This college football season is an exercise in madness, but it’s continuing to be weirdly historic.
Consider Arizona State’s 70-7 win over Arizona on Friday night, both getting its first win of the year and sending the Wildcats to their first-ever winless season at 0-5.
It’s also the first time since 1969, when the Sun Devils played in the WAC and stomped Colorado State, 79-7, that they put up 70 points in a conference game. It’s the second-most points Arizona has ever allowed in any game, behind only a 75-0 home loss to No. 18 Michigan State in 1949, on a day when 14th-ranked Dartmouth got upset at Princeton. And it was the first 70-7 score ever in a Pac-12 game.
The bright spot for the Wildcats was the opening kickoff, which Lucas Havrisik sent deep into the Arizona State end zone. Just the kick itself was the highlight, because D.J. Taylor decided to return it, and 13 seconds later, he was in the other end zone.
When Arizona State kicked off, Tayvian Cunningham only got to the 17 with his return, and a holding penalty took Arizona back to its own 9. A completed pass for no gain – more embarrassing than an incompletion, really – was followed by a Gary Brightwell fumble, and on the Sun Devils’ first offensive play of the game, DeaMonte Trayanum ran four yards for a touchdown.
It was 14-0 after 56 seconds.
Here’s how the next bunch of drives went…
Arizona: 6 plays, 13 yards, interception
Arizona State: 6 plays, 21 yards, missed field goal
Arizona: 8 plays, 19 yards, turnover on downs
Arizona State: 6 plays, 41 yards, touchdown
Arizona: 13 plays, 71 yards, fumble
Arizona State: 2 plays, 96 yards, touchdown
Arizona: 2 plays, 0 yards, fumble
Arizona State: 2 plays, 26 yards, touchdown
Arizona: 6 plays, 18 yards, turnover on downs
Arizona State: 5 plays, 36 yards, touchdown
That’s a 42-0 game in the first half, without Arizona even punting. The Wildcats got their touchdown on the next drive, but the rest of the game went turnover on downs, punt, fumble, punt, punt, interception, interception, turnover on downs.
It was the fourth FBS conference game this year in which a team scored 70 points, something that happened only once last season, in Ohio State’s 73-14 thrashing of Maryland. The record is five such games, set in 2016 by Washington (at Oregon), Michigan (at Rutgers), Pitt (vs. Syracuse), Navy (at SMU), and Middle Tennessee State (vs. Florida Atlantic).
The best candidates to tie and/or set the record on Saturday are No. 1 Alabama (at Arkansas), Buffalo (vs. Akron), and the one that might be the most 2020 one possible, Florida at home against defending national champion and completely mailing it in LSU.
Tom Thibodeau made his sort-of Knicks coaching debut in the preseason opener in Detroit, and took off his mask to yell, “What the fuck?” at a referee.
Before anyone gets angry at this breach of protocol and starts asking what the point of a mask is if you’re just going to take it off to yell and spray spittle at people, please note that Thibodeau wasn’t wearing his mask right in the first place.
The non-bubble NBA season is going to go so well.