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College football’s biggest plays from Week 6

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Upsets, shootouts and unlikely heroes were all present in Week 6 of college football and all can be seen in this week’s top plays. 

You need guts when you want to win an SEC game as an underdog, so starting the game with a trick play or going for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter will always get you on lists like these. 

And, of course, a big man touchdown is always a welcome addition to highlight reels across the country.

The top five plays from Week 6 in college football:

Connor Bazelak, Missouri, QB: The Missouri offense showed no fear when it hosted No. 16 LSU and broke out the trickery on its first possession. Less than two minutes into the game, Mizzou ran the coveted flea flicker that ended with a 58-yard touchdown from Bazelak to Tauskie Dove. Missouri would go on to win 45-41. Bazelak  finished with 406 passing yards and four touchdowns. 

Isaiah Spiller, Texas A&M, RB: On their way to a 41-38 upset win against No. 3 Florida, the Aggies went for it on fourth down in the fourth quarter, down 28-24. Miller not only got the first down, but he bounced off a UF defender on his way to a booming 19-yard touchdown run to give Texas A&M the lead in a turning point of the SEC matchup.

Alim McNeill, N.C. State, DT: McNeil found himself in every big man’s dream when N.C. State faced off against Virginia. The 320-pound lineman batted quarterback Lindell Stone’s pass into the air in the fourth quarter and tracked the ball down for a thunderous 18-yard pick six. The Wolfpack would

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Marty & McGee — Who are college football’s best and weirdest superfans?

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Each week during the 2020 season, Marty Smith and Ryan McGee will celebrate all of the stuff that makes college football great: the sights, sounds, places and pageantry that make it the greatest sport in these United States of America. The same kinds of conversations you can hear and see during Marty & McGee, Wednesdays on SEC Network/ESPN App (7 p.m. ET) and Saturday mornings on SEC Network/ESPN App and ESPN Radio (7-10 a.m. ET). This week the boys look back on their close encounters with college football’s most famous — and sometimes infamous — fans.

Ryan McGee: OK, to me there are three categories here. The fans who are famous for being fans, the fans who think they are famous for being fans, and then there are the famous people who are fans. Does that make sense?

Marty Smith: I think that makes a lot of sense. I think your categorization is spot-on. If categorization is even really a word, because sometimes we do make up words on Marty & McGee. But I think your categorization is a very fair representation of what we are discussing this week during our ESPN.com feature. What the hell is the name of our ESPN.com feature anyway?

McGee: It doesn’t have one. I say we call it “College Football Is Awesome.”

Marty: And it is. Again, nice categorization.

McGee: The group I want to talk about aren’t the famous fans but the ones who are famous for being fans. You and I go stand on a sideline

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College football’s COVID-19 approach reflects scientific, political gaps

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R-0 may be the most important scientific term you’ve never heard of when it comes to stopping the coronavirus pandemic.

USA TODAY

To avoid local public health restrictions during the pandemic, San Jose State University last week made a drastic move.

It decided to bus its football team 325 miles north to Humboldt County, where the Spartans started practicing on another college campus indefinitely while completing classwork online.

The relocation is designed to let the team have larger practices in a less restrictive county. Such preparation was “imperative” as the team’s season opener approached on Oct. 24, athletics director Marie Tuite said in a statement.

The team’s home county saw it differently.

“We are very disappointed to see any team going outside the county to circumvent a process that was put in place to ensure the safety of its players and staff,” Santa Clara County said in a statement to USA TODAY.

Such is the state of disruption these days in college football. It’s all over the map, including by bus.   

Several leagues are trying to come back this month and next after initially deciding it was safer to wait until 2021, including those with members that still hadn’t been cleared for regular practices under local health orders as of Wednesday, such as Stanford and Colorado.

Lower-profile leagues are sticking with their decision not to play this year, such as the Ivy League. Other major leagues with large followings in the South and Texas are playing more like normal, with some limited stadium attendance of around 15,000 or more. On Monday, LSU even said it would no longer require a medical wellness check to enter the stadium. 

“We’re living in a big experiment right now,” said Yvonne Maldonado, an infectious disease expert at Stanford who consulted with the Pac-12

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Does Ohio State football’s schedule help or hurt its chances at the College Football Playoff’s No. 1 seed?

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COLUMBUS, Ohio — Ohio State football’s original schedule, with all of its opponents at full strength, provided an almost optimum path to the College Football Playoff.

The Big Ten schedule featured a balance of lower-division walk-overs and potential upper-rankings contenders. A win at Penn State in a whiteout fortifies any resume. Flying out to Oregon and bringing back a victory sets the stage for a season that could end with a No. 1 seed.

The coronavirus pandemic robbed the Buckeyes of many of those potential advantages. No potential marquee non-conference victory. No hostile environment awaits when Ohio State visits State College to face a Nittany Lions team missing its best player. Michigan’s roster is also compromised by opt-outs and even potential Top 25 team Iowa will no longer visit Ohio Stadium.

For the latest Mark it Down Monday episode of Buckeye Talk, we pondered whether we still believe Ohio State is the favorite to win the national championship. Considering the Buckeyes, Clemson and Alabama appear to be the clear front-runners to reach the playoff, the No. 1 seed could again be critically important — as it was a year ago.

LSU and Ohio State battled for the No. 1 overall seed from the time the CFP committee made its first reveal last November. The margin remained thin going into the final weekend. When the Tigers rolled past Georgia for the SEC championship and Ohio State had to rally from a halftime deficit against Wisconsin to win the Big Ten championship, the committee had its answer.

LSU faced Oklahoma — the “one of these things is clearly not like the others” playoff team of 2019. Ohio State drew the tougher assignment in Clemson.

A very similar dynamic could be at stake in 2020. If those top three teams all run the

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What coaches are saying about five of college football’s new quarterbacks in the spotlight

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The significance of new starting quarterbacks shouldn’t be lost on the modern-day college football fan. Just check the past two groups of Heisman Trophy finalists.

Although the 2019 Heisman winner, LSU’s Joe Burrow, was in his second year with the Tigers, the other two quarterback finalists, Oklahoma’s Jalen Hurts and Ohio State’s Justin Fields, had shined after transferring to their new teams. In 2018, Oklahoma’s Kyler Murray won the Heisman in his first year as the Sooners’ starter, while the other finalists, Ohio State’s Dwayne Haskins and Alabama’s Tua Tagovailoa, also stood out in their first full seasons as QB1.

Not surprisingly, new quarterbacks are in the spotlight this season. Some are already on the Heisman radar, alongside familiar names such as Fields and Clemson’s Trevor Lawrence as well as other incumbents, including Florida’s Kyle Trask. I spoke to coaches about five notable QBs playing their first major minutes for their teams, and had the coaches assess their play so far, their potential this season and what lies ahead for them.


Record: 3-0

Stats: 63-of-94 passing for 736 yards, six touchdowns, no interceptions, 83.9 QBR; 28 rushes for 157 yards, one rushing touchdown

Up next: Saturday at No. 1 Clemson

King already is exceeding the expectations placed on him to jump-start a dormant Miami offense. Along with new playcaller Rhett Lashlee, King is adding a dynamic element for the Hurricanes with his efficient passing, explosive running ability and field vision, both as a passer and a runner. It’s still early, and Miami will learn a lot more after this week’s trip to Clemson, but King looks a lot like the player who was a Maxwell Award semifinalist in 2018, when he accounted for 50 touchdowns despite

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