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Sunday Takeaways: another crazy football weekend

Randy Litzinger/Icon Sportswire

Sunday Takeaways explores the memorable moments, oddities, trivia and trends from college football’s weekend.

Huge upsets. Amazing statistics. Crazy happenings.

In other words, just another college football weekend.

Let’s take a closer look.

BEEN A WHILE: Penn State’s stunning 24-21 comeback victory against the No. 2 Ohio State Buckeyes will resonate through the Big Ten Conference standings and the College Football Playoff derby.

For the Nittany Lions, though, it was a monumental occasion.

It was Penn State’s first win against a top five-ranked opponent since 1999 (Arizona) and the program’s most accomplished victory since 1990 (when it won at No. 1 Notre Dame). Penn State hadn’t beaten such a highly-ranked opponent at home since 1982 (No. 2 Nebraska).

BUCKEYE CRASH: For Ohio State, it was something new under coach Urban Meyer — a road defeat. Meyer’s Buckeyes had been 20-0 in true road games since his arrival in 2012.

The Buckeyes must play Northwestern, Nebraska, Maryland and Michigan State before the regular-season finale against Michigan. They are clinging to hopes of rebounding for the CFP semifinals. There’s consolation in knowing that both of Meyer’s national-championship teams at Florida (2006, 2008) had a loss.

The Buckeyes must clean up some areas, for sure. QB J.T. Barrett, after being sacked just five times all season, was dumped six times by Penn State.

ALABAMA EXCELLENCE: It seems great numbers always surround the top-ranked Alabama Crimson Tide (7-0), which rallied for a 33-14 win against previously unbeaten Texas A&M.

It was Alabama’s 20th straight victory. The Crimson Tide rolled up their 12th non-offensive touchdown this season on Jonathan Allen’s 30-yard fumble return. Alabama now has 10 straight games of scoring either on defense or special teams.

Alabama’s defense continued a trend that borders on mortal lock status. Under coach Nick Saban, the Crimson Tide is 82-1 when holding an opponent to 14 points or fewer. The only hiccup was a 9-6 loss against LSU in 2011.

October 22, 2016: Oklahoma University running back Joe Mixon (25) pulls away for a touchdown during the Texas Tech University Red Raider's 66-59 loss to the Oklahoma University Sooners in a Big 12 football game at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX. (Photo by Sam Grenadier/Icon Sportswire)

October 22, 2016: Oklahoma University running back Joe Mixon (25) pulls away for a touchdown during the Texas Tech University Red Raider’s 66-59 loss to the Oklahoma University Sooners in a Big 12 football game at Jones AT&T Stadium in Lubbock, TX. (Photo by Sam Grenadier/Icon Sportswire)

PASSING FANCY: Oklahoma running back Joe Mixon had 263 rushing yards, 114 receiving yards and five touchdowns.

Oklahoma receiver Dede Westbrook had nine receptions for 202 yards.

And they barely warranted a mention.

What else would you expect after Oklahoma’s ridiculous 66-59 victory at Texas Tech?

Sooner QB Baker Mayfield, playing against his old school, completed 27 of 36 passes for 545 yards and a program-record seven touchdowns (with no interceptions). Oklahoma became the first program in FBS history with a 500-yard passer, 200-yard rusher and 200-yard receiver in the same game.

Meanwhile, Texas Tech QB Patrick Mahomes II set an FBS record by accounting for 819 yards of total offense. He was personally involved in 100 plays with 88 passing attempts and 12 rushing attempts. He was 52 of 88 for 734 passing yards (and five touchdowns), while rushing for 85 yards and two scores.

The Sooners and Red Raiders combined for 1,708 yards of offense (splitting it equally with 854 each), breaking the FBS record of 1,640 yards (San Jose State-Nevada in 2001).


STYLE POINTS: Even after an uneventful 41-8 win against Illinois, Michigan coach Jim Harbaugh added a little spice by giving some details about his stylish eyeglasses, which he said were a tribute to former Ohio State coach Woody Hayes, activist Malcolm X and actor Michael Douglas (in the movie “Falling Down’’).

THE FORGOTTEN: Speaking of falling down …

How things have changed since the season’s opening weekend for some teams that were expected to accomplish big things.

* Houston (6-2, 3-2 American Athletic Conference), after a stunning 38-16 defeat against SMU, has gone from possible College Football Playoff contender to a team that probably won’t win its division, just in the space of a few weeks. Cougars coach Tom Herman said some “immense introspection’’ is next for his ball club.

As for SMU, it enjoyed the biggest victory against a ranked team (Houston was No. 11) since defeating No. 6 Pittsburgh at the 1983 Cotton Bowl, when its “Pony Express’’ backfield featured Eric Dickerson and Craig James.

* Michigan State (2-5, 0-4 Big Ten), following a 28-17 defeat against Maryland, has a five-game losing streak and its longest drought in Mark Dantonio’s 10 seasons as Spartans coach. The Spartans still must face Michigan and Ohio State, putting postseason chances in grave jeopardy.

* Oregon (2-5, 0-4 Pac-12), after falling in two overtimes against California 52-49, has five straight defeats, its longest losing streak since 1996. During the five-game drought, the Ducks have allowed 49.8 points per game.

* Stanford (4-3, 2-3 Pac-12), after a 10-5 defeat against Colorado, has scored just one offensive touchdown in its last 13 quarters of play. Its fans booed loudly when the Cardinal attempted a running play on second-and-26.

* Texas (3-4, 1-3 Big 12), after a 24-21 defeat at Kansas State, has lost four of its last five games and it drawing closer to a third straight losing season under coach Charlie Strong.

POSTGAME MEAL: Colorado coach Mike MacIntyre, whose program became bowl eligible for the first time since 2007, rewarded his players with a post-game trip to the iconic In-N-Out Burger, providing a double-double pleasure for the trip to Stanford.

GREAT PICK: Northwestern safety Kyle Queiro had the play of the day when he leaped high for a one-handed interception in a 24-14 win against Indiana. Actually, he had no choice. Queer had to use his right hand because his left arm was in a cast.

OUT OF RETIREMENT: Utah running back Joe Williams, who quit the team after the second week, recently returned to the program. In a 52-45 win at UCLA, Williams galloped for a program-record 332 rushing yards on 29 carries. Maybe the brief rest did him some good?

DEE-FENSE: How could you not mention running back Donnel Pumphrey when talking about San Diego State? It’s impossible. Pumphrey now has a nation-leading 1,246 rushing yards after a 42-3 win against San Jose State. He has 58 career rushing touchdowns — and 63 TDs overall — to break the school records set by Marshall Faulk. But does anyone realize that the Aztecs, on a 14-game winning streak in Mountain West Conference play, haven’t allowed a touchdown in 12 straight quarters during league games?

THE UNBEATEN: Heading into Halloween weekend, there are nine unbeaten Football Bowl Subdivision teams — Alabama (8-0), Baylor (6-0), Boise State (7-0), Clemson (7-0), Michigan (7-0), Nebraska (7-0), Washington (7-0), West Virginia (6-0) and Western Michigan (8-0).

THE WINLESS: This category has been officially eliminated.

Rice, the last of the 128 FBS schools without a victory, defeated Prairie View 65-44 behind the 407 yards passing and five touchdowns of Tyler Stehling. Give it up for the 1-6 Owls.

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