No.3 Texas 30-34 No.12 Oklahoma
What a difference a year makes. Or indeed, a player. While the absence of Dillon Gabriel from last year's Red River Rivalry may not have changed the outcome of Oklahoma's mauling at the hands of Texas, his presence in this, the 119th edition, was the deciding factor. This was an action-packed thriller between two teams whose stars are very much on an upward trajectory. Gabriel announced his Heisman candidacy in dramatic fashion, throwing for 285 yards and running for a further 113 yards and a touchdown, but most impressively by calmly steering the Sooners to a last-gasp victory.
Early turnovers cost the Longhorns. The Sooners profited from a Texas interception with Gabriel running in a 9-yard touchdown just 1:49 into the game. A blocked punt by freshman cornerback Malik Muhammad brought Texas level. Touchdowns by Longhorns tight end Gunnar Helm and Sooners running back Tawee Walker exchanged scores, finishing a frantic first half with Oklahoma 20-17 up.
Walker opened the scoring in the second half, opening up a ten-point lead and Oklahoma's defense stepped up, knocking the ball out of Quinn Ewers' hands, and delivering an astonishing goal-line stand where they stopped the Longhorns on four straight plays. Ewers gave up three turnovers, but completed 31 of 37 passes for 346 yards under real pressure from the Sooners' defense.
Texas running back Jonathan Brooks brought Texas level on a 29-yard touchdown run with 6:16 left in the fourth quarter before Bert Auburn's field goal gave Texas the lead with just 1:17 left. Dillon Gabriel drove his team 75 yards in five plays, capping a dramatic victory with a 3-yard touchdown pass to Nic Anderson with the pocket collapsing around him.
Oklahoma is now 6-0, at No.5 in the AP rankings and poised to slide into the College Football Playoff places should one of the top four slip up, likely either Michigan or Notre Dame when the two teams meet in "The Game" on 25th November.
While Texas's season is far from over, this loss to their biggest rivals, has dented the momentum they have built starting the season in such impressive fashion. They remain a top ten team, sitting at No.9 in the AP rankings, but their chances of a Playoff spot are minimal. Their best bet could be redemption in a potential Big 12 title showdown against Oklahoma on 2nd December but they can't afford to slip up again.
“He’s the calmest guy I’ve ever been around at the quarterback position, he was fearless." Oklahoma coach Brent Venables on Dillon Gabriel.
No.20 Kentucky 13-51 No.1 Georgia
Any doubts about No.1 Georgia's ability to win a third consecutive national championship were swept aside in the same assertive manner in which the Bulldogs shut down a previously unbeaten Kentucky team in Athens.
Georgia appeared to emerge from a relatively uninspiring start to the season where they appeared to be moving through the gears. They put their foot down last Saturday night. The Bulldogs amassed 608 total yards, while holding Kentucky to just 183. Quarterback Carson Beck continues to grow into the leader of this impressive team. The 6'4", 220lb sophomore had his breakout game against a tough SEC opponent, passing for 389 yards and four touchdowns, one to Brock Bowers who hauled in 132 receiving yards.
Kentucky's running attack was reduced to just 55 yards in another dominant defensive performance from Georgia. The Wildcats face Missouri in an intriguing match up this weekend with both teams now 5-1. Georgia travels to Vanderbilt.
No.10 Notre Dame 20-33 No.25 Louisville
Going into this match up with Louisville, Notre Dame quarterback Sam Hartman had yet to throw an interception in 145 passing attempts. His streak was broken early at L&N Federal Credit Union Station on a 30-yard pick by Quincy Riley in the first quarter. Cardinals running back Jawhar Jordan tore through the visitors' defense, rushing for 143 yards, including a key 45-yard score late in the third quarter.
Seizing the opportunity to shine in front of a national TV audience, Louisville's swarming defense forced five turnovers, including three interceptions, and held the Fighting Irish to just 57 rushing yards. They bullied Notre Dame's offensive line, notching up another win over Hartman in consecutive years, as they had beaten then No.10 Wake Forest last year with the Irish quarterback under center for the Demon Deacons.
