Week 9 of the 2023 college football season brought another strong slate of matchups.
Kicking things off, No. 6 Oklahoma was upset by Kansas, 38-33, on FOX’s “Big Noon Kickoff,” marking the Sooners’ first loss of the season and their first loss to the Jayhawks since 1997. Recap all the action here.
Meanwhile, No. 4 Florida State, also unbeaten, took care of ACC foe Wake Forest in front of a sold-out crowd, and a Big Ten battle between No. 10 Penn State and Indiana ended with the Nittany Lions narrowly avoiding an upset at home.
Later on in the day, No. 8 Oregon handled No. 13 Utah in the biggest matchup of the day, No. 18 Louisville shut out No. 20 Duke at home, and No. 7 Texas took care of business against BYU. No. 24 USC found itself in a back-and-forth battle with Cal, ultimately winning, 50-49, as the Trojans stopped the Golden Bears’ two-point conversion with under a minute left.
Closing out the action, No. 3 Ohio State pulled away in the second half against Wisconsin, outlasting the Badgers at Camp Randall, 24-10, while No. 23 UCLA was able to break away from Colorado, winning 28-16.
Here are the top moments!
No. 3 Ohio State 24, Wisconsin 10
Look at his catch radius
Marvin Harrison Jr. showed off his one-of-a-kind skills in the first quarter, battling an opposing defender for Kyle McCord’s deep ball before coming down with the reception for a 35-yard gain.
Badgers get a big play
Right after an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty negated a third-down stop for them, the Badgers were able to keep the Buckeyes off the board by getting an interception in the end zone.
Marvin on the move to the end zone
Harrison continued to do his thing in the second quarter. This time around, he scored a touchdown by taking McCord’s checkdown the extra yards to give the Buckeyes a 10-0 lead.
Locke’d in for the second half
Braedyn Locke and the Badgers’ offense came out ready to go in the second half, marching right down the field on the opening possession. Facing a third-and-8, Locke moved around the pocket before stepping up to throw to an open Will Pauling in the end zone for a touchdown to tie the game up, 13-13.
Ohio State’s star receiver did it again, hauling in a 19-yard touchdown grab in the end zone while somehow staying inbounds as he was getting pushed and hit in the face. The score put Ohio State back up, 17-10, in the middle of the third quarter.
Henderson brings it home
TreVeyon Henderson capped off his return to Ohio State’s lineup by getting in on the scoring action. The star running back found his way past Wisconsin defenders along the sideline before scoring a 33-yard touchdown to give the Buckeyes a 24-10 lead late in the fourth quarter.
No. 23 UCLA 28, Colorado 16
How did you do that, Hunter?
On UCLA’s third offensive snap of the game, Travis Hunter made a key read to jump Ethan Garbers’ pass to get an interception. The pick gave Colorado great field position, allowing it to kick another field goal to make it 6-0.
Steele for six!
UCLA running back Carson Steele found his way into the end zone, but this one came through the air. Garbers hit the running back in the end zone on a play-action pass to give the Bruins a 7-6 lead in the first minute of the second quarter.
Sanders brings the boom
Shilo Sanders brought a promising UCLA drive to a halt, getting the ball out of Steele’s arms after a reception with a big hit.
Make it two for Travis
Colorado’s star corner was at it again in the second quarter, extending his arms on a downfield pass to make his second interception of the game. His pick gave Colorado the ball at its own 40-yard line.
Shilo sent off
The Colorado defensive back was ejected from the game in the first half due to his high hit on a UCLA receiver, getting called for targeting.
Bruins brewing a score
It only took 35 seconds into the second half for UCLA to score a touchdown. Garbers found Moliki Matavao over the middle for a 26-yard touchdown pass that extended its lead to 14-6.
Weaving one out to Weavers
Colorado got going again offensively on its second possession of the second half. Sanders found Xavier Weaver deep, hitting him in stride for a 45-yard pickup. The play set Colorado up for a field goal that made it 14-9.
Trying to get the big fella a touchdown
Chip Kelly got spicy when UCLA had the ball at the goal line, leading 14-9 in the fourth quarter. The Bruins opted to try and throw a touchdown pass to defensive lineman Jay Toia. The pass fell incomplete, negating Toia his chance of a touchdown.
But UCLA was able to score on the next play, with TJ Harden rushing in for a 3-yard score to make it 21-9.
