Week 14 became the final week of the regular season in the ACC for Clemson and Notre Dame and a week where the Tigers could clinch another trip to the ACC championship game. It also was a week that got another team in SC more respect nationally while one other one got another head coach. Ohio State got another win and closer to a spot in their championship game.
The Chanticleers were originally scheduled to play Liberty but they had to cancel due to protocols. It would have been easy for Coastal to just take the weekend off and get ready for their conference championship game but instead what did they do? They contacted BYU and had them come in to play them. Many expected the Cougars to give the Chanticleers their first loss of the season but Coastal had other plans and took care of BYU. It was a great back and forth game that came down to a stop by the Chanticleers defense on their own one yard line as time ran out giving them the 22-17 win.
The Tigers began the game against Virginia Tech a little slow but by the end of the third quarter there was no doubt that Clemson was the better team on both sides of the ball. Even though QB Trevor Lawrence didn’t have his best game the Tigers still won 45-10 and punched their ticket to their sixth straight ACC championship game. They now get another shot at Notre Dame, who they took to double overtime in South Bend a few weeks back when the Tigers were without several key players on defense along with QB Trevor Lawrence.
It was college football’s most stunning upset of the weekend, and possibly of the season, when a one win Rice team took down No. 21 Marshall. It was the Thundering Herd’s first loss of the season. Marshall was a 24-point favorite but ended up getting shutout 20-0. Again, one of the worst losses of the season.
The Spartans came into their game with Ohio State with two wins and not only did they not come close to getting their third but looked bad against the Buckeyes who were missing 23 players, including three starting offensive linemen and head coach Ryan Day. The Buckeyes came into the game and just dismantled Michigan State 52-12.
What a difference a year makes. Last year at this time the Tigers were undefeated, getting ready to play in the SEC championship game, and the College Football Playoff. They’ve had one of the worst follow up seasons by a national champion in college football history. To make things worse they had to take on Alabama Saturday and they beat down LSU 55-17 in their own home stadium.
Gus Malzahn’s Tiger defense crumbled in fourth quarter. Auburn entered the final quarter with a 20-14 lead and gave up 17 unanswered to lose 31-20 to Texas A&M. This loss was an ugly one that has caused Malzahn’s seat to become even hotter.
The Gamecocks season couldn’t end soon enough and neither could their game against Kentucky this weekend. The Wildcats destroyed SC 41-18. If there was a silver lining for the Gamecocks though it could be the fact that they named Oklahoma’s assistant head coach of offense Shane Beamer as their next head coach. He was the special teams coach and recruiting coordinator at UofSC under Steve Spurrier.