Publish date:

Leading Off

Author:

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY GRANT HALVERSON GETTY IMAGES

Home Stretch Everyone who thought the Panthers would be undefeated halfway through their schedule, raise your hand! Quarterback Cam Newton was actually (and successfully) reaching for the end zone against the Packers on Sunday—though even he might not have predicted that Carolina would be this dominant. The Panthers moved to 8--0 with a 37--29 win in Charlotte, all but ensuring that the road through the NFC championship game will go through Bank of America Stadium. Which, as Green Bay now knows, is not a fun place to play: Carolina has won its last eight there.

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY JOHN BAZEMORE AP

Red Dwarfed An awful lot of momentum came to a crashing halt against the Alabama defense last Saturday: LSU's impeccable case for a spot in the College Football Playoff and Leonard Fournette's runaway case for the Heisman Trophy, to name two examples. The Crimson Tide rolled to a 30--16 win in Tuscaloosa and held Fournette, the nation's leading rusher, to 31 yards on 19 carries. Meanwhile, Bama, which began the weekend ranked No. 4, solidified its position as a CFP contender.

PHOTO

PHOTOGRAPH BY PATRICK SMITH GETTY IMAGES

Motion To Strike This season has been a blur for Maryland, and not in a good way: The Terrapins' 31--24 loss at home to Wisconsin last Saturday dropped their record to 2--7 (0--5 in the Big Ten). But they did get some picturesque work from junior running back Wes Brown (with ball), who put Maryland up 7--0 in the first quarter on a seven-yard dash. Wisconsin rallied behind some special teams magic—a 98-yard kickoff return for a touchdown and a fake punt that gained 57 yards—to move to 8--2 and No. 23 in the AP poll.