UCLA adds to it
Collin Schlee was put in at quarterback for a play in the red zone and made the most of it, running into the end zone on a quarterback keeper to give the Bruins a 28-9 lead late in the fourth quarter.
Hit the Horn
Colorado was able to get a touchdown back late in the game when Sanders connected with Jimmy Horn, making it a 28-16 game with just under three minutes left.
No. 24 USC 50, Cal 49
Over the top, twice!
USC QB Caleb Williams had a favorite target early on, connecting with Tahj Washington for two big plays on two separate drives that helped the Trojans score.
First, Williams threw a strike downfield to the receiver, who leaped up to haul in a 30-yard grab at the 12-yard line, setting USC up for a touchdown to make it 10-0.
More of the same
Later in the first quarter, Williams threw a deep completion to Washington. The receiver didn’t have a defender on him this time though, allowing him to run for a 56-yard gain. That play set USC up for another touchdown to take a 17-7 lead.
Good as gold
Three plays after USC took a 17-7 lead, Cal struck right back when RB Jaydn Ott hit the open hole before turning up the field and had nothing but daylight in front of him, scoring a 61-yard touchdown.
Big TD grab
After Ott scored his third touchdown of the game to give Cal a 21-17 lead in the second quarter, the Golden Bears were back at it. QB Fernando Mendoza threw a low ball to Trond Grizzell in the front corner of the end zone, which the Cal receiver reached down to grab for a 17-yard touchdown and a 28-17 lead halfway through the second quarter.
Williams found a groove again in the second half, completing a deep ball to Kyron Hudson for a 33-yard gain to help set the Trojans up for a touchdown, cutting Cal’s lead to 28-23.
Making it look easy
Right after getting an interception, the Trojans scored once again. Williams found Brenden Rice wide open in the end zone for a 22-yard touchdown pass that gave them a one-point lead, 29-28, in the third quarter.
The Golden Bears didn’t wait long to take the lead back, going on a 10-play drive that ended with Mendoza running in for a 2-yard score to make it a 36-29 ballgame.
Operation tush push for Cal results in six
The Golden Bears extended their lead at the start of the fourth quarter, with Mendoza getting into the end zone again, this time with the help of some teammates, to extend Cal’s lead to 43-29.
Trojans tie it back up
After Williams got a tush push himself to cut Cal’s lead to 43-36, the Trojans knotted the game up when MarShawn Lloyd ran it for a 9-yard score with 6:05 left. The touchdown came three plays after Cal fumbled on a USC punt, adding insult to injury.
That was quick
USC got the lead back on its next possession. After forcing Cal to turn it over on downs, USC only needed two plays to score, with Lloyd running for a 56-yard gain before Austin Jones rushed for a 7-yard score on the next play, giving the Trojans a 50-43 lead with 3:33 left.
Cal gets into the end zone, but can’t get the two-point conversion for the lead
Just like they did all day, the Golden Bears responded to the Trojans’ late score in the fourth quarter. Mendoza found Jaivian Thomas for a 13-yard touchdown to make it 50-49 with 59 seconds left.
However, USC was able to make the stand on Cal’s two-point conversion, which would’ve given the Golden Bears the lead. Cal had to go for the onside kick, which it didn’t recover, allowing USC to win.
No. 8 Oregon 35, No. 13 Utah 6
Oregon QB Bo Nix put his team on the board first after running through the Utah defense on his way to the end zone.
Oregon QB Bo Nix bulldozes past Utah’s defense for 1-yard rushing TD
On the move
Ducks RB Jordan James slipped out of the backfield to get open, allowing him to make an easy grab before running down the field for an 18-yard score to put Oregon up, 14-3.
Oregon’s Bo Nix connects with Jordan James on an 18-yard passing TD
The Ducks intercepted Utes QB Bryson Barnes at Utah’s 30-yard line to start the second quarter. They made it all the way to the 3-yard line, where Nix completed a play-action pass to WR Troy Franklin in the end zone to boost Oregon’s lead.
Tysheem Johnson’s interception fuels Bo Nix’s acrobatic 3-yard passing TD
No luck needed
Bucky Irving continued to add to Oregon’s lead in the second half, with the Ducks using an up-tempo offense to move down the field before the star running back ran for a 9-yard score to make it 28-6.
