Tuesday, February 11, 2020

The Top 100 NCAA College Football Games of 2019-2020 (Part Four: #040-#021)

A five-part series taking a fond look back at the absolute best the college football season that was had to offer

By: Jimbo X

If you’re like me, we’re just a couple of weeks removed from the National Championship game but you’re already depressed and jonesing for some hot college pigskin action. While there’s nothing I can do to make August roll around any faster, in the interim I can at least placate your NCAA football D.T.s with our official countdown of the top 100 college football games of the 2019-2020 season, which we’ve broken down into five installments covering 20 games at a time.

Yep that’s right, we managed to review and rank a full hundred of the absolute best Division I games of the college football season  that was, and we even managed to sneak in a few FCS games in there to REALLY give you some stuff to dig up on the DVR. So what are you waiting for? Grab yourself a bowl of Tostitos and your favorite fondue and get ready to reminisce on what was undoubtedly one hell of a year for college football … aye, we’re going to really be missing this shit come the middle of June, so start making that streaming video checklist now, fellas.

Kent State 26, Kennesaw State 23 (Sept. 07, 2019)

An overtime thriller that saw that other KSU beat the other, other KSU in thrilling overtime play. The FCS underdog actually had a 13-3 lead around the midpoint of the second quarter, although a 75 yard. TD pass from Dustin Crum to Isiah McKoy in the third soon gave the Golden Flashes a slim 17-16 lead. Daniel David’s four-yard TD run made it 23-30 Kennesaw State with less than two minutes remaining in regulation, with Kent State’s Matthew Trickett booting a 38-yard field goal with 10 seconds left to force some extra inning play. Alas, Kennesaw State’s Shaquil Terry would fumble the ball away at the Kent State 13, giving the Golden Flashes just enough wiggle room for Trickett to net the 43-yard game-winner four plays later.

Boise State 20, Wyoming 17 (Nov. 09, 2019)

A surprisingly competitive contest that pushed the Blue Turfers to the brink. Wyoming jumped out to a 10-7 lead at halftime, only for Khalil Shakir to make good on a five-yard TD run with about five and a half minutes left in the fourth to knots things up at 17-all. In the first frame of overtime Eric Sache hit a 28-yard field goal to give BUS a 20-17 lead. On the ensuing possession, Wyoming would push down to the Broncos 21 to give Cooper Rothe a chance at the game-tying field goal — a 37-yarder that, much to the Cowboys’ chagrin, Rothe missed like a motherfucker.

Iowa State 29, Northern Iowa 26 (Aug. 31, 2019)

A triple overtime thriller that ALMOST saw the then No. 21-ranked Cyclones get upset by a team from the friggin’ Missouri Valley Conference. A 53-yard fumble return by Xavior Williams gave the Panthers a shocking 13-10 lead heading into the fourth quarter, where Iowa State’s Connor Assalley (boy, I wonder how his ancestors earned that namesake?) booted a 23-yard game-tying FG with less than a minute left in regulation. In overtime, the two teams exchanged field goals, with La’Michael Pettway hauling in a nine-yard Brock Purdy pass to make it 23-16, Cyclones — only for Will McElvain to tag Trevor Allen on a seven-yard TD pass to ties things up again. UNI would make good on a 28-yard field goal to make it 26-23, but on the very next play, Iowa State marched downfield, with Sheldon Croney crunching it in from one-yard out to officially avert the monumental upset. 

Texas State 37, Georgia State 34 (Sept. 21, 2019)

Yet ANOTHER triple overtime heart attack-fest, this one featuring two Sun Belt squads who gave it everything and then some. In a game that saw seven regulation-time lead changes, it all came down to O.T. play, with Dan Ellington hitting Sam Pinckney on a 13-yard laser to make its 34-27, Panthers. Alas, the Bobcats would respond with a one yard TD run from Gresch Jensen, with Joshua Rowland ultimately booting the 35-yard game-winning FG — this, after both teams took turns whiffing on field goals during the second overtime round.

Navy 35, SMU 28 (Nov. 23, 2019)

Navy bested SMU 540 yards to 344 in this back-and-forth barnburner, with Midshipmen QB Malcolm Perry ultimately calling it a day with 162 passing yards and one throwing TD and 195 yards and two rushing scores on 38 keepers. Even better, Navy managed to battle back from a 21-10 halftime deficit, with M.P. officially putting this one away with a GLORIOUS 70-yard touchdown run with about six minutes remaining in the fourth. 

