12 months in assessment: One of the best faculty soccer video games of 2021


There have been loads of large video games on the 2021 faculty soccer slate, however not all lived as much as the hype. Whereas another matchups we did not suppose would pack such luster, turned out to offer among the most memorable moments of the season.

This is a take a look at 20 notable video games from the 2021 faculty soccer season. Listed in chronological order, with rankings from The Related Press Prime 25 on the time.


1 of 20

Sept. 5: No. 19 Notre Dame 41, Florida State. 38 (OT)

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The primary full week of the 2021 faculty soccer season concluded with a bang. Behind 4 landing passes from new quarterback Jack Coan, Notre Dame led 38-20 at Florida State after three quarters. Then McKenzie Milton made his emotional return to the soccer discipline  and helped the underdog Seminoles rating 18 unanswered factors within the fourth quarter to power time beyond regulation.  Nevertheless, after Florida State’s Ryan Fitzgerald missed a 37-yard discipline to open the additional session, the Irish’s Jonathan Doerer linked from 41 yards out and the guests escaped with the three-point victory.


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Sept. 11: No. 12 Oregon 35, No. Three Ohio State 28

Sept. 11: No. 12 Oregon 35, No. 3 Ohio State 28

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Enjoying on the Horseshoe with out star defensive finish Kayvon Thibodeaux, Oregon did not appear to have an opportunity at pulling off this early-season upset towards Ohio State. Incorrect!  CJ Verdell rushed for 161 yards with two touchdowns and overcame 484 passing yards and three touchdowns from the Buckeyes’ C.J. Stroud. Verone McKinley’s late interception of Stroud might need been the Geese’ largest play of the season.


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Sept. 18: No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 11 Florida 29

Sept. 18: No. 1 Alabama 31, No. 11 Florida 29

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This was again when Florida was nonetheless anticipated to be aggressive within the SEC. Nevertheless, the Gators fell behind 21-Three after one quarter at dwelling. Then Florida acquired the working recreation going (totaled 244 yards on the bottom) to get inside 28-23 late within the third quarter. Down 31-23 with a bit greater than three minutes to play within the recreation, Dameon Pierce‘s 17-yard landing run acquired Florida inside two. However, Malik Davis’ rush was stopped somewhat simply by the Crimson Tide to protect the win.


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Sept. 18: No. 10 Penn State 28, No. 22 Auburn 20

Sept. 18: No. 10 Penn State 28, No. 22 Auburn 20

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The primary of a number of occasions we’ll spotlight the Nittany Lions — for higher or worse. This proved to be an intriguing prime-time matchup. This was actually a back-and-forth contest till Penn State constructed a 21-10 lead early within the third quarter. Then Auburn acquired inside a degree early within the fourth earlier than Noah Cain‘s 3-yard scoring run ultimately put the Nittany Lions up eight. The Tigers would get right down to the Penn State 2-yard line with simply over three minutes to play, however Bo Nix‘s move on fourth down went incomplete. Because it did on the ultimate play of the sport from the Nittany Lions’ 26.


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Oct. 2: No. 7 Cincinnati 24, No. 9 Notre Dame 13

Oct. 2: No. 7 Cincinnati 24, No. 9 Notre Dame 13

Albert Cesare/The Enquirer/USA TODAY NETWORK

It is the sport that lent some main credibility to Cincinnati’s run to a spot within the Faculty Soccer Playoff . And, the outcome that in the end stored the Combating Irish out of it being a part of the ultimate 4 of faculty soccer. The Bearcats led 17-Zero at halftime however allowed host Notre Dame to get inside 4 earlier than Desmond Ridder‘s 6-yard landing run gave Cincinnati some respiration room and ultimately ended Notre Dame’s 26-game dwelling successful streak. 