Bucky Irving cruises to the end zone on a 9-yard rushing TD vs. Utah
The Ducks forced Barnes to throw another interception on the Utes’ ensuing drive after Irving’s touchdown, giving them the ball with good field position.
Then, Oregon WR Traeshon Holden got a screen from Nix to run in for a 5-yard score, and things ended there.
No. 7 Texas 35, BYU 6
Longhorns star WR Xavier Worthy returned BYU’s punt 74 yards, blazing past defenders on his way to collect six points.
Texas QB Maalik Murphy found star receiver Adonai Mitchell for a 30-yard score right before halftime to extend the Longhorns’ lead, 21-3.
Not long after BYU made a big goal-line stop, Texas was able to seize the ball back with a scoring opportunity. Longhorns DB Michael Taaffe intercepted Kedon Slovis’ pass over the middle and ran it back to BYU’s 8-yard line.
Murphy hit Mitchell again for a touchdown to make it a 28-6 game in the fourth quarter and help seal the win.
No. 18 Louisville 23, No. 20 Duke 0
Going, going, gone!
Louisville RB Jawhar Jordan battled for 14 yards and a touchdown on the Cardinals’ first possession, marking the fifth time this season they have scored on their opening drive.
Jordan found the end zone for the second time in the first quarter when he found a hole and raced right by the last Duke defender for a 23-yard score to put Louisville up by double digits, 14-0.
Louisville went on to add three field goals and keep Duke off the board completely, sealing a double-digit shutout.
No. 10 Penn State 33, Indiana 24
A perfect pass from Hoosiers QB Brendan Sorsby to DeQuece Carter resulted in a touchdown when the speedy receiver took it all the way to the house for a 90-yard score.
Penn State QB Drew Allar connected with a wide-open Khalil Dinkins in the end zone to give the Nittany Lions their first score of the day and tie the game 7-all late in the first quarter.
Blown coverage by the Penn State defense proved costly and allowed a wide-open Donaven McCulley to cash in for a 69-yard touchdown and helped the Hoosiers regain the lead, 14-7, early in the second quarter.
Penn State’s Jaylen Reed picked off Sorsby just ahead of the end of the half, and Alex Felkins capitalized on the newfound possession by hitting a 50-yard field goal to put the Nittany Lions ahead, 17-14, at the break.
Ready for more!
Penn State opened the second half with a scoring drive that featured a 16-yard touchdown from tight end Theo Johnson.
Hoosiers wideout Omar Cooper Jr. shook off a couple defenders on his way to the end zone for a 26-yard touchdown, which cut Penn State’s lead, 24-21, early in the fourth quarter.
Shake it off
Indiana tied the game 24-all with a field goal after Allar threw his first-career interception — after 300 attempts — when the Hooisers defense brought the heat late in the final frame. However, Allar quickly shook off the turnover and made up for it on Penn State’s following possession, finding KeAndre Lambert-Smith for a 57-yard score to regain the lead, 31-24.
Later, the Nittany Lions defense came up big with a sack on Sorsby that resulted in a safety to end the game.
No. 4 Florida State 41, Wake Forest 16
Finding a rhythm
FSU QB Jordan Travis got his team on the board first, cashing in for a 13-yard score on the Seminoles’ opening drive. Wake Forest was able to narrow the gap in the second quarter, but Travis had another trick up his sleeve.
He found Keon Coleman for a dazzling 29-yard touchdown — the wideout’s eighth receiving touchdown this season — early in the second half to put FSU back on top, 17-7.
No stopping him now
Travis linked up with RB Trey Benson, who broke tackles left and right as he made his way downfield and into the end zone for a jaw-dropping 80-yard touchdown to give FSU a 24-7 lead.
Then, Travis connected with Coleman once again, this time for a 14-yard score to extend the Seminoles’ lead, 31-7.
Then, the Seminoles padded their lead with another touchdown from Benson late in the fourth quarter to seal the win.
Other moments from around the college football world
A 15-yard penalty on the fans
Snowfall came early in Colorado this year as Saturday’s Air Force-Colorado State game featured a lot of snow. In fact, there was so much snow that fans were able to throw snowballs around.
But that cost Colorado State some yardage. The officials issued the Rams a 15-yard penalty because their home crowd wouldn’t stop throwing snowballs at the start of the second half.
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