With the conclusion of week four of the college football season, that means it is time for the latest round of The Junkie Awards. There was no shortage of material to work with this weekend and we will do our best to recognize some of the good, bad, and downright asinine.
We Salute You Award
After jumping out to a 21-0 lead late in the second quarter, Pitt fell victim to a UCF comeback, then did a little coming back of their own in their 35-34 win. After getting the nations hopes up, the Panthers looked like they were going to let us down. After some late game blunders with the play calling in their previous game costing them any shot against Penn St, Pat Narduzzi and his staff made up for it with some aggressive late game playcalling in this one. QB Kenny Pickett scored with 59 seconds left after the Panthers broke out some trickeration using “The Philly Special” to hand UCF their first regular season loss since Nov of 2016. Pitt and Coach Narduzzi, the nation thanks you for exposing the Knights for the pretenders they are, and more importantly putting a muzzle on their loud, obnoxious fanbase. And most importantly, ensuring that there will be no talk of UCF deserving a playoff spot this season.
Fraud of the Week Award
The Wolverines came into the season ranked in the top five, and considered by many to be a legit playoff contender. Why anyone would consider a team that can not win the games that matter a playoff contender is beyond me, but I digress. Saturday in Madison, The Fightin’ Harbaughs did what they do best under the current regime, lose to a ranked team. Wisconsin smacked Michigan in the mouth, and the Wolverines folded like a cheap tent in the 35-14 loss, the worst in the Harbaugh era.
Chokejob of the Week
Early in the 3rd quarter, Wazzou led hapless UCLA 49-17. A UCLA team that had yet to score more than 14 points in a game through its first 3 games. Then the wheels came off. The Bruins stormed back, scoring TDs on 7 of their last 8 possessions, four coming off Cougar turnovers. Wazzou turned it over 6 times total, allowing UCLA to come all the way back and win it 67-63. There haven’t been many chokejobs of that magnitude in the history of the sport.
Wal Marter of the Week
A week after looking like a new team offensively with freshman QB Ryan Hillinski taking the snaps against Bama, UofSC was back in form on Saturday against Mizzou. Former Clemson QB Kelly Bryant improved to 2-0 in his career against the Gamecocks, as his new Tigers whipped South Carolina 34-14. Hillinski was nowhere close to as sharp in his first road start, going 13-30 for 166 yards with a pick and a fumble. The fumble was the result of a boneheaded decision and resulted in 7 points for Missouri.
But this isn’t UofSC’s award, it’s their head coach that is being honored here. When asked after the game if fatigue was a factor, head coach Will Muschamp bluntly replied, “Yeah.” This is a coach known for talking about how fatigue makes cowards of us all.
That’s what happens when you treat one opponent more importantly than the next. They treated that Alabama game like it was their Super Bowl, still lost by 24 points, and depending on who you listen to, might have gotten Hillinski injured late in garbage time in the process. He had no business being on the field late in that game, down by 31. Who knows, I guess it’s possible that terribly long flight to Columbia, Missouri could have exhausted them.
That is it for this week. Congratulations to all out award winners!