School soccer winners and losers: As soon as once more, No. 5 Washington finds a approach – eastpowernews

Michael Penix Jr. wasn’t afforded the prospect to take many arrows out of his quiver within the second half Saturday.

The quarterback of No. 5 Washington made his final alternative rely, and in doing so ensured the Huskies remained undefeated and would play within the Pac-12 title recreation.

With 1:58 to go, Penix zipped a third-down move to Rome Odunze for 19 yards to seal the Huskies’ 22-20 victory at No. 11 Oregon State, overcoming a chilly, soggy evening and a methodical, affected person opponent to stay firmly within the playoff image.

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It wasn’t the primary time the Penix-to-Odunze connection was crisp in Corvallis. The 2 linked on a pair of landing passes within the first half as Washington (11-0, 8-0 Pac-12) constructed a 22-10 lead.

Oregon State (8-3, 5-3) found out one of the best ways to sluggish the Huskies down was to maintain them off the sector.

The Beavers bled practically 10 minutes of clock within the third quarter on a 16-play landing drive capped by Damien Martinez’s second landing run of the evening. And a 10-play, 50-yard fourth-quarter drive lined 4 minutes, 42 seconds and netted a area purpose to deliver Oregon State inside two.

In the meantime, Washington ran six performs within the third quarter and was compelled to punt after a pair first downs when it acquired the ball again after the Beavers closed inside 22-20. However as they’ve achieved repeatedly throughout Pac-12 play — in opposition to Oregon in a basic, in opposition to Arizona State in a battle for survival on an off evening, in opposition to Southern California in a back-and-forth recreation devoid of protection — the Huskies gained the one or two moments that mattered most.

Forcing the Beavers right into a fourth-down incompletion close to midfield with 2:08 to go ended one other prolonged possession that was closing in on six minutes. Penix’s throw to Odunze, after which he turned to his signature pantomime of taking pictures an arrow to savor the second, clinched the result. After taking a knee 3 times, Penix and the Huskies made their escape.

(One wonders what a Seattle athlete of a barely earlier period, former Mariners nearer Fernando Rodney, would consider their shared celebration).

Oregon State’s ever-so-slim playoff hopes are achieved with the loss, as are its hopes of claiming a Pac-12 title within the face of 10 faculties defecting to different leagues subsequent season and leaving the Beavers and Washington State with a pile of cash however an unsure future.

It wasn’t as if the Beavers might have hoped to comprise Penix a lot better within the ultimate half-hour. Washington managed solely 69 yards and three first downs within the second half. However its lefty quarterback had an opportunity to shoot his shot, and he took full benefit of it.

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Two extra victories — over Washington State within the annual showdown for the Apple Cup, and in opposition to both Oregon or Arizona within the Pac-12 title recreation — will present the Huskies their biggest shot but: A playoff berth to cap an already memorable season.

Listed below are the weekend’s greatest winners and losers:

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The Dukes’ hopes of an undefeated season had been dashed with a 26-23 time beyond regulation loss to Appalachian State. It took Elijah Sarratt to catch an 11-yard landing move then haul in a two-point conversion with 57 seconds left simply to get James Madison (10-1, 6-1 Solar Belt) to time beyond regulation.

However after the Dukes opened the additional interval with a area purpose, Appalachian State (7-4, 5-2) wanted simply 4 performs to seal the victory. Joey Aguilar’s quick move to Kaedin Robinson resulted in an eight-yard landing because the Mountaineers remained within the Solar Belt title hunt.

A lot has been manufactured from James Madison’s makes an attempt to get the NCAA to waive its two-year ready interval for bowl eligibility, one thing that additionally prevents the Dukes from taking part in for a convention title, per league guidelines.

The Dukes might get a postseason nod anyway — there seems to be a good likelihood there gained’t be sufficient six-win groups to fill all of the bowl spots — however at the very least now there gained’t be a critical gripe about being excluded from the New 12 months’s Six construction. That’s no solace for James Madison because it offers with its first lack of the season. It’s, although, one fewer downside the NCAA might be blamed for in perpetuity.

