Special teams and last-minute heroics were at the forefront of the three best college football games from the past weekend.
1) Sparty stuns Notre Dame: ESPN called it “The Call of the Year.” Certainly, it was the play of Week 3. Michigan State punter/holder Aaron Bates threw a 29-yard touchdown pass to Charlie Gantt on a fake field goal in overtime, as the Spartans shocked Notre Dame 34-31 to improve to 3-0 on the season. The euphoria was short-lived however, as MSU Head Coach Mark Dantonio suffered a mild heart attack after the game. He’s said to be recovering, but is out for the foreseeable future. The Spartans are #23 in the latest coaches poll.
2) Wisconsin blocks Arizona State: All the Sun Devils needed to tie the Badgers was an extra point–arguably the most high-percentage play in sports. But Wisconsin blocked Thomas Weber’s kick with 4:09 to go, and Arizona State never got the ball again, falling 20-19. Prior to that kick, Weber had made 106 of his previous 111 extra points. Weber also missed a 25-yard field goal, only his second miss in 29 tries from less than 30 yards. The kicking woes bailed out an atrocious Wisconsin kick coverage unit, which allowed two returns over 95 yards, one for a touchdown.
3) Mallett saves the day: Arkansas only needed a field goal to avoid a road upset at SEC rival Georgia. But Ryan Mallet’s short throw to wide receiver Greg Childs turned into a 40-yard touchdown pass with 15 seconds to go. The play cemented Mallett as a Heisman Trophy Candidate and moved Arkansas to 3-0 and #11 in the coaches’ poll. The loss effectively ended the season for the Bulldogs, who are now 0-2 in the SEC.