Texas 27, Kansas State 24 (Nov. 09, 2019)

A good old fashioned Big 12 quarterback dual that, for a change, DIDN’T involve OU, OK State, TCU or Baylor. Sam Ehlinger has 263 passing yards in the win, while KSU’s Skylar Thompson ultimately managed 233 yards and two passing scores on the day. Really, this one boiled down to the run game, which saw Keaontay Ingram amass two scores and 139 yards all by himself for Texas, while the Wildcats rushing attack only mustered a puny 51 yards on the ground. The Longhorns nearly squandered a 24-14 lead in the opening frame of the fourth, allowing the Wildcats to tie it up 24-all later Joshua Youngblood’s THUNDERING 98 yard kickoff return and Blake Lynch’s 45-yard field goal. Alas, Cameron Dicker earned his keep for the Orange and White, booting the game-winning 26-yard FG as time expired.

TCU 33, Texas Tech 31 (Nov. 16, 2019)

An absolutely fantastic Big 12 score-a-thon that saw  TCU jump out to 24-3 lead in the early frames of the second quarter— only for the Red Raiders to go on a scoring bonanza in the third, chalking up 12 unanswered on back-to-back 30-yard-plus TD passes from Jett Duffey to to take the improbable one-point lead heading into the fourth. From there, both teams played strong defense (a rarity for the conference, for sure) and traded field goals, with TCU’s Jonathan Song booting to 20-yard game-winner with five and a half remaining in regulation to put this one away for good. 

Ohio State 28, Penn State 17 (Nov. 23, 2019)

A virtual Big Ten title eliminator that saw Ohio State amass a 21-0 lead in the third quarter — only for the defense to allow Penn State to score 17 unanswered over a barely four-minute window. Alas, Justin Fields did what Justin Fields did and lobbed the dagger through the Diddlers hearts with a 28-yard passing score to Chris Olave with about 13 minutes left in the fourth; ultimately, Fields called it a day going 16 for 222 passing for 188 yards and two scores, while top rusher J.K Dobbins exited the outing with 157 yards and two scores on 36 touches. 

Indiana 44, Purdue 41 (Nov. 30, 2019)

A rousing double-overtime thriller that witnessed both teams combining for more than 1,100 yards of total offense — hell, the LOSING QB in this one still had 408 passing yards and three touchdowns, for crying aloud. The high drama started around the three-minute mark of the fourth, when Aidan O’Connell tagged David Bell for a 20-yard TD to tie things up at 31-all. In the first round of O.T. play, Peyton Ramsey hit Nick Westbrook for a 14-yard touchdown, only for O’Connell to tag Brycen Hopkins on a six-yard TD pass in riposte. Purdue’s J.D. Dellinger booted a 34-yard field goal to make it a 41-38 game in double-O.T. — only for Peyton Ramsey (23 for 39, 337 yards, three passing TDs) to score the game-winner on a one-yard keeper sprint.

Oklahoma 42, Iowa State 41 (Nov. 09, 2019)

I.e., the one where the Sooners ALMOST got eliminated from the College Playoffs. Oklahoma had a 35-14 lead heading into halftime, only for Iowa State to go on scoring rampage in the fourth, with Brock Purdy lobbing three unanswered touchdown passes in the fourth, including the potential game-winner, a 13-yard zip to Charlie Kolar with just 24 seconds left on the clock. Alas, instead of going for the game-tying FG, the Cyclones — in their coaching staff’s infinite wisdom — instead opted to go for a two-point conversion, which, obviously, failed spectacularly. This one is well worth going out of your way to relive, kids, just to see Purdy’s astounding 282-yard, five touchdown losing performance. 

Oregon 28, Wisconsin 27 (Jan. 01, 2020)

Hey, a Rose Bowl matchup that was actually entertaining for a change! In a back-and-forth bar fight that witnessed seven lead changes, Justin Herbert went 14 for 20 for 138 yards and no touchdown passes, but he certainly got the most out of his 29 yard rushing day — which, ultimately, produced three touchdowns for the Ducks, including the game-winning 30-yard scramble with about eight minutes remaining in regulation. 

SMU 43, Tulsa 37 (Oct. 05, 2019)

An EPIC three-O.T. affair that saw Tulsa’s Zach Smith throw four touchdowns and collect 346 yards through the air — and still lose the game. Even more amazing, the Always Singular Golden Hurricane had a 30-9 lead heading into the fourth, only for the Methodists to explode for 21 unanswered in the final 15 minutes of regulation play — complete with Xavier Jones notching up the game-tying four-yard TD run with barely one minutes left in the quarter. Ultimately, Shane Buechele (23 for 40, 280 yards, two touchdown passes) put her away with a beaut in the third round of overtime play — a 25-yard bomb to James Proche for the walk off touchdown.

