3 College Football Teams on Upset Alert in Week 9
Upsets come along every week, but rarely do we get the craziness of last-second win. Week eight gave us just that.
If you missed it, here is a quick recap:
- The "once in a lifetime game" took place in Atlanta. Florida State kicker Roberto Aguayo's 56-yard field goal was blocked and taken back for a game winning touchdown. It was the first time since 2012 that the Seminoles lost a regular season conference game.
- There was more than just one exciting ACC game last weekend. Duke needed four overtimes to defeat Virginia Tech, 45-43.
Granted, there was not a ton of upsets in week eight. In fact, if it wasn't for the Yellow Jacket's upset win over FSU it would have been a slow weekend.
Week nine has much more potential than its predecessor. There are many top 25 that are in danger of being upset, but here are three games in particular that we think you should keep an eye on:
**Note: All stats, unless otherwise noted, are courtesy of cfbstats.com**
It is not often that you see a team from the American Athletic Conference get put on upset alert against an SEC team. These, however, are different circumstances. Vanderbilt has fallen off the map, and this could be an opportunity for Derek Mason to get his team headed in the right direction.
Houston, of course, is not going to lay down lightly. The Cougars are averaging over 47 points per game under the guidance of new head coach Tom Herman, who was the offensive coordinator for Ohio State last season. This high-powered offense has allowed Houston to move through the schedule with relative ease, but the defense has been equally as impressive. They rank second in the AAC in total defense. Herman's team still has to stay on the toes against an SEC even if it is Vanderbilt.
Derek Mason obviously has his work cut out for him. The Commodores, in all honesty, do not do anything exceptionally well. They do have a bit of confidence after grabbing their first SEC win of the Mason era last week over Missouri. Mason's defense is getting better and better each week, and the offense is more consistent now that the team has finally established a starting quarterback. Vanderbilt has almost pulled one or two upsets already this season, but will this be the weekend that they finally capitalize?
It may be a bit of an overreach to think that Vanderbilt can upset an undefeated team on the road. The Commodores have nothing to lose and everything to gain from a victory on Saturday, which is why you should expect a close game. Houston may open the flood gates, but this game has the potential to be a hard fought battle.
College Gameday decided to go to Philadelphia for a reason. Temple is undefeated, yet Notre Dame will still enter the game as a double-digit favorite. The hype around this game has upset written all over it. Will the Owls capitalize?
First things first, one must give Brian Kelly the credit he deserves. Kelly has had multiple starters go down with season-ending injuries and yet he still has Notre Dame in contention. The Fighting Irish have a top-20 offense nationally despite losing starting quarterback Malik Zaire earlier in the year. The defense has also played well, but they do tend to give up points in a hurry. Temple is no powerhouse, but Notre Dame will have to play flawless football when playing in a hostile environment like this.
Temple, undoubtedly, has the momentum going into this matchup. The key will be holding on to that momentum, which they can do by turning to their defense. The Owls possess the top-ranked total defense in the AAC, and they also lead the conference in sacks. They stand a good chance if they force Notre Dame quarterback DeShone Kizer outside the pocket. Now Temple has struggled to ramp up their offensive numbers at times. Fortunately for them, all it will take is just a few successful drives.
It is hard to avoid being upset when there is so much hype around the game. You can expect this crowd to be in it from start to finish. In the end, Notre Dame may overpower Temple, but the Owls will not go down easily.
Last week, we put Stanford on upset alert against Washington. Christian McCaffrey quickly put that upset bid to rest before it could get started. The atmosphere and excitement in Pullman leads us to believe that this game has the potential to be a different result.
Stanford would be a top three team if not for its loss to Northwestern. Many believe that loss could be the 2015 equivalent of Ohio State's loss to Virginia Tech last season. That's because Stanford has been on one of the nation's hottest winning streaks, and McCaffrey is the man to thank for it. He has accounted for 635 yards of offense and seven touchdowns in his last three games alone. His success is pivotal, but it could also be bad news if a team manages to slow him down.
To be fair, there is no indication that Washington State has the man power to slow down McCaffrey or any of Stanford's offensive weapons. The Cougars rank 10th in rush defense in the PAC 12. However, confidence is at an all-time high in Pullman. Wazzu has won three straight conference games, and it, of course, has been done using Mike Leach's renown pass happy offense. Quarterback Luke Falk is averaging over 400 passing yards per game. Stanford could have trouble slowing down this passing game.
The hype around Pullman gives this game a certain feel to it. Washington State knows how good Stanford is, and they know what a win could do for this program. Stanford will need to be on its toes.