Sport of the day: Right here comes Georgia, and right here come ideas of a sure phrase

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The Cardinals (10-1, 7-1 ACC) are off to a convention championship recreation for the primary time after warding off Miami on Saturday, 38-31. Jack Plummer threw for 308 yards and three touchdowns as Louisville locked up a Dec. 2 date with Florida State in Charlotte.

That by itself makes this season a triumph for first-year coach Jeff Brohm, who took over a group picked to complete eighth within the league. However there are nonetheless issues on the desk for Louisville if sufficient chaos is generated elsewhere.

A one-loss energy convention champion is much from a positive factor to land a playoff berth, significantly in a yr reminiscent of this when there have been comparatively few main surprises. But it’s nonetheless a risk, at the very least if Louisville can upend Kentucky subsequent week and Florida State the week after to get to 12-1.

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The Wildcats have gained 5 in a row, their longest successful streak since 2014. And for the second time this month, they’ve overwhelmed a ranked opponent at dwelling, blistering injury-plagued Utah, 42-18.

How shortly did Arizona guarantee it will stay in rivalry for a spot within the Pac-12 title recreation into the ultimate week of the season? Put it this manner: On the finish of the sport’s sixth possession (three per group), the Wildcats already led 28-0.

Arizona (8-3, 6-2 Pac-12) had three crisp landing drives and a brief blocked punt return to ambush the Utes (7-4, 4-4), who joined Washington State, Oregon State and UCLA (which fell, 27-10, in Tucson two weeks in the past) as ranked foes the Wildcats have downed this season.

A ten-win season for Jedd Fisch’s group would have appeared out of attain at the beginning of the season and unlikely even after Arizona performed Washington and Southern California robust in back-to-back weeks early in league play. However now? The Wildcats get 3-8 Arizona State within the Territorial Cup, nonetheless have a bowl recreation and will even play for a convention title subsequent month if issues break proper. For the season and for the week, there are few extra apparent winners than Arizona.

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It’s modern for the actually jaded to pooh-pooh the worth of reaching a bowl recreation, particularly when an influence convention group does so. There are 133 Soccer Bowl Subdivision groups and 82 bowl slots. As achievements go, it typically isn’t the very best hurdle to clear.

Then there are groups such because the Wildcats, who didn’t win a recreation in North America final season, fired longtime coach Pat Fitzgerald over the summer season and will have simply gone by way of the motions throughout a season in purgatory underneath an interim coach.

As a substitute, Northwestern earned its sixth victory with per week to spare, knocking off Purdue, 23-15. The triumph comes simply days after the Wildcats eliminated the interim tag from David Braun’s title after he held issues collectively this fall.

Coupled with final week’s 24-10 victory at Wisconsin, Northwestern has gained back-to-back video games for the primary time this season. The Wildcats will purpose for his or her first three-game successful streak since 2020 after they shut out the common season subsequent Saturday at Illinois.

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All sizzle and no steak. All hat and no cattle. Choose the idiom of your selection in regards to the failure to dwell as much as overwhelming hype. That sums up the previous two months for the Buffaloes, who’re assured a shedding season after a 56-14 thumping at Washington State on Friday.

It’s a good distance from a 3-0 begin that was magnified by a well-known first-year coach (Deion Sanders), a novel methodology of roster building (virtually full turnover with the assistance of an enormous inflow of transfers) and much an excessive amount of credulous protection suggesting the game was being remodeled in actual time.

As a substitute, Colorado (4-7, 1-7 Pac-12) was achieved in as a result of it couldn’t cover its defensive deficiencies even when it was successful. It might solely masks its restricted offensive line for thus lengthy. It by no means had a lot high-end depth, and it couldn’t stand up to the accidents that happen throughout a routine season.

And the flexibility to generate consideration made the Buffaloes one thing they hadn’t been at any level prior to now twenty years: A goal, a foe that opponents had been solely too joyful to stand up to play (a development that grew to become evident when Oregon clobbered Colorado, 42-6, on Sept. 23).

That began a tailspin of seven losses in eight video games, and all of it was on show Friday. Washington State (5-6, 2-6 Pac-12) rolled up a 42-7 halftime lead with the assistance of touchdowns on a fumble return and a kickoff. It additionally steamrolled the Buffaloes’ hapless defensive position on a brief landing run late within the half. Colorado quarterback Shedeur Sanders was compelled out of the sport due to harm.

