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College Football 2013: Week 8 Recap
Monday, 2013 October 21 - 10:53 pm
Michigan wins a wild shootout; N.C. State was idle. Also, four top ten teams lose.

Michigan 63, Indiana 47
So, one school had a whopping 572 yards of offense including 410 yards through the air, and at point during the second half, scored on five consecutive possessions.

That was Indiana. The losing team.

Michigan, by the way, had 751 yards of offense, including 503 yards of passing from Devin Gardner and 369 yards of receiving from Jeremy Gallon. It was a record-breaking day for the offense. Almost lost in that passing explosion was Fitz Toussaint, who had 151 yards rushing on 32 carries.

It's hard to really judge anything about the offense because Indiana has a really awful defense. But there are a couple of lessons, and the main one was that this offense can be really really good when Al Borges opens it up a bit. The conservative runs into stacked fronts were mostly gone this week; this time we saw a lot more spread concepts in the run game. Oh, and Indiana's cornerbacks were utterly incapable of covering Gallon, so that always helps.

On the other hand: it was kind of an implosion on defense, one that really brought back memories of the 2010 Greg Robinson days when Michigan couldn't stop anyone. Indiana's up-tempo pace and quick passing game gave Michigan a lot of trouble. The big plays against Michigan's cornerbacks were worrisome, as were the easy short completions all day. To be fair, though, the secondary also came up with a couple of key interceptions to seal the win (thanks Thomas Gordon). But there was definitely trouble making plays on the ball; the secondary needs to learn to get into the hip pocket of the receivers and high-point the jump balls.

So, what will this mean for Michigan State in two weeks? Nothing. Michigan State will be exactly the opposite kind of opponent, one with an impotent offense but a near-immovable defense. We could literally see one third the amount of offense from each team.

Finally... is Al Borges forgiven? No. This actually highlights what Michigan could have been capable of against Penn State, given a better gameplan on offense. I need to see another week or two of "Good Al" before being convinced he's banished the "bang head into wall" offense from last week.

Heroes: Jeremy Gallon, Devin Gardner, Thomas Gordon.
Goats: Hard to say... maybe linebackers and safeties?

Next: Michigan State on November 2.

Other Notable Games
Lots of big upsets.

#5 Florida State crushed #3 Clemson, 51-14. The margin of victory was a big surprise; FSU was completely dominant and looked every bit like a national title contender. If I were a voter, I'd cast them second behind Oregon (see below).

#4 Ohio State had to rally to get past Iowa 34-24. They do not look like a national title contender to me.

#6 LSU lost in a shocker to Ole Miss 27-24; the Tigers drop to 6-2 and are almost certainly out of the title hunt.

#7 Texas A&M lost to #24 Auburn 45-41. The Aggies are 5-2 and their title hopes are also gone; meanwhile Auburn is quietly creeping around at 6-1 with only a road loss to LSU, and they'll have a shot to knock of Alabama at the end of the season.

#9 UCLA lost to #13 Stanford 24-10 in a minor upset. This was UCLA's first loss.

#11 South Carolina surprisingly lost to a mediocre Tennessee team, 23-21. South Carolina lost quarterback Connor Shaw to injury late in the game. He is questionable with a knee sprain for next week.

#14 Missouri beat #22 Florida 36-17. Missouri is undefeated and now has two quality wins in a row; keep an eye on this team. They'll have a chance to knock off South Carolina next week.

#15 Georgia lost to Vanderbilt 31-27. That might not be the last upset we see from Vanderbilt.

Arizona State demolished #20 Washington 53-24. ASU is a pretty good team, but I didn't expect that; Washington has now lost three straight after an extremely promising start to the season.

#25 Wisconsin crushed Illinois 56-32. If not for a blown officiating call against Arizona State and one soft touchdown against Ohio State, they'd be undefeated and we'd be talking about them as a possible title contender. As it is, they'll be extremely fortunate to get to a BCS bowl.

Minnesota beat Northwestern 20-17. What on earth? The wheels have really come off for Northwestern. Are they just demoralized?

Michigan State beat Purdue 14-0. One of their touchdowns came from the defense, naturally. Keep in mind that Purdue gave up 55 points to Northern Illinois.

Duke beat Virginia 35-22. Duke is one win away from being bowl eligible, while Virginia is one win away from still being a giant turd.

Georgia Tech beat Syracuse 56-0. Syracuse... that's the team that looked like an NFL team when they beat N.C. State.

Ken's Top 10
Here's a new feature... not sure if I'll keep this up week to week, but I'll give it a shot.

1. Oregon 7-0
2. Florida State 6-0
3. Alabama 7-0
4. Missouri 7-0
5. Ohio State 7-0
6. Baylor 6-0
7. Auburn 6-1
8. Stanford 6-1
9. Texas Tech 7-0
10. Clemson 6-1
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