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Oct. 2: Stanford 31, No. Three Oregon 24 (OT)

Oct. 2: Stanford 31, No. 3 Oregon 24 (OT)

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Lower than a month after upsetting Ohio State, Oregon acquired surprised themselves. Stanford gained simply three video games in 2021, however its largest win — and final — of the season got here in time beyond regulation towards the beforehand undefeated Geese. The host Cardinal led 17-7 at halftime, however Oregon rallied and the sport wanted extra time after the hosts pressured the additional session with Elijah Higgins‘ 2-yard landing move from Tanner McKee. Stanford gained the sport after McKee attached with John Humphreys for a 14-yard scoring move and Oregon failed with its time beyond regulation probability.


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Oct. 9: No. 17 Mississippi 52, No. 13 Arkansas 51

Oct. 9: No. 17 Mississippi 52, No. 13 Arkansas 51

Marvin Gentry/USA TODAY Sports activities

It is secure to say that Saturday, Oct. 9 might need been probably the most entertaining — and, maybe, craziest — day of the 2021 faculty soccer season. The enjoyable started in Oxford, Miss. , the place the Razorbacks and Rebels mixed for 103 factors and 1,287 yards. The back-and-forth recreation featured three 100-yard rushers. It may also be argued that Arkansas’ KJ Jefferson outplayed Ole Miss’ Matt Corral with 326 passing yards and three touchdowns, plus an interception. Jefferson’s 9-yard landing move to Warren Thompson as time expired to place the Hogs inside a degree, however the 2-point move strive failed.


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Oct. 9: No. 6 Oklahoma 55, No. 21 Texas 48

Oct. 9: No. 6 Oklahoma 55, No. 21 Texas 48

Bryan Terry/The Oklahoman/USA TODAY NETWORK

If we thought that Arkansas-Mississippi Sport was wacky, the 2021 installment of the Crimson River Rivalry was full-blown insanity . Texas led 28-7 after the primary quarter, 38-20 at halftime, and 41-30 after three quarters. Then it was Oklahoma’s flip to take over, scoring 25 occasions within the fourth quarter and successful the highest-scoring recreation within the 117-year historical past of this rivalry on a 33-yard TD run by Kennedy Brooks (217 dashing yards) with Three seconds remaining.


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Oct. 9: No. Three Iowa 23, No. Four Penn State 20

Oct. 9: No. 3 Iowa 23, No. 4 Penn State 20

Jeffrey Becker/USA TODAY Sports activities

A few undefeated, top-five groups assembly in Iowa Metropolis. Penn State led 14-Three after the primary quarter, however the Hawkeyes held the Nittany Lions to only two discipline objectives the remainder of the way in which. Penn State, which managed simply 287 whole yards, was nonetheless up 20-13 after three quarters, however Iowa grabbed its first lead since early within the contest when Spencer Petras hit Nico Ragaini with a 44-yard landing move on the 6:26 mark of the fourth and by no means appeared again.


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Oct. 9: Texas A&M 41, No. 1 Alabama 38

Oct. 9: Texas A&M 41, No. 1 Alabama 38

Thomas Shea/USA TODAY Sports activities

The deliciously wild motion of Oct. 9 concluded with No. 1 taking place on the highway . Unranked Texas A&M led 24-10 at halftime, however due to Bryce Younger (369 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception) and Jameson Williams (10 receptions, 146 yards, two touchdowns), by the five-minute mark of the fourth quarter, Alabama led 38-31. However, the Aggies tied the sport on Ainias Smith’s 25-yard scoring move from Zach Calzada (285 passing yards, three touchdowns, one interception), throughout his breakout efficiency with three minutes left tied it, and Seth Small etched his identify in A&M soccer historical past together with his game-winning 28-yard discipline as time expired.


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Oct. 16: Purdue 24, No. 2 Iowa 7

Oct. 16: Purdue 24, No. 2 Iowa 7

Joseph Cress/Iowa Metropolis Press-Citizen/USA TODAY NETWORK

One week after Iowa knocked off Penn State to enhance to 6-Zero and sat No. 2 within the nation when an unranked, 3-2 Purdue squad arrived in Iowa Metropolis. In what might need been the largest upset of the season , the Boilermakers held the Hawkeyes to 271 whole yards and quarterback Aiden O’Connell threw for 375 yards with two touchdowns, together with one to star receiver David Bell, who went off for 240 yards with 11 receptions.


12 of 20

Oct. 23: Illinois 20, No. 7 Penn State 18 (9OT)

Oct. 23: Illinois 20, No. 7 Penn State 18 (9OT)

Wealthy Barnes/USA TODAY Sports activities

OK, this in all probability does not fall underneath the class of “better of …” for something. However the way in which this matchup between two groups on reverse ends of the Massive Ten spectrum was sort of like passing by a automotive accident — now we have to look. And preserve wanting. Penn State led 10-0, however could not ship that knockout punch within the second half, and Illinois managed to tie the sport. That is when the enjoyable, and ineptness started. 9 overtimes (most in FBS historical past ), leading to simply 18 mixed factors, with every workforce getting one crack on the finish zone every time beyond regulation interval after the primary two. Ultimately, or extra like mercifully, Brandon Peters linked with Casey Washington for a scoring move to finish full the upset for the Illini.


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Oct. 28: No. eight Michigan State 37, No. 6 Michigan 33

Oct. 28: No. 8 Michigan State 37, No. 6 Michigan 33

Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

Michigan’s lone blemish on the season, thus far, got here towards a rival that is truly had the most effective of the Wolverines in current seasons. And searching again, Michigan might be kicking itself for permitting it to occur this season. The Wolverines led 30-14 late within the third quarter at East Lansing, then Michigan State outscored the guests 23-Three the remainder of the way in which. The Spartans acquired 197 dashing and 5 touchdowns from Kenneth Walker to  beat Michigan for the 10th time in 14 video games and stay undefeated.


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Nov. 13: Kansas 57, Texas 56 (OT)

Nov. 13: Kansas 57, Texas 56 (OT)

Scott Wachter/USA TODAY Sports activities

If Texas’ aforementioned loss to Oklahoma was a turning level on its season, this somewhat unbelievable defeat to Kansas, which landed in Austin mired in a 57-game highway convention shedding streak, was a kick within the enamel . That did not matter towards the already rattled Longhorns, who allowed 420 yards to the Jayhawks. Kansas led 42-21 within the third quarter, however Texas rallied to tie the sport at 49. In time beyond regulation, the Longhorns scored first, however Kansas answered with Dylan Neal’s 2-yard scoring run. The Jayhawks opted to go for two factors, and a scrambling Jalon Daniels hit little-used freshman fullback Jared Casey ultimately zone for the successful catch.


15 of 20

Nov. 20: No. 15 UTSA 34, UAB 31

Nov. 20: No. 15 UTSA 34, UAB 31


It has been a historic season for 12-1 Texas-San Antonio soccer. Earlier than the Roadrunners captured the Convention USA title, they discovered their undefeated season, on the time, in jeopardy at dwelling towards UAB. It was a back-and-forth battle all recreation, with the Blazers going forward 31-27 on DeWayne McBride’s 16-yard TD run with 5:19 left in regulation. Nevertheless, UTSA wasn’t completed. With seven seconds remaining and the ball on the UAB 1-yard line, UTSA quarterback Frank Harris regrouped, after he dropped the snap, to hit Oscar Cardenas, on a tipped move, ultimately, zone for the go-ahead winner.


16 of 20

Nov. 26: No. 24 North Carolina State 34, North Carolina 30

Nov. 26: No. 24 North Carolina State 34, North Carolina 30

Rob Kinnan/USA TODAY Sports activities

Not all rivalry video games are thrilling, however the 2021 installment between these Tobacco Street buddies proved one for the ages . In one other contest that went backwards and forwards many of the day, North Carolina scored 20 of the primary 27 factors within the second half to steer 30-21 with 2:12 left within the recreation. Nevertheless, N.C. State’s Devin Leary rapidly hit Emeka Emezie with a 64 landing move. The Wolfpack then recovered an on-side kick and Leary and Emezie attached once more, for a 24-yard rating with 1:09 to place the house workforce forward for good.


17 of 20

Nov. 27: No. 6 Michigan 42, No. 2 Ohio State 27

Nov. 27: No. 6 Michigan 42, No. 2 Ohio State 27

Kirthmon F. Dozier/USA TODAY NETWORK

There was simply one thing about this season that felt like Michigan would lastly finish its eight-game shedding streak towards archrival Ohio State. The Wolverines have been sitting at 10-1, driving a five-game successful streak wherein it outscored its opponents 193-72 and internet hosting the sport. Michigan delivered , gaining 297 yards on the bottom — 169 with 5 touchdowns from Hassan Haskins — and sacked C.J. Stroud 4 occasions to submit the long-anticipated victory, earn a spot within the Massive Ten Championship Sport, and finish the Buckeyes’ shot at a nationwide title.


18 of 20

Nov. 27: No. 7 Oklahoma State 37, No. 10 Oklahoma 33

Nov. 27: No. 7 Oklahoma State 37, No. 10 Oklahoma 33

Brett Rojo/USA TODAY Sports activities

The Bedlam rivalry lived as much as its identify in 2021 . Oklahoma State was at dwelling, and a victory over its largest rivalry wouldn’t essentially be any sort of upset. Nevertheless, the Sooners led 33-24 after three quarters. However, the Cowboys didn’t panic. Spencer Sanders acquired Oklahoma State nearer with a 37-yard landing run, then Jaylen Warren pushed his workforce into the lead for good later within the fourth with a 1-yard scoring run that helped snap a six-game shedding streak versus Oklahoma.


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Dec. 4: No. 9 Baylor 21, No. 5 Oklahoma State 16

Dec. 4: No. 9 Baylor 21, No. 5 Oklahoma State 16

Kevin Jairaj/USA TODAY Sports activities

For in addition to Oklahoma State was capable of come again towards Oklahoma and set the stage for a Massive 12 Championship payday, its lack of ability to attain from shut vary in that championship contest would possibly sting for a while. Baylor, underneath coach Dave Aranda, has been criminally underappreciated all season, led 21-6 at halftime. However the Cowboys acquired inside 4 with simply over eight minutes to play within the recreation. They’d the ball right down to the Baylor 2-yard line with 1:27 to play, however the  Bears stepped up and stopped the Cowboys on all 4 possibilities to get into the tip zone, protect the lead, and a Massive 12 championship.


20 of 20

Dec. 11: Navy 17, Military 13

Dec. 11: Navy 17, Army 13

Chris Pedota/NorthJersey.com/USA TODAY NETWORK

Navy had gained three video games all season and dropped 4 of the final 5 towards archrival Military, which took eight victories into the 2021 assembly. Nevertheless, this season’s matchup was actually an instance of the throw-the-records-out-the-window-when-these-teams-meet principle. Navy overcame a 13-7 halftime gap and held the Cadets’ floor recreation to only 124 yards. On 4th down-and-Three with rather less than three minutes to play within the recreation, the Midshipmen stopped Military’s Christian Anderson 1-yard shy of shifting the chains and pulled off the upset.

Jeff Mezydlo has written about sports activities and leisure on-line and for print for greater than 25 years. He grew up within the far south suburbs of Chicago, 20 minutes from the Mascot Corridor of Fame in Whiting, Ind. He’s additionally the proud father of 11-year-old Matthew, aka “Bobby Bruin,” mascot of St. Robert Bellarmine College in Chicago. You possibly can comply with Jeff at @jeffm401.

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