theScore runs down the top storylines and developments from Saturday’s college football games and what they might mean moving forward.
Alabama’s arsenal of weapons is unfair
In last year’s 47-28 win over Texas A&M, Alabama‘s Tua Tagovailoa threw for 293 yards and four touchdowns. Jerry Jeudy and Henry Ruggs III also starred with five catches for 88 yards and a score. All three of those players are now in the NFL, and that made absolutely no difference against the Aggies this season.
Mac Jones looked very comfortable for Alabama en route to 435 passing yards and four touchdowns, and the receiving trio of Jaylen Waddle, DeVonta Smith, and John Metchie torched the defense for 16 catches, 386 yards, and four scores. With the win, Nick Saban improves to 20-0 versus his former assistants, and Texas A&M can wonder for another week why it gave Jimbo Fisher a contract worth $75 million.
SMU is the first to 4-0
There’s only one 4-0 team in the country, and it’s the SMU Mustangs. While COVID-19 cancellations have certainly played a role in that distinction, there’s no doubt that Sonny Dykes’ program has been impressive.
The Mustangs’ toughest test came Saturday against a Memphis squad playing its first game since Sept. 6. That showed early when SMU raced out to a 24-3 lead thanks to Shane Buechele and Reggie Roberson Jr.’s 70- and 85-yard touchdown connections. Memphis roared back to even the contest at 27 before Chris Naggar’s game-winning field goal sealed SMU’s victory.
There will be concern after Roberson left the matchup with a non-contact knee injury, but the hopes for an AAC title are certainly high in Dallas.
Texas has a Gary Patterson problem
While Texas likes to fancy itself the big program in the state, it was Gary Patterson and TCU who once again had the last laugh. For the sixth time in seven years, the Horned Frogs emerged from the annual rivalry game as victors. This time it was a goal-line fumble by the Longhorns’ Keaontay Ingram in the dying minutes that decided the 33-31 result.
Neither side had much to cheer about for most of the game, with the teams combining for a whopping 26 penalties for over 200 yards. Sam Ehlinger had four touchdown passes, but Patterson’s defense once again held the Texas quarterback in check, limiting him to 17-of-36 passing for just 236 yards. TCU maintains bragging rights for another year, and another dubious result can be added to Tom Herman’s resume over the last 365 days.
Florida’s explosive offense rolls on
Frustrating. Stomach-churning. Painful. All of these terms accurately described the experience of watching Florida‘s offense in the post-Tim Tebow era. Now, however, Gators fans have finally been rewarded for their patience in the form of the Kyle-to-Kyle connection. The dominant quarterback-tight end duo of Trask and Pitts delivered once again in Florida’s 38-24 win over South Carolina, connecting for two more touchdowns. That brings the pair’s total to a whopping six on the year. An even better sign for Florida is that it’s not just Pitts who’s tormenting defenses. Eight other Gators caught throws from Trask, who’s reached 10 TD passes on the season. The defense remains a work in progress, but Dan Mullen’s offense deserves to be recognized as one of the country’s best units.