Forty names, games, teams and minutiae making news in college football (“You play to win the game” memorial videos sold separately in Tempe):
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There have been 67 one-score games thus far this season, which seems to be on par with most years. But it does seem like we’ve had an inordinate number of games in which defenses couldn’t hold leads, or the kicking game malfunctioned at crunch time, or penalty flags flew at an inopportune moment, or coaches temporarily took leave of their senses.
In other words, as many close games have been lost as won. And sometimes even the winners are shaken to the core by how hard they tried to lose.
Prime example of the latter: Our Lady (21) on Saturday. Rookie coach Marcus Freeman looked like he was scarcely concealing his suffering as his team’s seven-point lead over California grew more and more imperiled in the final minute. “I keep trying to tell myself to enjoy it,” he said afterward, but there was no immediately enjoying how close the Fighting Irish came to an 0–3 start.