school soccer Week eight - UCLA-Oregon, Mississippi State-Alabama spotlight the most important video games

The Week eight schedule forward is the proper time to confirm in on two vitality 5 conferences which have not gotten pretty a little bit of affection this season.

the large 12 and Pac-12 have been rocked by realignment plans the previous two offseasons nonetheless the conferences at the second have two of in all probability the most intriguing championship races inside the nation.

Following a double-time past regulation win in opposition to Oklahoma State, TCU has taken the reins of the large 12. It would not get any simpler for the Horned Frogs, nonetheless, as they welcome a ranked Kansas State crew to Fort worth this Saturday.

UCLA introduced its plans to depart the Pac-12 this offseason nonetheless it seems the Bruins have their eyes on a convention crown earlier than leaping ship. Standing of their means is a extreme-10 Oregon crew that has bounced again from a area of curiosity week blowout loss to Georgia. the very best-10 matchup in Eugene will go a good distance in deciding which of these teams will in all probability be making a Pac-12 championship sport look — if not each.

in any case of the SEC and ACC even have ranked matchups this week that will outline the teams’ season. Clemson meets upstart Syracuse, whereas each Mississippi State and Alabama want to bounce again after losses. Oh, and Ole Miss travels to LSU in an age-previous rivalry.

loads to hold observe of this week, listed right here are the very best storylines from fully the best video games.

No. 9 UCLA Bruins at No. 10 Oregon geese (Saturday, three:30 p.m. ET, Fox)

The script that is been written for this matchup has all of the makings of a very good one earlier than the foremost snap is even taken: two extreme-10 teams every coming off bye weeks. UCLA coach Chip Kelly returning to Oregon, the place he was head coach for 4 seasons. UCLA quarterback Dorian Thompson-Robinson and Bo Nix going head-to-head. GameDay on website. The winner positive elements the inside observe to the Pac-12 championship.

“all of us are aware of it should be electrical right here and that is one factor we will depend on to our benefit,” Oregon safety Bennett Williams mentioned.

“We dwell for video games like this,” Thompson-Robinson mentioned.

whereas Kelly has gone above and past to remove the emotion from this matchup, it is safe to say every Oregon coach since Kelly left for the NFL has wished to work inside the shadow of what Kelly did in inexperienced. Dan Lanning is the latest, and he is aware of he is going up in opposition to an offense that is starting to level out shades of these geese teams underneath Kelly, particularly in relation to the quarterback.

“we even have not performed anyone pretty like him, for my half,” Lanning mentioned this week. “he is a dynamic participant. Anytime he touches the ball it’d in all probability flip into an explosive play. so as that is exhibiting up for them.”

Lanning mentioned he is seen similarities between DTR and the geese’ Nix by approach of how they’re executing every offense’s imaginative and prescient from sport to sport. The stats bear out some similarities as properly. each have thrown for over 1,500 yards up to now this season; Thompson-Robinson has 15 touchdowns and two interceptions to Nix’s 12 touchdowns and three interceptions, whereas Nix has run the ball for 330 yards and eight touchdowns and Thompson-Robinson has 231 speeding yards and 4 touchdowns.

The quarterback duel is, in any case, solely a factor of the pleasing. each teams lead the convention in speeding protection and are going to be going by means of sturdy matchups in UCLA’s Zach Charbonnet and Oregon’s Bucky Irving (who transferred from Minnesota) — each lead the very best two speeding assaults inside the convention, too.

Between Charbonnet, Thompson-Robinson and gamers like offensive lineman Jon Gaines II, amongst others, Kelly finds himself with a veteran crew that is lastly turning his course of into outcomes. it is allowed the Bruins to be on this place as a end result of the shock crew inside the convention. however after beating Washington and Utah in consecutive weeks and saying themselves as a official contender, they will not be engaging anyone anymore — particularly the geese. — Paolo Uggetti

No. 14 Syracuse Orange at No. 5 Clemson Tigers (Saturday, noon ET, ABC/ESPN app)

After Clemson’s season-opening win in opposition to Georgia Tech, DJ Uiagalelei was mad. He’d actually performed properly, a sneak peek at what could be a excellent turnaround in 2022, however there was one space of his sport that hadn’t measured up. Clemson dialed up 10 designed runs for Uiagalelei and he mustered simply 38 yards. It might’ve been pretty a bit extra.

“If i would simply gotten my knees up, I might’ve gotten rather extra yards,” he mentioned.

name it prophetic. inside the six video games since, these yards have come.

