The happiest place in the United States on Saturday was none other than “Happy Valley” Pennsylvania the location of Penn State University. The Nitanny Lions pulled of a massive upset defeating #2 Ohio State 24-21 while overcoming a 21-7 hole in the 4th quarter. Penn State pulled within four and then with four minutes to go in the game Penn State blocked an Ohio State field goal and ran the ball back 60 yards for the go ahead and eventual game winning touchdown. It’s a play that will talked about for years to come at Penn State.
For Ohio State it’s going to be a very difficult loss to stomach. The Buckeyes outgained Penn State 413 yards to 276 yards and didn’t commit a turnover. They held a fifteen minute advantage in time of possession yet they still come up short. Their college football playoff chances are now in jeopardy depending on how Michigan and others perform. Beaver Stadium was rocking with the fans dressed in all white to accentuate the ambiance. On Ohio State’s final possession QB J.T. Barrett was sacked twice and when the clock stuck 0:00 the fans predictably stormed the field to celebrate.
It was a monumentous win for Penn State, a program desperately trying to turn the page following the Joe Paterno/Jerry Sandusky scandal; a milestone victory for Penn State Football:
- First win over Ohio State since 2011
- First win over a ranked opponent under Coach Franklin
- First win over a Top 5 opponent since 1999 vs. Arizona
- First win over a Top 2 opponent since 1990 vs. Notre Dame
- First win, at Beaver Stadium, against Top 2 opponent since ’82 vs. Nebraska
Elsewhere, Oklahoma and Texas Tech decided to leave their defenses at home and shatter some offensive records. The Vegas line for over/under was set at 86 and *spoiler alert* if you didn’t pick the over then you lost money. Both teams combined for 125 total points and 1,708 yards of total offense which is an NCAA record. The previous record was set in 2001 when San Jose State and Nevada had 1,640 yards. In this affair, Oklahoma came out on top 66-59 and the box scores on both sides were staggering. Mahomes’ 734 passing yards ties an NCAA record set by Washington State QB Connor Halliday in 2014. He fell one attempt short of Halliday’s 89 attempts set in the same game. However Mahomes 819 yards of total offense is a new FBS record.
- Baker Mayfield: 27-36, 545 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT
- Joe Mixon: 31 carries, 263 yards, 2 TD; 4 rec, 114 yards, 3 TD
- Dede Westbrook: 9 rec, 202 yards, 2 TD
- Patrick Mahomes III: 52-88, 734 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT; 12 carries, 85 yards, 2 TD
- Keke Coutee: 10 rec, 172 yards, 1 TD
- Jonathan Giles: 10 rec, 167 yards, 2 TD
On the West Coast, offenses were flowing as well with the Pac-12 getting into the fun with Utah defeating UCLA 52-45 at the Rose Bowl. Utah RB Joe Williams set an FBS season high mark for rushing yards with 332 (school record) on 29 carries. He also added four touchdowns including runs of 64 and 55 yards. Remember Williams quit the football team a month ago but has since returned with Utah’s roster plagued by injuries. It was a good game for Utah from the kick off when they returned the game’s opener 99 yards for a touchdown. The Utes improve to 7-1 as they prepare for a huge home game against Washington. UCLA’s QB Mike Fafaul, Joe Williams’ teammate from high school, threw for 464 yards (3rd in school history) on 40-of-70 (both school records) with 5 TD and 4 INT.
WEEK 8 AWARDS
Elite Player of the Week
Leonard Fournette (RB) – LSU: 16 carries, 284 yards (school record), 3 TD. Win over Ole Miss
Joe Williams (RB) – Utah: 29 carries, 332 yards, 4 TD. Win over UCLA
Legendary Performance of the Week
Baker Mayfield (QB) – Oklahoma: 27-36, 545 yards, 7 TD, 0 INT. Win over Texas Tech
Patrick Mahomes II (QB) – Texas Tech: 52-88, 734 yards, 5 TD, 1 INT; 2 Rush TD Loss to Oklahoma