Wisconsin 24, Iowa 22 (Nov. 09, 2019)

Despite Jonathan Taylor notching up 250 yards on 31 carries the Badgers just barely won this hard-fought trap game, with the Hawkeyes battling back from a 21-6 deficit heading into the fourth to make it a 24-22 affair with barely three minutes left in regulation after Nate Stanley bombed Tyrone Tracy, Jr. on a glorious 75-yard score. Alas, Wisconsin played it smart in the waning minute of the game, with Jonathan Taylor’s stellar 42 yard run around the two-minute mark being more than enough yardage padding to allow Wisconsin to wait out the rest of the contest. 

Georgia 23, Notre Dame 17 (Sept. 21, 2019)

Another year, another game where the Bulldogs just BARELY do enough to beat the Irish. Ian Book but ND on top early with a one-yard pass to Cole Kmy, but the Bulldogs would quickly hop on top of the scoreboard thanks to two successful field goals by Rodrigo Blankehsip. A 15-yard Jake Fromm to Lawrence Cager TD in the first two minutes of the fourth pretty much put this one away, although Notre Dame’s late, late push in the final five minutes of the period definitely amped up the drama. 

Minnesota 31, Penn State 26 (Nov. 09, 2019)

In a battle of two 8-0 Big Tenners, something had to give, and thankfully, we got a good one as the Golden Gophers topped the Nittany Diddlers 31-26 in an instant classic. Heading into halftime Minnesota sustained a 24-13 lead, which Penn State would cut into after Sean Cliffored tagged Nick Bowers on a 10-yard TD pass. Alas, Seth Green (but, uh, not THAT Seth Green) played hero of the day for the Gophers, rattling off a one-yard TD run in the opening minute of the fourth that, ultimately, gave Minnesota all the scoreboard padding they required to take home the “W.”

Iowa 23, Minnesota 19 (Nov. 16, 2019)

A pretty big upset that saw the 7-2 Hawkeyes bump the the 9-0 Golden Gophers from the ranks of the unbeaten. Iowa had a sizable 20-6 lead heading into halftime, which Minnesota would cut into following Tanner Morgan’s 28-yard TD zip to Tyler Johnson. Still, Keith Duncan’s 27-yard field goal with about seven minutes left in regulation more or less put her away for the Hawkeyes, although the Gophers’ gave it a valiant losing effort, with Rodney Smith chalking up a one-yard TD run with four minutes remaining in the contest.

Illinois 24, Wisconsin 23 (Oct. 19, 2019)

In which the 3-3 Illini upset the shit out of the formerly-undefeated Badgers in Champaign-Urbana. The Badgers had the 13-7 lead heading into halftime, and thanks to Jonathan Taylor’s five-yard TD run, the Badgers were up as much as 20-7 at one point in the third. Alas, it was only a matter of time until the Illini offensive Wehrmacht starting cranking up, with Brandon Peters’ 29-yard TD pass to Josh Imatorbhebhe making it a two-point game — with James McCourt’s 39-yard FG as time expires officially lifting the underdog Illini to a last-second victory.

Auburn 27, Oregon 21 (Aug. 31, 2019)

The legend of Bo Nix begins. Down 21-6 in the third, true freshman QB Bo Nix hit Eli Stove on an 11-yard pass in the third to make it an eight-point game, with Joey Gatewood making it a one-point ball game following a one-yard TD run around the 10-minute mark of the fourth. Adding high drama to the contest, Nix won the whole kit and caboodle on a 26-yard game-winning TD pass to Seth Williams with just nine seconds left in regulation.

Georgia Southern 30, Coastal Carolina 27 (Oct. 19, 2019)

A triple overtime thriller that saw Georgia Southern’s Wesley Kennedy collecting 129 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, including the three-yard game-winning score in the third frame of O.T. Amazingly, the game ended regulation with the ho-hum tied score of 10-10, only for the Chanticleers and Eagles to go back-and-forth trading touchdowns in extra innings, complete with Shai Werts tagging Mark Michaud on back-to-back, 20-yard plus TD passes to keep Georgia Southern in it to win it. 

The Citadel 27, Georgia Tech 24 (Sept. 14, 2019)

One of the biggest college football upsets in recent memory, as the Division I FCS Bulldogs upset the Yellow Jackets in overtime play  — this, despite The Citadel QB Brandon Rainey calling it a day with just 30 passing yards, one completion (a TD, amazingly) and one INT. Of course, Rainey redeemed himself in the third with a 22-yard TD run late in the third quarter, with Jacob Godek booting a 47-yard field goal with less than two minutes left in regulation to take the 24-21 lead. Of course, Georgia Tech managed to prolong the contest with Brenton King hitting a 34-yard FG as time expired … only for King to miss on a 46-yard field goal in O.T. to give The Citadel the shocking victory.


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