Week 8 of the college football season featured several important matchups and big individual performances in the Pac-12 conference. Here is a rundown of the top performances in the Pac-12 and the biggest fan moment from this week:
Offensive Performance of the Week
This week's top offensive performance comes from Utah running back Joe Williams. A month after announcing his retirement from college football, Williams returned to the Utes Saturday and had a monster day rushing for 332 yards on 29 carries with four touchdowns. The rushing yards were the most in school history for a single game and the most by any FBS running back this season. The Utes needed all of Williams's effort to outlast UCLA 52-45 in an offensive slugfest.
Defensive Performance of the Week
Capturing the award for best defensive performance of the week is Colorado linebacker Kenneth Olugbode. Olugbode led the Buffaloes with 11 tackles in a 10-5 victory over Stanford. The effort by the Colorado defense was arguably its best of the season. In addition to the tackles, Olugbode picked up a critical fumble recovery in the fourth quarter after Stanford quarterback Ryan Burns mishandled a snap on first and goal. The fumble recovery likely prevented Stanford from taking the lead.
Coaching Performance of the Week
This week's best coaching performance goes to Colorado's Mike MacIntyre. Even though the Buffaloes barely beat a struggling Stanford squad, the win was huge since it was Colorado's sixth win of the season making them bowl eligible for the first time since 2007. The Buffaloes have not had much success since joining the Pac-12 conference in 2011. In its first five seasons in the Pac-12, Colorado won a combined five conference games. Saturday's win over Stanford is already the Buffaloes fourth conference win this season with four more conference games remaining. Colorado is now tied with rival Utah for first place in the Pac-12 South. People are starting to take notice nationally as well, as Colorado has consistently been mentioned among top teams from the Pac-12. Barring a late-season meltdown from the Buffaloes, MacIntyre is likely to garner Pac-12 Coach of the Year honors at the conclusion of the season.
(No-So-Great)Fan Moment of the Week
Several fanbases had big reasons to celebrate Saturday night. In the baseball world, fans in Chicago took to the streets to celebrate the Cubs first World Series appearance since 1945. In the college football world, Penn State fans had the most reason to celebrate on Saturday after the underdog Nittany Lions knocked off No. 2 Ohio State 24-21 in Happy Valley. The victory was huge for a program that had fallen on hard times after being hit with NCAA sanctions in 2012. A sea of Nittany Lion fans, almost all dressed in white, flooded the field after the game to celebrate the big win.
Unfortunately, the celebration took an ugly turn when a crowd of 5,000-10,000 mostly college-aged students started a riot in the streets after the game. The riots cause damage to street signs and lights. Small fires were set as well. It took State College Police two hours to get the situation under control. Several arrests were made.