Your complete second half was a victory lap for the Cougars of their dwelling finale.

As for Colorado, it took the good distance round to a well-recognized spot: The Pac-12’s cellar. Sanders didn’t reinvent the faculty soccer wheel in his first yr, although he shouldn’t have been anticipated to take action. And till and except the Buffaloes repair the fundamentals — play on the traces and depth chief amongst them — the game gained’t be revolutionized in Boulder subsequent yr, both.

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The Bulldogs surrendered 75 yards on the primary play from scrimmage … after which barely 200 (202, to be exact) the remainder of the way in which in a 38-10 drubbing of Tennessee.

It wouldn’t be correct to say it was by no means doubtful. Nevertheless it didn’t take lengthy for the Bulldogs (11-0, 8-0 SEC) to shine off their twenty seventh consecutive SEC common season victory and twenty eighth triumph in a row general.

For Georgia, it was enterprise as standard. For the needs of determining playoff potentialities, a largely stress-free day for the Bulldogs’ offense (which amassed at the very least 50 yards in every of its six scoring drives) meant the two-time nationwide champions moved even nearer to locking up one more journey to the nationwide semifinals.

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The Hawkeyes are off to the Large Ten title recreation for the second time in three seasons, clinching the ultimate version of the league’s West Division with a 15-13 defeat of Illinois.

It was a effective show of Iowa soccer bingo. After all the Hawkeyes (9-2, 6-2) recorded a security. After all they saved Illinois to fewer than 300 yards. After all they punted eight occasions (together with six Tory Taylor boomers of greater than 50 yards).

And after all Iowa locked up a visit to Indianapolis to face the Michigan-Ohio State winner by scoring a grand sum of 108 factors in its six convention victories so far (and 10 in its two losses).

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One factor the Geese have going for them: They haven’t allowed anybody they had been speculated to clobber in Pac-12 play to come back remotely near threatening them.

Stanford on the highway? A 42-6 rout.

Cal at dwelling? A 63-19 demolition.

And for many who want to retroactively embody Colorado on this bunch? A memorable 42-6 shellacking.

The development continued with a 49-13 clubbing of Arizona State in Tempe as Bo Nix threw for 404 yards and 6 touchdowns. The Geese (10-1, 7-1 Pac-12) gained’t face a really overmatched opponent once more this season. However they placed on a grasp class this season on dealing with enterprise effectively in opposition to the Pac-12’s second division.

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The Pink Wolves had been already on their solution to their sixth victory of the season and a probable bowl journey, holding a snug 32-point edge on Texas State within the third quarter.

Then Trevian Thomas returned a fumble 91 yards for a landing. And Ja’Quez Cross introduced again a kickoff 93 yards for a rating on the ultimate play of the interval. And Melique Straker hauled an interception 87 yards to the home. And Dane Motley picked off a move at midfield and returned it for a landing.

It was 4 touchdowns in a span of 10:18 of recreation time — and never as soon as did Arkansas State’s offense come onto the sector.

The Pink Wolves (6-5, 4-3 Solar Belt) would go on to win, 77-31, tying for the third-most factors in program historical past due to one of many wilder sequences of the season at any degree.

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This isn’t what Hugh Freeze is getting paid a lot to ship.

It had truly been an virtually delightfully nondescript first season for Freeze at Auburn. The Tigers had overwhelmed 5 sub-.500 groups and a 6-5 Soccer Championship Subdivision program (Samford) to safe bowl eligibility. They misplaced by a landing to each Georgia and Mississippi. They’d solely been demolished as soon as, by LSU.

For a program coming off a string of three forgettable seasons — 6-5 in 2020, then 6-7 and 5-7 — and a pair of teaching modifications in that span, a pleasant, secure yr might have been seen as a strong sufficient basis, even when it didn’t come near attaining any nationwide prominence.

(One might argue a pleasant, secure season that didn’t entice a lot nationwide consideration could be a good factor for a first-year coach at a program that’s hardly ever placid).