Cardinals coach Jeff Brohm is impressing in his first year coaching his alma mater. Louisville are 6-0 and in the mix for ACC title contention.
No.11 Alabama 26-20 Texas A&M
In a thrilling SEC showdown at College Station, Alabama quarterback Jalen Milroe delivered a standout performance, passing for a career-high 321 yards. Jermaine Burton caught two touchdown passes, propelling No. 11 Alabama to a tough 26-20 win against Texas A&M. .
Burton, a standout with nine catches for 197 yards, was instrumental in securing the win for the Crimson Tide, who move to 5-1. Milroe, hailing from Texas himself, showed his mettle, completing 21 of 33 passes, despite being sacked six times.
The Aggies, 4-2, closed the gap with a 20-yard field goal by Randy Bond with just 2:11 remaining. However, Alabama's recovery of an onside kick and a crucial first down effectively sealed the game.
Max Johnson, stepping into the role of starting quarterback for Texas A&M, managed 239 passing yards and a touchdown.
Despite 14 penalties and two turnovers, Alabama's resiliency and teamwork prevailed. With this victory, the Crimson Tide continue to turn their season around and have a firm grip on the SEC West.
“We have a lot of things to clean up, but we have a lot of things to be proud of and I’m really excited about the team effort,” Alabama head coach Nick Saban.
Elsewhere in the Top 10...
No.2 Michigan won the Little Brown Jug in a 52-10 demolition of Minnesota. The Wolverines' balanced offense gained 241 yards in the air and 193 on the ground a convincing Big Ten win. Also in the Big Ten, Ohio State overcame a 10-0 opening deficit to ease past Maryland, 37-17. Marvin Harrison Jr. stood out again, with 8 receptions for 163 yards, including a 58-yard touchdown.
No.5 Florida State moved to 5-0 with a 39-17 win over ACC rivals Virginia Tech in Tallahassee. Seminoles' running back Trey Benson ran for 200 yards, averaging an incredible 18 yards per carry.
No.6 Penn State, No.7 Washington, and No.8 Oregon all had bye weeks.
No.9 USC clung on to a 43-41 triple-overtime win at home to Arizona. Caleb Williams threw for a touchdown and ran for three more. Opposing quarterback Noah Fifita threw five touchdown passes for Arizona in a thrilling game that will be giving Trojan coach Lincoln Riley sleepless nights.
AP Top 25
Seven AP Top 25 teams lost last week, throwing some welcome chaos into what was starting to look like an immobile Top 10. Here is this week's AP Top 25 .
No.5 Oklahoma, now 6-0, jumped up seven spots having beaten the then No.3 team in the country, Texas. The Longhorns fell to No.9, bumping down USC who escaped from Arizona with a narrow win in triple overtime.
College football games to watch in Week 7
(Image credit: SBG Global)
No.8 Oregon@ No.7 Washington - a huge game in the Pac-12. Oregon (5-0) travel to Washington in a battle of two unbeaten teams who are arguably the best in the conference.
Bo Nix and Michael Penix Jr. are bona fide candidates for the Heisman and there is very little to choose between them. A win could send one team into the top five and Pac-12 lead, while a loss could see the other tumbling down the rankings. All to play for in Seattle.
No.10 USC @ No.21 Notre Dame- the Fighting Irish will be desperate to salvage their season in South Bend having suffered a stunning defeat to Louisville. They face a still unbeaten USC who narrowly escaped their first defeat of the season against Arizona. This will be a pivotal game for both teams in the Battle for the Jeweled Shillelagh, a historic rivalry stretching back to 1926.
No.18 UCLA @ No.15 Oregon State - the Pac-12 remains the most competitive conference this season. The Bruins and improving freshman quarterback Dante Moore travel to face one of the best defensive units in college football.
No.25 Miami @ No.12 North Carolina - the Hurricanes travel to Chapel Hill looking to restart their ACC challenge after a head scratching play call cost them a certain victory over Georgia Tech.
Across The Pond College Football Podcast
Rebecca and I are both on holiday this week, all episodes so far are available on Apple Podcasts or Spotify.