wake Forest's Annual Nightmare
Dave Clawson has elevated Wake Forest like few coaches have ever done with the program. That part is important to remember as we explore this bizarre, disappointing trend in the last three seasons.
One game every year, the Demon Deacons forget how to play offense.
Sam Hartman threw four interceptions against Wisconsin in the 2020 postseason. Last year, he tossed four picks in the ACC Championship Game loss to Pitt. And on Saturday, he committed six turnovers—three interceptions, three fumbles—in a ghastly loss to Louisville.
How do you explain that?
Bad games happen, sure. But consider that Wake Forest had five giveaways in seven previous outings this season. Then, on a single afternoon, the Deacs literally surpassed that total in the third quarter alone. They finished with eight turnovers in the 48-21 defeat.
Totally wild. Practically unexplainable. So college football.
The Greatest Bad Punt: Ryan Sanborn, Stanford
When you see a 23-yard punt in the box score, you probably think something went terribly wrong.
Nevertheless, there can be beauty in chaos.
Late in the third quarter in a loss to UCLA, Stanford punter Ryan Sanborn magically avoided a total disaster. The snap hit Sanborn directly in the hands, but he dropped the ball before it bounced back up into his hands. He looked up, saw a UCLA defender and thought, "You know what, I can outrun him!"
He almost immediately (and thankfully) changed his mind, reversed field and managed to dropkick the ball milliseconds before another UCLA player tackled him.
The punt only traveled 11 yards beyond the line of scrimmage. But it also took a 12-yard bounce in Stanford's favor.
Thanks for the greatest 23-yard punt of all time, Sanborn.
Signature Win of the Week: Eli Drinkwitz, Missouri
There is no perfect way to measure job security, but the "signature win" is a common talking point.
Or, in some cases, the lack of one.
Prior to the 2020 season, Missouri hired Eli Drinkwitz. He's done a passable job, helping the Tigers finish 5-5 in his debut, overseeing a 6-7 season in 2021 and opening the 2022 season 3-4. Given the context of his tenure—especially that it started in 2020 at the height of the pandemic—Drinkwitz wasn't on the hot seat. Patience can start to run thin for average teams, though.
That remains true, but Drinkwitz can finally point to a road win against a ranked team. Missouri toppled No. 25 South Carolina for a victory that also snapped a five-game skid on the road dating back to last season.
Missouri has a long climb back to relevancy, but Saturday's win is a small, meaningful step in the right direction.
Best of the Rest: Week 9
OT Quirk of the Week: Miami's Low-Scoring Win
Miami and Virginia headed into overtime locked at six apiece. The teams alternated field goals for two periods, and Miami ultimately converted the winner in the fourth OT session to win 14-12. Not since Wake Forest's 6-3 win over Virginia Tech in 2014—the game that produced the beloved "Frank Beamer celebrates 0-0" moment—had a team scored 14 or fewer points in a multi-overtime victory.
Old Man of the Week: Austin Aune, North Texas
Although he committed to TCU out of high school, Austin Aune pursued a baseball career after the New York Yankees selected him in the second round of the 2012 MLB draft. Ultimately, that didn't work out. He enrolled at Arkansas in 2018 and then quickly transferred to North Texas. Aune, who is 29 and the oldest FBS starting QB, just led 9.5-point underdog North Texas to a 40-13 victory at Western Kentucky. He threw for 322 yards and three touchdowns in the win.
Golf Clap of the Week: Backup QB Propels Utah
Two weeks ago, Cam Rising accounted for 484 yards and five touchdowns in a dramatic win over then-unbeaten USC. The victory kept Utah in the thick of the Pac-12 championship race. However, an unknown injury surprisingly kept Rising on the sideline Thursday at Washington State. In his place, walk-on Bryson Barnes took control of a short-handed Utah offense. He responded with 226 total yards and a touchdown in a 21-17 win to move the Utes one step closer to defending their Pac-12 crown.
Top Games in Week 10
No. 2 Tennessee at No. 1 Georgia (3:30 p.m. ET, CBS)
How much needs to be said? Both teams are 8-0. While the winner probably takes the SEC East, the loser will remain a College Football Playoff contender—with absolutely zero margin for error.
No. 6 Alabama at No. 15 LSU (7 p.m. ET, ESPN)
On the opposite side of the SEC, Alabama and LSU have similar stakes. Ole Miss is still in the conversation—particularly if Bama wins, considering LSU recently beat Ole Miss—but the victor here will rightfully be deemed the favorite to face the UT/UGA winner in the SEC Championship Game.
No. 5 Clemson at Notre Dame (7:30 p.m. ET, NBC)
With respect to Oregon State at Washington, the last featured matchup is Clemson's trip to Notre Dame. This is the final regular-season road game for Clemson, which just survived a scare against Syracuse in which quarterback DJ Uiagalelei was benched late. He's otherwise fared well in 2022, but this is a big moment for the second-year starter and his team's national championship dreams.