NCAA Football

3rd & 1: This week’s Top 3

This week in college football was one for the books, especially for the No. 1 team in the country – who let their on-field performance speak for itself.

Clemson overcame early problems for a dominating performance of their own, while Oklahoma’s run game reached a season high.

No. 1 Alabama – The Tide didn’t stop rolling Saturday night in Nashville, Tennessee. They went on a smashing shutout and proved that you should never say you want Bama, unless you really mean it.

Alabama’s offense set a program-record with 38 first downs and were 72 yards away from having the best yardage total of all time, while Damien Harris scored more touchdowns in a single game than all of last season -reaching the end zone twice within the first quarter and one in the third.

Freshman quarterback Tua Tagovailoa went 8 for 10 in 103 yards. The most impressive play for the second-string QB being when he used a spin move to avoid a tackle and connected with DeVonta Smith for a 27-yard touchdown.

The No. 1 team face their first challenge of the season against Ole Miss. Where will they stack up against the Rebels? Will their defense and offense work strongly together? While a shutout victory is unlikely, they should remain undefeated after Saturday night’s game.

No. 2 Clemson – When the offense fails, the defense excels – that’s how the Clemson Tigers defeated Boston College.

It may look like the No. 2 team outplayed the Eagles on paper, but it was the total opposite. For three quarters of the game, Clemson struggled to move the ball. They only scored once in the first half of the game, a 11-yard run by quarterback Kelly Bryant.

Bryant threw two interceptions, but redeemed himself with two touchdowns of his own.

Kendall Joseph and AJ Terrell both had an impressive game. Joseph racked up a dozen sacks, while Terrell was responsible for getting the Tigers a fourth quarter interception.

Clemson head to Virginia to take on No. 12 Virginia Tech. The Tigers main concern heading into this game is putting together a 60-minute effort.

No. 3 Oklahoma – It was a little too close for comfort for Sooners fans against Baylor.

Oklahoma scored three times in the first quarter and only gave up one touchdown to the Bears, but things took a turn for the worse when Baylor had four straight unanswered scoring drives.

Oklahoma regrouped late in the third for a 48-yard touchdown with Jeff Badet, while Trey Sermon, who only saw fourth quarter playing time, was responsible for OU’s last two touchdowns of the game.

The Sooners struggled at stopping Baylor all game and allowed their opponent to score with less than two minutes to go, but it wasn’t enough.

Oklahoma doesn’t face anyone heading into Week 5 and will have home advantage against Iowa State. Playing Sermon throughout 60 minutes could be a vital element heading into Big XII play.

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Tennessee victorious with Hail Mary

ATHENS, GA – 2016.10.01 Football Tennessee vs. GeorigaPhoto by: Craig Bisacre

Call ‘em the comeback kids.

Tennessee fought throughout an entire 60 minutes at Sanford Stadium and came out on top with a 34-31 victory against the No. 25 ranked Georgia Bulldogs.

In an ending that resembled Georgia was set for victory, with ten seconds remaining on the play clock after Georgia’s Riley Ridley went 47-yards for a touchdown, Tennessee pulled an upset with a Hail Mary.

Joshua Dobbs threw for a 43-yard touchdown after Evan Berry went 20-yards on the return. The Tennessee Volunteers charged into the second half of the game to take control of their own fate, scoring over half of their points just within the fourth quarter.

Alvin Kamara and Josh Malone set up the play that would set the tone for the second half of the game. Kamara almost broke free, but settled for a 13-yard gain. Malone’s first down eventually led to Jalen Hurd’s 19-yard touchdown and the first, and only, of the third quarter.

It was the fumble by Georgia quarterback’s Jacob Eason that added to Tennessee’s momentum that led to their victory. Corey Vereen recovered Eason’s fumble in the end zone.

The touchdown earned Tennessee a 28-24 lead with 2:56 remaining on the clock.

Georgia answered with an unbelievable 47-yard touchdown of their own, however a 15-yard unsportsmanlike-conduct penalty put the game back in their opponent’s hands.

Berry returned 20-yards before the team called for a timeout with only four seconds remaining.

In the last play Dobbs threw 43-yards toward Jauan Jennings, who was surrounded by multiple Georgia players. Jennings’ remarkable catch resulted in a 34-31 Tennessee victory. It is the fourth time this season The Volunteers have came from behind and won.

Tennessee defeat Appalachian State in OT

Photo by: Wade Payne

College football is back and in thrilling fashion as Tennessee and Appalachian State went into overtime in their first game of the season Thursday night.

Tennessee’s Jalen Hurd made the move that would win them the ballgame, recovering a fumble by the team’s quarterback for a touchdown that would give them their first, and only, lead of the night.

Taylor Lamb tried for an end zone pass, however Micah Abernathy broke up the pass and ended the night.

The win came after several mistakes made by Appalachian State, who went scoreless in the second half of the game, were capitalized on. The Tennessee Volunteers took advantage of poor clock management and missed opportunities, which included a missed field goal and a touchdown extra point.

Despite trailing for the entire game, Tennessee’s big break came when Josh Malone ran in a 67-yard touchdown pass in the 4th-quarter to tie up the game. That gave them everything they needed to force overtime at Neyland Stadium.

Tennessee made first downs that allowed them to move down field and score. Dobbs stretched for the goal line before a hit in the chest caused the ball to escape from Dobbs hands. Hurd recovered for the touchdown.

Appalachian State failed to tie the game that resulted in Tennessee’s 20-13 victory.