The Washington Huskies have officially arrived! College Football Week 7 was a lot of fun and provided us with the game of the year so far up in Seattle. USC got blown out in South Bend and appeared to get exposed. North Carolina cleared another hurdle toward a potential ACC title bid. Let’s recap the week.
College Football Week 7 Notebook
Washington Tops Oregon In Epic Thriller
What. A. Game. Washington and Oregon played what was arguably the game of the year so far, saw the Huskies hang on at home in a back-and-forth showdown with Oregon. Both teams entered the week 5-0, so the win for Washington keeps them atop the Pac-12 and in the driver’s seat for a conference championship game bid. While they lost, Oregon was still impressive in the 36-33 loss. They can still run the table and earn a potential rematch with Washington in the Pac-12 Championship.
It’s impossible to recap Saturday’s game without mentioning yet again how impressive Michael Penix Jr was in the win. It might not have been his most efficient game, but he made all the big throws when needed and tossed four touchdowns against the Ducks. And when Oregon went for it at midfield late in the 4th Quarter and didn’t get it, Penix Jr got the Huskies into the endzone and gave them a 36-33 lead in just two plays.
This week, Oregon hosts Washington State while Washington hosts Arizona State. Both teams likely still control their destiny to get into the College Football Playoff. Here’s to hoping Washington and Oregon run the table, and we get a rematch in Vegas for the conference championship and a likely playoff bid on the line.
Notre Dame Dominates USC
I talked about it a couple of weeks ago, but USC started looking like a flawed team over their last few games. On Saturday, Notre Dame saw those cracks and busted through them with a 48-20 win in South Bend. The Irish created a dominant defensive game plan that gave Caleb Williams problems all night. They pressured the reigning Heisman Trophy winner from the jump and forced Williams into several bad throws and decisions. The Irish forced five turnovers, including three interceptions.
USC can still get into a Pac-12 title game, but the rest of their schedule is an absolute gauntlet. They close their schedule with Utah, Cal, Washington, Oregon, and UCLA. Three of those five teams are legitimate Pac-12 Championship contenders.
As for the Irish, that was a significant win for Marcus Freeman. After last weekend’s disaster in Louisville, questions were starting to pop up about Freeman and his ability to get the job done at Notre Dame. While the Irish won’t be getting to a playoff this year, their ability to get off the mat and put forth this dominant effort against a Top 10 team was a statement from their head coach.
Unfortunately for ND, many “what could have been” questions will be lingering after the Ohio State loss. However, a 10-2 season with an NY6 Bowl is still very much on the table, and that would be far from a bad season, even if the ultimate goal wasn’t achieved.
North Carolina Clears Another Big Hurdle
Another week and another impressive win for the Tar Heels! North Carolina beat Miami at home 41-31 behind another big performance from their quarterback, Drake Maye. Maye finished with four touchdowns through the air, and three of them went to the newly reinstated Tez Walker, who was damn near unstoppable. Walker accounted for 132 of North Carolina’s 273 yards through the air and chipped in with three receiving touchdowns. No wonder they wanted him back so badly!
The path to an undefeated season just got much clearer for the Heels. They should beat Virginia, Georiga Tech, and Campbell before they close out the season with Duke at home, then on the road for Clemson and N.C. State. It’s wild thinking that a Duke vs Carolina FOOTBALL matchup could end up being the most important game of the season in the ACC, but November 11th’s matchup might be a battle of ACC unbeatens with a potential ACC Title Game bid on the line.