Top 25 Scores and Afternoon Roundup: ACC Dominates SEC East


The first set of Top 25 scores painted a very clear picture: The ACC is not so bad after all. The conference dominated the SEC East in the noon games, sweeping all three of them.

True, it was slightly uneven playing field, given that Georgia Tech is the No. 2 team in the ACC while Georgia is probably the No. 4 or No. 5 team in the SEC, Clemson is No. 3 in the ACC while South Carolina is No. 11 or no. 12 in the SEC, and Louisville is No. 4 in the ACC while Kentucky is No. 13 in the SEC.

But it doesn’t change the fact that the ACC looked pretty good.

Oh, and Ohio State won as well.

Here are how the early Top 25 games played out:

No. 16 Georgia Tech Beats No. 9 Georgia 30-24 in Overtime

Justin Thomas overcame 2 fumbles, including a hideous one that gave Georgia its final touchdown at the end, to lead the Yellow Jackets to victory over Georgia in overtime.

This was the ugliest game of the year. Quick roundup: Thomas had 2 fumbles and a touchdown, both teams had goal line fumbles and field goals blocked, Georgia Tech kicker Harrison Butker also had an extra point blocked in overtime after nailing a 53-yarder in regulation, and Mark Richt gave the game to the Yellow Jackets with a terrible squib kick call.

That squib kick was made after Georgia took a 24-21 lead over Georgia Tech with about 20 seconds left.

The result ended up giving Georgia Tech the ball at the 43 yard line, and Thomas was able to run 21 yards to set up the game-tying field goal to send it to overtime with no time on the clock.

It was an incredibly dumb call that defined this hideous game. Georgia Tech is now 10-2 and on its way to the ACC Championship game, while Georgia is 9-3 and going to have to have this game on their minds all the way until their bowl game, wherever they are going.


No. 21 Clemson Tigers Dominate South Carolina Gamecocks 35-17

This was the largest display of domination in the ACC vs. SEC match-ups on Saturday. The Clemson Tigers destroyed the South Carolina Gamecocks 35-17, as Deshaun Watson threw for 269 yards and 2 touchdowns.

South Carolina has had no defense all year as they have tried to adjust to the new 3-4 scheme, and it showed again on Saturday. But what was even worse was that after they went down 28-10, they had the ball in Clemson territory three times and inside the 10-yard line twice, but they only came away with 7 points.v They left too many points on the field.

Part of that is the responsibility of Dylan Thompson. Thompson once again struggled with massive inaccuracy, and he showed that he has absolutely no pocket presence. That’s been an issue for Steve Spurrier’s offense all year.

As a result, Dabo Swinney’s Tigers came away with a blowout victory, and the future looks incredible with Deshaun Watson at the helm. Clemson was able to move to 9-3 while South Carolina fell to 6-6.


No. 22 Louisville Cardinals Beat Kentucky Wildcats 44-40

Speaking of terrible pocket presence and ineffectiveness, Patrick Towles managed to put that on display for Kentucky on Saturday. He threw 2 interceptions and took far too many sacks on Saturday as his pathetic play kept Kentucky out of a bowl.

It seems odd to say that when the Wildcats put up 40 points, but that mostly came from the defense forcing 4 turnovers and setting up easy points, including a defensive touchdown.

This game was back and forth all day, and it turned into a shootout late. After Kentucky had a defensive touchdown to go up 33-28, Louisville responded with a touchdown to go up 34-33. A field goal made it 37-33, and then a touchdown by Kentucky made it 40-37.

Louisville responded with another touchdown to go up 44-40, and then Gerod Holliman intercepted a Towles pass on fourth down the next drive to secure the victory.

It was Holliman’s NCAA record-tying 14th interception of the year, and it secured a Louisville victory.

The Cardinals moved to 9-3, while Kentucky fell to 5-7.


No. 6 Ohio State Buckeyes Beat Michigan Wolverines 42-28

This was a win with a loss.

The Ohio State Buckeyes put away Michigan despite a valiant effort put up by the Wolverines in what should be Brady Hoke’s final game as their head coach. But the story is that J.T. Barrett went down with what looked like a very bad leg injury at the start of the fourth quarter and had to be carted off the field.

That makes this a bittersweet win for the Buckeyes, as they might have lost their second quarterback of the year. But Cardale Jones showed he could be good with a little more playing time, as he had 2 carries for 18 yards and was 2 of 3 for 7 yards.

Ohio State has moved to 11-1 and is still trying to lobby for that final spot in the College Football Playoff. The win against Michigan doesn’t really do anything to help them, though. The Wolverines fell to 5-7 and will not make a bowl game.

Still, the focus now is on Barrett’s health.


No. 18 Utah Utes Escape Colorado Buffaloes 38-34

Talk about a scare. The Utah Utes struggled with Colorado, the worst team in the Pac-12, all day. Colorado, which plays no defense and has no running game, used Sefo Liufau to force Utah to play its game.

That means lots of passing and a shootout.

Fortunately for Utah, Travis Wilson showed he could handle the pressure and compete in such a game, going 25 of 37 for 311 yards, 3 touchdowns, and 0 interceptions. In fact, he outplayed Liufau at his own game, as Liufau was 20 of 31 for 317 yards, 1 touchdown, and 1 interception.

Colorado completed its disappointing regression this year with the close loss after falling to 2-10, and Utah completed its turnaround with the win to move to 8-4.

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