College Rewind

Saturday NCAA football recap: Blowout loss for TCU; major victories for Georgia, USC, Clemson, Ohio State

Baker Mayfield is an unstoppable force right now. Brett Deering/Getty Images

Taking a look back at the weekend in college football:

Oklahoma 41, TCU 17

Heisman frontrunner Baker Mayfield led the Sooners to a blowout victory over TCU, throwing four touchdown passes in Saturday’s game. The Horned Frogs were unable to get their offense moving in the first quarter and were subsequently shut out the entire second half of the game. Kenny Hill threw two touchdown passes in the second quarter, leaving the score at 24-17 at the half, but the Sooners sealed their fate in the second half. The 41 points for Oklahoma are the most TCU has allowed all season. Oklahoma coach Lincoln Riley said, "I'm really proud of our group for not listening to the entire narrative across the country that we shouldn't be playing this championship game and all that mess." The the Big 12 champions wait to learn who their opponent will be and in which national semi-final game.

USC 31, Stanford 28

The Pac-12 championship game was nothing short of a battle at Levi’s stadium on Friday. USC sophomore Michael Pittman Jr. made seven receptions and one score for 146 yards, including a 54-yard pass from Sam Darnold who paved the way to a championship win for the Trojans. The sophomore quarterback was 17 of 24 for 325 yards, completing scoring passes to both Pittman and Tyler Vaughns. Stanford coach David Shaw said “The bottom line is we had opportunities and we didn't make enough plays.” Both teams await their bowl bids on Sunday.

Clemson 38, Miami 3

Kelly Bryant left it all on the field in Saturday’s ACC championship matchup against Miami. Bryant set a championship game record by completing his first 15 passes, forcing aside concerns that he could not live up to the standard set by Clemson icon Deshaun Watson. Bryant was 23 of 29 for 252 yards, with one touchdown pass and one running score. With their choice of bowl game sites, Clemson coach Dabo Swinney left no doubt about his choice. “Get ready, Sugar Bowl,” he yelled. “Here we come.”

Georgia 28, Auburn 7

Just three weeks after an embarrassing loss to Auburn, Georgia handed out a brutal beating of their own on Saturday, winning the Southeastern Conference championship in a blowout 28-7 game. With this victory Georgia claimed its first SEC title since 2005. Freshman quarterback Jake Fromm was 16 of 22 with 183 yards and two scores for the Bulldogs. Auburn scored once in the first quarter before being completely shut out the remainder of the game.

Ohio State 27, Wisconsin 21

Ohio State quarterback J.T. Barrett dazzled in Saturday’s Big Ten championship matchup against Wisconsin. Just six days after surgery, Barrett threw two touchdown passes, ran for another and led the Buckeyes to their first Big Ten title since 2014. Ohio State coach, Urban Meyer said, “We have two wins over two

top-four teams and another one over a team ranked 12th or 13th. We're a conference champion and we deserve a shot.” The Buckeyes find out where they’re headed next on Sunday.

Ed Oliver skips bowl game to prepare for the NFL draft. Houston Cougar Football Facebook

The regular season is over for Houston football, but a lot has occurred since last week. Let’s take a look at what to expect for UH:

The Armed Forces Bowl

Houston (8-4, 5-3 in AAC) will face Army (9-2) at Carter Stadium in Fort Worth, Texas on Dec. 22. The Black Knights are ranked No. 22 in the Top 25 AP Poll, mostly due to their prolific triple option rushing attack which ranks third in the nation. They are on a seven game winning streak since losing to Oklahoma. The Big 12 Conference Champion struggled at home against Army, but would later win in overtime. Army averages 300 yards per game on the ground this year, making them the third team (Navy, Memphis, Army) that Houston will face that is ranked within the top five in rushing. The matchup is not good for a depleted Houston defense. The Black Knights will play Navy this weekend, a conference foe of the Cougars who has had a terrible season. Army vs Navy will be the only college football game this weekend, where you can get a sneak peak of what to expect if you haven’t seen the Black Knights play all season. Plus, the uniforms for this game are always pretty cool.

King vs Milton

Houston comes into this bowl game with their heads hung low after what most consider to be a disappointing season. Injuries, most notably those to D’Eriq King and Ed Oliver, sidetracked the Cougars from heading into the AAC Championship game after Memphis blew them out in Week 13. King and UCF QB McKenzie Milton were both nominated for AAC Offensive Player of the Year, of which Milton took home for a second straight season. Milton humbly gave King an honorable mention by saying, “Shout out to D’Eriq King who is just as, if not, more deserving of this honor. Promise we’ll both be back better than ever!” King played only 11 games, where he reached 50 total touchdowns, 14 of which came from the ground, threw for 2,982 passing yards, and rushed for 674 yards.

Ed Oliver Denies Bowl Game

The All-American defensive tackle Ed Oliver decided to sit out his final bowl game to begin preparing for the NFL draft. He announced his decision via twitter where he thanked the University of Houston, the coaching staff, and his teammates. He finished by saying, “To all the fans, thank you for your relentless support. Forever I will be a Coog!” Oliver’s decision came about a week after he publicly announced that he will be playing in whatever bowl UH was assigned, even after he had to be benched for tweaking his knee in Week 13 vs Memphis. He missed four games this season after suffering from an uncalled chop block against Navy. In his three years in Houston, Oliver accounted for 193 total total tackles, 54 of which were tackles for loss, 13.5 sacks, 14 passes defended, six forced fumbles, one fumble recovery, and one blocked kick. He was the first underclassmen to win the Outland Trophy in 2017, which is awarded to the best college interior lineman. This season, Oliver won AAC Defensive Player of the Year honors.

Coaching Changes/Extensions

Houston still doesn’t have a defensive coordinator. Mark D’Onofrio was fired after the Memphis game for managing one of the worst defenses in college football, and also one of the worst defenses in the history of the program. The UH defense allowed a total of 412 points, being the fifth most allowed points in a season in school history, while also allowing 5,862 total yards. It seems like Houston is in no rush in finding a replacement.

Kendal Briles accepted a contract extension from UH after interviewing with Texas State for the head coaching job vacancy. He was also widely considered for a SEC offensive coordinator position of which was not disclosed by sources. The new three-year deal is worth $2.1 million, making Briles one of the highest paid assistants in the nation. Offensive line coach Randy Clements also enjoyed a new three-year extension. Consider both a package deal. The Houston offense averaged 46.4 points per game, rushed for 2991 yards, and passed for 3611 yards, making it one of the best offenses in the nation.

AAC Bowl Matchups

Armed Forces Bowl- Houston vs Army

Military Bowl- Cincinnati vs Virginia Tech

Gasparilla Bowl- USF vs Marshall

Birmingham Bowl- Memphis vs Wake Forest

Independence Bowl- Temple vs Duke

Cure Bowl- Tulane vs Louisiana Lafayette

Most Notable AAC Bowl Matchup

Fiesta Bowl- UCF vs LSU

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