CFB Rewind, Look Ahead: Ohio State Deflates Happy Valley, Tennessee Destroys Kentucky, TCU Remains In CFP Conversation

A wild game in Happy Valley started the day, with Ohio State taking care of Penn State in the fourth quarter, while a blowout win for Tennessee closed out the day. In between it all, Georgia took care of Florida, setting up the biggest game of the season so far next weekend in Athens.

If you would’ve told me two months ago that Tennessee and Georgia would be playing for the SEC East, with BOTH teams ranked in the top-3, I certainly would’ve called you crazy. But, after both teams handled business in a decisive way, all eyes will be on Athens next Saturday.

The Big-10, along with TCU took care of their opponents, setting up for a wild final month of football, heading towards conference championship weekend. Also, Alabama will travel to Death Valley for an SEC West showdown.

Ohio State Defense Comes Up Big, Leads Buckeyes In Win

We can talk for days about the Buckeyes offense, led by CJ Stroud. But on Saturday, it was the Ohio State defense that led the team to a win over Penn State. J.T. Tuimoloau had a monster day, including a pick-6 and strip sack in the final 15 minutes to propel the Buckeyes, after trailing at one point in the fourth. C.J. Stroud passed for 354 yards and 1 touchdown in the win, while TreVeyon Henderson rushed for 2 TD’s.

J.T. Tuimoloau #44 of the Ohio State Buckeyes . (Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images)

The four Penn State turnovers were brutal, especially when James Franklin’s group held a lead in the fourth quarter. But everything adds up, and before you knew it, the Buckeyes had scored 14 points in just 44 seconds. This might’e been the best performance I’ve seen from a defensive player all season, with J.T. Tuimoloau finishing with 8 tackles, 2 sacks, 2 interceptions, 1 forced fumble and a touchdown.

Next up, Ohio State will play Northwestern. The Buckeyes most likely won’t be tested again until the season finale against Michigan.

Tennessee Destroys Kentucky Behind A Stellar Defense

We talk about the Tennessee offense on a daily basis, which is much deserved. But on Saturday, it was the Vols defense that humbled Kentucky. Led by a strong showing from the secondary, Tennessee picked off Will Levis three times, while holding the Wildcats to just 205 total yards of offense.

Tennessee WR Jalin Hyatt. Courtesy of Tennessee Athletics Via Tennessee Athletics

As for the offense, the return of WR Cedric Tillman sparked this group, even if he only had 22 yards. Hendon Hooker passed for 245 yards and three touchdowns, with Jalin Hyatt hauling in two of them. Hyatt also broke the single season record at Tennessee for touchdowns, with his total now at 14. It was just another day at the office for the Vols, shredding the Cats’ defense and putting the game away early in the third.

Next up, Tennessee will travel to Athens to play No. 1 Georgia. The stage is set for the biggest college football game of the season. For the Vols, this is the most significant game for this program since the 2001 SEC Championship game against LSU.

TCU Holds Off A Pesky West Virginia To Remain Undefeated

The Horned Frogs are now 8-0 on the season after the win on Saturday. Leading 28-21 at halftime, QB Max Duggan passed for three touchdowns and Kendre Miller added 120 yards and 1 touchdown on the ground. This game was a bit dicey at one point in the second half, after West Virginia’s JT Daniels threw a 23-yard touchdown to cut the lead to 34-31 with four minutes remaining.

TCU Horned Frogs quarterback Max Duggan. (Photo by Frank Jansky/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

This lead wasn’t going to be wasted though, even after the Mountaineers intercepted Max Duggan. Throwing a 29-yard touchdown with under a minute to play, the Horn Frogs secured the 41-31 win. Next up, TCU will play Texas Tech, looking to keep its undefeated season intact.

Games Of Note Around The Top-25

#1 Georgia looked impressive against Florida in Jacksonville, winning 42-20. Stetson Bennett passed for 316 yards, with 2 touchdowns and 2 interceptions. The Bulldogs rushed for 239 yards, with 4 total touchdowns.

Stetson Bennett #13 of the Georgia Bulldogs and Florida’s Billy Napier. (Photo by James Gilbert/Getty Images)

Michigan took care of Michigan State, winning 29-7. Next up, the #4 Wolverines will play at Rutgers.

Ole Miss went into College Station and handed Texas A&M its fourth-straight loss, winning 31-28. Next up, the Rebels will have a bye-week before playing Alabama on November 15th. As for the Aggies, this Jimbo Fisher led program is in a very bad spot, with plenty of problems.

Next Week Marquee Games

Both SEC divisions will be the center of attention around college football. LSU will host Alabama, while #3 Tennessee and #1 Georgia will battle in Athens. Fifth ranked Clemson has a tough matchup with Notre Dame in South Bend, especially after the Irish destroyed Syracuse on Saturday.

Written by Trey Wallace

Wallace started covering the SEC in 2012, as the conference landscape was beginning to change. Prior to his time in Knoxville, Wallace worked in Nashville for The Read Optional, where he first produced content that garnered national attention. His passion for sports is evident in his work and has led him to break some of college football’s biggest stories. His social media reach and natural podcast proficiency continue to make Wallace one of SEC’s most trusted sources.

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  1. Nice to see TCU and the Big XII getting some respect – for once.

    The national media in general (looking at you, Four Letter Nitwits) are overlooking how the Big XII is balanced, not top heavy like the SEC and B1G. Even a bad team like WVU or Iowa State can give teams fits on any given day. And, trust me, as a TCU supporter, we knew that WVU had the makings of a trap game because they’ve always given us fits, whether the game is in Morgantown or Fort Worth.

    TCU’s game against Texas Tech isn’t going to be an easy one either (and, yes, we’re getting the Gus Johnson appearance in Fort Worth for this game). I hope that TCU can run the table and get into the CFP, which won’t be easy with away games at Texas and Baylor after Tech.

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