By: Chris Olszewski
The camel’s back has broken in West Hollywood. After a series of unsavory incidents, Steve Sarkesian was ousted as the head coach at USC. His firing follows not only a loss against his former school last Thursday, but also a series of incidents involving alcohol and subpar performance after high preseason expectations. The Trojans lost to the Washington Huskies 17-12. Neither offense performed particularly well; USC quarterback Cody Kessler threw for two interceptions and only 156 yards on the night, while Washington’s only passing touchdown came from the arm of wide receiver Martin Hall.
Earlier in the week, Maryland parted ways with head coach Randy Edsall. Edsall’s firing follows a frustrating loss to Ohio State 49-28. The Terrapins were tied with the Buckeyes 21-21 at the half, but the Buckeyes piled on the points in the second half. Urban Meyer continued the quarterback carousel, with J.T. Barrett and Cardale Jones combining for five scores.
Meanwhile, the Top 10 upsets just keep coming. This week, it was the Oklahoma Sooners who were taken down. In the Red River Shootout, the Sooners lost to the Texas Longhorns 24-17. The Longhorns pounded the running game; while Texas only threw for 55 total passing yards, both quarterback Jerrod Heard and running back D’Onta Foreman both had 100+ yard rushing games. While neither team is in a position to challenge for the Big 12 championship, Texas at least has hope to salvage their season.
Other Top 10 teams faced scares this week. The TCU Horned Frogs barely escaped the Kansas State Wildcats (as they have developed a penchant to do) 52-45. Despite a 35-17 halftime deficit, TCU quarterback Trevone Boykin led the offense to two TDs on the ground and two through the air in the second half. A Kansas State drive ended with a field goal to tie the game 45-45 with 1:52 remaining; TCU responded by marching down the field and scored a touchdown to seal the win.
All the hospitality in the world could not save the South Carolina Gamecocks, as they lost to the LSU Tigers 45-24. The Gamecocks were in an enviable position on Saturday; despite the game’s location in Death Valley, the Gamecocks were the home team. LSU running back Leonard Fournette finished with a season-low 158 yards as freshman Darrius Guice picked up some of the slack.
In other news involving the Gamecocks, head coach Steve Spurrier is to retire immediately, according to Sports Illustrated and Gamecock Central. Spurrier has coached since 1978 and has amassed a 275-139-2 record as a head coach across college football, the NFL, and the USFL.
The resurgent Michigan Wolverines continued to roll as they picked their third straight shutout at the expense of the Northwestern Wildcats 38-0. This was accomplished against a defense giving up a national-low seven points a game. Michigan quarterback Jake Rudock threw for 179 yards completing 17 of 23 passes.
The Florida Gators downed the Missouri Tigers 21-3. The Tigers offense faltered under quarterback Drew Lock, although its defense confined all scoring to the first quarter. Running back Russell Hansborough continued to disappoint, only rushing for 74 yards on nine carries. The receiving corps was also weak, totaling 147 yards. Florida quarterback Will Grier went 20 for 33 and threw for 208 yards, and running back Kelvin Taylor rushed for 99 yards. It may end up being a bittersweet victory for the Gators. According to reports, Will Grier is on the verge of a suspension for steroid abuse.
Here is the AP Poll for this week: