With the 2019 college football season over and a bunch of free time on Saturdays, we find ourselves reflecting back on all the great games, memorable plays, and future NFL stars. Though there's no question it's the best time of the year every year, last season held some especially spectacular moments.
Although it was extremely difficult to narrow it down, here's a look back at our 9 favorite moments from the 2019 season.
1. Jalen Hurts Makes a Big Entrance With Oklahoma
After transferring from Alabama to the University of Oklahoma for his final year of eligibility, Jalen Hurts made his debut as a Sooner in September 2019. Oklahoma hosted Houston and Hurts stunned the country with 508 offensive yards, smashing Baker Mayfield's 2015 record of 396 yards. Hurts completed 20 of 23 passes, threw 332 yards, and carried the ball 16 times for 176 total yards, which resulted in three TDs. Of course, Hurts went on to be a Heisman finalist.
2. Auburn Upsets Oregon With Freshman QB
In a week one non-conference game played at the Cowboys' home stadium in Arlington, Texas, No. 16 Auburn was down 21-6 to No. 11 Oregon in the second half. Freshman Bo Nix was at QB for the Tigers and managed to bring them not just back in the game, but ahead. With nine seconds to go, Nix connected with wide receiver Seth Williams for a 26-yard touchdown pass, bringing the score to 27-21 Auburn after the extra point and sealing the deal for the Tigers.
3. Notre Dame Visits Georgia in the Deep South
In a week highlighted by huge match-ups between Michigan and Wisconsin, as well as Utah and USC - this match-up between two of the sport's most storied programs was head and shoulders above the rest. Previous meetings between the Bulldogs and the Fighting Irish were intense back-and-forth contests - including their most recent meeting in South Bend back in 2017 - and ESPN touted the game as one of the biggest home games in Georgia's history. Although Notre Dame couldn't finish the job, the game was just as competitive as expected, with the Irish coming up just short in their late fourth quarter push, and losing 17-23. Still, it was one of the season's best contests.
4. South Carolina Upsets Georgia in Double Overtime
In a game no one saw coming, South Carolina defeated unbeaten No. 3 Georgia 20-17 in double overtime. South Carolina's defensive efforts were historic, picking off Georgia QB Jake Fromm three times, holding him to a single passing touchdown and just 28 of 51 passes. Overtime wasn't pretty, with each team missing a field goal. Georgia's missed kick on their final possession gave the Gamecocks what was perhaps the biggest college football win of 2019.
5. Illinois Stuns Wisconsin With a Field Goal as Time Runs Out
The Fighting Illini entered the week eight game against No. 6 Wisconsin 31-point underdogs. Late in the fourth quarter, Illinois picked off Wisconsin QB Jack Coan for the third time and drove for two first downs to get into field goal range. As the clock expired, kicker James Court got a 39-yard field goal to defeat Wisconsin 24-23. It was Illinois' first win over a ranked Big 10 team since 2007.
6. Penn State Fans Cause Noise Disruption
"White Out" games at Penn State's Beaver Stadium are one of the most intimidating sights in college football. In the very first play of a week 8 rivalry game against Michigan, the sound was so deafening that Jim Harbaugh was forced to take a timeout to avoid a delay of game penalty. The Wolverines were clearly affected by the noise, as the Nittany Lions grabbed an early 21-0 lead and went on to win, finishing 7-0.
7. No. 2 LSU Beats No. 3 Alabama on the Road
All eyes in the country were on this November SEC game, as both teams were led by Heisman contenders. With its 46-41 victory over Alabama, LSU recorded their high point total in the history of their match-ups with the Tide, while the combined 87 points were also the most ever scored in the history of the series. Alabama had not given up that many points since 2003, when it lost to Tennessee in five overtimes.
8. Trevor Lawrence's Thrilling Fiesta Bowl Finish
Despite going undefeated all season, Clemson was criticized by some heading into the Fiesta Bowl for having played only weaker opponents. They seemed to be out to prove themselves — and they did, coming from behind to beat Ohio State 29-23 with a late drive and end zone interception. The sophomore QB took over at 23-21 with 3:07 left and three first downs and a two-point conversion later, Clemson had the win that could silence their critics once and for all.
9. Joe Burrow Lights Up Oklahoma in Semifinals
Not to be outdone by Lawrence's late heroics, Heisman-winning quarterback Joe Burrow led a near-perfect LSU offense to victory over Oklahoma in the Peach Bowl, securing the team's spot in the national championship. In the first half alone, Burrow threw seven touchdowns, tying the single-game LSU record. He also tied the SEC single-game record and all-time bowl game record. The final score was 63-28 LSU, and Burrow ultimately scored eight TDs and completed 29 of 39 passes for 493 yards.
If you're anything like us, this list made you a little sad that the 2019 college football season is over, but luckily, we have the 2020 season to look forward to.
Getting your buddies together and renting a house for a college football weekend is one of the best ways to experience all the year's best action, so start planning now for next season RIGHT NOW!