Uiagalelei’s capability to run was one in every of Clemson’s large talking factors this offseason as a end result of the QB shed better than 30 kilos in a quest to be extra athletic on the sphere. he is additionally gotten healthful, after dealing with a bum knee for a lot of final season.

the outcomes communicate for themselves.

by means of seven video games, Uiagalelei already has extra yards (319) on designed runs in 2022 than he had in thirteen video games final season (312). Discounting sacks, Uiagalelei has rushed for 60 yards or extra in 4 of his previous 5 video games, one factor he hadn’t managed in any of his prior 17 begins. he is had at the very least eight designed runs in opposition to every FBS crew he is performed this season. He hit that mark simply 4 instances final 12 months.

“i like working the ball,” Uiagalelei mentioned. “For me, it is pleasing. it is one other dimension the protection has to play. The quarterback run is one other factor they should fear about, and it opens up the working lanes for the working backs as properly.”

And sure, the burden loss has helped significantly. final season, Uiagalelei was accountable for simply 12 missed tackles all 12 months, primarily based on professional soccer Focus. This 12 months, he is already made 25 defenders look foolish.

“i do not think about in sliding,” Uiagalelei joked this week.

nobody will mistake Uiagalelei for an elite runner — like this week’s opposing QB, Garrett Shrader — nonetheless the mere risk is passable to drive defenses to rethink how they should assault the Tigers. that is been a boon for your whole offense in 2022.

“Any time you’d possibly have that extra hat to run the ball it creates extra sturdy circumstances for the protection,” offensive coordinator Brandon Streeter mentioned. “whether or not it influences a approach and also you go the selection in any other case you only load up and obtain an extra blocker. There’s pretty a little bit of the means to handle the protection everytime you’d possibly have a man that is eager to run and healthful passable to run. And that is what DJ has been in a place to try this 12 months.” — David M. Hale

No. 24 Mississippi State Bulldogs at No. 6 Alabama Crimson Tide (Saturday, 7 p.m. ET, ESPN/ESPN app)

anticipate the penalty flags to fly Saturday in Bryant-Denny Stadium. Alabama’s sixty six accepted penalties are in all probability the most of any crew inside the FBS this season, whereas Mississippi State is tied for twenty sixth most with forty eight.

And whereas we’re shut to driving coaches loopy, search for a stunning deal of drops, too. Alabama is tied for in all probability the most dropped passes inside the FBS with 21, whereas Mississippi State is thirtieth with 14.

So whoever shoots itself inside the foot least wins, proper?

it is clearly extra sophisticated than that.

the extreme end result might even be decided largely by which protection is handiest attending to the quarterback. as a end result of Mississippi State’s Will Rogers and Alabama’s Bryce youthful are two of fully the best QBs inside the nation this season. Rogers has thrown for the third-most passing yards inside the FBS (2,324). youthful, in the meantime, ranks eighth nationally in QBR (86.1).

each defenses have proven they’ve the vitality to get into the backfield. With star edge rushers Will Anderson Jr. and Dallas Turner, Alabama has the very best price of sacks per move try inside the SEC at eight.2%.

Mississippi State, alternatively, is inside the very best 5 of the SEC in stress proportion, affecting 28.1% of dropbacks.

“Their protection might even be very aggressive, creates pretty a little bit of turnovers, do pretty a little bit of pressuring the quarterback,” Alabama coach Nick Saban mentioned.

And the Bulldogs can throw pretty a bit at you. Nathaniel Watson and Tyrus Wheat are each inside the very best 10 inside the SEC in sacks. Randy Charlton, Collin Duncan and Nathan Pickering have two sacks apiece as properly. — Alex Scarborough



Paul Finebaum calls out Nick Saban and the Alabama coaches for the crew’s struggles.

No. 7 Ole Miss Rebels at LSU Tigers (Saturday, three:30 p.m. ET, CBS)

Ole Miss coach Lane Kiffin, ever the Twitter troll, has been acknowledged to poke pleasing at his previous boss Nick Saban at any level out of rat poison, and Kiffin has his personal string of Twitter emojis symbolizing rat poison saved for at any time when one factor will get on the market on social media which might rise to that stage.

properly, this is an apparent one: With a win Saturday over LSU, Ole Miss can start eight-zero in a season for the foremost time for the motive that 1962 SEC championship crew (nationwide champions by simply a few non-NCAA acknowledged retailers) accomplished 10-zero. It stays the one unbeaten and untied crew at school historic previous.

Now, nobody is suggesting that Ole Miss is bearing down on its first nationwide championship in six many years, particularly with the Rebels about to hit the enamel of their schedule. Three of their final 5 video games are on the avenue, and the house video games are in opposition to Alabama and Mississippi State. nonetheless it is an Ole Miss crew that does pretty a little bit of issues it takes to be in title rivals.

