Well, the 2018 college football season is officially in the books. Now, it’s time for reflection. What better way to do that than with the top 10 games of 2018 as we give look at our college football rewind. There was a myriad of great finishes and fantastic plays. But, as great as these games were they will bring back memories of the upsets that almost were. There were outstanding performances by huge underdogs that nearly pulled off the miraculous. Sit back and reflect as we remember the top 10 games of 2018.
Davidson 91 Guilford 61
Raise your hand if you have ever heard of Guilford college. Now, rest assured the hand raising will be minimal. But, we kick our countdown off with an eye-popping offensive performance. Davidson set program and FCS football records with 91 points and 964 yards of total offense.
In the tale of the tape, both teams combined for 152 points and 1,662 yards of total offense while scoring 22 touchdowns in the contest. Davidson amassed 685 yards and 13 scores on the ground in the win over Division III Guilford. Amazingly, Guilford actually won the battle through the air in a 378-279 yard advantage. Unfortunately, for the Guilford Quakers, the season did not end on a positive note. They gave up 62 and 72 points in their final two games. In a year to forget, the Quakers gave up 91, 70, 62, and 63 points this season.
Penn State vs Appalachian State
Penn State 45 App State 38
The giant killer was ready to pounce. Appalachian State known for the dramatic was poised to take down another Big 10 power. After trailing the Nittany Lions 31-17 in the fourth quarter, the Mountaineers scored 21 points in seven minutes to take a 38-31 lead with 1:47 remaining.
But, Appalachian State did not account for the heroics of Trace McSorley. McSorley made a play that Penn State fans grew to appreciate over the years. With two defenders in his face, he hit KJ Hamler with a 15-yard touchdown with 47 seconds left to tie the game. Penn State sealed the victory with a four-yard touchdown run.
Stanford vs Oregon
Stanford 38 Oregon 31
This was a case of a tale of two halves. The Oregon Ducks had a stranglehold on this game in the first half. Justin Herbert was dealing and the Duck defense was handling Stanford to the tune of a 24-7 halftime advantage.
Then, as the Ducks were going in for the kill, as it often does, momentum quickly shifted. Stanford returned a fumble for an 80-yard touchdown to make it a game. Still, Oregon had an opportunity to close out the game. But, the fumble big hit again and the Cardinal took full advantage. K.J. Costello hit JJ Arcega-Whiteside for a 15-yard score to get within three and Jet Toner nailed a 32-yard field goal to send the game into overtime.
It only took the Cardinal two plays to capture the lead in overtime as Costello connected with Colby Parkinson for a 23-yard touchdown. Oregon was not able to regain the magic of the first half as they could not tie the score and Stanford took the improbable win.
Miami 28 Florida State 27
Both Miami and Florida State had a 2018 that they would just rather forget. But, this didn’t stop the greatest comeback in the history of this storied rivalry. After all wide right’s over the years, this series is turning into agony for the Seminoles.
Florida State dominated this game for two and a half quarters. After a D.J. Matthews 74-yard punt return touchdown, the Seminoles led 27-7. But, that would be the last points they would score. N’Kosi Perry tossed three second-half touchdowns to break the Seminoles hearts once again with the one point victory.
Clemson 27 Syracuse 23
Every championship run has a fork in the road. And, for the Clemson Tigers, this was that fork. At the time, controversy was swirling around the program with Kelly Bryant electing to transfer along with true-freshman Trevor Lawrence first start as a Tiger.
The game added even more controversy. Not only was Clemson facing a game Syracuse team, but Trevor Lawrence got knocked out of the game with a concussion. Clemson found themselves trailing by 10 points with just over 10 minutes remaining in the game. The Tigers turned to the running game of Travis Etienne. He delivered as scored two touchdowns in the fourth quarter to score a come-from-behind victory for Clemson.
Ohio State 52 Maryland 51
The Buckeyes were looking to add style points heading into the late part of the regular season to position themselves in the playoff discussion. But, they found themselves in the midst of a fight just trying to escape Maryland with a victory.
The game couldn’t have gotten off to more of an inauspicious start for the Buckeyes. They allowed Anthony McFarland touchdown runs of 81 and 75 yards and were down 17-3 after the first quarter. The Buckeyes battled back behind a Dwayne Haskins long touchdown pass and a J.K. Dobbins short run to cut the deficit to 24-17 at halftime.
After the teams traded touchdowns in the third quarter, they traded blows in the fourth quarter. Ohio State outscored Maryland 21-7 in the final stanza to complete the comeback and send the game to overtime. After a Haskins touchdown run, Maryland responded with a score of their own. But, the magical upset came up just short as Tyrrell Pigrome misfired on a two-point conversion and Ohio State escaped.
Oklahoma 28 Army 21
This was the best game of the year that almost nobody was able to watch. Due to contractual obligations, this was Oklahoma’s game which was selected for Pay Per View. The paid audience was treated to an epic contest which made the Sooner crowd to give the Cadets a standing ovation afterward.
Army outplayed the Sooners in nearly every statistical category. Most notably, The Cadets held possession of the ball for 45 of the 60 minutes. And, they held the Oklahoma offense scoreless for the entire second half. Sooner magic was put to the test with Army driving to the Sooner 32 yard line with just over two minutes to go. But, Oklahoma came up with a critical stop.
Believe it or not, Oklahoma missed a 33-yard field goal which put the game into overtime. On the second play of overtime, Kyler Murray hit CeeDee Lamb for a 10-yard touchdown to give Oklahoma a 28-21 lead. On the ensuing drive, Parnell Motley intercepted a pass to preserve the Sooner victory.
West Virginia 42 Texas 41
In the prototypical offense first Big 12 conference, this one did not deviate from the script. Texas had split their last two games defeating Oklahoma in the Red River Shootout and losing to Oklahoma State. Meanwhile, West Virginia was looking to take a step towards their first Big 12 championship.
Sam Ehlinger and Will Grier went toe to toe in this battle. In fact, they had nearly identical stat lines. Grier threw for 346 yards with three touchdowns and Ehlinger threw for 354 yards with three touchdowns of his own. However, it was Grier that had the last laugh as he ran it in on a two-point conversion to give the Mountaineers the win.
Alabama 35 Georgia 28
This was the rematch that Georgia fans had been clamoring for. After taking the Tide to overtime in last years national championship, they thought this time would be different. The script was indeed flipped, but not the way Georgia fans would like.
Georgia dominated the football game for nearly three quarters. The Bulldogs rendered Heisman Trophy favorite Tua Tagovailoa ineffective before he was forced to the sideline with an injury. That’s when the story went in another direction. Jalen Hurts entered the game in a reversal from a year ago and guided the Crimson Tide to 14 consecutive points and the 35-28 win.
Texas A&M 74 LSU 72
The SEC conference certainly has the market cornered on legendary overtime games. After Arkansas enjoyed the previous two, LSU and Texas A&M shared in on the most recent seven-overtime thriller. And, with that gives us the best game in 2018.
Now, this game came from relative obscurity. Both teams were not in the conference or national race but were playing for bowl positioning. Aside from that, LSU and Texas A&M are trying to build their rivalry as the Aggies are relatively new members of the Southeastern Conference. And, what a way to build that rivalry.
As we fast forward to late in the game, it was replete with oddities. First, there was a premature Gatorade bath on LSU head coach Ed Orgeron. This was after a Kellen Mond interception that was called back. That was just the window dressing as the Tigers and the Aggies fought for another seven overtimes. Finally, at the end of the seventh overtime, Mond connected with Kendrick Rogers for a two-point conversion to conclude the marathon.