National Whiparound Week 7: Notre Dame In Trouble

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Week 7 provided yet another eventful weekend in college football — especially for sinking Notre Dame and head coach Brian Kelly.

Two top-ranked teams were tested and needed overtime to keep their undefeated records in tact. One team rolled past a ranked rival to provide even more credibility to its College Football Playoff chances. And with Notre Dame at 2-5, one of college football’s most historic programs is in serious turmoil.

Here’s a look at four of the biggest takeaways from Week 7.

FIRST DOWN

Ohio State survives a scare against Wisconsin

Ohio State got its first true test of the season at Wisconsin in Week 7. Trailing 16-6 at halftime, the Buckeyes rallied to score 17 points in regulation and force overtime. After scoring a touchdown on its first overtime drive, Ohio State stopped Wisconsin on its ensuing offensive possession to capture its sixth win and hold on to its No. 2 overall ranking with a 30-23 victory.

The Buckeyes’ road to an undefeated showdown with Michigan on the regular season’s final weekend just got a lot clearer as a result of the survival at Camp Randall.

SECOND DOWN

Clemson avoids near upset against NC State

A 33-yard field goal attempt with seconds remaining in the fourth quarter threatened to spoil Clemson’s perfect season. But alas, the #collegekickers trend was alive and well on Twitter after NC State’s Kyle Bambard’s attempt sailed wide right. In overtime, Deshaun Watson found Artavis Scott for a 10-yard touchdown reception before Marcus Edmond intercepted Ryan Finley’s pass on the first play of NC State’s overtime drive to win 24-17.

THIRD DOWN

The Tide rolls against Tennessee

Tennessee managed to come back from large deficits late in most of its games this season. But Saturday’s game against Alabama wasn’t one of them. The Tide rolled to a 49-10 victory and dominated on both sides of the football. Quarterback Jalen Hurts looked significantly faster than Tennessee’s defensive skill players.

Bo Scarbrough rushed for nearly 100 yards on just five carries. The Tide provided two more non-offensive touchdowns to make its total 11 for the season. Also, Alabama’s defense held the Vols to just 163 yards of total offense, including 32 rushing yards.

FOURTH DOWN

Trouble brewing in South Bend

It was a long weekend for Notre Dame coach Brian Kelly. His Fighting Irish lost to Stanford, 17-10, Saturday, which marked its fourth loss in five games. But as Deadspin pointed out, it wasn’t his only loss of the night. After the game, Kelly was seen exchanging words with a Stanford strength coach, who allegedly said “bye bye” after brushing past him during postgame.

He was also criticized on Twitter by former Notre Dame quarterback Jimmy Clausen, who left the program as a junior shortly after Kelly was hired in 2010.

Can’t argue with that analysis. Apparently there’s at least one current Notre Dame player who thinks so too. According to Mike Rutherford of Card Chronicle, star defensive tackle Jerry Tillery liked several tweets suggesting Notre Dame should hire former LSU coach Les Miles and fire Kelly.

It’s going to be an awkward week in South Bend for sure.