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Looking Ahead: Irish Opponents in Week Eight

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Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports
Irish Schedule Opponent Score Record
Texas Longhorns Kansas State Wildcats W 23-9 3-4
Virginia Cavaliers @North Carolina Tar Heels L 26-13 2-5
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets Florida State Seminoles W 22-16 3-5
UMass Minutemen Toledo Rockets L 51-35 1-6
Clemson Tigers @Miami Hurricanes W 58-0 7-0
Navy Midshipmen Tulane Green Wave W 31-14 6-1
Southern Cal Trojans Utah Utes W 42-24 4-3
Temple Owls @East Carolina Pirates W 24-14 7-0
Pittsburgh Panthers @Syracuse Orange W 23-20 6-1
Wake Forest Demon Deacons North Carolina State Wolfpack L 35-17 3-5
Boston College Eagles @Louisville Cardinals L 17-14 3-5
Stanford Cardinal Washington Huskies W 31-14 6-1

Opponent Week 8 Record: 8-4 Opponent Season Record: 51-36

The Irish strength of schedule took a huge step forward in week eight. Not only did key teams pick up wins that could end up helping the Irish playoff resume, two did so against top-10 opponents. In Austin, the Longhorns moved to 2-2 in the Big 12 with a over Kansas State. The Horns didn't reach 100 yards passing, but 274 rushing yards including 103 from RB Jonathon Gray was enough to get them the win. Jerrod Heard took most of the snaps at QB, but Tyrone Swoopes made the most of his opportunities. Swoopes didn't complete a pass, but ran for 50 yards and three TDs on just seven carries. Texas will hope to reach .500 next week when they travel to Iowa State. Virginia lost a close game in Chapel Hill 26-13. Hoos QB Matt Johns threw four interceptions which never gave UVA a chance to win. UNC RB and former Irish commit Elijah Hood had a nice game for the Heels running for over 100 yards and two TDs. The loss drops UVA to 2-5 facing a tough game at home against Georgia Tech next week. Speaking of the Yellow Jackets, the Bees win over Florida State was the story of the weekend. With the score tied at 16, GT blocked Roberto Aguayo's potential game winning field goal, and returned it for a TD as time expired. If you somehow missed the coverage of this amazing play, correct this situation immediately. Everett Golson had a decent game for the Noles throwing for 210 yards on 20/30 passing. He also threw his first pick of the season, although the pass probably should have been caught by the wideout for a TD. In addition to helping the Irish SoS, GT's win over the Noles should give the Irish a nice cheeseburger bump in the polls.

UMass led for much of the game against undefeated Toledo, but a rough second half led to a 51-35 loss.The Minutemen held a 28-10 lead at halftime, but allowed the Rockets to score 38 unanswered points in the second half. UMass QB Blake Frohnapfel threw four TDs and 240 yards, but was just barely over 50% passing on 49 attempts. The Minutemen will take another trip to Indiana when they face Ball State next week. Clemson may well have ended the Al Golden era in Miami by giving the Canes their worst loss in school history. The Tigers led 42-0 at halftime before calling off the dogs and scoring "just" 16 points in the second half. Deshaun Watson played just one series in the second half, but racked up 143 yards and one TD through the air to go with 99 yards and one more TD rushing in his abbreviated start. The game wasn't even as close as the score indicated as these images paint a much sadder picture of the once mighty Miami program. Navy stayed unbeaten in American Conference play by knocking off Tulane 31-14. The Green Wave were effective in slowing down the Midshipmen rushing attack, but Keenan Reynolds had an uncharacteristic 134 yards passing. If the Middies can pick up another win next week against USF, they'll set up a huge game against an unbeaten Memphis team on November 7. Southern Cal blew out the previously undefeated Utah Utes in LA Saturday night. Trojans WR Ju-Ju Smith-Schuster continued his run of impressive play by catching 8 balls for 143 yards and a TD. The most impressive catching performance came on the opposite side of the ball, however. Trojans Linebacker Cameron Smith picked off three Travis Wilson passes, one of which was returned for a TD. The win moves SC to 4-3 overall, and they'll travel to Berkeley next weekend.

Temple beat East Carolina to remain undefeated and make the game next week much more interesting. The Owls struggled throughout much of the game, but blocked two punts in the fourth quarter. Running Back Jahad Thomas was held to just 3.3 YPC, but found the endzone twice. Receiver Robby Anderson had over 100 yards on 8 catches, and scored once. While it hasn't been announced yet, the Owls win could send College Gameday to Philadelphia. Even if Corso and company don't make the trip, the game against the Irish should still be the biggest in school history. Newly ranked Pitt picked up another win to improve to 6-1. The Panthers marched 89 yards on 19 plays in 9:20 to set up a game winning FG by Chris Blewitt on the game's last play to defeat Syracuse in the Dome. Qadree Ollison ran for 103 yards on 22 carries and two scores while QB Nathan Peterman threw for just under 200 yards on 19/25 passing. The Panthers sit at 4-0 in the ACC, and are tied with Duke at the top of the Coastal division.Wake Forest fell behind 28-0 in the first quarter NC State, and fell to 3-5. Dual threat QB Kendall Hinton ran for 75 yards and 2 TDs, but struggled in the air barely cracking 100 yards. The Wake defense gave up big play after big play allowing four different 50+ yards TDs to the Wolf Pack. The Deacons punt unit also allowed a 52 yards punt return TD. The Deacons face Louisville in Winston-Salem next Friday. Boston College fell to Louisville 17-14 as BC's assault on its fans continues. The Eagles offense was completely useless gaining less than 100 total yards. BC managed to run for negative -14 yards in the game. The BC defense forced four turnovers, but the offense did next to nothing with any of them. The Eagles will try to pick up their first ACC win against Virginia Tech in a game that should set the sport of football back 50 years. Stay away! Stanford had little trouble with Washington in Palo Alto late Saturday night. Christian McCaffery had another 100+ yard rushing game and gained an even 300 all purpose yards for the Cardinal. QB Kevin Hogan threw for just under 300 yards and two TDs, but also threw a pick. Stanford will travel to Pullman to face Mike Leach and a surprisingly solid Washington State team next Saturday. With Utah's loss to Southern Cal, the Cardinal remains the only undefeated team in PAC-12 conference play.