Sunday Takeaways explores the memorable moments, oddities, trivia and trends from the just-concluded college football weekend.
It’s a game of inches.
It ain’t over ’til it’s over.
Break out the cliches. They are all true after a stunning weekend of college football, one where no one could assume anything.
“I think it’s a great illustration that you play until the clock hits zeros,’’ Tennessee coach Butch Jones said.
Here are some Takeaways from another memorable weekend.
GAME OF INCHES: Approximately 36 inches. Clemson preserved its 42-36 win against Louisville when cornerback Marcus Edmond knocked out receiver James Quick at the Clemson 3-yard line — one yard short of a first down — with 33 seconds to play. Louisville might ultimately be out of possibilities for the ACC title — and maybe the College Football Playoff — but you can’t blame electrifying Cardinal quarterback Lamar Jackson. He accounted for 457 yards and three touchdowns. He rushed for 162 yards (135 in the second half).
ANOTHER RALLY: Tennessee is 5-0 for the first time since 1998, when the Volunteers won the national championship. It has been a nerve-wracking ride for Tennessee fans. The Vols rallied from double-digit deficits in four of those victories, including a 34-31 win against Georgia.
Seemingly, it was over for Tennessee, which had once trailed by 17 points, when Georgia surged ahead 31-28 with 10 seconds to play. However, a Georgia player ran off the sideline, joining the celebration, without a helmet. That’s a penalty. Georgia was offside on the kickoff. Another penalty. Tennessee advanced the pooch kick to Georgia’s 43-yard line and four seconds remained.
Then Vols QB Joshua Dobbs tossed a Hail Mary pass to receiver Jauan Jennings, who out-leaped a confluence of Georgia defenders in the end zone. Touchdown. Stunning touchdown.
GOAT TO HERO: When North Carolina kicker Nick Weiler had an extra point blocked, it positioned the Florida State Seminoles to rally for a one-point lead with 23 seconds to play. Over, right? Not exactly. The Tar Heels drove 38 yards in three plays (helped by a pass interference penalty), giving Weiler a shot at a final-play 54-yard field-goal attempt, which he nailed. North Carolina prevailed 37-35, ending FSU’s 22-game home-field winning streak.
NOT OVER: Iowa State took a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter, but Baylor prevailed 45-42, winning on Chris Callahan’s final-play 19-yard field goal.
GOAL-LINE STAND: Utah, trailing 28-23, seemed in good shape with first and goal from the California 2-yard line with 14 seconds remaining, but the Golden Bears, best known so far for mind-blowing offensive displays, held the Utes on three plays to preserve their victory.
BLOCKED: Oklahoma State blocked three extra-point attempts by Texas — including one that was returned for a two-point play.
BEST INTERCEPTION: Michigan’s Jourdan Lewis had a one-handed beauty, snuffing out a desperation fourth-down pass to close out the Wolverines’ 14-7 win against Wisconsin.
REMEMBER ME: Rutgers was taken apart by Ohio State, 58-0. The Buckeyes gained 669 yards and limited Rutgers to 116 yards. Ohio State’s defensive coordinator is former Rutgers coach Greg Schiano.
NICE START: In five games, North Carolina QB Mitch Trubisky has completed 76 percent of his passes for 1,711 yards, 13 touchdowns and no interceptions (240 attempts).
ANOTHER NICE START: LSU interim head coach Ed Orgeron oversaw a 42-7 victory against Missouri in which the Tigers (OK, they’re both Tigers … Bayou Bengals, then) rolled up 634 yards. It was a program record for most yards against an SEC opponent.
TROPHIES: After Indiana defeated Michigan State 24-21 in overtime, the Hoosiers reclaimed the Old Brass Spittoon. Already on campus: the Old Oaken Bucket from last season’s win against Purdue. These are heady times for the Hoosiers.
RECORD BREAKING: Southern Miss set a program record with 702 yards in a 44-28 win against Rice. Golden Eagles QB Nick Mullens set a program record with 591 passing yards. Somehow, Brett Favre had nothing to do with either previous record.
DIVISION LEADER: Colorado (4-1, 2-0) sits alone atop the Pac-12 South Division. During the program’s first five Pac-12 seasons, the Buffaloes were 5-40 in conference play. Colorado beat Oregon State 47-6, the program’s most lopsided conference victory since beating Kansas State 54-7 in 1992. That was in the Big Eight Conference, kids.
UNBEATEN: After five weeks, it’s a Sweet 16 of Football Bowl Subdivision teams that haven’t lost a game — Air Force (4-0), Alabama (5-0), Baylor (5-0), Boise State (4-0), Clemson (5-0), Houston (5-0), Maryland (4-0), Miami (4-0), Michigan (5-0), Nebraska (5-0), Ohio State (4-0), Tennessee (5-0), Texas A&M (5-0), Washington (5-0), West Virginia (4-0) and Western Michigan (5-0).
WINLESS: Four FBS teams — Arkansas State (0-4), Georgia State (0-4), Miami-Ohio (0-5) and Rice (0-5) — haven’t won a game.
NOTABLE QUOTE: “A wise man once told me, ‘You even have to bring those ugly babies home from the hospital’ and that was ugly. In fact, that might have been what someone told my dad when I was born.’’ — Florida coach Jim McElwain following a less-than-artistic 13-6 win at Vanderbilt.