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Georgia Southern isn't passing aggressive in win over Florida

The Eagles of the Football Championship Subdivision complete no passes as they stun the SEC power Gators, 26-20.

November 24, 2013|Chris Dufresne
  • Quarterback Kevin Ellison points to a teammate after Georgia Southern scored a touchdown against Florida on Saturday.
Quarterback Kevin Ellison points to a teammate after Georgia Southern… (Michael Chang / Getty Images )

The NFL Network aired a terrific documentary this week commemorating the 100-year anniversary of the forward pass.

Georgia Southern obviously didn't watch it.

In a game that would have made Darrell Royal and Woody Hayes proud, Georgia Southern of the Football Championship Subdivision not only shocked Florida, 26-20, the Eagles did it without completing a "forward" pass.

Georgia Southern handed Southeastern Conference-power program Florida, arguably, its most embarrassing loss … ever?

The game was in Gainesville in what might be renamed Will's Mus-Swamp.

Florida was eliminated from bowl consideration after falling to 4-7 against a team from the Southern Conference.

The loss ends the Gators' streak of 22 straight bowl appearances.

Georgia Southern is a pure run-option team, but it's still remarkable the Eagles could defeat an SEC team with quarterback Kevin Ellison completing no passes in only three attempts.

Ellison did rush for 118 yards and two touchdowns.

The forward pass was legal before 1913, but it was officially popularized by Notre Dame in a win over Army that featured the pass-catch combo of Gus Dorais and Knute Rockne.

Hayes, when he was coaching Ohio State, often said three things can happen when you pass, and two of them are bad.

Some say Hayes borrowed the line from Texas coach Royal, but Royal later credited Hayes for the saying.

Bad game business as usual

Georgia Southern pulled off a shocker but all the other pre-planned wipeout games went accordingly.

Alabama, South Carolina, Clemson, North Carolina and Florida State outscored five paycheck opponents by the cumulative score of 331 to 50.

Alabama's 49-0 win over Chattanooga was the Crimson Tide's third shutout of the season. North Carolina and Florida State each scored 80 points in wins against Old Dominion and Idaho.

Rose duds

Oregon receiver Josh Huff said this week he didn't want to play in the Rose Bowl unless it was for the national championship.

Well, good news, Josh, you aren't going to the Rose Bowl on Jan. 1 or Jan. 6.

No. 5 Oregon's outside national title hopes were derailed with a crushing 42-16 loss to Arizona in Tucson.

One of the most remarkable streaks in college football also ended when Ducks quarterback Marcus Mariota had a pass intercepted for the first time since Nov. 17, 2012.

Mariota had thrown a Pac-12 record 353 passes without an interception before his perfect pass to Bralon Addison was picked off by Arizona's Scooby Wright in the first quarter.

It took a sideline circus act to end the streak as the ball bounced off Addison's chest and was deflected by Shaquille Richardson to teammate Wright.

It was a bad Oregon omen as Arizona turned the interception into a touchdown on its way to a runaway win.

Richardson made the Ducks' miserable day complete when he intercepted a Mariota pass late in the game.

Oregon's loss clinched the Pac-12 North for Stanford, which scored an easy win over California.

Seventh heaven

Which was the more impressive weekend performance: Navy quarterback Keenan Reynolds' seven rushing touchdowns or Fresno State quarterback Derek Carr's seven touchdown passes?

Reynolds' remarkable effort came Friday night in Navy's 58-52, triple-overtime win at San Jose State.

The pregame featured a moment of silence to commemorate the 50th anniversary of John F. Kennedy's assassination. Kennedy served in the Navy in World War II.

Reynolds finished with 240 yards in 36 carries and scored the game winner.

Carr threw for seven touchdowns and 527 yards in Fresno State's 69-28 home win over New Mexico. The Bulldogs improved to 10-0 to keep alive their Bowl Championship Series bowl hopes. Davante Adams had nine catches for four touchdowns and teammate Josh Harper had three scoring receptions in 10 catches.

Other helmet stickers go out to:

— Arizona back Ka'Deem Carey, who gashed Oregon for 206 yards and four touchdowns.

— Boston College back Andre Williams, who rushed for 263 yards in the Eagles' 29-26 win over Maryland. Williams became the 16th player in NCAA history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in a season.

— Duke football, which defeated Wake Forest to record its first nine-win season since 1941.

Crimson rules

Harvard (8-2, 6-1) bested Yale, 34-7, in the 130th meeting of these Ivy League icons. It was the Crimson's 12th win in the last 13 meetings and clinched for Harvard a share of the league title with Princeton.

Harvard sophomore back Paul Stanton scored four first-half touchdowns in New Haven, Conn., tying the 98-year school record set by Eddie Mahan in 1915.

Yale dropped to 5-5 overall and 3-4 in Ivy play.

Happy campers

Recreation vehicles pulled in early at Auburn for Saturday's big Iron Bowl showdown against Alabama.

Never mind that the game is next Saturday.

Auburn sports information director Kirk Sampson posted a photo tweet of RVs taking positions in the parking lot for the Nov. 30 game at Jordan-Hare Stadium.

"Several hundred RVs already in place at the hayfields ready for the big game," Sampson tweeted.

Let's hope there's a medical tent on the grounds to cure this sickness.

Auburn (10-1) was off this week but its fans obviously can't wait to deny Alabama a third straight national championship.

You can't blame Tiger Nation after finishing 0-8 in SEC play last year. First-year Coach Gus Malzahn has led Auburn to a remarkable turnaround season.

Alabama (11-0) tuned up for next week's showdown with a home game against 1-AA Chattanooga.

Auburn fans, in the meantime, were probably doing more business with AAA (Auto Club).

What might Tiger fans be talking about all week?

They could start with the 2010 Iron Bowl in which Auburn came back from 24-0 down to defeat Alabama on its way to the national title.

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