Best Game: Washington State 47, Boise State 44, 3 OT
It was a toss-up between this and Iowa vs. Iowa State, but I could not bring myself to type out “The game of the weekend was ¡El Assico!” Besides, the matchup between the Cougars and the Broncos was your typically insane #Pac12AfterDark matchup that has become a staple of late night college football viewing.
Through three and a half quarters, it looked like the No. 21 Cougars were going to fall on their homefield. Boise State’s Curtis Weaver scooped up a fumble and returned it 55 yards with 10:53 remaining to give the Broncos a 31-10 lead. Scoring 21 points in 10:53 is tough, and it’s usually hard to fathom when you’ve scored 10 points in the previous 49:07 leading up to it. Further complicating matters is that Washington State’s offense only scored three points in that time.
But because Mike Leach football is extremely weird, the Cougars came roaring back, scoring 21 unanswered points to finish the game and force overtime. They did this by nabbing a pick six and completely eschewing the running game — over the aforementioned final 10:53, Washington State threw the ball 20 times and ran the ball once, with that one run coming on a 3rd-and-20 on their final possession before overtime.
The sides traded field goals during the first overtime, then exchanged touchdowns during the second extra frame. The third overtime featured Boise State kicking a field goal, Washington State getting the ball back, and Cougars running back Jamal Morrow flying into the end zone to take home the win.
Player of the Week: Lamar Jackson
Coming into this season, a bunch of dudes had Heisman hype. Sam Darnold’s name came up a ton. Saquon Barkley’s name, too. Baker Mayfield may be the frontrunner now (we’ll get to him in a few), Derrius Guice and J.T. Barrett were as well. There were a whole bunch of players who got thrown around, but curiously, one name that didn’t get nearly as much attention as the rest was Jackson.
There are reasons for this, namely that only one person has won the Heisman twice. And while Jackson had good odds — he opened at 7/1 to win the award, only Mayfield and Barrett were higher — you’d be hard-pressed to find someone who picked him to win.
Jackson reminded everyone why he won the award last year with a legitimately thrilling performance against North Carolina. He went 25-for-39 with 393 yards, three touchdowns, and no interceptions through the air. He added 132 yards and three touchdowns on the ground. It was incredible.
The thing that makes Jackson such an unreal player is that he’s equally lethal with his arm and legs. There are plenty of players who have done this, but Jackson might mix the two better than anyone since … Marcus Mariota? Vince Young? I don’t know. But when he’s on his game, as he was on Saturday, he can bolt past defenders just as easily as he can drop a dime that makes you do a double take. I mean, look at this.
That kind of speed, vision, decisiveness, and agility is ridiculous for anyone, let alone a quarterback. And then you remember he nearly threw for 400 yards in addition to this and all you can do is laugh. To the NFL team that drafts him: Please, let Lamar be Lamar and don’t try to turn him into the kind of boring, run of the mill quarterback that populates the league now.