Putting up the first winless season in school history, even in a pandemic year, and capping it with a 70-7 loss to your top rival is a surefire way to lose your job as a college football coach, and that’s exactly what happened to Kevin Sumlin, who got fired by Arizona on Saturday, following the Wildcats’ demolition at the hands of previously winless Arizona State.
In writing about that Territorial Cup blowout, it was noted here that this season was one game away from tying the record for 70-burgers in conference games in an FBS season, and some candidates were noted: “No. 1 Alabama (at Arkansas), Buffalo (vs. Akron), and the one that might be the most 2020 one possible, Florida at home against defending national champion and completely mailing it in LSU.”
Well, dropping 70 isn’t as easy as the Sun Devils made it look on Friday night.
The Crimson Tide looked up to the challenge, going up 38-3 on the Razorbacks at halftime, but Alabama only scored two more touchdowns after the break, and “settled” for a 52-3 rout. If you’d told Arkansas before the game that they’d hold Najee Harris to 46 yards on 14 carries, they’d have taken it, yet Harris still scored a pair of touchdowns, and, well, 52-3. Jase McClellan ran six times for 95 yards, including an 80-yard touchdown, and Brian Robinson Jr. scored three more times on the ground.
Buffalo, which already has a 70-pointer on its resume this season, got to 35-0 against the Zips at halftime, but “only” won 56-7, with Kevin Marks Jr. (182 yards) and Jaret Patterson (105 yards) running for two scores apiece. The Bulls are 5-0 and have averaged 51.8 points per game. Let them in the College Football Playoff, you cowards, they’ve got the same record as Ohio State and have been more thorough in their obliteration of dreary Midwestern foes.
And Florida… yeah, turns out LSU showed up for this one. The Gators lost, 37-34, ending their outside shot at a CFP bid. Should’ve been smarter like Texas A&M and not played. Not playing football is the smartest thing you can do in 2020. The dumbest thing is… throwing a shoe?
The team that came closest to putting up 70 in a conference game on Saturday? That would be North Carolina, as the No. 17 Tar Heels palindromed No. 10 Miami, 62-26, behind 308 rushing yards from Michael Carter and 236 more from Javonte Williams. Not only were their 544 combined yards an NCAA record for teammates — besting a 2007 record from Division III and the 509 combined yards that Patterson and Marks put up for an FBS record against Kent State — it was the most impressive Michael Carter-Williams performance since 2014. What?
On the other end of the offensive spectrum from the quest for 70-point games is Army-Navy, which was played at West Point for the first time since 1943. The Black Knights won, 15-0, for their fourth victory in the last five meetings after losing 14 straight, and shut out the Midshipmen for the first time since 1969.
Army only completed one pass in the win, which isn’t unusual: it’s the fourth time this season that’s happened — all four times it’s happened in FBS this year, in fact. What is unusual is that Army won with one completed pass and 134 rushing yards as a team. In this century, the previous low for rushing yards in a victory with one completed pass was 206, by Navy against Air Force in 2008.
Army ran 53 times, averaging 2.5 yards, went 4-for-14 on third down, punted seven times, and won. It didn’t hurt that it looked like Navy let the Commander in Chief design a play.
That’s what you run from your own 14-yard-line? Really?
Army also had a goal line stand, and the whole thing looked really cool in the Hudson Valley fog.
The Korean War quote is an… uh… interesting choice from the Army social media team.
What’s funnier than a Seahawks hype video before they play the Jets?
If they actually manage to lose to the Jets.