It was a memorable Saturday across the College Football landscape, for many programs, the final weekend of the regular season before Conference Championships take center stage. Despite six of the top 10 teams in the College Football Playoff rankings being idle (either scheduled or canceled due to Covid), there was plenty to write home about in the fallout. Let’s take a look at the top stories.
Arizona fired their head football coach, Kevin Sumlin, on Saturday, a day after the Wildcats were embarrassed by Arizona State, 70-7. The 70 points were the most the program has allowed in the rivalry's history, dating back to 1899. In the third year of a five-year contract, Sumlin led Arizona to 12 straight losses dating back to last season, a program-record for futility. The school will honor the final two years of his deal, including a $7.5M buyout.
History in Vanderbilt
Sarah Fuller became the first woman to score a point in a Power 5 conference football game when she connected on an extra point late in the first quarter of Vanderbilt’s game against Tennessee. The Commodores would eventually lose to the Volunteers, 42-17, but Fuller was the story as she finished the day 2-2 in extra points.
Fuller made history on November 28 when she kicked off against Missouri, becoming the first woman to play in a Power 5 conference game, but Saturday, she contributed to the scoring.
"This whole time has been if I can do it, if I'm good enough to do it," Fuller said after the game. "It wasn't if I was a girl or not. So that's something I've really appreciated. At the end of the day, they treated me like an athlete, and that's the best I could ask for.''
Heels Run Over Canes and into Record Books
Michael Carter and Javonte Williams combined for 544 rushing yards in North Carolina’s 62-26 win over No. 10 Miami, rushing for the most yards by a pair of teammates in a game in NCAA history. The previous NCAA record of 523 yards was set by Jarvis Thrasher and Quincy Daniels of Division III Mary Hardin-Baylor in 2007.
Buffalo running backs Jaret Patterson and Kevin Marks Jr. had the previous FBS mark of 506, set earlier this year against Kent State. Patterson stole the show that afternoon, tying a major college record with eight touchdowns.
On Saturday, Carter ran for 308 yards and two touchdowns, and Williams ran for 236 yards and three touchdowns.
Shoeless and Clueless
Florida may have already guaranteed themselves a spot in the SEC Championship next week against Alabama, but they hit a roadblock on the way to that showdown in Atlanta. The No. 6 Gators fell to unranked LSU 37-34 on Saturday, potentially ending Florida’s hopes of reaching the College Football Playoff.
The Tigers won with a late field goal, only made possible when a Florida defender ripped the shoe off an LSU receiver and threw it across the field following what would have been a third-down stop that would have surely resulted in a punt. Instead, the shoe-toss drew multiple flags and an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty that kept LSU’s drive alive, leading to the game-winning kick. With the loss, the Gators fall to 8-2 and now face the top-ranked Crimson Tide for the conference title.