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College Football Monday - Ducks Challenge for #1 Ranking

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College Football Monday – Week 7

Team of the Week: Penn St.

Players of the Week
Offense: QB Marcus Mariota - Oregon
Defense: DT Chris Whaley - Texas

Upcoming Game of the Week: Clemson (6-0) at Florida St (5-0)

Penn St. & Missou Post Big Upsets
With 13 teams among the unbeaten, Saturday brought some key upsets with Missouri winning at Georgia 41-26 and Penn St winning in 4 OTs at home vs unbeaten Michigan. Missouri went into Athens and drilled a top ten Bulldog club that lost valuable ground in the tough SEC. The Tigers jumped to a big lead before Georgia came within 28-26 before Missouri scored the final points for their biggest SEC victory. The cost was high as they lost starting QB
Penn St. has performed remarkably under HC Bill O’Brien after the scandal that rocked the University last fall. The win over the unbeaten Michigan program elevated their record to 4-2 and into strong contention for the Big Ten divisional title. They will not be able to rest on their laurels as they travel to Ohio St this week vs the 6-0 Buckeyes.
There were other significant victories last Saturday with Oregon drilling a good Washington club, Utah shocks Stanford, LSU beat Florida and Texas crushed Oklahoma that shape the new Top 25 standings. Oregon is a club that continues to make a weekly statement and may be the team to beat for the national title.

The Ducks remained unbeaten behind Heisman Trophy candidate QB Marcus Mariota who completed 24-of-31 passes for 366 yards and 3 TDs while running for 88 yards and a score. The Ducks extended their winning streak against the Huskies to 10 games. Mariota has now thrown or run for a total of 25 TDs this season and has not committed a turnover through six games. He is probably the leading Heisman candidate in a competitive season at the midseason mark. He heads a strong QB class that features last year’s Heisman winner Johnny Manziel, Tajh Boyd and Teddy Bridgewater.

Texas finally beat Oklahoma after three consecutive losses in the Red River Classic. The win probably earns a reprieve for HC Mack Brown temporally after heavy pressure entering this game at 3-2 including a few ugly performances and a win over Iowa St. that included a horrible call on a game changing goal line fumble returned for a TD.

The Longhorns enter their bye week this weekend before their final six Big 12 matchups, starting with a tough TCU club on Oct. 26th. Whether they can go better than .500 through the upcoming stretch remains to be seen and most likely the results will determine HC Brown’s fate with the Longhorns.

Frank Coyle is a long time member of the FWAA and voter in College player awards - Heisman, Outland, Nagurski, Lombardi, Thorpe etc for the past 20 years. He writes ‘College Football Mondays’ weekly during the season. He is a longtime scouting consultant for the Senior Bowl, the nation’s premier postseason All-star game. He does sports radio shows for ESPN, CBS Sports, Fox Sports and Sporting News on a year round basis related to College Football especially during the postseason team and All-star Bowl time. He has worked for CBS Sports, NBC Sports, Yahoo and Rivals sports publications and web sites.