The Rebels run the ball as properly as to anyone. They’re third nationally in speeding offense with a median of 271.4 yards per sport. Quinshon Judkins (720) and Zach Evans (605) are the one pair of teammates inside the nation with better than 600 speeding yards every.

The Rebels make large performs on offense and do not surrender many on protection. They’re one in every of three teams nationally collectively with Alabama and Florida State with 50 or extra performs from scrimmage of 20 yards or longer and 25 or fewer performs allowed of 20 yards or longer.

The Rebels additionally drive turnovers and are tied for thirteenth nationally with thirteen turnovers gained.

sure, all of that is rat poison.

The Rebels even have a coach in Kiffin who’s not going to be afraid to go for it on fourth down and has a observe file of establishing sure his gamers play free and instinctively as a end result of the video games get greater.

Kiffin, whose Ole Miss crew has obtained eleven straight common-season video games courting again to final season, mentioned this week that LSU was the “most gifted opponent by far” the Rebels have confronted this season.

The Tigers (5-2) have flashed that expertise at completely different factors, however they’ve additionally been wildly inconsistent. They have been uncovered inside the offensive line (amongst completely different places) of their forty-thirteen beatdown by Tennessee two weeks in the past. They wished to rally from a 17-zero deficit at Auburn three weeks in the past to win 21-17.

however by means of amongst the numerous hiccups, Brian Kelly has been in a place to maintain it collectively passable that LSU has obtained 5 of its previous six video games after the season-opening loss to Florida State. the latest was a forty 5-35 win at Florida final week, the Tigers’ highest-scoring output in opposition to an FBS crew this season with quarterback Jayden Daniels accounting for six touchdowns and 349 passing yards. LSU is hopeful that working again Armoni Goodwin (hamstring) can return to the lineup this week collectively with receiver Jack Bech.

Kelly knew it is going to take time for Daniels to really feel fully snug in a mannequin new system, particularly inside the passing sport. It was Daniels’ assertiveness inside the Florida sport that jumped out most to Kelly, who’s eager to see if LSU can construct on the Florida win after getting embarrassed at house two weeks in the past by Tennessee.

“we want to have the vitality to place collectively good performances again to again, and we have gotten not been in a place to try this but,” Kelly mentioned. “it has been form of grinding out a sport.” — Chris Low

No. 17 Kansas State Wildcats at No. eight TCU Horned Frogs (Saturday, eight p.m. ET, FS1)

TCU and Kansas State are atop the large 12 as a consequence of a redemption season for every of their quarterbacks underneath new offensive coordinators.

Wildcats QB Adrian Martinez, a 4-12 months starter at Nebraska, threw forty five touchdowns to 30 interceptions for the Huskers earlier than transferring to okay-State this offseason, the place he has thrown for 900 yards with 4 TDs and zero interceptions this season. Kansas State coach Chris Klieman mentioned new offensive coordinator Collin Klein deserves pretty a little bit of credit rating for his transformation.

“a factor of it is his maturity, the fact that he is performed pretty a bit soccer and that i really feel coach Klein is placing them in some actually good circumstances and calls to attain success and us making an try to hold forward of the chains and by no means being in a bunch of third-and-eight-plus, the place you’d possibly usually drive the ball, and being in rather extra third and shorts,” Klieman mentioned. “It opens up the playbook barely bit extra and he is making good selections.”

TCU’s Max Duggan, who threw forty one touchdowns to twenty interceptions in his first three seasons in Fort worth, has thrown for 1,591 yards with sixteen touchdowns and one interception underneath offensive coordinator Garrett Riley.

“i really feel it is a credit rating to the place Duggan is at and the means he is taking half in as a end result of he is making them go,” Klieman mentioned.

Horned Frogs coach Sonny Dykes mentioned Duggan should proceed to be environment nice as a end result of Kansas State controls the time of possession and TCU will not have that many alternatives. The Wildcats have acknowledged as designed run performs on fifty seven% of their snaps.

“We nonetheless have too many three-and-outs,” Dykes mentioned, regardless of TCU scoring a touchdown on forty six% of its offensive drives, the fifth-highest price in FBS. “We’re not going to get many alternatives, so we have gotten to have the vitality to take benefit.”

To his level, Kansas State has allowed a TD on simply thirteen% of its opponents drives, eighth best inside the FBS.

The winner will in all probability be inside the driver’s seat down the stretch inside the large 12 race, with one in every of these two teams struggling its first convention loss Saturday. — Dave Wilson


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