How a lot that math modifications with a 31-10 loss to New Mexico State stays to be seen. Nevertheless it wasn’t a remotely fluky loss. The Aggies (9-3) outgained Auburn 414-213, managed the ball for practically 39 minutes, didn’t commit a turnover and by no means trailed. All 5 of their scoring drives lasted at the very least six performs; the primary 4 all took at the very least 10 performs and drained at the very least 5 minutes off the clock.

Alabama looms within the Iron Bowl subsequent week. And for the primary time in his tenure, Freeze will head right into a recreation coming off a loss few might write off as merely contending with a extra proficient group additional alongside in its program growth. Thus, it’s time to mud off one of the vital harmful sentences in school soccer: It’s positive to be an attention-grabbing week on the Plains.

Navy’s protection (winner)

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The Midshipmen recorded their month-to-month shutout, silencing East Carolina, 10-0, to enhance to 5-5. Navy beat Wagner, 24-0, in its dwelling opener Sept. 9, then gained, 14-0, at Charlotte final month.

It’s the primary time since 1978 that Navy has recorded at the very least three shutouts in a season.

American Athletic Convention math (winner)

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Three of the league’s 14 groups will head into subsequent weekend with an undefeated league document. Texas San Antonio acquired to 7-0 within the convention with a 49-21 rout of South Florida on Friday. Tulane adopted Saturday afternoon by easing previous Florida Atlantic, 24-8. And SMU held off Memphis, 38-34, on the highway to make it an ideal trio.

Better of all for the convention, Tulane performs host to UTSA on Friday. The winner heads to the league title recreation, and so will SMU if it defeats Navy on Saturday.

And if SMU loses? In accordance with the AAC, “a composite common of chosen laptop rankings (Anderson & Hester, Billingsley, Colley and Wolfe) might be used to find out the championship recreation participant.”

And everybody thought computer systems figuring out who performs for a championship was a factor of the previous.

Southern California (loser)

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Actually, the much less stated in regards to the Trojans at this level, the higher. The 38-20 thumping they absorbed in opposition to UCLA — at dwelling, no much less — was an apt solution to conclude a daily season that started swirling down the drain a bit of greater than a month in the past.

Southern Cal (7-5, 5-4 Pac-12) didn’t simply waste what’s going to virtually definitely be the ultimate season of Caleb Williams’s school profession. It was a bunch opponents would gleefully attempt to knock out, figuring out there was an opportunity to complete it off pretty shortly (as Notre Dame, Oregon and UCLA all did) due to a protection that supplied solely reasonable resistance on day.

The Trojans misplaced 5 of their final six, falling first from nationwide title rivalry, then the Pac-12 title image and at last from relevance this season. Saturday’s loss was virtually an afterthought exterior of Los Angeles (and positively to not UCLA), and it additional highlights how a lot work Lincoln Riley has in entrance of him this offseason.

There’s a defensive coordinator to rent, a brand new quarterback to search out and lots extra on the to-do listing. However nothing is extra necessary to USC’s probabilities of truly touchdown a playoff berth and contending within the coast-to-coast Large Ten sooner or later than establishing a constant, productive id that doesn’t disintegrate on the first trace of bother.

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The Seminoles’ 58-13 rout of North Alabama ended on one thing of a light-weight notice. The Lions known as timeout with 9 seconds remaining and lined up for a area purpose. Florida State blocked it and Quindarrius Jones scooped it up and ran 50 yards unimpeded for the last word rubbish landing.

If solely the remainder of the evening had generated such laughs.

Florida State quarterback Jordan Travis suffered a extreme leg harm late within the first quarter, and whereas Seminoles Coach Mike Norvell didn’t have an replace on Travis’s standing after the sport, it didn’t look good.

The Seminoles (11-0) will most likely go along with Tate Rodemaker subsequent week in opposition to Florida. Then comes an ACC championship recreation in opposition to Louisville. Win each, and it will be exhausting to maintain Florida State out of the playoff as an undefeated energy convention champion.

However the Seminoles’ ceiling is decrease with out its sixth-year senior at quarterback. How a lot decrease is unsure, however Florida State will discover out quickly.

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