No. 11 Arizona State (8-1, 5-1) put an end to No. 8 Notre Dame’s (7-2) playoff hopes with a 55-31 thrashing at Sun Devil Stadium in Tempe, Ariz. The Irish’s second half comeback was put to an end by 58-yard pick six by Lloyd Carrington.
Both teams swapped field goals to start the scoring, but the Sun Devils took the lead when quarterback Taylor Kelly found wide receiver Jaelen Strong for a 13 yard touchdown pass. ASU scored another 21-points before the Irish would score again.
After halftime, the Irish contained the Sun Devil’s offensive and prevented them from scoring. Meanwhile, Notre Dame’s offense began to figure out the Arizona State defense; as a result, the Irish scored the next 21-points to bring the game within four.
ASU responded scored three straight touchdowns to build up a 24-point lead, and win the ball game.
As a result of this victory, the college football playoff landscape was altered. Notre Dame was more than likely eliminated from playoff contention, because this was Irish’s second loss of the year; while Arizona State more than likely thrust its self into playoff contention with the blowout victory over a top 10 opponent.
1) Arizona State Sun Devils: After ASU’s domination of Notre Dame was impressive, and has thrust the Sun Devils into the playoff conversation. It also clearly established the Sun Devils as a threat to win the Pac-12.
2) Oregon Ducks: Oregon and Arizona State have established themselves as the clear 1a and 1b; especially after both teams blew out their respective opponents on Saturday. The Ducks throttled the Utes in Salt Lake City, Utah 51-27 thanks to a dominate fourth quarter that saw Oregon score 24 points.
3) UCLA Bruins: The Bruins took a 31-10 lead into halftime, and barely managed to hold on in the second half; as UCLA won 44-30. Quarterback Brett Hundley put together an impressive performance on the road to pass the program’s career total for touchdown passes. With the win, UCLA finishes the regular season without losing on the road.
4) Arizona Wildcats: Arizona walked out of Colorado with an 18-point victory, 38-20. The Wildcats struggled to gain separation from Colorado through the first three-quarters, but they pulled away in the fourth to pick up the victory.
5) Utah Utes: Utah took an early 7-0 lead over the Ducks, and almost went up 14-0 but Kaelin Clay dropped the ball at the one yard line, but couldn’t hold off the Oregon offense. The loss dropped the Utes to 3-3 in conference play.
6) Stanford Cardinal: Bye week
7) USC Trojans: Bye week
8) Washington Huskies: Washington was slaughtered at home, despite the “close” score, and it looks like there is going to be a period of rebuilding in Seattle.
9) California Golden Bears: Bye week
1o) Washington State Cougars: WSU quarterback Luke Falk started his first career game, and he shredded the Oregon State defense in his first career win. The Cougars picked up their second conference win, and second conference road win, with the 39-32 victory.
11) Oregon State Beavers: If Oregon State hadn’t beat Colorado earlier this year, the Beavers would have an argument for being the worst team in the Pac-12.
12) Colorado Buffaloes: Colorado continues to make games interesting against Pac-12 foes, but the Buffaloes can’t seem to pull out the victory. The Buffaloes most recent loss was by 18-points to No. 19 Arizona.
[twitter-follow screen_name=’sportswithneil’] [twitter-follow screen_name=’nvr93′]