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Fall’s Tarts Week 8: College Football Just Can’t Get To Its Destination

Sometimes you get bogged down. Sometimes you get lost.

NCAA Football: Illinois at Penn State Rich Barnes-USA TODAY Sports

Even when you think you’ve seen the silliest thing that’s ever happened in college football, you can always take comfort in knowing that even if you’re right, there will still be plenty of delightfully silly events that this sport produces.

Here’s a few.

You Picked A Bad Time To Get Lost, Friend

The #14 Coastal Carolina Chanticleers took their undefeated record to Boone, North Carolina to see if they could survive playing a Pretty Good Team in Appalachian State. They’d not yet been tested very much in my opinion.

Well, they certainly TRIED to get to Boone, anyhow.

This was a poor omen for the Chants. Whatever vehicle was carrying Isaiah Likely doesn’t seem to have showed up in time, as Grayson McCall got lost trying to find his star tight end in Coastal’s first loss of the year

Delete The Reverse Pass From Your Playbook

Illinois was controlling the flow of the game with a power rushing attack, but there came several junctures where they wanted to get an explosive play. The conventional passing game, however, was awful. Tony Petersen had an idea.

They dialed this play up a second time in the fourth quarter, but this time Washington nearly got picked off.

In one of the 2-point overtimes, Penn State tried this exact same play with a throwback to a wide open Sean Clifford, who dropped the ball.

Neither team should try this play again

Sooner Than You Think

The undefeated Oklahoma Sooners were having trouble putting away Kansas when Kennedy Brooks got stuffed on fourth and short.

Quarterback Caleb Williams stripped the ball from his teammate and took it himself for the conversion

I’ve never seen anything like this. It’s hard to call this a Tart because it was actually awesome, but it was also silly and unprecedented.

Courage the Cowardly Lion

You’re Penn State. You’ve the #7 team in the country with a roster full of blue chippers at every position, but you’ve been pushed around at home all day by Illinois and their complete inability to throw the ball. You get the ball with 4:44 to go in a tie game. What do you do?

Penn State started off by handing the ball off to Noah Cain a few times, moving the chains and taking 20 seconds off in between three straight runs. Eventually, a huge amount of pre-snap confusion necessitates a timeout with 3:01 left on second and 8 from your own 29.

Uh-oh, only got 5 yards. Penn State takes the whole clock before converting on third and short only to get sacked on first down with two minutes remaining.

At this point, the team with Jahan Dotson and Parker Washington decided to play for overtime as a 24.5-point favorite.

Various other tidbits from Illinois-PSU

None of these by themselves will win Tart Of The Week, nor do I have video of any of them, but I figured I’d rattle off a few.

Penn State lined up to kick a game-tying field goal on 4th and 2. With the game going the way it was, they decided to try a hard count to get the first down. The only person fooled was Penn State’s own kicker, who false-started. Fortunately for him, he’d make the field goal after backing up 5 more yards.

Illinois tried diligently to mount a game-winning drive with 30 seconds to go, but without passing the ball. This is a difficult ask, but they got a first down out to the 24 and then another on an 18 yard gain taking them all the way to their own 42 with 13 seconds to go. At this point, Bret Bielema called his last timeout instead of having Art Sitkowski spike the ball to preserve 11 seconds or so and the timeout. Probably could have used that TO.

In what I believe was OT5, Sitkowski actually threw an accurate pass for once in his life, but it was dropped by Josh McCray in the end zone.

In OT6, Sitkowski rolled right and then attracted a linebacker off of RB Jakari Norwood. He could have thrown the score right then, but instead took a couple more steps to make sure. This allowed the linebacker to close enough that Sitkowski not only missed the throw, but got hit and fell awkwardly on his arm, breaking it.

Enter Brandon Peters for OT7. He took the snap, looked left, didn’t see what he want and so he threw it away out of the back of the end zone. IN SUDDEN DEATH OVERTIME.

The Greatest Box Score Ever

Ultimately, the Illinois at Penn State game produced art.

Hang it at Big Ten headquarters.

B1G Bad Beat

Imagine being enough of a degenerate to bet the over in a late October B1G conference game. The O/U for Illinois at Penn State was 46, and things were looking grim until the game headed to a 10-10 overtime. Traditionally, college overtime has been kind to over bettors.

Not today! Had each team scored a touchdown and an XP/conversion in the two regular overtimes, the total would have hit 50. Instead they settled for field goals, bringing it to 32. But an endless two-point marathon between a team with 360 yards rushing and a team full of blue chippers will surely yield some results, right?

NOPE. 9OT later, the total was 38, a full eight less than the 46 line.

Steve AddaziNO

I mentioned this when talking about a suspect Bret Bielema timeout, but when you get a first down trailing late in a college game with under two minutes to play, you spike the ball. It didn’t cost Bielema much, but the same can’t be said for Colorado State.

After scoring to cut Utah State’s lead to 2, the Rams got the ball back and drove into field goal territory with no timeouts. A first down with 9 seconds left prompted them to...scramble the field go

al unit onto the field and badly rush the kick, which missed.

Situational awareness has been at a premium this year

Nobody Wants to Watch Arizona Football

Arizona is now on a 19-game losing streak, which is more than halfway towards catching Jimmy Carter-era Northwestern’s 34. To drum up some interest, their DIA got desperate.

That’s a tough look. Kevin Sumlin was more destructive to Arizona Football than Lovie Smith was to Illinois.

Someone Is Thinking Of The Kids

Creighton has been endeavoring to find me the worst ref call every week, and this week he’s finally found an official who wants to make sure this country is imparting the great American value of humility soulless subservience to authority to its children.

Goodness gracious.

Won’t Someone Think Of Poor Harvard?

Isn’t it time someone looked out for those poor Harvard kids?

Oh no! Some Ivy League fuckery is afoot!


What’s this week’s best Tart?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    Coastal’s Mountain Mishap
    (4 votes)
  • 1%
    Reverse Pass Can’t Be Done
    (3 votes)
  • 1%
    Caleb Williams Can Do It Better
    (4 votes)
  • 3%
    Franklion Roars For Overtime
    (9 votes)
  • 5%
    Penn State Fools Own Kicker With Hard Count
    (14 votes)
  • 5%
    Throwaway In Sudden Death OT
    (15 votes)
  • 37%
    14-Compartment Box Score For Illinois-PSU
    (102 votes)
  • 7%
    Still Hit The Under
    (20 votes)
  • 10%
    Hurry And Kick, No Time To Explain
    (28 votes)
  • 7%
    Can You Downgrade My Seat Out Of The Stadium?
    (21 votes)
  • 15%
    Ref Thinks Of The Kids
    (42 votes)
  • 4%
    Harvard Students Face Adversity
    (12 votes)
274 votes total Vote Now